Wednesday, December 14, 2016

BC gov letter on Site C

Back in August, BC Hydro applied for a "Licence of Occupation" to log crown land above the Site C dam - land that had been previously slated for provincial park status.

The only public notice I could find about it was in the Alaska Highway News - and in, which noted that the government ad in the back of Alaska Highway News did not even mention Site C.

I ran into the deadline for public input quite by accident in September three days before it was closing. I contacted all the news media, environmental watchdogs, Site C opponents, and MPs I could think of - to no avail, despite considerable signal boost from facebookies and the twitterati.

The previous Tuesday, having recently issued permits via Transport Canada and Fisheries and Oceans to allow the Site C dam to proceed even as the West Moberly and Prophet River First Nation were challenging the previous government's approval of it in the courts, the Trudeau government told the House of Commons "it is now up to B.C. Hydro to conduct any further public consultations"

So I wrote to the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, to whom BC Hydro had made the logging application, and asked how an ad in the back of Alaska Highway News that didn't even mention Site C qualified as public consultation. 
Today, 80 days later, I received their reply.

Dear Alison Creekside

Thank you for your comments and concerns regarding the application for crown land use, file number 8015830 (BC Hydro). Your comments and concerns have been used in the decision making process for this application. In direct response to your specific correspondence regarding the above file, please be aware of the following information.

The decision made by government to move forward with the Site “C” Project was made December 16, 2014. Public and other stakeholder input was gathered for the period of the Environmental Assessment Process conducted by the Environmental Assessment Office beginning in January 2012. The applicant was granted an Environmental Assessment Certificate (EAC#14-02) on October 14, 2014. The Environmental Assessment was given consideration to the project level decision on December 16, 2014. The project level decision was based on many factors, including but not limited to, the public and stakeholder input, the Environmental Assessment process and all the associated studies and conditions recommended, current land status and future land status (i.e. Agriculture Land Reserve, potential parks areas and Old Growth Areas), project level management plans, environmental plans, other risk mitigation plans, geotechnical studies for slope stability and viability, and archaeological studies.

All applications for crown land use at the Licence/Permit level must be consistent with the construction schedule of the approved project level decision. All applications packages for specific area Licence/Permit for consideration by the decision maker, must contain area specific detailed management plans, area specific detailed risk avoidance and mitigation strategies for values at risk, and any other information the decision maker requests to aid in the decision making process.

At this time, the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations is considering public and other stakeholder comments and concerns at the Licence/Permit specific area level. The processes used to make decisions at the Licence/Permit level are transparent and implemented using practices found in policy and law (for example, the minimum time an application must be advertised in the newspaper is legislated). In the case of this application, the advertisement period was for 14 days in the local newspaper the Alaska Highway News. Even though the time period for receiving public and stakeholder input had passed, comments and concerns continued to be received up to the date of decision for this application.

Appeals through the judicial system on the Project Decision do not interrupt the adjudication of applications for the area specific Licence/Permit. No injunctions to halt the project or the associated Licences/Permits due to recent appeals have been granted by the courts to date.


Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
#100, 10003-110th Avenue
Fort St John, BC   V1J 6M7

Today agrologist and journalist Wendy Holm reported the BC NDP sent out a pre-election survey to supporters and members of the public "to help guide the strategies of the NDP".
It did not mention Site C.

The BC NDP survey : 15 questions, one of them a multiple choice of 17 issues to prioritize.


the salamander said...

.. what ! ?
Do I have to come all the way from Ontario
to grab someone by the ear or the nostrils ?
Last I looked .. this was Canada eh..
And not a suburb of Moscow or the US of A

West End Bob said...

Hmmm. I got the exact, verbatim email response yesterday from Ms. Hopkins, M'Lady. How very original of them!

Also received the NDP survey in the mail and was about to toss it when I read your succinct, to-the-point reply.

Ditto me in on that one, too . . . .

Alison said...

Salamander : Furious BC NDP can't get it together to strongly advocate against this.

Bob : Haven't got mine yet. This one is a neighbour's, so I blacked out the name/address and put it up on Laila Yuile's fb page.

Kim said...

I got the exact same email response yesterday as well.

Chris said...

The NDP also came out in support of the Woodfibre LNG project in Howe Sound. THey have abadonned our inlet to the Liberals and our advocacy on issues with this project to the Greens. So it’s pretty clear where my vote will go.

Unknown said...

You might be interested to know that this video was posted by Sierra Club on their YouTube page today. It doesn't contain any hard commitments from the BCNDP other than to a BCUC review of Site C. Looking at FB posts, that seems to be the message being given at this time.

Alison said...

Kim : Quite possible same or very similar response sent out on all questions re Site C ; I just thought it should be online somewhere.

Chris C : Yes, and against recommendation of the local NDP candidate :
“…the proponents have respectfully engaged with First Nations, will provide job training and good, family-supporting jobs to local people, and will proceed in a way that minimizes climate changing emissions at the plant. B.C.’s New Democrats are supportive of Woodfibre LNG and the jobs and economic activity it will bring to our province.”
— BC NDP leader John Horgan, November 4, 2016

Chris M : Thank you, Chris, I retweeted Merv Adey's post of that vid 8 hours ago. My concern here is that inclusion of Site C was entirely missing from 31 opportunities to mention it in as part of an election strategy. Not good.

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