Site C project and Mount Polley dam failure two ways government has failed to protect natural resources relied on by Indigenous Peoples, according to Amnesty International says. (Black Press Media files)

B.C., feds accused of ‘environmental racism’ over Site C, Mount Polley

Amnesty International Canada says governments failed to recognize threats to Indigenous peoples

Amnesty International Canada says the federal and B.C. governments are discriminating against Indigenous peoples when building energy projects, calling it an act of “environmental racism.”

The Canadian arm of the international human rights organization says incidents such as the Mount Polley mining dam failure and the looming Site C hydroelectric project threaten the rivers and lakes that Indigenous groups depend on for their livelihood.

READ MORE: Site C dam project plagued by problems, expert says

“Far too often, governments in Canada have demonstrated that they place little value on the health and well-being of Indigenous peoples and the revitalization of their cultures and traditions,” said campaigner Tara Scurr on Thursday, as part of the group’s latest campaign for World Water Day on Friday.

She pointed to the lengthy court cases against the Mount Polley Mining Corporation after its tailings pond leaked wastewater into Quesnel Lake in August 2014. Crown counsel has until Aug. 4 to lay charges under the Fisheries Act.

READ MORE: Prosecution service halts private case against Mount Polley dam failure

READ MORE: Site C dam goes ahead, cost estimate now up to $10.7 billion

Former Xat’sull First Nation chief Bec Sellars had filed private charges against the mining company, but a provincial court judge stayed those in January.

“We have already lost access to our land, traditional foods and medicines,” Sellars said. “We can’t afford to sit back and watch more toxic waste being dumped into our sacred waterways.”

As for the Site C dam, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination issued a letter to the B.C. and federal governments in December, giving them until April to prove that steps are being taken to suspend construction.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Not business as usual as Nelson slowly reopens

Local owners talk about the pandemic has changed how they operate

City of Nelson takes over farmers’ markets from EcoSociety

Markets start June 13 and will be run by the Nelson and District Youth Centre

Nelson offers financing for homeowners to purchase electric bikes

Loan payments will be applied to hydro bills as part of the EcoSave home retrofit program

Pay guarantee removed for some Kootenay on-call paramedics

Guarantee phased out as BCEHS introduces a new “scheduled on call” model

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Help the Nelson Star continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Black Press is now accepting donations to keep its papers operating

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Kelowna Mountie on desk duty following ‘aggressive’ arrest

The officer involved in an arrest that took place on May 30 in Kelowna has been placed on administrative duties

Protests shift to memorializing George Floyd amid push for change

‘There is something better on the other side of this,’ says Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottom

Columbia Basin Trust expands programming to support businesses

The revised programs will help local businesses to reopen and modify operations

Limit gun capacity to five bullets, victims group urges Trudeau government

Current limits are generally five bullets for hunting rifles and shotguns and 10 for handguns.

Most Read