Read this story from Fort St. John’s Alaska Highway News on this year’s “Paddle for the Peace”, in which hundreds are expected to take part in opposition to the proposed Site C Dam. (July 12, 2012)
Hundreds will canoe down the Peace River on Saturday.
Some are coming to show their opposition to Site C, such as David Suzuki, while others simply want to enjoy the natural serenity of the river.
“Originally it was started seven years ago because we just wanted to bring the community to the river,” said organizer Danielle Yeoman. “We thought it was a good way to bring people…(to canoe) on the river.
“The river is for everyone,” she said.
The event is organized by the Peace Valley Environmental Association (PVEA) and the West Moberly First Nations.
“The PVEA’s sole purpose is to stop Site C; that’s why the organization was created,” said Yeoman. “However, it (was) on the back burners, and so truly, when we started this, it wasn’t to do what we’re doing now.
“Now we are actively, obviously, trying to stop Site C again,” she said.
Site C is a controversial project that would see BC Hydro build a third dam on the Peace River to produce power to accommodate future energy needs for this growing province, according to BC Hydro.
Yeoman said that though the PVEA’s intent is to stop Site C, the event is truly about celebrating the river.
“Everyone is welcome,” she said. “In fact, we’d like people that are pro-Site C to come because it usually takes tow minutes to convert them if they’re sitting on the fence.”
She noted that Suzuki “supports” their cause.
“Everybody just thinks he’s a tree hugger – well, he’s that too – but he’s wise,” she said. “He’s only kept a handful of things he wants to fight and Site C is one of them.”
Yeoman noted that Suzuki has been up here on the Peace in the past, and she’s excited for him to speak.
“One of the things that’s really important, since Site C resurfaced three or four years ago, we didn’t have anybody on our side,” she said.
She noted that having people like Suzuki, The Wilderness Committee and others join PVEA’s cause has been positive.
“They’re coming up and they’re actively fighting Site C too,” she said.
She noted that the event has grown steadily since it began seven years ago.