The NDP's Alternative Plan, Court Cases, Protests and Studies Will Stop Site C and Save the Peace

Yesterday's article at the Tyee announcing some of the details of the BC NDP's alternatives to the duplicitous Site C dam building project are to be commended. In it John Horgan says: "Instead of building the controversial Site C dam on the Peace River, a British Columbia New Democratic Party government would spread jobs around the province by retrofitting buildings and supporting renewable energy projects."

The BC NDP's plan includes 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," adding, "Energy-efficiency retrofits to private buildings are a win-win-win," according to the 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."

This announcement comes at an auspicious time for the many opponents of the damned Site C dam as today, Nov. 18th, is the beginning of the court hearings being held to address West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations action against the Site C dam [November 18th to 20th] and the 'Stand up for the Peace'  rallies in Victoria and Vancouver. This hearing on the request for a judicial review of the construction permits issued for Site C. The Treaty 8 First Nations are putting all they have into their legal strategy to stop to this destructive and unnecessary dam

Meanwhile, the Peace Valley Landowner Association [PVLA] also continues to pursue legal action against Site C.  They are appealing the BC Supreme Court ruling which dismissed its court challenge on the issuance of the environmental assessment certificate for the dam.  The PVLA is arguing that the ministers must consider the recommendations made by the Joint Review Panel and that not to do so undermines the environmental assessment process.  Details on the PVLA’s court action can be found here.

As part of the PVLA's continuing campaign, they will urge the new federal government to respect UNESCO’s request to halt any work that would cause irreversible damage to the Peace Athabasca Delta – a World Heritage Site.  There are plans for a UNESCO mission to the delta in the spring of 2016 to investigate threats to the delta from Site C and other projects.

The Mud Report has written numerous articles in the past on the many dubious aspects of Site C. One titled 'Who Needs the Damn Site C Dam? Bank, Concrete and Steel Shareholders, Politicians, Speculators...' explains why the Site C Dam is just another pack of lies whose actual purpose is the transfer of the people's hard earned money into the hands of the rich focuses on the real reasons for building the damn Site C Dam starting with the $1.5+ billion windfall in interest payments to the bankers and all the yummy profits for the concrete, construction and steel tycoons who support the BC Liberals financially both above and below the table. The Chamber of Commerce, the big unions, the shareholders in the banks, market speculators, the equipment producers, etc. all have never seen a mega project they didn't love, meanwhile it's the ratepayers and taxpayers, you and i, who'll foot the bills.

Another titled 'Despite Calif's Mega Drought BC's Liberals Want to Flood 30,000 Prime Peace River Valley Acres' focuses on the absurdity 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."

Despite the thousands of hours and millions of dollars invested into the Joint Review Panel's review, both governments ignored the advice of their own expert panel on Site C. Now we see Premier Christy Clark in her endless barrage of bullshit announcements saying that the battle to save the Peace River Valley from this unnecessary and destructive project is over, but that far from true. 6 different solid and important lawsuits have been launched against the federal and provincial governments with regard to Site C by First Nations and local land owners. Protests by thousands in the streets, 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 captured politicians.