June 15, 2013
I am writing with regard to the application made by the City of Nanaimo to remove and rebuild two dams located on the Chase River within the bounds of the City.
When attending Nanaimo’s city council meeting June 10th I was surprised to hear Mr. Kenning, the City Manager, indicate that the City had failed to consult with the Snuneymuxw First Nation before or even immediately after Council’s decision to change its plans to now include re-building these two dams. By abandoning its plans to re-naturalise the Chase River, and without making concrete plans about how or when the dams would be re-built, the well-being of the river below the dams is put into question. As the Snuneymuxw First Nation has treaty rights to this productive river any negative impact on the river, including expected lowered summer and early fall flows from the First dam, potential sedimentation released from the Second and Third dams, and former lake-bed collapses into the winter flow of the river while re-building plans are being made and appropriate permits are sought all jeopardise the health of the river and its fisheries. The Snuneymuxw First Nation has a greater knowledge of this river for hundreds if not thousands of years, and should have been consulted before this latest plan was conceived, much less set into motion.
Thus I recommend that the permits be denied until all issues of concern to the Snuneymuxw First Nation, biologists, local residents and other concerned parties are addressed and an adequate and detailed plan is agreed upon by the City, province, federal fisheries officials and especially Snuneymuxw First Nation.
353 Seventh St. (backing on to the Chase River)
c.c. Snuneymuxw First Nation, 668 Centre St., Nanaimo, B.C. V9R 4Z4