It has been a rough spring for the proponents of the Site C dam as the B.C. government desperately scrambles to find customers willing to pay double the market rate for Site C’s overpriced power.
Site C’s “truly awful economics”: In an unprecedented move, 250 of the nation’s top researchers and legal scholars, as well as the Royal Academy, called on Prime Minister Trudeau to pause the project to allow the courts to rule on the Treaty 8 First Nations legal challenges. Harry Swain, the chair of the Joint Review Panel on Site C, called out the B.C. government for “going hell for leather in pursuit of a wildly unprofitable project” with disastrous Hydro rate hikes and “truly awful economics.”
Meanwhile fish are still dying from continuous toxic landslides into the Peace River which have been potentially linked to nearby fracking operations. The toxic metals are entering the Peace River in a zone slated to be flooded by the Site C dam. That zone could experience nearly 4,000 landslides should the dam be built and the impounded waters begin to rise in the landslide-prone area.
In the middle of all these revelations BC Hydro made a heavy-handed attempt to force some Peace farm families off their land. Third-generation farmers Ken and Arlene Boon received eviction notices to move by the end of this year, even though the dam – assuming it goes ahead – would not flood their land until 2022. If the move was calculated to divide and conquer the Peace valley landowners – who collectively have a court case against Site C – it failed. The Boons and other farm families are standing their ground, and they are not moving!
There are a number of outstanding federal permits required for construction to continue, which are sitting on federal Minister Dominic LeBlanc’s desk. Delaying these permits would allow First Nations’ court challenges to be heard. It would also provide time for the re-examination of critical outstanding issues regarding project costs, energy demand forecasts and numerous environmental concerns before the BC government spends more of our money destroying the Peace Valley.
This summer, look for Sierra Club outreach teams at farmers’ markets in Victoria and Vancouver. We’re rapidly mobilizing opposition to Site C throughout southern B.C. We will standing with Treaty 8 First Nations at the Paddle for the Peace in Fort St John on July 9, and also at the solidarity Paddles in Victoria and Vancouver.
To do all of this, we need your help. Please donate today and join us in protecting natural spaces and farmland in BC.