Open letter to Premier John Horgan, cabinet ministers, and other MLAs about the Site C dam

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      The Peace Valley Landowner Association and the Peace Valley Environment Association are distributing the following letter on behalf of citizens from across the province:

      Open Letter to the Honourable John Horgan, Premier and MLA, B.C. Cabinet Ministers and all other Members of the Legislative Assembly,

      Re: Site C job numbers lack public verification

      The BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) Inquiry into Site C was long overdue. Its final report is based on an independent review of contradictory evidence, expert testimony, public and First Nations’ input.

      The inquiry process was completed on time and provides compelling information in support of cancelling this project.  

      We urge you to resist the temptation now to re-test the evidence in the court of public opinion, with lobbyists and with the project proponent. The latter groups already have provided their input to the Commission as have a range of experts and those opposed to the project.

      We are of the opinion that your government should respect the findings of the appointed regulator with oversight of these matters. We believe that to do otherwise, would be to sully the decision-making process laid out by government when you charged the BCUC to undertake this review. 

      The project is late, over-budget and it’s been shown that we don’t need the energy. We can generate more electricity without flooding our farms and sensitive ecosystems. We can avoid encroaching on First Nations land title. And, for every dollar spent, retrofits create twice as many jobs as dam construction.

      We think a better energy plan would produce good paying jobs close to home in communities throughout BC. Keeping life affordable under the circumstances means limiting rate increases to only those made necessary by cancellation of the project. 

      We also recognize and applaud your government’s commitment to improving public infrastructure and creating tens of thousands of construction jobs around BC.

      It is against this backdrop that we have become increasingly alarmed about the position of some members of the Legislative Assembly, the ICBA (Independent Contractors Business Association), CLAC (the Christian Labour Association of Canada) and some in the media who persist in making Site C about jobs.

      This is a diversion. Their boosterism should not stand in the way of recognizing that Site C must be terminated to respect First Nation land title.  It should be terminated for economic, food security and environmental reasons.

      It is our view that some of the job numbers being bandied about are significantly inflated.  We are concerned that public confusion on this point may make things more complicated for decision-makers, in an already complex situation. 

      In order to assist decision-makers, we have formulated a list of information requests whose answers may put these concerns to rest.  These are presented in the attached Appendix I.

      Regarding the jobs claims, the fact is that few, if any, of the trades jobs at Site C would have lasted for the duration of the project. Construction projects don’t offer the same tradesperson a decade-long job, so we feel that it is disingenuous for individuals to claim that they moved to Site C for a ten-year job. Moving from one site to the next is the nature of construction work.

      On the other hand, when the project is cancelled the government can implement a better energy and jobs plan. This will help address the legitimate need for employment in trades throughout BC.  Cancellation will allow the government to provide more jobs, higher- quality jobs and more permanent jobs, than would be afforded by continuing Site C.

      There will also be considerable work required to restore the site upon cancellation.  This work should form part of a labour adjustment strategy for the BC resident workforce presently employed at Site C. 

      In summary, we think it is past due for your government to compel BC Hydro to provide the public a detailed explanation of the human resources deployed in the construction of Site C.

      We make this request because it is our view that the public is poorly informed on Site C and, in particular, on the jobs questions that have been raised. We feel that greater transparency would be low-risk, low-cost and provide important information in support of your government’s decision to cancel Site C.

      Sincerely yours,

      Harold Steves, Richmond
      Bob Fedderly, Fort St. John
      Mae Burrows, Burnaby
      Andrea Morrison, Fort St. John
      Adrienne Peacock, Belcarra
      Rita Wong, Vancouver
      Jackie Larkin, Metchosin
      D Lynn Chapman, Roberts Creek
      Fae Shaw, Kelowna
      Candace Batycki, Nelson
      Diane Culling, Fort St. John
      Claire Kujundzic, Wells
      Bill Horne, Wells
      Dr. Amy Lubik, Port Moody
      Charlotte Ericson, Victoria
      Heather Menzies, Gabriola Island
      Patricia Hill, Summerland
      Alan Dolan, Sooke
      Ruth Ann Darnall, Fort St. John
      Taryn Skalbnania, Peachland
      Terry Dance-Bennink, Victoria
      Karen and David Kellett, Prince George
      Rob Taylor, Peachland
      Si Transken, Prince George
      Hedy Conwright, Wells
      Ken Forest, Charlie Lake
      Ross Peck, Hudson's Hope
      Danielle Layman, Fort St. John
      Wendy Holm, Bowen Island
      Harold Rhenisch, Vernon
      Crystal Spicer, Edgewood
      Kathryn Cook, Victoria
      Susan Clarke, Sooke
      Patricia Hill, Summerland
      Rob Taylor, Peachland
      Dirk van Stralen, Wells
      Charlotte Kurta, Quesnel
      Theresa Healy, Prince George
      Elaine Hooper, Sooke
      Lynn Shervill, Smithers
      Karen Kellett, Prince George
      Freya Keddie, Victoria
      David Kellett, Prince George
      Dirk van Stralen, Wells
      Harold Rhenisch, Vernon
      Eva Manly, Nanaimo
      Si Transken, Prince George
      Jay Gildon, Smithers
      Hedy Conwright, Prince George
      Jeffrey Dinsdale, Quesnel
      Jacqueline Holler, Prince George
      Dennis Kuch, Bella Coola
      Pat Moss, Smithers
      Nadia Nowak, Prince George
      Robert Mellalieu, West Kelowna
      Sheila Peters, Smithers
      Steve Gray, Victoria
      George Smith, Gibsons
      Galen Armstrong, Salt Spring Island
      Vicky Husband, Saanich
      Randy Hadland, Dawson Creek
      Eoin Finn, Squamish
      Morag Keegan-Henry, Vancouver
      Dave Talbot, Comox
      Fred Wah, Kootenay Lake
      Des Wilson, Belcarra
      Laurel Hadland, Baldonnel
      Hajime Naka, Kelowna
      Carol Kergan, Kelowna
      Peter Chataway, Kelowna
      Patricia Munro, Kelowna
      Mark Haley, East Kelowna
      B. Gail Riddell, Sechelt
      John Kidder, Ashcroft 
      Patricia Hill, Summerland
      Donna Denison, West Kelowna
      Dale Zeich, West Kelowna 
      Alison Moore, Peachland
      Verena Hofmann, Montenay
      Jessica Klein, Peachland
      Joe Klein, Peachland 
      John D Turnbull, Roberts Creek 
      David Y. Khang, Vancouver
      Ellen Woodsworth, Vancouver
      Jean Swanson, Vancouver
      Jane Munro, Vancouver
      Fiona T Lam, Vancouver
      Kari Hewett, Vancouver
      Mimi Gellman, Vancouver
      Andrew Faulkner, Victoria
      Katie Hayhurst, Bella Coola
      Dave Jorgenson, Wells
      Joe Foy, New Westminster
      Anne Hill, Terrace
      Margaret Ouwehand, Kitimat
      Judy Campbell, Wells
      Alison Candela, Smithers
      Peter Kerr, Kelowna
      Greg Knox, Terrace
      Michael Kerr, Kelowna
      Lois Beischer, West Kelowna
      Janette McIntosh, Vancouver
      Des Nobels, Prince Rupert
      Wendy Brooks, Prince Rupert
      Karen Abramsen, West Kelowna
      Charlotte Kurta, Quesnel
      Theresa Healy, Prince George
      Dave Jorgenson, Wells
      Larry Barzelai, Vancouver
      Warren Bell, Salmon Arm
      Jason Bednar, West Kelowna