Diana Day: Site C dam project represents continuation of genocide

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      Last week, I held a press conference with Harold Steves, former NDP MLA and a founder of the Agricultural Land Reserve, speaking out against the B.C. Liberal Site C dam. This project is not only a human-rights violation—depriving people of the right to food and water—but breaks Treaty 8 itself and, if constructed, will also be a contravention of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

      It became evident while watching the legislature this week that Christy Clark’s government appears to have willfully absolved themselves of the law by conveniently forgetting any such details.

      Christy Clark is selling off B.C.’s resources and ignoring, not enforcing, environmental laws and regulations, while continuing to wage a senseless war with B.C. teachers and offering us little more than her LNG “pipe dreams”. The people of B.C. need MLAs who actually represent the citizens and not the interests of internationally owned oil and LNG companies. Site C is not about providing electricity for British Columbians; instead it serves to subsidize B.C.’s oil, LNG, and mining industries, the products of which are being used to power foreign countries’ energy consumption needs.

      As Steves said last week: “The climate is changing. We are losing more and more of our farmland. Right now California produces much of the produce we currently consume here in B.C. However, they have been suffering incredible droughts, and will not be able to feed us in the future. The Peace Valley region is vital agricultural land and may very well be the bread basket of B.C. in the future. We simply cannot afford to lose this land to Site C. Now think about it: this is their land, they cannot exist without it, this is a matter of life and death for the people of Treaty 8. Site C will decimate a vital ecosystem of B.C. This is land which has sustained generations of indigenous people with food for thousands of years.

      “This completely unnecessary project stands to destroy one of the most important wildlife corridors in North America. This land is integral to our future food security of B.C. as temperatures rise and severity of droughts increase, the day will come when we will be spending 35 percent to 25 percent of our incomes on groceries in the future, if we do not stop the erosion of our agricultural lands and combat the climate change that is turning our lands into dessert. It is a very serious problem and I am just trying to get this across to people in Vancouver. Yes, oil is a problem; yes, natural gas is a problem; yes, mining is a problem, but flooding for the Site C dam is going to affect us one and all, and is the greatest problem that faces the citizens who are trying to raise their families, trying to feed themselves in British Columbia.”

      It is for these reasons, and the fact that our current government appears to lack the moral fortitude to recognize its own negligence of responsibility to the people of B.C., that it is all the more despicable that they should be supporting this project. One would wonder how any ethical or responsible member of legislature could come out in support of Site C, knowing full well the implications of such action, that they themselves in supporting this project are announcing to the world that they are willing to break Treaty 8 and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and their duty to the people of B.C. Indigenous title cannot be superseded by corporate entities, and by allowing such action the B.C. Liberal government is actively engaging in racism and the continuation of genocide. As Grand Chief Stewart Phillip said, “We must strive to get over this colonial hangover.”

      It raises the question, who does our government actually serve? I can tell you that, right now, it is definitely not you or I. Site C must be stopped.

      “We do not inherit the land from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”

      Comments

      15 Comments

      Just sayin'

      May 29, 2015 at 12:10pm

      We should be building nuclear, gas and coal facilitates instead.

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      Renewables

      May 29, 2015 at 12:58pm

      Currently BC imports more power than exports. The power imported is coal fire power plants from the USA which are terrible for the environment. A new hydro dam is like a giant battery, because it can be turned off and on quickly. This makes solar and wind power feasible.

      Site C could be the biggest contributor to the reduction of green house gases in BC's history. We should all support Site C and other renewables. If not you must prefer coal fire power plants.

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      Joe Foy

      May 29, 2015 at 3:09pm

      In actual fact BC already has access to more hydro electricity than it can use. Part of the reason for this is the huge amount of hydro electricity we are entitled to from the Americans as a result of the Columbia River Treaty. We choose to take this entitlement in the form of cash because we do not need this hydro electricity as we already have more than enough coming from our existing dams in BC. The Site C Dam is a $9 billion dollar white elephant with no use. It's also a severe human rights abuse of the Treaty 8 group of First Nations. This dam project needs to be sunk now. In the meantime every one of us has a duty to resist this terrible project as best we can. For information on how you can support the Treaty 8 court battle against the Site C Dam go to... http://raventrust.com/join-the-circle-no-site-c/

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      Seriously?!?

      May 29, 2015 at 4:49pm

      What absurd hyperbole and a good belly laugh thanks to the fantasy of UN relevance. It is remarkable how different the lives of Aboriginal people are in bands/tribes that don't spend most of their energy trying to undo the takeover of their land. The Osoyoos and Musqueam are but two examples of bands/tribes that understand perpetuating the sense of victim hood through the generations is self-defeating and also can be undone with strong leadership. Sadly there are too many people leading bands/tribes that would rather lament what was lost and pretend it will return. Site C should have been built in the 80's: it would have saved money and prevented the Liberals grand scam with private power producers.

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      I'd rather see...

      May 29, 2015 at 5:57pm

      I'd rather se e a modern nuclear plant in the province.
      Tiny footprint, big energy, negligible waste, no aboriginal politics plus we have all the fuel required already in Canada.

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      grant

      May 29, 2015 at 6:00pm

      Typical NDP crap

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      Anonymous

      May 29, 2015 at 10:38pm

      Why has there not been food grown in this area in the past. If what they say is true and the site C dam area can supply BC with food why has it not been done already?

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      H Steves

      May 30, 2015 at 4:44am

      Site C is dirty power, not green. Trees and organic farming sequester vast amounts of CO2.

      This land can feed a million people and will soon be needed. They already grow food on the Peace River farmland, the same fruit and vegetables we grow in the Fraser Valley. However, just like the Fraser Valley it has been cheaper to import our food from factory farms in California and Mexico where labour is cheap. That has been changed by climate change. The Fraser Valley produces less than half of the small fruit and vegetables we produced 40 years ago. Golf courses, nurseries and horse farms replaced the vegetable farms. With the drought in California 500,000 acres have been taken out of production. Scientists at the BC Ministry of Agriculture estimate that we must find an additional 227,000 acres of class 1 & 2 soil to grow vegetables in the next 10 to 15 years if we are going to feed ourselves in BC. That kind of soil only exists in the Fraser and Peace River Valleys.

      At the same time the Site C power is not needed. There are several alternatives. First, the Burrard Thermal Plant in Port Moody is already capable of producing the same amount of power as Site C. It is proposed to shut it down because it burns natural gas which produces CO2. However, flooding 30,000 acres is just as bad. That much land can sequester 52,000 tons of CO2 per year growing organic crops or trees, but not if the area is flooded. Second, BC is entitled to power from dam that already exists on the Columbia River. Only half of Canada's share would be needed. Third, Metro Vancouver is building a Waste To Energy Plant that will burn plastic and other waste to produce power, along with developing solar and geo-thermal power. Richmond already has geo-thermal district energy for 12,000 homes and plans to keep on expanding the system. Electricity is also being generated from the biogas collected in anaerobic digesters from yard waste in Richmond. The airport saves $100,000 per year using solar. Fouth, private companies are proposing to build major geo-thermal plants at Terrace, Valemont and South Meager Creek. Site C is not necessary and because of power loss from long transmission lines it will be more expensive than local power produced by alternative energy.

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      Richard...

      May 30, 2015 at 8:10am

      Ilive in the peace region... the fact that the comments i have read here sound as tho they are being tapped out by un-educated school children leads me to believe that now more than EVER !!! people need to read up on our northern area... and get educated!! before typing some ignorant drivel about how nucular power is the wave of the future and how Site C needs to be constructed.
      You are talking about wiping out an entire Valley!!! Flooding agricultural land!! and just to clarify to one idiot!!??FOOD!! as you put it... has been grown here since Christ was a Cowboy!!
      Smarten up people!!

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      Michael Heiden

      May 30, 2015 at 9:20am

      Thank you for telling the truth concerning the atrocious direction that Christy Clarks is headed. People need to hear this before we make a huge mistake. She does not represent anyone's interests but her own delusional sense of grandeur. The Site C dam is a huge con job that British Columbians will pay dearly for, now and in the future. The people who depend on this rich food and life sustaining area are being totally ignored and robbed. Thank you again for speaking out so clearly.

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