First Nations bring contaminated fish to legislature to protest Site C project

BC Environment, Fisheries, Coastal contaminants, West Moberly
West Moberly Chief Roland Willson says a health study has found high concentrations of mercury in bull trout from the Williston Reservoir on the Peace River

VICTORIA — First Nations Leaders from B.C.'s northeast arrived at the provincial legislature with containers of frozen fish they say is contaminated with mercury.

West Moberly Chief Roland Willson says a health study has found high concentrations of mercury in bull trout from the Williston Reservoir on the Peace River, created during the construction of the W.A.C. Bennett Dam in the 1960s.

Willson says high levels of mercury can harm human health, and pregnant women and children under 12 years are especially vulnerable.

He says bull trout are consumed regularly by First Nations in the area.

Construction for the Site C hydroelectric dam is set to start this summer, and Willson says he's concerned the 83-kilometre long reservoir for that dam will have similar pollution problems.

Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett says he is not aware of any testing of fish from the Williston Reservoir, but the Site C reservoir has strict mercury monitoring guidelines.

 

 

The Canadian Press

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