Tag Archives: BC Hydro

BC Hydro Seeks Injunction Against Site C Dam Protesters


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.

READ MORE: Union of BC Indian Chiefs demands new federal government stop Site C dam

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.


Grand Chief Calls On BC Hydro To “Back Off” Site C Protest Encampment

Wearing sacred red ochre paint on his face, the Union of BC Indian Chiefs' leader Grand Chief Stewart Phillip alongside Alberta's Melina Laboucan Massimo of the Lubicon Lake Cree, and Tsleil-Waututh elder Amy George, in Burnaby Mountain's conservation forest on Thursday. Photo by Mychaylo Prystupa.

Wearing sacred red ochre paint on his face, the Union of BC Indian Chiefs’ leader Grand Chief Stewart Phillip alongside Alberta’s Melina Laboucan Massimo of the Lubicon Lake Cree, and Tsleil-Waututh elder Amy George, in Burnaby Mountain’s conservation forest on Thursday. Photo by Mychaylo Prystupa.

By Black Powder | Red Power Media, Staff

UBCIC calls on BC Hydro to back off a First Nations encampment near Site C dam construction.  

A small group of First Nations campers have dug in on the south bank of the Peace River at Rocky Mountain Fort, —an 18th-century fur trade post. They are defending their traditional territory in the face of the proposed $9 billion Site C dam that would flood107-kilometres of the scenic Peace River and its tributaries, including indigenous hunting and fishing grounds.

Local landowners have also joined in the fight.

Protesters on the 269 Road blocked traffic from entering the Site C dam work site for about an hour before police arrived Wednesday.

Protesters on the 269 Road blocked traffic from entering the Site C dam work site for about an hour before police arrived Wednesday.

On Wednesday, at a protest in support of the encampment, RCMP made three arrests for blocking trucks, at the north bank entrance of the site C project —including Arthur Hadland, a former regional district director. He was arrested for mischief after refusing to move to the side of the road, according to police.

Aboriginal treaty rights, land title, the loss of farmland and other environmental concerns sparked seven court challenges involving the Site C dam.

January 8th, on the 

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of UBCIC, stated, “We are absolutely outraged that BC Hydro is working at the proposed dam site when critical court proceedings are in motion and a decision on Site C proceeding has yet to be determined. Yesterday, BC Hydro moved equipment in toward the camp, despite publicly saying they are speaking with Site C dam protestors and local authorities to try to peacefully end the standoff.”

The UBCIC said in regard to the arrests, they are deeply concerned that BC Hydro’s actions are increasing tensions on the ground.

Through formal resolutions, the UBCIC fully supports the efforts of Treaty 8 First Nations to ensure that their Aboriginal and Treaty Rights are honoured and preserved.

Grand Chief Phillip concluded “We continue to urge the provincial and federal governments to immediately cease proceeding with the proposed Site C dam project until such time as the Site C court proceedings are complete and the Site C Dam proposal is properly reviewed by the BC Utilities Commission. Further provocations on the part of BC Hydro will only serve to escalate tensions in an already volatile situation.”


In late December, B.C. Hydro posted an eviction notice on a bunkhouse at the Rocky Mountain Fort camp site. Treaty 8 Stewards of the Land have since manned the camp around the clock, turning back logging equipment attempting to establish a foothold on the upstream bank of the Moberly.

The protesters say they will not permit BC Hydro to proceed with plans to clear-cut forests around the site and that they aren’t afraid of facing arrest.


In an email, Site C spokesperson Dave Conway said that while Hydro has equipment in the area, “we are not moving equipment within the immediate proximity of individuals or the encampment itself.”

“Our immediate concern is to ensure the safety of both Site C workers and the protesters.”

Could Site C be the next Burnaby Mountain?

Earlier this week, Grand Chief Phillip who was arrested on Burnaby Mountain during Kinder Morgan protests in 2014, said he was considering a trip north to support the Rocky Mountain Fort.

(Video: Grand Chief arrested crossing police line in protest of Kinder Morgan)

B.C. Site C Dam Protesters Dig In And Prepare For Arrest

The Canadian Press

Long-time former politician Arthur Hadland among those arrested at the work site

First Nations protesting the construction of the $9-billion Site C dam in northeastern British Columbia are preparing for their own arrests while they implore Prime Minister Justin Trudeau intervene to stop the hydroelectric project.

Helen Knott of the Prophet River First Nation said in an interview from the protest site that she and six other demonstrators are camped at Rocky Mountain Fort, the former site of a North West Company fur-trading post established in 1794, near Fort St. John.

RCMP said they arrested three protesters on Wednesday who had been blocking an access road needed by BC Hydro crews to begin work on the dam, the third on the Peace River. The dam will create an 83-kilometre-long reservoir and flood the area where the protesters are camping.

Eviction notice issued

The BC Hydro and Power Authority has issued an eviction notice, warning protesters that all contents of the camp set up on Dec. 31 will be removed and delivered to the RCMP.

Knott said the protesters are hunkering down while weathering snow and temperatures as low as –20 C, awaiting the possibility of arrest.

“It’s not necessarily anybody goes into it with that idea, like, yeah, we’re going to be arrested, right? It’s that, yeah, we’re committed to saving this tract of land and to, you know, actively use our treaty rights here,” she said.

Knott said she would rather not be arrested but is willing to be at the camp and take a stand on the issue.

Protest camp to be logged

Site C spokesman David Conway said the protest is affecting a small clearing area, but all other construction work on the project continues. Contractors had been prepared to log the area where protesters are camped.

The utility hopes to resolve the situation through ongoing discussions with protesters and local authorities in order to resume construction, he said.

“BC Hydro respects the right of all individuals to peacefully protest and express their opinions about Site C in a safe and lawful manner,” he said in an email. “Our immediate concern is to ensure the safety of both Site C workers and the protesters.”

Several First Nations and local residents have filed legal challenges over the dam, raising concerns about flooding and the impact the lake will create.

Flooding historic and sacred sites

Art Napoleon of the Saulteau First Nation said in a phone interview from Victoria that the lake will flood the historic site and other sacred areas.

“That whole area was a culturally significant area for us, for hunting, trapping, fishing, gathering, a lot of history, all of our history, so that’s our cultural institution and it’s being raped, and it’s still not enough,” he said, adding he hopes Trudeau can get involved.

“Well, I don’t know what exactly he can do, but it’s worth a shot, isn’t it?” said Napoleon.

The protest camp is in a remote area. Knott said once protesters leave the main highway, they must drive on rough, secondary roads for 90 minutes to two hours before making another seven-kilometre trip by foot or snowmobile.

The timber needs to be cleared before birds move in for nesting in the spring, and provincial Energy Minister Bill Bennett said the delay would make the project more expensive.

“Government wants to be respectful of people’s right to express themselves and their right to protest. We accept that,” Bennett said in an interview. “We have to balance that with the right of the BC Hydro ratepayers to expect that this project would get built on time and budget.”

Moving forward despite court challenges

Bennett added that government agrees construction should proceed despite outstanding court cases. He said those in opposition appear to be using the legal system as a stalling tactic and also noted the courts have mostly sided with the utility.

Opponents have been stating their case for a long time, but “the fact of the matter is the majority of people in the province don’t agree with them,” Bennett said.

About 75 per cent of the 600 workers currently on the site are from B.C., Bennett added.

BC Hydro announced in December it would spend $1.75 billion to build the earthen dam, foundation, two diversion tunnels and spillways.

Source: http://www.cbc.ca/1.3394523

BC Hydro Orders Protesters Off Land Near Site C Dam

A sign protesting the Site C proposal is seen near Hudson's Hope B.C. in this July 2014 file photo. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)

A sign protesting the Site C proposal is seen near Hudson’s Hope B.C. in this July 2014 file photo. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)

The Canadian Press, Published, Jan 4, 2016 

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Members of a small but defiant group are pledging to keep protesting the Site C hydroelectric project in northeastern British Columbia, despite being ordered off the land.

They set up a camp on Dec. 31, when BC Hydro and Power Authority issued an eviction notice while pressing ahead with land clearing for the controversial $9-billion dam.

The Crown corporation gave protesters 24 hours to leave the area known as Rocky Mountain Fort, on the south bank of the Peace River, just a few kilometres south of Fort St. John.

It warned that BC Hydro personnel will remove all contents of the camp and deliver it to RCMP but such action had not been taken by Monday afternoon.

Verena Hofmann, a Peace River Valley resident who was at the encampment over the weekend, said contractors appear ready to begin logging a three-kilometre region that is First Nations territory.

“We’ve just heard that equipment has started up. It looks like they are intending to keep on cutting,” she said on the phone from Fort St. John. “Treaty 8 First Nation people are holding their ground and are not moving from the site, so things are intensifying and changing quickly.”

Hofmann said demonstrators believe BC Hydro has no right to force them off the land in the midst of ongoing legal challenges involving Site C.

Several court cases raise major concerns about the potential impact of flooding from the creation of a new lake on the Peace River and the surrounding valley during construction of the dam.

She said upward of about five people at a time are occupying the west side of the mouth of the Moberly River in rotating shifts. First Nations people and other landowners are staying in a small cabin that was flown to the bank, as well as a hunting tent, she said.

It takes about 30 minutes to walk or less by snow machine to reach an area where contractors are set up, she said.

“There is no physical structure blockading BC Hydro’s construction, it’s individual people approaching them and reasonably and respectfully pleading with them to cease construction.”

Local people are trying to protect the land – significant because it contains swaths of old-growth boreal forest – until court proceedings run their full course, Hofmann said.

She said the group has asked that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reassess the environmental approval granted for the project by the former Conservative government, in conjunction with the B.C. government.

A spokesman for Site C project said the utility will continue to monitor the situation and is evaluating “all options.”

“BC Hydro respects the right of all individuals to peacefully protest and express their opinions about Site C in a safe and lawful manner,” Craig Fitzsimmons, the manager of communications and issues management, said in an email.

“We are hopeful this can be resolved. We are in discussions with the protesters and local authorities to allow us to resume construction activities.”

The Rocky Mountain Fort was established in 1794 by the North West Company as a fur trading post and is the site of the earliest settler post in mainland B.C.

The dam will be the third on the Peace River, creating an 83-kilometre-long reservoir that’s slated to power up to 450,000 homes a year.

BC Hydro announced in mid-December that a consortium of three companies will be paid about $1.75 billion to build the largest components of the Site C development over the next eight years.

Source: http://ctv.news/uHU2ryZ

First Nations Seek Injunction To Stop Site C Dam Work, Destruction Of Eagle Nests

Capture Eagle

By Judith Lavoie / DeSmog Canada

Two Treaty 8 First Nations have applied for an injunction to prevent BC Hydro from cutting down trees containing eagle nests in preparation for construction of the controversial Site C Dam.

Several legal challenges to the $8.8-billion dam are pending, but the nest removal is scheduled to start September 1, according to a letter from BC Hydro to the Treaty 8 Tribal Association that gives notice of the “planned removal and destruction of Bald Eagle nests from construction areas of the Site C Clean Energy Project.”

Applications to the B.C. Supreme Court for an injunction and a judicial review have been made by the Prophet River First Nation and West Moberly First Nations. In a separate case, both bands are also seeking to overturn provincial approval for the dam.

The petition asking for an injunction says that Treaty 8 First Nations will suffer irreparable harm that cannot be mitigated by damages if the ground clearing and nest destruction goes ahead.

Of particular concern is the clearing of the South Bank of the Peace River Valley, which represents extensive, severe and irreversible losses to ecological and cultural resources that support the meaningful exercise of Treaty rights,” it says.

Consultation on the permits allowing the nests to be removed was inadequate and BC Hydro proceeded with an “aggressive timeline for consultation,” according to the documents.

The plan to remove up to 28 nests between September and March, once the nests have been confirmed as inactive, means time is short.

We are hoping that injunction happens sooner rather than later,” Treaty 8 First Nations member Susan Auger, said in a video made by Common Sense Canadian publisher Damien Gillis during a cultural demonstration on the banks of the Peace River earlier this month.

Eagles are something that are very significant to myself and my culture. It’s something that has got my blood boiling that they are going to come and cut down eagle nests,” she said.

Studies show that there are 25 active eagle nests in the dam area, representing half of the large raptor nests in the Peace River corridor between Hudson’s Hope and the Alberta border.

However, BC Hydro plans to compensate for the removal or destruction of the nests by installing 38 artificial nesting platforms.

Where feasible and safe, nests will be removed intact and relocated and installed on nest platforms,” says the BCHydro letter.

It’s a solution scoffed at by George Desjarlais of West Moberly First Nation.

I don’t know how they communicated with the eagles, how they spoke to them and got them to understand that this is your new home,” he said during the demonstration.

BC Hydro spokesman Dave Conway said that during Site C construction, BC Hydro will take great care to avoid or mitigate effects on eagle nests.

During construction, we will not disturb active eagle nests and will only relocate eagle nests when they are inactive, as confirmed by a qualified professional,” he said in an e-mailed statement.

For active nests retained through the construction period, a no-clearing buffer around each active nest will be implemented.”

In the Gillis video, Art Napoleon of Saulteau First Nation looks out over the north bank of the Peace River and points out that each island contains eagle nests.

There’s no need for it,” he said.

It looks to me like a test or a provocation.”

The First Nations are fundraising for the legal challenges through the website nosite-c.com.

We are closing in on $100,000 and our goal is $250,000,” said Susan Smitten of the group Respecting Aboriginal Values and Environmental Needs (RAVEN).

We are committed to making sure there’s access to justice. It’s a huge issue when you are going up against the deep pockets of BC Hydro and the provincial government.”