B.C. Hydro CEO refuses to halt Site C, says Amnesty report wrong
B.C. Hydro president Jessica McDonald says some First Nations groups approve Site C
The Canadian Press, August 10, 2016
B.C. Hydro president Jessica McDonald says the Crown corporation has reached wide-ranging agreements with some First Nations concerned about the $8.8-billion Site-C hydroelectric dam project in northeastern B.C.
McDonald rejects a recent call to halt work on the project, saying talks and consultations have gone on since 2007 and recent agreements will mitigate potential impacts of the project.
Some First Nations group continue to oppose the project, but McDonald rejects the conclusions of a report by Amnesty International that Site C threatens the human rights of indigenous peoples.
Amnesty International demanded a stop-work order on the Site C hydroelectric dam earlier this week.
A report called The Point of No Return was also released by the international human rights advocacy group, highlighting the concerns of local people and illustrating what the massive flooding necessary to build the dam would look like and cost the environment.
Premier Christy Clark’s government approved the massive hydroelectric project on the Peace River near Fort St. John in 2014.
Amnesty International says the project should only proceed on the basis of free, prior and informed consent of all affected indigenous peoples.
At least two area First Nations are challenging the project in court, claiming they rely on the valley to hunt, fish, trap, conduct ceremonies and harvest plant medicines — and have lived in the Peace River area for more than 10,000 years.
Dam construction began in the summer of 2015 and recently permits were approved federally to begin the work of diverting water flows, despite outstanding lawsuits.
“Canadian and international law require a high and rigorous standard of protection to ensure that indigenous peoples, who have already endured decades of marginalization, discrimination, dispossession and impoverishment, are not further harmed by development on their lands and territories,” the report says on page four.
The dam would be the third on the Peace River, flooding an 83-kilometre stretch of valley near Fort St. John and result in enough power to supply 450,000 homes.
Consultations on the project began in 2007, according to B.C. Hydro officials.
Posted on August 10, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged Amnesty International, BC Hydro, BC Hydro site c dam, Peace River, site c dam, Site C hydroelectric dam, Treaty 8. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.