Paddling for the Peace
Past Paddle for the Peace event, – image courtesy Peace Valley Environmental Association
Prince George, B.C.- Tomorrow, hundreds will launch their canoes and kayaks in the annual Paddle for the Peace, an effort to stop the construction of the Site C dam and save the Peace River Valley from becoming a reservoir for the dam.
The organizers of the event are optimistic that despite construction of the Site C dam being in full swing, the project can still be stopped. “The new government that’s come into power in the Province has made it their first priority to send this project to the British Columbia Utilities Commission for a more thorough assessment” says Paddle for the Peace Co Ordinator Andrea Morrison.
She says there have been plenty of questions that need to be answered about the economics of the project “There have been a number of renowned experts who have come forward over the last few years and stated this project is not in the best interests of British Columbians.”
Participants in the event will be launching their crafts at the Halfway River Bridge ( on Highway 29) at noon tomorrow and will paddle to Bear Flat, about an hour and a half downstream.
There will be a number of speakers including Federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May and Union of BC Indian Chiefs, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip.
Morrison expects the gathering this year, may be one of the largest yet even though the Supreme Court of Canada recently rejected to hear the appeal from the West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations that their treaty rights were not considered before the nearly $9 billion dollar Site C project was approved. That ruling has done nothing to erode the resolve of those who oppose the Site C project “Yes, it’s very disappointing that the impact to First Nations isn’t being recognized through the courts” says Morrison “However, we feel the economic arguments on their own would definitely be enough to stop the project.”
She says when the initial economic scenarios were developed for the environmental assessment period, the costs of alternative energy projects were too high, but that since then, those costs have been reduced and are more viable now.
The Paddle for the Peace event is now in its 12th year.