UN instructs Canada to suspend construction of dam project until it obtains free, prior & informed consent of Indigenous peoples

Author: Sarah Cox, The Narwhal, Published on: 18 January 2019

"United Nations instructs Canada to suspend Site C dam construction over Indigenous rights violations," 9 Jan 2019

In a rare rebuke, the United Nations has instructed Canada to suspend construction of the Site C dam on B.C.’s Peace River until the project obtains the “free, prior and informed consent” of Indigenous peoples. Canada has until April 8 to report back to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination outlining steps it has taken to halt construction of the hydro project... “The Committee [on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination] is... concerned that the realization of the Site C dam without free, prior and informed consent, would permanently affects the land rights of affected indigenous peoples in the Province of British Columbia. Accordingly, it would infringe indigenous peoples’ rights protected under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.”

... The B.C. government has taken the view that ignoring treaty rights obligations and continuing with business as usual is “perfectly okay” while the fundamental issue of constitutionally protected rights is still before the courts, Benjamin [Amnesty Canada’s campaigner for the human rights of Indigenous peoples] said.

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