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:
- 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.
- Be clear. Make it clear from the beginning why you are writing: to stop Site C.
- 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.
- 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.
- Be polite. A polite and respectful letter helps get your point across in a calm manner.
- 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.
I wrote a letter. What else can I do?
Lots! Here are some ideas:
- Share this online action with your friends: sierraclub.bc.ca/cant-afford-site-c
- 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.
- 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.
- Donate. Chip in today or host a house concert and raise funds for Sierra Club BC to keep fighting.
- 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.
- Download a PDF version of this action guide and print to share with friends!
Feature image: Louis Bockner