VANCOUVER — Allowing Site C to proceed undermines Indigenous Peoples’ rights and British Columbia’s opportunity to maintain intact ecosystems and develop alternative power sources. In this decision, the B.C. government did not fully recognize the social, economic and environmental benefits of protecting the Peace River and did not adequately consider Indigenous rights.
David Suzuki Foundation research estimates that the Peace River watershed generates services worth $7.9 to $8.6 billion a year. These ecosystem services sustain the health and well-being of local communities and provide air and water filtration, erosion control, quality agricultural soil, recreation and wildlife habitat.
“Destroying the ecosystems that support us is short-sighted,” said David Suzuki Foundation Western Canada director general Jay Ritchlin.
The Site C project continues to carry a significant amount of risk, which remains poorly understood. The recently published special report by adviser Peter Milburn finds cost and risk assessment systems have not been effective and additional geotechnical issues continue.
“It’s unclear how this risk and the destruction of a valuable ecosystem can be in the best interests of British Columbians,” Ritchlin said. “Wind, solar and geothermal energy would be as good or better for B.C.”
Site C continues to infringe on the rights of Indigenous nations and disrespect treaties. Further flooding the Peace River Valley would destroy cultural sites and harm the natural environment on which First Nations rely for their culture, economy and traditions. The West Moberly First Nation still has an unresolved civil claim regarding the project.
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For more information or an interview, please contact:
Olga Shuvalova, David Suzuki Foundation, email@example.com, 514-569-6496