I'm writing today to ask you and your new government to help the people of BC stop the Site C dam project from proceeding any further. Why? Well for starters despite the thousands of hours and millions of dollars invested into the Joint Review Panel's review, both the Provincial and Federal governments have ignored the advice of their own expert panel on Site C who concluded that BC Hydro has not proven that there is any need for the power it would generate. Further the JRP said that the BC government was bypassing its own regulation by refusing to submit the project to the BC Utilities Commission.
As the BC NDP has recently said there are other, better ways to move forward on the energy front including energy efficiency retrofits, upgrading existing BC Hydro infrastructure and allowing the Crown corporation to develop its own renewable energy projects. "Energy efficiency retrofits create twice as many jobs as building a new dam, and the jobs are long-lasting, good-paying, and close to home in every community across British Columbia," John Horgan said, "Energy-efficiency retrofits to private buildings are a win-win-win," according to the BC NDP's background document. "They reduce your energy bills, increase the value of your home, and create good-paying jobs and spur economic activity close to home."
Then there's the short-sighted stupidity of of drowning or severely impacting over 30,000 acres of the Peace River Valley’s “extraordinary” farmland, land whose exceptional alluvial soil agrologists say could feed a million people at a time when BC is already seeing the effects of long term drought in the desert southwest, which now supplies most of BC's produce. These obvious effects mean that before long not only will BC need all the agricultural land they have but that increasingly BC will see an influx of immigrants flocking to BC's still relatively sustainable region.
In addition to the BC NDP's very common sense economic alternative above, another sound economic assessment by the Suzuki Foundation - 'The Peace Dividend' - quantifies the enormous natural wealth in B.C.'s threatened Peace Region. The report concludes the economic benefits of keeping the Peace River region's remaining farmland and nature intact are enormous. Saying, "These ecosystems play a critical role in providing clean air, clean water, habitat for wildlife and many other ecological benefits that sustain the health and well-being of local residents, and contribute to the cultural and traditional ways of First Nations."
Then there's the First Nations who are currently in court fighting to force the governments, including yours, to uphold their treaty obligations. West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations action against the Site C dam which is demanding a judicial review of the construction permits is but one of the 6 lawsuits that have been launched in an attempt to force governments to do what they have promised and, as usual historically, the governments are fighting tooth and nail to squirm out of those commitments. If your government is actually going to be one of 'Change', here is a great place to start.
Of course a full list of reasons why the Peace River Valley Landowners and First Nations are 'all in' to save the Peace River Valley from this unnecessary and destructive project would fill volumes. So i'll conclude by saying that the protests by thousands of good people in the streets, the numerous studies by influential scientists, the many articles everywhere and the opposition BC NDP's new alternative plan all show this battle to Save the Peace will be won by the people of BC not by its corporate captured politicians. Please join us - the residents and ratepayers of BC - in our battle to Save the Peace.
This letter is one of many hundreds submitted through the RealSiteCHearings.org site that are being sent to the Prime Minister and key cabinet ministers before they meet with BC Premier Christy Clark on Monday. Letters sent in after Monday will continue to be sent to the PM and cabinet ministers regardless.