Having just returned from the 11th annual Paddle for the Peace, it is disturbing to discover that the majority of people in B.C. support the building of the unnecessary and exorbitantly expensive Site C dam.
The dam will flood the equivalent of 6,568 football fields of invaluable farmland, cut off migration routes of ungulates and devastate ancient historic sites and fishing and hunting grounds of First Nations.
Are we not mad to be backing such a project?
I was disturbed when I visited the newly opened exhibit at the Bennett dam, where almost 50 years after that project was finished, there was an acknowledgement of the irreparable damage that was done to the local peoples and wildlife back in the 1960s. And yet, here we are about to do the same thing over again – on an even larger scale.
Even though Treaty 8 First Nations have filed a legal challenge against the project, B.C. Hydro is continuing to cut down huge swaths of trees and threaten the local farmers and ranchers with the expropriation of their land.
The dam has an $8 billion to $10 billion price tag – to be paid by you and me – and is said to be unnecessary by many experts, such as Dr. Harry Swain, former Site C panel chair and now outspoken opponent of the dam.
Plus, more than 200 academic professionals and scientists with the Royal Society of Canada have petitioned to halt the progression of the dam.
We have choices. If we need new energy sources in the future we can choose much more cost-effective and less environmentally damaging ones than the Site C dam.
Elaine L. Hooper