VANCOUVER, B.C. – Officials with the West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations, BC Hydro, and the provincial government are awaiting a judge’s decision on whether or not an injunction will be granted to halt work on the Site C dam near Fort St. John.
The two First Nations filed the injunction application on January 15th, the same day they filed a treaty infringement lawsuit against the provincial government arguing that their rights under Treaty 8 have been violated by the construction of the W.A.C. Bennett, Peace Canyon, and Site C dams on the Peace River.
According to CBC News, the three-week-long hearing wrapped up in B.C. Supreme Court last Friday, after a delay of nearly one month.
The injunction hearing began back on July 23rd and was postponed after two weeks of arguments when Justice Warren Milman fell ill. The hearing resumed for its final four days on September 4th.
The two First Nations applied for seeking a complete stoppage to work on the dam, or for work to stop in so-called “critical areas” for a period of 18 months – which is the period of time that an expedited trial for the treaty infringement suit is estimated to take.
The First Nations argued in court that without an injunction, they would be left without a remedy for the infringement of their treaty rights.
In its response, the provincial argued that an injunction is not necessary, saying that there are alternatives and opportunities for the two First Nations to engage with the province and Hydro about their concerns.
At this point, it’s not known when Justice Milman, who will also be the judge during the upcoming treaty infringement trial, will release his decision on the injunction application.