Last week, I held a press conference with Harold Steves, former NDP MLA and a founder of the Agricultural Land Reserve, speaking out against the B.C. Liberal Site C dam. This project is not only a human-rights violation—depriving people of the right to food and water—but breaks Treaty 8 itself and, if constructed, will also be a contravention of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
It became evident while watching the legislature this week that Christy Clark’s government appears to have willfully absolved themselves of the law by conveniently forgetting any such details.
Christy Clark is selling off B.C.’s resources and ignoring, not enforcing, environmental laws and regulations, while continuing to wage a senseless war with B.C. teachers and offering us little more than her LNG “pipe dreams”. The people of B.C. need MLAs who actually represent the citizens and not the interests of internationally owned oil and LNG companies. Site C is not about providing electricity for British Columbians; instead it serves to subsidize B.C.’s oil, LNG, and mining industries, the products of which are being used to power foreign countries’ energy consumption needs.
As Steves said last week: “The climate is changing. We are losing more and more of our farmland. Right now California produces much of the produce we currently consume here in B.C. However, they have been suffering incredible droughts, and will not be able to feed us in the future. The Peace Valley region is vital agricultural land and may very well be the bread basket of B.C. in the future. We simply cannot afford to lose this land to Site C. Now think about it: this is their land, they cannot exist without it, this is a matter of life and death for the people of Treaty 8. Site C will decimate a vital ecosystem of B.C. This is land which has sustained generations of indigenous people with food for thousands of years.
“This completely unnecessary project stands to destroy one of the most important wildlife corridors in North America. This land is integral to our future food security of B.C. as temperatures rise and severity of droughts increase, the day will come when we will be spending 35 percent to 25 percent of our incomes on groceries in the future, if we do not stop the erosion of our agricultural lands and combat the climate change that is turning our lands into dessert. It is a very serious problem and I am just trying to get this across to people in Vancouver. Yes, oil is a problem; yes, natural gas is a problem; yes, mining is a problem, but flooding for the Site C dam is going to affect us one and all, and is the greatest problem that faces the citizens who are trying to raise their families, trying to feed themselves in British Columbia.”
It is for these reasons, and the fact that our current government appears to lack the moral fortitude to recognize its own negligence of responsibility to the people of B.C., that it is all the more despicable that they should be supporting this project. One would wonder how any ethical or responsible member of legislature could come out in support of Site C, knowing full well the implications of such action, that they themselves in supporting this project are announcing to the world that they are willing to break Treaty 8 and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and their duty to the people of B.C. Indigenous title cannot be superseded by corporate entities, and by allowing such action the B.C. Liberal government is actively engaging in racism and the continuation of genocide. As Grand Chief Stewart Phillip said, “We must strive to get over this colonial hangover.”
It raises the question, who does our government actually serve? I can tell you that, right now, it is definitely not you or I. Site C must be stopped.
“We do not inherit the land from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”