What’s at Stake?
If the Site C dam is built, the treaty entered into by the Crown and First Nations would not be worth the paper it’s written on. The dam would flood hunting grounds destroy moose populations, and poison fish with toxic methyl mercury. First Nations who have lived in the area for more than 10,000 years are going to court to protect their cultural and spiritual rights to visit sacred sites, gather traditional medicines, and to hunt & fish. BC Hydro cannot be allowed to destroy the last stretch of the Peace River that is the indigenous people’s lifeblood.
The Peace Valley’s unique farmland can provide food for more than a million people a year. Site C would destroy the last sunshine-filled, east-west agricultural valley in BC. And it would flood a swatch of land rich in rare alluvial soils at a time when California – the major breadbasket of North America – is drying up.
As a taxpayer, you are funding this dam, and funding the federal and provincials lawyers to push this risky project through the courts. But more than that, we will be passing on hundreds of millions of dollars in debt to our children and grandchildren, plus the burden of much higher power rates.
Site C will cost $8 to $10 billion dollars. The huge cost will rob the province of valuable resources that could be used to develop other forms of renewable energy, as well as burden the people of British Columbia with debt and high electric power rates that sap our competitiveness.
The Treaty 8 First Nations from northeastern B.C have been actively engaged for years in the struggle to defend their rights and territories from the threat of the Site C Dam. Site C is the third proposed dam on the Peace River; it is located 7 kilometers southwest of Fort St. John and threatens to flood thousands of hectares of prime farmland, irreplaceable cultural sites and wildlife habitat. The Site C Dam has been rejected twice previously.
The nations participated in a Joint Review Panel that concluded Site C would cause significant harm to fishing, hunting and trapping and on other traditional land uses, from BC and on downstream through to Alberta. The federal and provincial governments ignored the concerns of the Treaty 8 First Nations, approving the project. The nations were left with no option but to take the decision to court. Now is the time to stop Site C Dam once and for all.