Ratcliff represents First Nations challenging sufficiency of consultation on major power line

Published Date: 
12 Jan 2010

Consultations among BC Hydro, British Columbia Transmission Corp. and first nations along a key 255-kilometre power line route are an outright failure and need to start all over again, the B.C. Utilities Commission heard Monday. More than two dozen first nations and tribal associations along the proposed route for the much-needed $600-million Interior-to-Lower Mainland transmission line are arguing at a hearing before the commission that neither BCTC nor BC Hydro has made a legitimate effort to consult or accommodate aboriginal interests.

The commission ordered the hearing after a rebuke last year from the B.C. Court of Appeal.

The commission decided in March 2008 that it would defer judgment on the adequacy of aboriginal consultation to the provincial government -- which was in the midst of a separate examination of the project's environmental impacts.

The commission's decision was overturned in the B.C. Court of Appeal in February 2009 after Kwikwetlem First Nation and other aboriginal groups appealed it.