Most Recent Release:
The Honourable Justin Trudeau,
Prime Minister of Canada,
Office of the Prime Minister,
80 Wellington Street,
The Honourable Christy Clark,
Premier of British Columbia,
Box 9041, Station Provincial Government,
Victoria, British Columbia,
President and Chief Executive Officer,
333 Dunsmuir Street,
Vancouver, British Columbia,
Dear Prime Minister Trudeau, Premier Christy Clark and Jessica Macdonald,
For several weeks, Treaty 8 First Nation members have peacefully occupied a winter camp not far from where BC Hydro is preparing to build the Site C dam on the Peace River.
On January 18, Treaty 8 Stewards of the Land, with the support of others who have also occupied the camp, formally called on the federal and provincial governments to suspend approvals for dam construction so that issues of fundamental concern to Treaty 8 Stewards of the Land and many others could be answered prior to any further work commencing.
We asked for:
- A temporary suspension of all construction and land-clearing operations related to the Site C dam project until court challenges initiated by First Nations and local landowners who are opposed to the project are finally determined.
- The federal government to temporarily suspend all federal Site C dam project approvals and the issuance of any future permits pending an expedited, open and transparent federal review of the infringement of Constitutionally protected Treaty 8 rights by the Site C dam.
- The provincial government to temporarily suspend all construction work at the Site C dam site pending an independent review by the BC Utilities Commission of the Site C dam project, with full procedural safeguards, as recommended by the federal/provincial Joint Review Panel and many others.
Just prior to issuing that statement, we were formally approached by BC Hydro officials inviting us to meet with them to discuss our concerns. We were asked by BC Hydro to identify whom we wished to speak to, and when and where we wished to discuss our concerns.
After giving all of you time to consider our three-point plan to protect Treaty 8 lands that would be flooded by the Site C dam, we respectfully request a meeting with each of you or a senior designate to discuss this serious matter and to hear your formal responses.
We believe that a meeting held at a mutually agreeable and convenient location in Vancouver in the near future makes sense. We respectfully ask that that meeting involve Treaty 8 Stewards of the Land members along other key First Nation leaders we invite to attend.
We formally invite each of you to be at the meeting. If you are unable to attend, we ask that you appoint appropriate senior designates to attend in your absence. In the case of federal and provincial government designates, we respectfully request that if the Prime Minister and/or Premier are unable to attend that an appropriate Cabinet minister and his or her deputy attend in your place.
As a sign of good faith, we request that until such a meeting takes place any actions contemplated by BC Hydro and/or the provincial government to remove Treaty 8 First Nation members and our supporters peacefully occupying the winter camp near the construction zone for the Site C dam be halted.
We look forward to your prompt reply.