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Tell your MLA and BC’s cabinet ministers to cancel Site C

The clock is ticking to stop the Site C megadam. The BC government is about to decide whether to cancel, continue or suspend the project. It’s all hands on deck to ensure they make the right decision.

Following the November 1 release of the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) report, Premier John Horgan and BC’s 22 cabinet ministers will make their decision—as early as November 2.

The BCUC is only looking at the economics of Site C, but Cabinet must consider all implications: BC Hydro debt, cost overruns, First Nations’ rights, loss of food-producing land and wildlife habitat, downstream impacts on water and more.

Please send a letter to Premier Horgan and cabinet ministers with a clear message: cancel Site C!

Want to do more? Host a letter-writing party and make a phone call!

Bring some pens, paper, stamps and cookies, and you’ve got yourself a party.

While Premier Horgan and BC’s cabinet ministers will make the decision, other MLAs can have a lot of influence on those ministers, so it’s worthwhile to contact them. Your MLA represents you, and they should be doing everything they can to stop Site C.

Emails are great, but hand-written letters demonstrate that you care enough to sit down and write it out. A phone call is also a great way to be heard. Do all three!

To phone or send hand-written letters or emails, look up your MLA’s contact information here. If your MLA is also a cabinet minister (they’ll have ‘Hon.’ in front of their name) you could have some special influence as that minister’s constituent. You can contact them at their Ministry office address or their constituency office – in either case, make sure to include where you live so they know you live in their riding.

You can also search cabinet ministers’ names or Ministry names in the government directory.

What should I write?

Tell them why you care about stopping Site C. Here are some tips courtesy of Consumer Protection BC:

  1. Be concise. Keep your letter to one page. You may be more likely to get a response if you can succinctly lay out your concern without rambling on with unnecessary details. If it’s not adding to your argument in some way, leave it out.
  2. Be clear. Make it clear from the beginning why you are writing: to stop Site C.
  3. Be personal. Introduce yourself at the beginning and share why the issue concerns you on a personal level. Allow them to see you as a person and a member of the community they represent.
  4. Include questions. There is always room for questions and it’s a good way to facilitate effective communication. You may also be more likely to get a response.
  5. Be polite. A polite and respectful letter helps get your point across in a calm manner.
  6. Follow up. Whether or not you hear back, it’s always a good idea to follow up. If you haven’t heard from them, you can send a friendly reminder. If they responded to your initial email, make sure you thank them for their response and remind them of the commitments they may have made to you.

Here is a sample letter:

The Honourable Michelle Mungall, M.L.A.

Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources

Dear Minister Mungall,

I am writing to call for the termination of the Site C dam. British Columbians cannot afford this hugely expensive mistake. I’ve never been to the Peace River, but I live by a river myself and I can’t imagine it being dammed up and ruined for no good reason.

Here’s why I think the dam would have disastrous long term consequences for BC:

  • BC ratepayers are already facing huge Hydro rate increases—before the cost of Site C is added to our bills. We cannot afford higher Hydro rates.
  • Since BC doesn’t need the power, it would be sold at a loss. Cancelling Site C would represent huge cost savings for ratepayers.
  • Wind, solar, geothermal and energy conservation create better long term jobs and offer a much cheaper solution for addressing BC’s future energy needs than Site C.
  • Treaty 8 First Nations have the right to use the Peace River Valley for hunting, fishing and cultural purposes. Site C tramples on these rights.
  • The Peace Valley is prime agricultural land, which we need in BC.
  • The Joint Review Panel concluded that Site C would cause significant irreparable harm to fish and wildlife in the Peace Valley, cutting off a key migration corridor.

What will you do to make sure Site C is stopped? Please respond to let me know.

Thank you,

Tom Jones

Kelowna, BC

 

I wrote a letter. What else can I do?

Lots! Here are some ideas:

  1. Share this online action with your friends: sierraclub.bc.ca/cant-afford-site-c
  2. Visit the office of your MLA or a cabinet minister. Check their office hours and drop in. Bring a personal letter. Smile and get to know the staff. You can even ask to book a sit-down meeting.
  3. Write a letter to the editor of your local paper or a BC-wide paper. Google that paper’s ‘Letters’ section to find out if they have a word limit, then mail or email it in.
  4. Donate. Chip in today or host a house concert and raise funds for Sierra Club BC to keep fighting.
  5. Get creative. Art has a special power to make change. Make a ‘Stop Site C’ mug, paint a mural, or write a song. Do something we haven’t thought of yet.
  6. Download a PDF version of this action guide and print to share with friends!

Feature image: Louis Bockner

Tell the BCUC we can’t afford Site C

The BC Utilities Commission is in the middle of its review of the Site C dam. They released their interim report on Sept 20, which criticized BC Hydro for failing to provide relevant and supportable materials and raised numerous questions about the project. The BCUC is currently touring B.C. and asking for public input, which will be incorporated into their final report on November 1.

This is a big opportunity to make it known that Site C is bad for B.C., and that residents don’t want to pay $9 billion to destroy an important and beautiful river valley for energy we don’t need.

Please share your input in writing or in person at one of eleven Community Input Sessions. To register to speak, go to this page of the BCUC website, and click “Register” next to the location nearest you.

Here are BCUC’s speaker guidelines for the sessions.

We have set up Facebook pages as a place to share ideas, carpool and plan for the sessions. Click on the link below to go to the Facebook page for the event nearest you. Please share with your friends.

Vancouver Sat., Sep. 23 1-5pm

Kamloops Sun., Sep. 24 6-10pm

Kelowna Mon., Sep. 25 6-10pm

Nelson Tues., Sep. 26 6-10pm

Prince George Fri., Sep. 29 6-10pm

Hudson’s Hope Sat., Sep. 30 6-10pm

Fort St. John Sun., Oct 1 6-10pm

Fort St. John Mon., Oct 2 6-10pm

Vancouver Thur., Oct 5 6-10pm

Nanaimo, Tues., Oct. 10 6-10pm

Victoria, Wed., Oct. 11 6-10pm

Keep an eye on these pages for more information about how to participate and collaborate with others in your community.

The BCUC is most interested in the economic impacts and cost to BC Hydro ratepayers, so the more you can share about how this project will affect your pocketbook, the better! Here’s a fact sheet of talking points to help.

Site C dam: The wrong choice for BC’s energy future

Imagine you had to make a choice between two options and your decision would impact the entire province’s future for the next one hundred years.

BC could miss out on the solar energy revolution by pursuing Site C.

In the first scenario, major investments have been made in developing low-impact solar, geothermal and wind power technologies in communities across BC. Thousands of people are employed in every region with long term jobs in the renewable energy industry that are located close to where they live. The province is known as a leader worldwide for innovation in these technologies and the positive spinoffs of these booming industries are visible in many corners of the economy.

Efficiency of power use is maximized because electricity is generated in close proximity to the people using it. Investments have been made in building efficiency upgrades. It is the job of BC Hydro to engage the public with energy conservation programs and pursue the cheapest sources of renewable power.

Because of this, people are able to access the electricity they need at an affordable price.

In the second scenario, the government has placed all its eggs in the basket of one enormous energy project. To pay for the project, electricity users have been forced to face alarming rate hikes every year. Many people on low incomes have been evicted or had their electricity turned off because they could not pay their hydro bills. Demand for power in BC has remained flat and so BC Hydro has been forced to sell this expensive surplus power at a huge loss. Massive project cost overruns to the tune of billions are close to forcing the government to bail out the debt-stricken BC Hydro, passing an enormous financial burden onto taxpayers.

By locking the province into this one costly project, the government and BC Hydro have no money left to support innovation in solar, wind or geothermal energy. Private investment in these industries has therefore left the province. Rural communities across the province are reliant on outside sources for their energy and have few economic development opportunities in this regard. Energy jobs continue to require people to travel long distances for work and continue to follow a boom and bust cycle.

The burden of paying for this expensive project and its expensive power make life increasingly unaffordable for British Columbians.

These possibilities are what’s at stake in the BC government’s decision on the Site C dam.

British Columbians cannot afford the cost of choosing Scenario #2.

BC is at a crossroads. Right now, the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) is finally reviewing the cost of Site C. In our submission to the BCUC, we said Site C should be cancelled because this cost is far too onerous.  Now is our opportunity to pursue a different path.

Not only will British Columbians be hurt by this huge financial burden and the opportunity cost of losing out on renewable energy opportunities, the social and environmental costs are devastating. The loss of prime farmland in a time of rising food insecurity, critical wildlife corridors and BC’s relationship with Indigenous peoples are also at stake.

The Site C mega-dam represents planning at its worst. Let’s take this opportunity to cut our losses and make a better plan to enter the 21st century post-carbon economy.

Please join us in calling on BC’s Cabinet ministers to make the right decision and cancel Site C.

Because we will all have to live with the impacts of this decision for generations to come.

Sierra Club BC argues Site C project should be terminated

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

August 31, 2017

VICTORIA—Sierra Club BC, represented by lawyers from Ecojustice, has called for the termination of the Site C dam project in its submission to the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC).

The group argues that the enormous cost of Site C locks B.C. into major financial obligations that hinder its ability to invest in lower impact, lower cost, jobs-intensive renewable energy development that serves communities across the province much better in the long term.

“By continuing to lock B.C. into this outrageously expensive dam that we don’t need, BC Hydro is leaving taxpayers and ratepayers on the hook for huge cost overruns,” said Sierra Club BC’s Peace Valley Campaigner Galen Armstrong. “The material we’ve reviewed shows British Columbians are likely to face alarming increases to hydro rates.”

Sierra Club BC argues that available evidence, viewed in light of the BCUC’s Terms of Reference and B.C.’s Clean Energy Act, leads to a conclusion that Site C should be terminated. The group’s submission suggests:

  • Site C is likely to result in significant excess supply and BC Hydro would be forced to sell this electricity at a loss;
  • Cost estimates have already increased markedly for the project, and major capital costs lock BC Hydro into significant financial obligations;
  • Continuation of Site C will hinder BC Hydro’s ability to invest in alternative, lower-impact renewable energy that could provide community development opportunities across the province; and
  • If this project proceeds, it will put B.C. at odds with its own clean energy objectives as set out in the Clean Energy Act—and should be a major consideration for the BCUC during its review.

“We’ve known for years that Site C is not in the public interest and represents bad long term planning. It will inflict unnecessary pain on household budgets when the alternatives could provide similar or even greater benefits at a far cheaper cost,” said Armstrong.

Sierra Club BC also raised concerns that Site C energy would not reduce B.C.’s greenhouse gas emissions and in fact may be used to support greenhouse gas-intensive industries such as mining, oil and LNG.

“This dam represents 1950s thinking when we should be investing in innovative twenty-first century technologies like wind, solar and geothermal energy. These industries create better long-term jobs at a third of the cost of Site C, with the benefits felt in communities across the province. Continued investment in Site C will leave B.C. poorer because we won’t be investing in clean energy innovation for communities.”

“While we’re happy the B.C. government has initiated this review, we worry that the shortened process will still not provide the fulsome review that’s necessary,” said Karen Campbell, Ecojustice lawyer. “If the government truly wants to get it right and act in the best interest of British Columbians, it needs to allow the BCUC to extend the process in order to test evidence and permit parties to ask questions of BC Hydro.

“This review gives the Commission the chance to protect the public from this unnecessary project by fully evaluating how Site C will impact B.C.’s long term energy future. We hope the Commission takes advantage of this escape hatch,” said Campbell.

“Regardless of the final outcome of the BCUC review, this project should be cancelled because of numerous factors, including the threat to prime farmland and the violation of First Nations’ treaty rights,” said Armstrong. “Just last week, the UN’s top anti-racism body strongly condemned Site C. If the current government is serious about its commitment to UNDRIP, the answer is clear: Site C must be cancelled. Cabinet must take these factors into account when it makes its final decision.”

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Resources: Submission

 

Contact:

Galen Armstrong

Peace Valley Campaigner

galen@sierraclub.bc.ca

Sierra Club BC

Cell: 778-679-3191

 

Karen Campbell

Ecojustice lawyer

Kcampbell@ecojustice.ca

604-685-5618 ext. 287

Cell: 604-928-2258

Sierra Club BC applauds referral of Site C to BCUC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

August 2, 2017

Sierra Club BC released the following statement from campaigns director Caitlyn Vernon in response to the referral of Site C to the BC Utilities Commission:

 

“Sierra Club BC applauds the government for following through on its commitment to refer Site C to the BC Utilities Commission.

“This is good news for Hydro ratepayers, who are at last being considered in decision-making, based on real evidence.

“The reality is that we don’t need Site C power, it’s hideously expensive and inevitable cost overruns would be paid for by BC ratepayers, and more environmentally and economically viable alternatives are available today.

“Beyond the cost of Site C, the dam should be stopped to defend farmland and First Nation treaty rights, and to develop renewable energy options for long term employment.

“We were especially pleased to see that the review’s terms of reference call for an examination of other commercially feasible generating projects providing for B.C.’s power needs, as well as demand side management.

“The world is moving away from large scale hydroelectricity, which is getting more and more expensive compared to alternatives. Wind and solar projects across the globe are providing electricity today for as little as one third the cost of Site C power.

“The cost of alternatives continues to plummet. Since 2008, the cost of wind power has dropped 41% and the cost of utility scale solar 64%. Just in the last year, wind has dropped 18% and solar 17%. These reductions will only continue. Globally last year, 55.3% of new generation capacity last  was from sources other than fossil fuels, nuclear and large scale hydro.

“We have questions as to how the BCUC will “consult interested parties” and “obtain expert advice,” and will be seeking clarification from the Minister in due course.

“The Site C dam would flood First Nations graveyards along with farmland capable of providing fruit and vegetables to one million people, which is crucial as climate change threatens our food security. And it would have a huge negative effect on biodiversity in the region. That’s why we’re calling for a stop to Site C no matter the outcome of the BCUC review.

Contact:

Caitlyn Vernon
Director of Campaigns
Sierra Club BC
C: (250) 896-3500

Connections in the Peace

As I stood on the shores of the Peace River in Northern BC this past spring, I was reminded of the incredible diversity of land and water we hold here in beautiful BC.

Our children and future generations deserve to experience all of this amazing biodiversity. They deserve to know where they live and develop a connection to the place they call home. If we plan to nourish that connection then we must plan to protect it for the future. Children need opportunities to learn how they are part of this place so they don’t feel like they are separate from the rest of life that surrounds them.

As Sierra Club BC’s Environmental Educator for the past 3 years, my job has been to facilitate an opportunity for children to connect with nature in their home place.

Kirsten with Peace Valley farmer Arlene Boon.

This year I have had the pleasure of traveling to Fort St John and visiting the Peace River Valley during the fall and springtime.  My favourite experience was standing beside the Peace River and taking in all the scenery, then speaking with students about how they connect with the Peace and the surrounding area in the community of Hudson’s Hope.

Students shared with me their concerns about flooding and what will happen over the next few years to their home if the Site C dam goes ahead. Students and teachers spoke of the changes they have seen already within their community due to forest fires, the pine beetle infestation and the building of hydro dams. This has all caused changes to the river and the natural landscape.

Life along the river is getting tougher for these folks. Each day brings more challenges for holding onto the farms and forests, and of course their homes along the river. Learn how you can get involved in our campaign to stop the Site C dam and protect the Peace River Valley.

As I spent more time in Hudson’s Hope I soon realized that these students have a close connection to this place. They told me stories about their favourite experiences in nature: fishing, hunting, camping and snowmobiling in the area. Some kids travel quite a long distance to school each day and many spend their time helping out on their families’ farms along the river.

Kids in the Peace River Valley. Photo by Don Hoffmann.

One Grade 5/6 class took me to see a local forest they love to visit. This is a place they said, where “you can always see lots of deer.” Indeed, we saw lots of deer making an appearance in the forest and foraging for food after a long winter. I took walks with students to the toboggan hill near their school each day and we used that space to explore the variety of plants and animals by doing a fun and interactive nature scavenger hunt. I believe one of their favourite activities was rolling down the hill after our closing circle.

One thing I have become very aware of, no matter where you are in BC, is that finding as many earthworms as you can after a rain is truly a favourite activity!

The Peace River Valley holds a dear place in my heart. I send them lots of positive thoughts as the future of the river, the wildlife and the people are at stake with decisions to be made about the Site C dam. Help kids in the Peace protect the places they love – tell Trudeau to halt construction on the Site C dam.

Sierra Club BC’s K-8 environmental education programs delivered in classrooms across the province are all developed to meet BC curriculum requirements and connect kids with nature in their own community. I encourage you to check out our upcoming programs and keep connected to receive updates regarding fall registrations. This has been a very rewarding year for the education team with the hire of our new program manager and the success of our Climate and Place pilot program delivered in the CRD. I look forward to connecting with all of you in the fall. Enjoy a wonderful and relaxing summer in the great outdoors.

Donate today to help us reach more children next year!

UNESCO calls urgently on Canada to protect Wood Buffalo National Park

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 6 2016

New draft decision calls on Canada to conduct a proper assessment of Site C dam and make good on earlier promises.

June 5, 2017, FORT MCMURRAY – The UN’s World Heritage Committee is preparing to push Canada for immediate action to better protect Wood Buffalo National Park following Friday’s release of a strong decision proposed for the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee this summer.

The draft decision calls on Canada to, by February 1 2018, have made progress towards fully implementing all 17 of the recommendations from the fall 2016 UNESCO mission to Wood Buffalo National Park. This includes finally conducting a proper assessment of the downstream impacts of the Site C dam and developing concrete mechanisms to improve water governance for the Peace Athabasca Delta. The draft decision also urges Canada to make good on its promise to develop a major Action Plan for ensuring the Wood Buffalo’s protection and to move more quickly to develop and implement that Action Plan. The absence of a timely action by Canada will result in Wood Buffalo National Park being relegated to the list of World Heritage in Danger.

“Once again the international community is calling on Canada to safeguard Wood Buffalo National Park against encroaching industrial pressures. It’s time for Canada to immediately implement UNESCO’s recommendations and start protecting the Peace Athabasca Delta,” said Mikisew Chief Steve Courtoreille.

“The UNESCO report was a wake up call for Canada. We intend to continue working with the World Heritage Committee to hold Minister McKenna to her commitment to take real action to protect this amazing area,” added Melody Lepine, Mikisew’s lead on its UNESCO petition.

Mikisew’s supporters also welcomed the draft decision.

“This decision lays out what Canada’s governments need to do to live up to their responsibilities under the UN World Heritage Convention to safeguard Wood Buffalo on behalf of the world community,” said Alison Woodley, National Director of CPAWS Parks Program. “It’s a clear message from the UN that the threats facing the park from upstream hydro-electric projects and oil sands development are unacceptable, and that Canada needs to take concerted and immediate action to save this global treasure, working in partnership with Indigenous peoples.”

“We are pleased that the World Heritage Committee is poised to strongly reaffirm its position that the Site C dam poses a threat to Wood Buffalo National Park and the Peace Athabasca Delta, and that impacts from Site C must be understood,” Says Galen Armstrong of Sierra Club BC.  “Sierra Club BC is calling on the Trudeau government to suspend its approval of Site C and order an immediate halt to construction, while Canada assesses the report’s recommendations and implements changes. In the long run Site C simply cannot be built.”

“Canada keeps saying that nothing can be done about Site C, but the World Heritage Commission isn’t buying that and neither are we,” says Candace Batycki of Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative. “The incoming BC government has committed to send Site C for assessment by the BC Utilities Commission. Meanwhile Canada is being asked to make every effort to understand the possible impacts of the Site C project on Wood Buffalo. They don’t need a legal mechanism to do that, they just need the will.”

The World Heritage Committee will vote on the draft decision at its upcoming meeting in July 2017.

For more information, visit mikisewgir.com/projects/.

For interviews with Mikisew Cree First Nation representatives:

Melody Lepine, Mikisew Cree First Nation Industry and Government Relations, 780-792-8736, melody.lepine@mcfngir.ca

For interview with environmental group representatives:

Alison Woodley, BSc, MA, CPAWS, 613-203-1172, awoodley@cpaws.org

Caleb Behn, Keepers of the Water, caleb.behn@gmail.com

Galen Armstrong, Sierra Club BC, 778-679-3191, galen@sierraclub.bc.ca

Candace Batycki, Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, 250-352-3830

The clock is ticking on Site C

The results of the BC election are finally in, and the message is clear: Almost sixty per cent of voters called for a review or cancellation of the Site C dam. Their concerns must be honoured by the incumbent government.

There is no political mandate to push the dam further. There is no economic case to push it further.

The project can still be stopped, and this reality is closer than ever. We have a government-in-waiting that has said it will review the dam.

Territory of Treaty 8 First Nations on the Peace River. Photo by Louis Bockner.

The current government has no social license to authorize BC Hydro to award new contracts. But Christy Clark may still try to push the project forward in whatever way she can.

The Boons and Meeks, farm families in the Peace, have had their evictions postponed till the end of June. But if road realignment work continues, they remain in danger of losing their homes. This work would also cause devastating and irreversible harms to First Nations’ grave sites and cultural heritage. Given the current uncertainty over Site C’s fate, BC Hydro must put a pause on these evictions and destructive activities.

In just a few short weeks, a $2 billion construction contract could be also be signed by BC Hydro, locking Hydro customers into even higher Hydro bills, even if Site C is shelved. This major contract for a generating station, powerhouse and spillways could be announced as early as July 2017, but has not yet been signed with any of the four shortlisted proponents. There have been many on-site problems and non-compliance issues. In February, a huge tension crack suddenly appeared in the slide-prone banks of the Peace River.

Yvonne Tupper of the Salteau First Nation. Photo by Louis Bockner.

Christy Clark must not allow BC Hydro to award any new dam contracts before the BC Utilities Commission concludes its review of the Site C dam.

The incoming government has committed to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the calls-to-action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Tsilhqot’in Supreme Court decision. In light of these commitments, destructive activities that harm First Nations’ heritage should be stopped immediately.

Christy Clark has lost her mandate on Site C. She needs to hear loud and clear that you’re watching and you expect her to respect the wishes of the majority of BC voters.

Sierra Club BC is working quickly with our partners to ensure that Site C remains in the spotlight and goes for a full and rigorous review of the project and alternatives. Help us keep the pressure on – donate today.

No new contracts, no evictions, while the Site C dam faces review

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 1, 2017

VANCOUVER—BC Hydro must not award any new dam contracts before the BC Utilities Commission concludes its review of the Site C dam, say a broad coalition of citizens’ and environmental groups across BC and Canada. Given the current uncertainty over Site C’s fate, BC Hydro must put a pause on evictions and damage to First Nations heritage sites.

“The incumbent government has no mandate to push Site C further, since the government-in-waiting has committed to a review of the project by the BC Utilities Commission,” stated Morag Keegan-Henry with the Lower Mainland group FightC.

A new $2 billion contract for a generating station, powerhouse and spillways was expected in 2017, but has not yet been signed with any of the four shortlisted proponents. There have been many on-site problems and non-compliance issues. In February, for example, a huge tension crack suddenly appeared in the slide-prone banks of the Peace River. The river is named after a historical peace agreement between the Cree and Dunneza peoples of Treaty 8 territory.

“BC Hydro could make a ‘business as usual’ announcement about the $2 billion contract as early as July 2017. This is something that the NDP and the Greens must prevent,” according to George Smith with the Alliance 4 Democracy on the Sunshine Coast. “This white elephant must be stopped in its expensive, wasteful tracks.”

The Boon and Meek families in the Peace have had their evictions postponed till the end of June, but if road realignment work continues, they remain in danger of losing their homes. “Multi-generational farm families still face eviction this summer under the dam’s rushed timelines,” said Andrea Morison of the Peace Valley Environment Association. “No one should be evicted from their homes until the BCUC has completed its work.”

Craig Benjamin of Amnesty International pointed out, “Even if the BCUC review is expedited, devastating harms to farming families and First Nations will still result unless the dam’s planned schedule is suspended during the review. In particular, no activities should be permitted that would cause irreversible harm to First Nations’ grave sites and other cultural heritage.”

“Given the incoming government’s commitment to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the calls-to-action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Tsilhqot’in Supreme Court decision, First Nations’ concerns must be honoured,” added Joe Foy of the Wilderness Committee.  “BC Hydro should suspend activities that are destructive to the Peace River Valley.”

“As the province moves forward with the BC Utilities Commission review, activities on the dam site should be limited to environmental monitoring and addressing impacts such as those related to minimizing silt leakage, sedimentation, and slope stability,” suggested Candace Batycki, Program Director of the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative.

“The current government has no social license to authorize BC Hydro to award new contracts,” said Tim Pearson of Sierra Club BC. “The results of the election clearly show the voters have serious concerns about Site C, and those concerns must be honoured by the incumbent government.”

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For more information contact:

George Smith, Alliance 4 Democracy  604.989.5094

Andrea Morison, Peace Valley Environment Association  250.793.7279

Joe Foy, National Campaign Director, Wilderness Committee  604.880.2580

Tim Pearson, Communications Director, Sierra Club BC  250.896.1556

Document: Media release

Groups send open letter to party leaders calling for immediate pause on Site C dam

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 18, 2017

VANCOUVER – In an open letter sent today to all recently elected MLAs and their party leaders, several non-government organizations and citizen groups are urging them to pause construction on the Site C dam and have the project thoroughly assessed by the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC).

The popular vote numbers show over half the voters in the province supported either the BC NDP, who stated they would bring the project to the BCUC for review or the BC Greens, who stated that they’d stop the project immediately.

“The homes of multi-generational farm families are hanging in the balance as we speak,” said Joe Foy, National Campaign Director for the Wilderness Committee. “The first two homes are at risk of being destroyed if action is not taken soon.  It’s not a stretch to say that given the uncertainty of the election outcome at this time, it is simply unjust to proceed with this level of irreversible damage.”

“We don’t need to spend anywhere near $9 billion on energy infrastructure right now, even BC Hydro stated we may not need the amount of power that Site C would provide for up to 40 years from now.  It makes more sense to take that public money and build much needed public infrastructure throughout the province:  like hospitals, schools, water treatment plants, affordable housing and daycares.  Projects that all British Columbians need now,” states Andrea Morrison, Executive Director for the Peace Valley Environment Association.

Not only are the farm families bracing themselves for imminent destruction of their homes, but First Nations are also deeply concerned about the road realignment work planned in the coming weeks, which will destroy a grave site and significant archaeological sites. The West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations along with the Peace Valley Landowner Association have requested the results of the Multiple Accounts Analysis that justifies why this particular highway route was chosen over other options, but BC Hydro has not released the document.

“Now is the perfect time for the elected representatives of all parties in BC to show that they are listening to the electorate by addressing Site C before any more irreversible harm is caused by the project,” says Galen Armstrong, Peace Valley  Campaigner for  Sierra Club BC.  “When people’s homes and ancestors’ grave sites hang in the balance, the time for action by the parties is now.  Our elected representatives have a huge responsibility and this is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate that they will honour the faith that the people of BC have put in them.”

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For more information, please contact:

Joe Foy | National Campaign Director, Wilderness Committee
604-880-2580

Galen Armstrong | Peace Valley Campaigner, Sierra Club BC
778-679-3191


DOCUMENT: 
Open Letter to Hon. Christy Clark, John Horgan & Andrew Weaver