Dear BC Hydro

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Dear BC Hydro,

I know you have put a lot of effort into your end of your relationship and really, I am grateful for that. I like having the luxury of lighting available to me by the flick of a switch at any time of day. I appreciate this more so because I am from the North, the land of long winters and quick to set suns. You send me a bill bi-monthly and I gladly fork over the dollars to keep this service going. Our relationship is polite, quaint even.

Now, like all relationships, we are encountering our fair share of disagreements and the ride has been rocky.

I say, “Keep the Peace River as it is and lets explore alternative options.”

You say, ” Let’s flood the Valley and stick a third dam on your river.”

I’m really not too keen on you flooding, for the third time, my river. You see, it’s not just my river but it belongs to everyone. I can’t speak for everyone though, so this here is about our relationship.

Earlier this month I was down at the Peace River and Halfway River confluence and spent the day out on a sand bar. Well I tell ya, I got soaked past my belly button walking out there due to the fluctuating river levels from the first two dams but it was worth it. I sat under the sun and watched an eagle fly overhead to its nest where its baby was perched. I seen some red-tailed hawks who (if you didn’t know) mate for life and build nests side by side. That particular life mating couple had their nests right along the river…. in the purposed flood zone.

Now I know, you must be feeling the pressure and your job mustn’t be easy by any means but so much strain can make a person a little loopy. I know, I know, economics and supplying energy to mega projects and shale developments is super important but I’m telling you that keeping that river the way it is is just as important. I know you have heard all of the facts… top graded soil north of Quesnel, migratory corridor for animals, mercury levels in fish, etc.  I won’t give you rhetoric.

But I will tell you this, I don’t know you. Even though we have this relationship where you supply and I pay, you don’t live where I live. Your kids don’t go to school with my kids. In fact, my people the Dane Zaa and the Cree have been here for quite sometime before you were even born into this world. I come from an understanding that we need to live in balance with everything, to respect the land, the animals, and the waters. My ancestors have lived in harmony with the land since the beginning and my point is… since you came along we can no longer eat the fish caught from that river. I’m not pointing any fingers but someone’s logic is faulty here. I plan on raising my kids in this territory, and I plan on telling them and their kids about their ancestors whose feet walked this land. I will let them know that they also have a duty to protect it and treat it with respect. There’s other families here too, who have been here for generations and don’t plan on leaving so what I don’t get is…. when did this relationship suffer such a dammed power imbalance?

I don’t want your third dam on the Peace River because the Peace Region is my home. I know that you have put in a lot of effort into seeing this dam through and my dear, it’s okay to pack your bags and admit that you made a mistake. It won’t be pretty but heck, when have these disputes ever been pretty?

Trust me. The money you have put in so far is nothing in comparison to what we would lose… and we are not losing anything.

Signed,

Helen K

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4 comments

  1. The birds will build their nest right along the shoreline of the new lake and the sunbathers will enjoy the beach as much as when it was a river. Your kids will go boating and fishing, and also will eat the fish that they catch. Live will go on as it did so far.

    1. The beach, just like the beach in Tse Keh Dene? The community that suffered the blow of the first dam on the Peace where there are now wind storms/sand storms from said beach and high occurrences of asthma due to it. Your utopian view of the after effects of this dam could possibly be embraced by myself, if I believed it could at all be true.

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