That Dam

The future laps at our doors, and the BC NDP chose to dam it.

Delores Broten

Photo: Emma Gilchrist | DeSmog

They are calling it “Black Monday,” the day the BC NDP, as a unanimous caucus, turned its back on indigenous rights and on a sustainable future, and approved the Site C dam on the Peace River. We could rail on about the arguments they dismissed – geotechnical, financial, electrical demand forecasts. We are shocked at the rather unbelievable advice they chose to follow, despite competing viewpoints of equal or higher merit. But all that has been done.

In a small example that illustrates the lack of credibility, one NDP backgrounder says, “99% of Class 1-5 agricultural lands (capable of crop production) in the Peace Agricultural Region will not be affected by Site C. Permanent loss of approximately 3,800 hectares of class 1-5 agricultural lands leaves approximately 2.7 million hectares of Class 1 to 5 lands available…”

Uh huh. Class 5 land is suitable mostly for pasture or tree farms; Class 1 land – the really good stuff – is in the valley bottom.

Numerous theories have been raised by the angry and perplexed voters who expected more from this government: Death threats? Water exports? Big labour calling the shots? Water for fracking? Energy for LNG exports? The latter two seem most likely.

Whatever convinced the caucus to acquiesce, with this decision, the NDP has slammed the door on alternative green energy developments, including those promoted by First Nations, and – importantly – on the new climate-and-war resilient economy such development would inherently support.

Now the Yellow Stakes raised in the campaign to Keep the Peace are the stakes in the heart of the BC NDP, a party that could not separate its futile dreams of an industrial past from the new uncharted future.

The future laps at our doors, and the BC NDP chose to dam it.

 —Delores Broten, Comox, BC, December 2017

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