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?
The Canadian and British Columbian governments may wish to ignore perceived treaty violations of the Site C Dam project, but this determined group of people will not let them. Their bus left Ken and Arlene Boon’s farm, in the Peace River Valley, Monday. They want to be present when a Federal judge hears the West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations argue that this BC Hydro project infringes on their constitutionally protected rights to hunt, fish and trap the lands that will be submerged. The Treaty 8 Justice for the Peace Caravan will arrive in Montreal Sunday.
BC Hydro seeks an injunction to prevent Peace River Residents “from obstructing or interfering with the construction of the Site C Clean Energy Project.” In one of his three affidavits before the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Michael Savidant, Commercial Manager of the Site C Energy Project, claims that the cost of delaying this project will amount to approximately $420 million.
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 .
There were around 50 local residents and First Nations members gathered in front of the Old Fort Road entrance to the Site C Dam project. They arrived at 10 a.m. on Saturday, carried signs saying things like “Site C sucks,” “No Consent for Site C,” “Stop Site C, Run Burrard Thermal” and “Shame.” In the photograph at the top of this page, you see them blocking the gravel road, but this was a peaceful assembly and they moved aside when a truck drove up. The protests have begun at Site C.