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Groups opposed to Site C dam push for support at public meeting

Last Updated May 14, 2015 at 6:17 am PDT

Fight to stop the Site C dam public meeting at Creekside Community Recreation Centre (JOANNE ABSHIRE, NEWS1130)

Environment and First Nations leaders hold meeting in Vancouver to gain support in fight to stop Site C dam

Panel of experts opposed to Site C dam say damaging consequences include environment, health, and culture

One First Nations chief says environment argument isn't a good sell for Vancouverites, but high cost to taxpayers is

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – With construction on the Site C dam expected to start in just a few months, groups opposed to the 9 billion dollar project were in Vancouver trying to gain support in stopping it from going ahead.

A public meeting was held at the Creekside Community Recreation Centre Wednesday night put on by a number of groups including the Sierra Club BC, Amnesty International and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs. A panel of experts laid out their concerns over the building of another dam on the Peace River. They explained the project could lead to landslides, damage to fish and other wildlife, destruction of First Nations culture and communities.

Many attendees say they’re worried mainly about the environment. “What we have left is very precious and if we lose that too, we’re going to regret in the long term,” says Max.

“It’s the last thing in a very long string of development up there that is just brutalizing the land,” explains Delane.

“[Damage to] the culture and the people, you know that’s when your heart breaks,” adds Sherry.

Chief Roland Willson of the West Moberly First Nations in the Peace River Valley feels the way to reach people in Metro Vancouver is to warn them about the cost.

“For people in the lower mainland it doesn’t seem that environment and culture get to them. It’s their pocket book. For us it’s our culture and livelihood. The damage Site C will do is out of sight and out of mind, and it’s going to hurt them in the pocketbook, you know someone has to pay for this mistake and it’s not going to be BC Hydro,” he argues.

He believes after budget overruns taxpayers could be on the hook for 12 billion dollars.