NEWS

Site C: landowners seek injunction against Peace River hydro dam plan

10/29/2014 09:54 EDT | Updated 12/29/2014 05:59 EST
A group of  landowners from B.C.'s Peace River region are asking the B.C. Supreme Court for an injunction to block a major hydroelectric project from going ahead.

BC Hydro says the Site C dam and power generating station on the Peace River would be a long-term source of clean, renewable energy.

But a number of landowners along the river valley say they plan to fight the proposal, which would flood their properties.

Ken Boon, president of the Peace Valley Landowner Association, and Renee Ardill, a rancher and landowner in the Peace Valley, flew from Fort St. John to Vancouver Tuesday to be present in court on Wednesday.

The $8 billion project was given both federal and provincial environmental approval earlier this month following an environmental assessment in May, but the B.C. cabinet has yet to announce a final decision on whether the project will go ahead.

But both Ardill and Boon claim the assessment was flawed and they plan to continue to fight the project.

"We are looking to see this project stopped, once and for all," Boon said.

The group says the finding of the joint review panel were ignored and the adverse impacts of the dam are not justified. They are also concerned about the impact of the $8 billion project on taxpayers, BC Hydro rates and the provincial debt.

Ardill told CBC News her land has been in her family for nearly 100 years, and she's not ready to abandon it for the Site C plan.

"I'm mad as hell," she told CBC News. "If we needed the power, and it was a sensible project, you could live with it."

BC Hydro says Site C would provide enough energy every year to power more than 450,000 homes, but Boon said the landowners he represents don't believe the project is the answer to B.C.'s energy needs.

"Site C has been an impediment to looking to true alternatives and that's what we need to do," he said.

If approved, construction on the Site C project could begin early next year.

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