Peace Valley Solidarity Initiative Sets Date for Accountability Summit on NDP's Reckless Decision to Proceed with Site C

SOURCE: Peace Valley Solidarity Initiative

December 11, 2017 19:31 ET

Peace Valley Solidarity Initiative Sets Date for Accountability Summit on NDP's Reckless Decision to Proceed with Site C

 

 

VICTORIA, BC--(Marketwired - December 11, 2017) - Today the Peace Valley Solidarity Initiative (PVSI) announced that an Accountability Summit on Site C will be held in Vancouver on January 20 - 21, 2018, to hold the NDP government to account for its unconscionable decision to complete construction of the Site C hydroelectric dam project. The Premier and Cabinet, as well as people from all political parties and walks of life concerned with the Site C decision and how it was made, are invited to attend.

PVSI is asking the NDP to provide all the data, analysis and excel spreadsheets underlying their decision before Christmas so the province's business case for proceeding with Site C can be analyzed before the summit.

"The expert evidence we presented to Cabinet to cancel Site C was completely ignored," says Rob Botterell legal counsel to PVLA and PVEA. "Robert McCullough, an independent energy expert with 40 years of experience, was never contacted to provide more detail of his expert analysis to the Cabinet, after November 30, 2017. The silence was deafening. Clearly the decision has been made for some time. At least with Premier Christy Clark, my clients were not promised an open, fair and transparent process as was promised by Premier Horgan and Finance Minister Carole James. That turned out to be a sham."

In a news conference earlier today, Premier Horgan stated that if Site C were to be cancelled electricity rates would go up by 12% "almost immediately," foregoing the ability to fund very important capital projects like schools and hospitals, bridges and transit. He also stated that the BC NDP would not be able to deliver on their election promises of making services available to people when and where they need it. These statements are 100% in contradiction to Robert McCullough's testimony to Cabinet and the BC Utilities Commission.

"The NDP has not brought us the change we expected from them; today's announcement proclaims business as usual in Victoria," says Dr. Steve Gray, Chair, Peace Valley Solidarity Initiative. "Everyone in the province is affected financially by this decision. We are heartbroken for First Nations who have laboured to build relationships with government based on respect and trust, and now find that their rights are again being negotiated behind closed doors." He adds, "The loss of agricultural land is unprecedented and very bad news for our food security in the face of climate change. Once we hear from the Premier and Cabinet on January 20 and 21, we will decide how to hold this government accountable. Everything is on the table. Surely, not all NDP MLA's support or condone this decision. This fight for the Peace River is not over."

Additional information:

Please note: the Peace Valley Solidarity Initiative (PVSI) a separate entity from the Peace Valley Landowner Association (PVLA) and Peace Valley Environment Association (PVEA). PSVI supports the work that has been done by the PVLA and PVEA in favour of the cancellation of the Site C dam project.

Attachment Available: http://www.marketwire.com/library/MwGo/2017/12/11/11G148691/Site_C_Dam_-_Fact_or_Fiction-846ec796b3fda1f89968730b9480f2a0.pdf

 

CONTACT INFORMATION

  •  

    For more information regarding the Site C Accountability Summit please contact:
    Dr. Steve Gray
    778-679-9011

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B.C. government to go ahead with Site C hydroelectric dam project

Calling it a "difficult decision," the B.C. government has decided to go ahead with the controversial Site C hydroelectric dam, paving the way for work to restart.

"At the end of the day, we've come to a conclusion that, although Site C is not the project we would have favoured or would have started, it must be completed," said Premier John Horgan in announcing the decision. 

"This is a very, very divisive issue, and will have profound impact … for a lot of British Columbians. We have not been taking this decision lightly."

The NDP government had been debating whether to continue the construction of the dam — which will displace farmers and submerge Indigenous lands as it floods 5,500 hectares of the Peace River valley — or cancel the work midway through the job.

Ultimately, the government concluded that cancelling the project near Fort St. John would result in a 12-per-cent increase in hydro rates in 2020. It also forecast overall rates would be nearly twice as high for 20 years beyond 2020 if it cancelled Site C — or would leave the government with significantly less money to spend on other infrastructure spending.

An estimated $2 billion has been spent so far on the dam, announced by the previous B.C. Liberal government in 2014.

The government now expects the dam, originally budgeted at $8.3 billion, will cost approximately $10 billion, with $700 million set aside in a reserve for overruns.

The B.C. Utilities Commission, the independent energy regulator, concluded in its assessment that the dam is over budget and behind its scheduled completion of 2024.

Site C Review 20171211

Premier John Horgan is giving the green light to continued construction on the controversial Site C dam project. (Chad Hipolito/Canadian Press)

Indigenous, Green opposition

Immediately after the decision was made, BC Hydro and the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association voiced their support for Horgan's choice. 

But the dam has been marked by deeply divisive approaches to environmental, economic, technological and Indigenous concerns that have become the front lines of political battles in B.C. — and many groups representing those factions immediately let their displeasure over the the Site C decision be known. 

"Today, Site C is no longer simply a B.C. Liberal boondoggle — it has now become the B.C. NDP's project. They are accountable to British Columbians for the impact this project will have on our future," said Green Party leader Andrew Weaver in a statement. 

"We have seen what is happening to ratepayers in Newfoundland because of Muskrat Falls, a similar project, where rates are set to almost double. I am deeply concerned that similar impacts are now in store for B.C. ratepayers."

However, he has said his party, which holds the balance of power in B.C.'s legislature, would not attempt to force an election over the issue.

While BC Hydro has reached benefit-sharing agreements with many Indigenous groups, there are several ongoing legal challenges, and the West Moberly and Prophet First Nations have said they will seek a court injunction to halt construction and begin a civil action. 

 

Premier John Horgan on decision to continue with : "I am not the first person to stand before you and disappoint Indigenous people." http://www.cbc.ca/1.4435939  

"Needless to say, we're deeply and bitterly disappointed. It's absolutely heartbreaking," said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs.

Horgan acknowledged disappointment by many Indigenous people, but said his government is still committed to adopting the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

"Look, there has been over 150 years of disappointment in B.C. I am not the first person to stand before you and disappoint Indigenous people," he said. 

"But I think I am the first to stood before you and say I am going to do my level best to make amends for a whole host of issues and decisions that previous governments have made to put Indigenous people in an unwinnable situation."  

 

 

 

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Robert McCullough Thank You Letter to Premier Horgan & $500 Million Remediation Map

As a courtesy to the PVLA and PVEA, our expert Robert McCullough shared his thank you letter to Premier Horgan and Cabinet with us. 

Please see an excerpt of the letter below:

 


December 4, 2017


Premier John Horgan and Cabinet
Government of British Columbia
PO BOX 9041
STN PROV GOVT
VICTORIA, BC V8W 9E1
Via email and by hand


Dear Premier Horgan and Honorable Ministers:

Thank you for the opportunity to meet with you and your cabinet. Although I have worked with Canadian clients for many years, this was the first time to have the chance to help government officials in such a challenging situation.

As I noted during the meeting, I approached the opportunity in the same way I would approach meeting a client – oriented primarily towards problem solving and less towards advocacy.

As I noted on Thursday, three provinces and one state have recently faced similar challenges. In Quebec and Nebraska, the government faced the issue of a troubled investment squarely.[1] When the downside risks are large and growing, it is generally best to limit your exposure. In Quebec and Nebraska, a bond rating downrating was avoided by prompt action. Rate increases were effectively eliminated through the availability of cheaper alternatives. In Manitoba and Newfoundland, the government indeed found itself "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy" and have faced rating downgrades and significant rate increases.

At the heart of the debate is a change in the industry that many find hard to adjust to. After being told for many years that energy is scarce and limited, we find that with the amazing decline in renewable prices that we can produce as much electricity as we need.[2] British Columbia Hydro places the wind potential of the province at 15,898 megawatts -- roughly fourteen times the capacity of Site C.[3] Not all of this is available on peak, of course. Hydro-Quebec, Canada's leading wind developer, counts 30% of name plate capacity as dependable capacity which equates to four and a third times the usable capacity of Site C. To be clear, the nameplate capacity of proven renewables is sufficient to meet all of our forecasted decarbonization and electrification goals, even if it amounts to over four times the capacity of Site Cs. And this is before taking into account other renewables such as solar and geothermal. British Columbia is awash in untapped renewable potential.
 

Click image below to download the rest of the letter.
 


[1] The Omaha Public Power District is a governmentally owned and operated utility – comparable to a Canadian crown corporation.
[2] Lazard’s levelized cost of energy analysis—Version11.0, November 30, 2017, page 10.
[3] BC Hydro Wind Data Study CSRP0009-A, May 1, 2009, page 44.
 
Robert McCullough letter in full:
 
 
 
 
$500 Million Remediation Map

Remediation of the Site C site is projected by the BCUC to cost $1.8 Billion, much more than the estimates of BC Hydro and Deloitte of $1.2 Billion.

In fact, most of the Peace Valley is intact. Another viable option is a remediation cost of no more than $500 million, with Mother Nature doing the rest.

Click the image below for a map demonstrating the impact Site C would have on the Peace Valley:
 

 

 
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 the 11th Hour for Site C

 

Hello friends!

We are at the 11th hour of our fight to stop the Site C Dam. The BC NDP Cabinet is meeting with six advisors on the dam RIGHT NOW, and a decision is expected soon! We have deeply appreciated your support with our campaign in the past and we are hoping that at this critical time, you would be willing to undertake one or more of the actions below to make sure that when the NDP cabinet ministers return from their meeting today, their offices are flooded with messages from all of us that WE DON’T WANT SITE C!! 

The NDP have not yet made their final decision on Site C and we need to help build their confidence in making a decision to protect all British Columbians from this unnecessary, destructive and costly project. They need to hear from as many British Columbians as possible and feel supported in a decision to cancel Site C. 

Take Action to Stop Site C Now by:

  • Go to Peace Valley Environment Association’s SiteC.RealHearings.org site to compose your letter and it will automatically be sent to all 23 BC NDP MLAs plus your MLA.

 

  • Go to Sierra Club BC’s letter writing site and submit a pre-drafted letter (or modify to make it your own) to key BC NDP ministers.

 

 

  • Send a short letter to all of your local papers at once through Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative’s handy web-based tool here.

 

  • Call any number of cabinet ministers’ offices you choose and leave a message that you want Site C cancelled through Wilderness Committee BC’s site here.

 

  • Share this e-mail with your friends and share our campaign posts on Facebook and Twitter.

You will find further information about the issues of concern associated with Site C at this informative website. Additionally, you will learn much about the issues in our latest video, Would you Still Build Site C?

The BC NDP campaigned on the implementation of their Power BC plan. This plan includes less expensive and more effective options for addressing BC’s energy needs through building retrofits, existing hydro infrastructure upgrades, and the pursuit of solar and wind energy. Please send a letter endorsing this plan that they campaigned on and let them know that you fully support their decision to cancel this project.

Thank you so much.

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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Would You Still Build Site C?

The Site C dam was approved by Christy Clark and the BC Liberal government in December of 2014 without a review by the BC Utilities Commission, whose job it is to evaluate if energy projects are in the best interest of British Columbians.

In August 2017, the new BC NDP government referred Site C to the BCUC. We now have their final report, and soon the BC government will decide the fate of the Site C dam project.

With all the conflicting views being presented in the media, it's no wonder that British Columbians may be confused about the basic facts surrounding the questions: do we need the energy and are we spending $10-12 billion of BC taxpayers' money on the right project?

See this video below for the facts on the Site C dam project and decide for yourself.

(For best viewing, be sure to click the gear wheel and select HD.)

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Keep Pushing for the Decision to Cancel Site C

The Peace River Valley


Dear Andrea,

INTENSE! That’s the best word to explain how we’re all feeling about where we’re at with this campaign to protect the Peace from Site C. We are sure all of you are feeling it too!

Grateful is the next word that comes to mind. Thank you so much to the many of you who donated to support our joint efforts to give this campaign all we’ve got at this critical time. 

Right now we’ve got more people, taking more action that ever before! And we need it! We need each and every one of you to do what you can to make sure the BC NDP hear loud and clear that BC voted for CHANGE and that change meant a BC WITHOUT SITE C!

No matter how many letters you’ve written, or phone calls you’ve made – and every one of them has mattered a lot! – please take a few minutes and tell them again: Site C is NOT in the best interests of British Columbians!

Send your letter NOW!


You may recall that the BC NDP ran on an election platform that highlighted their Power BC plan. So what happened with that? Right now, with the waffling going on (even after the BCUC report that clearly demonstrates we don’t need Site C), we’re not sure. Why not remind this government that their promises to retrofit buildings, upgrade existing hydro infrastructure and pursue wind and solar in this province -- instead of building Site C -- are the reasons they got voted in and that we will expect them to cancel Site C and carry out this plan.

Make your thoughts known to government through our easy-to-use SiteC.RealHearings letter writing site.  All you have to do is write your letter, provide a little information on where you are from and the site will automatically send your letter to all the key decision-makers, Premier Horgan, the key ministers whose portfolios are most related to Site C as well as every other cabinet minister (after all, it’s a cabinet decision) as well as your MLA.

Send your letter now!

We’ve heard they are counting the number of letters they receive on this!!

What else can you do to impact the decision on this completely unnecessary, massively destructive, 70-year-debt-generating project? 

  • Our friends at Wilderness Committee BC have set up a ‘click to call’ action centre. Just go to their site and follow the simple instructions to get connected to any number of cabinet ministers you choose. Let them know that you are counting on them to cancel Site C and get on with implementing the NDP’s Power BC plan.

 

  • Send a letter to the editor of your local paper – the further word gets out on why this project isn’t any good for BC, the better.  Y2Y has developed a handy web-based tool that identifies local media in your area of the province, provides facts to draw from and sends your concise letter directly to any number of media outlets you select! So easy and satisfying!

 

  • And, now more than ever, a visit to your MLA can have a profound impact on their understanding of the concerns with Site C.  We are routinely surprised at the lack of knowledge so many of them have on this issue. Make Site C a priority in their thoughts and arm them with the facts which are clearly and concisely found here.

 

  • Share this e-blast with your friends; share our social media posts on Facebook and Twitter.

This issue is moving so fast right now, it’s hard to keep up.  Premier Horgan is meeting with six experts on November 30th and the NDP’s decision can come any day after that. We’ve come so far together, and accomplished so much against incredible odds.  Let’s carry this momentum through to get the decision that we are all hoping for!

Thank you so much for staying with us!!

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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Sunk Costs on Site C not Wasted

Sunk costs on Site C not wasted

ALASKA HIGHWAY NEWS

NOVEMBER 22, 2017 08:44 AM

 

The following is an open letter to the NDP cabinet and BC Green leader Andrew Weaver:

The purpose of this letter is to help alleviate concerns you may have about the idea that the money spent to date on Site C could be considered a waste, as well as concerns about the costs of remediating the construction site.

As the owner of a trucking company, with 37 years experience in large infrastructure development in the Peace Region, I assure you that much of the money spent to date on this project resulted in upgrades, access and infrastructure development that was much needed by the region.

Further, I would like to bring to your attention that I believe the costs of remediation will be much less than determined by the BCUC, a position which I feel is supported by the discrepancies for such costs provided by BC Hydro and Deloitte.

Benefits to the Peace Region from Site C construction related activities to date:

• Upgrades to several rural roads, previously identified by the 1990’s Rural Toads Task Force result in cost savings to MOTI;

• Development of access to gravel quarries will reduce costs for future projects;

• Septimus rail siding development could provide railcar storage space for future developments, e.g., a new propane shipping terminal in the region;

• Utility infrastructure associated with the worker accommodation camp provides the Grandhaven subdivision with a potential water source as well as cisterns and sewer lagoon. Additionally, the 6” natural gas pipeline can service residents in the area;

• Cellular, VHF and Tetra telecommunications facility development provide long-term regional benefits;

• The training and skill development of workers, including Indigenous people, are valuable, transferable skills that increase the quality of the local labour force;

• Numerous environmental studies and assessments on fish, wildlife, hydrology, archaeological, heritage, agricultural and transportation resources will provide valuable support to regional cumulative effects assessments and project planning, thus reducing the costs for such studies by government and industry in the future;

• The viewpoint built at Site C can be further enhanced to provide an interpretive area showcasing the rich historical and cultural values associated with the Peace River Valley—a much needed development for the local area;

• Infrastructure such as fencing, temporary bridges and raw materials can be repurposed for regional uses or sold.

There are considerable discrepancies in the estimates to remediate the Site C construction site: BC Hydro submitted that they believe it will cost $1.1 billion; Deloitte suggested it would cost $1.2 billion; and, the BCUC estimated $1.8 billion. I would think that, based on their experience working at the site, BC Hydro would have first-hand knowledge of the cost for this work.

My company has made deliveries to the site, and I frequently fly over it in my personal aircraft and have noted that much remediation work has been conducted immediately following work to date.

Given that only $562 million has been spent on construction activities on-site as of June 30th, 2017, it seems unlikely that it would cost $1.8 billion to remediate the site. Areas that were cleared within the last year showed vigorous regrowth of trees and vegetation last summer.

I am happy to discuss any questions or concerns you may have and I invite you to come to the Peace Region where I will be more than willing to take you for a fly over of the site.

—Bob Fedderly, Fort St. John

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West Moberly and Prophet River Warn Ministers of Billion-Dollar Lawsuit if Site C Goes Ahead

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The leaders of both the West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations are warning the provincial government that it faces a $1 billion lawsuit if it proceeds with construction of the Site C dam.

West Moberly First Nations chief Roland Willson and Prophet River First Nation chief Lynette Tsakoza said that they gave the warning to Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Minister Michelle Mungall and Indigenous Relations Minister Scott Fraser during a meeting in Fort St. John on November 14th. The two First Nations chiefs said that the lawsuit would be brought about because they say that Site C would result in infringements to Treaty 8, of which the two are members.

In a release, both Willson and Tsakoza say that at last week’s meeting, they pointed out the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement that was signed in 1975 when Hydro-Quebec was developing its James Bay project. The agreement resulted in a $225 million settlement with First Nations residing in northwestern Quebec, which amounts to $1 billion when accounted for inflation today.

“The leading energy expert Robert McCullough estimates that cancelling the dam would save British Columbians about $4 billion,” said Chief Willson. “You can make that $5 billion because if the NDP approves this boondoggle they’ll force us to seek damages for infringement of our Treaty.”

The release from the two First Nations also says that continuing Site C would violate at least four articles of the United Nations Declaration on the rights of Indigenous Peoples, which the NDP government has said it would uphold while in power. They added that the impact benefit agreements signed between BC Hydro and other area First Nations also don’t satisfy the terms of UNDRIP.

The two First Nations leaders said that they presented the two Ministers with a proposal to cancel the project that would benefit the local economy in the Peace Region. They also said they sent an invite to Premier John Horgan to attend a feast in their communities and to speak with local First Nations Elders and leaders. Chief Tsakoza said that the two First Nations leaders are currently awaiting the Premier’s reply.

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Termination of Site C Still Best for BC: McCullough and Swain Respond to BC Government Deputy Ministers’ Inquiries to BCUC Respecting Site C

Date:              November 16, 2017
 
To:                  Premier John Horgan,
                       Province of British Columbia

From:             Robert McCullough and Harry Swain

Subject:         Deputy Ministers' Inquiries Respecting Site C

 

We are writing you at the request of our clients, the Peace Valley Landowner Association and the Peace Valley Environment Association, regarding the questions raised in the attached letter dated November 15th, 2017.
 
At the outset, it is important to note that the British Columbia Utilities Commission’s (BCUC) Site C Inquiry Report is detailed and well documented.  The final report represents the careful consideration and weighing of 10,000 pages of testimony, 2 days of expert presentations, 11 public input sessions, and hundreds of pages of consultant, preliminary and final reports.
 
Importantly, the BCUC has taken a conservative approach in their calculations – which is good - although industry experts would take a more pessimistic view of load forecasts and cost overruns, a more optimistic view of the savings from terminating Site C, and would factor in the non-treaty storage available from the Mica Dam.
 
The answers to the questions raised by your Deputy Ministers are set out below.
 
1. Did the Commission include sunk costs (the estimated $2.1 billion that has been spent to date on the project) and termination costs (the $1.8 billion determined by the Commission) in comparing the costs to ratepayers of completing Site C against the costs of pursuing an alternative portfolio of generation resources?
 
Answer:
 
Yes, the existing investment for Site C ($2.1 billion) is included in both the Site C Case and the Alternative Portfolio since these costs have been spent and cannot be recovered.  Termination (reclamation) costs have been charged to the Alternative Portfolio as well.
 
The BCUC treatment of these costs is consistent with economic theory and practice and concludes that there is no cost advantage to proceeding with Site C.  It should be noted that the treatment of sunk costs is known as the Fallacy of Sunk Costs by the newly appointed Nobel Laureate Richard Thaler.  Once costs have been spent, they do not exert a “thumb on the scales” for future investment decisions.
 
2. In the event that government elects to terminate the Site C project, has the Commission assumed that BC Hydro would develop and finance the projects included in the alternative portfolio (wind, geothermal) rather than independent power producers (IPPs)?
 
Answer:
 
Not per se, but the difference between IPP and Crown Corporation should be minimal.  It is a postulate of finance that the cost of capital depends on the credit support of the buyer.  When an IPP approaches the financial markets, it is the quality of the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and the counterparty that determines the cost of capital. If the Province of British Columbia is the ultimate guarantor of the project (in this case with a Triple A credit rating), the cost of capital is virtually the same whether the Crown Corporation or an IPP builds the project.
 
3. Government will need to consider the total cost of potential demand side management initiatives (rather than just the utility's costs) as it considers the alternatives. Could the Commission advise how the inquiry Terms of Reference led to assessing demand side measures based on the Utility Resource Cost standard, when Total Resource Cost has been the standard for prior Commission proceedings?
 
Answer:
 
Properly designed demand side programs are also advantageous to the consumer and produce more benefits than their costs.  For example, time of use rates and curtailment programs allow the consumer to correctly time their use of energy and response to system exigencies.  A good example is the operation of a paper mill with thermo-mechanical pulping (TMP).  The opportunity to schedule TMP for off-peak hours is a significant advantage to the paper mill.  And, appropriate curtailment opportunities can be profitable for both the utility (in this case BC Hydro) and the paper mill.  During the California energy crisis of 2000-2001, Northwest Power Pool industries from Trail, British Columbia to Eugene, Oregon shifted their operations to gain the benefits of serving California loads during high price periods.
 
4. If the Site C project were terminated, the $4.0 billion sunk and remediation costs would need to be recovered, and the amortization period of that recovery would affect BC Hydro rates. Could the Commission please clarify whether it assumed that that these costs would be recovered over 10, 30 or 70 years?
 
Answer:
 
The BCUC assumed that sunk costs as well as termination costs would be recovered over thirty years.  This is unnecessarily conservative.  Economic theory and practice does not require that recovery of a project’s costs be accelerated simply because a project was terminated.  Logically, the termination of the project should have the same impact on ratepayers as proceeding with the project.   Penalizing ratepayers for a bad utility decision is also inequitable.  If the goal is to objectively compare the options, then the same seventy-year amortization schedule that is currently in effect should be employed.
 
The highly accelerated recovery of sunk and reclamation costs is inappropriate – and punitive.  It should be noted that forcing the public to pay in advance of already financed costs makes little economic sense.  Indeed, various costs could be recovered in one year if the goal is to alarm the public.  The reality is that the costs were incurred on a seventy-year amortization schedule and should remain on that schedule.  To my knowledge, based on almost 40 years of experience in this area, there is no overwhelming legal or economic purpose to raise rates immediately.
 
5. We are unaware of prior instances when anything other than BC Hydro's mid-load forecast has been used for planning purposes.  Did the Commission assume lower demand for electricity (reflected in the low load forecast used in the report) because it is forecasting a period of lower economic growth?  Does the Commission include in its load forecast the potential increased electrical power demand of meeting the province's stated objectives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through greater electrification of our economy?
 
Answer:
 
BC Hydro’s submissions contradict the experience of lower load growth experienced across the U.S. and Canada.  BC Hydro was unable to justify their forecast, or, indeed, accurately explain the components that contributed to their high estimates.  The record at the BCUC clearly proves that BC Hydro has over forecasted in virtually every case for many years.
 
In part, this reflects the decline of traditional industries like pulp and paper, but a more extensive impact is the shift to LED lighting and other energy efficiency measures. 
 
Over more than half a century, for 77% of the time, BC Hydro’s forecasts have overstated reality. BCUC might have chosen a lower forecast than the BC Hydro low forecast had their terms of reference allowed. They have a better grasp of industrial evolution, and of price elasticity, than BC Hydro. The fact is that the old one-to-one relation of economic growth to electricity demand has been broken for 20 years all over North America. BC Hydro has just been slow to realize this.
 
The BCUC clearly weighed all the evidence before it and concluded that in these circumstances the low load forecast is the appropriate forecast.  Importantly, the BCUC noted that if it were not outside the terms of reference it would likely/may have found that an even lower load forecast would be appropriate.  It is important to remember that Deloitte found that BC Hydro has historically overestimated electricity demand by 30% on average.
 
BC Hydro has not addressed the issue of increased electrification in its submissions, nor did the mandate in the Order in Council directly address this scenario.
 
That said, there were expert submissions on this topic that indicated that the most important components of electrification – transportation – occur off-peak.  The evidence is based on solid research from California and New York where electrification programs are more advanced.
 
The BCUC noted that increased DSM, consumer self help such as solar panels on houses, coupled with the decline in electricity demand in heritage industries like pulp and paper will very likely offset any increase in electrification demand.
 
In the event the actual level of demand exceeds the forecast, the alternative scenario utilizing renewables including wind can be expanded – resources that are largely unlimited in scope, low in cost, and readily deployable in response to increased demand.  
 
Northwest Power Pool utilities (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana) in the United States currently have ten times the wind resources as British Columbia with more being sited and built every day.  Most all forecasts suggest the cost of these resources will continue to decrease making the cost of Site C power even less competitive.
 
Finally, I was disappointed that the questions missed the most important finding of the BCUC – that the Canadian Entitlement – roughly the same size as Site C – is a dependable source of energy and capacity.  Moreover, that the authors appeared to have missed the opportunity that I identified – and was positively received by the BCUC and the press – to use the large underutilized resource of the Non-Treaty Storage Agreement to serve the citizens of British Columbia rather than being rented to the Bonneville Power Administration.
 
Conclusion:
 
I trust this memorandum provides helpful information and analysis that complements the information and analysis you receive from the BCUC.   If you have any questions regarding the accuracy or applicability of the above commentary, please do not hesitate to contact me.
 
Please note that Harry Swain, former Chair of the Federal/Provincial Panel on Site C has reviewed and concurs with the above observations and analysis.
 
Yours,



Robert McCullough
 
 
CC       BCUC
            BC Government MLAs

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Wood Buffalo receives worst conservation outlook for World Heritage Sites in Canada

Indigenous communities and conservation groups call for Canada to take appropriate action

EDMONTON, ALTA. – This week the International Union on the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) released its 2017 World Heritage Outlook  an assessment that looks at threats to the conservation of natural World Heritage sites around the world.

Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada’s largest World Heritage Site, is classified as having the worst conservation outlook in all of Canada and the second worst conservation outlook of North American World Heritage Sites.

Wood Buffalo is the only site in North America to receive a Significant Concern rating with a deteriorating conservation outlook since the last review in 2014.

The report finds that the Peace-Athabasca Delta within Wood Buffalo is at significant risk from upstream industrial development. These developments include existing and planned hydro-electric dams along the Peace River in British Columbia including the Site C dam  and from oil sands development along the Athabasca River in Alberta.

The outlook also finds Canada’s management response to the deterioration of the Park is inadequate “in light of the scale, pace and complexity of the challenges,” and recommends “significant investment in better understanding and monitoring the impacts and risks from industrial development,” is needed, as is 
“enhanced water governance across jurisdictions and more meaningful of First Nations and Métis in the management and governance (decision-making) of the national park and its surroundings.”

Concerns about Wood Buffalo National Park's failing ecosystems have received international scrutiny since the Mikisew Cree First Nation filed a petition to have the park placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger. In July of 2017 the World Heritage Committee of the United Nations requested Canada create an action plan that addresses threats to the Park.

“Elders in our community have been concerned with the deteriorating state of the Park’s ecosystem for years. This outlook report is another wake up call for Canadians and creates more pressure on Canada to take action to better protect and manage the Park,” says Melody Lepine, Mikisew Cree First Nation’s lead for the petition. “We are asking Canada, Alberta and B.C. to start taking action with us to turn this situation around. We also call again on British Columbia to cancel the Site C dam.”

“Once again the UN is telling Canada in no uncertain terms that more must be done, and now, to protect Wood Buffalo National Park,” says Candace Batycki, program director at Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative. “Cancelling the Site C dam is one immediate action that the British Columbia government can and must take, with the support of Canada.” 

“This outlook just reinforces the need for better management of ecosystems both within and outside of our protected areas,” says Kecia Kerr, executive director of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society’s Northern Alberta chapter. “As the outlook states, ‘it is troubling that well-known and massive environmental management challenges do not receive the deserved attention despite consistent concerns by a wide range of credible actors, stakeholders and rights-holders.’ ”

Read the IUCN World Heritage Outlook 2: A Conservation assessment of all natural World Heritage Sites. 

For more information:

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Minister Mungall Needs to Heed Independent Advice

Site C - Frequently Asked Questions 

 


MINISTER MUNGALL NEEDS TO HEED INDEPENDENT ADVICE
 

Overview: Despite the just released final report of the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) following its 3 month independent inquiry—in which the BCUC made important adverse findings against the case for Site C advanced by the former Liberal government and BC Hydro—NDP Minister Mungall reverted to relying on pro-Site C advisors to answer questions on Site C during Budget Estimates.   

1. Who provided advice to Energy Minister Mungall on answers to questions on Site C during Budget Estimates? 

Answer - Chris O’Riley and Les McLaren. 



2. Who is Chris O’Riley? 

Answer – He is BC Hydro’s President and Chief Operating Officer who advised the previous liberal government on proceeding with Site C. He described himself to the BCUC as being passionate in his support of Site C[1]


3. Who Is Les McLaren? 

Answer - He is an Assistant Deputy Minister who advised the previous liberal government on proceeding with Site C


4. Does BC Hydro have a strong interest in continuing Site C? 

Answer – Yes

BC Hydro has been pushing for the construction of the Site C dam since the 1980s.[2] The project was initially rejected in 1983, but, after decades of pursuing approval of Site C, the project was finally approved in 2014. In that time, BC Hydro failed to investigate and pursue alternatives it had been directed by BCUC to research, instead pursuing only the Site C option. BC Hydro has said that it does not have the core competency to build smaller alternatives.[3]  BC Hydro management has staked its reputation on this project, claiming that its completion is the only way to satisfy the massive load they forecast.[4]
 

5. Was the independent British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) (which just completed a 298-page report on Site C) consulted on the answers Minister Mungall gave to questions on Site C during Budget Estimates?

Answer 
-  No.  
 

6. What did the independent BCUC conclude about BC Hydro’s Site C submissions?

Answer - the BCUC concluded that:

  1. Site C is over budget and behind schedule.  The BCUC estimates costs are now at $10 billion.[5]
  2. BC Hydro's load forecast is highly doubtful and the BCUC has recommended the use of the low forecast.[6]
  3. The export assumptions are unrealistic. Again, the BCUC has recommended a much lower forecast.[7]
  4. Wind, solar, and geothermal are realistic alternatives. Prices have declined significantly and will continue to fall.[8],[9]
  5. The alternative resources cost less and are more deployable.[10]
  6. BC Hydro's planning methodology is undocumented and inaccurate.[11]
  7. There is an excellent source of hydro-electric storage in the non-treaty storage agreement -- 25 times the storage of Site C.[12]


7. Why is Energy Minister Mungall at this time relying only on advisors who are steadfast in their support of Site C?

Answer 
-  Don’t know.
 


 
 

RATE IMPACTS FROM COMPLETING OR TERMINATING SITE C



Note to reader: the answers to these questions have been prepared in consultation with independent international energy expert Robert McCullough[13].
 
 
8. How much will electricity rates increase under Site C vs. a portfolio of wind power?

Answer – Electricity rates will increase by almost seven times as much if we build Site C compared to wind power.

*It is important to note for the purposes of this analysis, that the BCUC adopted the low load forecast, submitted by BC Hydro, in their final report. Should they have been permitted to do so, they may have found an even lower load forecast was most likely.   
 
Using BCUC validated assumptions, energy expert Robert McCullough estimates that electricity rates will increase in 2024 by 5.7%, or $267 annually per household, if Site C is completed.    
 
This 5.7% increase to complete Site C is on top of the rate increase of more than 24% in the last four years, and the increase of more than 70% since 2001. This also doesn’t account for other unforeseen factors, which could push electricity rates even higher.
 
Accordingly, BC Hydro’s rate increase estimate of 10% for cancelling Site C is inaccurate.
 
If the BC government intends to put BC Hydro on a sound financial footing and not fall prey to the sunk cost fallacy, the financially prudent course of action is for the provincial government to assume the sunk and termination costs of $3.9 billion for Site C.  To do otherwise is to punish ratepayers for existing poor Site C investments.
 
Adopting BCUC’s alternative portfolio and excluding sunk and termination costs from the analysis (see question 10), Robert McCullough estimates that electricity rates will increase by 0.84% or $39 per household in 2024. 
 
To put it another way, electricity rates will increase by almost seven times as much if we build Site C compared to wind power.    
 
Importantly, by increasing the focus on conservation programs (also known as demand side management, or DSM), BCUC finds there is no need for major new energy capital infrastructure until 2039.  This compares to the current plan to bring Site C on stream in 2024.  
 
 
9. Are there steps the BC Government can take to minimize or eliminate the impact on electricity rates of terminating Site C?  

Answer – Yes

The best way to minimize or eliminate the impact on electricity rates of terminating Site C is to:
a) build a portfolio of renewables which will be much lower cost and can be built when increased energy demand arises, and
b) transfer the $3.9 billion onto the books of BC’s direct provincial debt[14].
 
We should be making this decision based on the overall impact on present and future ratepayers. This should not be about minimizing the rate increase on current ratepayers, only to foist a big rate increase from a $10-$12 billion project on our kids.
 
It’s important to remember that nobody is recommending that the BC government simply terminate the project without replacement. Terminating the project and replacing it with utility-scale wind and other alternatives will, overall, save ratepayers $3 to $4.5 billion over completing the project. To either pause or complete the project are the worst-case options for ratepayers.
 


 


OTHER KEY QUESTIONS REGARDING SITE C



Note to Reader: The answers to these questions have been prepared in consultation with independent international energy expert Robert McCullough.
 
10. As reported by Vaughn Palmer on November 8[15], Energy Minister Mungall acknowledges there are risks with a portfolio of alternative energy projects to replace the need for Site C.  Are there more and greater risks associated with completing Site C? 

Answer - Yes, please refer to BCUC Site C Inquiry Executive Summary, Page 9. 
 

11. Is there a clear justification for the independent BCUC to base energy cost comparisons between Site C and alternatives on the low end of the range of Hydro’s load forecasts? 

Answer  - Yes.

Please refer to BCUC Site C Inquiry Executive Summary, Page 11. Importantly BCUC noted that although it was outside their terms of reference, there is a risk that the level of actual demand for electricity may be even lower than the low load forecast.  
 

12. As reported by Vaughn Palmer on November 3[16], is it necessary to spend $750 million to upgrade cross border transmission lines to use the BC entitlement to power under the Columbia River Treaty? 

Answer – No, the necessary transmission grid is already in place. 
 

13. As reported by Vaughn Palmer on November 8[17], are BC Hydro and Energy Minister Mungall correct that BC Hydro will not be able to access Mica Dam storage to meet BC energy needs because it is slated for major refurbishment that will reduce its output by 400 megawatts for six years starting in 2025? 

Answer - No. 

Under the BCUC approved load forecast, BC does not need wind power until 2039 by which time the refurbishment will be complete. 
 
Refurbishment of Mica is relatively insignificant since Mica stores the water, but the vast majority of generation takes place in the U.S. The Mica refurbishment affects only 1.6% of the downstream capacity.
 
 
14. Will Site C be on budget? Answer  - No. 

The BCUC now estimates that Site C will cost $10 billion because of an estimated $1 billion cost overrun largely to address geotechnical tension cracks in the slopes at the site ($377 million as of the Deloitte Report and an additional $610 million now).

BC Hydro’s President and Chief Operating Officer, Chris O’Riley, says there is a real risk that costs will go even higher. 

Deloitte LLP, the independent advisor to the BCUC, says that the final cost may be as high as $12 billion, or 45% over budget.
 

15. Do we need the power from Site C? Answer – No. 

Contrary to BC Hydro’s submissions, extensive testimony before the BCUC clearly demonstrates that:

  1. demand for electricity will not increase by the up to 40% claimed by BC Hydro;
  2. surplus power from Site C cannot be sold at a profit on the US export market, as claimed by BC Hydro;
  3. energy conservation programs are being scaled back by BC Hydro; 
  4. the BCUC has determined that the Canadian Entitlement power from the Columbia River Treaty (equal to Site C’s) is a dependable resource. 

Deloitte LLP concluded that BC Hydro has historically overstated forecast vs. actual electricity load growth by 30% on average.
 
Other key points:

  • Site C is not needed for electric vehicles because charging will occur primarily in off-peak hours.
  • Demand from the pulp and paper sector is dropping rapidly as the move to digital media continues.
  • LNG energy demand will be limited because it is much less costly to burn natural gas to power LNG operations and still meet the climate change targets set for BC LNG.
  • If potential LNG projects require electricity from Site C, the price of Site C electricity will need to be deeply discounted with BC ratepayers picking up the difference.
  • Alberta has access to much less costly electricity than Site C and so any export of energy or capacity to Alberta will need to be heavily subsidized by BC ratepayers.

 
16. Is there a less costly alternative to Site C?  Answer – Yes. 

We will likely need power at some point in the years after 2024 when Site C is projected to come on stream. When we do, a portfolio of wind power is a much less costly alternative to Site C.
 
Based on BCUC findings and proposed treatment of the $1.8 billion in reclamation costs, Energy Expert Robert McCullough estimates that the replacement of Site C with DSM and wind power will save BC ratepayers between $3.0 and $4.5 billion.
 
This is close to a CAN $1,000 savings for every adult in British Columbia.

 

Comparison of Alternatives:

 

 

Commission Scenarios

 

Site C

Low LF

Medium LF

High LF

Original Cost

 $8,775

 

 

 

Plus, Cost Overrun

 $1,225

 

 

 

Minus, Sunk Costs

 $(2,100)

 

 

 

Cost of
Continuation

 $7,900

 $1,995

 $3,253

 $3,522

Termination Cost

 

 $1,395

 $1,395

 $1,395

Actual Cost

 $7,900

 $3,350

 $4,648

 $4,917

Termination
Dividend

 

 $4,550

 $3,252

 $2,983

 

 
 
17. Does the BCUC report find that the alternative energy portfolio cost is too high?

Answer – No. 

Not only is the alternative energy portfolio cost lower than that of Site C, Robert McCullough predicts an even lower estimate by using the less expensive option to firm and shape wind – the non-treaty storage available at the Mica Dam.


18. Does the BCUC find that there are significant risks with the alternative energy portfolio so we may never see the savings Robert McCullough predicts?

Answer – No.

The risks are manageable. Unlike Site C, which is at a high risk of going over budget, the risk that the alternative energy portfolio will come in over budget or under capacity is small.


19. Could we benefit from combining Site C with an alternative energy portfolio?

Answer – No. 

Appendix B to the BCUC final report determines that the Canadian Entitlement power from the Columbia River Treaty is sufficient to eliminate any need for Site C.

The BCUC and Deloitte LLP have also identified alternatives that are the same or lower cost than Site C.

Most importantly, the BCUC has identified the low load forecast as the most likely scenario. The report also points out that the risks are much higher that Site C will not come in on budget than the risk of wind energy benefits not being fully realized.

For example, while the BCUC says there is a risk that wind costs will not be as low as they forecast, the evidence from actual transactions across North America incorporated into the Lazard estimates indicate otherwise.


20. We know that the wind will not always be blowing when we need the power.  What will back-up the wind power? 

Answer – There are numerous options other than Site C.

Here are three of the options: 

  1. BC already has some of the largest reservoirs in North America which can be used to back-up wind. Importantly, BC Hydro's own submissions have made clear that Site C’s storage – only 4/10ths of 1% of Williston - is incapable of supporting seasonal operations.
  2. We could build geothermal power to back-up wind. The Canadian Geothermal Energy Association (CanGEA) presented convincing evidence to the BCUC that geothermal is a viable low-cost solution.
  3. BC will have access to an extra 2.5 million-acre feet (MAF) of backup storage at the Mica dam in 2024 when BC Hydro says we will need more power (this is due to the Columbia River Non-Treaty Storage Agreement ending, putting this storage capability back into the BC Hydro reserve).  This is 25 times the backup storage provided by Site C. The opportunity cost of this new energy backup is estimated to cost only $125 million, a small fraction of the cost of Site C.

Other options include re-activating Burrard Thermal gas generated power for peak power needs, instead of exporting natural gas to other jurisdictions. Amendments to the Clean Energy Act could open up still further options.
 

21. Do estimated savings from wind power compared to Site C take into account indirect costs, such as getting power to the grid and the cost of maintenance and replacement of wind turbines after 25 years?

Answer – Yes.
 
The $3.0 to $4.5 billion savings estimate prepared by energy expert Robert McCullough based on BCUC findings takes indirect costs into account. This is an “apples to apples” comparison.


22. Should the BC government still terminate Site C when it means we will have nothing to show for the $3.9 billion we have spent so far? 

Answer – Yes.

Spending another $8+ billion over the next 7 years is a case of “throwing good money after bad.” It is settled economics that such costs should not be taken into account when making spending decisions. The technical term for this is the “sunk costs fallacy”.
 
Importantly, even if the $2.1 billion in sunk costs and $1.8 billion in termination costs are taken into account, BC ratepayers will still save billions by terminating Site C. This savings could be used for other pressing capital infrastructure needs.
 
We cannot give the termination dividend (CAN $1,000 savings for every adult) to British Columbians otherwise.


23. Is the economic case for terminating Site C overwhelming? 

Answer - Yes.

There are savings in the billions for BC ratepayers from termination of Site C even if: 

  • The BC Hydro unsupported high load forecast is used
  • Sunk costs are included
  • Existing storage is reserved for export markets


24. Are there sources of energy other than Site C in British Columbia that could be significantly expanded at lower cost, that are in response to rather than in advance of actual needs, and are less environmentally destructive? 

Answer - Yes.

There are numerous viable low-cost options, including but not limited to: 

  • Wind
  • Geothermal
  • Solar
  • Demand Side Management (DSM) – also known as energy conservation


25. Are there other non-economic reasons to terminate Site C?

Answer – Yes, numerous reasons.  

  • Upholding the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) - Site C does not have the consent of First Nations who are most impacted.
     
  • Preserving agricultural land in the Peace Valley that was exempted from a review by the Agricultural Land Commission, and enabling these lands to realize their full agricultural potential.
     
  • Avoiding permanent adverse impacts on the Treaty Rights of First Nations including West Moberly First Nation and Prophet River First Nation.
     
  • Transitioning current Site C workers to other quality job opportunities in growing sectors including renewable energy and to address other priority infrastructure building for BC.
     
  • Avoiding adverse environmental impacts as detailed in the Joint Provincial/Federal Review Panel Report on Site C.
     
  • Avoiding downstream impacts on the sensitive ecosystems and traditional lands of the Mikisew Cree.
     
  • Like other jurisdictions in North America, BC needs to move away from outdated hydroelectric technology and pursue 21st century low cost alternatives, which are deployed when needed such as climate friendly wind, solar, and geothermal.

 
26. Does terminating Site C put in jeopardy the ability of British Columbia to meet its climate targets or deal with electrification?

Answer - No.

The BCUC found that Site C is not needed under the most likely load forecast which included consideration of climate change targets and electrification. If it turns out the BCUC is wrong, then the lowest cost solution is to build wind power and other renewables to meet new demand as it arises. As noted in question #20, BC has numerous options to back up intermittent resources.
 

27. Will British Columbia lose its Triple-A rating by terminating Site C?

Answer – No.

  • British Columbia has the highest available credit rating because of its strong financial management, its strong economy, and its record of balanced budgets. These economic fundamentals are not expected to change.
     
  • British Columbia will be able to readily demonstrate to rating agencies that repayment over time of the $3.9 billion cost of cancelling Site C will not unduly impact financial ratios such as debt to GDP which guide the rating decision.
     
  • By cancelling Site C, British Columbia avoids a much bigger risk to its Triple-A rating – the debt that comes with a project that will be well over budget.
     
  • Most importantly, borrowing under the alternative power generation scenarios will be far less.

 


[1] BCUC Transcript Oct 14 2017 p. 1677 ll. 8-12

[2] BCUC.  Decisions and Reports.  May 3, 1983. https://www.ordersdecisions.bcuc.com/bcuc/decisions/en/item/112107/index.do.  Accessed: November 9, 2017.

[3] BCUC Technical Presentation Sessions, C. O’Riley (BCUC Transcript Oct 14 2017 pp. 1647-8 ll. 17-2)

[4] BC Hydro.  BC Hydro Submission to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Inquiry into the Site C Clean Energy Project.  August 30, 2017.  Page 3.

[5] BCUC Final Report. Page 121.

[6] Ibid. Page 43.

[7] Ibid. Page 94.

[8] Ibid. Appendix A. Page 19.

[9] Ibid. Appendix A. Page 32.

[10] Ibid. Page 153.

[11] Ibid. Page 130.

[12] Ibid. Appendix B. Page 7.

[13] Technical experts are invited to contact Robert McCullough for a detailed walk through of his analysis. 

[14] Justine Hunter, Globe and Mail; BC Hydro feels revenue squeeze while NDP commits to rate freeze, November 8, 2017; https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/bc-hydro-feels-revenue-squeeze-while-ndp-commits-to-rate-freeze/article36889306/

[15] Vaughn Palmer, Vancouver Sun; Energy Minister Reveals Plenty on Site C during estimates debate, November 8, 2017; http://vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/vaughn-palmer-energy-minister-reveals-plenty-on-site-c-during-question-period

[16] Vaughn Palmer, Vancouver Sun; Columbia River Treaty interesting option as NDP ponders Site C; November 3, 2017;  http://vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/vaughn-palmer-columbia-river-treaty-interesting-option-as-ndp-ponders-site-c

[17] Vaughn Palmer, Vancouver Sun; Energy Minister Reveals Plenty on Site C during estimates debate, November 8, 2017; http://vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/vaughn-palmer-energy-minister-reveals-plenty-on-site-c-during-question-period

 

 

 

Click here or the image below to download the
Site C - Frequently Asked Questions in PDF format.


 

 


 

 
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It’s crunch time: Contact your MLA and tell them you don’t want Site C

Good news!  The BCUC report came out November 1st and it endorses many of the arguments put forward by international energy expert, Robert McCullough as well as Harry Swain, former chair of the Joint Review Panel on Site C and Eoin Finn, retired partner of KPMG.  We were very pleased with the findings from the BCUC that have been presented to the BC government.

 

What’s next?

We are waiting for the provincial NDP to make a final decision on whether to cancel, suspend or proceed with Site C.

 

When?

All the NDP has told us is that the decision will be made before the end of 2017.

 

What can I do?

This is it – the absolute final push.  Every one of us needs to contact the provincial NDP to let them know that we want them to cancel Site C.  We have a few suggestions for how best to do that – pick one or pick all, it’s up to you, but please make sure you are heard and we get this valley saved!

 

Send a letter:

 

  • Send a letter to the premier and the key cabinet ministers involved in the final decision on Site C through Y2Y's handy letter writing website here

 

  • Send a handwritten letter to Premier Horgan and Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Minister, Michelle Mungall and provide copies to your MLA and any other NDP or BC Green Party MLA’s you wish to add.  Look up all MLA’s contact information here.

 

  • Email your own letter to Premier Horgan and Minister Mungall, copying your own MLA and any additional NDP or Green Party MLA’s.  All contact information can be found here.

 

Meet with your MLA:

  • Useful tips on setting up an effective meeting can be found here.  We have organizers who are willing to arrange for someone to accompany you to your meeting if you like.

 

Host a good, old fashioned letter writing party:

  • Call up your friends and family and propose a meeting time and place for all to attend to discuss the issues and get letters written to your MLA.  You can have it at a favorite café or bar or even make it an open house or potluck event at your place.  Have some paper, pens and envelopes available.  It’s a great excuse to gather with friends and achieve something meaningful.  P.S. We’ve organized quite a few of these now and people really enjoy them!


If you’re looking for a succinct document with details about the issues that you can refer to in your letters, we’ve got that covered too, just click here.

It’s crunch time, and the longer you wait, the less likely you’ll be heard before the final decision on Site C is made. We're counting on YOU! Remember, the MLA’s need to hear from their constituents!

Please take one of the above actions - some literally can be done in less than a minute – and take satisfaction in knowing that you are taking action to effect the change you want to see in this world.


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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Open Letter to the Honourable John Horgan, Premier and MLA, B.C. Cabinet Ministers and all other Members of the Legislative Assembly

From: Harold Steves, Bob Fedderly, Steve Gray, Mae Burrows, Ken and Arlene Boon and 108 other concerned citizens.

Re: Site C job numbers lack public verification

The BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) Inquiry into Site C was long overdue. Its final report is based on an independent review of contradictory evidence, expert testimony, public and First Nations’ input.

The inquiry process was completed on time and provides compelling information in support of cancelling this project.  

We urge you to resist the temptation now to re-test the evidence in the court of public opinion, with lobbyists and with the project proponent. The latter groups already have provided their input to the Commission as have a range of experts and those opposed to the project.

We are of the opinion that your government should respect the findings of the appointed regulator with oversight of these matters. We believe that to do otherwise, would be to sully the decision-making process laid out by government when you charged the BCUC to undertake this review. 

The project is late, over-budget and it’s been shown that we don’t need the energy.  We can generate more electricity without flooding our farms and sensitive ecosystems. We can avoid encroaching on First Nations land title. And, for every dollar spent, retrofits create twice as many jobs as dam construction.

We think a better energy plan would produce good paying jobs close to home in communities throughout BC. Keeping life affordable under the circumstances means limiting rate increases to only those made necessary by cancellation of the project. 

We also recognize and applaud your government’s commitment to improving public infrastructure and creating tens of thousands of construction jobs around BC.

It is against this backdrop that we have become increasingly alarmed about the position of some members of the Legislative Assembly, the ICBA (Independent Contractors Business Association), CLAC (the Christian Labour Association of Canada) and some in the media who persist in making Site C about jobs.

This is a diversion. Their boosterism should not stand in the way of recognizing that Site C must be terminated to respect First Nation land title.  It should be terminated for economic, food security and environmental reasons.

It is our view that some of the job numbers being bandied about are significantly inflated.  We are concerned that public confusion on this point may make things more complicated for decision-makers, in an already complex situation. 

In order to assist decision-makers, we have formulated a list of information requests whose answers may put these concerns to rest.  These are presented in the attached Appendix I (see attached document below).

Regarding the jobs claims, the fact is that few, if any, of the trades jobs at Site C would have lasted for the duration of the project. Construction projects don’t offer the same tradesperson a decade-long job, so we feel that it is disingenuous for individuals to claim that they moved to Site C for a ten-year job. Moving from one site to the next is the nature of construction work.

On the other hand, when the project is cancelled the government can implement a better energy and jobs plan. This will help address the legitimate need for employment in trades throughout BC.  Cancellation will allow the government to provide more jobs, higher- quality jobs and more permanent jobs, than would be afforded by continuing Site C.

There will also be considerable work required to restore the site upon cancellation.  This work should form part of a labour adjustment strategy for the BC resident workforce presently employed at Site C. 

In summary, we think it is past due for your government to compel BC Hydro to provide the public a detailed explanation of the human resources deployed in the construction of Site C.

We make this request because it is our view that the public is poorly informed on Site C and, in particular, on the jobs questions that have been raised. We feel that greater transparency would be low-risk, low-cost and provide important information in support of your government’s decision to cancel Site C.



Sincerely yours,

Harold Steves, Richmond
Bob Fedderly, Fort St. John
Mae Burrows, Burnaby
Andrea Morrison, Fort St. John
Adrienne Peacock, Belcarra
Rita Wong, Vancouver
Jackie Larkin, Metchosin
D Lynn Chapman, Roberts Creek
Fae Shaw, Kelowna
Candace Batycki, Nelson
Diane Culling, Fort St. John
Claire Kujundzic, Wells
Bill Horne, Wells
Dr. Amy Lubik, Port Moody
Charlotte Ericson, Victoria
Heather Menzies, Gabriola Island
Patricia Hill, Summerland
Alan Dolan, Sooke
Ruth Ann Darnall, Fort St. John
Taryn Skalbnania, Peachland
Terry Dance-Bennink, Victoria
Karen and David Kellett, Prince George
Rob Taylor, Peachland
Si Transken, Prince George
Hedy Conwright, Wells
Ken Forest, Charlie Lake
Ross Peck, Hudson's Hope
Danielle Layman, Fort St. John
Wendy Holm, Bowen Island
Harold Rhenisch, Vernon
Crystal Spicer, Edgewood
Kathryn Cook, Victoria
Susan Clarke, Sooke
Patricia Hill, Summerland
Rob Taylor, Peachland
Dirk van Stralen, Wells
Charlotte Kurta, Quesnel
Theresa Healy, Prince George
Elaine Hooper, Sooke
Lynn Shervill, Smithers
Karen Kellett, Prince George
Freya Keddie, Victoria
David Kellett, Prince George
Dirk van Stralen, Wells
Harold Rhenisch, Vernon
Eva Manly, Nanaimo
Si Transken, Prince George
Jay Gildon, Smithers
Hedy Conwright, Prince George
Jeffrey Dinsdale, Quesnel
Jacqueline Holler, Prince George
Dennis Kuch, Bella Coola
Pat Moss, Smithers
Nadia Nowak, Prince George
Robert Mellalieu, West Kelowna
Sheila Peters, Smithers

Ken and Arlene Boon, Fort St. John
Steve Gray, Victoria
George Smith, Gibsons
Galen Armstrong, Salt Spring Island
Vicky Husband, Saanich
Randy Hadland, Dawson Creek
Eoin Finn, Squamish
Morag Keegan-Henry, Vancouver
Dave Talbot, Comox
Fred Wah, Kootenay Lake
Des Wilson, Belcarra
Laurel Hadland, Baldonnel
Hajime Naka, Kelowna
Carol Kergan, Kelowna
Peter Chataway, Kelowna
Patricia Munro, Kelowna
Mark Haley, East Kelowna
B. Gail Riddell, Sechelt
John Kidder, Ashcroft 
Patricia Hill, Summerland
Donna Denison, West Kelowna
Dale Zeich, West Kelowna 
Alison Moore, Peachland
Verena Hofmann, Montenay
Jessica Klein, Peachland
Joe Klein, Peachland 
John D Turnbull, Roberts Creek 
David Y. Khang, Vancouver
Ellen Woodsworth, Vancouver
Jean Swanson, Vancouver
Jane Munro, Vancouver
Fiona T Lam, Vancouver
Kari Hewett, Vancouver
Mimi Gellman, Vancouver
Andrew Faulkner, Victoria
Katie Hayhurst, Bella Coola
Dave Jorgenson, Wells
Joe Foy, New Westminster
Anne Hill, Terrace
Margaret Ouwehand, Kitimat
Judy Campbell, Wells
Alison Candela, Smithers
Peter Kerr, Kelowna
Greg Knox, Terrace
Michael Kerr, Kelowna
Lois Beischer, West Kelowna
Janette McIntosh, Vancouver
Des Nobels, Prince Rupert
Wendy Brooks, Prince Rupert
Karen Abramsen, West Kelowna
Charlotte Kurta, Quesnel
Theresa Healy, Prince George
Dave Jorgenson, Wells
Larry Barzelai, Vancouver
Warren Bell, Salmon Arm
Jason Bednar, West Kelowna

 
Please click here or the image below to see the letter in its entirety, including Appendix I.
 
 

To reply, or for more information, please contact: 

Ken Boon - 250-262-9014 | pvla@xplornet.com   
Mae Burrows - 604-916-9026 | mburrows@telus.net
Harold Steves - 604-277-7759 | haroldsteves.savefarmland@gmail.com 

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Robert McCullough: What we have learned from the BCUC's Final Site C Report

Terminating Site C is the best option for BC ratepayers. 

Robert McCullough provides the following report to PVLA and PVEA in response to the BCUC's final report on Site C.

 
 
Date:               November 2, 2017
 
To:                   PVLA and PVEA
 
From:              Robert McCullough

 
Subject:          What we have learned from the BCUC's Final Report

Executive Summary:
 
On August 3, 2017, Mr. Horgan’s government gave the British Columbia Utilities Commission an impossible charge.  They were to review the then $8 billion Site C project (now the $10 billion site C project) in three grueling months.  Little information was available about Site C.  The calculations were opaque and idiosyncratic; the underlying forecasts confidential; and the cost components unknown outside the Crown Corporation.
 
The BCUC’s first step was to assign the fact finding to the well-respected Deloitte firm which did an excellent job.  Their first report clarified the morass the project was sinking into – identifying a likely year delay and the presence of massive cost overruns.  Never has a prediction been so immediately validated when BC Hydro announced the delay of the river diversion and an additional $610 million cost overrun.
 
On Wednesday, at 10:00 A.M. my staff and I started reading the two hundred and ninety-nine-page Final Report.  To put it mildly, we were impressed.  Actually, we were more than impressed.  The Commission had digested and reviewed the thousands of pages of submissions, winnowed the wheat from the chaff, and made some courageous decisions:
 
While the Commission did not make a formal recommendation, a careful review of the Final Report makes it clear that termination of Site C is less expensive and less risky than the alternatives, and the actual content of the full report makes that very clear.

The BCUC states that:
  1. Site C is over budget and behind schedule.  The BCUC estimates costs are now at $10 billion.
  2. BC Hydro's load forecast is highly doubtful and the BCUC has recommended the use of the low forecast.
  3. The export assumptions are unrealistic.  Again, the BCUC has recommended a much lower forecast.
  4. Wind, solar, and geothermal are realistic alternatives.  Prices have declined significantly and will continue to fall.
  5. The alternative resources cost less and are more deployable
  6. BC Hydro's planning methodology is undocumented and inaccurate.
  7. There is an excellent source of hydro-electric storage in the non-treatystorage agreement -- 25 times the storage of Site C.

See below to download the rest of the McCullough Report.
 
 
Click the image below to download the
unabridged report (10 pages):

 
Click the image below to download the
Site C - Top 10 Frequently Asked Questions

 
Click here to listen to Robert McCullough on CFAX 1070 with Mark Brennae (Nov 1, 2017 at 4:05pm)
 
For more information contact:
 
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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BCUC Final Report: Terminating Site C is best option for BC Ratepayers

BCUC Final Report: Terminating Site C is best option for BC Ratepayers

November 1, 2017

The British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) issued its final report this morning, with findings that show terminating Site C is the best option for BC ratepayers. 

"Today has been a long time coming. The BCUC has confirmed what we have said for many years: Site C is a financially reckless project that is not in the best interests of BC ratepayers," says Ken Boon, PVLA President. “And that’s before we consider the many other significant adverse impacts of Site C on First Nations, agriculture, the environment and landowners. It’s time for the provincial government to terminate Site C.”

The following is a summary of the BCUC final report by international energy expert Robert McCullough:

The BCUC’s final report on Site C rejected virtually every component of BC Hydro's submissions throughout the review process.  

Key findings from the report can be summarized as follows: 

  1. Site C is over budget and behind schedule, with costs expected to exceed $10 billion.

  2. BC Hydro's load forecast is highly doubtful and the BCUC has recommended the use of the low forecast.

  3. BC Hydro’s export assumptions are unrealistic. The BCUC has recommended a much lower forecast.

  4. Wind, solar, and geothermal are realistic alternatives. Prices have declined significantly and will continue to fall.

  5. The alternative resources cost less, are more deployable, and are less risky.

  6. BC Hydro's planning methodology is undocumented and inaccurate.

  7. BC has an excellent source of hydroelectric storage in the non-treaty storage agreement: 25 times the storage of Site C.

Overall, the economics clearly favour the alternative portfolios in terms of cost, risk, and availability.

 

Click here to listen to Robert McCullough on CFAX 1070 with Mark Brennae (November 1, 2017 at 4:05pm).

 

A more detailed analysis by McCullough Research will be released on November 2, 2017.

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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MEDIA ADVISORY: Robert McCullough and Harry Swain to Respond to Final BCUC Site C Report

What: International energy expert Robert McCullough, and Harry Swain, former chair of the federal-provincial review of the Site C project, will be available for interview following the release of the BCUC final report on Site C, this Wednesday, November 1.

The BCUC’s Site C Inquiry comes to an end this Wednesday when the panel will provide their report and findings to the NDP government regarding the future of the Site C project. Their report will be made available to the public as well.

Robert McCullough will be available to speak to the impacts the decision will have on BC’s economic future including the negative implications on BC ratepayers, and why Site C is not the best option to address BC's energy needs.

Harry Swain will be available to speak to how BC Hydro has consistently overestimated BC’s energy demand and that renewables such as wind, solar and geothermal are viable alternatives that will save BC ratepayers billions and can be implemented when, and if, demand materializes.

 

When:             Wednesday, November 1, 2017
                        Two hours after the report is released
                        (specific timing dependent on the BCUC release)
                        
Where:            Option 1: By phone
                        Option 2: In person at the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver,
                                         791 W. Georgia St., Vancouver, BC
                        (please see media contacts below to set up a time)        
 
Who:               Robert McCullough, International Energy Expert
                        Harry Swain, Former Chair, Site C Joint Review Panel
                        Ken Boon, President, Peace Valley Landowner Association
 

Robert McCullough, Harry Swain and Ken Boon will also be available for interviews on November 2 and can provide detailed analyses of the BCUC’s report.

 
Media Contacts:

Amanda Munro: amanda@munrothompson.com / 604-360-3994
Emily Marroquin: emily@munrothompson.com / 604-928-6299

 
Expert Biographies
 
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 attorneys general. 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.

Harry Swain chaired the federal-provincial review of the Site C project in 2013-14. Earlier, he was the federal Deputy Minister of Indian Affairs and later Industry in the period 1987-96. He was a postdoc at Cambridge, taught economic geography in Toronto and at UBC, and was a project leader at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria. On rejoining the federal public service in 1976, he worked in energy policy (renewables, nuclear) and regional development, and for seven years worked in the federal cabinet secretariat. In 1996 he left the federal public service to become a director of Hambros Bank Ltd (London) and CEO of its Canadian subsidiary, working principally in project finance. He retired to Victoria in 2005.

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Site C Inquiry Update: Termination is Still the Best Option

Terminate Site C and save BC Ratepayers $2.6 to $4.2 billion.  

or 

Build Site C instead of wind power, miss out on billions of savings, and sell the unneeded power to Alberta at a heavily discounted price with BC ratepayers picking up the difference.

What would you do? 


See the latest report in the Site C Inquiry from Robert McCullough, of McCullough Research, below.

 
 
Date:               October 26, 2017
 
To:                   PVLA and PVEA
 
From:              Robert McCullough

 
Subject:          Site C Inquiry Update

 

British Columbia Hydro’s proposed Site C dam is now in its final week of regulatory review. We expect that the report will be publicly released on November 1st. We will be preparing an analysis of the report.

The vast majority of materials filed have supported termination of the project in favor of solutions that are less expensive, more deployable in response to actual requirements, and less environmentally destructive. We have filed extensive materials and testified twice at the Technical Presentation Sessions on October 13 and 14, 2017.

The basic economics indicate savings of Can$2.6 to Can$4.2 billion if the project is terminated and replaced with a portfolio of primarily wind power: 

 

This is close to a Can$1,000 savings for every adult in British Columbia.

Importantly, the savings from termination still exceed the costs of completing Site C even if assumptions are adopted that are not supported by the evidence or standard economics. Site C should still be terminated even if:

  • The BC Hydro high load forecast is used,

  • Sunk costs are included,

  • Existing storage is reserved for export markets.


That said, cancellation of Site C is still opposed by BC Hydro on several economic grounds.

For example, replacing a 1,100 MW hydroelectric project with wind or solar is difficult in jurisdictions that do not have an extensive ability to store and shape intermittent resources.

BC Hydro submits that without Site C, British Columbia does not have sufficient capacity and has run out of hydroelectric storage.

This is an interesting hypothesis since some of the largest reservoirs in North America are in British Columbia. And even more curious, British Columbia Hydro's own submissions have made clear that Site C’s storage – only 4/10ths of 1% of Williston -- is incapable of supporting seasonal operations.

Click the image below to read the rest of the McCullough Report:
 
 
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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Summary of key facts re BCUC Site C inquiry

Dear friends,


On November 1st, the British Columbia Utilities Commission will decide on the fate of the Site C dam. Here is a summary of the key facts of the case.
 

Sincerely,

Robert McCullough

Date:               October 23, 2017
 
To:                   McCullough Research Clients
 
From:               Robert McCullough
 
Subject:           Site C Inquiry Situation Report
 

British Columbia Hydro’s proposed Site C dam is now in its final week of regulatory review.  The vast majority of materials filed have supported termination of the project in favor of solutions that are less expensive, more deployable in response to actual requirements, and less environmentally destructive.  The basic economics indicate savings of Can$2.6 to Can$4.2 billion if the project is terminated:

 

Comparison of Alternatives:

 

 

Commission Scenarios

 

Site C

Low LF

Medium LF

High LF

Original Cost

 $        8,775

 

 

 

Plus, Cost Overrun

 $            610

 

 

 

Minus, Sunk Costs

 $      (2,100)

 

 

 

Cost of 
Continuation

 $         7,285

 $        1,851

 $           2,889

 $        3,441

Termination Cost

 

 $        1,200

 $           1,200

 $        1,200

Actual Cost

 $         7,285

 $        3,051

 $           4,089

 $        4,641

Termination 
Advantage

 

 $        4,234

 $           3,196

 $        2,644

 

This is close to a Can$1,000 savings for every adult in British Columbia.  However, the benefits will not arrive without opposition.
 
Replacing a 1,100 MW hydroelectric project with wind, solar, or geothermal would be difficult for jurisdictions without an extensive ability to store and shape intermittent resources.  Luckily, a vast amount of storage will be available in the next seven years as the Non-Treaty Storage Agreement becomes available.  This provides 2.5 million-acre feet of storage incremental to British Columbia Hydro’s current capability.  The storage has been rented to the Bonneville Power Administration for the past fifty years.
 
The challenge goes beyond energy planning; it is the cognitive bias through which human perception affects policy. The most recent recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics, Richard Thaler, has described this as the Sunk Cost Fallacy:
 
"This fallacy, which is related to status quo bias, can also be viewed as bias resulting from an ongoing commitment. For example, individuals sometimes order too much food and then over-eat ‘just to get their money’s worth’. Similarly, a person may have a $20 ticket to a concert and then drive for hours through a blizzard, just because s/he feels that s/he has to attend due to having made the initial investment. If the costs outweigh the benefits, the extra costs incurred (inconvenience, time or even money) are held in a different mental account than the one associated with the ticket transaction."[1]
 
The technological revolution in renewable energy generation was foreseen by very few when Site C was first planned thirty years ago.  
 
British Columbia Hydro’s arguments in favor of the more expensive option of completing Site C include arguments that wind, solar, and geothermal projects will not work north of the U.S. border.  They also cite a lack of a mandate to use more cost-effective technologies, a lack of hydro-electric storage, and a plan to sell the Can$100/MWh surplus from Site C at a profit.  These points have been effectively rebutted by extensive expert testimony.
 
The Commission’s final report on Site C is due on November 1, 2017.
 
Our extensive testimony in the proceeding in front of the British Columbia Utilities Commission is available at the BCUC website as party submissions entitled F35.  These documents are also available on our own website herehereherehere, and here.  We also testified twice at the Technical Presentation Sessions on October 13 and 14, 2017. The BCUC has the information it necessary to make a data-driven decision.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 

 


[1]Thaler, R. H. (1999). Mental accounting matters. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making. 12, 183-206.

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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.


---

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.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

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:
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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:

Facebook   Twitter    Website

 

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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:

Facebook   Twitter    Website

 

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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:

Facebook   Twitter    Website

 

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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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