Dear Climate Leadership Team Members,
We are writing because you have been called upon to provide recommendations on climate action to the provincial government by the end of this month, when Premier Christy Clark is scheduled to travel to Paris to attend international climate change talks. We are collectively advising you that the proposed Site C hydroelectric dam project is not “clean energy” and to remind you that Treaty 8 First Nations continue to oppose Site C, and we are calling on you to oppose the Site C project with us.
Your primary task is to advocate the “best actions” that British Columbia can take to keep the province on track in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But you have also been told that the recommendations you make should serve to improve relations between the provincial government and First Nations, not weaken or undermine them. This is a vital part of your mandate, and it cannot and must not be ignored.
All too often, provincial and federal government actions have caused harm to First Nations. There is a grave risk that if you, as committee members, are not careful you will legitimize climate actions that amount to an assault on constitutionally protected Aboriginal Title and Rights and Treaty Rights.
We are extremely concerned that a cornerstone of the province’s emerging and allegedly “clean energy” climate plans includes construction of the Site C dam, which would flood lands along 107 kilometers of the Peace River and its tributaries. This would result in the permanent loss of vital hunting, fishing and gathering sites and other areas that are of historic and cultural importance to the region’s First Nations, who actively oppose the dam’s construction.