By Shelby Thom | CKNW
BC Hydro is seeking an injunction against demonstrators at the Site C dam.
The defendants include Ken Boon, the President of the Peace Valley Landowner Association, and Verena Hofmann with the Treaty 8 Tribal Council.
Court documents allege the protesters have built a camp, including a pair of cabins that were helicoptered in, are blocking site preparation work near the south bank of the Peace River.
The suit claims protesters are using the camp “as a base from which [they] have interfered with, and prevented BC Hydro employees from conducting work,” and have been both lighting campfires and standing in the paths of equipment and machinery.
BC Hydro claims the protesters are causing safety issues and are intentionally trying to cost BC Hydro and its partners by forcing them to miss a March 31st contract deadline to clear the land.
“As a result of such intentional interference, BC Hydro has suffered and will suffer, loss, damage, and expense.”
The suit also says the blockade may force the company to delay construction and modify plans for the nearly $9 billion power project.
BC Hydro is seeking to have the camp removed and the protesters blocked from the site.
None of the claims have been proven in court.
War of words
BC Hydro spokesperson Dave Conway says the company would prefer for the protesters to move on their own.
“We’re hopeful that this can be resolved. Our top priority is to ensure the safety of both the Site C workers and the protesters, so we need to move forward with the clearing.”
And as for how much the demonstration is setting BC Hydro back?
“Those costs as far as I am aware haven’t been determined, we are looking into that, however I should be clear that this particular area where we need to get in to do some clearing, all other construction work on the site is continuing.”
But protester Ken Boon says the company is using heavy handed tactics on a “very peaceful, legal protest.”
He says the group offered to meet with Hydro as recently as Monday, and that “the reply to that evidently was to slap us with this civil claim.”
As to whether protesters will risk arrest, Boon says protesters are seeking legal help before they decide their next move, but will keep the camp standing for the time being.