British Columbia

Supreme Court of Canada refuses to hear B.C. First Nations' Site C dam appeal

The Supreme Court of Canada has declined to hear two B.C. First Nations' requests to appeal government approval of the Site C dam.

Prophet River and West Moberly First Nations argued approval of project violated treaty rights

Part of the Peace River valley will be flooded in order to build the Site C dam in northeastern British Columbia and two First Nations argue their treaty rights will be infringed if the project goes ahead. (BC Hydro)

The Supreme Court of Canada has declined to hear two appeals that sought to delay the Site C dam project in British Columbia. 

Two First Nations — the Prophet River and West Moberly First Nations —  had sought a judicial review of the mega-project, citing problems with how it was approved by the provincial and federal governments.

The Site C dam is a controversial $8.5-billion hydroelectric project on the Peace River near Fort St. John in northeastern British Columbia.

Once completed, the dam will flood an 83-kilometre-long river valley. BC Hydro say it will provide enough electricity to power the equivalent of around 450,000 homes

The two First Nations say proper consultations were not carried out during the approval process and that adverse effects from flooding would significantly impair how they exercise their treaty rights.

The applications were dismissed with costs today. 

As usual, the Supreme Court of Canada gave no reasons for its decision not to hear the cases.

The claims have been previously dismissed by the provincial Supreme Court of B.C. and the Federal Court of Appeal.

In their decision, the Federal Court of Appeal ruled the federal government is allowed to issue permits for projects like Site C without first discovering if the project violates treaty rights.