Nicola Valley First Nation supporters occupy Premier Christy Clark’s office
WEST KELOWNA – Nicola Valley First Nation Chief’s and supporters are occupying Premier Christy Clark’s constituency office in West Kelowna over the province’s apparent inaction on the issue of bio waste being trucked into their community. Protests have been held for several weeks near Merritt fighting back against the decision to truck what they call ‘sewage sludge’ from the Fraser Valley and the Interior to the Nicola Valley. Now, they’ve decided to take their efforts to a new level.
“The Nicola Valley First Nations hold and exercise Aboriginal Title and Rights over areas where bio waste operations are currently being carried out, and where future bio waste operations have been proposed,” says Nicola Valley First Nation Chief Aaron Sam.
Sam says all five chiefs of the Nicola Valley First Nation, their representatives and supporters of Friends of the Nicola Valley are all occupying Premier Clark’s office. He says their mission is to stop the toxic waste from going into the Nicola Valley area.
“The bio waste operations affect our Aboriginal Title and Rights. The Province of British Columbia is obligated to consult and accommodate us in relation to the impacts of bio waste operations on our Rights and Title,” explains Sam.
He says the group is requesting an immediate moratorium on all importation of the sewage sludge into the Nicola Valley. Sewage sludge is the by-product produced during the treatment of waste.
However, it is now known as bio-solids, which are digested sewage solids said to be rich in nutrients. It has been spread on farmland for many years. However, many residents in the Nicola Valley want to stop to practise from happening, especially so close to their homes and water supply.
~ With files from Amy Judd