Letter: Exception taken to APWL letter

The Williams Lake Indian Band (WLIB) would like to respond to the letter authored by Kim Herdman.


The Williams Lake Indian Band (WLIB) would like to respond to the letter authored by Kim Herdman, titled: Worst possible time for 30-day comment period on rail ties.  The letter was  featured in the July 13, 2016  issue of the Tribune.

The WLIB was approached by Atlantic Power Williams Lake (APWL) in May of 2015 regarding APWL’s application to burn creosote-treated rail ties in their Williams Lake Plant, which is located within the stewardship area of the WLIB people.

WLIB has Aboriginal rights, including Aboriginal title, within its stewardship area.

Proper management of natural resources has always been vital to the WLIB’s future, as our identity is inherently and deeply connected to them.

We have an obligation to manage, protect and use these resources in a manner that respects and honours our traditions, values, laws and the needs of future generations.

Understandably, WLIB was concerned about the potential impact to our local airshed and the health of our community following APWL’s application to burn creosote-treated rail ties.  APWL was proactive in approaching WLIB, and WLIB and APWL did ultimately enter in a protocol agreement to address issues arising from the APWL proposal, and other matters arising out of the operation of the APWL facility.

At the heart of the protocol agreement is a recognition of WLIB’s role in environmental stewardship within its territory. Under the protocol agreement, APWL provided funding for WLIB to hire an environmental consulting firm to fully review the APWL proposal to burn the creosote-treated rail ties.

That consulting firm was one WLIB had confidence in, and one that we feel fully understood our connection to the environment and our culture, history and values.

The independent environmental review addressed points raised from data generated during a ‘trial-burn’ and the subsequent airshed modelling performed by RWDI (APWL’s own environmental consultant), and resulted in extensive discussion and engagement between WLIB and APWL.

We take exception to the portion of Kim Herdman’s letter which states “[APWL] entered into a community agreement with the First Nations Band and money changed hands or will.”

The insinuation in this statement appears to be that by virtue of the fact that APWL provided funding to WLIB that APWL received, or will receive, preferential treatment from WLIB and/or the Province of British Columbia.

The WLIB view our duties as stewards of the land seriously, and we will not under any circumstances accede to activities or projects that are dangerous or cause, or threaten to cause, impacts which cannot be properly mitigated.

We do, however, have respect for the role that APWL and other proponents within our territory play, and for the value and opportunities their businesses provide to the region.  We have therefore worked with, and will continue to work with APWL, to ensure that our environmental and other concerns are addressed and that the welfare of our community is protected.

This is the fair and proper balance that we try to preserve when discharging our responsibilities as stewards of our traditional territory.

Willie Sellars

Williams Lake Indian Band Councillor

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Luke Lavigne of Clearwater is the 2020 recipient of the North Thompson Communities Foundation’s Donnie Nicholson Memorial Trades Bursary, and is shown here on Jan. 23 receiving the $1,500 cheque from NTCF treasurer Cheryl Thomas. (NTCF Facebook photo)
Clearwater’s Luke Lavigne awarded Donnie Nicholson Memorial Trades Bursary

Congratulations to Luke Lavigne of Clearwater, B.C., on the successful completion of… Continue reading

The Canadian Cancer Society Office located inside the Williams Lake Seniors Activity Centre closed its doors this month after being notified the CCS would be moving to regional offices located across Canada. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Canadian Cancer Society closes office in Williams Lake

“I didn’t realize how hard it would hit me when it actually closed down,” Allan said.

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Interior Health reports 2 more deaths, 83 new COVID-19 cases

Health authority also identifies new virus cluster in Fernie

Kelowna International Airport. —Image: Capital News file
Williams Lake medevac flight encounters drone at Kelowna International Airport

The airport is a no-drone zone to keep aircraft safe at all times

Williams Lake Community Policing Chair Baldish Singh Sunner. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake Community Policing request for increased funding denied

Council voted 4 to 3 in favour to keep it at $15,000 for one-year agreement

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Grad student Marisa Harrington and her supervisor Lynneth Stuart-Hill say preliminary results from a study into the affects of stress on hospital nurses show an impact on sleep and heart variability. (Courtesy of Marisa Harrington)
University of Victoria study shows stress impact on B.C. nurses

Stress may be impacting sleep, heart health of hospital nurses in Victoria region

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Most Read