Malahat Nation supports soil stay

The Malahat First Nation is joining the fight against the contaminated soil landfill site at Shawnigan Lake.

The Malahat First Nation is joining the fight against the contaminated soil landfill site at Shawnigan Lake.

A release from the band Jan. 21 stated, “Today, Malahat Chief and Council filed an application in the BC Supreme Court supporting the grant of a stay of the current permit held by Cobble Hill Holdings (CHH) to permit the dumping of contaminated soils.”

The stay is being requested by the Shawnigan Residents Association.

“In reviewing the evidence presented in this matter to date, the Malahat Nation does not feel it was properly informed nor consulted by the Crown on the project in a satisfactory way. Further, after failure of the Crown to respond to requests for information to this matter, the Nation has no choice but to take pause,” the release says.

Caroline Harry was chosen as the new chief of the band in the autumn of 2015 after previous chief, Michael Harry, resigned following allegations that had surfaced in August that he was receiving a consulting fee from the owners of the controversial site.

The news release states concern about the information accepted by the province as evidence it should grant the permit.

“As stewards of both the traditional territory of the Malahat Nation and holding private lands adjacent to the South Island Aggregates (SIA), the Nation [is] concerned at this time that properly independent science may not in fact have been considered in the decision by the Ministry nor the Environmental Appeal Board. A stay would allow time for Malahat Nation to engage in proper consultation with the Crown and come to a properly informed decision on this project.”

The band is represented by Jeff Langlois as an associate at JFK Law Corporation.