DeSmog Canada is out this week with an exclusive photo essay that shows the local impact of British Columbia Premier Christy Clark’s pledge to get the $9-billion Site C hydro dam past the “point of no return” before the provincial election in May 2017.
“With construction ramping up, the high cost of the Site C dam is becoming more visible, and not just on the landscape,” DeSmog reports. “Residents are being forcibly removed from their land. More than 100 kilometres of river valley—much of it agricultural land—is slated for flooding. Independent review processes, meant to ensure the project serves the public interest, have been circumvented, and Indigenous rights have been trampled.”
With reader donations, DeSmog sent a photographer to the Peace River valley to document destruction made possible by a round of permits issued by the federal government, in spite of a legal challenge by First Nations that is still pending before the courts.
“While the destruction may alarm some readers, it’s worth noting that most of the work so far has been isolated to in and around the site of the proposed dam,” DeSmog notes. “More than 80 kilometres of river valley remains untouched at this stage.” Which means there’s still time for B.C. to acknowledge mounting concern about the project and heed expert advisors who see no need for the electricity it will produce.
“It’s clear even more so as each day goes by that there really is no business case for Site C, especially with Hydro’s own electricity demand decreasing significantly,” former BC Hydro CEO Marc Eliesen told DeSmog over the summer. “Can you postpone, can you suspend, can you cancel Site C? Basically the experience in other jurisdictions shows that you can if the end result shows that the cost to the ratepayer will be more than if you postpone or suspend.”