Need for Mega Dam Project Not Proven, Impacts to Traditional Ways of
FORT ST. JOHN/TREATY 8 TERRITORY, BC, May 8, 2014 /CNW/ - After a
high-level review of the Joint Review Panel Report on the proposed Site
C Project released this afternoon, the Treaty 8 Tribal Association
communities of Halfway River, Prophet River and West Moberly First
Nations are pleased with a number of recommendations outlined in the
report, including that there is no proven need for the project.
"We have said from the beginning that there is no need for this project,
and today the panel indicated that it agrees with us - BC Hydro did not
prove that Site C and the energy it will create is necessary right
now," said Tribal Chief Liz Logan. "This opens the door for us to have
conversations about alternatives -local projects with benefits for
local people - projects like smaller hydro, wind, natural gas and even
Additional report findings include recognition that Site C would have
"significant adverse effect" on the traditional ways of life for Treaty
8 communities, including fishing opportunities, hunting and non-tenured
trapping, and that "some of these effects cannot be mitigated" if the
project were to go ahead.
"The Panel came to our communities, we told them our stories, they
listened and they heard us," added Logan. "Our way of life is closely
tied to the river, the land and the animals of the Peace River Valley.
We are happy that the Panel acknowledged this importance and what could
be lost, not only for our current generation, but for generations to
The Panel also recognized that the Peace Region "has been and is
currently undergoing enormous stress from resource development," and
that "foreseeable future projects would result in significant
cumulative effects, with effects already significant before Site C is
Treaty 8 maintains a regional environmental assessment is critical to
ensuring that projects considered for development are evaluated
properly, taking into consideration current and proposed projects,
instead of evaluating projects on their own merits.
Finally, the Panel recommended that, if the Project does not proceed,
the Province, after consultation with affected local parties, remove
the flood reserve that earmarks land in the valley for the Site C
reservoir. Removing the flood reserve would prevent Site C from ever
"We hope that the findings of this report will be a catalyst to
encourage the Province to have a more meaningful dialogue with northern
communities about the types of projects that are right for the region,
instead of making a mistake that will have long term, detrimental
consequences for all British Columbians," said Logan.
If constructed, Site C would flood the Peace River Valley from Fort St.
John to the existing Peace Canyon Dam west of Hudson's Hope, as well as
the mouths of the Halfway and Moberly Rivers. The Treaty 8 First
Nations and many others in northeast British Columbia have raised
serious concerns about the proposal, which was previously rejected by
the Provincial government in the early 1980s.
SOURCE: Treaty 8 Tribal Association
For further information:
In Vancouver: Elisha McCallum, for Treaty 8 Tribal Association - 778-668-0185
In Fort St John: Jeff Richert, Treaty 8 Tribal Association - 250-785-0612