BC Hydro statement on protest camp

In early March, an individual began a hunger strike to protest the Site C project and erected a canopy on the lawn in front of the BC Hydro office on Dunsmuir Street. Over the last few weeks, it has grown into an overnight squatter-style camp with many more individuals protesting a variety of issues and causes.

BC Hydro recognizes that there are many differing views on the Site C project and we respect individuals' rights to express their views as long as it remains lawful and safe. However, there is increasing concern about the camp itself as it is in close proximity to our building where hundreds of our employees and customers work and visit. BC Hydro's security team has witnessed spray painting and vandalism on BC Hydro structures and signage, fire hazards such as gasoline tanks, an open pit fire, propane stoves, an enclosed camp with a number of tents and tarps surrounding the camp, the use of our fountains and water features for bathing and other activities, and the construction of make-shift structures such as a latrine. There have also been reports of individuals climbing streetlights in the immediate area to cover the lights with bags.

The situation has now come to a point where we believe the camp is a health, safety and security concern. Camps like this can pose serious fire risks to the individuals at the camp as well as bystanders. The fire department has already visited the site to deliver a notice about their use of propane and open fires.

BC Hydro notified the campers that they must remove their tents, tarps, wood structures, signage and latrine, and must no longer camp on the property overnight. A notice [PDF, 146 KB] was delivered to campers on April 7 and 8.

We have provided a designated space on the property where individuals may safely express their opinions between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. No tents or other structures are authorized in the designated area and anyone in the area must remove their personal belongings every day when they vacate.