How would you like to be told that you have until Dec. 27, 2016 to vacate your home and land?
That if you protest you will face a civil lawsuit that will probably cost you everything you have?
Ken and Arlene Boon in the Peace River Valley face this because of their opposition to the Site C hydroelectric dam.
BC Hydro has given the couple this ultimatum. And the lawsuit (which has the appearance of a SLAPP suit, a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) is the first time ever that the strategy has been used by a Crown Corporation against private individuals.
This kind of lawsuit is illegal in Ontario, Quebec and 28 states in the U.S.
B.C. had the Protection of Public Participation Act (to prevent the use of SLAPP suits) which was passed in April 2001 and then repealed four months later when the Gordon Campbell Liberals came to power.
The first of many steps that have led to the recent description of B.C.’s government as being a “soft dictatorship.”
The Site C project is the biggest in B.C.’s history but has never been reviewed fully by the BC Public Utilities Commission. Do we need it?
Are there alternatives we could pursue? Can the province afford the huge debt incurred?
If the proposed dam, that still has a number of First Nations lawsuits opposing it, were proposed for the Fraser River, let’s say at Soda Creek and that the dam would result in the flooding of all the productive farmland at Soda Creek, Marguerite and the benchland to the north of that would there be a reaction to that?
If the landowners were told that they would be paid “fair market value” but would have to leave shortly?
I am sure that there would be protests. And I am sure that there would be questions about whether there is not some alternative to this means of producing power that is not necessary at this time and my never be.
The Peace River Valley farmland that would be flooded includes some class one to class three land.
That means it is very productive land. Only 1.1 per cent of B.C.’s land fits that category.
There can be no defence, no justification for destroying that kind of food production capability.
We need to say no to a Crown Corporation that is power mad, and we need to say no to a premier who is demonstrating more and more that she does not have the interests of working British Columbians at heart.
Say no to Site C.