Solid turnout for 8th annual Paddle for the Peace

People brought out their canoes, kayaks and boats to this years event put on by the Peace Valley Environment Association.

Andrea Morison is the coordinator for the Peace Valley Environment Association. She says the event helps provide awareness about the issues facing the Peace if construction of the Site C dam is approved.

“It makes people see not only the beauty of the Peace, but the ecological values that are within this valley, and that are severely threatened by the Site C dam,” Morison explains. “What were talking about is widening the river by up to three times, so this means that we will lose about 16,000 acres of agricultural land, and we’ll also lose about 15,000 acres of boreal forest.”

Morison adds that there are two different explanations from B.C. Hydro, and the B.C. Government that contradict each other as to why they are hoping to have the dam built.

“There’s basically two different stories that are coming from the government and B.C. Hydro combined, and in the first case B.C. Hydro is stating on the one hand that the province of British Columbia is going to need this power over time, and they said it is definitely not for the liquid natural gas industry,” Morison says. “But on the other hand we’ve heard clearly stated over and over again from our Premier and other Ministers that we need Site C specifically for liquid natural gas.”

Morison says the liquid natural gas industry has not secured buyers yet, and as such it is a significant gamble to ruin the land when the market has not been established. 

“It’s an extremely risky proposition. They haven’t said that industry is going to pay for the bulk of this infrastructure if it is indeed for their use. With this agricultural land, we know that traditional food producing lands around the world are not able to provide as much food as they have in the past due to weather and weather patterns,” she argues. “We know that other countries are buying agricultural land in the Peace because they recognize the value of that, and yet our own province is willing to wash that much soil, 16,000 acres, down the river, so it’s really not in the interest of British Columbians.”