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Victoria chapter co-sponsors public forum on Site C dam, February 9

Construction underway on the Site C dam on the Peace River.

The Council of Canadians Victoria chapter is co-sponsoring an upcoming public forum on the Site C dam.

The outreach for the event notes, “Join us for what promises to be a fascinating and motivating evening on February 9, 7:00- 9:00 pm at UVic’s David Turpin Building, Room A120. It’s time to deeply examine the costs and consequences of the Site C Dam. Our brilliant panel of speakers Dr. Harry Swain, Dr. Judith Sayers and John Gailus will outline in detail why the Site C Dam is a profoundly costly mistake and an environmental and economic white elephant. A moderated Q and A will follow the speakers’ presentations. Admission by suggested $10 donation. All proceeds to the groups actively fighting to Save the Peace, Protect the Future.”

Given the environmental implications (it would add 150,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions to B.C.’s carbon footprint, the equivalent of putting 27,000 additional cars on the road each year), the violation of Indigenous rights (it is being built on Treaty 8 territory without free, prior and informed consent), and the $8.8 billion price tag (with concerns the cost could be billions higher), Site C could become a provincial election issue as voters begin to consider how to cast their ballots on May 9.

The public forum on February 9 is being organized in partnership with Amnesty in Victoria, KAIROS, the Rolling Justice Bus, MJAC, and Sierra Club BC.

Site C is a proposed 60-metre high, 1,050-metre-long earth-filled dam and hydroelectric generation station on the Peace River between the communities of Hudson’s Hope and Taylor on Treaty 8 territory in northeastern British Columbia. It would create an 83-kilometre-long reservoir and flood about 5,550 hectares of agricultural land southwest of Fort St. John. It would also submerge 78 First Nations heritage sites, including burial grounds and places of cultural and spiritual significance.

Logging and land clearing for the dam began in the summer of 2015. This past summer, the Trudeau government granted a Navigation Protection Act permit and Fisheries Act permit for the construction of the Site C dam despite ongoing legal challenges. The federal government also appears willing to help finance the building of a major hydro-transmission line from the dam to Alberta that could cross numerous waterways no longer protected by the Navigable Waters Protection Act.

The Council of Canadians first formally expressed its opposition to the Site C dam in October 2014.