B.C. Hydro CEO refuses to halt Site C, says Amnesty report wrong

Site C Construction 20160104

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.

site-c-dam-mapA 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 , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Consultation with First Nations did indeed take place, just not here where the dam is being built. Jessica McDonald is not speaking with total honesty and she knows it. If “proper” consultation had taken place, why are there two court cases pending with “local” first nations. B Hydro has come to agreements with the McLeaod Lake Band, they are hundreds of km away from the site. They also made a deal with a FN’s Band in Alberta. The 2 Nations that will be horrifically impacted have NOT been consulted. They were TOLD the dam will be built, not consulted. Ms McDonald appears to “speak with forked tongue”!!!
    Maybe she can explain where the 2.7 billion dollars awarded, or spent have gone while we’re here talking about site c. It seems to be spent in “secret”. There you go BC, our near bankrupt utility (yes folks we own it and it’s $78 billion of debt) and our oh so corrupt premier have hidden 2.7 billion from our eyes. The plot sure thickens up fast!!!

  2. I really love the way they decide for Indigenous people what will affect Indigenous people even while Indigenous people are emphatically stating this negatively affects us. Colonialism continuing for another day.

  3. BC Hydro is so wrong. Amnesty is not a frivolous organization and they have international credibility. This project is a huge mistake that is going to cost us all. Just think what that kind of money could do invested in renewables, sustainable agriculture, conservation of energy…

    If Trudeau continues down this path, I will work VERY hard to remove him from office. So far, his environmental record is no better than Harpers-despite the fine words. I am disgusted. I really hope he wakes up.He has the social license and he could do so much to set us on a better path.

  4. Excuse me, but the report by Amnesty is not wrong! Not on one of the many points they highlight! The land is Treaty Eight land, and they want nothing to do with site C. Would you allow the grave sites of your community to be flooded? I think not! California is where we import most of our food from, what will we do when they run out of water? Flooding the land with that dam will demolish our own food security! Site C, is a waste on so many levels!

  5. What exactly is “wrong” about this statement: “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,”

  6. this will definitely be an election issue! Clark will find herself unemployed come next yr.

  7. This story has been around since the joint review panel hearings into site C. And the Government and BC Hydro keep saying “we are consulting, ” I would like to see their definition of consult, and compare it to my impression of what they have done, which is basically ignore any comments and statements they have received.

  8. As a corporate shill, what else is she supposed to say? The obvious is not obvious enough for her to see. A one line talking point does not make a decision final. She is paid well, what is the skin off her back for the Peace River? Nothing. Meanwhile, a myriad of life forms are irrevocably changed for ever. People, Families, Animals, Traditions, Connections to the land for millennia. For who? Commodity free enterprise by a corporation? But Excluding everyone else who once relied on their hard work and love for the land. Yet Hydro is a over extended financial disaster careening for the cliff towards fiscal takeover by an individual who will have the authority of the commodity called water. And none will be ours. Except to buy. McDonald is as myopic as Bark Bark. Sadness pervades. RIP Arrow Lakes.

  9. Amnesty International is not wrong. This project would have devastating effects. Jessica Macdonald has long-standing ties to the BCLibers. I hope that is not clouding her vision on this project.

  10. The project destroy lives and forever change the culture of the area if built. They treat the Peace like a colony of sorts. They would never do a project like this if it were near Vancouver or Victoria, not in a million years. However, since this land is far north of the seats of power, they think differently

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