February 29th, 2016

Liberals Must Consult First Nations Before Issuing Site C Permits

OTTAWA – New Democrats are calling on the Liberals to honour their commitment to a true nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous peoples and to finally meet with First Nations to hear their concerns about the Site C dam instead of ramming through all further permits for the project.

“The review panel found the project would cause irreversible damage to wildlife and fish habitat and would infringe on First Nations rights,” said NDP Environment Critic Nathan Cullen (Skeena—Bulkley Valley). “If the Liberals are serious about a new relationship with Indigenous Peoples, they must back up their words with action in sitting down with local First Nations before ramming through more permits.”

The Assembly of First Nations has been calling on the federal government to suspend the approval of Site C and review the project. However, the Liberals have rebuffed all of these calls, refusing to even meet with stakeholders like the Peace Valley Landowners Association and the West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations.

“The Prime Minister promised a commitment from all of his cabinet ministers to a renewed, nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous peoples and yet they are back in court facing an injunction,” said NDP Intergovernmental Aboriginal Affairs Critic Romeo Saganash (Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou). “This government has to understand that Indigenous Peoples shouldn’t have to face a court injunction just to get the government to live up to their legal obligations.”