UBCM calls for delay to Site C construction as clearcutting set to begin

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Location of proposed Site C Dam - slated for imminent clearcutting (photo: Damien Gillis)
Location of proposed Site C Dam – slated for imminent clearcutting (photo: Damien Gillis)

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:

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.

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About Damien Gillis

Damien Gillis is a Vancouver-based documentary filmmaker with a focus on environmental and social justice issues - especially relating to water, energy, and saving Canada's wild salmon - working with many environmental organizations in BC and around the world. He is the co-founder, along with Rafe Mair, of The Common Sense Canadian, and a board member of both the BC Environmental Network and the Haig-Brown Institute.

12 thoughts on “UBCM calls for delay to Site C construction as clearcutting set to begin

  1. We need to put an argument before a judge that will convince that judge of the importance of the law. We will have to show a judge that either the Provincial or Federal Governments, or both of them have broken the law, abused the law, made end runs around the law, and changed the law to suit a really abysmal decision on Site C. If making that kind of case seems difficult, or redundant, or useless, what does that say about the state of law and governance here.

    Both Governments have been derelict in their duties to examine the cultural, economic and environmental problems with building Site C. That kind of arrogance sets a really bad example.

  2. I’m afraid that Bill Bennett/Jessica McDonald of BC Hydro have totally ignored other requests to halt and allow BCUC to do its’ job. Why would they change now? Were the BCUC to be given the opportunity, how would Bennettt’s bullying of BCUC affect their judgement? After all, the BCUC was also refused participation by Bill Bennett in “smart meter” discussions. I’m thinking they just might cave to the BC Liberal pressure….

    A future wish? That site c with be amongst the many reasons that will bring this government down.

    The Liberal Legacy? The worst government in BC history.

  3. I sat on the hill this afternoon .Two pieces of equipment working half the island was cut down when I left in the afternoon.There was an eagle sitting in it’s nest on the west end of the island not far from the equipment working .I’ll check in the morning and see if any trees were left.

  4. The Peace River regional district has, on more than one occasion, asked the province to heed the recommendation of the Joint Review Panel to refer the site c project to the BCUC to examine both the need and to determine the cost as well as the need to reverse the decision to remove some of OUR best food producing lands without an ALR application. We are also on record opposing the request by the province and BC hydro to exempt them from the recent application on the power lines. We need to have assurance from the regulators that our BC residents will not be stuck paying the costs to convey power

    1. Looks bad but it’s still very early days on a project that will take a decade to build. They’ve cleared some poplar groves on both sides of the river but this pales in comparison to the damage that would be wrought by raising the dam and flooding all that beautiful, productive farmland and 80 km stretch of wilderness…

      1. I’m still galled that Bulldozer Bill Bennett was allowed to remove the BCUC because, “We don’t want these talks getting bogged down by a bunch of BCUC questions.”
        That is a crime against democracy.

        1. A Crime? Its a Travesty! Chrispy Clark may have a 12 year jump on a kindergarten class’s education but she doesn’t have anything on their intelligence.
          I have not seen, heard or read one iota of evidence in favour of this project (except maybe for jobs – for displaced Albertan oil-workers) yet there is resounding evidence that its unwarranted, unaffordable and not in the best interests of anyone that really matters.

          Do you mean these people have the ‘temerity’ to ignore the calls from the BCUM and the BCUC? What other means do we have to bring them to their senses?
          Maybe we should sponsor a group of ‘refugees’ to straighten these miscreants out!

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