The Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) passed several resolutions at its annual gathering this week calling on BC Hydro and the BC government to stand down on construction of the controversial $9 Billion Site C Dam, pending more review and consultation regarding the impacts of the project.
“We are very happy to hear that that the UBCM will be calling for work on Site C to stop until there’s a proper review by the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) and the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC),” said Joe Foy, National Campaign Director with the Wilderness Committee.
Clearcutting set to begin
At the same time, local landowners and First Nations are warning that feller machines are now on the island where the dam would be located – at the confluence of the Moberly and Peace Rivers – and that clearcutting “is set to begin any moment now”, according to the Wilderness Committee. The island is home to several eagles’ nests that were recently slated to be cut down until Hydro representatives agreed to hold off on this work as part of the resolution of a recent injunction hearing. Yet, despite increasingly loud calls from a wide array of prominent voices, Hydro now appears intent on proceeding with early construction work.
“Clearcutting islands in the Peace River would eliminate important wildlife habitat,” said Foy.
[quote]We are calling on the BC government to heed the UBCM resolutions and stop work so that a proper investigation by the BCUC and the ALC can occur. This independent oversight would have already happened were it not for the provincial government’s actions to prevent proper lawful assessment.[/quote]
Site C faces growing list of opponents
The UBCM is just the latest organization to add its name to the list of individuals and groups who have publicly challenged the project, including:
- The First Nations Leadership Council, which represents the three big provincial First Nations bodies – the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, the First Nations Summit and the BC Assembly of First Nations
- The BC Government and Service Employees’ Union
- The Board of Metro Vancouver
- Former BC Hydro CEO Marc Eliesen
- Site C Joint Review Panel Chair Harry Swain, who suggested – in unprecedented fashion for a person in his position – that the government should have deferred its decision to issue permits for the project
- Former Agricultural Land Commission Chair Richard Bullock
- A number of Treaty 8 First Nations
- And a long list of environmental groups, including the Wilderness Committee and the David Suzuki Foundation
Moreover, while a number of lawsuits challenging Site C have been dismissed by the courts, there are still several active cases and appeals in the works.