FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Chief Roland Willson of the West Moberly First Nation says they will proceed to trial over the Site C dam.
A court injunction to stop work at the Site C Dam was dismissed Wednesday by B.C. Supreme Court. In the decision released by Justice Warren Milman, the Judge said the injunction would cause more harm to B.C. Hydro, ratepayers and other project stakeholders than it would to the West Moberly First Nation.
Justice Milman also said, “I have not concluded that West Moberly’s case is fairly strong.” The judgement also announced a trial looking at Treaty 8 rights should start in 2019 and must be completed before the Site C Reservoir is flooded in 2023.
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In a release late yesterday, B.C. Hydro’s President and Chief Operating Officer, Chris O’Riley said, “BC Hydro has reached benefit agreements with the majority of First Nations that we consult with on Site C. We remain committed to working with Indigenous communities to build relationships that respect their interests.”
Chief Roland Willson of the West Moberly First Nation said, “We have every intention of proceeding to trial, and will be deciding whether an appeal of this judgement is necessary as well.”
“The Court may have chosen not to suspend work on the dam, but that doesn’t mean this Project will ever be completed. As the 200 evacuees at Old Fort could tell you, the unstable north banks of the Peace River may have other plans,” said Chief Tsakoza of the Prophet River First Nation.
The West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations applied for 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.
Below is a full copy of the judgement released Wednesday