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.