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BC Hydro corrects inaccurate statements in column published by The Province about Site C protests

Site C rendering wide

In a recent opinion column on The Province website (BC Hydro should drop SLAPP suits against protesters, updated June 17, 2016 and posted June 28, 2016), Sarah Cox misrepresents BC Hydro's views on protests as well as discussions with landowners Ken and Arlene Boon. She states that BC Hydro, through recent legal action, is attempting to take away the right to peaceful protest and to voice opinions freely.

As previously clarified to The Province (letter to the editor, May 31, 2016) Cox continues to misrepresent what was discussed between BC Hydro's CEO Jessica McDonald and Ken and Arlene Boon. The meeting that took place was cordial and sincere and at no time did BC Hydro ever imply the Boons would be required to commit to "cease from Site C protest" as stated by Cox.

As reported in a May 27 article in the Alaska Highway News: "[Ken] Boon stressed that BC Hydro took no issue with their continued advocacy against the dam — so long as it doesn’t physically impede construction."

Cox confuses safe, peaceful and lawful protest with the physical blockade of construction work. In January, a small group of protesters set up a camp and physically prevented construction work from taking place, creating risks to workers as well as to project schedule and costs. BC Hydro was left with no choice but to commence a civil claim and apply for an injunction, which was granted by the court.

BC Hydro has consistently supported the rights of people to express their opposition to Site C when it is done in a safe and lawful manner. While we would prefer not to resort to legal action, we have an obligation to our workers to enable a safe work site, and to our customers to deliver this important public project on time and on budget.

It's unfortunate that Ms. Cox continues to incorrectly portray BC Hydro's position and actions.

The Site C Clean Energy Project is a hydroelectric dam and generating station under construction in northeast B.C. The project is being built to meet long-term electricity needs in B.C. Once complete in 2024, the project will provide clean, renewable and cost-effective electricity for more than 100 years.

Contact:
BC Hydro Media Relations
p. 604 928 6468