For the most up-to-date information on why Site C just doesn’t make sense, please visit our website here and click on the “ISSUES” tab at the top of the page.
Did you know that …
BC is currently 98% self-sufficient in energy production, however, if you take into account the Canadian Entitlement to the Columbia River Treaty, we are in fact 105% energy self sufficient. (Hoberg, 2010)
Conversely, we are only 48% self-sufficient in food production and only 43% in vegetable production (MAFF, 2006). Does it make sense to worsen this by flooding thousands of acres of class 1 and 2 soils when there is not currently a need for energy and when it can easily be attained elsewhere without the necessity of destroying vast quantities of prime agricultural land in the process.
George Hoberg’s (UBC professor) presentation “The Export Question: Under What Conditions Should British Columbia Become a Major Exporter of Electricity?” at Pacific Institute for Climate Solution’s 2010 conference “FutureGrid: BC’s Energy Options in a Changing Environment”, slide 16 (http://www.pics.uvic.ca/assets/pdf/futuregri/Hoberg_ppt.pdf)
“B.C.’s Food Self-Reliance: Can B.C.’s Farmers Feed Our Growing Population ?” by B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, 2006 (http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/resmgmt/Food_Self_Reliance/BCFoodSelfReliance_Report.pdf)
Did you consider…
Your hydro bills will increase 28% between 2014 and 2018 and it is projected they will increase approximately 45% before Site C is completed. BC Hydro will no recoup the costs of the $8.9 billion dam until it is operational, so rates will increase again at that time. Imagine how your rates will be affected by a project that is conservatively estimated at $8.9 billion.
Considering economics… with the downturn of the economy right now it is ludicrous to be looking at big mega-projects like the site C dam which was last estimated at $8.9 billion dollars plus anticipated cost overruns. Cost overruns on large dams are approximately 50% on average according to the World Commission on Dams. The proposed Site C dam will likely exceed $12 billion.
Considering agriculture… the Peace River Valley has a unique, warm microclimate with the only Class 1 soil north of Quesnel. At a time when traditional food supply land in California (which Canadians significantly rely upon) is decreasing due to drought, it is absurd to flood vast amounts of prime agricultural land. At a time when the 100 mile diet is emphasized, it just doesn’t make sense to dramatically reduce the capacity for the North to grow its own produce. It would mean sacrificing over 7,000 acres of prime agricultural land, class 1 and 2. Considering that only 1.5% of BC’s landmass is class 1 and 2 soils, BC cannot afford this.
Considering its importance for wildlife habitat… the Peace River Valley is the narrowest part of the Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y) corridor. As the pinch point, it is critical to preserve the integrity of this wildlife corridor in order to maintain habitat connectivity. Wildlife need to be able to migrate between the different populations for breeding to maintain biodiversity and keep the species strong. This corridor will become increasingly important as the climate changes and wildlife migrates northward. Migration routes need to be intact in order to support this northern migration.
Considering the wildlife… the Peace River Valley is home to several red- and blue-listed species from the BC Species List. Red-listed species are native species that are considered endangered or threatened in BC while blue-listed species are native BC species of special concern. Fisher, which are blue-listed, use the large balsam poplars in the river valley for natal and maternal dens. There has been a fishing advisory for bulltrout, another blue-listed species, at Williston reservoir for many years due to their elevated methylmercury levels (Freshwater Fishing Regulations Synopsis 2009-2011, pp 39, 68, 72 and 77). We cannot afford another reservoir with further increases in methylmercury levels and neither can the bulltrout. We should not be putting the various species further at risk.
Considering social impacts… there will be an influx of workers which will stress the community infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, etc. At the pre-consultation meetings, BC Hydro representatives stated there would only be approximately 25 permanent jobs at Site C once it was operational, not all of them necessarily near Fort St. John. Since the vast majority of the jobs generated by Site C will be very short-term, lasting only during the construction phase, BC Hydro has plans for out-of-town camps to accommodate workers. The large number of transient workers could bring about a whole host of additional problems such as increased drug use, additional heath concerns, and increases in violence and crime rates.