Communities will get advance notice of Site C start: Hydro

BC Hydro has again pushed back its elusive shovels-in-the-ground tentative start date for construction at the location of the Site C dam.

According to spokesman Dave Conway, it could now begin after the Treaty 8 First Nations and Peace Valley Landowners Association launch their week long series of legal challenges in federal court on July 20.

“We’re saying mid to late July,” Conway says.

“We have said we will notify communities ahead of time before we start anything. We will send out notification to aboriginal communities as well.”

Meantime, Hydro continues it series of open house sessions today, Wednesday and Thursday in Hudson’s Hope, Chetywnd and Dawson Creek.

Conway says the one in Fort St. John last Thursday night drew about 130 people –including about a dozen protesters — and there were many looking for business and job opportunities.

There were also more questions raised about security, medical services, and workforce accommodation.

Conway says Hydro continues to work on a legal agreement with the city of Fort St. John, which he says will address things like police resources and medical services.

“We’re looking to have the least footprint on the community that we can have in regards to our draw on community resources and at the same time allowing the workers an opportunity to come into town to use local restaurants, bars, pubs, recreational facilities,” he said.

Conway said Hydro plans to have it worker camp ready to go for early 2016.

Once the open house series is finished a trio of job fairs will be held later this month on the 28th, 29th and 30th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Tumbler Ridge, Fort St. John and Chetwynd.