Brexit cheerleader Daniel Hannan has been busy since last June’s referendum set the clock ticking on his current job as a Member of the European ...
There is much to debate about Monday’s decision by the B.C. government to move forward with the Site C dam, but one thing is not debatable: construction should never have started without a full review of costs and demand.
Who’s to blame for that review never happening? Of course the BC Liberals are ultimately responsible for charging ahead with the most expensive public project in B.C.’s history without certainty the power was either a) needed or b) the least expensive of the options available.
But those in power will always be prone to making bull-headed decisions in their own political interests. For democracy to function, a healthy news media needs to challenge the powerful and doggedly defend the public interest. In the case of the Site C dam, this simply wasn’t the case.
First opposed, then endorsed. It’s now pledged, but called “unworkable.”
In Canada the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) is not ratified, nor from a legal perspective even really understood.
The history of Canada’s relationship with Indigenous rights has been a sordid one. But all that was supposed to change with the nation’s latecomer adoption of the declaration. After years of federal Conservative inaction on the file, Justin Trudeau took to the campaign trail with a promise to restore Canada’s relationship with Indigenous peoples.
The Site C dam has lived many lives before its approval today by Premier John Horgan, from a twinkle in the eye of some BC Hydro engineers, to the target of multiple lawsuits, to two damning reports by the utilities regulator, to “the point of no return.”
Below, we've collected a few of the key moments in its life up to now.
Ending months of speculation, Premier John Horgan announced Monday that construction of the Site C dam on B.C.’s Peace River will continue even though the cost of the troubled project has climbed to $10.7 billion and the government faces a potentially pricey legal challenge from First Nations.
“This is a very divisive issue,” Horgan said at a press conference. “I don’t have a magic solution but I have the best solution that we can come up with in the time I have as premier to make sure that we’re doing the least amount of damage…and making the best of a bad situation.”
The West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations will seek an injunction against the Site C dam, which received a green-light from the B.C. government Monday.
The project, which will now cost an estimated $10.7 billion, has been vigorously fought by both nations, whose traditional territory will be flooded by the Site C reservoir.
In addition to a court-sponsored injunction, the nations also announced they will pursue a civil case against the project for treaty infringement.
The B.C. government announced they will complete the Site C dam at a press conference Monday morning, revealing a new estimated cost of the project at $10.7 billion. The decision was made with the full approval of cabinet, reporters were told at a technical briefing at the B.C. Legislature.
“This has been a difficult decision,” Premier John Horgan said. “I've talked to many British Columbians and I can say this is a very divisive issue. We have not taken this decision lightly.”
Days away from a final decision on Site C, Peace Valley landowners have launched a “Home for the Holidays” campaign featuring photographs of families who would lose their homes to the $9 billion dam and appealing to the NDP government to terminate the project.
Ken and Arlene Boon, who appear in one of the Christmas card-like photos standing on the steps of their third generation farmhouse overlooking the Peace River, said 70 valley residents are waiting “on pins and needles” to find out if the project will be cancelled, a decision Premier John Horgan said he will announce before the end of December.
“It’s tough,” Ken Boon told DeSmog Canada. “I know there are a lot of people right now who are expecting the worst but we are definitely not throwing in the towel considering what we’ve all been through.”