VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – First Nations and environmental groups say they’re outraged after the federal government quietly issued permits last week allowing a controversial hydroelectric project in northeastern BC to ramp up construction.
On Friday, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans cleared the way for the province’s power utility to move forward with the Site C dam. The multibillion-dollar project would create an 83-kilometre reservoir, flooding farm land along with hunting and fishing territory of First Nations.
Stewart Phillip, head of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, calls the move an absolute betrayal.
Ken Boon of the Peace Valley Landowner Association asks how such a complex and costly project could be given approval discreetly on the Friday before a long weekend.
Site C is the subject of multiple legal challenges, though the government’s recent authorizations mean construction of the megaproject won’t slow down while grievances make their way through the courts.