LETTER: Site C decision ignores Indigenous rights

At Premier Horgan’s recent news conference to announce the continuation of the Site C Dam, he was asked a question about indigenous relations and reconciliation. He said, without explanation, that Scott Fraser, minister of Indigenous relations and reconciliation, “could not be with us today.”

The absence of that minister is very telling. This was no small announcement when it comes to First Nations.

I think it speaks volumes for the lack of agreement within the caucus about indigenous relations and the approval of Site C.

However, a few moments later, while talking easily and superiorly about UNDRIP and reconciliation, he said this, and I quote: “I am not the first person to stand before you and disappoint indigenous people.”

To toss that off as a way of justifying this decision is a cynical and abusive dismissal of Indigenous people.

To use the word ‘disappointment’ is to trivialize the sacred sites, burial places, and treaty rights that will forever be lost and that were promised to them in perpetuity by the Crown.

What this statement as a justification of ignoring the rights and title of Peace River Valley First Nations is what amounts to saying, ‘Well, everyone else has done it before so they should be used to it.’

I am appalled that the premier of British Columbia could so cavalierly dismiss the hundreds of years of refusing to admit the entitlements of indigenous people.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has said that this is the kind of thing that must be stopped by every government in Canada including B.C.

To continue racially biased behaviour means there can be no real reconciliation. The premier should be ashamed and clearly, his Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation must be.

Bill Williamson

Saanich

Just Posted

UPDATED: Saanich structure fire sparked in child daycare

Motorists advised to avoid the area of the highway, Glanford Avenue, Royal Oak Drive and Quadra Street off ramp

Public member position open on Saanich Police Board

Job posting deadline Jan. 15, 2020

Saanich Peninsula firefighters look to douse hunger with annual food drive

The Peninsula Firefighters Christmas Food Drive happens Saturday

Victoria Foundation’s community grants support 109 local non-profits

Foundation delivers $2.8 million in grant money to local organizations

‘Not a decision I came to lightly:’ Scheer to resign as Conservative leader

Decision comes after weeks of Conservative infighting following the October election

POLL: Do you have a real or artificial Christmas tree?

The lights are up, holiday shoppers are bustling through the streets and… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Dec. 10

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

‘British Columbians are paying too much’: Eby directs ICBC to delay rate application

Attorney General David Eby calls for delay in order to see how two reforms play out

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Couple who bought $120k banana duct-taped to wall say artwork will be ‘iconic’

Pair compared it to Warhol’s ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans,’ which was initially ‘met with mockery’

Race to replace Andrew Scheer could be a crowded one

Many familiar faces, such as Maxime Bernier, Jason Kenney, Doug Ford and Kevin O’Leary, have said no

Sooke’s École Poirier students win B.C. Hydro Power Smart contest

More than 100 schools compete in province-wide competition

Most Read