Former Mayor speaks to possible changes with Site C

Photo:  Sid Parker presented the lessons Revelstoke learned during the construction of the Revelstoke Dam to a crowd of over 50 people – Adam Reaburn/Energeticcity.ca

By Adam Reaburn

 

Northern Lights College played host Wednesday night to a session called “Lessons from the Past: One Mayor’s Experience with the Revelstoke Canyon Dam.”

Sid Parker the former Mayor of Revelstoke spoke about his experiences during the construction of the Revelstoke Canyon Dam, which opened in 1984. Parker said there were positives and negatives during the construction of the dam and after.

According to Parker, the community received funding for several projects, but the one thing BC Hydro wouldn’t do, is negotiate.

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During the construction of the Revelstoke Dam, over 3,000 people were put in camps outside the community. The majority of those workers weren’t local residents but people brought into the community, despite requests from community leaders for more local employment. If Site C is built, it has been touted as a project that could create up to 35,000 direct and in-direct jobs.

Parker also stressed the need for community members to make demands of BC Hydro and to band together.

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Parker went on to say that the Revelstoke Dam isn’t clean power, a line BC Hydro has promoted with Site C. He also debunked the idea the reservoir from Site C could be used for recreation, something that was promoted in Revelstoke, but hasn’t happened.

Another major concern brought forward was BC Hydro’s long term plans, specifically what happens when the dam reaches the end of its life span. Especially with the two other dams on the Peace River that that will reach the end of their life spans before Site C.

In April of this year the Province announced that Site C would move into the third phase. Phase 3 will see the project move to the regulatory review phase which could last for several years.

If approved, Site C could be producing power by 2020.

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