Group says Site C approval will have 'grave consequences' for NDP

Longtime NDP supporters threaten to cancel donations to NDP, quit fundraising, change vote.

Longtime NDP supporters threaten to cancel donations to NDP, quit fundraising, change vote

Rob Botterell, legal counsel for the Peace Valley Landowner Association and Dr. Steve Gray, chair of the Peace Valley Solidarity Initiative, warned Monday that the NDP would lose voter and financial support by approving the completion of the Site C dam. (Mike McArthur/CBC)

A group of Site C opponents warns the B.C. New Democratic Party will face financial and political backlash from supporters as a result of approving completion of the controversial $8.8-billion dam. 

The Peace Valley Solidarity Initiative and two other groups opposed to the dam project did not wait for the B.C. government's Site C announcement Monday morning before reacting to the anticipated approval for the project.

"NDP Makes Wrong Decision — Flawed Process and Immediate Grave Consequences for the NDP," the group headlined a news release issued the day before Premier John Horgan's formal announcement.

Dr. Steve Gray, chair of the Peace Valley Solidarity Initiative, said group members expected Premier John Horgan would green-light the $8.8 billion project after the decision appeared to be slow in coming.

Gray, who is an NDP member in Esquimalt-Metchosin, told On the Island host Gregor Craigie they decided to take a partisan approach to increase pressure on the government.  

"We contacted NDP volunteers, donors and members and trade unionists and said, well, get your views in," Gray said.

"We began to receive copies of letters and realized hundreds, if not thousands of NDP supporters were angry and worried about the Site C dam."  Gray said. "That kind of situation didn't seem very good for the party."

Some declared long-time NDP supporters posted messages on social media pledging to withhold donations as well as their vote unless Site C was cancelled. 

Gray said the group has not heard from NDP supporters who are in favour of Site C completion.

"Mostly what we've seen is people calling for the termination of the dam, and people saying that they plan to leave the party and stop their fundraising activities if this goes ahead."

Gray was joined at a Victoria press conference Monday morning by Agricultural Land Reserve founder Harold Steves and the Rob Botterell, the legal counsel for the Peace Valley Landowner Association and the Peace Valley Environment Association.