Three arrested at Site C demonstration in support of First Nations protest camp

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      Three people were arrested at a Site C protest yesterday, January 6.

      One person was taken into custody shortly after 10 a.m., according to an RCMP media release. It states that individual along with another demonstrator were blocking vehicles from entering a private work site related to the BC Hydro project.

      “Both parties were requested by police to move to the side of the road,” reads the release. “When the man refused, he was advised by police that he was committing a criminal offence by not moving and advised to move to the side of the road. When the man still refused he was arrested for mischief.”

      The second person, a woman, allowed herself to be escorted to the side of the road by another protester in attendance.

      Roughly two hours later, shortly after 12 p.m., RCMP responded to another call about demonstrators blocking traffic. The release states two members of that group failed to comply with instructions to move to the side of the road and, after being given “ample warning”, were taken into RCMP custody.

      According to the Alaska Highway News, one of the protesters was subsequently charged with a crime. That was Arthur Hadland, a former regional district director of Peace River Regional District. The other two people arrested were named as Penny Boden and Mark Meiers.

      It’s reported there the January 6 demonstration on the roadway was in support of another group of protesters who have formed an encampment at the Rocky Mountain Fort on the west side of the Moberly River near Fort St. John.

      A Prince George Citizen report describes that group as members of the Prophet First Nation who have established the camp in opposition to the dam’s construction.

      Several First Nations groups have filed legal challenges related to the project. They have expressed concerns that the dam will result in flooding a vast area, destroying areas of historical and cultural significance.

      Google Maps / BC Hydro

      The provincial government approved the Site C dam for construction in December 2014. The megaproject estimated to cost $8.8 billion will be built on a section of the Peace River roughly seven kilometres southwest of Fort St. John.

      BC Hydro maintains the Site C dam is required to provide clean energy to British Columbia. A December 2015 media release claims the crown corporation is “committed to meeting its obligation to consult and accommodate Aboriginal groups”.

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