Shocked, saddened and angered are some of the emotions the Jordan River Hamlet residents are feeling about the prospect of losing their homes.
Thursday evening changed the lives of 15 residents and business owners along the waterfront community of Jordan River. Around dinner time BC Hydro representatives came knocking door to door to hand deliver notices informing residents and business owners that their lives and way of life has been compromised by an unsafe BC Hydro operated dam.
“On one hand BC Hydro says they can’t afford to lose the electrical production but on the other hand they say they can’t afford to repair it. They can’t have it both ways,” said Matt Lambert, new co-owner of the former Breakers Cafe who had purchased the property just nine days before the BC Hydro news release. “What happens when the dam bursts and BC Hydro loses 35 per cent of its power production on Vancouver Island? This affects everybody.”
The Jordan River Hamlet residents are well aware of the tsunami hazards. Property owner Sean Johnson, who moved here three years ago with his wife Susan, stated, “The letter BC Hydro gave us also informed us that we live in a tsunami zone. Really? We knew we were moving into a tsunami zone, there isn’t one property on earth that can’t be affected by a potential natural disaster. However, that’s not the problem here, the problem is a man-made for-profit dam that could collapse. Its putting people’s lives at risk and not just the people that live here either.“
Leslie Lajeunesse is one of the long time residents who has spent her whole life in Jordan River
“I’ve been here for 60 years, there is just no replacement for the incredible life we have here.”
Anyone who has visited Jordan River can easily see why people love living here. There are not too many places where you can watch whales breech from your living room window, walk to a surf break just a stone’s throw from your front door or catch world class salmon right in front of your house. The Jordan River Hamlet residents know how special this place is and they all share a strong passion for the ocean wilderness they call home.
“I bought property here in 1987 and surfed out here every winter since then. It’s a totally irreplaceable property and not for sale at any price as far as I’m concerned!” stated property owner Hugh Pite.
Karry and Pat Carlson, long time residents, stated they “are devastated and at a loss for words.”
Doug Harvey is a retired forestry worker that has been coming here since his early twenties. When asked how he felt about the situation he stated, ”I do not want to move. What I have here is not replaceable: a right hand point break, fishing, beach, great coffee shop all within walking distance from my home. My son designed my house and I built it with the intention of never leaving.”
“It’s not just about property values,” stated Susan Johnson, “this is about our homes. We’ve set up our whole lives to be out here for the long term. Jordan River is where we had planned to raise our daughter, close to nature, with the ocean at our front door, now all of that is at risk.”
At this stage, the goals of the Jordan River Hamlet residents are to gather and share information as it becomes available, continue to talk with BC Hydro representatives about the company’s proposed solutions, and to seek legal council regarding their rights.
Anyone interested in helping the Jordan River Hamlet residents meet these goals is welcome to contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org
“We value our community and environment.”
Jordan River Hamlet residents