FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — A weekend Globe and Mail report suggests it required him to assume the role of a Liberal Caucus Christmas party-crasher, but Chief Roland Willson of the West Moberly First Nations finally got to sit down with a federal cabinet minister and talk about the Site C’s dam.
He had failed to get an Ottawa audience with anybody in the Trudeau cabinet until he tracked them down at the party and then the story suggests, his persistence paid off and he got in front of several Ministers.
The Chief says they included the Justice Minister — who he notes has promised to address and review the issue — the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Minister — who he notes has been given the mandate to meet with First Nations — and the Fisheries Minister — whose department he notes has already issued big construction friendly permits to BC Hydro.
However, he also got in front of Natural Resources Minister, James Carr, and he invited him to his office, where — quoting the Chief, “We had an hour long meeting, that’s an hour longer than we ever got with the Harper government on this issue.”
We don’t know what exactly was said, but Chief Willson has put forward a consistent opposition message on the $9-billion project, which he wants put on hold and it’s likely Mr. Carr heard essentially what we heard last month — when talking to the Chief about Treaty 8 and the newly elected Prime Minister.
According to Chief Willson, he didn’t get the impression any of the Liberal ministers he met believes the project is too far advanced to stop.
However he also reportedly told the Globe, “They’re confronted with almost an impossible task, but we still have hope.”