David Suzuki wrote an excellent letter to BC Hydro's CEO Jessica MacDonald re Site C yesterday - here it is:
Sent: Wednesday, March 02, 2016 11:43 AM
To: Jessica MacDonald
Subject: Letter from David Suzuki
I’m deeply disappointed with BC Hydro's heavy-handed tactics in dealing with Treaty 8 community members and their supporters, who had been camped at the historical Rocky Mountain Fort in the Peace Valley for weeks. I'm told efforts had been made to broker a discussion between people at the camp and you before Hydro sought a court injunction to remove them.
Throughout the regulatory process and consultation with affected First Nations, BC Hydro has never been able to make the case that power from the Site C dam is needed or that the project is worth the enormous cost to Indigenous lands and livelihoods, not to mention prime farmland and wildlife habitat.
Peer-reviewed research by the David Suzuki Foundation found that nearly two-thirds of the Peace region has already been devastated by human land use, from fracking to logging to mining, as well as earlier major hydro developments on the Peace River. The Joint Review Panel concluded that the cumulative impacts of this development are massive, and the negative consequences for First Nations and their treaty rights cannot be mitigated.
With Treaty 8 First Nations still in court, these issues remain unresolved. And yet BC Hydro has chosen to steamroll forward, in the absence of proper due diligence and without social license to proceed. Expert after expert has concluded that halting development on the dam to allow these court cases to conclude will not come at a cost to BC Hydro but will in fact save money for Hydro's customers.
I urge you to use common sense and halt work on the Site C dam and sit down with First Nations. The days of running roughshod over First Nations and local communities must end.