Council declines to support Site C moratorium

PORT McNEILL—Councillors say more information needed before committing town to position for or against major dam project

A request from the District of Hudson’s Hope to provide a letter supporting a one-year moratorium on the Site C dam project has been tabled.

Hudson’s Hope is a district located in the Peace River Regional District of northern BC.

The request was discussed at the Town of Port McNeill council meeting Feb. 2.

“I do not feel I have enough information to support, or not support (this request),” said Councillor Shelley Downey.

BC Hydro has proposed developing and operating a third dam and hydroelectric generating station on the Peace River with an estimated cost of $7.9 billion, the largest provincial public expenditure of the next 20 years.

The moratorium would allow time to consider “less expensive alternatives,” said Mayor Shirley Ackland, adding the plan would include re-routing of the road to Fort St. John.

The environmental impact of he proposed dam is another issue.

“The Peace River Dam changed the whole environment up there,” said Councillor Graham MacDonald, adding that technology is changing rapidly. There are alternatives, said MacDonald, that do not have as great an impact such as tidal power.

Johnstone Strait could probably produce enough tidal energy to power North America, laughed MacDonald.

A motion was made to receive the request as information for now.