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Opponents of Site C don't believe jobs numbers

Last Updated Nov 12, 2017 at 7:09 am PDT

The portion of the Peace valley destined to be flooded (Courtesy of Ken Boon)

The Peace Valley Landowner Association says claims there are 2,400 workers at the dam are inflated

Group hopes British Columbians don't get dazzled by the employment numbers BC Hydro has provided

FORT ST JOHN (NEWS 1130) – An organization fighting the Site C dam in the Peace River district is taking issue with the number of jobs BC Hydro says are being generated by the controversial project.

The Peace Valley Landowner Association says the numbers are inflated.

“I’m getting tired of hearing 2,400 jobs,” says association president Ken Boon. “The numbers that keep coming out don’t seem to reflect reality.”

On Friday, BC Hydro released employment stats related to the project. It says in September there were 2,375 total workers on the Site C. About 80 per cent of them were from BC.

But Boon, who still lives on the farm that has been officially expropriated for the project, says his observations have led him to a different conclusion about how many workers there are.

“There’s a lot of parked equipment. The parking lots at the camp are empty. When you go to the lookout and look down on the construction site, I would be surprised if there were half the workers there.”

And he says the jobs numbers don’t tell the complete story.

“At the end of the day, there will only be 25 workers there once construction is done. Sure there’s a bunch of short-term jobs, but a lot of them will not be for the full duration of the project.”

Boon says cancelling the dam could even in itself create jobs, if the site needs to be restored.

He and other opponents have signed an open letter to the premier, hoping to compel BC Hydro to “provide the public a detailed explanation of the human resources deployed in the construction of Site C.”

The provincial government has promised a final decision on the project by the end of the year.