Site C panning out to make Fast Ferries look like pocket change.
Since moving to Van Isle life has changed dramatically. There is always something needing to be done on the property several townhouses and families would have lived on back in Surrey. Between that and everything that has to be done the blog has taken a back seat while I am keeping track of whats going on in BC politics on my phone.
That is, until I found out about this. And to be honest I was so upset when I read this I literally had to go whisper swear words into my pillow because the kids were sleeping.
It’s not right. And it shouldn’t be happening.
“BC Hydro plans to expropriate the home of Peace Valley farmers Ken and Arlene Boon before Christmas, following the couple’s refusal to sign over their top class farmland for the Site C dam, DeSmog Canada has learned.
The Boons said that the $8.8 billion dam could still be stopped and they are not budging from their third-generation family home, farmland, garden, greenhouse and workshop to make way for a Site C highway relocation until they are forced to leave.
“We’re at peace with the idea of going to expropriation,” Ken Boon said in an interview.
“Arlene and I agreed we didn’t want to sign anything over. It just goes against every bone in our bodies. They’ll have to take it from us.”
BC Hydro will seize the Boon’s farmhouse and 130 hectares of their land on or around December 16, according to the couple. They say they will be permitted to stay in their farmhouse as BC Hydro’s tenants until May 31, three weeks after the B.C.provincial election, and to farm their riverside fields for three more years even though BC Hydro will own the land.
“I don’t think they wanted to kick us out during the election campaign,” said Boon.
In return, the Boons reluctantly agreed to sign a legal document stating that they will not interfere with construction of the highway, which will go right through the farmhouse built by Arlene’s grandfather and also through the farmhouse of a neighbouring property.”
Read the rest of this horror story here: https://www.desmog.ca/2016/12/06/bc-hydro-plans-expropriate-farmers-home-site-c-christmas
Well Merry Christmas Premier Clark. Happy New Year Ms. McDonald. I’m sure you’ll both be toasting flutes of champagne over the holidays at this development.
It’s been a long year for me covering Site C and it’s just a wee a drop in the bucket of what Ken and Arlene, Helen Knott, Yvonne Tupper and everyone else working to halt the dam have been doing and living. It was New Years Eve when this all started for me in earnest after receiving word campers were trying to stop the destruction of one of the oldest heritage sites in BC at Rocky Mountain Fort… and BC Hydro was quietly trying to evict them under cover of New Years Eve.
Oh, never heard of it? Too late. Its been cleared. Would have made a nice park site to bring tourism into the region along with all the other amazing features in this area of the Peace but no, Premier Clarks vow to get the dam past the point of no return is more important than our collective history, or the Treaty 8 lands the dam infringes on.
And now, people are losing their homes and land they have worked for generations and treaty rights are being ignored completely while a decision from the Supreme Court of Canada is waited on that has the capability of putting an end to all of this. The precedent set in the recent Enbridge case bolsters this case.
But you will not hear of these expropriations on the evening news. You will hear about someone on instagram winning a KFC scented candle. You will see the latest Christmas fashions or the most tasty cocktails. But you will not hear about these people losing their homes and what Hydro did to get to this point.
There will be no critical examination of why or how this dam was refused by the BCUC twice already, so the province exempted it from a third review under the guise of the Clean Energy plan.
You will not hear that the power is not needed. You will see no one question Billy Bennett’s blather, who is just months away from retirement and won’t have to answer any questions then about the lack of due diligence. Heck he is spending his last days in government trying to cook up a plan to find a customer for Site C!
You will probably see a lot of Premier Clark smiling and talking about jobs and selling that Site C power to the oil and gas sector to get them to stop burning the same gas she wants us all to embrace sending to Asia to save the world from pollution. Or some kind of bafflegab that inevitably goes unquestioned. Umm. Ok.
And you will read Vaughn Palmer gloss over the very big geotechnical issues that have had Hydro execs fly up at a moments notice when the walls of the riverbanks start collapsing onto roads workers have been going up and down. Why? Because the government ignored its own report that said the banks and geology was so unstable and prone to slides further development should be minimized..
I referenced that report here, if you are interested. https://lailayuile.com/2016/09/21/new-site-c-photos-show-continued-mitigation-efforts-on-slide-prone-north-slope-construction/
Now Vaughn says this project is so advanced no government would kill it.
And to be honest, that may be true. Weaver can’t form government, and Horgan has said he would send it to the BCUC, but not that he would kill the project.
But I would remind Premier Clark , Horgan and Vaughn Palmer of the biggest boondoggle Newfoundland Labrador has ever seen, the dam project known as Muskrat Falls. You see, the history of Muskrat and Site C are so very similar.
Governments wanting a big legacy project. You know, go down in history as the premier who… as it turns out… pushed through the biggest mistake any government has seen.
Last summer, when most were out vacationing, fishing etc, the ceo of Nalcor – the hydro company building Muskrat Falls – came out and admitted after the timeline and budget had blown out of control in part to… get this… geotechnical issues- that they had made a mistake, their estimates were wrong and that they should not have built the dam.
It wasn’t needed. They stymied their provincial regulator and did not give them all the info they needed. So the good people of Newfoundland Labrador were screwed. The federal government had to hop in with a bail out so the ensuing Hydro rates didn’t bankrupt people.
Here in BC the government exempted the same review. No independent body has ever examined the info Hydro has concocted and some of it has already been shown to be inaccurate. We know that the dam will take 94 years to pay off and the life span is about 75…
It’s estimated to cost 9 billion dollars. But the massive geotechnical issues that have resulted in work being redone over and over again, are going to blow a hole in that. And who knows what will happen in the years to come. Research shows mega dam projects often increase in cost to nearly double. Ask Newfoundlands premier how that’s working out for them…
Its better to write off a billion now, rather than waste another 10 billion down the road. On a dam you have to try to find a customer for..
and that no one has verified info on. Will we have a government with the brass to tell it like it is? Or will they cave to corporate pressures?
Because as far as I can tell, right now Site C is shaping up to be the modern Fast Ferries… and rest assured, at 9 billion plus a few billion.. it is going to make the Fast Ferries look like pocket change.
** catch up on the entire history of this project here: https://lailayuile.com/the-case-to-stop-site-c-construction-links-news/
** The New York Times did a feature on the Site C fight… A must read and very thorough coverage. http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/12/10/world/canada/canadas-7-billion-dam-tests-the-limits-of-state-power.html?referer=https://t.co/OkGdk3A7yi