Greens stand with Treaty 8 First Nations, Union of BC Indian Chiefs in opposition to Site C dam project

Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP for Saanich–Gulf Islands, joins the Treaty 8 First Nations chiefs and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs in calling on the federal government to reject BC Hydro’s application to build the controversial Site C Dam on northeastern BC’s Peace River.

Ms. May and Green Deputy Leader Bruce Hyer, MP for Thunder Bay–Superior North, joined Chief Roland Wilson of the West Moberly First Nations, Chief Liz Logan of the Fort Nelson First Nation, and Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) for a parliamentary briefing on the Site C Dam this morning.

Related Content: Sign the Site C Dam Petition

“BC has enormous potential to increase its power-generating capabilities without resorting to reckless, environmentally destructive development projects like this,” said Ms. May. “Moreover, Federal approval for the Site C dam would be a direct infringement of the Treaty 8 First Nations’ constitutionally protected treaty rights.

“The federal and British Columbia governments will decide next month whether to allow BC Hydro to go ahead with this controversial project. If built, the 1,100-megawatt Site C Dam would flood over one hundred square kilometers of high-quality farmland and pristine forest on Treaty 8 First Nations lands.

The May 2014 federal-provincial Site C Joint Review Panel (JRP) report stated that the dam would have “significant adverse effects” on local vegetation, fish, birds, and some 23 protected wildlife species, and that these effects “cannot be mitigated.”

The JRP also found that the project would “accrue substantial financial losses” for several years, would not financially benefit local First Nations communities or contribute to job creation in the region, and that BC Hydro had not fully demonstrated the need for the project.

“The JRP’s own assessment of Site C concluded B.C. Hydro had not adequately explored alternative energy sources, with a conclusion that geothermal especially could come in at similar costs, and with better source-to-consumer potential ” said Andrew Weaver, Deputy Leader of the BC Green Party and MLA for Oak Bay–Gordon Head. “Instead of Site C, we have an opportunity to develop renewables, distributed around the province, such as geothermal, wind and solar, and save the only Class A agricultural land north of Quesnel.”