British Columbia

BC Hydro CEO refuses to halt Site C, despite Amnesty report

BC Hydro says there will be no halt to construction work on its multi-billion dollar dam project, despite a new report from an international human rights group.

BC Hydro CEO says the Crown corporation continues to consult meaningfully with First Nations in the area

Construction of the Site C dam has an estimated cost of over $8 billion and has been the subject of widespread protests across British Columbia. (BC Hydro)

BC Hydro says there will be no halt to construction work on its multi-billion dollar dam project, despite a new report from an international human rights group.

Amnesty International has released a report saying all work on the Site C dam in northeastern B.C. should stop because the project threatens the rights of Indigenous peoples.

But BC Hydro president and CEO Jessica McDonald says she feels the report has missed the mark.

She says the Crown corporation has consulted widely and meaningfully with First Nations in the area since 2007, and that those talks are continuing as the project moves forward.

The dam would be the third on the Peace River, flooding an 83-kilometre stretch of valley near Fort St. John (The Point of No Return/Amnesty International)

Construction at the dam site started last summer and the federal government recently approved permits to allow work to begin on diverting water flows.

Amnesty International's report — titled The Point of No Return — says Indigenous peoples have lived in the Peace River area for more than 10,000 years and many rely on the valley to hunt, fish, trap, conduct ceremonies and harvest plant medicines.

McDonald says BC Hydro has reached agreements with many of the First Nations to mitigate potential impacts of the project.

The proposed $8 billion Site C hydroelectric dam would flood more than 80 kilometres from Fort St. John, westward. (Submitted by Amnesty International)

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