Paddlers to unite on the Peace River to show opposition to Site C

Brendan Miller

Tomorrow hundreds of paddlers will unite along the Peace River and hit the water to show their opposition to Site C.

The 13th annual Paddle for the Peace takes place tomorrow, launching at the Halfway River Bridge on Highway 29. The annual event is a celebration of the Peace River Valley and a protest to stop construction of the conversational Site C dam.

Last December, Premier Horgan’s NDP government decided to continue with the construction of the dam, after it underwent a review from the BC Utilities Commission. But protestors say the dam still faces many legal challenges, including an infringement of treaty rights.

“The legal challenge right now that’s most imminent right now is the West Moberly and Prophet River case. So of course they’ve launched a civil suit and that will take years to go through the court system of course and it’s a very strong case of course based on infringement of treaty rights which has not been addressed yet on this project that has been side-tracked so far in any decision making on this project,” said Ken Boon, president of the Peace Valley Landowner Association.

Leading up to that court case, those two first nations will be seeking a stop-work injunction, and that goes to court on July 23rd.  

“All through the years the paddle has been you know a happy event, an optimistic event with undertones of protest of course, and that is continuing this year of course. It’s hard to say, we never know what kind of a turn out we are going to get but it always seems to be a great turnout and people just have a great time on the river and gathering and mingling,” said Boon.

Registration for the event starts tomorrow at the Halfway River Bridge at 9 am, followed by a pancake breakfast. The launch begins at noon and the two-hour paddle finishes at Bear Flat with a free BBQ Lunch.

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