We’re deeply disappointed and very concerned over the decision of the BC Supreme Court to deny the injunction requested by First Nations.
The court case to determine whether the Site C dam violates First Nations Treaty rights will still go ahead – and still remains British Columbia’s best hope for stopping the massively destructive and wasteful Site C dam.
A vital, irreplaceable cultural and ecological landscape is at stake. But the legal challenge to Site C is about more than the fate of the Peace River Valley. Fundamental issues of human rights and reconciliation are also at stake.
The federal and provincial governments have already admitted that they deliberately ignored their Treaty rights obligations when they decided to flood the Peace Valley.
This is despite the fact that both governments have repeatedly promised to honour the Treaties and uphold the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It’s time they kept these promises. And if the courts are the only place where the Treaty rights implications of the Site C dam will even be considered, then we must all do everything in our power to ensure that the First Nations get a fair hearing.
This means protecting crucial spiritual sites and animal habitat in the Valley until the final decision is made.
Public attention to these issues can make a difference. In May, we learned the welcome news that the federal government would not to oppose the injunction request.
Unfortunately the provincial government refused to follow this positive example. The result is that the Peace Valley and First Nations are at greater risk than ever.
On top of which, in their arguments before the court, the provincial government and BC Hydro have taken such a narrow, restrictive view of Indigenous rights that the Union of BC Indian Chiefs has called for a retraction and a public apology.
Meanwhile, both the federal and the provincial government have ignored a one-year deadline to respond to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination which has called for an immediate halt to construction of the Site C dam.
This is all the more reason we must keep up the pressure in defense of the rights of First Nations in Treaty 8 territory.
1. Call on the BC government to keep it’s promises to respect Indigenous rights
Join our new online petition to BC Premier John Horgan and then add to your impact by sending your own email message or making a phone call.
Premier John Horgan
(Or use this feature to place a call to the Premier’s office)
Attorney General David Eby
BC residents, you’ll find your MLA here:
You can find suggestions for points to raise in letters or phone calls here.
2. Be a witness to the court process as it unfolds
Follow the ongoing court process and let the federal and provincial governments know you’re doing so. By pledging to be a “Witness for the Peace”, you are letting the federal and provincial governments know that you care about what they argue in court on behalf of the “public interest”.
3. Spread the word
Engage others through tabling at public events
Ask people walking by to “Be A Witness For The Peace”!
Directly through the website:
If you have access to an ipad, tablet, large smart phone or laptop you can ask people to sign up directly to the website
- Downloand and/or print these Site C Tabling Resources
- Connect to the internet. This will be simple if you are tabling indoors in a community space, school or private venue etc. However, if you are tabling outside you may have to use data.
- Open your web browser and type https://witnessforthepeace.ca/speak-out/ in the address bar.
- Once the page is open you can walk around with your ipad or tablet and talk to people about Site C. Once someone seems interested, hand them your device and ask them to read the pledge and fill out the information requested on the page.
Paper and Pen:
Don’t have easy access to a device or the internet? Don’t worry, you can use good old paper and pen.
- Print the Site C Tabling Resources and a few extra copies of the Witness For The Peace -Paper Form
- Once your tabling session is completed, either take the information filled out in the form and input it yourself directly to the witnessforthepeace.ca website OR
- Mail it to Amnesty International Canada 312 Laurier Avenue East Ottawa, ON K1N 1H9 for this to be done.
Background on the court case
Frequently Asked Questions
Opinion piece by two Canadian legal experts
Upcoming court case a critical test of federal and provincial commitments to reconciliation
Amnesty’s 2016 report on the Site C dam
The Point Of No Return