Slope stabilization work continues on the north bank of the Peace River for the Site C dam, September 2017. (B.C. Hydro)

Letter: Please stop Site C Dam

Kelowna letter writer questions why we aren’t protecting the environment

To the editor:

I am writing this letter to express my views concerning the important decision regarding Site C dam. I attended the BCUC public inquiry held in Kelowna on Sept. 25. Since then there have been hearings in Nelson, Prince George, Fort St. John, Vancouver, and Victoria. The vast majority of presenters were opposed to Site C dam for various reasons, including that Site C dam is not economically feasible and the power isn’t needed. Although, the BCUC panel was focussing on the economics of SITE C, the speakers made it clear that environmental destruction and First Nations’ issues were also on their minds.

The clearing of the river banks has destroyed wildlife, fish, and bird habitat. Subsequent flooding will ruin the most fertile food growing areas, which are capable of feeding more than a million people. The desecration of First Nations burial and sacred sites due to construction of Site C dam dishonours treaty rights. The encroachment of industry and Site C dam has severely restricted or destroyed the local First Nation’s way of life, which has sustained them for 10,000 years. The landowners, ranchers and farmers who live in the Peace River Valley, some for many generations, will lose their livelihood. They have already faced threats of eviction and expropriation from B.C. Hydro.

Site C dam is facing challenges, such as scheduling delays and budget over-run. The river diversion cannot meet next year’s deadline, adding $610 million to the cost. There has been contracting disputes, and cracks have developed on the unstable banks.

I have listened to experts explain how Site C is not necessary, when alternative energy wind, solar, geothermal, etc. will be less expensive and less destructive to the environment. I hope that BCUC will present them to the N.D.P. caucus.

I also listened to Dr. David Suzuki give a passionate presentation on how human beings have contributed to climate change, and that we cannot continue on this destructive path without dire consequences. He urged us to protect mother earth, our home. That we can learn from First Nations peoples to honour and respect mother earth and everything living on her to ensure a healthy future for their children and grandchildren.

Finally, I have been to the Peace River and seen the destruction that has been caused by Site C dam. Why are we not protecting the environment? Clean water, air, and land are what sustains us. We are in trouble when our life source becomes a commodity, to be bought and sold for profit. Site C dam must not be built.

Please write, inform your MLA [N.D.P.] to stop Site C dam.

Hajime Harold Naka, Kelowna

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