West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations challenge permits in court

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The West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations are today launching another Site-C dam legal challenge before BC Supreme Court in Victoria.

This one will address the legality of the construction permits issued by the province.

Recall in August the court dismissed an application seeking a stop work order to block first phase preparation work for the third dam on the Peace River with the First Nations arguing, they would suffer irreparable harm if thousands of hectares of old-growth forest are cleared.

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While the application was dismissed, the First Nations later said it was significant that BC Hydro promised in court not to act on specific permits allowing the clear-cutting of old growth forest in some areas.

BC Hydro’s Dave Conway declined to comment citing as his reason today’s court case, which First Nation’s leaders hope will end with a ruling quashing the permits, and forcing the utility to restart the consultation protocol.

West Moberly First Nation’s Chief, Roland Willson.

Meantime, site preparation work continues on Hydro, not Crown, land and the utility has already marked the first 100 days of it.

Chief Willson argues what Hydro’s trying to do is demonstrate the project is so far along it can’t be stopped, but he says, despite the onerous expense, the First Nations are also still prepared to move forward with two appeals of earlier provincial and federal court rulings which went against them.

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