The Obscured Story of the Site C Dam – Part 1

Note: I thought this was a story I could write in a day, but the more I made notes, the more I realized it needs to be a series.

By: Liz Galenzoski

December 15, 2017
Series 1 of 3

For me, it began about fifty years ago when I heard a radio news item about bridge footings sinking in northeastern British Columbia; at least that’s how I have always remembered. Twenty-five or so years later, I heard Rafe Mair on CKNW fighting against a dam called Site C. There was no connection between the two events until I read a blog written by Laila Yuile a few years ago in which she wrote about the cracks that were appearing on the North Slope of the Peace River at the location of the Site C dam. The Case to Stop Site C Construction – Links & News. Take your time and read through each link on this post to understand the entire story.

Meanwhile, I told a colleague the story about the radio news item, and we both searched for it but found nothing.

Opposition against building Site C grew. There were groups concerned about the farmers being driven from their land; there was opposition to flooding land that could be used to grow food; there was opposition to flooding sacred indigenous grounds; there was opposition to the cost of the project. BC Refed wrote several articles opposing Site C because we believed then, as we do now, that it is old technology, and that the cost of building another dam on the Peace River would take money away from moving to more modern, cleaner, and efficient technology.

As time went on, the two sides of the Site C controversy continued partly due to the fact that the Liberal government not only failed to give the project to the BCUC (British Columbia Utilities Commission) for an assessment of the project before construction began, but they outright refused even as an election loomed. The official opposition leader, John Horgan, seemed indecisive on Site C, and what seemed to take an extraordinarily long time, he finally told voters that if elected, he would give the project to the BCUC for its recommendation. Meanwhile, the Liberals were determined to push the project past the point of no return.

On January 5, 2017, Laila Yuile dropped what could easily be called a bombshell in her blog, Site C: The $9 billion dollar + boondoggle complete with grassroots oversight. Near the end of this blog, Laila Yuile provided a link to an article written by BC Hydro ceo Jessica Mcdonald ¬†which was then followed by a terse email by Bob Fedderly, described by Laila Yuile as a businessman. Mr. Fedderly’s email is informative and offers logical sense financially. A quick Google search will confirm that he ran as an independent candidate in the May 9, 2017 election.

In February,¬†Vaughn Palmer, staff journalist for the Vancouver Sun, wrote an article, Tension crack near Site C dam causes political tension, too, The article mentioned some of the real serious issues at Site C and should have been front page news in every news media. It didn’t happen. Maybe it was covered with all the snow, or maybe it wasn’t intended to be noticed. The title was not what I consider attractive to readers who have been taught to find politics boring. Laila Yuile mentioned Vaughn Palmer’s article in a later blog.

I hope you have taken the time to read through all the links I have provided.
Expect the second in the series by Monday, December 18, 2017.


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