It is an insult to the people of the Peace that BC Hydro has concluded from their recent provincial poll that 80 per cent of BC citizens support Site C, while also admitting that 50 per cent had never even heard of it!
Of course people who donít live in the Peace and who arenít informed about the impacts of Site C can be construed as saying we need a dam to, Ďensure energy supplies for future generationsí.
Clearly, Hydroís poll neglected to mention that construction of the dam will destroy over 13,000 acres of agricultural land and 12,000 acres of wildlife habitat.
They also likely didnít mention that the majority of the people of the Peace donít want the Site C dam. We know the benefits of spending time enjoying nature and the beauty of the Valley; thatís why we choose to live here. We know the multi-generational farm families whose livelihoods and history will be destroyed. We know that we donít want to destroy wildlife and fish habitat that the Valley supports. We know that the Peace is sacrificing far more than its fair share with all the industrial activity happening here already. All of these things matter to the people in northeastern BC.
Would the City of Vancouver conduct a poll in the Peace Region, asking whether itís a good idea to build a landfill site in Stanley Park?
Did Hydro neglect to tell interviewees how much their Hydro bills will have to increase to support this $8 billion project? They likely also didnít say that even without Site C, Hydroís cumulative debt is in the ten-of-billions-of-dollars range.
I wonder, in the course of this poll, if Hydro told people that earlier this year, Premier Clark stated that all of the power from Site C is needed for liquid natural gas plants? Did they say, ďBy the way, if you shell out your hard earned dollars for Site C, we guarantee profits for industry?Ē Perhaps not.
A final point: how can BC Hydro state that there is no public opinion resistance to Site C? Over 1000 people from all over the province attended our recent Paddle for the Peace event in July.
The vast majority of people in BC are very concerned about environmental issues in our beautifully endowed province. Do you really think that if the people of BC were fully informed of the issues surrounding Site C, that 80 per cent would support it? Not a chance.
Peace Valley Environment Association
Fort St. John, BC