McCullough Report: BC Hydro Site C defence gets failing grade

Vancouver, B.C. - October 19, 2017 - Yesterday, the Peace Valley Landowner Association (PVLA) and Peace Valley Environment Association (PVEA) made their final submission to the BCUC Site C Inquiry Review Panel. The report, prepared by McCullough Research, speaks to the BCUC’s own October 11 Alternative Portfolio findings, consisting primarily of a composition of wind power with battery backup.

Internationally respected energy expert Robert McCullough found that contrary to BC Hydro’s assertions, the BCUC October 11 Alternative Portfolio: 

  • is less expensive than a portfolio with Site C, even considering sunk and termination costs;
  • includes resources that are commercially feasible; and,
  • does allow for the firming, shaping and storage capability to meet forecast need.

Building the BCUC’s wind powered portfolio instead of Site C will save BC ratepayers between $0.5 and $2.1 billion, even if sunk costs and termination costs are included.

Other key points that arise from a review of the McCullough report:

  1. BC Hydro has not included storage capacity at the Mica Dam in its energy analysis. This is a low cost source of significant extra capacity.
     
  2. BC Hydro continues to use outdated forecasts which incorrectly show that surplus electricity can be sold at a profit into the United States export market.
     
  3. BC Hydro says it is expanding demand supply management (energy conservation programs), when it is not.
     
  4. BC Hydro says that it cannot build wind power and must turn to the private sector which is much more costly. This is not true. If BC Hydro cannot develop the expertise to build wind in house, the private sector will be able access competitive financing, with a BC Hydro energy purchase contract in hand, to build.
     
  5. BC Hydro says battery costs are higher than the BCUC forecasts, which is not supported by the evidence.
     
  6. BC Hydro says the BCUC’s peak power prices to move load off peak are unrealistic. This ignores the fact that BC Hydro’s industrial load forecast is dropping in key areas such as pulp and paper, so peak pricing is not needed. It is also important to note electric vehicle charging will happen off peak, and if it doesn’t, time of use pricing can be used to encourage that consumer behaviour.
     
  7. BC Hydro used out of date estimates for the cost of wind power. The BCUC cost estimates for wind power now, and in the future, are consistent with well-respected international benchmarks. Just across the border, wind power is being built at very low cost.
     
  8. BC Hydro continues to assert that geothermal is not a viable low cost resource option in BC. As the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association (CanGEA) report shows (link included below), this is not true. Low cost viable geothermal power can be deployed on the same timetable as Site C. Everywhere else in North America geothermal is used in areas with the same geology as BC.
     
  9. BC Hydro says consumer demand is growing, this is incorrect. The most recent quarterly report, issued by BC Hydro on October 16 (over a month late, and after the BCUC technical presentations were over), reveals no growth in demand for electricity by consumers in BC. In fact, the recent quarterly report shows the total gigawatt hours sold to domestic customers (industrial, residential, and commercial) decreased by almost 5% from the same quarter in 2016.


“We look forward to unequivocal advice from the BCUC to cancel Site C,” says Ken Boon, PVLA President. “The case is clear and compelling. The project is not past the point of no return and we will be looking to the provincial government to act in the best interest of all ratepayers and taxpayers, and cancel this project.”


To read McCullough Research’s most recent report, submitted to the BCUC Site C Inquiry on October 18, click here.


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Additional Materials:

For more information, please contact: 

 
 
To download the full McCullough Report, and to read all other expert reports submitted by PVLA and PVEA to the BCUC Site C Inquiry, please visit: www.peacevalleyland.com/sitecinquiry
 
Robert McCullough is Principal of McCullough Research in Portland, OR, and for over thirty-seven years has advised governments, utilities, and aboriginal groups on energy, metals, paper, and chemical issues. He has testified repeatedly in state, federal, and provincial courts as well as before Congress and regulatory bodies. His testimony in front of the Senate Energy Committee is credited with initiating the Enron trading investigations during which he worked for the U.S. Department of Justice and three western attorney generals. He has consulted for U.S. and Canadian clients on hydroelectric issues in many states and provinces, including on many occasions, presenting on issues before Canadian regulators.
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Robert McCullough's BCUC Technical Presentation: Termination of Site C will Save BC Ratepayers $2.08 to $4.37 Billion

Robert McCullough's BCUC Technical Presentation: Termination of Site C will Save BC Ratepayers $2.08 to $4.37 Billion
 
What: International energy expert Robert McCullough will present his technical report to the BCUC's Site C Inquiry Panel, which finds terminating Site C and replacing it with an alternative portfolio of renewables will save between $2.08 to $4.37 billion.
 
The presentation provides unequivocal evidence that terminating Site C will save British Columbia ratepayers billions of dollars and will aid the BCUC in its advice to this effect to the BC Cabinet.
 
Robert McCullough will be available for interview following his presentation to the BCUC's Site C Inquiry panel.

When:             Friday, October 13, 2017
                        10:15 - 11:00 am, then by request
 
Where:            BCUC's Site C Inquiry Technical Presentation Sessions
                        1125 Howe St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2K8
                        (interviews to take place outside, corner of Howe and Helmcken)
 
Who:               Robert McCullough, International Energy Expert
                   

McCullough's technical presentation will be publicly available at 12:00pm (PST)on Friday, October 13, 2017 at www.peacevalleyland.com/sitecinquiry.

Robert McCullough will also be available for interviews following BC Hydro's technical presentation to the BCUC's Site C Inquiry Panel at 5:00pmSaturday, October 14.

Additional Information: Materials submitted to the BCUC's Site C Inquiry:
Media Contacts:
Amanda Munro or Emily Marroquin
604-360-3994 / 604-928-6299           
news@munrothompson.com
 
Robert McCullough is Principal of McCullough Research in Portland, OR, and for over thirty-seven years has advised governments, utilities, and aboriginal groups on energy, metals, paper, and chemical issues. He has testified repeatedly in state, federal, and provincial courts as well as before Congress and regulatory bodies. His testimony in front of the Senate Energy Committee is credited with initiating the Enron trading investigations during which he worked for the U.S. Department of Justice and three western attorney generals. He has consulted for U.S. and Canadian clients on hydroelectric issues in many states and provinces, including on many occasions, presenting on issues before Canadian regulators.
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It's time to talk to your MLA to be sure Site C gets stopped

We want to start with a big shout out to everyone who donated in the last week to support our campaign work!  Thank you so much!  For those who would still like to make a donation to ensure that we can see this campaign to stop Site C through to the end, please visit our donation page here (it’s Sierra Club’s page but your donation will go to all three groups).

We may well be in the home stretch!

The final decision on Site C will be made by the BC government. The BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) will submit their recommendations to the government on November 1st, shortly after which we expect them to announce whether they will cancel, put on hold or continue with Site C dam.

This is where you come in!

We need as many of you as possible to take actions such as those listed below to ensure that the politicians make the decision to cancel the dam completely:

  • Drop by your MLA’s office and talk to them and/or their staff about why we don’t need Site C.
  • Take the time to send a hand-written letter to your MLA about why BC doesn’t need Site C.  Hand-written letters are very effective! Drop it off in person if you can.
    • If you’re up for it, please also consider sending a hand-written letter to any of these key ministers (find their contact details here):
      • Michelle Mungall, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources
      • George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
      • Scott Fraser, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation
      • Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture
      • Broaden your impact by hosting a letter writing party with your friends – invite them over for an opportunity for discussion and action and get those letters out!
      • Go to our letter writing website and send a letter to key provincial politicians here.

Resources to assist you:

    • Find your MLA’s contact information here
    • Find useful facts from experts here.  Leave a copy for your MLA.

We’re all hoping that this is it – we are in the final stretch of this incredibly long road to ensure that the Peace River Valley and all British Columbians are saved from this unnecessary, overly expensive and destructive project. We know that we don’t need the power now and if and when we do, alternatives are far less expensive. We also know we can save more money by stopping the dam now than by completing it.

Thank you all for your incredible support!  And please consider making even a small donation to assist with our work on this campaign. If everyone donated just $10, we would be able to keep going. Our need at this time is urgent. Please make your donation here. Thank you.

 

 

 

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The BCUC and the BC Cabinet must ignore the $2.1 Billion Sunk Cost when Considering Site C's Future

Fort St. John, B.C. - September 29, 2017 - Yesterday, the Peace Valley Landowner Association (PVLA) and the Peace Valley Environment Association (PVEA) filed one in a series of McCullough Research expert reports with the BCUC's Site C Inquiry.

In the report, energy expert Robert McCullough addresses one of the main arguments made for continuing Site C: the fact BC Hydro has already sunk about $2.1 billion into the project.

“This reasoning is known as the the sunk cost fallacy and fails to acknowledge that the dollars already spent cannot be recovered regardless of the outcome," said Robert McCullough. "Sunk costs are never considered in economic decisions, because these costs are fixed, regardless of what decision is made. In the case of Site C, British Columbia Hydro has spent approximately a fifth of the $9 billion dollars needed to build the hydroelectric project. The dollars are spent and cannot be recovered whether the dam is completed or not. Part or all of the remainder – approximately $7 billion dollars – can be saved if a less expensive alternative is selected."

“There is simply no good reason to throw good money after bad," said PVLA President Ken Boon.

 
 
Date:               September 28, 2017
 
To:                   British Columbia Utilities Commission
 
From:              Robert McCullough, Eric Shierman, Robby Gottesman

 
Subject:          Question 58 - The Sunk Cost Fallacy

The following is an excerpt from the report:

Question 58 in the preliminary report appears to suggest that sunk costs are a consideration and ought to be included in an assessment of the cost of terminating Site C and replacing Site C with a portfolio of renewables.
 
It is well accepted that sunk costs are not considered in such decisions.
 
A sunk cost is a past expenditure that cannot be recovered.  Economic theory states that sunk costs are never considered in economic decisions, because these costs are fixed, regardless of what decision is made.  The famous professor and jurist, retired U.S. Appeals Judge Richard A. Posner, commented in his study of the economics of law:
 
We commit the "sunk costs" fallacy, or throwing good money after bad. That is, in making decisions, we frequently ignore the adage of letting bygones be bygones; we are unable to ignore costs that, having already been incurred, cannot be altered by the decision.[1]


[1] Economic Analysis of Law (7th Ed.), 2007, U.S. Appeals Judge (retired) Richard A. Posner, page 17.
 
Click the image below to download the unabridged report (3 pages):
 
 
 
To download the full McCullough Report, and to read all other expert reports submitted by PVLA and PVEA to the BCUC Site C Inquiry, please visit: www.peacevalleyland.com/sitecinquiry. 
 
Robert McCullough is Principal of McCullough Research in Portland, OR, and for over thirty-seven years has advised governments, utilities, and aboriginal groups on energy, metals, paper, and chemical issues. He has testified repeatedly in state, federal, and provincial courts as well as before Congress and regulatory bodies. His testimony in front of the Senate Energy Committee is credited with initiating the Enron trading investigations during which he worked for the U.S. Department of Justice and three western attorney generals. He has consulted for U.S. and Canadian clients on hydroelectric issues in many states and provinces, including on many occasions, presenting on issues before Canadian regulators.
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BC Hydro's Site C Job Promises Also Ring Hollow

BC Hydro's Site C Job Promises Also Ring Hollow

In 2014, Clean Energy BC commissioned KPMG to prepare a report on the jobs and economic benefits from a portfolio of renewable energy including wind power. Clean Energy BC then compared numbers from B.C. Hydro’s Site C projections on job creation and economic benefits to those set out in the Final Draft KPMG Report: Economic and Social Impacts of the Clean Energy Sector in B.C.

At the time of the release of the report, media outlet, Energetic City, covered the report and Clean Energy BC's comparisons. An abstract of that article is below.

Energetic City reported the following:


A comparison by CEBC of economic-impact numbers from a new KPMG study, and numbers from B.C. Hydro’s Site C projections, are said to show greater returns from a portfolio of smaller projects in employment income, both during construction and in later operation. It is also said to show a bigger over-all contribution to the B.C. economy.

“It’s clear that a cost-effective diversity of clean-energy projects situated throughout B.C. has a far greater positive impact on BC jobs and the economy, especially for First Nations than does B.C. Hydro’s Site C mega project up on the Peace River in northeastern B.C.,” Executive Director of Clean Energy B.C., Paul Kariya said in a written statement.


Taking the KPMG results, CEBC went on to make additional comparisons between a clean-energy portfolio and BC Hydro’s published Site C project benefits. CEBC found:
  • Total contribution to B.C.’s GDP during construction would amount to approximately $4.3 billion (KPMG), compared with $3.2 billion from Site C.
     
  • The contribution to B.C.’s economy during operations would be $90 million a year (KPMG) compared with $7 million from site C.
     
  • Total labour income from construction of the clean-energy portfolio would come in at $2.9 billion (KPMG), compared with B.C. Hydro’s estimate of $2.2 billion for Site C.
     
  • Total employment income from operations of the clean-energy projects would amount to $45 million a year (KPMG), compared with only $4.9 million at Site C.
     
  • The clean-energy projects would rack up a total of 45,200 person-years of fulltime-equivalent employment during construction (KPMG), while Site C would offer 33,000.
     
  • During operations, after construction, the clean-energy projects would mean 695 person-years of employment (KPMG), compared with only 160 from Site C.
     
  • Over a 40-year time period, total employment from operations adds up to 27,800 FTE person-years from the smaller projects (KPMG), compared with 6,400 from Site C.
     
  • Many of the economic impacts would be local in nature leading to widely distributed direct and indirect economic benefits. Jobs and incomes would support First Nations and a variety of rural and urban communities throughout B.C.
 
A copy of the Final Draft KPMG Report can be found here, or by clicking the image below:
 

The report was never finalized because KPMG terminated its relationship with Clean Energy BC.
 
Statement from Ken Boon, PVLA President:

“This 2014 Clean Energy BC and KPMG analysis of jobs and economic benefits from Site C vs. renewables like wind energy is just as true now as it was then. This is another BC Hydro promise that rings hollow - the truth is cancelling Site C and building more renewable energy will create many more, not less, well paid short and long term jobs for British Columbians.”
 
For more information, including all past reports go to www.peacevalleyland.com/sitecinquiry.
 
PVLA Site C Inquiry Reports
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Site C Expert Report: In first year, Site C will lose $376 million exporting power to the USA

This report has been prepared by McCullough Research for the Peace Valley Landowner Association (PVLA) and the Peace Valley Environment Association (PVEA)

Site C Expert Report: In First Year, Site C will lose $376 Million Exporting Power to USA
The PVLA and PVEA filed a report yesterday with the BCUC’s Site C Inquiry from McCullough Research on export prices. In the report, energy expert Robert McCullough found that Site C will lose $376 million in its first year of operation alone. This is due to the fact that unneeded power will be sold at a loss to the USA. Losses in future years may be more or less depending on the demand for electricity.

 

“This new expert report only reinforces the already strong case for cancelling Site C,” said PVLA President Ken Boon. “Unlike big hydro dams, renewables like wind and solar can be deployed to meet existing demand – there is no need to sell unneeded power at a loss.”

 
 
Date:               September 24, 2017

 

To:                   British Columbia Utilities Commission

From:              Robert McCullough, Eric Shierman, Robby Gottesman

Subject:          Question 22: Export Sales

The following is an excerpt from the report, starting on page 2:

22.1 Please provide a breakdown of BC Hydro’s market price forecast for F2025 (US $36/MWh) and F2034 (US $46/MWh) showing (in Can $ and US $): Mid C price; wheeling costs; real power losses; other (please describe).

 

We cannot answer questions concerning British Columbia’s market forecast since details have not been made public.  We can observe that it is a relatively poor forecast since it diverges from actual market prices.

Figure 1: BCH’s forecasted mid-c price and ICE forward price
The red line represents forward prices taken from the ICE MDC (on-peak) and OMC (off-peak) markets on September 22, 2017.

 

The differential between the LCOE of Site C and the forward Mid-C price is considerable.  In 2024, for example, selling the output at September 22nd prices on the Intercontinental Exchange would lead to a significant loss:

($C31.25-C$105) x 5,100 GWh = – C$376.1 million[1]

[1] McCullough Research.  Costs of Continuing Site C and the Alternatives.  August 30, 2017.  Page 7.
Click the image below to download the unabridged report (10 pages):
 
Robert McCullough is Principal of McCullough Research in Portland, OR, and for over thirty-seven years has advised governments, utilities, and aboriginal groups on energy, metals, paper, and chemical issues. He has testified repeatedly in state, federal, and provincial courts as well as before Congress and regulatory bodies. His testimony in front of the Senate Energy Committee is credited with initiating the Enron trading investigations during which he worked for the U.S. Department of Justice and three western attorney generals. He has consulted for U.S. and Canadian clients on hydroelectric issues in many states and provinces, including on many occasions, presenting on issues before Canadian
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Ready for the BCUC Community Input sessions

 
                                                     Sunflowers in the Peace River Valley                          Photo:  Andrea Morison

Dear Friends of the Peace,

Apologies for the error in the version of this that was sent late last night!  In the rush to get it out and after a long day, some of the links weren’t correct!  They are corrected below.  Additionally, I have added a few questions/comments and facts from our experts have also been the Resources page of our blog.

The Community Input sessions associated with the British Columbia Utilities Commission’s review of Site C begin tomorrow, Saturday, September 23rd in Vancouver.  These sessions will take place in various locations throughout BC and we encourage as many of you as possible to attend and show your solidarity for putting the economic and environmental disaster, also known as Site C dam, to rest – for good!

The sessions will conclude on Wednesday, October 11th.  Please see the complete schedule here and find out more about the process and how you can get involved at the sessions here.

What concerns should I bring to the BCUC?

As promised, we have some comments and concerns that you may choose to bring forward to the inquiry process, whether by speaking at one of the events or making a written submission which you can do through the BCUC website here.

We are fortunate to have received comments, advice and suggested questions related to the BCUC’s Preliminary Report from a number of very credible experts.  Following are some of the key messages that they suggest we bring to the BCUC Commissioners’ attention:

  • Thanks to BCUC for undertaking this review of Site C.

 

  • Thanks to BCUC for asking BC Hydro to provide significantly more information.

 

  • Can you please do your best to ensure that BC Hydro provides the required information in a timely fashion?

 

  • Ask BCUC to devote their energy to findings on alternative portfolios.

 

  • Even if Site C is on time and on budget, and even if BC Hydro forecasts were true, alternatives will save ratepayers money.

 

  • Let me know how I can support your (BCUC’s) efforts.

 

  • Can you tell me what my hydro rates will be if we: a) proceed with Site C;  b) bring Hydro’s debt down to a reasonable amount; and c) bring the regulatory accounts  from $6 billion to zero?

 

  • Can you tell me why Site C is even being considered given that demand has been flat for the last 10 years and is expected to continue to be so?

 

  • Can you tell me how many jobs Site C is really providing?  How many are for British Columbians, Canadians from other provinces and how many are foreign workers?

 

  • Given that we have several dams in this province as well as the potential for the Canadian Entitlement to the Columbia River Treaty, Burrard Thermal and the Northwest Electrical Grid, why does BC Hydro keep telling us that we need Site C for back up power? It is essentially a large run-of-river project, isn’t it?

 

  • If we are currently exporting 90% of the amount of power that Site C is expected to produce, then why wouldn’t we use more of this power ourselves and not build Site C power which is about three times as expensive?

More questions will be added to this list, which is available on our blog.

Additionally, we have produced a brochure full of facts from our experts that you may find helpful.  Please take a look at it, print it off and share it with your friends, co-workers and family.

Thank you so much for your on-going support as we push to ensure that the government and the BCUC hear us loud and clear – let’s get this dam stopped for good and soon!

For the Peace,
                                              

Andrea Morison                                  Galen Armstrong                 Candace Batycki     
Peace Valley Env. Assc.                      Sierra Club BC                    Yellowstone to Yukon Cons. Initiative 

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Brochure with helpful facts and quotes from experts

Latest campaign brochure with facts and quotes from experts

For those of you who are interested in keeping up-to-date on the findings and quotes from experts such as Robert McCullough, international energy expert;  Dr. Harry Swain, former chair of the Joint Review Panel for the environmental assessment on Site C; and Eoin Finn, retired partner of a major accounting and consulting firm, please see our latest brochure.

You may also find the brochure helpful in preparing your submission in response to the BCUC Community Input sessions on Site C. 

 

 

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McCullough reports on BCUC Preliminary Report

September 21, 2017

This report has been prepared by McCullough Research for the Peace Valley Landowner Association (PVLA) and the Peace Valley Environment Association (PVEA).  

 

Date:              September 21, 2017

 
To:                 McCullough Research Clients
 
From:             Robert McCullough
 
Subject:          BCUC’s Preliminary Findings


Last night, the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) released its preliminary findings in the Site C inquiry.  The two hundred and five page preliminary findings are very direct about the many failings in BC Hydro’s continued support for Site C.
 
First and foremost, the document continuously criticized BC Hydro for failing to provide relevant and supportable materials. This was BC Hydro’s important opportunity to ‘show its work’ and demonstrate to the BCUC the detailed basis for the assertions BC Hydro has made in support of continuing Site C.

However, despite the 800-page BC Hydro submission, the lack of substantive content and transparency did not go unnoticed by BCUC. The gamble lost – the BCUC has responded with 73 official questions representing requests for hundreds of files, studies, and calculations.
 
Second, the BCUC has, preliminarily, rejected the foundations of the Site C submission.  Is Site C on time and on budget? The preliminary findings makes it clear that no one knows. Will it be delayed?  Deloitte’s concerns about the 2019 river diversion—and the significant cost consequences of that—are supported in the preliminary findings.
 
Is it needed? BC Hydro’s forecasts are undocumented, but historically far too high. And the findings question a variety of the forecast components.
 
How much does Site C cost? For years BC Hydro has used the mysterious “UEC” measure – Unit Energy Costs – without definition or a formula. The UEC has effectively been rejected.
 
Should Site C enjoy special low cost financing not used for alternatives? As every analyst has noted, this odd idea makes no economic sense.  The BCUC has rejected the special financing calculations.
 
Are renewables viable? BC Hydro has held that renewables aren’t viable in the province – apparently the exception for states and provinces in North America. The BCUC has not accepted this argument either.
 
Can the surplus energy and capacity be sold to the United States?  The BCUC has questioned the lack of detail in this assumption and demanded evidence of why expensive BC Hydro energy could be profitable in the face of rapidly declining prices in the Mid-Columbia market.
 
Overall, the BCUC has effectively removed the foundations of BC Hydro’s defense of Site C.  It has requested that the defense be resubmitted in its entirety, but this time with transparent calculations, detailed analyses, and compatible industry methodology.
 
It should be noted that Deloitte and the BCUC are operating under a punishingly short schedule and performing admirably.  The scale and depth of the comments in the preliminary findings document are very encouraging.

- Robert McCullough
 

 

The PDF of the report can be downloaded here.

 

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Let's Flood the Site C Hearings!

                                                                         Fall in the Peace River Valley                                  Photo:  Wendy Francis

Dear Friends

Very exciting times right now in our campaign to protect the Peace River Valley!  I’m sure many of you are aware of the numerous comments that support many of the messages we have been putting out there for years from the Deloitte LLP independent review of Site C, as requested by the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) last week.  Additionally, international energy expert Robert McCullough has endorsed many of the Deloitte findings and added his own expert opinion as to why Site C is the wrong choice for BC. 

Most importantly, the Deloitte report concludes that it would be cheaper to cancel Site C than to suspend the project.  Canceling Site C would cost approximately $1.2 billion, while suspending construction until 2025 would cost $1.4 billion.

For more highlights from the Deloitte report, please see this excellent article by DeSmog Canada.

How can you get involved in this final push to save the Peace River Valley?

The BCUC is holding Community Input sessions on their review of Site C in locations throughout the province, starting in this Saturday, September 23rd and concluding on October 11th as follows:

 Location

Date (2017)

Time

Venue

Vancouver

Saturday, Sep 23

1:00–5:00 p.m.

1125 Howe St , 12th floor

Kamloops

Sunday, September 24

6:00–10:00 p.m.

Kamloops Coast Hotel

Kelowna

Monday, September 25

6:00–10:00 p.m.

Kelowna Coast Capri

Nelson

Tuesday, September 26

6:00–10:00 p.m.

Nelson Best Western Hotel

Prince George

Friday, September 29

6:00–10:00 p.m.

Prince George Ramada Hotel

Hudson’s Hope

Saturday, Sept 30

6:00–10:00 p.m.

Pearkes Centre

Fort St. John

Sunday, October 1

6:00–10:00 p.m.

Fort St. John Pomeroy Hotel

Fort St. John

Monday, October 2

6:00–10:00 p.m.

Fort St. John Pomeroy Hotel

Vancouver

Thursday, October 5

6:00–10:00 p.m.

1125 Howe St, 12th floor

Nanaimo

Tuesday, October 10

6:00–10:00 p.m.

Nanaimo Coast Bastion Hotel

Victoria

Wednesday, Oct 11

6:00–10:00 p.m.

Delta Ocean Pointe Hotel

We hope that as many of you as possible will attend the hearings closest to you.  On Friday, September 22rd, we will share key highlights from our economic experts’ review of the Preliminary Report on Site C by the BCUC which we will encourage you to share in your presentations at the input sessions.  If you prefer not to speak, attending in person as a show of solidarity is still helpful.

Further details including how to register to attend, speak and/or email submissions to the Community Input sessions can be found here.

Help us FLOOD THE HEARINGS!

We need people to make calls to our petition signers and encourage them to attend the hearings.  If you can spare even one hour to make calls from your home, please email Morag Keegan-Henry at morag@forceofnaturealliance.ca and she will get you set up to use CallFire to contact people from the petition list.

Vancouver Community Input Session Event

If you are in Vancouver on September 23rd, make your way down to 1125 Howe Street between noon and 5 p.m. to help flood the room with opposition to this dam.  We will meet outside the hearinngs at noon, an hour before they begin, to get organized, and then flood the very first Community Input session with a show of opposition.

We encourage you to sign up to speak, but we also need folks to show up to wear our Stop Site C t-shirts, hold signs, and show the BC Cabinet that this decision is important to British Columbians, and that we're ready to hold them accountable.

We look forward to a great turnout.  If you’re on social media, please share and invite your friends through our Facebook event page for this action.

The momentum is so positive now!  All your support is really paying off!  It’s been a long road, but we feel like we’re almost there – just a few more bursts of action and we should have this dam stopped!

For the Peace,
                                              

Andrea Morison                                  Galen Armstrong                 Candace Batycki     
Peace Valley Env. Assc.                      Sierra Club BC                    Yellowstone to Yukon Cons. Initiative 

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Experts justify need to shut down Site C

Here's the whole press conference that was held yesterday with information from legal counsel, Rob Botterell, energy expert, Robert McCullough and former Site C JRP chair, Dr. Harry Swain - presenting on the need to ensure that the remainder of the BCUC process is as comprehensive and transparent as possible and providing rationales for putting this project to bed for good - we can save $1.6 billion by stopping it.

https://www.facebook.com/peacevalleylandownerassoc/
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McCullough responds to Deloitte

MEDIA ADVISORY

 

Public Release of McCullough Report on Site C Responds to BC Hydro Submission and Deloitte LLP Report

 
What: The Peace Valley Landowner Association (PVLA) and the Peace Valley Environment Association (PVEA) will hold a press conference Wednesday, September 13, to release the reply from McCullough Research to the BC Hydro Submission and the Deloitte LLP Reports on Site C.
 
The McCullough Research reply submission demonstrates that there is sufficient information and analysis now on hand to justify an immediate suspension of construction of Site C, pending completion of the BCUC Site C Inquiry. The report provides unequivocal findings to support a BCUC recommendation to the BC Cabinet to permanently halt Site C.
 
Harry Swain, Former Chair Site C Joint Review Panel, will also provide expert commentary on Site C, and Rob Botterell will outline ways to enhance public confidence in the remainder of the Site C inquiry process.  
 
When:             Wednesday, September 13, 2017
                        12:30 pm
 
Where:            Oak Room (Third floor)
                        Four Seasons Hotel, Vancouver
                        791 W. Georgia St, Vancouver, B.C.
 
Who:               Robert McCullough, International Energy Expert
                        Harry Swain, Former Chair Site C Joint Review Panel
                        Rob Botterell, Legal Counsel, PVLA and PVEA
 
Everyone with an interest in the future of Site C, the largest capital expenditure in the history of BC, is welcome to attend.
 
Participation details:

 
Robert McCullough, Harry Swain and Rob Botterell will be available for interviews following the press conference (in person, via teleconference and online).

The McCullough Research Report document will be publicly released at 1:00 pm (PST) on Wednesday, September 13, 2017. 
 
Additional Information:

 
 
Media Contacts:
 
Amanda Munro or Brandon Thompson
604-360-3994 / 250-686-6887           
news@munrothompson.com

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Community Input Sessions on BCUC Site C Assessment Now Sheduled

Don't miss this opportunity to comment on the preliminary report of the BCUC on Site C.  The report will be released on September 20th.  Links and information on signing up to attend and/or speak at one of many community input sessions can be found in this article.

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Site C is being assessed by the BCUC!

Good news!  Our new provincial government has sent Site C to the British Columbia Utilities Commission for assessment. Check out this site to find out more on what the BCUC is examining and how you can participate.

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UBC Report Recommends pausing Site C to examine economics

A new report is calling for the suspension of B.C.’s Site C dam project, saying it’s no longer going to benefit the provincial economy as once expected and that power from the hydroelectric station will likely be exported at losses of up to $1 billion.

The report on water governance released Tuesday looks at which option would be best for B.C. from a business standpoint: cancelling, suspending or finishing the $8.5-billion project.

Ultimately, it recommended the project be put on hold and reviewed by the BC Utilities Commission.

A statement from the UBC researchers said several key changes that have happened since the project’s initial approval mean it isn’t the most cost-efficient option for producing power anymore.

Read full story here.

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Here’s a super entertaining and informative video from the independent news agency, DeSmog Canada. They dig deep and bring you the facts and details so you know exactly what’s really happening. Please share far and wide!

Does the Site C Dam make Economic Sense?  Interview with one of the authors of the UBC economic report on Site C, Dr. Karen Bakker here.

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Two Site C campaign events for you in January 2017!

Dear Friends of the Peace,

Happy New Year!  Here’s to putting a stop to the project that could become BC’s biggest White Elephant yet in 2017.

Our allies continue to work hard to build awareness about the fallacies of the Site C Dam project.  We all want to ensure this is a priority issue in the upcoming BC election, happening May 9th, 2017.  You can do your part by informing candidates in your local riding about this issue at public events, meetings or through letter writing.  We have to do all we can to protect British Columbians from this completely unnecessary project.

What’s happening next?

As always, we are working on a roster of upcoming campaign related activities.  You can keep up with all of them by following us on Facebook at Peace Valley Environment Association and Poets for the Peace.  The Poets group also has a website with event updates that can be found here.  Following are details about a couple of events happening this month:

 

Survivorman LES STROUD in Concert

 

Join filmmaker, musician and documentary television star Les Stroud for an evening of music and conversation in support of Peace River Protectors.

Followed by a conversation about the Site C Dam featuring:

-The Tyee’s Christopher Pollon, author of The Peace In Peril

-Photojournalist Ben Nelms

-Elizabeth May

-led by reporter Emma Gilchrest of DeSmog Canada

When: Tuesday, January 10, 2017, doors open 6:30 p.m., show starts at 7 p.m.

Where: Dave Dunnet Community Theatre, Oak Bay High School, Victoria

Cost: Tickets available on EventBrite or at the door by sliding scale donation of $10 - $20. All proceeds go to groups fighting Site C.

 

The Peace in Peril: Photo Show and Book Talk

Join award-winning journalist Christopher Pollon and photojournalist Ben Nelms as they talk about their acclaimed new book The Peace in Peril:  The Real Cost of the Site C Dam.

When:  Thursday, January 19, 2017, 7 p.m.

Where:  Patagonia Vancouver

               1994 West 4th Avenue

Cost: FREE + craft beer by donation

Proceeds go to Peace Valley Environment

Association

Books will be available to purchase at event.

We hope  that many of you will be able to make these meaningful and informative events.  Please invite your friends and help us Save BC from Site C!

We look forward to your continued support in this important year ahead.

 

For the Peace,


                                              

Andrea Morison                                Galen Armstrong                 Candace Batycki     
Peace Valley Env. Assc.                    Sierra Club BC                     Yellowstone to Yukon Cons. Initiative  

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Get your Stake in the Peace and Write for Rights

Dear Friends,

Our campaign to protect the Peace River Valley from Site C dam continues to grow!  We are so encouraged by the support from individuals all over the province who are contributing their creativity and time to the campaign.

Wondering what you can do?

Following are a couple of initiatives we thought you’d be interested in undertaking to help out:

Have you got your Stake in the Peace yet?

Our Yellow Stakes Campaign is going great!  We have 398 stakes in the ground at Bear Flat in the Peace River Valley and the number just keeps growing.  Stakes are $100 each and make a great Christmas gift. All funds collected go towards supporting the legal fees for the court cases against Site C Dam by West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations.  More information here:  www.StakeinthePeace.com .

Write a letter - Take part in Amnesty Write for Rights this weekend!

Join thousands of others from around the world through Amnesty’s Write for Rights campaign being held December 10th.  Write to Prime Minister Trudeau and Premier Christy Clark and call for an immediate halt to construction of the Site C dam.  The dam is causing numerous immitigable impacts to the lives and lands of the Indigenous peoples in northeastern British Columbia.

Find out more about Write for Rights here.

George Desjarlais, West Moberly First Nation                                       Photo:  Andrea Morison

 

“The damage that this Site C is going to do, I don’t even know how to explain it,” George says. “My people, they’ve used that river as a corridor, almost like what you call a major highway, for years and years and years. There are grave sites and graveyards and village areas where they used to camp in the summer or the winter. It’s prime wildlife habitat. It’s a good place to hunt. And now in the last hundred years or so, it’s become prime farmland. So, you know, there’s a lot to be lost there.”

 

Take action - Be the change you want to see! 

What else can I do to help?

Join us on our social media sites to stay informed and find out about many more initiatives, activities and events happening in support of our campaign:

  • Facebook:  Peace Valley Environment Association
  • Twitter:  @SavePeaceValley
  • Website:  www.SaveBCfromSiteC.ca

Wishing each and every one of you a wonderful Christmas and thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your steadfast support!

For the Peace,


                                              

Andrea Morison                                Galen Armstrong                 Candace Batycki     
Peace Valley Env. Assc.                    Sierra Club BC                     Yellowstone to Yukon Cons. Initiative  

 

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How can you help stop Site C dam?

Wondering about what you can do to help stop Site C? Amnesty International has consolidated a number of actions, from letter and postcard writing to printing off a flood level sign and taking a picture of you and the sign with anything that can be used to symbolize history, culture, identity and subsistence, then sharing on Twitter and Instagram. Following is the link to the information provided below:
http://www.amnesty.ca/blog/how-can-you-stand-against-site-c

How can you stand up against Site C?

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2016 - 15:23

 

Join Amnesty International supporters around the world on International Human Rights Day for our global campaign Write for Rights, and protect Indigenous rights in the Peace River valley!

The proposed $8 billion plus Site C hydroelectric dam would flood more than 80 km of the river valley, stretching west from Fort St. John. The severe impact on Indigenous peoples is beyond dispute. A joint federal-province environmental impact assessment concluded that the dam would “severely undermine” use of the land, would make fishing unsafe for at least a generation, and would submerge burial grounds and other crucial cultural and historical sites.

Here are some ways you can stand with Indigenous peoples of the Peace River valley against the Site C dam:
 

1. Sign up for Write for Rights

Write a letter, change a life! This year the Peace River valley is being highlighted internationally by Amnesty International's annual Write for Rights event that takes place on or leading up to December 10th. Participants worldwide will be writing letters of solidarity to Indigenous peoples of the Peace River Valley, and calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to respect Indigenous rights by saying no to the Site C dam. Use our letter-writing case sheet for Site C to guide your writing. You can write on your own or at a local event – or host your own letter-writing party!

Sign up for Write for Rights today!
 

2. Join the global Twitter Storm to Stop Site C on December 6th

Write for Rights participants from all over the world are sending tweets to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on December 6th. Join us!

3. Send a solidarity message or photograph

Rising Waters photo action:

Dramatize the impact of the Site C dam, and build empathy for the Indigenous peoples of the Peace Valley, by asking the question, what would it be like if our own homes, historic sites, and cultural icons were threatened with destruction. Local residents have posted signs up and down the valley to show how much land will be lost if the dam is completed.

Download this PDF to create your “flood level sign” and take photos in front of appropriate landmarks such as museums, cultural centers, farm fields – anything that can be used to symbolize history, culture, identity and subsistence. Then share your pictures on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtags #WithThePeaceRiver and #NoSiteC and text such as:

  • Imagine your history and culture washed away. #NoSiteC #WithThePeaceRiver
  • Imagine your home threatened with destruction. #NoSiteC #WithThePeaceRiver
  • What if everything you loved and valued was about to be washed away. #NoSiteC #WithThePeaceRiver

Your solidarity message with then appear on our solidary page: amnesty.ca/withthepeaceriver.
 


Lisa showing the impact on her community if the flooding proposed for the Peace River Valley took place in the Ottawa River Valley


Caitlin displaying the Write for Rights letter that she wrote to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking him to respect Indigenous Rights

4. Give a Virtual Reality tour of the Peace River valley

Explore wrap-around panoramic photos and 360 videos which capture the view of standing on the shore by the Peace River. Find the images here

Hosting a Write for Rights event? Order a FREE Google Cardboard Virtual Reality Viewer by December 1!

5. Sign and Share our Online Action

Tell Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to stop ignoring the rights of Indigenous people and halt the Site C dam. TAKE ACTION NOW!

6. Send our 'Keep the Promise" postcards to PM Trudeau

Ask fellow supporters to send Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a postcard urging him to respect Indigenous rights and stop the Site C dam. Order your "Keep the Promise" postcards here

7. Buy a stake in the future of the Peace River valley

Help support the First Nations legal battle against the Site C dam by buying a yellow stake with your name on it. Your stake will be planted on the third generation boon farm that BC hydro wants to expropriate before Christmas in order to flood for the Site C Dam. Buy a stake here.

 

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Site C Roadshow and Premier Clark Heist Town Hall

 

Please join us for evenings of inspiration, solidarity and action as we work to protect the Peace Valley from Site C with speaking events throughout the province as well as a Town Hall event in Vancouver.

Opposition to Site C is riding a huge wave of momentum. In September, Treaty 8 First Nations travelled across Canada to the Federal Appeals hearings in Montreal. As a result, Liberal MP Robert Falcon Ouellette from Winnipeg broke the party line and publicly called out Prime Minister Trudeau on allowing Site C to violate Treaty 8.

In October, a UNESCO mission spent 10 days in the Peace Athabasca Delta investigating the threat posed by Site C to the Peace Athabasca Delta, a World Heritage Site. The feds now have to face International scrutiny and repercussions if the Site C desecration is allowed to go ahead.

Now is the time to take the wave even higher. The Great Site C Road Show 2.0 is touring the Kootenays and the Cariboo, and stopping on Quadra Island. Please join us and learn about Treaty 8 First Nations and Peace valley farmers’ strong stand for the Peace, and how we can support them and stop Site C.

The Great Site C Road Show 2.0 includes:

  • Julian Napoleon of Saulteau First Nation, who is doing some amazing work with the Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty on connecting farmland issues and indigenous food systems. 
  • Sierra Club BC’s Ana Simeon and Galen Armstrong will bring us all up to speed with new opportunities to leverage international scrutiny of Site C to put pressure on the federal government.
  • Investigative reporter Ben Parfitt will unravel the finances and show the threat Site C poses to low- and middle-income families and jobs in mill towns through increases in BC Hydro rates.

October 26 – Argenta: https://www.facebook.com/events/1710127222642901/

October 27 – Kaslo: https://www.facebook.com/events/1070673246378776/

October 28 – Nelson: https://www.facebook.com/events/1773754909557102/

October 29 – Revelstoke: https://www.facebook.com/events/1593867990914943/

November 4 – Quadra Island: https://www.facebook.com/events/342089419475343/

November 15 – Quesnel: https://www.facebook.com/events/1817819258465155/

November 16 – Williams Lake: https://www.facebook.com/events/1800923640128103/

 

Premier Clark’s $9 Billion Heist:  A Site C Megadam Town Hall

There's a heist happening in the province, a 9 billion dollar heist, and it's going on right under our noses! Even worse, the head bandit in charge of this whole scam was put in charge by tax payers. Christy Clark is taking us all for a ride, and she's making a killing for her rich friends along the way. It's up to all of us to stop her.

Join the Wilderness Committee and the Council of Canadians as we welcome guests Grand Chief Stewart Philip with the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, Emma Gilchrist with DeSmog Blog, Ben Parfitt with the Canadian Centre for Policiy Alternatives, and Morag Keegan-Henry of Fight C for an evening of myth busting and truth telling. These folks will be cutting to the chase, and you'll leave with some knowledge and tools to help put an end to this boondoggle.

What: Site C Town Hall and Ally Mustering

When: Wednesday October 26th from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. - Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Where: The Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre - Right by the Yaletown Canada Line Station.

Who: You and as many good people as you can round up to fight this mega-mistake with us!

Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1779052065698166/?active_tab=about

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Keeping the Peace: The Site C Dam May Become B.C.’s Most Costly Environmental Battle

By Dustin Perry & Feet Banks    Photos: Garth Lenz

Pitting farmers and food security against industry jobs, heritage against so-called clean energy, the
proposed Site C dam may become British Columbia’s most costly environmental battle.

As day breaks and fog peels from the waters of northeastern British Columbia’s Peace River, Ken and Arleen Boon look out over their third-generation farm and wonder how long its productive soils will continue to feed them. With construction already surrounding them, BC Hydro’s Site C hydroelectric dam jeopardizes not only their farm, but some 83 kilometres of this agriculturally important valley. It isn’t the first time the Boons’ land has been threatened: thirty years ago, Arlene’s grandfather chased BC Hydro off with a shotgun in
hand, firmly refusing to sell. Now it’s Groundhog Day: Hydro again wants the Boons out, and they again refuse to leave.

Humans are a pretty diverse and opinionated species, so it’s naïve to expect everyone to agree on an issue as large as an $8.8 billion dam. Proponents shout about jobs in the construction and energy sectors, inflating their case with calls for future energy security and new heavy industry; detractors like the Boons point not only to loss of agricultural land, but indigenous rights, widespread environmental damage, degradation of fish and wildlife habitat, dubious exemptions from regulations, and, perhaps most bafflingly, a demonstrable
lack of need for the project. But as opinions clash and lawsuits fly on the largest megaproject in British Columbia’s long and checkered history of land-changing megaprojects, there’s at least one thing both sides have in common—we’ve all gotta eat…

“Genocide, the physical extinction of a people, is universally condemned, but ethnocide, the destruction of people’s way of life, is not only not condemned, it’s universally celebrated as part of a development strategy.” —Canadian anthropologist, author and explorer, Wade Davis

Read full article, including beautiful photos of the valley and the people who live in it here: http://www.mountainlifemedia.ca/2016/09/keeping-peace-site-c-dam-may-become-b-c-s-costly-environmental-battle/

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Write LeBlanc & tell him not to issue permits to allow construction to continue on Site C!

 

Photo:  Andrea Morison

Dear Friends of the Peace,

First of all, thank you so much to all of you who have sent letters and made phone calls and/or visits to your MP’s to make sure they are aware of Site C dam and the many issues of concern about it.  We are thrilled with your fantastic support on this action!

The recent and unexpected resignation of the federal minister of fisheries and oceans, Hunter Tootoo has provided us with the perfect opportunity to make sure we inform interim minister, Dominic LeBlanc about Site C.

Let’s capitalize on this opportunity at the federal level!

Now’s the perfect time to take advantage of this unexpected turn of events and ensure that Dominic LeBlanc understands why his department should not issue any further permits required for construction of Site C! 

There are a number of outstanding federal permits required from the federal Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans required for construction to continue. 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.

Send your email to dominic.leblanc@parl.gc.ca and tell him about the impacts and lack of need for this project.  (Feel free to reference our backgrounder here.)  Let’s make sure that he doesn’t approve any more permits and understands that a project with immitigable and irreparable impacts of this magnitude deserves more scrutiny by the new Liberal government.  It is NOT acceptable to keep shrugging all the responsibility onto the previous Conservative government and/or British Columbia!

More campaign updates:

11th Annual Paddle for the Peace:  You’re invited!  Join us and hundreds, if not thousands of others on the Peace River this summer, Saturday, July 9th.  This is an amazing and unique opportunity to experience the ‘Mighty Peace’ firsthand with hundreds of allies.  More information can be found on the Paddle website:  www.PaddleforthePeace.ca or on the Facebook event page here.

Need a ride or looking to share watercraft at the Paddle?  Hook up with others on the Paddle Ride Share Facebook page here or contact sitecevents@gmail.com to coordinate arrangements.

Site C – Keep the Peace Event in Courtenay:  Thursday, June 9th, 7 p.m.  If you eat, you need to care about protecting BC’s precious agricultural land from Site C!  Join Sierra Club’s Ana Simeon and Ben Parfitt, award winning investigative journalist and resource policy analyst for an evening of inspiration and education on Site C dam.  Event hosted by Sierra Club BC, Kairos and Comox United Church Outreach Committee.  Presentation will be held at Comox United Church, 250 Beach Dr. Comox.  Facebook event page here.

Learn more about Site C at the grand finale of the Wild Salmon Caravan in Vancouver:  Saturday, June 11th hosted by First Nations working together to preserve indigenous food sovereignty.  Facebook event page here.

As you can see, our campaign is bigger and stronger every day!  Thank you so much for all you are doing to keep the campaign alive and together we will Keep the Peace!

  For the Peace,

                                            

Andrea Morison                               Ana Simeon                        Candace Baytcki    
Peace Valley Env. Assc.                    Sierra Club BC                     Yellowstone to Yukon Cons. Initiative  

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May 14, 2016 Site C Campaign Update

SITE C CAMPAIGN UPDATE
May 14, 2016

Site C is an environmental and economic disaster by Chief Lynette Tsakoza and Chief Roland Wilson
"While this government runs roughshod over our treaty rights, it has also shown a disdain for independent oversight, the integrity of the environmental assessment process and the citizens of British Columbia."
http://vancouversun.com/opinion/opinion-site-c-is-an-environmental-and-economic-disaster


Mobilize to Educate Members of Parliament
The time is now to encourage individual letters, phone calls and meeting requests to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party or portfolio.


Parliamentary Petition
Please sign and let others know about a petition to the House of Commons calling for a halt to federal permits for Site C. Unlike other online actions, this is an official Parliamentary petition and will require the government to issue a formal reply.
https://petitions.parl.gc.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-324


Site C Webinar
A video recording of the recent webinar is now online, featuring Helen Knott, Rob Botterall and Andrea Morison
https://vimeo.com/164171722


Let’s Get to 50!
More than 30 organizations have signed onto our joint statement on Site C: http://www.amnesty.ca/news/theres-nothing-clean-about-site-c-dam. It would be great to get to at least 50 signatories so we can do another media and advocacy push. If you are aware of other organizations who might sign on, please encourage them to do so.

11th Annual Paddle for the Peace
We hope to see as many allies and supporters as possible at the annual celebration of the Peace River, Saturday, July 9th, 2016, organized by the West Moberly First Nations and Peace Valley Environment Association. See www.PaddleforthePeace.ca

Site C in the News

Opponents of the project say the new permits, which are before Fisheries Minister Hunter Tootoo, will be a critical test of the government's promised new relationship with Aboriginal people.  http://www.alaskahighwaynews.ca/regional-news/site-c/new-fisheries-permits-will-force-trudeau-government-s-hand-on-site-c-1.2253317#sthash.CXhWeYCO.dpuf
 
The nations added that the federal government wants to "wrap up consultation" on the project, "without even responding" to their request for a moratorium on permits until a final resolution of their court challenges is completed. 


Online actions:

* New action centre at http://realsitechearings.org provides MP contact information and talking points — we’ll send your letter for you too.

* Sierra Club BC’s letter-writing action to the federal government: http://sierraclub.bc.ca/take-action-centre/site-c-first-nations/

* Amnesty’s online petition to the federal and provincial governments now has over 41,000 signatures: http://bit.ly/1Uwwbnz


Downloadable/shareable brochure
Produced by the Peace Valley Environment Association. Please circulate! https://keepingthepeace.files.wordpress.com/2016/04/mar-16-site-c-campaign-brochure-for-individuals.pdf

Donate to the court cases:
Donations to support the West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations in their legal challenge to the Site C dam can be made through RAVEN Trust and will be matched: http://raventrust.com/join-the-circle-no-site-c/

Joint NGO letter to Prime Minister Trudeau:
New organizations are most welcome to endorse: http://www.amnesty.ca/news/theres-nothing-clean-about-site-c-dam
Contact Craig Benjamin at Amnesty International cbenjamin@amnesty.ca


Follow the campaign:
Facebook  Twitter   Website

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Visit your MP and tell them the feds CAN STOP Site C!

Photo:  Tristan Brand

Dear Friends of the Peace,

As you are aware, the clearing of old growth forest and eagles’ nests has begun as preliminary construction has commenced on  Site C dam in the Peace River Valley. So far, the devastation extends about 5 km upstream, but the intention is to clear a total of 83 km of the river valley. We need you to help STOP this massive and completely unnecessary action by BC Hydro immediately!

To date we have encouraged you to take action by writing letters, signing petitions, making donations and attending events and we have been thrilled with your support!

At this point, we need people like you, who cannot stand to see this project proceed, to visit your MP in person and ensure they and understand what the federal government can do to stop it right now!

There are a number of outstanding federal permits for this work. 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.

It has come to our attention that many MPs throughout Canada are not familiar with Site C dam, one of the largest and most expensive infrastructure projects in the country.  Further, they have no idea that the present federal government has the power and the obligation to put a stop to it.

This is where YOU come in! The House will not be sitting May 23rd -27th , and MPs will be in their constituencies. This is the perfect opportunity for you to call your local constituency office and make an appointment to meet with your MP in person to ensure that they are fully informed about Site C and what can be done to stop it. We’ve got some tips for meeting your MP below and if you  would like direct support, email candace@y2y.net.

To find your MP and their contact information, click here.  Be sure to use the phone number of their constituency office, rather than their parliamentary office, which shows up first.

It’s important to call now, so that you can be fit into their schedule while they are at home on a break from Parliament.

It doesn’t matter which party your MP is affiliated with:  Liberals need to know what they can do directly and those representing other parties need to know so they can put pressure on the Liberals and keep it a priority issue in the House.

Tips for meeting with your MP

  • Call and make your meeting appointment ASAP to be sure you get in while they are in their constituency office.
    • Find out how much time your MP will have for the meeting.
  • Find out a bit about your MP before visiting:  Do they hold a position in government or opposition? What did they do before they were an MP? What personal interests do they have and can you find a personal connection with them?

  • Don’t worry about being an expert on the subject; remember, MPs need to be aware of a wide range of issues. Often you will know more about a specific issue than they do.

  • Make notes in advance about key points you want to share. 

    • Reference our backgrounder for assistance

      • For more detailed information on the First Nations’ argument, see the backgrounder from Amnesty International here or the recent letter from two area chiefs in the Vancouver Sun here.

  • Ensure your arguments are succinct and clear and that you have prioritized  them to ensure they can be covered within the time allotted for your meeting.

    • Think about counter arguments your MP might have and prepare your responses in advance.
      • Two in particular are the statements that they cannot comment because the issue is `before the courts` and `the decision has already been made`. These can be counter argued by stating that federal permits from the fisheries and transport ministries must be obtained for the project to proceed, so the feds could withhold issuance of them thus allowing more time for consideration of outstanding issues.
  • Be polite and courteous as you cannot gain support if you are not.
  • Keep the meeting on track as they might try to change the subject to avoid issues they don’t want to deal with.
  • Wrap up the meeting by reiterating your key points, ensuring you are clear on any follow up information they would like and ensuring that they are clear on the action you would like them to take.
  • Be sure to leave them with document, summarizing your key points and your ask.  We have prepared one for you here if you’d like to use it.
  • Wherever possible, stay in touch with your MP about the issue and be sure to invite them to campaign related events.
  • Again, feel free to email candace@y2y.net if you would like direct support.
  • Finally, please let us know that you have taken this action by emailing candace@y2y.net.

Thank you for taking the time to help stop Canada’s most destructive and unnecessary project!

For the Peace,

                                            

Andrea Morison                                Ana Simeon                        Candace Baytcki    
Peace Valley Env. Assc.                    Sierra Club BC                     Yellowstone to Yukon Cons. Initiative   

 

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Apr 26 2016 Campaign Update

SITE C CAMPAIGN UPDATE

April 26, 2016

 Mobilize to Educate Members of Parliament

The time is now to encourage individual letters, phone calls and meeting requests to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party or portfolio. Several organizations are already doing this and more is needed. Talking points and a new action centre can be found at RealSiteCHearings.org. More links below.

Let’s Get to 50!

Over 30 organizations have signed onto our joint statement on Site C. It would be great to get to 50 signatories so we can do another media and advocacy push. If you are aware of other organizations who might sign on, please encourage them to do so.

11th Annual Paddle for the Peace

We hope to see as many allies and supporters as possible at the annual celebration of the Peace River, Saturday, July 9th, 2016, organized by the West Moberly First Nations and Peace Valley Environment Association. See www.PaddleforthePeace.ca

Site C in the News

Solidarity time: "Multilateral talks are ongoing between the B.C. and Alberta governments centring on a deal that would see one help facilitate the construction of an oil pipeline to the West Coast in exchange for a long-term contract to buy electricity.” http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/alberta-bc-discuss-deal-to-swap-pipeline-for-electricity/article29702997/?click=sf_globefb

For example: ”… any horse-trading deal to sell Alberta electricity from the Site C dam to power the oilsands industry in exchange for pipeline access to B.C.’s coast would expose both provinces’ claims to climate leadership for what they are: lies. Site C’s claims to be environmentally friendly are bogus in the first place."

To then make Site C a bargaining chip in backroom deals to force pipelines on an unwilling province would be an obscenity. The same goes for Site C powering B.C.’s fracked-gas industry.

 

And as always:

Online actions:

Downloadable/shareable brochure: Produced by the Peace Valley Environment Association. Please circulate! https://keepingthepeace.files.wordpress.com/2016/04/mar-16-site-c-campaign-brochure-for-individuals.pdf

Donate to the court cases: Donations to support the West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations in their legal challenge to the Site C dam can be made through RAVEN Trust and will be matched: http://raventrust.com/join-the-circle-no-site-c/

Joint NGO letter to Prime Minister Trudeau: New organizations are most welcome to endorse: http://www.amnesty.ca/news/theres-nothing-clean-about-site-c-dam. Contact Craig Benjamin at Amnesty International cbenjamin@amnesty.ca 

Follow the campaign:

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Site C Campaign Update April 13, 2016

Federal government replies to joint letter from NGOs – but says nothing

Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna has replied to the February joint letter from Canadian NGOs. The Minister’s letter states that “we are determined to work with Canada’s Indigenous peoples to achieve mutually beneficial results for all Canadians and generations to come” and that the Minister has “heard [the Treaty 8 Chiefs] suggestions on how we can approach this new era of cooperation.” However, there is no acknowledgement of the call to rescind federal permits for Site C and there is no commitment to help protect Indigenous rights from the harm that the project will cause.

Federal government continues to defend Site C approval in court

The federal government has filed its written response to the First Nations legal challenge to the Site C dam, which is now at the Federal Court of Appeal. Like the Harper government before it, the Trudeau government asserts that the onus is on First Nations to prove their Treaty rights are threatened – and that doing so would require an entirely different, more extensive, and much more costly process than either the current judicial review or the environmental assessment.

New resource: Why the Site C dam must be stopped and how you can help

The Peace Valley Environment Association has produced a short, powerful brochure setting out key arguments against the Site C dam and demonstrating the breadth of growing opposition. A PDF of the brochure is available online. Please feel encouraged to download, print and help circulate.

https://keepingthepeace.files.wordpress.com/2016/04/mar-16-site-c-campaign-brochure-for-individuals.pdf

Upcoming events! Please promote.

There are four public events next week in the Okanagan and Kootenays, featuring Julian Napoleon of the Saulteau First Nation and Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty and Ana Simeon of Sierra Club

Vernon – April 18, 7 pm
The Schubert Centre, 3505 30th Avenue
www.facebook.com/events/1267432349942286/

Kelowna – April 19, 7 pm
Okanagan Mission Community Hall, 4409 Lakeshore Rd
www.facebook.com/events/1697788253805815/

Kamloops – April 20, 7 pm
Thompson Rivers University – Room IB 1015, 900 McGill Rd
www.facebook.com/events/1253087771387928/

Golden – April 21, 7 pm
St. Andrew’s United Church & Centre for Peace, #901- 11th Ave S.
www.facebook.com/events/576389025875128/

11th Annual Paddle for the Peace

We hope to see as many allies and supporters as possible at the annual celebration of the Peace River, Saturday, July 9th, 2016, organized by the West Moberly First Nations and Peace Valley Environment Association. See www.PaddleforthePeace.ca

Site C in the news

The BC Environmental Assessment Office has ordered BC Hydro to correct its failure to properly control sediment and runoff into the Peace River from construction of the Site C dam.  The Peace Valley Landowners Association has been raising concerns about sediment and other impacts of construction since October of last year.
http://www.alaskahighwaynews.ca/regional-news/site-c/site-c-breaches-environmental-conditions-failed-to-control-sediment-in-river-1.2227512

“If this is not a test of free, prior and informed consent, then nothing is.” Chief Roland Willson responds to BC Hydro’s efforts to keep Amnesty International and its arguments about international human rights protections out of the judicial review of the federal government’s decision on Site C. http://www.ammsa.com/publications/windspeaker/bc-hydro-argues-against-applying-undrip-site-c-dam-project

And as always:

Online actions:

·       Sierra Club BC’s letter-writing action to the federal government: http://sierraclub.bc.ca/take-action-centre/site-c-first-nations/

·       Amnesty’s online petition to the federal and provincial governments now has almost 40,000 signatures: http://bit.ly/1Uwwbnz

Also take action online at:

·       http://RealSiteCHearings.org

·       http://SaveBCfromSiteC.ca

Donate to the court cases:

Donations to support the West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations in their legal challenge to the Site C dam can be made through RAVEN Trust and will be matched:
http://raventrust.com/join-the-circle-no-site-c/

Joint NGO letter to Prime Minister Trudeau:

New organizations are most welcome to endorse: http://www.amnesty.ca/news/theres-nothing-clean-about-site-c-dam
Contact Craig Benjamin at Amnesty International cbenjamin@amnesty.ca

Follow the campaign:

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Site C Campaign Update #5 (April 4)

SITE C CAMPAIGN UPDATE
April 4, 2016
 
Upcoming Event: Please Promote!
April 6, Royal BC Museum, noon
Biologists and other experts from BC take on a bio blitz to document the flora and fauna of the Peace River region. Presented by Sarah Cox and RBCM Natural History Curatorial and Collections Staff.
http://royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/events/live-lunch-peace-river-valley-biodiversity-and-conservation-initiatives/
 
IN THE NEWS
 
Peace Valley Landowners in Court Today and Tomorrow
"A group of landowners is back in court to appeal the Site C dam. The group will argue the province should not have given the green light for the $8.8 billion hydroelectric project.” http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/site-c-landowners-challenge-appeal-1.3519495 Check out the audio clip too!
 

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Site C Campaign Update #4 (March 28)

SITE C CAMPAIGN UPDATE
March 28, 2016
 
Event tomorrow! Please promote.

Site C – Keep the Peace! March 29 at First Nations’ House of Learning at University of British Columbia (UBC), 7 pm. With Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, the father-son team Art and Julian Napoleon of Saulteau First Nations, agrologist Wendy Holm, Susan Smitten from Raven Trust and Ana Simeon from Sierra Club BC. Sponsored by the UBC First Nations’ House of Learning, Indigenous Research Partnerships, Sierra Club BC and the Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty. https://www.facebook.com/events/164170283966666/



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Site C Campaign Update #3

SITE C CAMPAIGN UPDATE

March 17, 2016

Thanks to the many groups helping to organize (Wilderness Committee – KAIROS – Sierra Club BC – Raven) 150+ people came out on Saturday to show the federal Liberal party just how important action on Site C is to us! We read out a message from Rocky Mountain Fort campers, and engaged the Liberal candidates in conversation as they streamed past.

Here’s the Times Colonist take on it: The protesters — which included environmental, activist and First Nations groups — feel their concerns are being ignored by the province. - See more at: http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/protesters-target-federal-liberal-meeting-held-in-victoria-1.2196824#sthash.o6jbHBg8.dpuf

 

“It’s going to put Treaty 8’s rights underwater, basically drowning all of the land they need for hunting, fishing, gathering,” says Susan Smitten, the executive director Raven. “On top of that, it’s going to leave us with a debt of billions of dollars.”

http://www.cheknews.ca/protesters-greet-federal-liberal-party-convention-in-victoria-151905/

 

During the Convention, The Globe and Mail asked Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould what about it. Her response was carefully noncommittal – now is the time to focus on federal actions! http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/justice-minister-sees-no-conflict-between-her-past-experiences-and-bc-site-c-dam-project/article292019

Upcoming Events

Site C – Keep the Peace! March 29 at First Nations’ House of Learning at UBC, 7 pm. With Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, the father-son team Art and Julian Napoleon of Saulteau First Nations, agrologist Wendy Holm, Susan Smitten from Raven Trust and Ana Simeon from Sierra Club BC. Sponsored by the UBC First Nations’ House of Learning, Indigenous Research Partnerships, Sierra Club BC and the Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty. https://www.facebook.com/events/164170283966666/

 

Online actions

·       Sierra Club BC’s letter-writing action to the federal government: http://sierraclub.bc.ca/take-action-centre/site-c-first-nations/

·       Amnesty’s online petition to the federal and provincial governments now has more than 33,500 signatures: http://bit.ly/1Uwwbnz

Also take action online at:

·       http://realsitechearings.org

·       http://savebcfromsitec.ca

 

Fundraising

Donations to support the West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations in their legal challenge to the Site C dam can be made through RAVEN Trust and will be matched:
http://raventrust.com/join-the-circle-no-site-c/

Joint NGO letter to Prime Minister Trudeau

A reminder that we want to continue to add organizational endorsement to our open letter from February:
http://www.amnesty.ca/news/theres-nothing-clean-about-site-c-dam

 

Follow the campaign:

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Liberals assailed on aboriginal rights from both sides

OTTAWA — The Liberal campaign promise to deal with aboriginal rights and title issues on a “nation to nation” basis got a rough ride in the House of Commons Wednesday.

The New Democratic Party said Justin Trudeau’s Liberals aren’t going far enough with that policy and called on the Liberal government Wednesday to reject BC Hydro’s Site C plans over First Nations opposition to the $8.8 billion project.

“This is a litmus test of the prime minister’s solemn commitment,” said Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Sheila Malcolmson.

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No Site C Campaign Update #2 Mar 7 2016

As you all know - there are an incredible number of initiatives underway to protect the Peace River Valley from Site C dam right now. Here's a copy of our most recent weekly update with the highlights:
 
http://theecoreport.com/site-c-campaign-update-for-march-8/
 
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Canada must implement UN recommendations to end violations of economic, social, and cultural rights

The United Nations Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights issued its Concluding Observations today following its review of Canada’s compliance with the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights last month.  It is the Committee’s first review of Canada since 2006 and the first review of Canada by any UN human rights body under Prime Minister Trudeau’s government. 

The Committee has forcefully rejected the position advanced by the government on numerous occasions over many years that economic, social and cultural (ESC) rights are of a different nature and not susceptible to the same level of judicial enforcement as civil and political rights.

“Concrete action is now needed to demonstrate the substance behind Canada’s new tone. A tremendous first step would be to halt construction of the Site C Dam in British Columbia, which is proceeding in the absence of the consent of affected First Nations communities," Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada.

Read full synthesis of UN report here:
http://www.amnesty.ca/…/canada-must-implement-un-recommenda…

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Suzuki writes to BC Hydro CEO re Site C Dam

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

Dear Jessica,

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.

Yours sincerely,

David Suzuki

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BC’s Supreme Court Gave BC Hydro An Injunction

The province’s  Supreme Court granted B.C. Hydro an injunction to remove local farmers and First Nations from 216 hectares they wish to clearcut at Site C. The protestors have been occupying Rocky Mountain Fort Camp, in shifts, since December. They have until midnight to leave.

Read full article here.

 

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Site C protesters end camp blockade

Site C protesters who've been stalling dam construction in northern B.C. say they're packing up and ending their two-month land occupation so they won't be arrested.

Reached this afternoon at their remote Rocky Mountain Fort protest camp, Site C opponents told CBC News they are obeying Monday's B.C. Supreme Court order requiring them to leave the area and allow site-clearing work by BC Hydro contractors to proceed, southwest of Fort St John.

"At this time, none of us are going to be arrested, because we are law abiding citizens," said local farmer Arlene Boon, who has been camping in the snow at the protest site for 32 days. 

Read full article here.

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Site C protestors end their blockade

Local farmer says protesters are crying and emotional but packing up "as law abiding citizens"

Site C protesters who've been stalling dam construction in northern B.C. say they're packing up and ending their two-month land occupation so they won't be arrested.

Reached this afternoon at their remote Rocky Mountain Fort protest camp, Site C opponents told CBC News they are obeying Monday's B.C. Supreme Court order requiring them to leave the area and allow site-clearing work by BC Hydro contractors to proceed, southwest of Fort St John.

Read full article here

 

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Opinion: Canada can and should delay Site C

By Helen Knott, Prophet River First Nation and great-great-granddaughter of Chief Bigfoot, the last to sign Treaty 8 in 1911.

February 29, 2016

"Dealing honourably with First Nations must be more than fashion statements. For Treaty 8 people and local landowners who call the Peace River Valley their home, the time has come for our elected leaders to do the right thing and properly consider the impacts that major projects will have on First Nation lands. And to do so before our lands are lost forever."

Read full article here.

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BC Hydro granted injunction against Site C protesters

The B.C. Supreme Court has granted BC Hydro an injunction to remove protesters from its Site C dam project near Fort St. John, B.C., meaning opponents camped since December will have to clear out by midnight.

Justice Bruce Butler ruled that BC Hydro has proven the protest camp on the south bank of the Peace River was causing irreparable harm, and costing the utility millions of dollars in delays.

The camp is blocking an area that is set to be used as a dumping site for waste rock.

Read full article here.

And no, we're not giving up! We're still working hard behind the scenes to increase national and international pressure on the feds to stop this dam!

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Defendants’ response to BC Hydro Injuction on Rocky Mountain Fort Camp

Thought many of you would be interested in the defendants’ response to the BC Hydro injunction on the Rocky Mountain Fort Camp. Last day in court today.
http://www.scribd.com/…/Defendant-response-to-BC-Hydro-Site…

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Next Site C Event - March 9, 2016

Where: First Metropolitan United Church, 932 Balmoral Rd., Victoria
When: Wednesday, March 97:00pm


The Peace Valley is an amazing food oasis with some of the best farmland in B.C. and abundant traditional harvests for First Nations. This is the land that the B.C. government wants to destroy for the LNG-enabling Site C dam. A strong coalition of First Nations, farmers and environmental groups is presenting a powerful challenge to this colonial-era project. Hear from Julian Napoleon of Saulteau First Nations, Ana Simeon of Sierra Club BC, Susan Smitten of Raven Trust, and Steve Gray of KAIROS BC-Yukon.

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29 Organizations sign letter to Prime Minster Trudeau re Site C

On February 11, 2016, 29 organizations including groups such as Oxfam Canada, Greenpeace Canada and Amnesty International sent an open letter to Prime Minister Trudeau urging him to halt Site C dam:

Our organizations are profoundly concerned that construction of the Site C dam is being pushed ahead despite the conclusion of a joint federal-provincial environmental assessment that it would severely and permanently undermine Indigenous peoples’ use of the land; harm rare plants and other biodiversity; make fishing unsafe for at least a generation; and submerge burial grounds and other crucial cultural and historical sites.

Read the full letter here.

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Ever Wondered Why Site C Rhymes With LNG?

from DeSmog Canada

By Ben Parfitt, Feb 4, 2016

This is an excellent article that provides a detailed account of and questions the need for BC taxpayers to supply transmission lines via BC Hydro to provide power to the gas industry, who to date, have supplied their own power needs with gas.  So why the switch?  How does that benefit the world?  We all share the same atmosphere. We pay and industry sells more gas for their own profit.

"Goodings, like others who have called on the government to subject the Site C project to B.C. Utilities Commission review, believes it’s in our collective interest to know if we are about to spend billions of dollars on a new dam and hydro lines that, at the end of the day, may benefit the public very little while benefitting one industry very much."


"there is actually no net benefit to the earth’s overheating atmosphere in making the gas industry here at home somewhat cleaner. While the gas industry’s greenhouse gas emissions in B.C. may be less bad than they would otherwise be, all of the gas saved through electrifying gas company field operations is simply sent down pipelines to the financial benefit of the sellers. The gas is then burned somewhere else at a collective loss to the planet."

Read full article here.

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There's nothing clean about the Site C dam

February 11, 2016

Open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau:
Canadian organizations condemn Peace River hydroelectric mega-project for human rights violations

Dear Prime Minister,

Our organizations are profoundly concerned that construction of the Site C dam is being pushed ahead despite the conclusion of a joint federal-provincial environmental assessment that it would severely and permanently undermine Indigenous peoples’ use of the land; harm rare plants and other biodiversity; make fishing unsafe for at least a generation; and submerge burial grounds and other crucial cultural and historical sites.

Read full letter and list of 29 provincial, national and international supporting organizations including Oxfam, Greenpeace, Amnesty International and more here.

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Opinion: Site C: Too risky to rely on one river system for B.C.’s hydro needs

By Ben Parfitt, Special to The Vancouver Sun January 28, 2016

In the face of a prolonged drought, water levels at Lake Mead, the giant reservoir that straddles the Nevada and Arizona borders, are lower than at any point since the Hoover Dam was built in the 1930s.

For residents in California, Nevada, Arizona and northern Mexico, a crisis looms. What alternative drinking water sources are there for millions of people? How many farms may fail? What will replace the “reliable” hydroelectric power that the Hoover and other dams once produced?

You might not expect it, but even here in rainy B.C., we may soon face similar questions.

As BC Hydro continues preparations for Site C — a third major dam on the Peace River and the single-most-expensive megaproject in the province’s history — there are cautionary lessons for us in events south of the border.

Read rest of article here.

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Treaty 8 Stewards of the Land set out conditions to protect lands

January 18, 2016

Peaceful camp occupancy continues at Site C dam construction site

ROCKY MOUNTAIN FORT CAMP, BC, Treaty 8 Territory, Jan. 18, 2016 /CNW/ - First Nation members today called on the Canadian and British Columbian governments to embrace a three-point plan that will protect lands at imminent threat of destruction as preparatory work continues to build the Site C dam.

"As Treaty 8 Stewards of the Land, we have been camped out at Rocky Mountain Fort for many days in accordance with our belief that the Site C dam project represents a direct, and unnecessary threat to the traditional lands of Treaty 8 peoples," said Yvonne Tupper. "We call on Prime Minister Trudeau and Premier Christy Clark to work with us to ensure that these lands are protected by temporarily suspending approvals to log forests, build roads, and clear further lands in preparation for dam construction."

The three-point plan calls for:

  • A temporary suspension of all construction and land-clearing operations related to the Site C dam project until court challenges initiated by First Nations and local landowners who are opposed to the project are finally determined.
  • The federal government to temporarily suspend all federal Site C dam project approvals and the issuance of any future permits pending an expedited, open and transparent federal review of the infringement of Constitutionally protected Treaty 8 rights by the Site C dam.
  • The provincial government to temporarily suspend all construction work at the Site C dam site pending an independent review by the BC Utilities Commission of the Site C dam project, with full procedural safeguards, as recommended by the federal/provincial Joint Review Panel and many others.

Read remainder of press release here.

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Hydrogeologist cites serious concerns re impacts of Site C to groundwater

Jan 12, 2016: First Nations Present Scientific Evidence on Impacts to Groundwater From Site C Dam

West Moberly, Prophet River, and Saulteau First Nations say BC Hydro has left gaps in groundwater data at dam site

/EINPresswire.com/ -- FORT ST. JOHN, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwired) -- 01/12/16 -- West Moberly First Nations, Prophet River First Nation, and Saulteau First Nations have provided new scientific evidence on the potential impact to groundwater from the proposed Site C dam. The First Nations retained an expert in hydrogeology, Dr. Gilles Wendling, to conduct a technical evaluation of groundwater information provided by BC Hydro.

"My research," Dr. Wendling stated, "uncovered significant data gaps in the characterization of groundwater around the dam site."

Read full news article by clicking on title link above.

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David Suzuki, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip to visit Site C dam protesters

David Suzuki, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip to visit Site C dam protesters

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/david-suzuki-grand-chief-stewart-phillip-to-visit-site-c-dam-protesters/article28121575/

David Suzuki and Grand Chief Stewart Phillip are flying in to a remote area in British Columbia’s Peace River Valley to offer support to a small group protesting construction of the Site C dam.

Mr. Suzuki, a globally recognized broadcaster and environmentalist, and Mr. Phillip, one of the province’s most influential native leaders, are scheduled to drop in by helicopter Tuesday to visit a small group of protesters who have been camped out in minus-20 degree weather for weeks.

Their visit is intended to raise the profile of the protest, which is expected to intensify in the months ahead as BC Hydro increases its construction activity.

Until now only about a dozen protesters have been camped out in the valley, at the site of a historic fur-trading post known as Rocky Mountain Fort, and another 30 people have shown up with placards along construction access roads.

Three people were arrested last week after blocking truck traffic on the roads, but so far there have been no arrests at the Rocky Mountain Fort camp, which is located in the bush several kilometres from the nearest road.

Timber in the area needs to be cleared before spring if Site C construction is to stay on schedule.

The dam is being protested by Treaty 8 First Nations, who are arguing in court that it violates their treaty rights; by local ranchers and farmers who say the project will drown valuable agricultural land; and by environmentalists who say the Peace River Valley provides vital habitat for fish and wildlife. The B.C. government endorses the dam, saying it is necessary to meet the province’s future power needs.

Mr. Phillip and Mr. Suzuki were in transit Monday and could not be reached for immediate comment, but both are outspoken critics of the $9-billion project.

Mr. Suzuki has said the dam will cause “alarming economic, social and environmental problems.”

In a recent statement, Mr. Phillip said BC Hydro should halt the project until the First Nation court challenge is heard.

“We are absolutely outraged that BC Hydro is working at the proposed dam site when critical court proceedings are in motion and a [legal] decision on Site C proceeding has yet to be determined,” he stated.

Mr. Phillip also said the recent arrests have made the situation more tense.

“We are deeply concerned that BC Hydro’s actions are increasing tensions on the ground,” said Mr. Phillip, who in November was arrested on Burnaby Mountain at a protest against the proposed Kinder Morgan oil pipeline expansion.

It is not expected that Mr. Suzuki or Mr. Phillip will put themselves in a position to be arrested Tuesday, but a spokesman for the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs said “they will be on the line” and anything could happen.

RCMP Corporal Dave Tyreman said the arrests last week occurred after protesters on an access road (not at the the Rocky Mountain Fort camp) left the roadside to block traffic.

Cpl. Tyreman said the RCMP are watching the situation but respect the rights of citizens to protest.

“It’s up to us to monitor [the situation] for the coming months,” he said. “We stand by. We are there to keep the peace and [we] encourage any democratic and lawful protests. And I repeat the words lawful protests.”

Arthur Hadland, a former Peace River Regional District director who was among those arrested last week, said he acted out of frustration.

“It was a sad little experience,” he said of being arrested after stepping into the road to block construction traffic. “I’ve tried all the letter writing and reasoning with politicians to no avail. I thought the only way we could get a little attention was to walk into the thoroughfare.”

Mr. Hadland, who was arrested after signing a bond promising to keep the peace, said he hoped his arrest would draw public attention to the controversial project, which he says will damage the environment, drive BC Hydro deeper into debt and force higher power rates provincially.

BC Hydro was not immediately able to provide a spokesman to take questions on the Site C protests.

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What is the future of food sustainability in the Peace?

What is the future of food sustainability in the Peace?
By NorthEast News on January 11, 2016
http://www.northeastnews.ca/what-is-the-future-of-food-sus…/

Letters to the EditorThis past month, BC supermarkets saw prices of five dollars for broccoli and seven dollars for cauliflower and asparagus. Those prices are a part of a 3% rise, in the past month and 15% rise over the year. Expect to pay many times more for these items over the next decades, that is, if you can get them.

We import 67% of our market garden produce from at least 3000 km distance. Tomatoes, broccoli cucumbers and corn can be grown on only a fraction of BC’s 5% agricultural land base. We need to preserve what we have. The Frazer valley and the Peace valley are BC’s two major areas with the potential to produce commercial market garden food. The Okanogan does not have the land base or soil to support large market gardens.

Most crops grown in the Peace valley are hay or grains. Farmers will not take on the startup costs of market gardens as long as the threat of Site C dam exists. If Site C is built, it will eliminate forever, 7,500 acres of class 1&2 farmland (near 20% of the best land in BC). All of the class 1-3 soil in the Peace valley would be flooded, leaving a dead valley, forever.

Unlike our upper bench lands, which only produce grains, the Peace valley has an east-west orientation, deep, heat-retaining bottomland, increasing frost-free days, long summer light and access to water, making it ideal for vegetables. It is capable of supplying food for up to one million people, every year. Last summer, Bear Flats in the Peace valley, saw watermelon, cantaloupe, tomatoes, cabbage and corn, in abundance, grown in the open, in class 1&2 soil.

Regardless of any ability to pay, importing food from California over the long term will be unlikely, if not impossible. Climate change’s, century-long forecast for the central valley is for a sustained and worsening mega-drought with little winter snow; a poor bet for future imports. Not helping is the fact that one third of the world’s cropland is degraded and more than nine billion people will be demanding food by 2050.

The 25 actual jobs created by Site C does not compare to the hundreds of jobs and the potential multi-million dollar local market garden agri-business for the valley. BC is currently in electrical power surplus. It has the capacity to create more energy and jobs from upcoming renewable sources. Spending $9 billion to flood farmland for a dam lasting only seventy-five years to power LNG plants is not conscionable. Rather, we will need our own food capacity.

Vote when you can, for long-term sustainable food security for our communities and kids.

Ken Forest, Charlie Lake Resident and Peace Valley Environment Association Director

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First Nations Prepare for Arrest to Stop Site C Dam

ROCKY MOUNTAIN FORT CAMP, BC, Jan. 7, 2016 /CNW/ - First Nations members camped out at an historic fort site slated for destruction by the Site C dam say they are prepared to face arrest to protect their traditional territory.

Joined by local landowners, Treaty 8 Stewards of the Land say they will not permit BC Hydro to proceed with plans to clear-cut forests around the Rocky Mountain Fort site on the west side of the Moberly River. The site, selected by explorer Alexander Mackenzie, was the first trading post in mainland B.C. and is situated in the traditional territory of Treaty 8 First Nations.

The $9 billion Site C dam would flood 107-kilometres of the scenic Peace River and its tributaries, including the traditional hunting and fishing grounds of Treaty 8 First Nations. In late December, despite three on-going First Nations court cases against the dam, BC Hydro built a bridge across the mouth of the Moberly River in preparation for logging in the proposed reservoir area.

In addition to its legal, economic, political and archaeological significance to indigenous and non-indigenous people, the camp is the gateway to the rest of the threatened Peace Valley. BC Hydro has served notice that the camp must be dismantled.

"Logging and flooding this part of the Peace Valley will irreversibly harm our ability to hunt, fish, trap and exercise other constitutionally-protected Treaty Rights, especially since much of the rest of Treaty 8 Territory has been devastated by other hydro-electric, oil and gas and industrial developments," said Art Napoleon, "To have any meaning, these treaty rights require a land base and waterways where there are wildlife and fish, and which is capable of supporting a diversity of plant life. Treaty rights also include management level decision-making to protect moose calving grounds, medicine harvesting and berry picking, and spiritual practices – all of which will be obliterated by Site C."

Rest of article here.

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In Photos: The Destruction of the Peace River Valley for the Site C Dam

Photos:  Garth Lenz

It was a little over a year since I had been in the Peace River Valley. Back in June 2014, I visited the region to take photographs and to produce a film on the land, farms and wildlife that would be forever altered, or completely destroyed, to make way for the biggest and most expensive mega-project in the province’s history.

At that time it all seemed so distant and abstract. Would we really flood more than 100 kilometres of some the richest agricultural land in the north and destroy farms that date back to the first non-native settlers in the region? Were we really willing to clearcut and flood key habitat for a wide range of wildlife? Were we really willing to turn our back on the rights of First Nations who have called this valley home for perhaps 10,000 years? These questions were answered for me in the most brutal fashion when I returned this past November.

In just a few short months, the forests, islands and grazing lands of the proposed dam site were completely eradicated. Beautiful forests with massive cottonwood trees I had walked through had been reduced to clearcuts and slash piles. Machines dredged the river as bulldozers pushed debris and soil into it. When I took to the air, the true scale of the devastation could be seen clearly and extended far beyond the banks of the river.

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Video: Unrestrained devastation of the Peace River for unneeded Site C dam

Take 3 minutes to watch this video, Unrestrained devastation of the Peace River for unneeded Site C dam: by Eoghan Moriarty of MindAgape.  Shocking drone footage that contrasts what portions of the valley looked like before construction and the swath of devastation that has begun due to preliminary construction. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJGFAgcweLo&feature=youtu.be

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