Tell your riding candidates that the next government will have the power to STOP Site C!

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Tell your MLA that Site C is an economic catastrophe that the next government will have the power to STOP!

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Provincial
Your 2017 BC election candidates
BC NDP Leader – John Horgan
BC Premier Christy Clark

Federal
Prime Minister of Canada – Justin Trudeau
Minister of the Environment & Climate Change – Catherine McKenna
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Jody Wilson-Raybould

This way we can keep our elected representatives up to date on public concerns about this project.

(We'd like to inform you of important milestones related to this project.)

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Dear Defenders of the Peace River Valley,

BC’s next government will have the power to put a stop to the completely unnecessary and massively destructive Site C dam – the biggest economic boondoggle in BC’s history!

Be sure to exercise your right to vote and ensure that your MLA and all candidates in your riding are aware of the significant impact that Site C will have on all British Columbians.  If construction is completed, it will take 70 years for generations of British Columbians to pay off!  This for a project that has no market and BC Hydro says isn’t needed for potentially 40 years!

Please take a moment to send a letter to your MLA and the election candidates in your riding to ensure that they are fully informed of the need for the next government to put a stop to Site C dam before it becomes the most costly mistake BC has ever made!

  • Site C will create at least $5000 of debt for every household in BC.
  • Christy Clark is saddling BC taxpayers with 70 years of debt from Site C so she can claim short-term job creation in the north for the 2017 election. Site C, even at its current cost, will not be paid off by BC residents until 2094 at the earliest.
  • BC Hydro is borrowing $9 billion, on top of its current debt of $76 billion to pay for Site C dam.
  • $9 billion could be better spent in BC:  It could fund 54 secondary schools or 321 middle schools or many new hospitals.
  • Energy demand in BC has been flat for a decade; as rates increase, demand will fall.
  • British Columbia has many cheaper and greener alternatives; geothermal, solar and wind are available at lower cost. Taking back the power available under the Columbia River Treaty is also an option.
  •  The BC government did not send Site C to its own regulator, BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) even though the then chair of the Joint Review Panel, Dr. Harry Swain strongly and repeatedly advised that it should.
  •  Average price for Site C electricity = $88/MWh yet promised average price to industry = $55/MWh
  • Why are LNG companies in BC getting reduced hydro rates on the backs of BC citizens?
  • Why is BC spending $9 billion and further, why is the federal government open to spending billions more to send Site C power to Alberta to support their oil sands industry?

There are many additional arguments against building this completely unnecessary dam:

  • Site C is old technology; a dirty, out-dated, earth-fill dam that will take money away from clean energy opportunities in BC.
  • There are many new, truly clean energy alternatives, such as wind, solar and geothermal which could be built on an as-needed basis and for far less money than Site C.
  • What if even $1 billion (of the $9 billion Site C dam) were spent across all regions of BC on new, advanced energy projects like solar, wind and geothermal? These developments would create permanent, local jobs based on building, installing and operating new technologies; technologies that would generate skills, training and apprenticeship programs now!
  • Energy efficiency is a least-cost option for many companies as they work to minimize expenses.
  • By 2018, every British Columbian’s Hydro bill will have gone up by almost a third from where it was in 2013. (Please ignore formatting from this point down – it should continue with the regular bullets used above)
  •  “The Peace River Valley has the ability to produce food for a million people.  It could supply fresh fruits and vegetables to people who live in northern BC, the Yukon and Northwest Territories, Alberta and the Lower Mainland,” Wendy Holm, economic agrologist. 
  • “According to the experts, Site C dam may have a 100-year life.  The agricultural land in the Peace River Valley will support life in perpetuity,” Wendy Holm, economic agrologist.
  • There are over 300 wildlife species and over 400 plant species identified to date in the Peace River Valley and biologists suspect there are a number of yet unidentified species present.  Site C Dam will flood important wildlife birthing habitat, critical migratory bird habitat and rare plant species
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True Cost of Site C

mountingcosts_1Site C is going to cost you money – a lot of money.

BC Hydro currently estimates that Site C Dam will cost $8.8 billion and “projects losing $800 million in the first 4 years of operation.” (Report of the Joint Review Panel, Site C Clean Energy Project, BC Hydro, May 1, 2014)

BC Hydro has already confirmed rate increases between 2014-2018 of 28%. It is anticipated that cumulatively, rate increases over the next 10 years will be about 45% without Site C. If Site C is approved, BC Hydro intends to increase rates even further to recover the costs of Site C.

Site C: BC’s next White Elephant? The energy from Site C is not needed.

After 28 days of hearings and review of 28,000 pages of documentation, the Joint Review Panel concluded that BC Hydro has failed to prove that we need Site C. Further, they emphasized that because there are significant adverse effects, justification for the project must rest on an unambiguous need for the power.

BC Municipal Associations request a thorough, independent review of Site C

In September 2015, the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) passed two resolutions; the first calling for the province to rescind the Order in Council that excluded Site C dam reservoir lands from the Agricultural Land Reserve; and, second, to have the project thoroughly reviewed by the BC Utilities Commission.

Both resolutions were put forward in reaction to the BC Liberal government’s decision to bypass these independent provincial agencies, whose purpose is to ensure that actions such as these are undertaken in the best interests of British Columbians.

More on the UBCM resolutions here.

altenergy_1Alternative sources of power would be more cost effective.

Energy economist Dr. Marvin Shaffer conducted significant research on the viability of Site C and has concluded that there are far less expensive alternatives to Site C.

“BC Hydro is inducing new mining and oil and gas load with the offer of low cost power that it does not have; giving rise to more load growth than what would be economically efficient.”
– Dr. Marvin Shaffer, Economist

Site C is more than three times as costly as the least expensive option,” states expert energy economist Robert McCullough.  McCullough was hired by the Peace Valley Landowner Association to prepare a report on a comparison of alternatives to Site C in March 2015.  Read his report here.

The Joint Review Panel also urged BC Hydro to consider using the tremendous geothermal potential in BC as an alternative to Site C. BC Hydro has confirmed that over 700Mw of geothermal power exists in the province, about two-thirds of the 1,100Mw capacity of Site C.

BC businesses are very concerned about how Site C will affect their bottom line.

The Association of Major Power Customers of BC has stated that Site C is not the right project now; citing additional concerns regarding recent rate increases and the accuracy of BC Hydro’s energy forecasts.

“The huge cost [of Site C] will rob the province of valuable resources that could be used to deliver other needed government services as well as burden the BC economy with debt and high electric power rates that will sap our competitiveness.”
– Dan Potts, former executive director of the Association of Major Power customers of BC

The BC Chamber of Commerce states that with regard to Site C, “… the payoff for the province and its taxpaying citizens won’t justify the huge investment required.” (Business Vancouver, editorial, June 3-9, 2014)

In December, 2014, after the BC government announced that they intend to proceed with Site C, Business Vancouver published an editorial citing their concern that the provincial government has left a multi-billion dollar white elephant under the tree for British Columbians.

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A Waste of Farmland

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

Site C would flood 83km of the Peace River, widening it by up to 3 times, as well as 10km of the Moberly and 14km of the Halfway Rivers.

Over 57,000 acres of agricultural and forested land would be impacted by Site C, including 31,528 acres of Class 1-7 agricultural land and over 17,000 acres of forested land.

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Wildlife impacts in northeastern BC are already significant; building Site C will make it even worse.

The northeastern corner of BC is already ravaged by oil, gas and forestry development: maintaining intact wildlife corridors, spread across large expanses of land, is essential to maintaining the health of many ecosystems and wildlife that depend on them.

“In the near future, the Peace region landscape is likely to be reduced to about one-half of its potential to support certain wide-ranging species… Site C will exacerbate this loss and will further erode our ability to conserve and recover some species.”
– Dr. Clayton Apps, wildlife biologist

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Site C would cause significant and irreparable harm to fish and migratory bird species.

Site C would result in the loss of fish in two major tributaries to the Peace River: the migratory Arctic grayling in the Moberly River and the migratory bull trout in the Halfway River. Mountain Whitefish in the Peace River would also disappear.

The destruction of habitat for several migratory bird species, including those classified as ‘at risk’, would also result from Site C. Species impacted include Canada Cap May and Bay-breasted Warblers, Yellow Rail and Nelson’s Sparrow.

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Where is BC going to source fruits and vegetables as traditional food producing lands are being depleted by the effects of global warming?

Droughts in the US are seriously impacting the production of traditional food producing lands, food that British Columbians depend on.

“As world prices for food escalate in response to inevitable pressure, the land in the Peace River Valley is our food security Plan B…. The land to be flooded by Site C is capable of providing a sustainably produced supply of fresh fruits and vegetables to over a million people!”
– Wendy Holm, professional agrologist with over 40 years’ experience in agricultural economics and public policy in Canada and BC

The Peace River Valley provides a unique microclimate where crops one wouldn’t expect to grow this far north actually thrive, including corn, field tomatoes, cantaloupe and watermelon.

“The Peace River Valley has extraordinarily high value for agriculture and it’s my opinion that the public interest is better served by allowing it to continue to sustain citizens through agricultural production rather than destroying it for power production.”
– Eveline Wolterson, soil scientist and physical chemist with 40 years’ experience researching and consulting on agriculture

BC Hydro states that Site C will have a 100-year life; the agricultural land in the Peace River Valley will support life in perpetuity.

There are many energy alternatives, but there are no alternatives to food producing land.

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First Nations are finding their ability to carry out traditional practises are already seriously eroded in their homeland.

The Treaty 8 First Nations Treaty states that they would be able to carry out their treaty rights “… for as long as the sun shines, the rivers flow and the grass grows.”

Site C would significantly impact First Nations’ ability to carry out their cultural practices and rights. Construction of the dam could impact up to 337 archaeological sites, including ancestral gravesites.


The financial costs of the significant biodiversity losses are completely ignored by BC Hydro.

“… Biological diversity is a global asset of great value to present and future generations and vital to humanity’s economic and social development…. The Panel’s assessment indicates a change in biodiversity… that significant effects would occur in the long-term… [and have] an effect on the sustainability of these resources… that the loss of biodiversity… also has a financial cost.”
– Report of the Joint Review Panel, Site C Clean Energy Project, BC Hydro, May 1, 2014

protect-the-future

Protect Our Future

childrencircles_1

What kind of a future would we be leaving our children?

Why would we allow our governments to proceed with Site C? Northeastern BC is already ravaged by industrial development; we cannot allow this precious, relatively untouched jewel – the Peace River Valley – to be destroyed as well.

It takes up to 600 years to produce 2cm depth of soil: this critical food producing land in the unique Peace River Valley cannot be replaced! Destruction of habitat for fish, wildlife and birds cannot continue! The ability of First Nations to continue their cultural practises cannot continue to be eroded.

Site C would cause the loss of habitat for several fish species including migratory Arctic Grayling in the Moberly River, migratory bull trout in the Halfway River, and mountain whitefish in the Peace River. Habitat for several migratory birds would also be destroyed by Site C, including Canada, Cape May and Bay-breasted Warbler; Yellow Rail; and Nelson’s Sparrow.

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Please protect our children’s future. Protect BC.

The Joint Review Panel has made it clear: we don’t need Site C. They have acknowledged that there are many significant, unmitigable and irreparable impacts that will occur if Site C proceeds. Additionally, they have stated that alternatives such as geothermal should be seriously considered.

You can be the change we all want to see. Sign our petition to tell the federal and provincial decision-makers on this project that Site C is NOT in the best interests of British Columbians!

You can also support the work of the PVEA by donating, ordering a print of “Peace River” by Cindy Vincent, or contacting us about volunteer opportunities

Site C would cause significant impacts to the City of Fort St. John and surrounding areas.

At the hearings on Site C, the City of Fort St. John and directors of rural areas expressed significant concerns regarding the impacts of the project on the social fabric and infrastructure in the local area.

“If BC plans to continue to be a powerhouse for economic development, we cannot have projects built on the shoulders of communities…. The city remains concerned that the location, magnitude, and duration of construction of the proposed Site C project threatens to impact the quality of life that the community of Fort St. John has worked so hard to create…. These issues range from direct costs to the city during Site C construction, water supply, and traffic, to health care, policing, security, education, social services, and many others.”
– City of Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman, to the Joint Review Panel, Jan 18, 2014

public-comments

Public Comments Opposing the Site C Dam

Entry Date
2017-03-15 02:49:02
2017-03-16 10:25:47
2017-03-17 12:02:51
2017-03-19 00:30:20
2017-03-22 23:08:11
2017-03-29 18:30:10
about

About This Campaign

This campaign to generate public comments to the Federal and BC governments on the proposed Site C dam is organized by Peace Valley Environment Association.

The Peace Valley Environment Association was formed in 1975 to counter the proposal by BC Hydro and Power Authority to build the Site C dam and power station on the Peace River, 18km upstream from Taylor and 6.5km southwest of Fort St. John, BC.

PVEA will continue to work to ensure that the court of public opinion against Site C is loud and clear! Our organization works collaboratively with a number of other groups including Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y), BC Wilderness Committee, Sierra Club BC and Treaty 8 Tribal Association. Additionally, funding supported has been gratefully received from West Coast Environmental Law’s Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund, Vancouver Foundation, Y2Y, BC Women’s Institute and many generous individuals.

Site C is not in the best interests of British Columbians for a multitude of reasons ranging form economic, social, cultural and environmental. It will result in an oversupply of power for many years and will cost BC Hydro ratepayers billions of dollars. If and when additional power sources are required in the province, there are many better and less expensive alternatives.

To find out more, visit our website and social media channels:

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About Real Hearings

The Real Site C Hearings Public Engagement Project is part of the RealHearings project.

Real Hearing - 600x600 engagementtoolsRealHearings.org creates accessible, easy to use commenting platforms for organizations working on environment, climate and other progressive campaigns. RealHearings.org is dedicated to openness and transparency in government decision making and facilitates public input to decision making processes.

Our commenting platforms are tailored to suit individual campaign needs. Background documents, images and commenting forms (including cc’s to relevant third parties) are all supported to create a single destination where the public can learn about and provide comment to government on a particular campaign issue.In addition, RealHearings.org commenting platforms allow creation of open, searchable archives of public comments for each campaign.  Once comments are sent to government, we retain a permanent copy to create an accessible record of public concern.

To find out more, visit www.realhearings.org to learn more.

Aerial Filming

This video of the Peace River Valley was created by Eoghan Moriarty from Mindagape Creative.