British Columbia

Site C work camp construction upsets local residents

Construction on a work camp for the Site C dam started more than two months ago but that isn't stopping some local residents from taking a stand against the controversial $9 billion project.

About 9,000 cubic metres of trees have been logged so far to make room for the work camp.

Paul Pedersen can see tiers of clear-cut logging from the edge of his property, which has been in his family for almost 50 years. (Betsy Trumpener/CBC)

Construction on a work camp for the Site C dam started about two months ago but that isn't stopping some local residents from taking a stand against the controversial $9 billion project.

Esther Pederson lives with her family on the banks of the Peace River, across from the construction site.

She and her husband, Paul Pederson have a clear view of the construction site from the edge of their farm. Pederson says she cannot open her windows at night anymore because of the noise.  

"BC Hydro works at night as well and they usually fire up their machines, it seems around 1:30, and they work around the clock."

Pederson says the noise comes mostly from the tree mulchers.

Site C construction workers have logged a swathe of forest along the Peace River to prepare the ground for an 8.8 billion dollar construction project. (Betsy Trumpener/CBC)

About 9,000 cubic metres of trees have been logged so far, according to BC Hydro. That's approximately 300 logging truck-loads of lumber.

Pederson can see the clearing from her property, which borders the Peace River. That's where Two Rivers Lodging Group, an ATCO subsidiary, is building a worker camp that will eventually house up to 2,200 people.

Construction is well underway, with 160 workers on site, installing utilities, bringing in trailers, and building a temporary bridge across the Peace River.

Esther and Paul Pedersen stand on the edge of the farm they stand to lose to the Site C dam, now under construction on the Peace River below. (Betsy Trumpener/CBC)
 

BC Hydro says it will also install security gates, fences, and guard buildings around the construction site.

But Pederson and other local residents are not giving up on hope the Site C project can be stopped.

"That's what they say, but we're hoping not," said Pederson of the seven years of construction to come.

"We're hoping to stop that thing."


To hear the full interview listen to the audio labelled Local residents upset about Site C construction.

With files from Betsy Trumpener

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