Photo: Site C dam protestors started their trip to Victoria with a small rally in Fort St. John./Andrew Tylosky.
The protest against the Site C dam project is heading to Victoria.
The ‘Paddle to the Premier’ began Friday in Fort St. John where various people spoke out against BC Hydro’s plans to construct a third dam and generating station along the Peace River. Many protestors held signs denouncing the project.
Before the 1,300 km journey to the Provincial Legislature began, a member of the Doig River First Nation said a traditional prayer.
Representatives from the Peace Valley Environmental Association, the Wilderness Committee, Treaty 8 and the David Suzuki foundation were all in attendance for the sendoff of the convoy.
Fort St. John City Councillor Larry Evans also attended, showing his support for the protestors. He says he personally does not support the dam project because of the negative effects it will have on both farmland and recreational land.
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Evans also says the area has an extensive history that should be preserved.
‘Paddle for the Peace’ has been happening for several years in the region, says Sandra Hoffman, co-ordinator for the Peace Valley Environmental Association, adding that protestors now feel it’s time to take their message to the people in the southern part of the province.
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Hoffman says there have already been representatives from the Green Party and the NDP that have confirmed they will be attending Sunday’s event. She also says she hopes Liberal Party members will attend.
The support for those who are against the Site C dam appears to be gaining some notable figures, including environmental activist and broadcaster David Suzuki and the Sierra Club’s Susan Howett who are both expected to speak at the event.
The convoy will be making various stops along the way to Victoria, including in Chetwynd, Prince George and Quesnel. The voyage will culminate with a paddle along the Gorge Waterway from the Selkirk Waterfront to Victoria’s inner harbour.
The Site C dam project is currently in Stage 3 – the environmental review – of a five step evaluation. According to the BC Hydro website, if the project passes the regulatory review phase, the dam is expected to be completed and generating electricity within 10 years.
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