UBC Report Recommends pausing Site C to examine economics

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

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

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

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

Read full story here.

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

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

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Two Site C campaign events for you in January 2017!

Dear Friends of the Peace,

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

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

What’s happening next?

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

 

Survivorman LES STROUD in Concert

 

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

Followed by a conversation about the Site C Dam featuring:

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

-Photojournalist Ben Nelms

-Elizabeth May

-led by reporter Emma Gilchrest of DeSmog Canada

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

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

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

 

The Peace in Peril: Photo Show and Book Talk

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

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

Where:  Patagonia Vancouver

               1994 West 4th Avenue

Cost: FREE + craft beer by donation

Proceeds go to Peace Valley Environment

Association

Books will be available to purchase at event.

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

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

 

For the Peace,


                                              

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

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Get your Stake in the Peace and Write for Rights

Dear Friends,

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

Wondering what you can do?

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

Have you got your Stake in the Peace yet?

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

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

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

Find out more about Write for Rights here.

George Desjarlais, West Moberly First Nation                                       Photo:  Andrea Morison

 

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

 

Take action - Be the change you want to see! 

What else can I do to help?

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

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

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

For the Peace,


                                              

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

 

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How can you help stop Site C dam?

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

How can you stand up against Site C?

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2016 - 15:23

 

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

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

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

1. Sign up for Write for Rights

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

Sign up for Write for Rights today!
 

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

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

3. Send a solidarity message or photograph

Rising Waters photo action:

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

5. Sign and Share our Online Action

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Site C Roadshow and Premier Clark Heist Town Hall

 

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

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

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

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

The Great Site C Road Show 2.0 includes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

What: Site C Town Hall and Ally Mustering

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

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

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

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

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

By Dustin Perry & Feet Banks    Photos: Garth Lenz

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Photo:  Andrea Morison

Dear Friends of the Peace,

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

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

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

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

There are a number of outstanding federal permits required from the federal Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans required for construction to continue. Delaying these permits would allow First Nations’ court challenges to be heard.  It would also provide time for the re-examination of critical outstanding issues regarding project costs, energy demand forecasts and numerous environmental concerns before the BC government spends more of our money destroying the Peace Valley.

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

More campaign updates:

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

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

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

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

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

  For the Peace,

                                            

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

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May 14, 2016 Site C Campaign Update

SITE C CAMPAIGN UPDATE
May 14, 2016

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


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


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


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


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

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

Site C in the News

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


Online actions:

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

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

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


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

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

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


Follow the campaign:
Facebook  Twitter   Website

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

Photo:  Tristan Brand

Dear Friends of the Peace,

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

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

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

There are a number of outstanding federal permits for this work. Delaying these permits would allow First Nations’ court challenges to be heard.  It would also provide time for the re-examination of critical outstanding issues regarding project costs, energy demand forecasts and numerous environmental concerns before the BC government spends more of our money destroying the Peace Valley.

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

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

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

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

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

Tips for meeting with your MP

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

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

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

    • Reference our backgrounder for assistance

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

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

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

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

For the Peace,

                                            

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

 

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Apr 26 2016 Campaign Update

SITE C CAMPAIGN UPDATE

April 26, 2016

 Mobilize to Educate Members of Parliament

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

Let’s Get to 50!

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

11th Annual Paddle for the Peace

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

Site C in the News

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

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

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

 

And as always:

Online actions:

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

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

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

Follow the campaign:

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:

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Site C Campaign Update #5 (April 4)

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

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Site C Campaign Update #4 (March 28)

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

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



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Site C Campaign Update #3

SITE C CAMPAIGN UPDATE

March 17, 2016

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

Upcoming Events

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

 

Online actions

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

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

Also take action online at:

·       http://realsitechearings.org

·       http://savebcfromsitec.ca

 

Fundraising

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

Joint NGO letter to Prime Minister Trudeau

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

 

Follow the campaign:

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Liberals assailed on aboriginal rights from both sides

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

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

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

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No Site C Campaign Update #2 Mar 7 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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Suzuki writes to BC Hydro CEO re Site C Dam

David Suzuki wrote an excellent letter to BC Hydro's CEO Jessica MacDonald re Site C yesterday - here it is:

Sent: Wednesday, March 02, 2016 11:43 AM
To: Jessica MacDonald
Subject: Letter from David Suzuki

Dear Jessica,

I’m deeply disappointed with BC Hydro's heavy-handed tactics in dealing with Treaty 8 community members and their supporters, who had been camped at the historical Rocky Mountain Fort in the Peace Valley for weeks. I'm told efforts had been made to broker a discussion between people at the camp and you before Hydro sought a court injunction to remove them.

Throughout the regulatory process and consultation with affected First Nations, BC Hydro has never been able to make the case that power from the Site C dam is needed or that the project is worth the enormous cost to Indigenous lands and livelihoods, not to mention prime farmland and wildlife habitat.

Peer-reviewed research by the David Suzuki Foundation found that nearly two-thirds of the Peace region has already been devastated by human land use, from fracking to logging to mining, as well as earlier major hydro developments on the Peace River. The Joint Review Panel concluded that the cumulative impacts of this development are massive, and the negative consequences for First Nations and their treaty rights cannot be mitigated.

With Treaty 8 First Nations still in court, these issues remain unresolved. And yet BC Hydro has chosen to steamroll forward, in the absence of proper due diligence and without social license to proceed. Expert after expert has concluded that halting development on the dam to allow these court cases to conclude will not come at a cost to BC Hydro but will in fact save money for Hydro's customers.

I urge you to use common sense and halt work on the Site C dam and sit down with First Nations. The days of running roughshod over First Nations and local communities must end.

Yours sincerely,

David Suzuki

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BC’s Supreme Court Gave BC Hydro An Injunction

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

Read full article here.

 

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Site C protesters end camp blockade

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

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

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

Read full article here.

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Site C protestors end their blockade

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

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

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

Read full article here

 

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Opinion: Canada can and should delay Site C

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

February 29, 2016

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

Read full article here.

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BC Hydro granted injunction against Site C protesters

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

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

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

Read full article here.

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

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

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

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Next Site C Event - March 9, 2016

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


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

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29 Organizations sign letter to Prime Minster Trudeau re Site C

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

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

Read the full letter here.

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Ever Wondered Why Site C Rhymes With LNG?

from DeSmog Canada

By Ben Parfitt, Feb 4, 2016

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

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


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

Read full article here.

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There's nothing clean about the Site C dam

February 11, 2016

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

Dear Prime Minister,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read rest of article here.

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

January 18, 2016

Peaceful camp occupancy continues at Site C dam construction site

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

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

The three-point plan calls for:

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

Read remainder of press release here.

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Hydrogeologist cites serious concerns re impacts of Site C to groundwater

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

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

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

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

Read full news article by clicking on title link above.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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What is the future of food sustainability in the Peace?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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First Nations Prepare for Arrest to Stop Site C Dam

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

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

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

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

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

Rest of article here.

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

Photos:  Garth Lenz

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

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

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

Read full article here.

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

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

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Stewart Phillip: Trudeau government must kill Site C dam project to show it cares about natives

At an estimated $9 billion and counting, the proposed Site C dam in northern British Columbia is an economic, environmental and social catastrophe in the making.

Stewartphillip250

It is also, metaphorically, a line in the sand that if crossed would seriously set back relations between Canada’s new federal government and First Nations across the country.

While much destruction from logging and land clearing has occurred at the dam site, major construction has not begun and is still some time off. Meaning there is still time to stop the laying to waste of First Nation lands governed by Treaty 8 and to halt the destruction of some of the best farmland in the country.

If Canada’s new federal government wants to pass the critical litmus test that it set for itself in the lead-up to the recent election when it promised a new, more respectful relationship with First Nations, saying no to Site C is a great way to begin.

Read full article here.

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Requesting support from residents of southwestern BC

Residents of Southwestern BC:

Members of the Peace Valley Landowners Association, representing 70 farmers who are fighting to prevent the flooding of their homes and farms from the Site C dam, need your help.

While this is the largest infrastructure project in BC history, most people in the Fraser Valley have never heard of it, even though they will end up paying for it through increased hydro rates and loss of other important infrastructure projects we won’t be able to afford.

Site C dam would result in the largest withdrawal from the agricultural land reserve in BC’s history.

BC Hydro wants to put B.C. farmland under water. The proposed Site C dam would flood 107 kilometers of valley bottom in the Peace region, destroying some of B.C.’s best farmland. Family farms that have been passed down for generations would be washed away.

“The Peace River Valley has the capacity to produce a wide range of produce. The land to be flooded is capable of providing an annual, local, sustainably-produced supply of fresh vegetables to over a million people. Think what that could mean for nutrition in northern communities!”
– Wendy Holm, B.Sc., M.Sc., P.Ag.

An environmental assessment by the Federal/Provincial Joint-Review Panel expressed concerns about the significant destruction of habitat and resulting impacts on farmers and local First Nations. In their report, the panel noted that there were other forms of energy, such as geothermal energy, that could meet the demand for additional power without the same level of early-year losses of Site C. The Joint Review Panel (JRP) concluded that “the proponent has not fully demonstrated the need for the project on the timetable set forth.” In Recommendation 46, the Panel stated: “If it is decided that the Project should proceed, a first step should be the referral of Project costs and hence unit energy costs and revenue requirements to the BC Utilities Commission for detailed examination” (Swain, Harry et. al. Report of the JRP, May 1, 2014).

This recommendation has thus far not been accepted by the Clark government.

There are five major concerns related to this project:

1. Loss of Prime Farm Land

2. Rate Increases and Other Infrastructure in Jeopardy

3. The need for Site C has not been demonstrated

4. Important wildlife values will be destroyed

5. First Nations have said no

The government needs to hear from the people of B.C.

Will you help by:

– Putting a sign on your property (see photo)?
– Helping coordinate/spread the word about in-person presentations in the Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland?

Further information:
www.peacevalleyland.com
www.stopsitec.org

Contact:
Valerie Hunter
valerie.hunter@shaw.ca
604-876-0259

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FN Chiefs call on Feds to stop Site C

 

OTTAWA, Dec. 10, 2015 /CNW/ – First Nation chiefs from British Columbia and representatives from the Assembly of First Nations are calling on the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to take a second look at a Cabinet decision of the former federal government providing initial approval of the controversial Site C dam.

The Chiefs also are calling on key federal Cabinet Ministers to meet with them and are seeking a halt on any further federal permitting until the issue of Treaty rights infringement arising from the proposed project is fully examined and resolved.

The call comes as a delegation of Chiefs from British Columbia arrives in Ottawa to press for meetings with key federal Cabinet ministers and the Prime Minister to ask that the federal government intervene to stop the proposed dam, which would flood nearly 23,000 hectares of land along 107 kilometres of the Peace River, Moberly River, Halfway River and their tributaries.

“The Site C dam would inundate the Peace River valley and several of its tributaries, destroying the last stretch of the valley that we have left. We’ve already lost 70 per cent of the valley to two massive reservoirs that have poisoned fish, wiped out hunting and gathering grounds and flooded burial sites. Ottawa must not allow what little remains to be wiped out as well,” says West Moberly First Nations Chief, Roland Willson.

Read rest of article here.

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Letter from Peace Valley Farmer to Justin Trudeau

The Site C dam is not only not needed but is a huge mistake. The inflated jobs numbers are a lie, the costs are under estimated and the warnings of experts and citizens alike have been ignored.

We need this valley, not for the possible power or water, but for the possible food, the amazing wildlife habit and the cultural heritage. My parents and I farm both in and out of the peace valley, growing mostly canola and wheat, but also oats, barley and raise beef cattle. Next year, my girlfriend a (horticultural student) plans on starting a small certified organic market garden and I plan on trying some organic sunflowers, peas, quinoa, and maybe even hemp. Unfortunately though, BC Hydro wants to re-align the highway through our property/ house and flood a lot of land we farm. So some of those plans are in jeopardy, but I didn’t write you to whine about that.

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CUPE 15 Vancouver supports opposition to Site C Dam

CUPE 15 Vancouver sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on December 8th stating their firm opposition to Site C dam.  Read here:

CUPE 15 Letter of support

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Video of First Nations' Opposition to Site C

This video is compiled from footage of the "Drums for the Peace" solidarity rallies in Victoria and Vancouver on November 18, 2015. These rallies were to raise awareness and support for the West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations of Treaty 8 Territory in their ongoing legal challenges to the approval and construction of the Site C Dam.  Video by Colton Nash.

Link to video here.

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First Nations and Amnesty urge governments to stop Site C

Trudeau needs to take a hard second look at the Site C dam: AFN, Amnesty

By | Dec 9, 2015 11:35 am

 

Every day, federal and provincial governments make decisions about resource development projects. Some are relatively benign decisions, with few or no impacts on First Nations rights. Others carry the potential for massive and irreversible impacts on the rights of First Nations.

British Columbia’s planned Site C hydroelectric dam falls into the latter category. It will have devastating impacts on the rights and territories of Treaty 8 First Nations in B.C. Approval for Site C means approval for flooding the last pristine stretch of the Peace River valley west of Fort St. John, turning it into a massive reservoir.

Indigenous peoples in northeastern B.C. rely on the Peace Valley to provide for their families and maintain their way of life. It is a wellspring of their culture — a place to hunt, fish, gather plant medicines and engage in ceremony. The rich valley floor and hillsides are particularly important in a region already squeezed by the construction of two large dams and massive, ongoing oil and gas development. There are fewer and fewer places left where Indigenous Peoples can exercise these crucial rights.

Site C would submerge graves and destroy sites of unique cultural and historic importance, prime farmland important to Indigenous and non-Indigenous families and wipe out some of the last, nearly-pristine ecosystems in the region.

 

Read full article here.

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First Nation Leaders Urge Trudeau Government to Keep Campaign Promises, Stop Proposed Site C Dam, and Usher in New Era of Cooperation

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 10, 2015) -

First Nation chiefs from British Columbia and representatives from the Assembly of First Nations are calling on the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to take a second look at a Cabinet decision of the former federal government providing initial approval of the controversial Site C dam.

The Chiefs also are calling on key federal Cabinet Ministers to meet with them and are seeking a halt on any further federal permitting until the issue of Treaty rights infringement arising from the proposed project is fully examined and resolved.

Read full article here.

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Bountiful Peace Details

Bountiful Peace speaking event details.....

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Bountiful Peace Speaking Events Dec 1st and 2nd 2015

 

 

 

Mark your calendars for Tues Dec 1st in Richmond and Wed, Dec 2nd in Chilliwack to join third-generation farmers Arlene and Ken Boon and learn how the Peace farmers are challenging the mammoth Site C dam that threatens to wash away their farms, their livelihoods, and the land that can feed 1 million people.
Speakers: Ken and Arlene Boon, third-generation Peace valley farmers, Harold Steves, Richmond councillor, and Richard Bullock, former chair of the Agricultural Land Commission
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Let's ask the Feds to stop Site C!

Dear Friends,

First we would like to say THANK YOU! to the many, many supporters who joined our rallies in Victoria and Vancouver earlier this week.  The turnout was fantastic and the enthusiasm was incredibly heartwarming!  So far, reports back from the First Nations in court are positive!

And now we would like to turn our collective attention to Canada’s new Prime Minister and his cabinet.  Trudeau won his campaign based on many promises including significant improvements in relations with First Nations, strengthening legislative protection for the environment and further, has asked several of his ministers to ensure that Canada pursues truly green energy projects.

These campaign promises and the emphasis on improving areas of common concern have us feeling optimistic and hopeful that he and his cabinet will put a stop to Site C.  We are working hard behind the scenes here with our allies to supply our new federal government with the facts about how detrimental Site C will be to the environment and First Nations.

Part of our strategy in ensuring they get the message is to have YOU send them letters, letting them know that you want to see Site C stopped once and for all! 

Please take a moment as soon as possible to send your letter through our RealSiteCHearings.org site as we want to notify the Prime Minister and key cabinet ministers before they meet with BC Premier Christy Clark on Monday.  If you don’t get it done before Monday, your letters will still continue to be sent.

We know that you too want to see our new federal government live up to their promises.  Your actions will provide timely follow up to the letters sent to the Prime Minister this week by an alliance of environmental and pro-democracy groups, the global head of Amnesty International and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs.  He must be well informed before he heads to Paris that Site C is NOT a project that Canada can brag about as being clean or green!

Thank you once again for the dedicated and heartfelt support from each and every one of you!  We are going to stop this dam yet!

For the Peace,

                                                            

Andrea Morison                                                                Ana Simeon
Peace Valley Environment Association                             Sierra Club BC

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OPEN LETTER: BC Climate Leadership Team Must Oppose Site C

Dear Climate Leadership Team Members,

We are writing because you have been called upon to provide recommendations on climate action to the provincial government by the end of this month, when Premier Christy Clark is scheduled to travel to Paris to attend international climate change talks. We are collectively advising you that the proposed Site C hydroelectric dam project is not “clean energy” and to remind you that Treaty 8 First Nations continue to oppose Site C, and we are calling on you to oppose the Site C project with us.

Read remainder of letter here.

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Global head of Amnesty International sends letter to Trudeau and Clark re need to stop Site C

The global head of Amnesty International has just faxed and emailed the Prime Minister and Premier to call for an immediate halt to Site C. Details and link to 7 page letter here:

http://www.amnesty.ca/…/global-head-amnesty-calls-immediate…

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Court Challenge over Site C permits begins

Two First Nations were in B.C. Supreme Court Tuesday over permits issued for construction work that has begun on the Site C dam.

Both West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations were set to meet in a Victoria courtroom asking the courts to quash around 30 permits allowing BC Hydro to remove beaver dams, destroy bald eagle nests, and complete other work to prepare the dam site for construction. 

Full story here:

http://www.alaskahighwaynews.ca/regional-news/site-c/court-challenge-over-site-c-permits-begins-1.2114097

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