Site C dam and Decades of Dirty Politics

Sarah Cox, a noted Canadian reporter based in Victoria's British Columbia (BC) legislature, has written a blazing new investigative book “Breaching the Peace” concerning BC's notorious Site C dam. Interested buyers can pick up a copy only in May.

Chronicling a disaster in the offing

The book “Breaching the Peace” is a searing portrayal of not only an environmental disaster, but also a human one. It describes the province of British Columbia as an area blessed by nature but cursed by politicians. The book describes in detail how misinformation won the day and the failure of so called well entrenched processes. Cox, in her first book, pictures a corrupt political system worse than even what Donald Trump can whip up.

As per the BC Utilities Commission, the Site C project has gobbled up about $10.7 billion until now. The total amount could even go up to $12.5 billion. Such massive expenses mean that it is the priciest project in province history. The costs have jacked up by billions from the time it began in 2010. It remains to be seen when will this project be completed. Adding to the pain is that a single customer is yet to be found for the electricity be generated. There is no LNG industry to sell to. It is almost a surety now that electricity from Site C will in all probability be sold on spot market for much less than its production cost.

Untold damage

Site C will cause massive damage to the environment. About 83 hectares of land in Peace River Valley will be flooded by the water influx. Areas under Prophet River and West Moberly First Nations will be under water. Innumerable ranchers and farmers will be forced to leave their land. These people never wanted to construction at all. Many of them have worked the land for multiple generations.

Among the losers will be First Nations rights as per Treaty 8 and homesteaders who stay close to the river. Further down the line will see British Columbians paying the price for a project which should have started construction in the first place. The proponents of the project are exclusively those who will profit from it.

Cox has adroitly pointed out that BC Hydro's oversight entity, British Columbia Utilities Commission, had rejected the scheme in its entirety in 1983. It was pointed out that the generated power will be in excess and the dam brings huge environmental and social damage.

Leave a Comment