BC Hydro Site C’s impact on its local stakeholders

BC Hydro is a Canadian electrical utility company which is based in and serves the majority of British Columbia. Currently, BC Hydro is proposing on the building of a third dam on the Peace River in British Columbia.

The dam aims to provide clean, renewable energy and improve the quality of life of BC’s residence. The dam’s construction itself would employ over 10,000 people. Upon completion, it would provide electricity to over 450,000 homes annually. Victoria has made known that it could benefit from the hydroelectric power due to its growing population.

Even though the $7.9 billion dam promises to benefit British Columbia, it has negative impacts on its local stakeholders such as the farming community, wildlife, and the first nations. The West Moberly, Doig, Prophet, Halfway River First Nations have condemned the project; furthermore, it is in direct violation of the Treaty 8 Declaration of 1899. The treaty promised the first nations their way of life “for as long as the sun shines, the grass grows and the rivers flow.” I feel that it is unethical for BC Hydro to continue with their project due to the legacy of the treaty. In my opinion, I feel that the dam would do more damage than good especially towards the local community, nature and surroundings. The project will result in the flooding and loss of over 83 kilometers of native land, wilderness and fertile farmland, enough to feed a million people.

The dam would also displace and affect the quality of life and livelihood of the local farming communities and businesses. Currently, British Columbia grows less than half of its produce and relies on California to export the remaining to them. This reliance is not optimal as external factors such as severe weather or climate changes could affect the produce grown in California; thus affecting the supply of food British Columbians will have access to. Since the primary sector in the region will be severely hindered, the secondary and tertiary sectors would also be affected as they get most of their raw materials which are produced in British Columbia.

The question that comes to mind is, is renewable energy such as hydroelectric power really as ethical and environmentally friendly as it sounds?

References:

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/First+Nation+chiefs+stage+Site+showdown/10215965/story.html

https://www.bchydro.com/index.html

https://www.sitecproject.com/

http://wcel.org/resources/environmental-law-alert/treaty-8-first-nations-appeal-un-intervene-against-proposed-site-c

https://wildernesscommittee.org/sites/all/files/Paddle_to_the_Premier_FirstNations_Declaration_0.pdf

http://www.theecoreport.com/green-blogs/lifestyle/minorities/firstnations/site-c-how-long-until-the-sun-stops-shinning-grass-does-not-grow-and-the-rivers-dry-up/

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/site-c-dam-violates-100-year-old-treaty-bc-native-leader-says/article16537353/

http://westcoastnativenews.com/there-will-be-no-peace-if-the-site-c-dam-is-approved/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=there-will-be-no-peace-if-the-site-c-dam-is-approved

http://www.sierraclub.bc.ca/our-work/mining-energy/spotlights/review-panel-ask-bc-hydro-for-more-information-on-site-c/image

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