The former Chief of the Xat’sull First Nation says they are considering their options following this week’s news that the proceedings of her private prosecution of Mt. Polley over the 2014 breach were stayed by the BC Prosecution Service (BCPS).
“I was really angry when I heard it the other day,” says Bev Sellars chair of the First Nations Women Advocating for Responsible.
“First of all, they said that there was not enough evidence to lay charges and I was quite flabbergasted about that. I was like how much evidence do you need? My sister Tina calls it an underwater Chernobyl; that’s basically what it is.”
Sellars says she was also told by BCPS that it was not in the best interest of the public.
“This is so wrong,” she says. “This so in the best interest of the public. This is for our future generations. Things like this can’t be allowed to happen.”
Sellars filed privates charges on the 3 year anniversary of the breach last year alleging that Mount Polley had committed various offences contrary to the provincial Environmental Management Act and Mines Act.
“The fight is not going to end here,” she says. “It might not go to court but we have a responsibility for future generations to make sure that the environment is healthy and in whatever way we can do that, I will do that and I will be part of that fight.”
“I’m not just going to give up and walk away.”
The Province missed the August 4, 2017, deadline to file charges under provincial law. Charges under the federal Fisheries Act can still be made until Aug. 4, 2019.