Recent Posts
Featured Posts


November 19th, 2015 Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Honourable Hunter Tootoo, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport Liberal Members of Parliament for British Columbia Dear Prime Minister Trudeau, Honourable Ministers and BC Liberal MPs, HONOUR SOLEMN TREATY PROMISES AND RESTORE CONFIDENCE IN FEDERAL SITE C DECISIONS At the outset, let me congratulate you on forming a government committed to making real, positive change both in what the federal government does, and how it does it. I am writing on behalf of the Peace Valley Landowner Association (PVLA) to urgently request the assistance of your new government to restore open, transparent and accountable federal government decision-making regarding the controversial $8.8 Billion Site C Dam project on British Columbia’s Peace River. The decisions your government makes on Site C over the upcoming days and months present a once-in-a-mandate defining opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to: • Set and meet a higher bar for openness and transparency in government, • Renew the most important relationship we as Canadians have – that with Indigenous Peoples - based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership, • Respect and uphold Treaty Rights, • Review and modify the federal Site C litigation strategy consistent with the above commitments, • Take immediate steps to restore public confidence in federal environmental assessment decisions, permits, processes, oversight, and enforcement, and • Identify, research and pursue other renewable energy options that are more effective at tackling climate change, minimizing the destruction of prime agricultural land, and promoting employment and economic spin-offs, especially for Indigenous Peoples.

In the balance of this letter I will elaborate on this unique opportunity and litmus test of your government’s commitment to real change. WHO IS THE PEACE VALLEY LANDOWNER ASSOCIATION? PVLA is a group of farmers and residents affected by the Site C dam. We are part of a large, diverse group of individuals, organizations and indigenous leaders who have called for the suspension of construction to allow time for further independent review of Site C and the completion of court cases challenging project approvals. Some of the many organizations and individuals who share our concerns are listed below. Of particular note, two respected individuals who support a delay in Site C construction are Dr. Harry Swain, economist and chair of the federal/provincial Site C Joint Review Panel and a respected former federal public servant and Mr. Richard Bullock, former chair of BC’s Agricultural Land Commission. Dr. Swain is on record as saying that the failure to fully consider alternatives to Site C such as wind, solar, and geothermal amounts to a “dereliction of duty.” Mr. Bullock is on record as saying the removal of prime agricultural land from the Agricultural Land Reserve for Site C is a “sin against humanity.” WHY DOESN’T THE SITE C DAM HAVE SOCIAL LICENCE? The sole agency independent of the proponent (BC Hydro) and its sole shareholder (the Province) to examine Site C was the federal/provincial Environmental Assessment Joint Review Panel chaired by Dr. Harry Swain. In a familiar pattern under the previous Conservative government, this environmental assessment process had many failings, including a compressed hearing timetable, lack of resources for intervenors, and no opportunity for cross-examination. A further description of procedural flaws in the review of Site C is listed in Appendix A. { 'This lack of procedural safeguards was compounded by the decision of the BC to exempt Site C from the expert, open and independent review to which such a project would normally be subject by the British Columbia Utilities Commission and the Agricultural Land Commission'.} In its May 2014 Report, the Joint Review Panel found: • the need for Site C has not been demonstrated, • it had neither the information, time or resources to conclude on the accuracy of the cost estimates put forward for Site C, and • Site C and energy alternatives should be subjected to further review by the BC Utilities Commission. The Joint Review Panel made numerous other findings that call into question the wisdom of proceeding with Site C in the absence of demonstrated need concluding: