FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – West Moberly First Nations Chief, Roland Willson says Premier Christy Clark must have ‘imagined’ meeting with them after comments she made in during a recent visit to Fort St. John.
In an interview with Energeticcity.ca and other media outlets during her visit last week, Clark said she had met with First Nations groups and Chief Willson.
“I’ve been Premier for four years. Since we approved this, I’ve met with plenty of people on both sides, including First Nations leaders, including Chief Willson.”
Willson, in a release sent out Tuesday, claimed Clark is wrong and specifically pointed to the Highway 29 realignment.
“She must have imagined it. Since approving the project in December 2014, the Premier has not met a single time with West Moberly or Prophet River, the two First Nations opposed to the dam. If Clark wants to meet with families affected by Site C, why won’t she sit with our Elders and children to explain why she’d rather destroy sacred sites than move a 9 kilometre stretch of road?”
He also says that Clark should take her own advice when it comes to the topic of Site C.
“The Premier flies up here and tells Andrew Weaver to look Site C workers in the eyes? Maybe she should take her own advice and look into the eyes of British Columbians losing their homes because she failed to deliver on LNG. If she’d gotten that done, people up here wouldn’t have to choose between making a living and protecting their way of life.”
Willson says when it comes to the Highway 29 realignment, there is another alignment available that would avoid a gravesite, sweat lodge, and farmhouses for an additional cost of only $5 million. In the release, Willson pointed out that BC Hydro admitted that this option was technically and economically feasible in an Environmental Impact Statement dated July 2013. The release adds that BC Hydro now claims the alternative alignment will cost as much as $50 million, but that the Crown Corporation has refused to provide any cost data to back up this claim.
“We know there’s money in Hydro’s budget, they just don’t want to spend it on us. It makes you wonder, is this payback for us taking their project to court? Or are they just afraid to admit that they made a huge mistake?”
A full copy of the release can be found below: