WHAT SITE C DAM WILL DESTROY: The Site C dam, one of Canada’s largest infrastructure projects, will flood over 107 kilometres of the Peace River Valley in northeastern B.C., including some of the province’s best quality farmland, critical wildlife habitat, First Nations cultural and burial sites, as well as hunting and fishing territory. Preliminary works commenced in 2015; however it is anticipated to take approximately 10 years to build, so efforts to stop it are strong, and growing daily. The dam would cause an 83 km section of the Peace River, from the Peace Canyon Dam to Fort St. John to be flooded, widening it by up to five times. Have a look at this DESMOG piece on loss of ancient wetlands:
FOOD SECURITY: Over 31,000 acres of Class 1-7 farmland will be impacted by Site C. The rich alluvial soils and class one climate of BC’s Peace River Valley gives this land the capacity to produce the same range of crops as does the Fraser Valley, with higher yields due to long sunlight hours. BC already imports over 60 percent of it's fruits and vegetables, mostly from California. The land to be flooded by Site C is capable of providing a local, sustainably produced supply of fresh fruits and vegetables to over a million people a year. Forever…
FOR MORE ON HOW SITE C IMPACTS FOOD SECURITY CLICK HERE.
INFRINGEMENT OF TREATY AND ABORIGINAL RIGHTS: For First Nations, the Peace Valley offers stories, serves as burial grounds and is an indispensable source of food, furs, fish and medicines for their people. The Peace Valley is one of the last remaining areas in northeast BC that has been sufficiently protected from industrial development so that Indigenous peoples can still exercise their Treaty rights. The Joint Review Panel on the Site C EA concluded the dam would cause severe and immitigable harm to many Indigenous uses of the land. The federal and provincial governments have openly acknowledged that they have never examined whether Site C can be reconciled with treaty obligations.
FOR MORE ON HOW SITE C IMPACTS TREATY AND ABORIGINAL RIGHTS CLICK HERE.
WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY:
Wendy Holm, Professional Agrologist and Expert Witness on Site C, on FOOD SECURITY
"...This destruction of irreplaceable foodland resources belonging to tomorrow to fill the agenda's of politicians today is obscene. Natural capital laid down over millennia is not for the present to withdraw – we are meant to live off it's interest (crops) and thought good stewardship practices grow the legacy of these soils to ensure the food security of current and future generations. We are making probably the biggest policy mistake we could... It is BAD PUBLIC POLICY."
Dr. Harry Swain, former Chair of Federal Provincial Review Panel on Site C, on ENERGY
“Have we really pushed conservation and efficiency as far as they can go? …the answer is NO… What other kinds of generation or energy production are available and what are their costs and benefits?” Dr. Swain described government’s failure to research geothermal potential a “dereliction of duty”.
Dr. Clayton Apps, Wildlife Biologist on CRITICAL WILDLIFE HABITAT LOSS
“Site C will form yet another barrier to wildlife movement in a region where industrial development is expanding rapidly. Site C will threaten the future survival of several wildlife populations in the Peace region.”
Robert McCullough + Marvin Schaffer on BETTER ALTERNATIVES
Internationally recognized energy expert Robert McCullough argues Site C is dramatically more expensive than a mix of alternatives. Both McCullough and Dr. Marvin Shaffer, Simon Fraser University School of Public Policy say BC Hydro didn’t provide appropriate comparisons to alternative sources of power in their analysis. McCullough stated that the prices BC Hydro used to compare alternatives to Site C were out of date; prices have dropped significantly since Hydro’s comparisons were done.
GATHERING INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT/MOMENTUM
Pressure from the United Nations
In the fall of 2016, UNESCO will undertake a mission to Canada to investigate the threat posed by Site C to Wood Buffalo National Park, a World Heritage Site, downstream from Site C. The World Heritage Committee has requested that Canada put on hold any projects that would cause irreversible impacts to the park at its globally significant wetlands.
Support from Amnesty International
The Secretary General of Amnesty International recently sent a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau expressing concern about the violations of Indigenous peoples’ human rights that would result from Site C dam. Amnesty continues undertake numerous initiatives to bring the violation of human rights issues resulting from Site C to the attention of the federal government.
Growing campaign support
In 2016, 34 provincial, national and international organizations wrote to Prime Minister Trudeau, requesting that Site C be halted immediately so the project could be re-examined. They raised concerns about project impacts that would: undermine Indigenous peoples’ use of the land; harm rare plants and other biodiversity; make fishing unsafe; and, submerge burial grounds as well as other crucial cultural and historic sites. Supporting organizations include Amnesty International, David Suzuki Foundation, West Coast Environmental Law, Union of BC Indian Chiefs, Oxfam Canada, Greenpeace Canada, Sierra Club BC, Wilderness Committee BC, Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, Patagonia, Ecojustice, BCGEU, CUPE 15 and many more.