Sunday May 28th The Concerned Citizens of Quesnel Lake were invited to speak with The United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights (UNWG), the working group wanted to hear about the impacts of the Mt Polley spill on water, human rights and the environment, cumulative impacts of resource development in the region up/down stream and governance and regulatory issues. I have attached our presentation to this blog;
Finally to truly be heard! What a very different experience than meeting with the Mine and MoE!
We were treated with respect, given time to voice our concerns and then asked questions how we feel about what has happened actually mattered!
It was good to present our concerns along with Quesnel River Watershed Alliance, BC Environmental Network, Forest Protection Allies, and First Nations Women Advocating Responsible Mining and many others! I was a bit overwhelmed by the experiences of the participants and the knowledge shared. I learned a great deal about Quesnel Lake and the Fraser River System, being reminded that I am a VERY new comer to this area. How important it is for all of us to hear the historical knowledge shared by the Old Timers and the people with firsthand experience on the lake. When Amnesty International first approached me, I had not thought about the human impact of the Mount Polley failure, I was just worried about the fish and the water!
Today I am even more alarmed about the Fish, the Water and the Human impact! More committed to doing whatever it takes to SAVE Quesnel Lake from the Mine and Ministry. We MUST stop the DISCHARGE into Quesnel Lake.
Every Group in attendance had input in the UN Recommendations that will be presented to the Provincial and Federal Governments in the coming week.
The UNWG is mandated to promote the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) which address human rights impacts lined to business activity. CLICK HERE
During the visit to Canada the UNWG will meet with government, business, communities, civil society organizations and trade unions to examine business and human rights issues and identify challenges and opportunities regarding Canada’s implementation of the UNGPs. Following the UN mission, the UNWG will release a report with its observations and recommendations to the Government of Canada and the United Nations Human Rights Council.
We will post the UN recommendations on the Blog once they have released them.
In the BC news yesterday the NDP and Green Party Governments support the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. We might have a fighting chance here!