BC NDP Government Announces Approval Of Controversial Site C Dam

Photo: Peace Valley Environmental Association

Photo: Peace Valley Environmental Association

Wildlife Defence League is disappointed about today's announcement from BC Premier John Horgan in support of Site C dam. The BC NDP government has decided to move forward with completing the mega-project.

This controversial $9 billion dam, the largest and most expensive infrastructure project in the province, will flood 107 kilometres of the Peace River and its tributaries. A Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative report concluded that the cumulative impacts of Site C “are highly significant for all species.” Wolves are predicted to suffer a loss of 22 per cent of landscape productivity, caribou 31 to 37 per cent, and grizzlies 42 to 44 per cent.

The Peace river valley is also home to incredible old growth boreal forests, top quality agricultural land and the treaty rights and cultural heritage of the Treaty 8 First Nations. The 60 meter high dam would destroy an area equivalent to 14 Stanley Parks. Beyond that, opponents say the dam will support an expanded fossil fuel industry in the province, and taxpayers will be left to foot the bill.

The recent B.C. Utilities Commission's report concluded that the province could obtain power equivalent to that generated by the Site C dam from the province's existing hydroelectric infrastructure, at a savings of billions of dollars. The report also found that alternative energy sources, such as wind and geothermal, could be as good or better for B.C. ratepayers than the Site C project.

The BC NDP's announcement to green light this project flies in the face of genuine reconciliation with indigenous communities. But the fight to save the Peace River Valley isn't over - we must continue to support indigenous lawsuits and residents in the Peace who continue to fight this destructive project. 

 

BC Government Seeking Public Input On Grizzly Bear Hunt Regulations

On August 14, 2017 the provincial government announced that effective November 30, 2017 it will end all hunting of grizzly bears in the Great Bear Rainforest. Throughout the rest of the province the grizzly bear trophy hunt will be banned, but a meat hunt for the species will be permitted. 

Until November 2, 2017 the public can provide input on the two policy documents outlining the proposed regulations. 

While WDL welcomes the complete ban on grizzly hunting in the Great Bear Rainforest, we have serious concerns about the implications of a meat hunt throughout the rest of the province. 

It's well known that grizzlies are hunted for trophy and not for their meat, which is deemed inedible by hunters. The hunt threatens a vulnerable keystone species, as well a sustainable eco-tourism and bear viewing industry that creates employment opportunities in rural and remote communities. In fact, the hunt forced the closure of an eco-tour company’s spring bear viewing season in the Kootenays. The company felt it was unfair to take guests to view bears when they could potentially witness the animals being shot. WDL encountered such a situation while in the area monitoring the grizzly bear hunt in 2016. Our team came across a hunter who had just shot a grizzly from the road and had the hide, head and paws in the back of his truck. This bear died because of an extended hunt in the area, despite opposition from residents. 

Photo: Sam Edmonds

Photo: Sam Edmonds

Banning the “trophy” hunt while allowing a “meat” hunt would create a dangerous loophole enabling trophy hunters to continue killing bears under the guise of a meat hunt. WDL is calling for a complete and total ban on all grizzly hunting across the province (with the exception for First Nations traditional and ceremonial purposes), as outlined in our letter to the government. 

Please join us in calling for a total ban on the grizzly hunt across BC - the only measure that will truly end the senseless slaughter of bears like this. Take this important opportunity to share your feedback on the proposed regulations - comments can be sent to the Fish and Wildlife Branch at grizzly.bear@gov.bc.ca. Please feel free to review our submission letter for a guideline in creating your own.