Y2Y continues to support partner organizations to stop the $8.75-billion Site C dam on British Columbia’s Peace River.
What is the threat?
Site C and its massive reservoir are in Y2Y’s Peace River Break (PRB) priority area, at the narrowest point in the entire Yellowstone-to-Yukon region.
Industrial development here is expanding so rapidly that it exceeds the pace of development in Alberta’s oil sands.
If completed, the Site C dam would flood more than 62 miles (100 kilometres) of wildlife-rich valley bottom, including some of B.C.’s best farmland.
It will force families from their homes, and farmers and ranchers from their land. The impact on the region’s First Nations is incalculable, and the subject of a Supreme Court of Canada challenge by the West Moberly First Nation.
A joint federal-provincial review panel analyzed the project’s harmful impacts. According to the panel, Site C would:
- have such significant impact that only an “unambiguous” need for power can justify the project. BC Hydro had not fully demonstrated that need;
- significantly disrupt the current use of land and resources for traditional purposes by Indigenous groups;
- destroy wetlands that support migratory bird flocks;
- have “significant adverse effects” on fish habitat;
- imperil the survival of mountain whitefish, bull trout and Arctic grayling.
The dam was approved in 2014 despite the panel’s conclusions.
Where is there hope?
The movement to stop Site C continues. We continue to work with a variety of groups to challenge construction of the Site C dam, including actively support the Treaty 8 First Nations’ legal efforts.
What are we doing?
The fight against Site C has been through many stages. Currently, Y2Y is focused on supporting the West Moberly First Nation, including on their pending case before the Supreme Court of Canada. If successful the case has the potential to stop construction of Site C and require restoration of the Peace River Valley from construction impacts to date.
Among other initiatives we have:
- Commissioned a report and presented to the Joint Review Panel a scientific assessment of the impacts of Site C on wildlife habitat and movement;
- Successfully nominated the Peace River to be declared B.C.’s Most Endangered River by the B.C. Outdoor Recreation Council;
- Funded and supported our partners, who are also raising awareness to stop the dam.
We continue to collaborate with First Nations, environmental groups, outfitters, farmers, researchers, Peace Valley landowners and other concerned individuals to challenge construction of the Site C Dam, including active support for the Treaty 8 First Nations’ legal cases.
Who are we working with?
- West Moberly First Nations
- RAVEN Trust
- Peace Valley residents and landowners
- Peace Valley Environment Association
- Sierra Club BC
Support the court case
In spring 2022, West Moberly First Nations will present a court challenge to Site C based on treaty rights. Support this legal effort through our partners at RAVEN Trust.
Header photo: Peace River Valley by Larry Peterson