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Anticipating this week’s move by the Greens, on Friday the First Nations Leadership Council called on the New Democrats to “withdraw Bill 17 pending sufficient consultation and consent by B.C. First Nations.”
The release targeted a provision in the bill that would waive a legislated requirement for B.C. Hydro to be self-sufficient in electricity here in B.C., either through its own dams or independent power producers.
“This will directly undercut B.C. First Nations that have developed power projects by allowing the government to purchase power from other jurisdictions rather than from B.C. First Nations independent power producers, a majority of which are sustainable, clean and environmentally friendly.
Instead “B.C. should be working with First Nations to develop the power, instead of importing power from other jurisdictions.”
The council, representing the leadership of all three major First Nations organizations in B.C., went on to accuse the New Democrats of “ignoring” the legislation that enshrined the UN Declaration in law here in B.C.
Also taking a run at Bill 17 over removal of the self-sufficiency requirement was Independent MLA Andrew Weaver, the former leader of the Greens.
Two weeks ago he tabled amendments to the NDP bill that would have left the clean-energy-promoting provisions untouched while restoring the requirement for B.C. Hydro to be self-sufficient in electricity.
“The onus is ultimately on my former colleagues in the B.C. Green Party to indicate whether or not they support the bill as it stands, or the amended bill as I have proposed,” challenged Weaver.