FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Environmentalist David Suzuki and President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, are visiting the Rocky Mountain Fort Camp and it’s Treaty 8 Stewards of the Land and local landowners opposing Site C.
“I thought we had stopped this mega-dam project 30 years ago,” said Suzuki. “It makes no sense that now, when there are more reasons than ever to change course, the B.C. Government is forging ahead.”
He applauds the camp for standing up against what he calls an ‘unnecessary and destructive project.’
“Promises by government to uphold and respect treaty rights ring hollow when construction is given the green light before three on-going First Nations court cases against the dam are even finished. BC Hydro must stop its work immediately and allow the court cases to be decided.”
Grand Chief Phillip says it’s ‘infuriating’ and ‘deeply frustrating’ that BC Hydro is continuing their ‘provocative and aggressive approach’ from BC Hydro and the Province when neither a review by the BC Utilities Commission, or Treaty 8’s court proceedings, have been completed. Their immediate plans, he says, involve clear-cutting forests around the Rocky Mountain Fort, on the west site of Moberly River.
“It is absolutely unacceptable that BC Hydro is relentlessly clear-cutting forests right now to prepare for the flooding of the Peace River Valley, which will destroy archaeological sites and eradicate prime farmland,” he claims.
“The proposed Site C project will irreparably harm and adversely impact the environment and the Treaty 8 First Nations and all residents whose lives are entwined with the health of the land and waters.”
The Site C dam would flood 107-kilometres of the Peace River, along with traditional hunting and fishing grounds.
Protesters have been camping at the Rocky Mountain Fort Camp for weeks, and BC Hydro served a notice to protesters that the camp must be dismantled on New Year’s Eve.
BC Hydro could not be reached for an immediate request for a comment.