BC Hydro orders protesters off land slated for logging near Site C dam

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. -- Members of a small but defiant group are pledging to keep protesting the Site C hydroelectric project in northeastern British Columbia, despite being ordered off the land.

See Full Article

They set up a camp on Dec. 31, when BC Hydro and Power Authority issued an eviction notice while pressing ahead with land clearing for the controversial $9-billion dam.

The Crown corporation gave protesters 24 hours to leave the area known as Rocky Mountain Fort, on the south bank of the Peace River, just a few kilometres south of Fort St. John.

It warned that BC Hydro personnel will remove all contents of the camp and deliver it to RCMP but such action had not been taken by Monday afternoon.

Verena Hofmann, a Peace River Valley resident who was at the encampment over the weekend, said contractors appear ready to begin logging a three-kilometre region that is First Nations territory.

"We've just heard that equipment has started up. It looks like they are intending to keep on cutting," she said on the phone from Fort St. John. "Treaty 8 First Nation people are holding their ground and are not moving from the site, so things are intensifying and changing quickly."

Hofmann said demonstrators believe BC Hydro has no right to force them off the land in the midst of ongoing legal challenges involving Site C.

Several court cases raise major concerns about the potential impact of flooding from the creation of a new lake on the Peace River and the surrounding valley during construction of the dam.

She said upward of about five people at a time are occupying the west side of the mouth of the Moberly River in rotating shifts. First Nations people and other landowners are staying in a small cabin that was flown to the bank, as well as a hunting tent, she said.

It takes about 30 minutes to walk or less by snow machine to reach an area where contractors are set up, she said.

"There is no physical structure blockading BC Hydro's construction, it's individual people approaching them and reasonably and respectfully pleading with them to cease construction."

Local people are trying to protect the land -- significant because it contains swaths of old-growth boreal forest -- until court proceedings run their full course, Hofmann said.

She said the group has asked that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reassess the environmental approval granted for the project by the former Conservative government, in conjunction with the B.C. government.

A spokesman for Site C project said the utility will continue to monitor the situation and is evaluating "all options."

"BC Hydro respects the right of all individuals to peacefully protest and express their opinions about Site C in a safe and lawful manner," Craig Fitzsimmons, the manager of communications and issues management, said in an email.

"We are hopeful this can be resolved. We are in discussions with the protesters and local authorities to allow us to resume construction activities."

The Rocky Mountain Fort was established in 1794 by the North West Company as a fur trading post and is the site of the earliest settler post in mainland B.C.

The dam will be the third on the Peace River, creating an 83-kilometre-long reservoir that's slated to power up to 450,000 homes a year.

BC Hydro announced in mid-December that a consortium of three companies will be paid about $1.75 billion to build the largest components of the Site C development over the next eight years.

By Tamsyn Burgmann in Vancouver



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Why do you need a pet insurance, right here, right now

    Economic 24news
    Many Canadians would consider their pets as a part of their immediate, granular, family. Although some professionals think it’s not healthy, that’s the way life is in the twenty first century; There is a steep decline in the birth rate globally, with Japan leading the pack, and pets are filling in the void.
  • Tahoe Resources denies water contamination near its Peru gold mine

    Economic CTV News
    Vancouver-based Tahoe Resources Inc. says reports that heavy rains caused a leach pond at its Shahuindo gold mine in Peru to overflow and cause rainwater contamination are untrue. Tahoe says central Peru is experiencing exceptionally heavy rains, causing wide-spread flooding and mudslides throughout the region. Source
  • Lawsuit launched against obituary website alleges copyright infringement

    Economic CTV News
    ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - A lawyer in Newfoundland and Labrador is bringing a class-action suit against a website that collects obituaries and reposts them. The statement of claim, which has not been proven in court, alleges that the site managed by Afterlife Network Inc. Source
  • Amazon hikes monthly Prime membership price — but not in Canada

    Economic CBC News
    Amazon is hiking the monthly fee it charges its U.S. customers for Prime membership, but the change won't impact Canadians who all pay by the year. The online retailer announced Friday that starting immediately, new customers would be charged $12.99 US a month, up from $10.99 US previously. Source
  • CLC accuses Unifor of leaving lobby group to raid another union

    Economic CBC News
    The head of the Canadian Labour Congress is accusing Unifor of raiding another union for members after it severed ties with the national lobby group for the country's labour movement. Unite Here Local 75, which represents hundreds of hotel workers in Toronto and Mississauga, Ont. Source
  • SEC letter shows bitcoin funds won't happen soon, if ever

    Economic CTV News
    NEW YORK -- It may be a while, if ever, before investors can buy an exchange-traded fund made up of bitcoin and other digital currencies. Federal regulators have a long list of questions they want answered before they'll approve a digital currency fund for Main Street investors. Source
  • GM Canada president says NAFTA update needs to reflect changing technology

    Economic CTV News
    MARKHAM, Ont. - GM Canada president Steve Carlisle says it's important to update NAFTA to reflect changing technology since the original trade deal was signed. Carlisle says the automaker is cautiously optimistic about the trade talks as he prepared for the official opening of its new 700-employee software development centre north of Toronto. Source
  • Nova Scotia brewery offering a lobster beer, despite some skepticism

    Economic CTV News
    MAHONE BAY, N.S. -- A Nova Scotia craft brewery has put together two East Coast favourites to brew up something new: lobster-infused beer. Saltbox Brewery in Mahone Bay is now fermenting its first batch of Crustacean Elation -- a creation that involved the use of whole lobsters early in the brewing process. Source
  • Abortion rights advocate calls for more clarity on summer jobs program

    Economic CTV News
    OTTAWA -- An abortion rights advocate who urged the Liberals to deny summer job grants to groups opposed to letting women terminate their pregnancies says the government may have gone a step too far. Joyce Arthur of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada says she believes the government wanted to target organizations that would hire students to undermine reproductive rights, or discriminate against the LGBTQ community -- a goal she stands strongly behind. Source
  • CLC head accuses Unifor of leaving lobby group to raid another union

    Economic CTV News
    The head of the Canadian Labour Congress is accusing Unifor of raiding another union for members after it severed ties with the national lobby group for the country's labour movement. Unite Here Local 75, which represents hundreds of hotel workers in Toronto and Mississauga, Ont. Source