Hunger strikers call on Trudeau to stop Site C

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VANCOUVER, B.C. — Protesters of Site C based in Vancouver have penned an open letter to the Prime Minister, calling on him to stop Site C construction.

The letter argues that, because Treaty 8 First Nations have not provided consent to construction of the Site C dam, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is not upholding his promise build a “renewed nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous Peoples” by allowing it to continue.

Wednesday marks the eleventh day of the hunger strike, and one protester, Kristin Henry, intends to quit eaten until the project is scrapped altogether. She hasn’t eaten anything since March 13.

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“She is already facing serious health risks, and the likelihood of permanent physical consequences grows with every day this hunger strike continues,” the letter states. “She has been joined by other hunger strikers who agree that construction of the Site C dam cannot continue.”

On Thursday, the hunger strikers will be inviting people to join them and send letters. According to a social media post on Facebook, over 70 letters have already been sent.

According to agrologist Wendy Holm, who is referenced in the letter, the Peace River Valley could feed one million people due to its unique micro-climate, soil, and access to water.

In the House of Commons last month, Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna stated that the former government approved the project and set legally binding conditions with which the proponent must comply.

She added that construction has started on Site C, and BC Hydro must meet requirements set out in the EA decision and other regulatory requirements.

Some have come to interpret this as a signal that the Liberal government doesn’t intend to stop Site C, or hasn’t made any intentions clear.

President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, Grand Chief Stewart Philip, said late last year that Trudeau must veto the project to show his commitment to reconciliation.

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The letter from the Vancouver Hunger Strikers finishes by asking, ‘Mr. Trudeau, will you keep your promise?’

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