FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – After news came down that the Supreme Court of Canada would not hear appeals from West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations, they say the news is disappointing.
The judgement stated the following:
“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.”
West Moberly First Nations Chief, Roland Willson, says this was the last opportunity they had when it came to the court system.
“This was our last kick at the can for the court system on that file. Once they denied it, we don’t have access to go back to them on it. It is extremely disappointing.”
Willson says that even though they were unsuccessful legally, they are hopeful that the incoming BC NDP government with the support of the Green Party, will do something when it comes to the dam.
“We’re hoping. Weaver, the head of the Green Party, the whole Caucus has stated that they will kill the project. Our position is that, that project should never have seen the light of day. It is a economical nightmare, environmental nightmare and it is a financial nightmare.”
Willson says that he is glad that BC NDP Leader John Horgan will send the project to be reviewed by the BCUC.
“I have to believe, when the BCUC opens the books on this thing and sees the numbers on it, they will have to deem it uneconomical.”