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Photo:  Andrea Morison

Dear Friends,

Our flagship event, the 11th Annual Paddle for the Peace is almost upon us!  We are thrilled with the fantastic response we have had to this event and look forward to seeing many of you up here in the Peace Country on Saturday, July 9th.

If you can’t make it to the Peace River, join a solidarity paddle elsewhere in the province!

We realize that many of you cannot make it up for the Paddle in Fort St. John; however don’t despair, there are many solidarity paddles happening elsewhere in the province!  We hope you can join others who care deeply about the Peace River Valley and the future of all British Columbians at one of the following events:

Vancouver:  Grab a Paddle Event,  July 9th, Kits Beach

  • On July 9th, paddlers and supporters will gather for a solidarity march, paddle & community event with speakers, kayactivists, music and more!
  • Meet at Vanier Park, 12:30 (kayaks, boats & stand-up paddleboards come at 12 noon) with flotilla and march to Kits Beach.
  • More information on the Facebook event page here.

 

Sechelt:  Paddle for the Peace – Support Indigenous Rights, No Site C Dam, July 9th , Porpoise Bay Provincial Park – right beside the children’s playground

  • Fundraising paddle and cultural tour. Funds go to First Nations legal costs associated with their battle against Site C.
  • Starts at 10 a.m. (arrive 15 mins early) and ends at 2:00 p.m.
  • Salmon bbq and public event in solidarity with Paddle for the Peace with Sechelt First Nation.
  • More information here.

 

Nelson: Paddle the Kootenay for the Peace, July 9th, Lakeside Park Launch

  • Come paddle a short stretch on the Kootenay to show your support for the Peace Valley and the battle to protect it from Site C dam.
  • Starts at 11 a.m. – come early to create signs and posters marking the event. Bring your own kayak or canoe.  Launch is at noon.
  • More information on the Facebook event page here.

 

Here’s hoping one of these events will fit into your summer schedule.  If not, feel free to create your own event, even if it’s just you, paddling on or around July 9th in solidarity.  Share your pictures from whatever event you are a part of with us on Peace Valley Environment Association’s Facebook page here.

Have a great summer everyone and as always, THANK YOU for your continued support as we work to protect the Peace River Valley.

 

 

Montreal court date set for First Nations’ Site C legal challenge

Four challenges against controversial project remain

Jonny Wakefield / Dawson Creek Mirror

June 23, 2016 02:59 PM

A federal court judge will hear an appeal from two First Nations impacted by the Site C dam in Montreal this September.

After months of waiting for a trial date, the West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations will appear in federal court Sept. 14.

The Treaty 8 nations are appealing a federal judge’s decision on the project’s impact on constitutionally-protected rights to hunt, fish and trap. The challenge was dismissed by a judge in Vancouver last year.

According to a notice of civil claim BC Hydro filed against protesters blocking Site C construction earlier this year, the court found the Crown corporation’s consultation of Treaty 8 First Nations “was in good faith and extensive.”

West Moberly Chief Roland Willson disagreed, saying his nation was challenging what it saw as “a failure on (the government’s) part” to uphold treaty rights.

“When they’re making a decision of this magnitude—it’s the largest project in B.C. history, and there are already two existing dams that have previously infringed (on) the treaty—they should have had no other choice than to have (a justification for Treaty infringement),” he said. He said the the Montreal court date was the earliest available.

 

 

 

.rose PeacePhoto:  Andrea Morison

Dear Friends of the Peace,

First of all, thank you so much to all of you who have sent letters and made phone calls and/or visits to your MP’s to make sure they are aware of Site C dam and the many issues of concern about it.  We are thrilled with your fantastic support on this action!

The recent and unexpected resignation of the federal minister of fisheries and oceans, Hunter Tootoo has provided us with the perfect opportunity to make sure we inform interim minister, Dominic LeBlanc about Site C.

Let’s capitalize on this opportunity at the federal level!

Now’s the perfect time to take advantage of this unexpected turn of events and ensure that Dominic LeBlanc understands why his department should not issue any further permits required for construction of Site C!

There are a number of outstanding federal permits required from the federal Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans required for construction to continue. Delaying these permits would allow First Nations’ court challenges to be heard.  It would also provide time for the re-examination of critical outstanding issues regarding project costs, energy demand forecasts and numerous environmental concerns before the BC government spends more of our money destroying the Peace Valley.

Send your email to dominic.leblanc@parl.gc.ca and tell him about the impacts and lack of need for this project.  (Feel free to reference our backgrounder here.)  Let’s make sure that he doesn’t approve any more permits and understands that a project with immitigable and irreparable impacts of this magnitude deserves more scrutiny by the new Liberal government.  It is NOT acceptable to keep shrugging all the responsibility onto the previous Conservative government and/or British Columbia!

More campaign updates:

11th Annual Paddle for the Peace:  You’re invited!  Join us and hundreds, if not thousands of others on the Peace River this summer, Saturday, July 9th.  This is an amazing and unique opportunity to experience the ‘Mighty Peace’ firsthand with hundreds of allies.  More information can be found on the Paddle website:  www.PaddleforthePeace.ca or on the Facebook event page here.

Need a ride or looking to share watercraft at the Paddle?  Hook up with others on the Paddle Ride Share Facebook page here or contact sitecevents@gmail.com to coordinate arrangements.

Site C – Keep the Peace Event in Courtenay:  Thursday, June 9th, 7 p.m.  If you eat, you need to care about protecting BC’s precious agricultural land from Site C!  Join Sierra Club’s Ana Simeon and Ben Parfitt, award winning investigative journalist and resource policy analyst for an evening of inspiration and education on Site C dam.  Event hosted by Sierra Club BC, Kairos and Comox United Church Outreach Committee.  Presentation will be held at Comox United Church, 250 Beach Dr. Comox.  Facebook event page here.

Learn more about Site C at the grand finale of the Wild Salmon Caravan in Vancouver:  Saturday, June 11th hosted by First Nations working together to preserve indigenous food sovereignty.  Facebook event page here.

As you can see, our campaign is bigger and stronger every day!  Thank you so much for all you are doing to keep the campaign alive and together we will Keep the Peace!

 

Following is a submission by economist Erik Andersen to the British Columbia Utilities Commission BC Hydro Revenue Requirment Application: Community Input Sessions being held on Saturday, June 11, Nanaimo, BC.

In his submission Andersen provides the facts and explains what the actual versus forecasted energy demand scenarios have been over the last decade and demonstrates the consistently excess projections that BC Hydro has made over the years.

May 2016 British Columbia Utilities Commission

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SITE C CAMPAIGN UPDATE
May 14, 2016

Site C is an environmental and economic disaster by Chief Lynette Tsakoza and Chief Roland Wilson
“While this government runs roughshod over our treaty rights, it has also shown a disdain for independent oversight, the integrity of the environmental assessment process and the citizens of British Columbia.”
http://vancouversun.com/opinion/opinion-site-c-is-an-environmental-and-economic-disaster

Mobilize to Educate Members of Parliament
The time is now to encourage individual letters, phone calls and meeting requests to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party or portfolio.


Parliamentary Petition
Please sign and let others know about a petition to the House of Commons calling for a halt to federal permits for Site C. Unlike other online actions, this is an official Parliamentary petition and will require the government to issue a formal reply.
https://petitions.parl.gc.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-324

Site C Webinar
A video recording of the recent webinar is now online, featuring Helen Knott, Rob Botterall and Andrea Morison
https://vimeo.com/164171722

Let’s Get to 50!
More than 30 organizations have signed onto our joint statement on Site C: http://www.amnesty.ca/news/theres-nothing-clean-about-site-c-dam. It would be great to get to at least 50 signatories so we can do another media and advocacy push. If you are aware of other organizations who might sign on, please encourage them to do so.

11th Annual Paddle for the Peace
We hope to see as many allies and supporters as possible at the annual celebration of the Peace River, Saturday, July 9th, 2016, organized by the West Moberly First Nations and Peace Valley Environment Association. See www.PaddleforthePeace.ca

Site C in the News

Opponents of the project say the new permits, which are before Fisheries Minister Hunter Tootoo, will be a critical test of the government’s promised new relationship with Aboriginal people.  http://www.alaskahighwaynews.ca/regional-news/site-c/new-fisheries-permits-will-force-trudeau-government-s-hand-on-site-c-1.2253317#sthash.CXhWeYCO.dpuf
 
The nations added that the federal government wants to “wrap up consultation” on the project, “without even responding” to their request for a moratorium on permits until a final resolution of their court challenges is completed. 


Online actions:

* New action centre at http://realsitechearings.org provides MP contact information and talking points — we’ll send your letter for you too.

* Sierra Club BC’s letter-writing action to the federal government: http://sierraclub.bc.ca/take-action-centre/site-c-first-nations/

* Amnesty’s online petition to the federal and provincial governments now has over 41,000 signatures: http://bit.ly/1Uwwbnz

Downloadable/shareable brochure
Produced by the Peace Valley Environment Association. Please circulate! https://keepingthepeace.files.wordpress.com/2016/04/mar-16-site-c-campaign-brochure-for-individuals.pdf

Donate to the court cases:
Donations to support the West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations in their legal challenge to the Site C dam can be made through RAVEN Trust and will be matched: http://raventrust.com/join-the-circle-no-site-c/

Joint NGO letter to Prime Minister Trudeau:
New organizations are most welcome to endorse: http://www.amnesty.ca/news/theres-nothing-clean-about-site-c-dam
Contact Craig Benjamin at Amnesty International cbenjamin@amnesty.ca


Follow the campaign:
Facebook  Twitter   Website

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2016 is the year that Site C will go down!

Join us to support and celebrate the on-going integrity of the precious Peace River Valley.

11th Annual Paddle for the Peace

Saturday July 9, 2016

Details and Registration from the 2015 event below

Join us to celebrate protection of the integrity of the Peace River Valley at this unique event. Bring your canoes, kayaks or rafts and participate in a leisurely paddle down a portion of the incredibly scenic Peace River Valley, presently under threat by the unnecessary Site C dam.


Even if you don’t have watercraft, please feel free to join us on shore at the launch or takeout.

When:
Saturday, July 9th, 2016

Registration:
In person, at the event 9:00 to 11:30 a.m.
$10 per person; 13 and under free.

Launch:
12 noon at the Halfway River Bridge on Hwy 29 between Fort St. John and Hudson’s Hope, BC.

Free hot breakfast:
9 – 11 a.m. at the launch site.

Take out:
Bear Flat on Hwy 29, approximately 1.5 hr paddle downstream of the launch site. (There is a shuttle bus available to bring you back to get your vehicle from the launch site.)

Directions to the morning celebration:

  • From Hudson’s Hope or Fort St. John take Highway 29
  • Halfway River bridge  is 25 minutes from Fort St. John towards Hudson’s Hope.  You will see the traffic and signs.
  • From Prince George take Highway 29 at Chetwynd towards Hudson’s Hope.
  •  Halfway River bridge is approximately 30 minutes from Hudson’s Hope towards Fort St. John.

Important Safety Notes

  • This is a family-oriented, alcohol-free event.
  • This year’s Paddle will take approximately 1 .5 hours on the river;  participants must remember to bring snacks, water, sunscreen, rain gear, etc.
  • Life jackets are mandatory for all participants. Please bring any extra life jackets you may have to share with others.
  • Be prepared for the elements – it may be hot, rainy.. who knows – so pack for all weather.
  • Launch and takeout points will be well marked and managed by traffic control people.
  • Motor boats accompany the flotilla in case anyone gets into trouble.
  • A shuttle will take paddlers back to the launch location.

Sponsors:
This event is organized and sponsored jointly by the Peace Valley Environment Association and West Moberly First Nations.

Join us!
This is a wonderful opportunity to gather with hundreds of others who appreciate and want to protect the Peace River Valley.

Please share this invite with your friends!:)

We look forward to seeing you there!

Peace-Bio-Blitz-2015-254

Photo:  Tristan Brand

Dear Friends of the Peace,

As you are aware, the clearing of old growth forest and eagles’ nests has begun as preliminary construction has commenced on  Site C dam in the Peace River Valley. So far, the devastation extends about 5 km upstream, but the intention is to clear a total of 83 km of the river valley. We need you to help STOP this massive and completely unnecessary action by BC Hydro immediately!

To date we have encouraged you to take action by writing letters, signing petitions, making donations and attending events and we have been thrilled with your support!

At this point, we need people like you, who cannot stand to see this project proceed, to visit your MP in person and ensure they and understand what the federal government can do to stop it right now!

There are a number of outstanding federal permits for this work. Delaying these permits would allow First Nations’ court challenges to be heard.  It would also provide time for the re-examination of critical outstanding issues regarding project costs, energy demand forecasts and numerous environmental concerns before the BC government spends more of our money destroying the Peace Valley.

It has come to our attention that many MPs throughout Canada are not familiar with Site C dam, one of the largest and most expensive infrastructure projects in the country.  Further, they have no idea that the present federal government has the power and the obligation to put a stop to it.

This is where YOU come in! The House will not be sitting May 23rd -27th , and MPs will be in their constituencies. This is the perfect opportunity for you to call your local constituency office and make an appointment to meet with your MP in person to ensure that they are fully informed about Site C and what can be done to stop it. We’ve got some tips for meeting your MP below and if you  would like direct support, email candace@y2y.net.

To find your MP and their contact information, click here.  Be sure to use the phone number of their constituency office, rather than their parliamentary office, which shows up first.

 It’s important to call now, so that you can be fit into their schedule while they are at home on a break from Parliament.

It doesn’t matter which party your MP is affiliated with:  Liberals need to know what they can do directly and those representing other parties need to know so they can put pressure on the Liberals and keep it a priority issue in the House.

Tips for meeting with your MP

  • Call and make your meeting appointment ASAP to be sure you get in while they are in their constituency office.
    • Find out how much time your MP will have for the meeting.
  • Find out a bit about your MP before visiting: Do they hold a position in government or opposition? What did they do before they were an MP? What personal interests do they have and can you find a personal connection with them?
  • Don’t worry about being an expert on the subject; remember, MPs need to be aware of a wide range of issues. Often you will know more about a specific issue than they do.
  • Make notes in advance about key points you want to share.
    • Reference our backgrounder for assistance.
    • For more detailed information on the First Nations’ argument, see the backgrounder from Amnesty International here or the recent letter from two area chiefs in the Vancouver Sun here.
    • Ensure your arguments are succinct and clear and that you have prioritized them to ensure they can be covered within the time allotted for your meeting.
  • Think about counter arguments your MP might have and prepare your responses in advance.
    • Two in particular are the statements that they cannot comment because the issue is `before the courts` and `the decision has already been made`. These can be counter argued by stating that federal permits from the fisheries and transport ministries must be obtained for the project to proceed, so the feds could withhold issuance of them thus allowing more time for consideration of outstanding issues.
  • Be polite and courteous as you cannot gain support if you are not.
  • Keep the meeting on track as they might try to change the subject to avoid issues they don’t want to deal with.
  • Wrap up the meeting by reiterating your key points, ensuring you are clear on any follow up information they would like and ensuring that they are clear on the action you would like them to take.
    • Be sure to leave them with document, summarizing your key points and your ask. We have prepared one for you here if you’d like to use it.
  • Also be sure to thank them for their time. A follow up thank you note is a nice touch and an opportunity to send them a synthesis of the key points discussed.
  • Wherever possible, stay in touch with your MP about the issue and be sure to invite them to campaign related events.
  • Again, feel free to email candace@y2y.net if you would like direct support.
  • Finally, please let us know that you have taken this action by emailing candace@y2y.net.

Thank you for taking the time to help stop Canada’s most destructive and unnecessary project!

For the Peace,

                      

Andrea Morison                           Ana Simeon                   Candace Baytcki
Peace Valley Env. Assc.             Sierra Club BC               Yellowstone to Yukon Cons. Initiative

 

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