” The worst is yet to come…” ~ Rafe Mair

*** The announcement yesterday that the BC Liberals and Gordon Campbell plan to move ahead with a major dam in the beautiful and pristine Peace River region, is both devastating, and leaves me outraged –  as it should you.

 As most of you know, I grew up in just outside of Prince George, and spent much of my childhood and youth traversing the back country hunting, fishing and exploring the north with my family. The area this dam is slated to destroy is one of the most beautiful and plentiful this province has to offer. Much more will be lost, than can ever, ever be gained, and for this reason I ask you to inform yourself about this project, the motive behind it and ask yourself  if you can stand by and let one man leave a legacy of destruction for our future generations. The  people of the north, and all of BC, are counting on it. ***http://www.energeticcity.ca/fortstjohn/news/04/19/10/site-c-decision-stirs-mixed-reactions

This letter came into my email box this morning, forwarded by Rafe Mair. I publish it here for all of you, because Rafe is one of this provinces staunchest protectors and fearless advocates. Please, read this, listen to his words, and let the information speak for itself.


All of you that knew that the Gordon Campbell government was lying
through its teeth when it said that the power from wrecking our rivers
was for BC consumption, please stand up, open the window that faces
Victoria and shout “Gordon Campbell, your government lied to us! You
have given away our rivers to big private companies and told us that
the energy was to fill our needs in BC.

Rafe Mair and Damien Gillis knew you were not telling the truth, we
citizens knew you were prevaricating, and now after the Site “C”
announcement the whole world knows it!”

Premier Campbell’s decision to go ahead with Site “C” demonstrates
what I’ve said all over the province and written for anyone who would
print it for nearly three years is absolutely true:-

“Run of River, better stated as private power initiatives, will not
supply power to British Columbians because they produce their power
during the run-off when BC Hydro doesn’t need it!

This is the question Premier Campbell must now answer –

Now you have admitted that private power will not be for BC
consumption but for export, and now that you’ve approved Site “C” to
produce power to look after our future needs, will the private rivers
policy, which destroys our rivers to supply power to the United
States, be ended with no new licenses to be issued?

Will BC Hydro continue to be forced by your government to pay private
producers double or more what they can sell it for?

Will the despoiling of our precious rivers and the ecologies they
support continue?

A discussion of Site “C” is for another day – today we have it
confirmed that all our fears, for which some of us were pilloried by
the government and private power boosters (always calling themselves
“green”, of course) were demonstrated beyond any doubt, to be true.

As a British Columbian who loves his province and all it is, I’m
deeply ashamed of our government and I devoutly wish that I had been

But I wasn’t – nor were many of you.

But the worst is yet to come.

Here is the first in a series of videos that show the area that will be destroyed forever, if this project happens.

The other two video segments  that follow, can be accessed  HERE , and a host of other video commentarys and protests from residents and others in the area affected can be accessed HERE 

I am asking you to watch these videos, listen to these people and decide for yourself what you think is right. And then make your voice heard. I welcome all comments,queries and feedback, especially from those in the path of  destruction.

28 thoughts on “” The worst is yet to come…” ~ Rafe Mair

  1. Yes, I am worried about what we don’t know about. An awful lot of damage has been done to this province that we know about – I expect there is a heck of a lot that we don’t know about. As Rafe mair has said – “The worst is yet to come”


  2. There was this show on BBC which depicted the life and times of the Roman Emperor, Claudius (Derek Jacobi ) who was seen by the bureaucrats and soldiers as not being too bright, but he was a great reader of history. There were those that wished to take advantage of him but soon found that their overpriced product of …. digging a harbour, or building a dam …. had escalated their prices to suit the size of their greed.

    Today we find that Gordon Muir Campbell says that his Site C project will produce 35,000 Direct and Indirect jobs, where, for it certainly won’t be on the construction of the dam.

    On page A2 of the Vancouver Sun there’s a scale drawing of three dams: W.A.C. Bennett Dam, Peace Canyon Dam and the proposed Site C dam Liberals commit to building Site C dam where the newest one is approximately one sixth the size of the WAC Bennett Dam. How could a pint size dam match or outperform the statistics for the Bennett Dam?

    From the Hudson Hope Museum they have this to say about the construction of the WAC Bennett Dam:

    “The moraine provided the answer to constructing one of the largest earth filled dams of its kind. Three years of survey and study of data climaxed in plans to build a dam near the head of the canyon and to use the materials of the moraine to build it.

    Construction of the dam took approximately five years and employed more than 4,800 people at its peak.
    Source: 40 Years on: The Story of the W.A.C Bennett Dam

    35,000 jobs eh, but really one sixth which equals 800 jobs, so why does the dam come with an estimated price tag of $6.6 billion? Or is going to be another one of those Convention Centres?


  3. Very sharp observertion, North Van Grump. Very sharp, and one that I think would be worth seeing smack dab on the front of both major papers to really get the citizens thinking.

    Now, here is another consideration, a prospect I suspect is how they are already planning this project behind closed doors.

    How much do you want to bet, that if by some stroke of luck the Libs survive the next election – (and I say that because the sorry people in my hometown of PG have been run roughshod over by the Libs, yet they voted them in again last election(???) – this dam would be done as a P3, designed and built by some offshore company with a history of close work with the Libs?

    And what was this announcement done with such grandiosity for, considering it’s still going to take 4 years to go through the hoops?

    Campbell is a narcisisst.


  4. Laila, as much as I like to ride in a helicopter to view that which will be covered by water forever, I sometimes think that the best way for the public to wrap their heads around what the BC Liberals are embarking on, at our expense, is looking at it from Google Earth. Now, I’m not able to provide that for you but there is someone here on the North Shore that has a blog called http://www.ippwatch.info/w/ Private Power Watch

    IPPWATCH creator, Craig Williams, in my estimation can create a link that would be able to show off the size of WAC Bennett Dam compared to the Peace Canyon dam to the proposed Site C dam aka GMC (Gordon Muir Campbell). You know, like size of coverage; loss of farmland; etc.

    Campbell says that he’s about to put into law that no other dams will be built on any river in British Columbia after Site C is built, however at Craig Williams blog he has marked an X on a Google Earth map where every Independent Power producer is lurking to sell their products to BC Hydro between NOW and THE completion of Site C.

    Best Wishes,


    1. Another excellent suggestion, and I am just back from sending off an email to him. I blogged about IPP and run of the river projects extensively during the election run last year, because so many in BC had never heard of them, and didn’t know. Of course, the msm only started covering some of it post election, far too late by then in my estimate.

      Campbell has his own motives behind everything. What he doesn’t realise is that no one wants to go down with him, and in the end, it is still a save your own skin business. A fight is still ahead, because no narcisisst goes down easy.


  5. Wow. I had no idea this was such a huge project, thank you for these video’s Laila. I’ve passed this along to all in my address book and gotten some shocked replies. Most people don’t think the goverment can just decide to flood an area like this and take away people homes, even if they compensate for them. I can’t imagine it!!

    On another side… it was nice to see you downtown today!! What a surprise, and you were very gracious when I introduced myself to you and your cute son. I have to say, you are much more ravishing in person, I would say your photos do not do you justice.


  6. Do we have enough power for the entire year for everybody without buying or making more? If yes then we can stop the population from growing and never need more dams, yes?


  7. So, what are the alternatives? Trashing every stream in BC with micro generation? Powering everything with 100% biodegradable, Gaia-friendly unicorn poo?


  8. What are the alternatives? Trashing every stream in BC with micro generation? Power everything with 100% biodegradable, Gaia-friendly unicorn poo?


  9. SNIP

    “Interim Project Cost Estimates
    Site C would have a significant upfront capital cost,
    a long operating life and low operating costs if built.
    Early conceptual project estimates updated in May 2007
    indicate that Site C‘s interim capital cost estimate is
    between $5 billion and $6.6 billion in nominal dollars.
    These estimates reflect a levelized unit cost range from
    $46/MWh and $97/MWh in Fiscal 2008 dollars. This
    interim cost estimate will be updated at each stage of
    the project as the project is more fully defined.
    As a decision on whether to build Site C is still a few
    years away, any project cost estimates are only interim.
    As with other capital projects, the final cost estimate will
    be fully known only after a competitive procurement
    process is complete and a final bid is accepted. This
    occurs just prior to construction.” SNIP

    Source: http://www.llbc.leg.bc.ca/public/PubDocs/bcdocs/430784/policies54465.pdf

    Another Source for the document above and many others dealing with Site C dam is:

    Source: Northern Lights College Library:

    Click to access SubjectGuide_Site_C_Dam_002.pdf


  10. Why are we going to flood in the neighbourhood of 15,000 acres of prime agricultural land to insure California has electricity?

    Why would he do that when they still owe in the hundreds of millions of dollars for water they’ve been sold over the years…money we’ll never receive. Debt written off – as always. Do we write off their electricity bill too?

    As far as I can see, no amount of money could undo the damage to our agriculture base if Site C goes through. Such a hideous idea… .


  11. It is surely a payback to someone , the world today has other options new technologies and far safer smaller nuclear power generation options as well why destroy an area such as this it makes very little sense.


  12. Of course, Campbell will destroy the province for money, it’s not the first time, he has done this. The citizens of BC, have had their assets and natural resources sold out from under them. This province is being decimated by Campbell and Hansen’s greed. How could anyone do such an, idiot thing, to destroy our farm land? Food is going to become a commodity on this planet. There is going to be a global shortage of food, which is already beginning. We also need to keep our water, droughts are also occurring on the globe. Campbell and Hansen’s stupidity, just keeps rolling along. The BC Liberal government, is the most hideous and destructive party, in Canadian history. How much more treachery, will we people have to put up with? Leave our natural resources alone, there has been enough stolen from the citizens. And, leave this province, you are not welcome.


  13. Where would we put a nuclear plant in the LMD? If we use wind turbines we should not make the mistake that Grouse Mountain did. Where could we put a few hundred of those?


  14. Forgot to ask. Is there any truth in what I heard. Hansen has already introduced the HST in the House of Commons. It is said, a province can not cancel anything, in the Federal House. And, even if it was to be debated in parliament, Harper would not allow the debate to be tabled. Then, Harper would once again, prorogue parliament.


  15. With all that lying how is Campbell able to sleep at night?
    Concern about the environment. Wanting to leave leave a clean place for his grandchildren! I laughed when I first heard him utter those words.I wonder what his grandkids will think of their Grandfather when history reveals to them how the environment was dismantled under his watch. Shameful.


  16. Hi Leah,

    Just thought I would mention that the NoHST sign up in Prince George seems to be doing very well – did my duty today. This sign up center is for those in the Prince George-Valemont ward – Shirly Bonds riding.
    It is in the basement of
    Professional Building,
    1705 3rd Ave, PG – hours 12 -6pm Tues- Friday, 10am – 5pm Saturady.
    When i got there there was a queue and when I lfet there was a steady stream of people going to sign up.
    The support looks real good !



  17. WE all know there is little room for agitation against this to have any real impact on the political system in Canada; First Nations governments can be bought off (as we’ve seen, all too often), environmental reviews can be passed off or ignored, and the public at large treated like so many cattle to be herded into the election booth on “fixed election dates”. And these turkeys already wrote off the Peace Country due to the BC Rail fiasco, they have no reason to care what people in the Peace want or don’t want. The only people they care about what they want and don’t want are the US companies and investors who are their new bosom buddies and the real power behind the throne in Gordon Campbell’s BC. The Yanks have, ironicallly, corrupted and coopted the power of the Crown, rather than trying to plant the Stars and Stripes (which would, after all, only get in the way of the bulldozers anyway).

    The reason the buzzword-laden speech from The Preem included the phrase “Clean Energy” is because of the Clean Energy Act (or is it Clean Energy Agenda?) in California, which is BC’s No. 1 power export market. It’s THERE that this battle must be taken; to the California media, to the committees of the California legislature, to the desk of the Governor (in the form of petitions from Californians; he’s a boddy of Gordo but the voters can make him dance).

    California already technically shouldn’t be doing business AT ALL with BC Hydro, because by its own laws – laws – it has forbidden itself to do business with Accenture anymore. But add onto that the the “green power” it’s buying from Canada isn’t really green at all – that’s political dynamite down there.

    If you, or anyone, can get them to notice. Whether it’s Site C or the IPPs which have run roughshod over environmental regs already (and more to come no doubt), there IS a body politic that has the capacity to stop this lunacy dead in its tracks. But it’s not gonna be found in Canada – the BCUC has been castrated, any environmental review panel in BC is going to be stacked by the cretins in charge, with more cretins, and any federal-level environmental or other review process is going to get Harperized (“streamlined”). It’s not like the Tories – or Michael Ignatieff – give a hoot about environmental issues in a remote valley in BC; let alone in BC at all.

    The Cailfornia environmental and green energy movements have to be made away what their current agenda and power contracts are actually doing. The idea that hydroelectric power has “next to nil” environmental impact is entirely relative; sure, it’s not a coal min the size of West Virginia, and it’s not happening in Santa Barbara or San Mateo, but it’s still environmental ruin and not what their policies were intended to achieve.

    And California environmental orgs DO have the money, and the lawyers, to take this on…….how to get them to wake up, I don’t know, but up here we’re preaching to those who won’t listen, and commisserating within ourselves, those who do care, about how awful our government is and that they won’t listen. And they won’t.

    CanWest’s pitch on all this no doubt is how great it all is, a new megaproject to give the illusion of prosperity for a few more years; no doubt some poor suckers will buy houses up there during construction only to see the ghost town real estate market hit them just like everywhere else in the province that wasn’t in pissing range of the Olympic Effect…..


  18. Hi to all, and I have to say,there have been some great comments on this thread.

    Excuse my absence- last night my hot water tank went, meaning leaking water etc, that resulted in an exceptional plumber spending a couple hours replacing the old one. Toss in a broken computer mouse, no car and some tired kids…. well. I think you get the idea. Things slide.

    The Site C dam will not doubt be touted endlessly by the Libs as an end to a means, as mentioned by North Van Grumps.

    ” Jobs!! Job creation!!! Many jobs and the resulting recreational possibilities from having a large lake up in the Peace region!!”

    Reality is as, again, NorthVan Grumps stated, that the jobs actually created will be far less for the locals, and possibly British Columbians, than stated in the coverage.

    Reality is, that area is already replete with natural recreational attractions that could use the work of a good PR firm to get some tourists up there. The area is naturally pristine in vast areas, quiet, serene, hunting and fishing is plentiful, as is the backcountry scenery. It is a place to find yourself ,and discover what is important in this world.

    I am tired of the Libs taking advantage of people hurting in those ” tough economic times”, and giving hope where there is none. I can’t see the Indians in this area supporting such a premise.

    Can Campbell sleep at night? Yes. Without a doubt – because narcissists don’t question their actions. They only think of themselves, and this dam is all about having Campbells name plastered on a large hunk of concrete that generations will see in smarmy tourist rooms on site.

    It seems to me that the local media has taken a positive slant on this, but is it genuinely a positive project? Or does this bit of expensive PR simply detract from other IPP approvals currently going on?

    One thing is certain in all of this, and has been since the last election when I blogged about the IPP’s in BC, and their environmental hazards.

    The Campbell government, relies on local large media, especially Canwest, to assist them in their goals.

    In a large portion of BC, my hometown of PG included, Global BC is most often watched for lack of any other ” local” coverage. These people often still believe the news they see and hear is unbiased and unaffected by government…ha!

    I know firsthand what is at stake here. I grew up in the north, lived it, breathed it from birth. I have a stake in all of BC by birth. We need to see this one through, as many of us did with Enbridge, which I also covered extensively prior to , and after the election.

    I guess if I could say one thing to locals here to get their attention on this, it would be this: Imagine if all of Vancouver were to be submerged under water.

    All of it. What would people say about that?

    Now, image you were in the lot to be bought out and ” compensated”

    Is it any less acceptable to mow over 10 peoples homes, than it is 1000? What if you are in that unlucky 10? How would you feel?


  19. Monday Apr. 19, 2010 8:34 PM PT

    “Campbell said construction would create about 7,600 direct jobs and many thousands more in indirect jobs.”

    Source: http://www.ctvbc.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20100419/bc_site_c_campbell_100419/20100419?hub=BritishColumbia

    Now we know that its not 35,000 jobs as first reported; “the reservoir created behind the dam would be 83 kilometres long, but the premier pointed out that that’s just one-fifth the size of the reservoir created by the Bennett dam five decades ago, which flooded out entire First Nations communities.”

    Still leaves the question as to why it takes more workers to build a dam one fifth the size of the WAC Bennett dam or conversely just where are the remaining Indirect jobs, 27,400, going to be located.


  20. http://www.alc.gov.bc.ca/How_Do_I/How_Do_I_report_an_infraction.htm

    In light of the Special Prosecutor looking into John Les’ involvement of under the table land dealings of the ALR is finally coming to a conclusion, maybe this is the right time to be asking:

    “How do I report an Infraction?”
    “If you suspect an infraction may be occurring on ALR lands, you may report the matter to the municipality or regional district office in which the property is located or to the Agricultural Land Commission.

    If there is a potential infraction of the Act, the Commission may pursue various remedies including Stop Work Orders, Remediation Orders and Penalties. The Commission may also apply to the Supreme Court of British Columbia if it considers that a person or persons is not complying with an order or decision.”

    Gordon Campbell’s government is on the verge of flooding ALR properties under Site C reservoir and I was just wondering if there was a means by which it could be stopped via an Agriculture Land Commission investigation.

    Yes the Supreme Court of Canada could become involved in the preservation of our northern farm land, if the the ALC does its job.


  21. Thanks for a very useful tip, NVG.

    Might be a good idea to repeat your comment for Northeast News, published in Dawson Creek and Fort St John.

    In fact, it’s information worthy of any BC newspaper … I hope you send it around.


  22. Good God. As one of my readers commented to my by email, essentially a dirt pile with a concrete door..lol.. well, if that doesn’t take the cake, what will?

    Here are a few good links passed on by a frequent reader, JW, who does me a world of good with his research and ideas! Even going back to 2008, when this was said about the proposal THEN:

    ” Shot down in the 1980s, BC Hydro tests the public waters with new dam
    Construction of a third large hydroelectric dam on the Peace River in British Columbia’s north is back on BC Hydro’s to-do list, and the province’s electricity provider is making the rounds to sell the idea to residents through a series of public consultation sessions.
    Already forces of opposition are mobilizing to ensure the citizens hear all sides of the story on the massive public-works project that Hydro says could take seven years to build, with preliminary cost estimates pegged at $6.6 billion.
    “The main reasons for not building this dam are the same as they were in the 1980s,” says West Moberly First Nation Chief Roland Wilson. “We don’t need it.”
    Those who live near the proposed dam still smart from construction of two earlier dams in their area—the W.A.C. Bennett Dam in 1967 and the Peace Canyon Dam 24 kilometres downstream in 1980—and say Hydro is downplaying the likely environmental impact of the Site C project.
    If it goes ahead according to preliminary plans, the dam will be built six-and-a-half kilometres southwest of Fort St. John. It will be 250 feet high, stretch 3,200 feet across the water and be capable of producing 900 megawatts of electricity.
    Critics argue decaying vegetation under the 5,300 hectares Hydro estimates will be flooded by the dam’s reservoir will unleash massive amounts of greenhouse gasses, to the tune of 15 to 30 tonnes of COs equivalent for every gigawatt-hour of power the dam produces, not to mention its impact on wildlife habitat and agricultural and culturally significant land.
    British Columbians were last confronted with a Site C dam when the BC Utilities Commission—after an outcry from local communities, and most vocally the West Moberly First Nation—decided to shelve BC Hydro’s preliminary application for its construction in 1983.
    Denial of the necessary Energy Project Certificate was withheld until such time that, “1) an acceptable forecast demonstrates that construction must begin immediately in order to avoid supply deficiencies, and 2) a comparison of alternate feasible plans demonstrates . . . that Site C is the best project to meet the anticipated supply deficiency,” according to Hydro’s feasability review.
    Well, the days of “supply deficiency” have arrived—in Hydro’s opinion at least—and the company claims that over the next 20 years the province’s electricity demands are slated to grow by between 25 and 45 percent, with a projected deficit of at least 17,000 gigawatt-hours by 2025; for the past six years we have been net importers of electricity, buying between 10 to 15 percent of the province’s electricity from other jurisdictions.
    This argument doesn’t wash with Dogwood Initiative executive director Will Horter.
    “This pretense of ‘it’s necessary for self-sufficiency’ is based on some pretty creative analysis and accounting,” says Horter. “What the Site C folks, and even the anti-site C folks haven’t really framed is that with the Columbia Basin treaty we’ve got this massive amount of energy that we have contractually agreed should be brought to the border, and instead of actually bringing that energy into British Columbia, the government consistently chooses to sell that into the California market, and book the revenue.”
    —Jason Youmans ”




    I have another very interesting link in PDF format, coming shortly.


  23. I’m not sure if this is a silver lining, but with climate change melting our depleted snow covered peaks this year and the Environment Minister saying that there has already been 150 fires this year, does it make sense to build another dam if there isn’t going to be 83 kilometers of water stretching out behind the reservoir on Site C?

    Vancouver Sun
    By Jonathan Fowlie, Vancouver Sun May 8, 2010

    “Environment Minister Barry Penner warned Friday of possible drought for parts of British Columbia this summer.

    Penner said below average snowpacks across the province could mean streams will be running much lower than normal by the summer months.

    “With the exception of high-elevation areas on Vancouver Island and the South Coast, snowpacks across B.C. are all below normal,” said a statement released by the government Friday.

    “The low snowpack and smaller-than-normal snowmelt run-off are likely to be reflected in lower-than-normal lake and reservoir levels, lower-than-normal recharge of groundwater aquifers and lower-than-normal river levels during summer,” it added.

    The statement said that much of the Southern Interior is classified at drought level three, meaning low stream flows and water supply shortages are “highly probable” unless significant rainfall occurs during May and June.

    The statement said local governments in these areas should consider water restrictions and review drought management plans.

    Much of the Central and Northern Interior are classified at drought level two, the statement said.”


    Source: Vancouver Sun



    What IF we are going to have a repeat of our lack of snowfall for the next TEN years, what then for the possibility of a Site C dam on the Peace River? Or has Premier Gordon Campbell already decided to drain down Williston Lake, behind the W.A.C. Bennett dam, to provide the water for Site C?


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