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andrew.weaver.mla@leg.bc.ca

IMG_20160323_122727Today I was in Vancouver meeting with a number of business leaders in British Columbia’s creative economy. My colleague Matt Toner (Deputy Leader of the BC Green Party) and I took the opportunity to visit with opponents of the proposed Site C dam who were camped out in front of BC Hydro’s downtown Vancouver headquarters.  It quickly became apparent to me that what is happening there qualifies as perhaps the most under-reported story of 2016.

Those who have been following my work over the last few years will know that I have frequently spoken out against the reckless disregard of energy economics exhibited by the BC Liberals.

IMG_20160323_122610Whether it be the fiscal folly of moving forward with Site C, the risking of British Columbia’s triple-A credit rating, or the lost opportunities arising from proceeding with Site C (including geothermal or wind), I have been arguing for almost three years now that proceeding with Site C makes no economic sense.

Let’s be clear. The BC Liberals are moving forward with the construction of the Site C dam exclusively because they want to ensure that LNG proponents have access to firm power so that they might use electricity-driven compressors in their liquefaction process (the so-called “cleanest LNG in the world”). For example, on November 4, 2014, BC Hydro and LNG Canada signed a power agreement that ensured taxpayer-subsidized power for the LNG industry in BC. But of course, as I have been pointing out for more than three years now, there will be no LNG industry anytime soon in BC due to the global glut in natural gas and plummeting prices for landed LNG in Asia.

HC_HungerStrike9As the BC Government strives to “Get to Yes” on an electricity generation project that no longer has any buyers, they have turned to Alberta. Yet Alberta has said they are not interested in buying BC’s excess electricity and the Trudeau government pointedly excluded funding for BC-to-Alberta transmission line infrastructure in the 2016 budget.

While the shenanigans of our political leaders in British Columbia play out, a remarkable young woman, Kristen Henry, has stepped up to draw attention to the negative consequences of moving forward with Site C.

HC_HungerStrike4

I had the distinct honour of meeting with Kristin today. Kristin is in the 11th day of a hunger strike against the Site C dam. Stop and think about this for a minute. Can you imagine eleven days without food? Have you heard about this in the local media? I suspect not.

Kristin is an articulate, passionate and highly educated young woman who has literally put her life on the line in an attempt to draw attention to the reckless folly of proceeding with Site C.  She is extremely concerned about Site C’s violation of indigenous treaty rights, its effect on food security, and its reckless economics. While the mainstream media may not have drawn attention to her remarkable achievements, rest assured, her efforts have had a profound impact on me.

HC_HungerStrike6    HC_HungerStrike7

24 Comments

  1. Darryl R Taylor-Reply
    April 4, 2016 at 4:32 am

    It is my hope that possibly this could help with penetrating the media silence about Kristin, Site C, and other important land defense within BC.

    https://www.change.org/p/president-of-the-canadian-broadcasting-corporation-hubert-lacroix-kristin-henry-s-hunger-strike-should-be-covered-by-the-cbc?recruiter=6461645&utm_source=share_for_starters&utm_medium=copyLink

  2. OP11vg-Reply
    March 31, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    This story needs immediate action, peoples lives are in danger!
    Please make efforts to eradicate this horrible plan to flood the landmass immediately.
    Let’s see what you can do, together we can make change happen now.

  3. March 29, 2016 at 2:32 am

    We are in a very pitiful condition when our young people have to give up eating to get our Human Family to wake up to the reality that LNG development and related projects like the Site C Dam will put another nail in the coffin of our current and future Generations!

  4. Grant Colby-Reply
    March 28, 2016 at 10:57 am

    Neither geothermal nor wind are the viable baseload alternatives you suggest they are. Also does the Green party policy account for the environmental impact of the mass quantities of lithium ion batteries that are required for large scale deployment of intermittent generation such as wind or solar?
    I encourage you to take a more balanced view of the relative merits of hydro.

    • March 28, 2016 at 11:17 am

      Actually, this isn’t true. But we can agree to disagree. And the Lithium ion battery argument is a red herring.

  5. noz-Reply
    March 26, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    think hunger strikes are the stupidest most insane of protests and sends the wrong message to children those that they oppose dont care if they die! In fact im willing to bet they welcome it! I may support the cause but i wont support a hunger strike. It weakens the people

  6. March 25, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    I will be visiting the site next Tuesday March 29 on my way to speak at the Stop Site C event to be held in the UBC Longhouse that evening (7 pm). I and BC Agrologist Eveline Wolterson presented expert testimony before the Joint Commission on the impact of Site C on agriculture. Underneath it all, underneath abysmally bad public policy, tragic abandonment of democracy, abrogation of the rights of children in BC’s North to good nutrition, trampling of Treaty Rights, wanton destruction of our food commons, and flagrant disregard for the rights of the future, there is water. SITE C IS ABOUT CONTINENTAL WATER SHARING. Stop Site C and u stop that. Just that simple.

  7. Alison-Reply
    March 25, 2016 at 10:52 am

    Kristen , Thank you for caring so much that you would jepridize your well being. However, I agree that we need passionate people to fight for important issues and that cannot be done if you are not well.And there definitely needs to be more media coverage. Thank you for all involved. I am not a Bc resident, but I believe that this is not a provincial matter but rather a Canadian matter and a planet matter.

    Alison

  8. Lisa Bramson-Reply
    March 25, 2016 at 10:11 am

    Thank you Andrew for posting this. I attended Tamo Campos’ Lelu Island film last night, and he mentioned this hunger strike. Please bring to the Leg., if you can. I admire this woman.

  9. Noah-Reply
    March 25, 2016 at 2:18 am

    As a friend and ally, I have worked alongside Kristin when she has applied herself to other social inustice initiatives. Make no mistake, she has many outstanding abilities and a perseverance that could be applied in numerous positive ways. What she also has, thanks to her status and social mobility, is a choice. This, unfortunately, is more than many people have whose lives are inherently shortened due to the effects of industrial expansion/destruction. She is aware of that privilege and the power that comes with it. To minimize the educated sacrifice she has chosen by suggesting she doesn’t know what is best for herself (while perhaps with thoughtful intentions) is misguided I assure you. Nor does it help to combat the same mentalities I believe she seeks to oppose, such as the view that the well being of humans is somehow more important than the well being of other life forms. She is following the path she needs to, and the ripples will carry.

  10. Noah-Reply
    March 25, 2016 at 2:16 am

    As a friend and ally, I have worked alongside Kristin when she has applied herself to other social inustice initiatives. Make no mistake, she has many outstanding abilities and a perseverance that could be applied in numerous positive ways. What she also has, thanks to her status and social mobility, is a choice. This, unfortunately, is more than many people have whose lives are inherently shortened due to the effects of industrial expansion/destruction. She is aware of that privilege and the power that comes with it. To minimize the educated sacrifice she has chosen by suggesting she doesn’t know what is best for herself (while perhaps with thoughtful intentions) is misguided I assure you. Nor does it help to combat the same mentalities I believe she seeks to oppose, such as the view that the well being of humans is somehow more important than the well being of other life forms. She is following the path she needs to, and the riples will carry.

  11. Roslyn Cassells-Reply
    March 24, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    Andrew Weaver, thank you for meeting with Kristin Henry on day 11 of her hunger strike against Site C dam in northeastern BC. Lana Popham from the NDP also met with her (in day 9) Lana is the provincial Agriculture critic.

    While you focus on the financial & energy aspects of the issue, it is also important to emphasize the violation of Treaty 8, loss of farmland & food security, and the killing and drowning and electrocuting and starving of the billions of living beings as the dam progresses and floods the valley, killing all its inhabitants. Over 60 endangered, red-listed, blue listed & of concern species are being effected by this Site C dam. Some species and ecological communities will become extinct, others extirpated, yet others pushed up the list. We stand a good chance of losing Kristin Henry too, as she is bound and determined to give her precious life in the battle to stop Site C, and the BC Liberals and federal Liberals appear certain to continue to value money over lives, and political ambition over community best interest.

    Please do your utmost to save this irreplaceable Peace River Valley, and our dear Kristin Henry!

  12. Jim Crighton-Reply
    March 24, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    Kristen, please reconsider and give your life to the work you want to see accomplished, not give your life for it. If you lose the battle on this term of engagement, you are not there for the next, and wouldn’t it be incredible to celebrate that win at some point. Perhaps you may be the one to crystallize that thing that gives voice to the battle. It won’t be this thing, you have made yourself too far off the path, and your selfless act,as you see it, won’t be recognized. Please do what is necessary to engage this government in a real debate, they cannot defend their position when the lights get brighter, and all can see. We can elect a new government before this actually comes to fruition.

    • March 24, 2016 at 9:36 pm

      Jim, I agree with you. Thank you for expressing these sentiments.

  13. Esther Pedersen-Reply
    March 24, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    Thank You Andrew for again bringing to light the plight of our Valley and its Thousands of inhabitants. Also Thank you for Noticing this brave defender of our Valley, Treaty Rights, Social accountability to the people and animals most affected by this Project and the Lack of respect for future generations to thrive economically in our Province.

    Especially Thank You Kristen and Sage

  14. Richard Shannon-Reply
    March 24, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    Correct big decision based on not very good assumptions .

    One needs to post the assumptions for all to see

    Building a solar plant in the Mojave would make a lot more sense and save prime farmland

    Remember this post after 6 years of drought in
    California and a couple in bc

    No food or electricity – great

  15. March 24, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    I think that Kristen Henry is a far better leader than is Christie Clark. Kristen is doing what few of us would do: put her life at risk for a principal.
    The injustice being done against her Nation (indeed, all of us, but especially her Nation) has drawn the attention of Amnesty International. They now have a petition condemning Site C for this reason.
    As with the toxic waste dump in Shawnigan Lake that Andrew first championed I am very glad that he is standing against this project and the LNG fiasco. Indeed, he is the only MLA doing so!

  16. D Lynn Chapman-Reply
    March 24, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    Thank you for visiting Kristin. I cannot believe the media has been so lame.. Just like the whole Site C issue has been under reported the large media have their blinders and ear plugs in place and their brains turned off! The failure of investigative journalism is profound.
    So again, thank you.
    Have you raised this in the leg yet? If so what has the response been?

    • March 24, 2016 at 5:08 pm

      Hi Lynn, the legislature is on a break this week and next week.The timing isn’t good.

  17. Philip Gaulin-Reply
    March 24, 2016 at 10:26 am

    What seems remarkable about this young woman’s passionate plea is how little support she’s getting from the green establishment and not to mention the media. It’s as if Kristen Henry’s sacrifice represents a level of desperation that they don’t want to be tarred with. It would seem that the greens are in danger of becoming a self absorbed player in a very corrupt game.
    Kristen Henry’s the real thing and has the most skin in the game…

    • March 24, 2016 at 10:54 am

      Kristen is a remarkable young woman. But I am not sure what you are referring to with respect to “green establishment”. I’m not even sure there is such a thing.

  18. Mark Neufeld-Reply
    March 24, 2016 at 9:27 am

    This is a heart-breaking waste of the energy and talents of young woman in B.C. Under a government that actually listens to its citizens, its independent advisory groups and the very people who flourished in this land for (at least) 10,000 years, she would be out creatively carving out a resilient society based on clean and accountable energy. May that type of government arrive soon. Well done Dr. Weaver.

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