Saturday, January 20, 2018 - 08:25 • James Wilt
Moose Lake

Nobody could ever accuse Chief Jim Boucher of being anti-oilsands.

First elected to lead Fort McKay First Nation in northeast Alberta more than three decades ago, Boucher has made a name for his cooperative relationship with industry, which includes launching a sizable oilsands service conglomerate, denouncing environmentalists and purchasing a 34 per cent stake in a $1 billion Suncor bitumen storage terminal.

But now, a proposed 10,000 barrel per day oilsands project is threatening to infringe on a nearby sacred region called Moose Lake that serves as the First Nation’s “key cultural heartland” and is shared with the local Métis community for traditional activities. And Boucher is speaking out against the project — specifically targeting the provincial NDP for failing to finalize a management plan that would restrict development in the area prior to the regulatory hearings.

This government does not want to do an agreement with Fort McKay,” said Boucher in an interview with DeSmog Canada, during a break in the Alberta Energy Regulator hearings. “We’ve had discussions with them. As a result of these discussions, we have gone nowhere in terms of trying to resolve our issues with respect to the integrity of Moose Lake.”

Monday, December 11, 2017 - 16:40 • Jimmy Thomson
Site C construction

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. 

Monday, December 11, 2017 - 14:34 • Sarah Cox
Arlene Boon Site C Dam Violates Human Rights

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.”

Monday, December 11, 2017 - 12:32 • Carol Linnitt
Site C Dam First Nations Civil Suit Injunction

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.

Monday, December 11, 2017 - 11:41 • Carol Linnitt

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.”

Saturday, December 9, 2017 - 10:27 • Sarah Cox
Ken Boon, Peace Valley Farmer

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.”

Friday, December 8, 2017 - 16:03 • Jimmy Thomson

What is that yellow goop in the water? Acid rock drainage–metal leaching, or just “acid drainage”, is usually associated with mining but also happens during large building projects, like the Site C dam — basically any time a large amount of rock has been crushed, blasted, or otherwise made to have a lot of new surface area open to the air. It’s a result of sulphur-containing compounds in the rock reacting with air and water, causing the formation of sulphuric acid.

Thursday, December 7, 2017 - 17:40 • Carol Linnitt
DeSmog Canada

This week DeSmog Canada received a 5-star ranking from the international watchdog initiative Transparify for our commitment to donor transparency.  

We’re excited about our Transparify ranking but even moreso about the importance of promoting transparency among media-makers.

The production of fearless public-interest journalism in Canada is a rarity. And in our incredibly monopolized media landscape, there is an urgently growing need for in-depth journalism that holds the public’s right to know as a guiding principle.

Pages