By Roy L Hales
More than 1,000 British Columbians participated what appears to be more off a spin exercise than a “poll.” Though critics constantly point to the lack of need, respondents to the BC Hydro commissioned survey were asked if they supported the dam “to help meet the rising demand for electricity in B.C.” Despite this, unconditional support for the controversial project has dropped to 49%. The poll finds opposition to Site C growing.
Poll Finds Opposition To Site C Growing
Personally, I would accept the dam if:
- The Government first satisfied its’ obligations under Treaty #8. (The West Moberly and Prophet Nations are suing them over this, despite the enormous expense of fighting a Government and utility that are funded by our tax payer dollars.)
- The BC Utilities Commission reviewed the project and said the electricity is actually needed. (They have already turned the proposed Site C Dam down twice in the past, which is probably why the Clark Government has kept them out of the process.)
- BC’s Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) was allowed to rule on whether the land that will be submerged should be removed from the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR). (Rather than risk this, the Clark Government removed this land from the ALR through a cabinet decision and then fired the head of the ALC.)
Speaking as one of the 25% who would support the project “under certain circumstances,” my circumstances have not been met.
So add my response, and those of others whose “certain circumstances” have not been met, to the opposition column.
23% Of Respondents Unaware
Another disturbing finding of the Abacus Data survey is that, “awareness of the Site C project has reached a new high of 77%.”
Even when the questions are leading and at least 23% of the respondents relied on “information” fed to them by the posters, a majority of British Columbians could not give their support to this project.
Energy Minister Bill Bennett claims the province’s need for electricity, “Will continue to grow significantly in the years ahead.”
This contradicts Harry Swain, head of the federal-provincial panel that reviewed this project, who told DeSmog Canada, “There’s a whole bunch of unanswered questions, some of which would be markedly advanced by waiting three or four years. And you’d still be within the period of time, even by Hydro’s bullish forecasts, when you’re going to need the juice.”
Personally, I would like to see a poll asking whether British Columbians think that Bennett, Clark or the present provincial government are credible sources of information.
Meanwhile, British Columbia can continue to try to find customers for the unneeded electricity Site C would produce in places like Alberta.
An Appeal For Support
According to a press release from the Wilderness Committee
“The truth is demand for electricity in BC, is flat. Therefore, even though Hydro’s misleading poll shows a majority of British Columbians supposedly support the dam, spin doctoring can’t hide a strong and growing opposition to the terrible Site C Dam project … That means all our efforts to educate and organize the public about the disastrous effects of this unneeded, expensive and damaging dam project are working – which is great news!”
“For example, thirty five per cent believed Hydro had done poorly on both, “being open and communicating well with the public about the project” and “taking a respectful and collaborative approach with First Nations communities.”
The are asking for our support:
There’s a ways to go before the rising tidal wave of public disgust and outrage stops the dam, but it’s coming for sure. We need you to take the time out to write your federal member of parliament to demand that Prime Minister Trudeau NOT allow any fisheries permits to be issued for Site C dam construction.