OTTAWA, O.N. — The country’s highest court has ruled against two First Nations hoping to delay the controversial Site C dam.
The Supreme Court of Canada ruled today that it will not hear appeals from the West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations that were asking for a judicial review of the project, which they say was done without proper consultation. The Prophet River and West Moberly First Nations have been fighting the B.C. government and BC Hydro in court for more than two years, hoping to halt construction of the Site C project.
In their judgement, the Supreme Court Justices ruled that,
“The Federal Court dismissed the Prophet River and West Moberly First Nations’ application for judicial review of the Order in Council, finding that the Crown had met its duty to consult and accommodate through the EA process, and that there was no requirement on the part of the Governor in Council to determine the Prophet River and West Moberly First Nations’ treaty rights and whether these rights would be unjustifiably infringed. In addition, the consultation undertaken by the Crown was adequate. The Federal Court of Appeal unanimously dismissed the Prophet River and West Moberly First Nations’ appeal, agreeing that the Governor in Council is not empowered to adjudicate rights and to determine whether there would be an infringement of treaty rights and whether it would be justified. The Court of Appeal also agreed that the consultation was adequate in this case.”
The two First Nations lost in their quest for that judicial review in the Federal Court of Appeal back on January 23rd.
A review of the project concluded that there would be significant adverse environmental effects, impacting indigenous treaty rights in the area, but the federal Conservative government ruled that it was justified.