Author: Liz

The Obscured Story of the Site C Dam – Part 2

By: Liz Galenzoski

January 14, 2018
Series 2 of 3

May 9, 2017, Election day produced some surprises. The results between the Liberals and the NDP were close – only two two seats separating the two main parties. The final count was Liberals 43, NDP 41, and the Green Party 3. Christy Clark had been denied a majority; John Horgan had not won the election. One can only imagine the delight of Andrew Weaver holding the balance of power with THREE seats!

The voters who were opposed to the Site C going ahead were on the edge of their seats as they awaited the long drawn-out back-and-forth between the two main parties.

On June 8th, all members were sworn in as MLAs, and the voters waited again. Finally, on June 22, the Liberals delivered the Speech from the Throne. After all, they had won the most seats, and but for the three Greens, the Liberals would have form government again. Because of three seats in an eighty-seven seat legislature, the only real winner was the Green Party with more power than either of the two mainline parties. On June 29, the Liberals lost a non-confidence vote in the house, and on June 30, fifty-two days after the election, Lieutenant-Governor Judith Guichon, invited John Horgan to form government.

John Horgan went to work.

August 2, Michelle Mungall announced the NDP was keeping its promise to send the Site C project to the BCUC (BC Utilities Commission) for review. The review would begin on August 9, and the object of the review was, “… to ensure we can keep hydro rates affordable … ” And Mungall is quoted as saying, “We’re sending this project to the BCUC to ensure we make the right decision for B.C. families.”

Was that Christy Clark speaking??? Continue reading

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. Continue reading

There’s Trouble on the Horizon

The Bank of Canada raised its interest rate for the second time in less than two months. Financial institutions of all types will increase their rates to their customers – you and me – before the sun rises tomorrow morning.

Why does this move by the bank signal trouble?

Consider this: In British Columbia, real estate prices have been rising at a much faster pace than income. This increases the level of debt compared to income. This has created an illusion of affordability.

People have used the low interest rates to buy bigger, better, and newer homes than they could have qualified for at a higher interest rate. Looking forward, we will see that as interest rates go up, people who may have qualified for mortgages at the lower rates, no longer qualify for the same amount of money. This slows the economy. The number and amounts of  transactions begin to dwindle, which also interferes with the earnings of all participants down the line – realtors, inspectors, lawyers, moving companies, utility companies, perhaps even furniture stores, and the list goes on.

Warnings of trouble don’t end with the exponential increase in real estate prices. Shopping with credit has also escalated over time.

Continue reading