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B.C. Supreme court dismisses Site C injunction request

The B.C. Supreme Court has dismissed West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations' application for an injunction that would have stopped some construction work on Site C, according to a BC Hydro spokesman.
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The B.C. Supreme Court has dismissed West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations' application for an injunction that would have stopped some construction work on Site C, according to a BC Hydro spokesman.

A Federal court has also dismissed the Peace Valley Landowner Association's application for a judicial review of the project, and has dismissed an application for a judicial review of the dam’s environmental assessment certificate brought forward by the West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations on the same day, he wrote.

"We are pleased with these decisions," said Conway in an e-mail. "We believe Site C is the right project at the right time for B.C. and we look forward to continuing with construction."

Conway said that Hydro won't be providing further comment at this time because the hearing on the issuance of provincial permits has yet to take place.

West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations have launched a lawsuit against provincial permits issued to allow some early Site C construction work to take place. They sought an injunction to stop this construction work before the lawsuit was settled.

However, according to a release from West Moberly, some environmental protection has been offered by BC Hydro, even if the injunction was dismissed.

"We went to court to protect our old growth trees, eagle nests, beaver dams and our traditional way of life", said Chief Roland Willson of West Moberly First Nations, in a statement.

"As a result, BC Hydro will not be destroying the forests or removing eagle nests and beaver dams in the Moberly River valley. We asked for those areas to be protected.”

During the court hearing, BC Hydro conceded it would not act on any of the permits in the Moberly River valley, given the First Nations' concern around the old growth areas, the release stated.

Prophet River Chief Lynette Tsakoza believes that BC Hydro's commitment to spare the Moberly River valley from construction until the outcome of the court case is significant.

"(BC Hydro's commitment to spare the Moberly River valley from construction until the outcome of the court case) is clear recognition of the unique ecological significance of the valley," said Tsakoza.

"We are looking forward to having our day in court to address the legality of the construction permits - an issue that the Court today acknowledged is a 'serious issue' to be heard."

Calls to Willson asking for further comment were not immediately returned immediately.

The environmental assessment certificate was issued by the federal government that basically gave the overarching OK for the project on a federal level.

The B.C. government also issued its own environmental assessment certificate. A First Nations lawsuit against that certificate, and a lawsuit against some of the permits issued for construction work, has not been decided.