FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 26, 2021
Sierra Club BC Executive Director Hannah Askew and Treaty 8 Elder and Sierra Club BC Board member Bud Napoleon react to BC NDP’s decision to go ahead with troubled Site C project.
Statement by Sierra Club BC Executive Director Hannah Askew:
“Today is a dark day. Despite the mounting cost overruns and growing evidence of geotechnical instability, the BC NDP has once again passed up its chance to stop Site C.
“Sierra Club BC has long opposed the construction of the Site C dam due to the environmental dangers it poses, as well as the devasting impacts on the Aboriginal and Treaty rights of the Treaty 8 First Nations. Our concerns have intensified as we have learned more about increasing costs and risks posed by this project.
“Although much damage has already been done, this government still had an opportunity to halt the project and protect the land and water. Now British Columbians will continue to subsidize the cost of electricity for oil and gas corporations like LNG Canada whose operations will make our provincial climate targets impossible to meet.
“In addition to the horrendous cost to Hydro ratepayers and the impact on wildlife and ecosystems to build a dam with no market for the power, Site C construction will also continue to impact hundreds of culturally significant sites and important hunting and fishing grounds in the Peace River Valley.
“We are deeply disappointed. There was no reason to move ahead with this project despite the costs that have already been expended. And any money yet spent would have been better off being used to finance renewable energy projects across B.C.”
Statement from Cree and Dunneza Elder, former hunter and trapper, and active user of the land within the Treaty 8 boundary, Sierra Club BC Board member Bud Napoleon:
“When you really enjoy wildlife, it stays in your heart. That’s why I went to be by the river so many times. To be able to sit outside and watch the river go by and the birds fly overhead. And to know that there is wildlife and an abundance of medicinal plants and berries.
“Now when I drive by there is so much destruction all along the river valley, and even where they diverted the water. The hurt inside me was so great when I saw it that I couldn’t drive too far without tears in my eyes. It hurt me so much.
“When I was younger, I saw that when the Elders talked about destruction sometimes, they couldn’t talk anymore because it hurt so bad. I know now exactly what they were feeling. I will not drive along that road anymore to see the destruction. The hurt is too hard to bear.”
Executive Director, Sierra Club BC
Communications Co-Lead, Sierra Club BC
Featured image: BC Hydro