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October 27, 2017 9:48 pm

Cullen Blasts Trudeau’s Green Light To Site C

Saturday, July 30, 2016 @ 6:56 AM

Prince George, B.C. – Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen says it is obvious nothing has changed in the federal government’s treatment of the environment and First Nations, despite the replacement of Stephen Harper with Justin Trudeau as Prime Minister.

Cullen, the NDP Environment and Climate Change critic, says “unfortunately, it seems to be the same game, just different players.”

He is referring to the Trudeau government’s authorization this week of its first set of Site C permits, allowing construction to continue on the highly controversial, $8.8 billion hydroelectric dam on the Peace River.  The permits allow B.C. Hydro to block the flow of the Peace and disrupt fisheries, actions which require federal approval.  The initial permits allowing construction to begin were issued by the Harper government.

Cullen says the green light Liberals gave on Site C is sending up more red flags about Justin Trudeau’s commitment to a clean environment, sustainable energy and First Nations treaty rights.  “We’ve all been hoping against hope that Mr. Trudeau would stick to his repeated promises to invest in clean energy, climate change and a green economy.  Honouring these promises, of course, would absolutely mean putting the brakes on Site C, not issuing permits to fire up the bulldozers.

“Giving Site C the green light, along with back pedalling on Northern Gateway and a tanker ban on BC’s North Coast, really throws into question Mr. Trudeau’s commitment to the environment and First Nations.”

“It’s hard to square Mr. Trudeau’s actions and words,” said Cullen, pointing to strong findings from the Site C joint federal-provincial environmental review that the project would cause permanent environmental damage and loss of treaty rights to Treaty 8 First Nations.

“Allowing Site C hardly falls into line with Mr. Trudeau’s promises to renew a “nation-to-nation” relationship with First Nations,” Cullen said, noting the West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations will be in federal court in Montreal in September to fight the impact flooding the Peace River Valley will have on traditional food gathering and other treaty rights.

Cullen said Canadians expect the Liberals to promote sustainable energy projects, a categorization that cannot be applied to Site C.  “You can’t blame Canadians for wondering if anything has really changed on these fronts since the October federal election.”


“Cullen said Canadians expect the Liberals to promote sustainable energy projects, a categorization that cannot be applied to Site C.”

I think Cullen needs to quit the rhetoric and explain exactly why hydro electricity is not sustainable as well as “green” energy. Just saying so does not cut the mustard.

    It also doesn’t “pass muster”.



      Two expressions meaning the same thing ….


    Cullen won’t do that, because he’d have to admit the only way mega- projects like Site C can really be paid for is from the NEXT mega-project, and so on. So in that sense they are NOT either ‘financially’ sustainable, even though they may be very physically so, nor are they “green”. They have to continually mortgage tomorrow to get enough dough today to fully pay for what was done yesterday. Flawed accounting, where the ‘figures’ are determining the ‘facts’, not reflecting them. But neither the NDP nor the Greens will admit this, because to do so would run counter to the policy ALL the current political Parties in parliament stand for, that of having FULL EMPLOYMENT. That latter is completely physically unsustainable in any society where ‘efficiency’ is causing continuous labor displacement.

Cullen:“We’ve all been hoping against hope that Mr. Trudeau would stick to his repeated promises to invest in clean energy, climate change and a green economy.”

Hydro power is clean energy, it does not contribute to climate change and it is in tune with a green economy! Twenty years from now people will be glad that the hydro power option was chosen. Besides B.C. can export electricity which will help pay for schools and hospitals. Other provinces grow wheat and export it, mine potash and export it, mine bitumen for export, build cars and trucks for export. Why would B.C. be wrong in exporting electricity from a clean source?

    Because that same energy exported will be used to produce the same things elsewhere that could be produced here. Only WE will be more dependent on any ‘money’ received from that power export, because we’re already then going to be in debt to the tune of whatever Site C has cost. So our ability to sell power into a market that’ll pay us what it’s really worth is going to be limited. It’s going to be a ‘buyer’s market’ , not a ‘seller’s one’. But the construction bills will still have to be paid. Or no more credit.

    The other downside is that building Site C , with the current financial set-up we have remaining unchanged, is going to RAISE THE PRICE of all consumables here in BC. Wages will rise to try to ‘catch-up’. Which they never can completely do. Without further knocking those on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder off it completely.

      “Because that same energy exported will be used to produce the same things elsewhere that could be produced here”…That is very limiting as to the use.

      It is kind of useless to produce light for a house here when we have enough for ourselves. Producing light here, or air conditioning, or heat, or electricity of cars or computers, or charging of rechargeable batteries, or running of trains, and so one doe not help anyone in California or Oregon, or Washington state, or Alberta … or Whitehorse.

      Why are you thinking only of manufactured products?

      “….we’re already then going to be in debt to the tune of whatever Site C has cost…”

      Lets just call it an INVESTMENT. Have you ever invested in something for yourself? A fridge, a car, a house, a vacation, a book?

      Which INVESTMENTS did you get some benefit from? I am sure some were not worth the INVESTMENT, while, hopefully, some others far exceeded the INVESTMENT.

      Building infrastructure is an INVESTMENT for future use/return.

      Without infrastructure built BEFORE it is needed, but in anticipation of future need, we would be operating very inefficiently.

      The only question with respect to project like Site C is whether this the right place and the right time, not whether Hydro is the right method of generating electricity.

      So, where are the other areas in BC we could build a hydro project at the same cost per unit energy capacity? And why would this not be the right time? It has been waiting in the wings for several decades.

      “Because that same energy exported will be used to produce the same things elsewhere that could be produced here.”

      Not entirely! Exported electrical power is not only used for producing “things” but for lighting homes, schools, operating rooms in hospitals, MRI and X-ray scanners, and a myriad of other essential uses which are not thing-related.

      gopg2015:-“Why are you thinking only of manufactured products?”

      Prince George:-” Exported electrical power is not only used for producing “things” but for lighting homes, schools, operating rooms in hospitals, MRI and X-ray scanners, and a myriad of other essential uses which are not thing-related. ”
      That may be quite true Prince George, but ultimately it is the export of “things”, including “manufactured products”, that pays for the import of BC electric power.

    Destroying an entire Valley ecosystem is not green in any way shape or form.

      This is a vast province. There are many valleys and many ecosystems. If you call the footprint of humans on the earth a destructive force, then so be it. I call it a natural progression of a population that is not kept in check other than by disease epidemics, famine, war, genocide and major climate changes.

      The value of the land for farming, for instance, is a fraction in the order of less than 5% of the value of farm land in the Fraser Valley.

      In fact, from the point of view of efficient use of the land for humans, it would be a good idea to encourage populations to begin locating into the interior of BC, including north of Kamloops, all the way up to the Peace at least.

      The population spread of the province of Alberta is far more diverse than that of BC. The population centre of gravity is much further north in Alberta than it is in BC.

      Yes, people like you will continually justify the destruction of the land and environment with the excuse that we have plenty of land and environment left to destroy and exploit, right up until there is nothing left.

      It is nothing more than I expect from a species that keeps s***ting in it’s own bed even though it knows that the bed is the only life sustaining one for hundreds of millions of light years.

      “The population spread of the province of Alberta is far more diverse than that of BC. The population centre of gravity is much further north in Alberta than it is in BC.” .. I think that has something to do with not having a shoreline with a large port or having an island just off shore that has the capital in it. Most provinces that have a large number of the population living in a certain area of the province usually indicates it has very significant trade routes within easy reach, unlike prairie provinces that have no such significant area, it is all pretty much the same.

    Why should we destroy thousands of acres of good land to export electricity?

      Why do we mine, log cover land with development. I repeat not much more than widening the river.

News flash Mr Cullen, hydro power is green, clean, sustainable , renewable energy. I have no doubt you will make a great NDP leader, you fit the mould to a tee.

But will the Federal Court of Appeals overturn this one later on as well, like they did with Northern Gateway due to lack of consultation??

Seems odd they would keep charging ahead with this, even though there are multiple court cases against the project. What happens if those court cases rule opposite to this approval??

    When was the last time that a major project went through government approvals and was totally stopped by a Supreme Court decision?

    There might be reparations to pay to parties that were not properly consulted or reasonable moneys paid for expropriation, but to totally halt a project of this magnitude with two federal governments of different persuasions providing approval to proceed to the next stage I think is a strong indication that a total reversal of government decisions is extremely unlikely.

Hydro Dams are not clean energy. They mean be cleaner than some but definitely. Come at a cost. This one will flood out thousands of acres of great farm land, increase the poisonous methyl mercury content in the water, displace large numbers of birds and wildlife and more. All this so that we can produce more electricity that we do not require.

    Who is “we”?

    When will “we” require it?

    If there should come a time when in your opinion “we” will require it how many years notice will “we” need; will hydro still be the most economical and efficient system of electricity generation and will site C still be the preferred location?

    Which method of generating hydro electricity would you choose? Wave? Tidal? River/reservoir? What ecosystems would be “destroyed”.

    Perhaps we could all move to some atolls in the Pacific and live off grid.

    Wherever we go as humans, we will change the ecosystem. Every single animal that has the unfortunate situation of success that it will build up to a population climax will destroy the ecosystem in which it has thrived to that extent. It is the final population control mechanism. So far, humans do not seem to have achieved it yet, at least not in the bubble we all live in called Canada and especially the bubble we call BC.

So wind farms that eat birds, bats, disrupt wild life, noisy, require thousands of tons of concrete, miles of roads, powerlines, inefficient, unreliable, require almost the same amount of generation for back up.

Cullen are you saying windfarms are green.

Site c is just basically widening the river. Traditional hunting give me a break. Hey lets remove Ft. ST John I am sure it covers tradition land of some sort.

Before anyone replies with the idiotic rebuttal cars kill more birds well million dollar fines are levied for a few birds killed in an oil sands settling pond but its okay to slice and dice them in a wind farm, hypocrites.

How did all the other Hydro mega projects get built giving us the third lowest energy rates in North America despite successive governments raping Hydro for money.

Cullen you have no idea of which you speak or you are just speaking out of the side of your mouth.

    God. Quit using insane comparisons to justify Site C. The amount of environmental damage from a wind farm is microscopic to that of a dam building project. And to say that damming the natural flow of a river is akin to widening it is so f****** ridiculous that it deserves only scorn.

    The other ones were built just like Site C is going to be built, by jamming it down people’s throats and then dealing with the fall out for decades with pitiful apologies and pathetic attempts to compensate with pitiful amounts of money.

    Our house windows kill several birds each year. So far, this year, it has been two that we know of.

    We have two cats that frequent our property from neighbours who do not keep cats indoors. We have an indoor cat. I do not know how many birds the outdoor cats have killed.

    Crows seem to survive quite nicely. We have never had a crow fly into our windows. They seem to adapt quite well to human habitat.

    Let us get some facts about birds from those who watch birds and care about the health of bird populations.

    Here are some numbers from the 2014 State of the Birds report

    The first number is kills in the USA and the second is for Canada

    Cats: 2.4 billion; 196 million

    Building windows: 599 million; 25 million

    Automobiles: 200 million; 14 million

    Power line collision: 25 million; 26 million

    Communication towers: 6.6 million; 220 thousand

    Power lines electrocution: 5.6 million; 481 thousand

    Agricultural chemicals: not available; 2.7 million

    Wind turbines: 234 thousand; 17 thousand

      Thank you for the numbers, which are staggering but extremely low for wind turbines.

      The cat numbers are a reflection of irresponsible pet owners who just open the doors (especially at night!) and let the cats defecate in the neighbours yards and vegetable beds!

      How abut starting at the top and go after irresponsible cat owners instead of wind turbines?

      How about going after farmers who use chemicals. Almost 200 times the kill rate of wind turbines.

      The rates are determined by those who care about birds and study bird habitat and do annual counts on which they base numbers over time. They should have counts pre turbine and post turbines. Do not know whether they use dead birds found. I assume that prey would have found them before and the count of dead birds would not be very accurate.

      Some say nuclear is also clean energy… Meanwhile the insects on the planet are all going extinct as canaries in a coal mine so to speak from radiation poisoning. What do most birds eat?

    Domestic cats kill more birds than any wind farm or cars ever will.

      Dumbfounded read my post again slowly. A few birds in a settling pond bad, birds including raptors sliced and diced, okay by you and money sucking rent seekers. Interesting how greenies ignore wind farms. Hey the government and wind farms hide bird deaths including raptors in BC, why, money?

      How many eagles, hawks killed by cats. Against the law to kill an eagle but wind farms, no problem.

Now Cullen does not really say what is green power but here is a real time example of wind output.

Alberta has 1445 mw of wind generation but as I post this only 46 mw of that is being generated. Cullen you want to depend on wind?

ht tp://ets.aeso.ca/ets_web/ip/Market/Reports/CSDReportServlet

Getting thumbs down from those unwilling to debate, what are you scared of, to be shown how little of the subject that you know. Refute anything that I have posted, that is my challenge to you thumb downers, don’t hide.

    I thought this site is for expressing opinions, backed up facts if so desired. People are doing that, obviously! Who is “hiding” ? Others express opinions backed up by facts, often contrary to your reality! However, debates are quite different! Perhaps one can rent a room at the library and invite the public for a respectful seminar on fossil fuels, climate change and the environment! After the main presentation one may invite the audience for a lively debate! That way nobody is hiding! Just saying, of course!

“BC Hydro rates rise as demand slows ” . Search that title to see how badly we are being had .

    Rate rise mostly do to high costs of IPP and wind power and to provide backup and the government raising our taxes through the back door.

Water + Gravity = Hydro Electricy

Zero Nucular Waste
Zero CO2 Production
Zero Water Consumption

Renewable, Reliable, Clean and cost effective over the projects life.

Yes its expensive up front, yes a hand full of individuals will be displaced, yes some wildlife habitat will be lost. But we need energy, and this is the best way to obtain it for the interests of all the people of BC and for the generations to come.

These are the costs of 1,000kWh of electricity by province in Canada in 2013

Quebec $69 99%
Manitoba $79
British Columbia $89 86%
New Brunswick $112
Average $114
Alberta $122
New Foundland / Labrador $125
Saskatchewan $132
Ontario $142 23%
Nova Scotia $154

Three provinces have a percentage figure included – the % of hydro generated electricity.

There is a direct correlation with the cost of electricity and the amount of electricity produced by hydro.

It is a simple fact proven by actual experience.

    Interesting that Newfoundland-Labrador DOESN’T report the percentage of their power that comes from hydro. Yet Churchill Falls in Labrador is one of the largest hydro-electric generating facilities in the world. Maybe they’re exporting all that power? We know they export a great deal of it, (which Hydro-Quebec rips them off hugely for to transmit through Quebec to the States), but it’s unlikely they wouldn’t be keeping some for their own needs. After all, wasn’t there an outfit that was going to grow year round vegetables there in huge electrically heated and lighted greenhouses a few years back? It flopped, like a lot of other industries they’ve tried to get going have flopped, too. Maybe they do just like we do, export it at a price that doesn’t quite cover the bills (especially with ongoing inflation) and make up the loss by nicking their own citizens?

Being a third party affords one the luxury of shooting down everything the government does and without suggesting any alternatives that are clean, green and environmentally friendly and produce a long lasting revenue stream to pay for schools, hospitals and the salaries and pensions of politicians, otherwise known as the gold-plated gravy train!

    The third party siting in Victoria has affected legislation a great deal more than the second party siting has . The third party does not shoot down anything . They , through mla a.j. Weaver , use logic and provide solutions . Those gold plated pensions you lust for are easy to attain . You just start when your really young and then you put away six to ten percent for thirty or forty years . And presto . Gold plated , sort of .

      The BC Liberals will do everything they can to split the left wing vote between the NDP and the Greens. If that means making the Greens’ sole MLA from a riding that’s a write-off to them anyways look more important than he is, that’s what they’ll do. It makes Christy and Co. look a little ‘green’, while the leftard thinkers become even more muddled than they already are.

      As for the “gold plated pensions”, what you’re saying is quite true. Just so long as EVERYONE, or even a majority of people, NEVER try it. There is already a systemic shortage of purchasing power in the economy, (which is the REAL reason mega-projects like Site C are ‘needed’ ~ they distribute incomes in advance of having anything for sale themselves, helping to temporarily maintain the rate of business profit necessary to keep the bank credit taps open), and the savings and investment of incomes accentuates it.

Wonder why the government does not report the provincial power output such as Alberta, Ontario, many other jurisdictions such as Australia. Its almost like they are trying to hide something. Nooo, they wouldn’t would they. The Liberal and liberal friends have a lot of money tied up in the IPP’s including wind, they would not what the dirty little secrete out on just how inefficient and unreliable these power sources are for the cost.

The BC Government, along with BC Hydro, are building Site C for no other reason that to generate some short term jobs, and to use this project to help them get re-elected.

I am always amazed at how easy it is for Governments to get people to buy into their BS.

The BC Government has never made a boni fide case for building Site C. What they have been doing is spreading propaganda around the Province and pretending that it is fact.

An example is when they say that Site C will generate enough power for 500,000 homes. This sounds really important until you realize that we don’t now, and will not for many years into the future have 500,000 homes that need this power. So this statement is totally meaningless, and is made over and over so that people come to believe that we need this power for homes. Pure unadulterated BS.

The other big lie is that this power is needed for LNG. LNG exporting terminals generate their own power, so forget that idea. We are then told that BC Hydro Petronus signed an agreement that Petronus will use BC Hydro power for its auxiliary needs. What the hell does that mean. Elucidate please.

Petronus is the last LNG plant still in the game in BC, and likely the next one to disappear. So that will end that line of BS.

    Surely the existing dams are reaching their silt life span? Maybe that is the reason no one can talk about without some harsh economic consequences for BC.

So where will the power from Site C go. Some people say we will export it to the USA and make money. What a crock. Firstly at this point in time the US does not need any more power from BC, and when and if they do they will dictate the price they will pay for it, because as mentioned by another poster, this is a buyers market, not a sellers.

BC Hydro will run power lines to the North Peace, and to Alberta to try and sell this power to LNG companies that are fracking for gas, however the problem with this approach is that natural gas is in the tank, there is a surplus world wide, and its highly unlikely that, that will change anytime soon. So this source of sale for Site C power is not much more than wishful thinking.

BC taxpayers and hydro consumers will pay through the nose for this ill advised fiasco, its just that simple.

Those people in the Peace River should be staging a mass rally in Victoria to get the attention of these politicians, that could care less about anything other than their own self preservation.

Those people in favour of Site C like to wax philosophically about the pros and cons of the project, while all the time know full well that if it was their land that was being flooded, they would have a different point of view.

My suggestion is that for those in support, rather that hiding behind the politicians, and RCMP, that you take a trip to the Peace River, seek out those people that are against this project and tell them to their face that you support flooding them out, and suggest they pack up and move, to make things easier for all concerned. Have fun with that approach.

    Here is a rough approximation of the energy source used to generate electricity in the USA and Canada.

    The first figure is Canada and the second the USA. The first grouping is renewable; the second is fossil fuel.

    hydro 59.3% 6.0%
    nuclear 16.0% 20.0%
    geothermal ??? 0.4%
    wind ??? 4.7%
    solar ??? 0.6%
    biomass ??? 1.6%


    coal 9.5% 33.0%
    natural gas 8.5% 33.0%
    petroleum 1.3% 1.0%

    As you can see, the USA should be converting from the high reliability on fossil fuel to renewable resources such as hydro. There is the incentive and they will pay the same rate as Canada pays due to NAFTA.

    Canada is the second largest producer of hydroelectricity in the world. The USA is lucky they are next to us and that we can sell to them.

    Those people in favour of Site C like to wax philosophically about the pros and cons of the project, while all the time know full well that if it was their land that was being flooded, they would have a different point of view.

    Sort of like when land gets expropriated for highway construction, airport runway expansion, railway realignment, harbour development, etc.

    Or, maybe you prefer to talk about native land and cemeteries being flooded for the Kenny dam and the St. Lawrence Seaway and who knows where else.

    Land expropriation is nothing new. It is not as if the people who owned the land were not compensated for it.

Just like Nathan to “Get Tough” with the Trudeau Gov. on a Saturday on a long weekend.Then when the Special Interest Group’s knock on his door asking what he has done for them lately he will trot this out…

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