Site C project is too destructive

Site C will not produce many long-term jobs and with the massive area it floods, it's just not worth the harm, says Terrace B.C. council.

Dear Sir:

The Site C Hydro-electric Dam would flood 107 kilometres along the Peace River Valley which already has two other dams flooding 70 per cent of the valley from previous dam projects.

The most expensive public project in B.C. history would destroy homes, cultural and historic sites, and threaten populations of caribou and grizzlies.

There is no prospect of the highly unprofitable Site C Dam producing enough revenue to cover its $10-billion cost. And that then means skyrocketing hydro-electric bills for us.

The Royal Society of Canada, a group of 250 prominent scientists,  requested  the project be reviewed by the federal Department of Justice to determine if aboriginal and treaty rights were being infringed.

If the protections lost under the Navigation Protection Act are not restored by the federal government, then a 1,000 kilometre hydro transmission line crossing rivers from Site C could be built to Alberta tar sands without requiring a federal assessment.

This violates the U.N. right of indigenous peoples and exposes wildlife to predation.

The transmission line becomes the deal for approving the Kinder Morgan trans-mountain tar sands pipeline.

That one new fossil fuel pipeline is going to produce the same CO2 emissions as 42 new coal plants.

Scientists say hydroelectric dams are not climate friendly or clean.

Methane releases, which are up to 80 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2 in the first 20 years, from flooded vegetation can emit more harmful gases than coal-fired fuel generation.

Wendy Holm, a resource economist, says the Site C Dam is exactly where it needs to be to deliver continental water sharing plans that the U.S. Army Core of Engineers mandated to make sure the United States doesn’t run out of water. With NAFTA in place we have lost our sovereign rights to stop companies looking at continental water sharing through the Peace Valley. With B.C. Hydro privatized, it will be in investors’ hands. Are U.S. interests looking at bulk water exports from Canada?

Site C also endangers a UNESCO World Heritage Site – Wood Buffalo National Park.

David Schindler, one of the world’s top water ecologists adds concerns of destruction of fish passages and siltation of spawning habitat.

First Nations are highly concerned about the growing threats posed by development to the drying water levels in the Peace-Athabasca Delta, the world’s largest inland freshwater delta which is critical habitat for fish, moose, bison, and migratory birds including the endangered whooping crane.

B.C. Hydro has environmental violations regarding the protection of drinking water and amphibian species along with being issued warnings for air pollution, erosion and sediment concerns.

Electricity demand in 2015 was the same as in 2005. Polls indicate 9 out of 10 British Columbians want more wind, solar and geothermal investment providing better economic opportunity. Ontario‘s 2400 megawatt solar array project is out-producing the Site C dam’s proposed 1100 megawatt power project by two, at a minimal cost to taxpayers.

Ontario’s solar industry has created 5,000 full-time jobs. After construction, Site C will create less than 100 full-time jobs. Solar generated electricity is being produced elsewhere for about a quarter of the price of Site C power.

Given the environmental considerations, and renewable energy alternatives being implemented worldwide, the Canadian government still refuses to acknowledge how serious climate change is to our future and to the planet.

The land flooded by Site C could produce, yearly, fresh vegetables for a million people. B.C. has the highest rate of child poverty in Canada. When living in poverty, health suffers. Would we rather feed our children or pay skyrocketing hydro bills for a needless dam? Those on low incomes will suffer the most burden.

Harry Swain, the chair of the panel that reviewed the Site C dam for the provincial and federal governments said a prudent government would have deferred the project until the questionable need of the dam has been fully investigated.

Our provincial election is in May. Ask our candidates what they will do about Site C. Tell them that poverty in Canada is unacceptable. Advocate for smaller, renewable, clean energy projects.

Terrace Chapter of The Council of Canadians,

Terrace, B.C.

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