All Canadian provinces can be dirty - be careful when throwing stones in your glass house

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All Canadian provinces can be dirty - be careful when throwing stones in your glass house

Post by Tribble » 2019-05-03 12:15am

Decided to spinoff from this thread:
Jub wrote:
2019-05-02 09:26pm
Tribble wrote:
2019-05-02 06:19pm
Maybe we should start/restart a thread for all the other stuff, like B.C.s Site C Dam.
Please do.

I'd be especially interested in its effects near term and long term compared to things fossil fuel burning power plants. Is Site C just a case of a poorly chosen location that has lead into a massively mismanaged construction project that ultimately still ends up being reasonably green over its lifespan or is it a full-on disaster such that we might as well burn the dirtiest coal instead?
Well don't take it from me, here's a petition from your own Green Party a couple of years back (the costs have gotten a lot worse since then):
To the Honourable the Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia, in Legislature Assembled:
The petition of the undersigned, residents of the Province of British Columbia, states that:
Whereas the cost of the construction of the Site C Dam has swollen beyond its original estimate of $6.6 billion in 2007 to $9 billion in 2014;
and Whereas $7.2 billion of its estimated $9 billion cost will be passed on to BC taxpayers, according to a 2016 evaluation by Harry Swain, former chair of the Joint Review Panel and former BC deputy minister of Industry;
and Whereas the Site C Dam is being built to fuel a LNG industry that is economically unviable and ruinous to reducing BC’s greenhouse gas emissions and fighting climate change, despite LNG industries fueling their own operations in other markets;
and Whereas the Site C Dam will flood 5,340 hectares of agricultural land, previously protected by the Agricultural Land Reserve, further reducing our province’s food security;
and Whereas the Site C Dam will flood traditional territories of the West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations, undermining unresolved treaty rights and reconciliation between First Nations and the BC government;
and Whereas the BC Treaty 8 First Nations have filed legal challenges with the Supreme Court of Canada, and the Peace Valley Landowners’ Association, BC Treaty 8 First Nations, Alberta Treaty 8 First Nations and the Blueberry First Nation have filed legal challenges with the federal court of Canada;
and Whereas a group of over 200 leading Canadian scholars and the Royal Society of Canada have condemned the project approval process;
Your petitioners respectfully request that the Honourable House halt all construction of the Site C Dam until the voters of British Columbia can determine its future through the election of a new government, currently scheduled for May 9, 2017;
Dated the 27th day of July, 2016.

I think "full-on disaster" sums it up nicely, especially if one of the reasons why Site C is being built is for the purpose of powering B.C.'s LNG Industry, which is undergoing major expansion. If true I don't see how you could possibly call this a "reasonably green" power plant if it was at least in part built to provide electricity for the extraction of fossil fuels!

And that's not getting into the fact that the B.C. government and Canada are likely violating First People's treaty rights and international treaties to the point where apparently the UN got involved:
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier John Horgan can’t ignore recommendations of United Nations anti-racism committee
A new statement from the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (UNCERD) has underlined the urgency of immediately suspending construction of the Site C dam.
“The UN’s top anti-racism body has recognized that continued construction of the Site C dam is a serious threat to fundamental human rights,” said Chief Roland Willson of the West Moberly First Nations. “This latest statement from the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination makes it clear that the federal and provincial governments have no claim to being human rights champions so long as they continue to ignore the impacts of Site C on our Treaty rights.”
UNCERD first called for a halt to construction of the Site C dam in August 2017 during a regular review of Canada’s human rights record. The independent, expert committee has now underlined the urgency of its recommendation by issuing a new statement under an emergency procedure meant to prevent serious violations of human rights.
In an open letter released today, the West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations are supported by downstream First Nations, and by 16 Indigenous peoples’ organizations, human rights, environmental and social justice groups across BC and Canada, in calling on the federal and provincial governments to immediately comply with CERD’s recommendations.
“The fact that the UN’s top anti-racism body takes the potential impact of the Site C dam on Indigenous peoples so seriously should be a wake-up call to the federal and provincial governments and indeed to all Canadians,” said Galen Armstrong, Sierra Club BC’s Peace Valley Campaigner.
UNCERD is an independent, expert body appointed to oversee state compliance with the UN Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, a legally-binding human rights treaty ratified by Canada.
The Committee’s latest statement on Site C follows the decision of a BC court to allow construction of the dam to continue even though a fundamental Treaty rights challenge is still before the courts.
Kukpi7 Judy Wilson said on behalf of the executive of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC), “The federal and provincial governments have been getting away with ignoring Treaty rights in the short term. Eventually, however, they will have to deal with the fact, recognized by this expert body, that the Site C dam violates rights that are legally protected and which both levels of government are obligated to uphold. Any sensible government would stop throwing good money after bad on a project that it’s clear can never be completed.”
In addition to calling for a halt to construction of the Site C dam, the UN Committee also called on the federal and provincial governments to seek independent expert advice on implementation of their legal human rights obligations, including the responsibility to respect and uphold the free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous peoples.
Craig Benjamin, Indigenous rights campaigner for Amnesty International Canada, said, “These human rights experts have clearly recognized that there is an unacceptable gap between the promises made by the Trudeau and Horgan governments and the appalling reality of their actions trampling the rights of First Nations who depend on the Peace River. The UN Committee is giving the federal and provincial governments an opportunity to correct course on their disastrous support for the Site C dam. They should seize this opportunity.” ... site-c-dam

As for coal... Vancouver is one of the biggest hubs for coal exports in North America and B.C. mines and ships plenty of it. Sure B.C. may not use said coal itself, but it's not exactly environmentally friendly IMO to just ship it somewhere else and call it a day. Plus as mentioned before B.C. is heavily expanding its LNG industry. Not as bad as Albertan oil in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, though I'm sure the fracking will certainly cause its own environmental issues. Point being that B.C. is far from being clean when it comes to fossil fuels.

Again, to be fair this isn't just B.C. - we elected Doug Ford, who actively hates the environment with a passion and works to get rid of protections every day.
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