By Roy L Hales
A Former Peace River Regional District Director arrested at Site C yesterday. Arthur Hadland told the Alaska Highway News that the B.C. Government is “treating us like a colony here. I think there’s a gradual awakening to the fact we’ve got a public utility that’s out of control.” He was one of three people arrested for blocking the entrance to the construction site Wednesday.
Former Peace River Regional District Director Arrested at Site C
The RCMP description of Halland’s arrest states:
“a man and a woman with their backs to a pick-up truck, blocking it and other vehicles from entering the private work site.
Both parties were requested by police to move to the side of the road. When the man refused, he was advised by police that he was committing a criminal offence by not moving and advised to move to the side of the road. When the man still refused he was arrested for mischief (Section 430 C.C.) advised of his rights and escorted to the RCMP Detachment to prevent the continuation of the offence. The female was escorted to the side of the roadway by one of the attending protestors.”
Two More Arrests
The demonstration continued and at 12:01 PM the police returned to arrest Penny Boden and Mark Meiers.
“We have the right to peaceful protest in Canada, but it hasn’t done us a whole lot of good. We stand there and peacefully protest while they destroy the valley. Those that want to save the Peace River valley are not going to give up,” Boden told the Alaska News.
“We’re supposed to appear in court Feb. 24, the three of us, and I presume that Hydro has filed a formal complaint against us. That’s as far as I can go with that because I don’t know,” said Meiers.
Project Will Proceed
News 1130 reports BC Energy Minister Bill Bennet saying construction on the highly controversial site will continue. He cited concerns about birds nesting in trees next Spring and the rights of the BC Hydro ratepayers.
It is difficult to see whose interests Mr Bennet, or the Liberal Party, actually represents in this matter.
Wait 3 Or 4 Years
The chair of the federal-provincial panel that reviewed this project disagrees with Bennet’s insistence that this project be built at this time.
“There’s a whole bunch of unanswered questions, some of which would be markedly advanced by waiting three or four years,” Harry Swain told DeSmog Canada last March.
Swain said Site C dam will lose at least $800 million because BC Hydro will generate more power than the province needs at a cost of $100 per megawatt hour — when the market price for that power is currently $30 per megawatt hour.
Opposed To Site C
Last September, the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) passed resolutions calling for the province to:
- Rescind the Order in Council that cabinet used to remove Site C dam reservoir lands from the Agricultural Land Reserve. This means the project would have to be reviewed by the Agricultural Land Commission.
- Refer this project to the BC Utilities Commission for a proper review.
Bennet’s response, at that time, was to say the UBCM was out of its’ depth in making such resolutions.
The list of organizations calling for a two year moratorium on this project, during which time proper studies can be made, includes:
- The National Farmers Union
- the Greater Vancouver Regional District Board, representing 23 local governments and 2.5 million people
- BC Government Employees Union
- Treaty 8 First Nations
- Peace Valley Landowner Association
Premier Christy Clark’s government chose to ignore their and the environmental devastation of the Peace River Valley continues.
Photo Credit: Signs Used During the October 18 Demonstration at Site C – from Liz Biggar’s Facebook page