British Columbia

Site C petition delivers 120K signatures asking feds to halt dam construction

A coalition of groups opposed to the Site C dam have delivered a 120,000-signature petition asking the federal government stop construction of the northeastern B.C. hydroelectric project.

A coalition of groups opposed to dam want immediate stop to hydroelectric project

A 120,000-signature petition opposing the construction of the Site C dam has been delivered to the federal government. (Glen Kugelstadt/CBC)

A coalition of citizen groups, human rights organizations and environmental groups have delivered a petition of 120,000 signatures asking the federal government stop construction of the Site C dam immediately.

"The petitions and postcards collected by our organizations demonstrate the widespread concerns over the human rights and environmental impacts of this dam," said Amnesty International's Don Wright.

Site C Dam construction began in 2015 near Fort St. John, B.C. When finished it will flood an 83 kilometre stretch of the Peace River Valley. (Christer Waara/CBC)

Construction on the $8.5 billion project near Fort St. John began in 2015.

"The province's rush to push ahead with Site C has emerged as a critical election issue in B.C.," said Brittany Smith of social justice group Leadnow. "But the federal government also has a role to play in upholding the rights of Indigenous peoples and protecting the environment and Canadians don't want them to be let off the hook."

Earlier this month a team of UBC researchers called for the suspension of Site C after their analysis showed the original economic case for building the dam was no longer valid. The study concluded the project would likely lose billions of dollars.

Once completed, the dam will flood 83 kilometres of the Peace River Valley and will provide electricity to power the equivalent of 500,000 homes.  

Site C has been strongly opposed by local farmers, environmentalists and some First Nations communities. Job fairs, however, have drawn hundreds of people hoping for employment.

In January, the Federal Court of Appeal dismissed a lawsuit from two B.C. First Nations trying to prevent the project from going ahead.