BC Hydro seeks injunction against Site C dam protesters

VANCOUVER -- A months-long dispute is heating up between BC Hydro and a small group of First Nations and landowners who are protesting the construction of the $9-billion Site C dam.

See Full Article

The power utility has filed a notice of civil claim in B.C. Supreme Court, seeking an injunction that will prevent protesters from stopping work in and around an area on the south bank of the Peace River near Fort St. John, B.C.

The notice was filed on Tuesday, one day after the protesters issued a three-point plan calling for the temporary suspension of land-clearing operations, construction work and federal approvals.

The protesters also want further reviews of the project -- and constitutionally protected Treaty 8 rights -- by the BC Utilities Commission and the federal government respectively.

Named in the notice are Ken and Arlene Boon of the Peace Valley Landowner Association; Verena Hofmann, a former staff member of the Treaty 8 Tribal Association; Esther Pedersen of Fort St. John; Helen Knott of the Prophet River First Nation; and Yvonne Tupper, whose address and profession were not listed.

BC Hydro spokesman David Conway said Wednesday the power utility didn't file the action in response to the three-point plan.

"BC Hydro has filed a civil claim in relationship to a small number of individuals who are preventing contractors from undertaking some clearing work on the south bank of the Site C Dam site," he said.

He said BC Hydro is obligated to keep the project on schedule and on budget and hopes the situation can be resolved.

"BC Hydro has all environmental approvals, provincial permits and federal authorizations in place to work, to do the work that we are presently undertaking on the site," he said.

Ken Boon said protesters are a "little bit surprised" because BC Hydro indicated last week it wanted to talk.

"What they were doing behind the scenes with their lawyers and what they're doing publicly seem to be two separate things," he said.

"It seems like a show of intimidation," added Knott, adding she, too, was shocked that the notice was filed after BC Hydro indicated it wanted dialogue.

"We're still going to maintain our peaceful presence down at the camp, you know," she said. "It is Treaty 8 land, and as a treaty member I do have a right to be there and to continue to be there."

She said the protesters are now looking for legal counsel.

None of the allegations has been tested in court, but the notice said the protesters occupied a camp at Rocky Mountain Fort in November 2015 without the approval of the provincial government.

The camp is located at the site of a former North West Company fur-trading post established in 1794.

The notice alleged the protesters used helicopters to erect cabins at the site at the end of December and beginning of January.

Working in rotating shifts, the protesters interfered with and prevented BC Hydro employees and contractors from conducting work on the project, the notice said.

In one instance, protesters even built campfires near tree-felling and excavation operations, it added.

"The sole or predominant purpose of the blockading activities is to cause damage to BC Hydro's business operations, prevent BC Hydro from developing and constructing the project and injure BC Hydro," the notice said.

BC Hydro is seeking general and punitive damages, as well as costs.

The court action is not the first between BC Hydro and Site C protesters.

Several First Nations and local residents have filed legal challenges over the dam, raising concerns about flooding and the impact the lake will create.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Massive China landslide buries more than 120 people [Photos]

    World News Toronto Sun
    BEIJING — More than 120 people were buried by a landslide that caused huge rocks and a mass of earth to come crashing into their homes in a mountain village in southwestern China early Saturday, officials said. Source
  • Martha wins World's Ugliest Dog contest [Photos] [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    PETALUMA, Calif. — The World’s Ugliest Dog Contest in California is celebrating the inner beauty and imperfections of man’s best friend on Friday. The pooches — many of which are adoptable or previously adopted — will face off in a red carpet walk and “Faux Paw Fashion Show,” organizers said. Source
  • German court removes 3 judges in Auschwitz trial over bias

    World News CTV News
    BERLIN - A German court has removed three judges found to be biased in the often-delayed trial of a former SS medic who served at the Auschwitz death camp. The German news agency dpa reported Saturday that the Neubrandenburg state court appointed three new judges on Friday. Source
  • 8 coal miners killed in Colombia blast

    World News CTV News
    BOGOTA -- At least eight people have died and five are missing after an underground explosion at a coal mine in central Colombia. Rescuers are attempting to locate possibly trapped survivors, but as the search drags on, the chances of finding anyone alive seem slim. Source
  • Spain rescues 224 migrants from 5 boats in Mediterranean

    World News CTV News
    MADRID -- Spain's maritime rescue service says it has rescued 224 migrants from five different boats trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea. The rescue service says it reached two boats, carrying 66 and 77 migrants, in the Strait of Gibraltar overnight. Source
  • Texas mom's kids died after she left them in hot car as punishment: authorities

    World News CTV News
    WEATHERFORD, Texas - Authorities say a Texas woman told investigators that she left her 2-year-old daughter and 16-month-old son in the hot car where they died last month to teach the girl a lesson, and that they didn't lock themselves in, as she initially said. Source
  • Martha wins World's Ugliest Dog contest [Photos]

    World News Toronto Sun
    PETALUMA, Calif. — The World’s Ugliest Dog Contest in California is celebrating the inner beauty and imperfections of man’s best friend on Friday. The pooches — many of which are adoptable or previously adopted — will face off in a red carpet walk and “Faux Paw Fashion Show,” organizers said. Source
  • Montreal police seek suspect scamming women on dating apps

    Canada News CTV News
    Montreal police are looking for a suspect whom they allege used mobile dating apps like Tinder to scam women out of money. Police say the man used the phone apps Tinder and Badoo to connect with about a dozen women. Source
  • 'A nice end to the story': Long-sunken ship heading back to Norway this summer

    Canada News CBC News
    Eighty-seven years after the Maud sank and a year after it was pulled up from the seabed, the ship will start its float home to Norway from Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, this summer. "It's a big moment to see that's she's now starting to begin the trip back home," said Jan Wanggaard, manager for the Maud Returns Home project. Source
  • 5 GOP senators oppose health care bill as written

    World News CTV News
    Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., announces he will vote no on the proposed GOP healthcare bill, at the Grant Sawyer State Office Building, in Las Vegas, on Friday, June 23, 2017. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP) Source