The award-winning documentary “Fractured Land” follows the life of First Nations warrior and lawyer, Caleb Behn as he explores the impacts hydraulic fracturing is having on his community. It will soon be aired on the Knowledge Network. I had an opportunity to ask filmmaker Damien Gillis, What’s behind the documentary Fractured Land?
According to a recent report from the University of British Columbia, “Site C has more significant adverse environmental effects than any project ever reviewed under the history of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, including impacts on dozens of species, aquatics, vegetation, wildlife, Aboriginal use of lands and resources, and cultural heritage.” The British Columbian and Canadian governments are most likely breaking treaty #8, which gave local first nations usage of the land that will be submerged. BC Hydro has not properly evaluated less destructive, and far less expensive, alternatives like geothermal energy. We won’t need the power for decades, if ever. Why do the Liberals push Site C?
British Columbia grows less than half of the fresh produce it needs. Much of what we consume comes from California. The ongoing drought conditions, and a weak loony, have sent vegetable prices spiralling 11.7% this year. Fresh, nutritious fruits and vegetables are becoming an occasional luxury for some middle-low income B.C. families. Though this will only worsen worse as global temperatures continue to rise, the government of BC is far more preoccupied with the get-rich promise of mega-energy projects. Once it is completed, Site C will submerge prime agricultural lands.
The controversial Site C Dam project was rejected twice (back in the 1980s and 90s), before Premier Christy Clark’s government decided to go over the heads of provincial agencies like the BC utilities Commission and Agricultural Land Commission. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government issued the necessary permits to start construction during the last Federal election. As Treaty 8 gave local First Nations use of the land this project will submerge, it seems likely that a treaty is being broken. Despite all of this, BC Hydro began what many view as the environmental destruction of the Site C Peace River Valley. Since then a new Canadian government has been elected. They spoke of the need for social license and promised a new era of respect for indigenous peoples. Will The Feds Intervene On Site C?
There has been marked opposition to the proposed Site C dam since the B.C. Public Utilities Commission turned this Peace River project down more than thirty years ago. Dr. Harry Swain, former Chair of the Site C Joint Review Panel, and Richard Bullock, former Chair of the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC), have become some of the project’s most outspoken critics. Peace Valley Landowner Association President Ken Boon recently informed Canada’s new government of this, when he asked for their help, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has yet to intervene on Site C .