Conservationists welcome BC Utilities Commission Review of Site C dam

Infographic from the BCUC Executive Summary of the Final Report to the Government of British Columbia

Infographic from the BCUC Executive Summary of the Final Report to the Government of British Columbia

Site C would have major and unacceptable impacts to wildlife, food security, treaty rights 

MEDIA RELEASE | Nov. 1, 2017 

Today’s report from the B.C. Utilities Commission (BCUC) reviewing the Site C dam is welcomed by the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y). The organization has been actively campaigning against the hydroelectric mega-project since 2007. 

“We congratulate the BC government in standing by their promise and finally giving this project the review it was previously denied,” says Candace Batycki, Y2Y program director. “We are very optimistic that this report signals the beginning of the end for Site C. This is a good day for the wildlife and people who rely on this ecologically unique area to survive.”

While the BCUC report focuses on the financial economics of the project, Batycki points out that the impacts Site C and its reservoir would have to fish, wildlife, treaty rights and food security are also major issues and underpin the massive public outcry against the dam.  

“We need to remember that the joint provincial-federal review of Site C made environmental assessment history in Canada, due to the unprecedented number and scope of significant adverse environmental impacts,” says Batycki. “Loss of fish and wildlife, destruction of habitat — these are economic issues too, especially for First Nations.” 

The 2014 federal-provincial Joint Review Panel concluded that, “replacing a portion of the Peace River with an 83-kilometre reservoir would cause significant adverse effects on fish and fish habitat…”  

Species affected include bull trout, a species of special concern. The panel concluded that “(habitat) effects would be probable, negative, large, irreversible and permanent so long as the Site C Dam remains … habitat effects cannot be fully mitigated.” 

“Site C would decimate habitat for migratory birds, destroy moose and deer calving grounds, and have major impacts on fisheries, including bull trout,” says Batycki. “For Indigenous people, fish and wildlife and food security are the same thing.” 

“The B.C. government must now take all information into account, including the economic capital provided by nature in the Peace,” says Batycki. “We look forward to an announcement from the province that they are canceling Site C, and moving forward to create fair-wage jobs and truly sustainable economies across the province.” 

Additional information:

Read BCUC's press release, the executive summary and the final, full report

For further comment please contact:  

Candace Batycki, Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative B.C. and Yukon program director, candace@y2y.net, 250.352.3830