When he was the leader of the opposition, John Horgan argued that Treaty 8 Nations “ have entrenched constitutional rights to practice hunting and fishing” on the land that will be underwater if the Site C Dam is built. The BC Utilities Commission recently concluded that “increasingly viable alternative energy sources such as wind, geothermal and industrial curtailment could provide similar benefits to [BC Hydro] ratepayers as the Site C project, with an equal or lower Unit Energy Cost.” Never-the less, today Premier John Horgan announced BC is moving forward with Site C.
The battle to save the Peace River Valley is not over. First Nations and local farmers are continuing the fight in court. Though Premier Clark’s government intends to destroy the existing ecosystem to “the point of no return,” in the weeks to come the Canadian government decides whether to issue new Site C permits.
Environmental Impacts & The Need For Social License
By Roy L Hales
Twenty-four million cubic meters of silt, metals and water spilled into the adjacent waterways, when the Mount Polley tailings pond dam breached. It has been called one of Canada’s worst environmental disasters. The province’s independent review panel made six recommendations, one of which was that tailings and water should not be mixed anymore in BC. This did not please the mining companies who say dry stacking of tailings would cost too much. The Clark Government appears to concur. An application to restart Mount Polley, with tailings in water, is under consideration. The Secwepemc Peoples regard this as “a violation of sovereignty” which “opens the territory up to further damage.” Is BC setting the stage for another Mount Polley Disaster?