November 19th, 2015
Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice
Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Dear Honourable Ministers,
Honour Solemn Treaty Promises and Restore Confidence in Federal Site C Decisions
Please find enclosed our letter requesting that your new government take steps to honour solemn treaty promises and restore open, transparent and accountable federal government decision-making regarding the controversial $8.8 Billion Site C Dam project on British Columbia’s Peace River.
We ask for your personal involvement and commitment to make Site C an urgent government priority. Time is running out. Preliminary construction has started. The Peace Valley is beginning to be destroyed for future generations of indigenous and non-indigenous people.
In our letter we outline immediate steps the new federal government can take to start:
· Honouring solemn treaty promises made to First Nations impacted by Site C,
· Restoring openness and transparency to federal Site C decisions, and
· Restoring public confidence in federal Site C decisions.
Site C presents a once-in-a-mandate defining opportunity to implement your mandate to:
· Renew the most important relationship we as Canadians have – that with Indigenous Peoples - based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership,
· Respect and uphold Treaty Rights,
· Review and modify the federal Site C litigation strategy consistent with the above commitments,
· Take immediate steps to restore public confidence in federal environmental assessment decisions, permits, processes, oversight, and enforcement,
· Set and meet a higher bar for openness and transparency in government, and
· Identify, research and pursue other renewable energy options that are more effective at tackling climate change, minimizing the destruction of prime agricultural land, and promoting employment and economic spin-offs, especially for Indigenous Peoples.