Farmer vows to fight Site C Dam
Some farmers in northeastern B.C. say they are going to fight a plan to build a massive hydroelectric dam that will flood the Peace River Valley.
This week, the B.C. government announced it wants to go ahead with the Site C dam, near Fort St. John to generate electricity. But some farmers in the flood zone are vowing to stand their ground.
"We'll be here until the water comes up at least to knee level," said Ross Peck, whose family has farmed the rich soil of the Peace River Valley for nearly 100 years.
The proposed reservoir for the Site C Dam would flood 83 kilometres of the valley, covering the land where homes and farms belonging to family's like Peck's have stood for generations.
Peck is outraged that the B.C. government is planning to flood his land, to create what it calls clean energy.
"It was totally disrespectful to people in the valley. We're trying to eke out a living here, some of us for close to a century," he told CBC News.
Grandfather forced out
It's not the first time Peck's family has been forced out by a flood. His grandfather's place was washed away by the nearby W.A.C. Bennett Dam when it was built in the 1960's on the Peace River.
"My grandfather was basically old and it broke his spirit. It's what he'd lived and worked for," said Peck.
"There's been as many BC hydro people up and down the valley as wildlife," he said.
Peck said an hour after B.C.'s premier announced he wanted to dam the Peace again, officials from BC Hydro showed up at his door, offering to make a deal to buy his land.
He said no to the offer and said his only plan for now is to keep tilling the soil and standing his ground
"We were pretty upset, but I got out on the tractor went out on the field and worked off some of my frustration," he said.
With files from the CBC's Betsy Trumpener