Open letter to Hon. Christy Clark, John Horgan & Andrew Weaver:
The two political parties that gained the majority of the popular vote made repeated and prominent commitments to either stop Site C dam outright or refer it to the independent B. C. Utilities Commission for further review. We hope that the Liberal party will, on consideration of these results, show greater willingness to listen to the concerns of British Columbians who have opposed the Site C dam.
We draw to your attention the imminent destruction of third generation family homes and First Nations’ grave sites in the Peace River Valley. Given the outcome of this election, the future of Site C dam is disputed by too many British Columbians for any kind of government to continue with the status quo. We believe it would be unjust to allow irreversible material and cultural destruction to proceed until the project has gone through the B.C. Utilities Commission hearings.
Two urgent and irreversible harms related to the Site C project’s Highway 29 road realignment are imminent. We ask you to find ways to prevent these:
• Multi-generational farm family homes like the Boons’ and the Meeks’ are slated for destruction as early as June 1 and the families are required to move in less than two weeks.
• First Nations grave sites, cultural sites and significant archaeological sites are at risk of destruction.
Awarding of any further major contracts by BC Hydro, including a $2 billion contract expected to be award by July 1, 2017, must be halted pending election and BCUC decision making processes.
We understand the concern that stopping Site C would result in job losses initially. We assert that the question of job creation needs to be answered not project by project and not only in the contest of Site C dam. There are better, less expensive, more diversified and more sustainable ways to create infrastructure and energy jobs than by destroying the Peace River Valley for power we do not need.
We believe an independent review of the Site C dam with full procedural safeguards done by a reinvigorated B.C. Utilities Commission will result in the dam project being shelved for good. We ask you to cooperate to make this question your first priority once B.C.’s new government is established.
In the meantime, please take whatever actions are necessary to halt the awarding of any further contracts and to stop the injustice of preventable and unnecessary harm to farm families and First Nations until such time as the larger questions are answered.
Thank you for your consideration of this request and we trust that you will honour the faith that British Columbians have placed in you.
Chief Roland Willson of West Moberly First Nations, Chief Lynnette Tsakoza of Prophet River First Nation, Amnesty International Canada, David Suzuki Foundation, Wilderness Committee, Keepers of the Water Society, Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, KAIROS BC-Yukon, Sierra Club BC, Peace Valley Environment Association, Alliance4Democracy, Rolling Justice, Peace Valley Land Association