Letter: Site C opponents are whining

If native treaty rights are being disrespected, just who is disrespecting them?

To the editor:

Peter Kerr’s letter on Site C (Capital News, Jan. 3, 2018) raises more than the questions he asks and leaves some begging. It seems to me that the Site C opponents are whining.

Kerr says that vast amounts of land are to be flooded. On what scale or to what is he making this comparison? The Williston Reservoir just upstream is over 400,000 acres making it just a tiny bit bigger than the 5,000 acres Site C will flood.

Further, after Site C passed through the BCUC review in 1982, all flood reserves below Site C were removed. This freed many thousands of acres from the encumbrance of that reserve and made it easier to establish farms. No action was taken on developing any sort of vegetable industry in the intervening 30 years. There is lots of land in the Peace Valley for expanding agriculture production.

If native treaty rights are being disrespected, just who is disrespecting them? The natives went to great lengths to get the right to be consulted on development within their treaty territories. BC Hydro went to great lengths to consult with all native bands in the area, coming to agreements with some of them.

Two bands refused to talk with BC Hydro believing they could go to court later and stop the project. The BC Supreme Court ruled against these two bands saying that their first refusal to accept overtures to consult was not a refusal to consult. Having won the right to consultation, the natives have both a legal and moral obligation to consult when opportunities present themselves. If anyone is abusing native rights it is the natives themselves.

LNG, in my mind , has far worse environmental impacts on native lands as all the impacts are dispersed in both space and time and are continuous and continuing.

Robert Miles, Kelowna


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