VICTORIA B.C. – B.C. Green leader Sonia Furstenau held a virtual town hall on the Site C dam project, highlighting the NDP government's lack of transparency about safety issues and rising costs. By the end of the broadcast, 1,282 individuals had tuned in to the event. Furstenau was joined by Harry Swain, former chair of the Joint Review Panel on Site C, and Chief Roland Willson of West Moberly First Nation. Earl Einarson, Director of the First Nations Technology Council and a member of the Ktunaxa First Nation, moderated the event.
“What was abundantly clear from the discussion last night was that we need all British Columbians to speak up and demand transparency from the BC NDP government,” Furstenau said. “I am concerned that Premier Horgan hopes to release as little information as possible unless there is significant public pressure. This is the largest infrastructure project in BC's history, and this government is failing to answer the fundamental question of whether this dam can even be safely built.”
The B.C. Green Party has launched a petition calling on the NDP for transparency on the Site C project. Specifically, the B.C. Green Party is calling on Premier Horgan to release the terms of reference for the Milburn Report and the full, unredacted report itself; as well as the terms of reference for the other two reports commissioned by the government; and for BC Hydro to release its missing quarterly financial reports. As of 11:00 AM this morning, the petition had gathered over 1,500 signatures.
“The Site C Dam project has always been shrouded in secrecy and a lack of transparency,” added Swain. “A project of this scale – the largest infrastructure project in BC history – that has major safety and financial issues requires strong accountability from government. We have seen very little of that so far.”
“This project is unsafe, completely unnecessary, and it cannot be deemed lawful - it is an infringement on a federally-protected treaty right,” Willson said. “What is going on here is not following suit with BC’s new legislation of reconciliation and accommodations in accordance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
“The effect of the building of the Site C Dam on First Nations cannot be overstated. I have spoken with Nations that are downstream of the project; the government has not spoken to them about the safety problems, leaving them in potential harm’s way without any information. The government’s secrecy is appalling.”
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