“Disturbing the Peace: The story of the Site C dam”

Since covering the Site C stories in earnest, I’ve come to highly respect the work done by DeSmog and in particular of Sarah Cox and Emma Gilchrist, whose affinity for the issues and people they cover reminds me of my own.

Last week Sarah broke the compelling news that BC Hydro is forcing the departure of Ken and Arlene Boone from the land they own, by Christmas: http://www.desmog.ca/2016/06/15/bc-hydro-tells-farmers-fighting-site-c-dam-vacate-property-christmas

This is Arlene standing in their incredible oat crop of 2011.Yes, she’s standing up in this photo… this is how rich the land is here.

areleneoatcrop2011

And this is the view they see from their bedroom window every day when they wake up.

arlenebedroomwindowview

BC Hydro plans to build a new highway through the part of their property that isn’t going to be flooded and if they end up expropriated, you can bet Hydro will demolish all of it during this coming winter.

I have always written with purpose, with intent to reveal,change or right a wrong if I can. I’m not a reporter, I’m a writer first and foremost, a story-teller who documents and shares the stories you often won’t find on your own,or reported in the mainstream news.

Things like this impending eviction -why have the big questions on this dam been largely left to independent media or watchdogs like myself to ask?   Things like how rarely anyone in the press has challenged the government on the biggest,most expensive infrastructure project this province has ever seen. And one that the government failed to allow the BC Utilities Commission to perform due diligence on.

It’s frightening how both government and BC Hydro are so rarely questioned or challenged on their claims, most of which are easily shown to be misleading if not completely incorrect.

On that note, two things for you. I spent a bit of time over the weekend trying to get certain media outlets to cover this story, to no avail. One reporter, Jonny Wakefield of the Alaska Highway News, did get to Premier Clark and asked her during her photo op during the Peace area flooding, what her thoughts were on the expropriations.

This was her response:

Did you get that?  Hydro has a tight deadline to protect nesting birds and protect the environment and ecosystem…. It’s almost as if she doesn’t make the connection that he is asking her about the homes,farms,trees, pastures etc that are about to be steamrolled, torn out, cut down and or flooded?

Which is why I ask each of you to watch this video. Have a kleenex ready because this brought me to tears. This is so well done and highlights exactly what is wrong with this project.

This entire valley and this entire province has been done an egregious wrong by the BC government in refusing to allow the BC Utilities Commission to review this,particularly while there are cases still before the courts.This is not how we should be doing things in BC. This project needs to be made a province wide issue, right now. There is a process to follow the province created. Yet now they refuse to allow this project to go through it.

The costs of this dam, are more than we can bear as a province. Because as Harry Swain states here, I too “think we are making a very big mistake, a very expensive one…”

 

 

15 thoughts on ““Disturbing the Peace: The story of the Site C dam”

  1. Tom Sandborn

    *You are invited to join Lindsey’s family & friends for the 4^th Annual Walk & BBQ in his memory on Saturday, July 16^th , 2016.*

    ****

    *The walk starts @ 2pm from the steps of St. James Church (303 East Cordova St) on to Hastings St. and down to the BBQ at Victory Square, from 3pm-630pm. *

    **

    *We hope to see you there!*

    Lindsey Longe died in allegedly “supportive” housing in Vancouver, in circumstances that suggest negligence at the provincially funded facility where he lived and where his mother had been assured he would be checked on every day. In fact, he went without any attention from facility staff while he lay dying for four days and his body lay rotting another three before his mother, Christine Harris, was finally able to get staff to check his room and find his body. Every year, Ms Harris holds this event in the Downtown Eastside to remember Lindsey and to demand that the circumstances of his death ( and the many other deaths in supportive housing that have gone similarly unnoticed – see column and interview linked below) be properly investigated and changes made in the system to prevent further tragedies. Please circulate this invitation widely and post it on social media. Showing up for this event will be an act of respect for a grieving mother and for the many, like her son, who have been allowed to die unnoticed in provincially funded housing.

    nterview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dwJo6pzF-E&feature=em-upload_owner

    column: http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2015/11/30/Supportive-Housing-BC-Deaths/

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is without doubt the disgusting government exercise I have ever seen in a very long life I think the worst of it is that if human beings truly needed this power to survive then perhaps it would be justified. in fact it has not been justifiable from the beginning.

    BC Hydro and this government are like the carpenter who only owns a hammer and everything looks like a nail. There has been barely even lip service paid to the use of renewables much less any serious study. It’s not in the nature of BCH to think of doing so nor is it in the nature of the soulless politicians running this government. For this lot of politicians and Hydro droned it’s always been Hydro, Hydro, Hydro, is if that was the only way one could get energy. It’s not as if building this damn is the cheapest and most convenient way to get needed power, which is a long way from being needed, moreover it’s a lousy business deal producing power we don’t need for customers we don’t have. Considering that any customers would come from outside BC surely it’s fair to ask why we should screw up our natural habitat and precious farmland and evict our citizens in order to provide power elsewhere.

    All of this pales into insignificance compared to what’s happening to human beings. It’s typical bigger population thinking. It’s so easy in Victoria – and I know this from experience – and Vancouver to deal with people in the “boonies” as if they simply had to move their apartment from one part of the West End to another or from Saanich to Oak Bay. It is heartless and when I listened to Premier Clark I thought of myself truly feeling ill.

    Everybody knows that in a society sacrifices have to be made for the good of all but these are only made when all other options have been considered and rejected. That is not the case here and the consequences are no different then if the decision has been made by a cruel dictator intent on doing harm instead of Premier Photo op smiling as she fills the air with hurtful and soul destroying decisions.

    This isn’t “toughness” – it’s rank cruelty. I can’t even dismiss it as just thoughtless – it’s deliberate, calculated cruelty with raw political motives.

    The only language these bastards understand is widespread civil disobedience and for as long as it takes to get the job done.

    Time is very.very short.

    Bless you all.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I must admit that I don’t read the Vancouver Sun, or any other fish-rap, and I didn’t see Harry Swain’s article there-in until seeing it in Norm Farrell’s blog, but 4 days and nary a peep! In case others might have missed it, Dr. Swain unreservedly denounces the project as a complete waste of time and money whereas C Clark, a three time college dropout extolls it virtues and promises to complete it come Hell or High water, or words to that effect, in spite of all the negativity, pending court challenges and complete absurdity.
    Where is the outrage? This can’t be happening in a democratic environment!
    Science is against it. Common sense is against it. Economics is against it! The whole world is against it! Is Chrispy Clark that powerful? Shees!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. e.a.f.

    it doesn’t matter what people say or do, Christy is going ahead with her dam. the msm is aiding her in this quest. Nothing will change until Christy is voted out of office. B.C. Hydro did this before, at the Arrow Lakes dam and they also did a real number on the Carrier First Nations back in the mid 1950s. Hydro has been down this road before and they don’t care how much devastation they bring down on the people of the Peace River Area. Some where there is a report written in the late 1980s which outlines what happened to the Carrier People when the dam was built and flooded their lands. its enough to make any one weep for the damage done. B.C. Hydro didn’t care then and neither did the Socred. Now B.C. Hyrdro doesn’t care and neither do the B.C. Lieberals.

    The best we can hope for is another government who simply closed down Site C. Flooding will not have begun and therefore all can be saved. Nothing is beyond the point of no return in the dam building business. Christy would like to think its beyond the point of return, but then Christy isn’t the brightest tool in the shed or dam.

    As they say, what goes around, comes around. some day what Christy Clark has done to a lot of people in this province will come back to bite her in the ass. I do believe I will live long enough to see it happen.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The BC NDP (& even more so, the federal party’s leader) has been almost as mute as the mainstream media. Try finding it on their home page of priority, hot button issues: https://www.bcndp.ca/ No solidarity for Kirsten Henry’s hunger strike, not a peep from the NDP about the Boons or Meeks as far as I can tell. If Mr Horgan and his caucus don’t show up at the Paddle for the Peace on July 9, they will miss a big opportunity to take the lead on the environment, treaty rights, food security, energy policy and financial management. And to rip the Liberal government to shreds on any one of these files. We can’t wait until the next election.

    Like

  6. davemj

    Rafe has it covered ,my feelings cant improve{ other than using language that is unprintable} what he has written for this poor excuse for a human and the spineless minsters who have brown nose syndrome.

    Like

  7. Pingback: Guest post:Keeping the Site C mistake in focus – Laila Yuile on people, politics and life in B.C.

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