Site C construction activity in July 2016. credit: Province of British Columbia (flickrCC)
Lita Powell, RI, has lived in the Peace Region for 40 years. As a local resident and real estate professional, she is well positioned to write about the impacts of Site C on her community and is aware of residents’ concerns with the project.
Construction has been underway for almost two years, involving road work, slope clearing, and the building of a high-end camp for almost 2,000 workers. “There has been a great deal of concern expressed by local residents of the Fort St. John area with regard to this development, regarding local infrastructure and maintenance, the environment, interruption of local traffic, employment, and the ‘very secret’ land swap,” writes Powell.
In addition, residents are questioning the economics of the project, worried that they will take the brunt of the costs. Powell explains: “Many residents are questioning the size of their hydroelectric bills…The increases in the hydro rates, both basic and stepped service rates, show the rather dramatic increases… [The recent] emergency increase rate of 9% was apparently justified as there was not the anticipated demand from the large industrial consumers. However, as we have seen, large industrial consumers are now being offered a substantial reduction in rates, thus putting the pressure back onto the residential and small business rate payers. There is very real concern being raised as residents are starting to question how the dam is going to be paid for and how the huge infrastructure deficit that BC Hydro is carrying will be paid for.”
Read more about Powell’s observations in “Impacts of Site C in the Peace Region (to Date),” in the Spring 2017 issue of Input, page 36. Download Spring 2017
Join the conversation on Facebook