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.”
For more information, please contact:
Joe Foy | National Campaign Director, Wilderness Committee
Galen Armstrong | Peace Valley Campaigner, Sierra Club BC