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NEWS: South Fraser Perimeter Road in BC Supreme Court hearing, Aug. 30

The Delta Optimist reports this hour that, “The battle to stop the construction of the South Fraser Perimeter Road continues this week in a Vancouver courtroom. …The B.C. Supreme Court Hearing into the matter will take place Tuesday morning.”

“In May, Tsawwassen First Nation member Bertha Williams and William Burnstick, of the Cree Sioux First Nations, filed a civil suit in Vancouver Supreme Court against the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, the Minister of the Environment, and the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations claiming the road ‘go through a number of burial sites that are of spiritual and sacred significance’. …Williams and Burnstick claim construction of the road will cause irreparable harm to sacred burial grounds. …They claim the government was well aware the highway project would have an impact on archeological and burial sites but took no steps to modify or redesign the plans.”

“The area contains a site referred to as St. Mungo’s, which a government archeology and environmental assessment report stated contained human remains. The site, on the shores of the river near the southern foot of the Alex Fraser bridge, was the home of a historical fishing village, and is believed to contain middens with artifacts from three different Coast Salish First Nations cultural periods dating back 5,000 years. The pair are represented by lawyer Jay Straith, who is also representing the Burns Bog Conservation Society in a separate lawsuit against the federal government.”

The Journal of Commerce reported in early-June, “The plaintiffs are seeking an interim injunction to stop the project and ongoing construction of the SFPR, so the sacred burial sites can be protected.”

The Council of Canadians has been a vocal opponent against the South Fraser Perimeter Road. More on that at http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?s=south+fraser+perimeter+road.