Senator Neufeld encouraging Fort St. John Site-C study


Photo: Senator Richard Neufeld addresses City Council on Monday afternoon – Christine Rumleskie/Energeticcity.ca

 

By Christine Rumleskie

 

Senator Richard Neufeld is encouraging City Council to investigate all that Site-C has to offer.

Council has agreed to hire a contractor, whose job will be to seek funding on behalf of the City for three studies. The City wants to complete a Site-C Socio Economic study and a Site-C Legacy Trust study, as well as a report that will detail the future of the Fair Share Program.

Once the impact studies are completed, the City would likely seek funding to mitigate all the anticipated effects Site-C will have on the area.

Senator Neufeld caught wind of the idea, and attended Monday night’s City Council meeting. He applauded council for being proactive, rather than reactive in mitigation efforts of the proposed Site-C development.

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Site-C is a proposed hydroelectricity dam, which would be located on the Peace River close to Fort St. John.

Mayor Bruce Lantz admits he has taken some heat from proposing the Socio-Economic study, as he has been rallying against the proposed dam for some time now.

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Up until January 2009, Neufeld was the B.C. Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum. He helped develop the five-stage timeline that B.C. Hydro is following in the proposed development.

The project is currently in its second stage, and is being reviewed by the Province. Senator Neufeld says he expects the Province will make a decision any day now, determining if the project will move into its third stage of development.

Neufeld says he hopes northeast B.C. will receive the maximum amount of benefits, should the project go forward.

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Councilor Lori Ackerman wanted a mid-March timeline for acquiring a consultant. That idea was defeated by other councilors on the board, who agreed that the process could take longer than anticipated.

A large group from the Peace Valley Environmental Association observed Neufeld’s address to Council. The PVEA is a local group that is anti-Site-C. PVEA representatives declined to comment, until they hold a meeting to discuss the day’s events.

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