Lindsay Brown Profile picture
May 2, 2018 20 tweets 11 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Remember how people were warning about the housing crisis in 2011 & everyone mostly ignored it? I guess it's the default of people, & media, to assume that anyone issuing warnings is exaggerating & advancing some agenda of their own. Well, it's happening again with #SiteC #bcpoli
So this is not just a challenge to media, but an offer - in 5 years, you could be the one who can credibly say 'I warned you'. The cost of this unnecessary project will exceed $20 billion. #SiteC is geotechnically unstable & its treaty violation will bring consequences. #bcpoli
The #SiteC dam is not a done deal & BCers have undone many deals before. Whatever else you may hear, they're trying to build it on some of the most unstable ground in BC & it's creating havoc on site. The other 2 dams on the Peace River are in the Rockies; Site C is on sludge.
Right now, First Nations have filed an injunction in BC Supreme Court over #SiteC''s violation of Treaty 8. Two FN pitted against the combined force of the Govt of Canada, BC govt & BC Hydro but the case is strong. It will be heard in July, & we she demand solid coverage. #bcpoli
There are 2 Supreme Court cases against #SiteC by First Nations. In the case of West Moberly & Prophet River First Nations, last week, BC SC approved applications by the Govt of Canada & BC Hydro to have the expert testimony of Harry Swain & Marc Eliesen struck from case. #bcpoli
The BC Supreme Court judge disallowed the expert affidavits of Harry Swain (former chair of #SiteC Joint Review Panel) & Marc Eliesen (former CEO BC, Ontario & Man. Hydros). Said Swain's affidavit "biased," & Eliesen was not sufficiently expert. Can't make this stuff up. #bcpoli
One would think there would be more public discussion of this. One of the top Canadian energy utility experts, whom BC Hydro itself chose as its CEO & who knew the #SiteC proposal intimately, has just been called inexpert by BC Hydro, which itself hasn't built a dam in 50 yrs.
Now, it's known that SC judges, except for the rare courageous one very confident of the material (& in this case including treaty law), do not love to cross governments. But to accept that Eliesen & Swain are "biased" or "inexpert," but BC Hydro & govts are not, is a problem.
To accuse Harry Swain of "bias" in his expert affidavit for the First Nations injunction against #SiteC, yet not to accuse BC Hydro or govts of the same, is a bit of a travesty. The question it raises is this: what are the Govts of BC & Canada & BC Hydro so worried about? #bcpoli
It is telling that BC Hydro & the Govts of Canada & BC want the expert testimony of 2 top Canadian experts removed from a First Nations treaty case. If the case goes to Supreme Court of Canada on appeal, they want to avoid facing Eliesen's & Swain's affidavits. #bcpoli #cdnpoli
Now, despite the fact that the BC SC judge granted Hydro, BC & Canada's request to strike the Eliesen & Swain testimonies, the FN case against #SiteC is still extremely strong. It rests on treaty law that describes what infringements on treaties govts can and cannot make #bcpoli
By law (& recall Aboriginal rights were enshrined in the Constitution in '82) the BC & Canadian govts cannot infringe on a Treaty unless the project is deemed necessary in the public interest. The BC Utilities Commission review proved there are good alternatives to #SiteC #bcpoli
So, this unjustifiable treaty infringement is the nub of the Nun wa dee (West Moberly & Prophet River First Nations) application for an injunction to stop #SiteC in BC Supreme Court. They have a strong case. Still, Swain's & Eliesen's testimony should've been allowed. #bcpoli
The precedent-setting case of R. vs Sparrow describes what infringements on treaties with First Nations are allowed.… To determine if an infringement is allowed, govts must perform the "Sparrow test." Swain showed that test won't hold up on #SiteC. #bcpoli
(A note: there is a second major First Nations case that deals with #SiteC being brought in BC Supreme Court, this one by Blueberry River First Nation. Much more on that one later, but it deals with cumulative impacts of industrial development in Treaty 8, & is also very strong.)
I'm going to start pulling out some key sections of the testimonies of Marc Eliesen & Harry Swain to give you a sense of what's in them - a sense of what BC Hydro & the govts of BC & Canada are so worried about. The affidavits are public. PS also follow @commonsbc & @sage_legal
Final note: the huge expenditure on #SiteC for energy we could get much more cheaply & less destructively in other ways will seriously hamper BC's ability to switch to a zero carbon economy while remaining solvent. This is easily as crucial as the #KinderMorgan fight. #bcpoli
To see the future on #SiteC, just start following the #MuskratFalls hashtag. That dam in Newfoundland is much further ahead than #SiteC, is also on unstable ground & going massively over budget, and Newfoundland is in serious trouble now. There's an official inquiry. #bcpoli
If you don't believe that BC will be in the same trouble with #SiteC as Newfoundland is with #MuskratFalls, I will take your bets now. Bet me.
Cassandra out.

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More from @Lidsville

Sep 4, 2018
Today the First Nations challenge to #SiteC in BC Supreme Court resumes, asking for an injunction to stop work on the dam until the rest of the Treaty 8 infringement case is decided in court. A critical case for BC. Follow the #SiteC & #SiteCInjunction hashtags this week! #bcpoli
Heading over to 800 Smithe now for 9:45 entry. All are welcome to be in the courtroom - please join us. Latecomers not admitted; proceedings start 10 am sharp. #bcpoli
This final week of the #SiteCinjunction hearing involves lawyers from the Province of BC (we have already heard from @sage_legal on behalf of West Moberly & Prophet River FNs, and BC Hydro's lawyers. #bcpoli #SiteC
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