Hudson's Hope Museum

Photo:  On the banks of the Peace River at Hudson’s Hope Museum, Andrea Morison

Dear Defenders of the Peace,

Our campaign to make all British Columbians aware of the issues associated with Site C at this critical time is going strong – thanks to so many of you!  Thank you so much for ordering JustTheDamFacts brochures from Ariel, writing letters through our SiteC.RealHearings.org website, asking Site C related questions at events, and so much more!

What else can you help with?

Ask Site C Questions at Election Forums

  • Many of you will be heading to election related debates and forums over the next couple of weeks.
  • To assist you with posing informed questions about how candidates intend to address Site C, we have prepared a helpful list of suggested openers/preambles and questions on the key issues:


Endorse the Site C Economic Report

  • Site C is a very hot topic following the release of ‘Reassessing the Need for Site C(report #5) by UBC’s Program on Water Governance.  Our allies at LeadNow are pulling out the stops to make sure that the provincial government knows Site C is uneconomic and must be sent to the BC Utilities Commission for a full economic review.
  • Send your letter endorsing this action here.

Help Get Out the Vote!

  • Only 56% of BC voters bothered to vote in 2013, so Organizing for Change’s campaign to Get Out the Vote is essential this year.
  • Phone banking starts on Thursday, April 27th and runs through to election day, May 9th.  Phone bank training is happening this week!
  • If you are interested in assisting with this important endeavor, please contact Galen at galen@sierraclub.bc.ca so he can include you on his list.
  • Additionally, please sign up for a training session now with Organizing for Change’s interactive calendar here.  Be sure to select the date and time that works best for you at the top of the page.
  • You can do as much or as little phoning as you wish.
  • These calls are made to members of our organizations encouraging them to make sure they get out and vote.  They are completely non-partisan and there is no need to get into a discussion about any specific topics.


Join the White Elephant in Kelowna this weekend

  • Sunday April 23rd, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • Stuart Park Ice Rink, 1435 Water St. Kelowna
  • Bring signs, placards and banners – ideas for placards and banners can be found here.
  • Invite your friends in Kelowna to join the rally through the Facebook event here.


Reminder:
  Please be sure to follow us on Facebook at Peace Valley Environment Association for news, activities and events associated with our campaign.  There are all kinds of things happening throughout the province every week!

Thank you for your support! 🙂

WE

As we draw closer to the May 9th provincial election, we continue to work with supporters like you to promote action and awareness about Site C throughout the province in hopes that this devastating and unnecessary project will be put to a stop. We believe that if the British Columbia Utilities Commission is given the opportunity to assess the need for, cost of and alternatives to this project, they will determine that it is not in the best interests of British Columbians to continue construction of Site C.

How can you help make this happen?

We urge you to take action starting NOW (there are less than 4 weeks till election day)!

  • Go to our new RealHearings.org letter-writing website where all you have to do is write a letter expressing your concerns and by entering your postal code, the site will automatically identify and send your letter to all the BC election candidates in your riding, the Prime Minister as well as the federal environment and justice ministers. Please use the social media buttons on this site to share on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms.
  • Visit our new, informative website, ca where you will find factual information clearly and succinctly laid out. Please share this site with your friends to help them get informed.
  • Help us draw attention to this looming disaster by joining and sharing posts from the Facebook and Twitter sites (White Elephant Sez) for the Stop Site C White Elephant. Brought to you by our friends at Alliance 4 Democracy, the White Elephant is popping up at events across the province. If you’d like the White Elephant to attend an event in your community, contact George Smith (georgesmith@telus.net or 604-989-5094).
  • Contact Ariel Martz-Oberlander (a.martzoberlander@gmail.com or 604-351-8324 ) to request copies of our Justthedamfacts brochures for distribution at events, public gathering places and/or to your friends, family and co-workers. These brochures clearly lay out the common questions and answers about Site C and we need as many people as possible to understand this before election day!
  • For those living in the Peace, mark your calendars for Sunday, April 23rd and join us at Boon’s farm on Bear Flat from 2-4 p.m. Folkactivist Luke Wallace looks forward to having supporters join him as he makes a video of his song, Give a Dam among the hundreds of Yellow Stakes standing in solidarity to defend the Peace! Visit and share the Facebook event here. Hope many of you will make it!

If you’ve ever wished you could do more to help, now is the time!

Even just doing one of the actions above will make a difference. 😊

Thank you!

Thank you!!

 

Alliance4Democracy

BIG WHITE ELEPHANT ALERT!

On April 1, an enormous White Elephant is coming to Vancouver to remind British Columbians that BC Hydro’s Site C Dam project for northeast BC’s Peace River is a looming economic disaster – and can be stopped.  Come meet the White Elephant and friends on Georgia street just west of Denman Avenue between 9:00 AM and noon on April 1.

White elephants are traditional symbols of useless gifts that cost needless expense and are burdensome to maintain.

Alliance 4 Democracy has done the research.  We strongly believe BC needs a sober second look at the question of Site C Dam.  A4D has studied research that came to light after the Joint Review Panel about the need, costs and alternatives for the dam. We learned that the economics just don’t work for BC!   The risks to our future prosperity are unacceptable:  from a dam that will need to sell power below the cost of production and create a massive Hydro-planned debt burden for at least 70 years.

Why Site C dam? We are deeply concerned that the facts have not been independently reviewed by the public body responsible for that task, the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC). The BC government refused to allow this independent verification process in the public interest to occur.  So we risk making a huge mistake with massive economic, indigenous, social, and environmental costs without having answered one simple question:  Do we really need this dam?  70% of people in BC want this project reviewed before it continues.  70 % of people want the simple question Do we really need Site C Dam? to be answered before the so called “Point of No Return”.

The Big White Elephant is coming to warn people about the costs of Site C Dam to their families and future so they can vote accordingly.  May 9, 2017 is an important election for the people of the Peace River Valley. We in the South owe them, at the very least, the verification that we need Site C dam BEFORE we destroy their priceless valley and their ways of life. It’s a question of human decency.

 Alliance 4 Democracy is a Sunshine Coast community group, formed in 2011, dedicated to the practice of democracy as the means by which our society resolves the important questions of our day.

 Contact:  George Smith:  (604) 989-5094

Ariel 2

Dear Peace Defenders,

We’re pulling out all the stops to educate voters about Site C over the next month. We’ve produced a new website (www.justthedamfacts.ca) and accompanying brochures. Please go check it out!

Y2Y has also hired a full-time field organizer, based in the Vancouver area. Meet Ariel Martz-Oberlander, who has been knocking on doors and attending events for a little over a week now. Ariel is a graduate of the drama program at Victoria College at the University of Toronto. She’s also a very active volunteer, a seasoned activist, and a published author. Welcome Ariel!

A big part of Ariel’s job is to help volunteers province-wide help spread the word about Site C in their areas.

WE NEED YOU NOW!

Please contact Ariel directly – a.martzoberlander@gmail.com604-351-8324 – and she’ll be happy to help by sending you brochures and supporting you in whatever ways you wish to get active in your community. You can share the brochures with your friends, put them out at work or drop them in local waiting rooms.

You can also help educate British Columbians about this massive boondoggle by hosting a table at an event, hosting your own event, attending all-candidates meetings or by going door-knocking. We’ve got resources to help you with all of that here, but the best resource is a human, and that’s Ariel! She’d love to hear from you!

Jeff Jackson.jpg
Photo:  Jeff Jackson

Dear Peace Valley Defenders,

As you are aware, campaigning for the upcoming provincial election in British Columbia has begun.  This is a crucial election for the fate of the Peace River Valley. If this valley is destroyed because Site C dam is not stopped, we will lose tens of thousands of acres of critical wildlife habitat, a good chunk of BC’s precious and rare food-producing land and thousands of First Nations cultural and archaeological sites. Not to mention, we — and our children and grandchildren — will pay for all this destruction for the next 70 years!

You can make a difference!

Starting now, we are asking our supporters to help spread awareness of the many critical issues of concern associated with this boondoggle of a project. We need you to help ensure that Site C is a priority election issue that all candidates are aware of and must answer to. You can help spread the word to candidates in the upcoming election and at the same time ensure that all British Columbians are made aware of the significance of this project and the long term effects it will have on our province and its people.

Actions you can take:

  • Attend events where there are opportunities to ask questions of the candidates. Use the opportunity as a platform to educate others in the audience. Start with a statement about a concern regarding the project and follow up with a question that requires an open-ended response. (Facts to support your comments and questions, can be found here.)
  • Write a letter to your local paper (and send copies to the bigger publications like the Vancouver Sun, The Province or Times Colonist) outlining your concerns about Site C. Include a variety of examples, starting with the increase in cost of every British Columbians’ hydro bill. Then you can include other issues such as cheaper alternatives, loss of prime food producing land, environmental and First Nations impacts.
  • Tell your friends about the issues and invite them to join our Facebook page and to get involved.

For more ideas and ‘Campaign Fact Sheets’:

If you (and your friends) are interested in doing more, check out this Resources link with information to facilitate a variety of actions such as:

  • Banner creation and waving (including a design for your own White Elephant)
  • Hosting a film night
  • Hosting an information table at an event
  • Hosting a presentation of the newly released book ‘The Peace in Peril’, and more

You’ll also find campaign fact sheets on this site with key information and messages you can use to make your points.

This election presents an opportunity to stop BC’s biggest boondoggle in history!  Make your voice heard and make it count. Help us work to ensure that those around us do the same. Thank you for your dedication and energy.

For the Peace,

Andrea Morison
PVEA

 

watsons-slough-dh

Dear Defenders of the Peace River Valley,

Last Thursday was World Wetlands Day and ironically, BC Hydro planned to begin clearing a section of the Peace River Valley that includes a rare and significant wetland:  Watson’s Slough.  Both the Peace Valley Landowner Association (PVLA) and the Peace River Regional District (PRRD) have asked BC Hydro to delay logging of this important area as it is being cleared for the purposes of filling the Site C dam reservoir which is at least seven years away.

Can you please endorse their request to help defend this precious wetland?

Go to our easy-to-use letter writing platform at www.RealSiteCHearings.org where your letter will automatically be sent to BC Hydro CEO Jessica McDonald as well as Premier Christy Clark, your MLA, Prime Minister Trudeau and federal environment minister, Catherine McKenna.

According to local wildlife biologist and Chariman of the Timberline Trail and Nature Club, Mark Phinney the loss of Watson’s Slough to the Site C project is significant because:

  • It is one of few prairie-pothole type wetlands remaining in the Peace region and provides habitat for a wide variety of wildlife, including several rare bird species.
  • It’s a widely known as a birding hotspot, and is listed as such on the e-Bird website.
  • e-Bird lists 129 bird species observed at the Slough to date.
  • The Peace area of BC is a common birding destination for individual birders and organized tours from across western North America.
  • The forested area around the slough is relatively small, but important to birds in particular.
  • Delaying destruction of this area would allow both visiting and local birders to continue to enjoy the site. It would also allow the local birdlife (including the rare species) to raise a few more broods thus bolstering the local population before their habitat is lost to flooding.
  • Undoubtedly, BC Hydro has plans to create ‘replacement’ wetlands elsewhere, but from my experience, these rarely produce the same habitat conditions as natural wetlands. Ducks Unlimited Canada has done some habitat management at Watson’s Slough, but it is still primarily a natural wetland.

Birds and other natural values found in Watson’s Slough:

  • Yellow Rail – a red-listed ‘species of concern’; Nelson’s Sparrow’, Le Conte’s Sparrow; Horned Grebe; breeding Trumpeter Swans; and many more
  • Several neotropical birds use the slough on their annual migratory routes
  • The Slough contains the area’s only ‘marl fen’ ecosystem – created by lime-rich marlstone seeping into a wetland as well as several uncommon ‘tufa seep’ ecosystems.

Loss of unique educational opportunity for local school children:

  • The Slough has served as a unique and comprehensive site for educating school children in the area for decades. Annual visits allowed them to dip nets and examine the living things they found in the pond water, walk the shoreline to learn about the diversity of vegetation and learn to identify different species of ducks through spotting scopes.

Just go to www.RealSiteCHearings.org now, where the platform is set up to automatically email your letter to key players and decision-makers regarding this request.

 The Yellow Rails, Nelson’s Sparrows, Horned grebes, Trumpeter Swans and many other waterfowl and songbirds thank you and so do we!

watsons-slough-dh

Peace Valley Environment Association

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Fort St. John, BC – February 2, 2017:  Today is World Wetlands Day and BC Hydro is set to begin logging on a stretch of the Peace River Valley that includes a significant wetland, in preparation for the Site C dam reservoir.  The reservoir wouldn’t be filled until the end of the construction period in 2024, so various organizations are asking BC Hydro to consider delaying destruction of the wetland until much later in the project timeline.

Ken Forest, former Fort St. John biology teacher and school principal noted that the destruction of Watson’s Slough would be a great loss to children from the local area, “For decades, Watson’s Slough has been used to educate local school children to learn about birds, ducks, vegetation, fish and amphibians.”  The school program ran for decades and was supported by Ducks Unlimited and the Peace River Regional District.

According to Forest, Watson’s Slough is a rare and well-situated wetland that various classes of school kids from grades 3 to 7, come to by bus during the month of June.  The kids were provided with opportunities to dip nets in the slough, examine the living things they found in the pond water, walk the shoreline to learn about the diversity of vegetation and learn to identify different species of ducks through spotting scopes.

Trumpeter swans and several neotropical birds use the Peace River Valley as migratory path, stopping at weltand areas to feed.   According to a report by Chillborne Environmental, these birds need undisturbed corridors to connect them with their breeding in secluded wetlands, such as Watson’s Slough.

In their submission to the Environmental Assessment process, Environment Canada notes that three-quarters of BC’s 247 bird species use the Peace region; of which 32 are ‘at risk’, including the Canada Warbler and Common Nighthawk, both of which are seen at Watson’s Slough.  Further, the Joint Review Panel scientists stated that the Site C dam would cause significant adverse effects on migratory birds which cannot be mitigated.

Pushing ahead with construction of the Site C dam continues to be controversial.  Many across the province continue to defend that valley and are hopeful that a new provincial government will ensure that the independent public watchdog, the British Columbia Utilities Commission, will be given the opportunity to thoroughly assess Site C as was strongly recommended by the Joint Review Panel and frequently reinforced by its former chair, Dr. Harry Swain.

“The school children could never learn from a book what they do by spending a day at Watson’s Slough,” stated Forest.

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For more information:

Andrea Morison, Coordinator, Peace Valley Environment Association

Phone:  250-793-7279, pveacoordinator@gmail.com, http://www.SaveBCfromSiteC.ca