Site C Campaign
In northeastern British Columbia, near the middle of the Y2Y region, the Peace River Break stands out as a critical connection zone. This is also one of the few east-west links in the region. These geographic attributes make the Peace River Break vital to Y2Y's Grizzly Bear Conservation Strategy. If the last remaining wildlife corridors are squeezed shut in this fast-growing area, southern grizzly bear populations could be permanently cut off from populations in the north.
BC Hydro has resurrected, and is pushing ahead with, controversial plans for a huge dam on the Peace River. First proposed in the 1970s, and strongly opposed by area residents and ranchers, the Site C Dam has been on-again, off-again, three different times. If built, the facility would be the third massive dam in a series along the river. Results would also include the potential degradation of water quality, the loss of farmland as well as significant habitat loss for moose, deer, bull trout, and other wildlife species, not to mention the loss of important First Nations treaty land.
What's New: Expert Report by Y2Y
In order to contribute to the public debate about the Site C dam, Y2Y commissioned a report by respected wildlife biologist, Dr. Clayton Apps, to assess the combined impacts of development, including the proposed dam and reservoir, on six wide-ranging wildlife species.
Dr. Apps concluded that grizzly bears, wolves, wolverines, fishers, lynx, and caribou already have lost between 7% and 47% of their available habitat in the Peace Region. If future projected growth, including Site C, occurs, this loss will increase to between 11% and 55%, depending on the species.
This loss of habitat due to development and reservoirs threatens the long-term stability and viability of these wildlife populations.
Joint Federal and Provincial Environment Assessment
The project is currently being reviewed in a joint federal and provincial environmental assessment process, in which(see Clayton Apps Report above).
On January 28th, 2013 BC Hydro submitted its environmental impact statement (EIS) to the federal and provincial review bodies as their part of the process. The public commented on the EIS between February 3rd to April 4th, 2013. Please read the comments Y2Y submitted as our part of that process.
A three person panel, appointed by the Canadian federal and BC provincial governments, is assessing the dam’s merits. This panel is currently holding public hearings into the dam and its impacts.
Four Ways You Can Help
- Write a letter to decision-makers by .
- Get involved in the campaign by contacting Y2Y's partners, the Peace Valley Environment Association, Sierra Club BC, Treaty 8 Tribal Association, West Moberly First Nations, the Wilderness Committee, the David Suzuki Foundation, and the Pembina Institute.
- Email Renee Krysko at firstname.lastname@example.org to get your Site C postcard and voice your opposition to the Site C Dam.
- Support Y2Y's efforts to prevent the Site C Dam from flooding one of the most beautiful river valleys in BC and the only remaining free-flowing portion of the Peace River in the province, by making a donation here.
Y2Y is collaborating with environmental non-governmental organizations, First Nations communities, outfitters, farmers, researchers, and other concerned individuals to challenge construction of the Site C Dam by addressing related environmental and social concerns. Efforts include:
- Submitting a scientific assessment of the impacts of Site C on wildlife habitat and movement that will be part of the joint federal and provincial environmental review process (see Clayton Apps report above).
- Financially supporting a documentary that highlights various elements of the issue by following Paddle for the Peace – an annual community event in which hundreds of people show their concern for the river;
- Successfully nominating the Peace River as one of British Columbia's most endangered rivers;
- Facilitating campaign strategy sessions;
Providing financial support to the grassroots Peace Valley Environment Association;
Launching a postcard campaign that allows citizens to voice their opposition to the Site C Dam to the BC government; and
Commissioned the scientific assessment of the impacts of Site C on wildlife habitat and movement.
The Dam That Could Take a Bite Out of BC's Future Food Supply - February 2014
Putting the Questions to Clayton Apps - December 2012
Speak Now or Forever Lose Your 'Peace' - April 2012
The Next Generation - October 2011
The proposed Site C Dam would flood thousands of hectares of Peace Valley farmland, heritage sites, First Nations cultural sites, and wildlife habitat.
Watch this TV Special News Report about the fight to protect the Peace River Valley from the proposed Site C Dam.
Watch the video to learn more about the campaign against the Site C dam.
Hear what these Paddle for the Peace participants thought about this incredible region.
The Site C Dam - What You Should Know - Learn about the Site C Dam project proposed for the Peace River in northeastern B.C.
April 6, 2014 - B.C. First Nation views Site C dam as part of a devastating big picture
Cumulative impact is something the B.C. government does not like to talk about when consulting First Nations about resource developments. Click here to read this Globe and Mail story.
March 17, 2014 - A Dame Shame
Let me get this straight: you want to flood a pristine valley in Canada to generate power so you can ship natural gas overseas to keep Asia’s lights on? Read more...
February 10, 2014 - Crowd rallies legislature to support agricultural land reserve
About 1,000 people were on the lawns of the B.C. legislature on Family Day Monday for a “food for the future” rally, seeking to preserve the province’s agricultural land reserve. Learn more...
February 9, 2014 - Site C dam protesters preparing to descent on Victoria
When Ken Boon and his wife, Arlene, sat down to write to the Joint Review Panel examining BC Hydro’s proposal to build the Site C dam, they looked out over farmland that has been in their family for 70 years. Click here to read this Globe and Mail article.
January 21, 2014 - Site C hearings: Dam raises concerns about mercury-contaminated fish
“Health Canada identified methyl mercury contamination of fish as potentially one the most important biophysical human health effects resulting from this project,” said Yota Hatziantoniou from Health Canada. Click here to read the story.
January 15, 2014 - Cumulative effects of development like Site C could be detrimental to some wildlife
Wildlife biologist Dr. Clayton Apps has concluded that some wildlife population in the Peace Region may not be viable or recoverable in the future due to the cumulative effects of resource development, including the Site C dam. Read more...
January 15, 2014 - Peace River official wants $400-million trust to offset Site C impacts
A $400-million trust should be set up to compensate the people of the Peace River for the environmental damage and social disruption that will be caused if the Site C dam project is approved, the Joint Review Panel has been told. Read the full Globe and Mail article..
January 15, 2014 - B.C. Hydro's planned Site C dam threatens critical wildlife: report
In a report for the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, author Clayton Apps said the “ecologically diverse” Peace Break is considered a “key linkage ... a natural east-west break” in the Rockies. Learn more...
January 14, 2014 - Chief worries about future of fishing grounds, Site C panel hears
First Nations in the Peace River region of British Columbia are hemmed in by resource developments, which have dramatically eroded their traditional fishing grounds, the Joint Review Panel studying the Site C dam proposal has been told. Click here to read the story.
January 8, 2014 - First Nations ready to set up blockades if Site C dam approved
First Nations in northeastern B.C. repeated a familiar story to the Site C Joint Review Panel on Tuesday, saying they are being backed into a corner, and warning that they are ready to set up blockades if the hydroelectric dam is approved. Read the full article...
January 7, 2014 - Peace is priceless, Site C hearing told
Another Northeast B.C. First Nation has decried the loss of centuries-old culture in the face of big money when it comes to the possible construction of the Site C dam. Read more...
January 7, 2014 - Building the Site C dam still makes sense
Later this month, a joint review panel will conclude public hearings on the project, capping what has been an exhaustive and thorough process. Click here to read Steve Thorlakson's opinion.
January 7, 2014 - Federal panel wants B.C. Utility Commission's take on Site C
The B.C. government has shielded its Site C dam proposal from scrutiny by an independent regulator, but a federal joint review panel is drawing attention to what might be missed as a result. Read the full Globe and Mail article here.
December 12, 2013 - B.C. Sour gas rules leaves school kids in danger
More than 1,900 children at nine schools in British Columbia’s northeast are at risk from toxic sour gas tapped by wells either already drilled or planned for the province’s liquefied natural gas strategy, warns the University of Victoria’s Environmental Law Centre. Click here to read the article by Stephen Hume.
December 12, 2013 - David Suzuki Foundation argues Site C would cause "irrevocable ecological harm"
The cumulative effects of resource development in the Peace Region took the forefront at the Site C public hearings Wednesday, with the David Suzuki Foundation arguing that the Peace Valley and surrounding watersheds have already been severely impacted by land use and industrial activities. Learn more...
December 12, 2013 - Emotions run high at Site C general session in Fort St. John
The Site C public hearings got personal this afternoon as the first day of public hearing general sessions got underway in Fort St. John. Click here to read the article.
December 12, 2013 - Fort Chipewyan Métis launch $3B dam lawsuit
The Métis Nation of Alberta in Fort Chipewyan is suing BC Hydro and the federal government for $3 billion for damages to the Lake Athabasca delta. Read the full CBC article...
December 11, 2013 - BC Hydro insists it's listening to concerns, not bullying its way to Site C Dam
BC Hydro painted itself Wednesday as willing to bend to the concerns of communities in the Peace River region and not a cold-hearted Crown corporation seeking to force its way on the Site C dam. Click here to read the story and watch the video.
December 9, 2013 - Parks Canada voices concerns about downstream impact of Site C
Parks Canada says BC Hydro’s two existing dams on the Peace River have damaged the “ecological integrity” of globally significant wildlife habitat downstream and that any environmental assessment of the planned Site C dam should include cumulative impacts. Learn more...
December 9, 2013 - First Nations leader urges Site C dam panel 'to listen with your hearts' as well as mind
Environmental review hearings into the massive Site C hydroelectric dam proposed by B.C. Hydro began Monday with a welcome to panel members from area First Nations and a reminder for them to listen with their hearts, not just their heads. Click here to read the article.
December 8, 2013 - Doig River First Nation concerned with Site C dam
Kelvin Davis, a councillor with Doig River First Nation, is concerned about loss of traditional hunting grounds and cultural sites if BC Hydro floods the Peace River for the Site C dam. Click here to watch the video.
November 20, 2013 - Timing and location of Site C dam public hearings criticized
A Joint Review Panel studying BC Hydro’s planned Site C dam is imposing unreasonable restrictions on the public’s ability to participate in an important project costing about $8 billion, the Wilderness Committee says. Read more...
November 7, 2013 - Site C heading for public hearings next month
Public hearings into the massive Site C project proposed by BC Hydro will begin next month, after a joint federal-provincial review panel announced Thursday that it is satisfied the Crown corporation has submitted all necessary information in its environmental impact statement. Read the full article.
October 30, 2013 - BC Hydro responds to part of most recent request for more information on Site C EIS
B.C. Hydro has partially provided answers to the Site C Joint Review Panel’s most recent request for information to support its Environmental Impact Statement. Click here to read the article.
September 28, 2013 - BC Hydro's Site C Dam is irresponsible development
Canadian lands were given away in the Columbia River basin to build the Bennett Dam for less than $1 per acre. Are we now going to do the same thing to the priceless agricultural lands in the Peace River Valley? Learn more...
September 24, 2013 - Site C dam Review Panel wants more info from BC Hydro
It could be some time before a joint review panel considering the proposed Site C Dam in northeastern B.C., makes a decision about sending the project to a public hearing. Read more...
September 23, 2013 - Another request for more information from Site C Joint Review Panel
The Site C Joint Review Panel has issued another request for information from B.C. Hydro, noting that it can expect at least another after this one before it will be able to determine if the amended Environmental Impact Statement is sufficient to go to public hearings. Read the full article here.
September 19, 2013 - BC MLA supports BC Utilities Commission Review of proposed Site C dam
Independent MLA from Delta, Vicki Huntington, is supporting a request by the Peace Valley Environment Association (PVEA) to reinstate the authority of the B.C. Utilities Commission (BCUC) to assess whether or not the proposed Site C dam on the Peace River is in the public interest. Click here for full press release.
September 16, 2013 - Last day to comment on Site C public hearing process
This is the final day for the submission of public comments on how the Site C environmental impact public hearings should be held. Click here for the full article.
September 12, 2013 - Call for Site C public hearings to be held province-wide
A Canadian wilderness preservation organization wants hearings on the proposed Site C Clean Energy Project to be held across the province, and not just in the Peace Region. Click here for the full article.
September 12, 2013 - Joint Review Panel urged to conduct public hearings across B.C. on Site C dam proposal
The Wilderness Committee is urging the public to demand that the Joint Review Panel into BC Hydro's contentious Site C dam proposal be held in communities across the province and not just in the Peace River region. Read more...
August 26, 2013 - Public invited to comment on Site C public hearing procedure
B.C. Hydro’s Site C Clean Energy Project is currently in the middle of the Joint Review Panel stage of its Environmental Assessment, and the public is being invited to comment on how the public hearings will be held. Learn more...
August 23, 2013 - Site C dam, natural gas take centre stage in BC Hydro's energy plan
BC Hydro expects a 40 per cent increase in energy demand in the province over the next 20 years, as the population expands and a nascent liquefied natural gas industry grows up. Read the full article here.
August 21, 2013 - Government hid Peel numbers from public
The Yukon government deleted numbers from its report on the most recent public consultation on the Peel watershed land use plan. Click here to read the full Yukon News article.
August 7, 2013 - Site C Environmental Assessment enters Joint Review Panel stage
As of the beginning of this month, the Site C Clean Energy Project’s Environmental Assessment is officially in the Joint Review Panel stage. Read the article.
July 31, 2013 - Time to crunch the numbers on BC Hydro's Site C
Cost overruns associated with BC Hydro’s proposed Site C project on the Peace River near Fort St. John, and the necessity of the project itself, have come under scrutiny. Read more...
July 31, 2013 - Sierra Club plans more anti Site C campaigns
After attending a rally several weeks ago near Hudson's Hope, members of the Sierra Club of BC don't plan to stop trying to stop BC Hydro's planned Site C project. Click here to learn more.
July 24, 2013 - Y2Y has signed this open letter to the BC government asking that it reinstate authority of the BC Utilities Commission to review the need for the Site C dam.
July 15, 2013 - Paddling with a purpose
Wendy Francis, Program Director for the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, said that they were here to celebrate the beauty, natural integrity and wholeness of the Peace River Valley as it stands today. Learn more...
July 13, 2013 - Solid turnout for 8th annual Paddle for the Peace
While organizers attributed a slight decline in numbers for the 8th annual Paddle for the Peace due to the cooler weather, there was still a large number of people who took part in this year's event. Read the full article here.
July 13, 2013 - Site C dam on Peace River will do more harm than good
Today, hundreds of people will climb into canoes near Fort St. John and paddle several hours down the Peace River in a strong show of opposition to BC Hydro's proposed Site C dam. Click here to read the Vancouver Sun Article.
June 30, 2013 - Bill Bennett vowing to get a grip on B.C. Hydro spending, culture
B.C.’s new energy minister, Bill Bennett, is bracing himself to be the guy who has to tell his cabinet that BC Hydro rates have to go up. That maybe the Premier’s pet project, Site C, isn’t worth it. Read the full Globe and Mail article.
April 23, 2013 - NDP urging caution on gas industry
Premier Christy Clark has been touting her support for the proposed Site C dam project in the northeast, saying energy from the project is needed to support the various liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects anticipated throughout the province. But her NDP opponents say by the time Site C is finished – if it’s approved – it will be too late for LNG. Read the Terrace Standard article here.
April 9, 2013 - In the danger zone
The Peace River is the most endangered river in B.C. and Site C’s potential approval in the next year or so is mainly to blame, according to the Outdoor Recreation Council of B.C (ORC). Read more...
April 8, 2013 - Top story: Endangered Peace River
Curious to know more about the Site C dam and its potential impacts on the Peace River? Listen to the 15 minute news story by Global TV in B.C. that covers both sides of the debate.
April 8, 2013 - B.C. group fights for Peace, lower Fraser and Elk Rivers
Publication of the most recent list of the province’s most endangered rivers, to be released today, makes it clear that 21 years later, B.C. still has a lot to learn about managing its watersheds. Click here to read this Globe and Mail article.
March 27, 2013 - Pimm releases his 14 points on Site C
After writing down 14 points he wanted to work with BC Hydro on in relation to Site C back in March of 2010, Peace River North MLA Pat Pimm is releasing his points and the responses from BC Hydro. Learn more...
March 4, 2013 - Site C concerns for Chetwynd
The potential side-effects of proposed Site C dam have caused two groups to express concern about the project, both industrial and environmental. Read the full article here.
February 12, 2013 - Why the NDP can and should say no to Site C
On the heels of the release of new documents from BC Hydro in recent weeks, the Official Opposition is calling into question the crown corporation's proposed 1,100 Megawatt hydropower project. And so it should. Read more...
February 6, 2013 - NDP claims Site C not needed immediately
The B.C. New Democrats are claiming that B.C. residents could be facing sharply higher electric bills in the years to come thanks to mismanagement from the Liberal government. Click here to learn more.
January 30, 2013 - PRRD tackles Site C
Dealing with what could potentially be the biggest project to come to the region in decades, the proposed Site C dam will be the biggest priority for the Peace River Regional District (PRRD) in 2013, according to their Strategic Priorities Chart that was released on Jan. 24. Click here to read the article.
January 29, 2013 - Site C project will create instant lake, but threatens birds, bats and fish
Birds, bats, butterflies and fish are among the diverse range of wildlife species destined to suffer habitat destruction from BC Hydro’s proposed Site C hydroelectric project in northeastern British Columbia. Read the full article here.
January 28, 2013 - B.C. Hydro presses case for Site C dam megaproject
B.C. Hydro says its proposed $7.9-billion Site C hydroelectric dam in northeastern British Columbia will flood agricultural land and force some landowners off their property, but overall, the project should proceed because it's in the best interests of the province. Learn more.
January 19, 2013 - A river runs through it - a fight against a dam project
Since BC Hydro and the provincial government first pushed the Site C dam project in the 1970s, there have always been voices against the project in the Peace Valley, decrying the loss of prime agricultural land and wildlife habitat. Read this Globe and Mail article here.
December 12, 2012 - Coalition of environmentalists, farmers, First Nations say no to Site C dam
Groups argue Peace region has suffered from unrestrained resource development. Read the full Vancouver Sun article here.
October 12, 2012 - Eight reasons to stop the Peace River Dam
Over the last four decades, Site C, the giant hydroelectric dam that BC Hydro plans to build on the Peace River in northern BC, has been rejected by both the BC Utilities Commission and the BC government. More here.
September 8, 2012 - Final Site C Environmental Impact Statement Guidelines released
Following a series of open houses, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency has released its final Environmental Impact Statement Guidelines for the environmental assessment of the Site C Clean Energy Project. Learn more.
September 5, 2012 - Province-wide poll shows Site C unknown to many
An environmental group is hoping the province pays closer attention to BC Hydro’s proposed $8 billion hydroelectric project for northeast B.C. Click here to read the article.
May 9, 2012 - Wilderness Committee's Joe Foy wants Site C Dam meetings held B.C.-wide
The Wilderness Committee’s national campaign director says it’s “undemocratic and foolish” that B.C. Hydro isn’t holding public meetings provincewide on the Site C dam project. Read the full article here.
Arlene Boon, third generation Peace River Break land owner, knows all too well the importance of voicing your opinion when opposing a project like BC Hydro's Site C Dam. Discover her experience.
Anti-Site C protesters once again made their voices heard, as they gathered outside a B.C. Hydro public meeting recently. Learn more.
People within the Peace Region are being encouraged to share their thoughts and concerns regarding the Site C Clean Energy Project. Click here to read the article.
February 15, 2012 - CBC Northern BC covers the Site C issue
Listen to Andrea Morison of the Peace Valley Environment Association interviewed on CBC British Columbia about the proposed Site C dam and its impacts.
February 13, 2012 - Fed, Province announce joint environmental review for Site C
February 9, 2012 - Site C essential for LNG development: Clark
January 29, 2012 - Funded to oppose Site C
Local groups opposed to the Site C Dam will have some ammunition for their attack on the project in the form of funding from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA). Read the full Dawson Creek Daily News article here.
January 24, 2012 - Y2Y awarded funding for participation in environmental assessment on Site C project
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency) has awarded a total of $141,615 to eight successful applicants to support their participation in the environmental review of the proposed Site C Clean Energy Project in British Columbia. Read more.
November 30, 2011 - Site C project significant for B.C.
November 30, 2011 - Site C procurement could begin in 2012
Procurement for the proposed Site C hydroelectric dam on the Peace River could begin as early as a year from now - over a year before federal and provincial regulators are expected to rule on the controversial project. Read the the full article.
November 26, 2011 - Site C info sessions hit the Peace
The B.C. Chamber of Commerce held info sessions throughout the Peace Region this past week to inform the business community of the project's current status. Over 115 curious Peace Region residents attended the session at the Fort St. John Quality Inn Northern Grand. Read the article here.
November 24, 2011 - Environmental groups slam funding cap for Site C dam assessment
November 21, 2011 - Concerns raised over Site C environmental assessment funding
Local residents and not-for-profit groups who have questions about the proposed Site C dam are disappointed in the low amount of funding available for public participation in the environmental assessment process that will take place over the next few years. Read the full Alaska Highway News article here.
November 16, 2011 - PVEA calls funding for Site C assessment "biased"
October 5, 2011 - Hydro to commence second round of Site C talks this fall
October 1, 2011 - Site C to undergo joint environmental assessment
Site C will now go through a harmonized environmental assessment, reviewed by a joint panel. Both federal Minister of the Environment Peter Kent and B.C. Minister of the Environment Terry Lake believe that by combining the provincial and federal environmental assessment, they will avoid unnecessary duplication and delays. Read more here.
September 28, 2011 - Peace Out documentary brings Site C dam debate to VIFF 2011
September 22, 2011 - Site C, yes or no? Gov't never directly asked locals
August 15, 2011 - Coleman says Site C will be going ahead
A review of BC Hydro by an expert panel review fell short of recommending the government shelve the controversial Site C project and NDP Energy Critic John Horgan states that “to have a minister of the Crown saying we're definitely going ahead in the midst of this process is wrong.” Read the full article here.
July 6, 2011 - The Peace River needs your help
BC Hydro is proposing to put a third dam on the Peace River, at a location known as “Site C”, which would have ramifications on the wildlife, fisheries and communities that depend on the river. Learn more about how you can help.
May 19, 2011 - $8B Site C dam goes to environmental review
Treaty 8 Tribal Association represents local First Nations whose communities and rights will be impacted by the dam. They have created a computer model of how the river will change if the new dam is constructed here:
Watch the video blog of the Wilderness Committee's Tria Donaldson, in which she talks about her recent visit to the Peace River Valley, participating in a paddle trip down the river, and learning why the Site C project should not go ahead.