Site C Dam hearings designed to discourage public participation, critics say
Read this Nov. 21 story from The Vancouver Sun on criticism of the public hearings for the proposed Site C Dam, scheduled over the holiday season in northeast BC. The Wilderness Committee says the lack of any hearings outside of the Peace region and short timetable for registration are designed to discourage public participation.
A Joint Review Panel studying BC Hydro’s planned Site C dam is imposing unreasonable restrictions on the public’s ability to participate in an important project costing about $8 billion, the Wilderness Committee says.
Not only is the panel conducting its hearings during the holiday season, it is refusing to hold any in populous southern B.C. and is requiring the public to submit written submissions by Monday, said national campaign director Joe Foy.
“This is shameful,” Foy said. “I am very surprised to see these onerous rules on public participation in Site C.”
Hearings will begin in Fort St. John on Dec. 9 and continue until Dec. 19, then resume Jan. 6 to Jan. 23. Hearings will also be held in Hudson’s Hope, Prince George, Chetwynd, Dawson Creek, and Peace River. On the timing of the hearings, Foy said: “That’s perhaps the unkindest cut of all. At a time when British Columbians are rightly preoccupied with spending cherished time with their family members, the Site C hearings have been scheduled to try to sneak through unnoticed … Ottawa and Victoria are behaving like old Mr. Grinch. ” The joint review is being conducted for the federal and B.C. governments.