Environmental assessment legislation changes apply to Site C

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Erica Fisher

Erica is a reporter for Moose FM and energeticcity.ca in Fort St. John, B.C. She grew up in Victoria, B.C. and received her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.

Fort St. John/Treaty 8 Territory communities of Halfway River, Doig River, West Moberly, and Prophet River First Nations are reviewing the dam project implications of these changes for consultation, Treaty rights and environmental assessment.

The First Nations claim that at just over three years the environmental assessment for Site C is already the shortest of any large-scale hydro project in Canada in the past decade. However, since one of the substantial changes is introduction of fixed timelines for environmental assessments it now appears, the Site C assessment could be further shortened to just 2 years, at the discretion of the federal Minister.

Treaty-8 Tribal Chief, Liz Logan, says, "The implications of these kinds of changes are not always clear to the general public, and what happens is, there's insufficient time to actually address, genuine, public and First Nations concerns." She also claims, "Project proponents, like B.C. Hydro, know this, and have a huge incentive to present incomplete information."

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