Photo: Garth Lenz
Site C is going to cost you money – A LOT of money!
- BC Hydro currently estimates that Site C Dam will cost $8.8 billion. BC citizens will pay for this. BC Hydro has already confirmed rate increases between 2014-2018 of 28% and it is anticipated that cumulatively, rate increases over the next 10 years will be about 45% without Site C. If Site C is built, BC Hydro intends to increase rates even further after the dam is operational, to recover the costs of the new dam.
Site C: BC’s next White Elephant? The energy from Site C is not needed
- The Joint Review Panel concluded that BC Hydro has failed to prove that we need Site C. Further, they emphasized that because there are significant adverse effects, justification for the project must rest on an unambiguous need for the power.
Alternative sources of power would be more cost effective
- Energy economist Dr. Marvin Shaffer and energy expert Philip Raphals conducted significant research on the viability of Site C and has concluded that there are far less expensive alternatives to Site C.
“BC Hydro is inducing new mining and oil and gas load with the offer of low cost power that it does not have; giving rise to more load growth than what would be economically efficient.”
- Dr. Marvin Shaffer, Economist
- The Joint Review Panel also urged BC Hydro to consider using the tremendous geothermal potential in BC as an alternative to Site C. BC Hydro has confirmed that over 700Mw of geothermal power exists in the province, about two-thirds of the 1,100 Mw capacity of Site C. The Canadian Geothermal Association has confirmed that it can provide energy for BC at far less cost and environmental impact than Site C.
BC Businesses are very concerned about how Site C will affect their bottom line
- The Association of Major Power Customers of BC has stated that Site C is not the right project now; citing additional concerns regarding recent rate increases and the accuracy of BC Hydro’s energy forecasts.
“The huge cost [of Site C] will rob the province of valuable resources that could be used to deliver other needed government services as well as burden the B.C. economy with debt and high electric power rates that will sap our competitiveness.” - Dan Potts, former executive director of the Association of Major Power Customers of BC
- The BC Chamber of Commerce states that with regard to Site C, “…the payoff for the province and its taxpaying citizens won’t justify the huge investment required.”
- Business Vancouver, editorial, June 3-9, 2014
Why Farmers are Opposed
BC Hydro wants to put B.C. farmland under water. The proposed Site C dam would flood 107 kilometers of valley bottoms in the Peace region, destroying some of B.C.’s best farmland. Family farms that have been passed down for generations would be washed away.
"The Peace River Valley has the capacity to produce a wide range of produce. The land to be flooded is capable of providing an annual, local, sustainably-produced supply of fresh vegetables to over a million people. Think what that could mean for nutrition in northern communities!”
- Wendy Holm, B.Sc., M.Sc., P.Ag.
Why First Nations are Opposed
The majority of First Nations in northeast B.C. are strongly opposed to Site C dam. It would flood 78 First Nations heritage sites, including burial grounds and places of cultural and spiritual significance.
“First Nations are still suffering the impacts of the first two Peace River dams and their reservoirs — dams that were built without our consent. The W.A.C. Bennett Dam and Williston Reservoir destroyed important waterways and trails used by our people and by wildlife, resulting in broken trade networks and kinship connections, and drastically affecting the ability of harvesters and trappers to secure food and income."
Photo: Anjali Spooner
"Our key food sources, like caribou, mountain sheep, mountain goat and Arctic grayling, have almost vanished, and the fish (like bull trout and Dolly Varden trout) we used to eat have been poisoned with mercury from the Williston Reservoir.”
- Treaty 8 Tribal Chief Liz Logan
The Impacts on Wildlife
Wildlife in the Peace region will be severely impacted by Site C and other industrial development. Site C, when combined with the fast-growing industrial footprint in the Peace, would contribute to the loss of more than 50 percent of the habitat for sensitive species such as grizzly bear, wolverine and caribou.
The dam could sever the globally-significant Yellowstone to Yukon wildlife corridor at its narrowest point.
"In the near future, the Peace region landscape is likely to be reduced to about one-half of its potential to support certain wide-ranging species, like wolverine. Site C will exacerbate this loss and will further erode our ability to conserve and recover some species. This in turn would fracture wildlife populations that are otherwise mostly continuous along the Rockies.”
- Dr. Clayton Apps, wildlife biologist.