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The tailrace tunnel, which dwarfs the worker in the lower right of the image, was built to return water to the river downstream after its used hydroelectric generation.
This scroll case was used to direct water for the first turbine installed in the GM Shrum Generating Station at W.A.C. Bennett Dam in June 1967.
Continued from page 60
projects. It’s beyond employment. It supports entrepreneurship and ownership and capacity building in those communities. “We’ve had over $150 million in Aboriginal and First Nations procurement on the project so far, and that’s continuing to grow.” RK: Much has also been made about the environmental impacts and the loss of agricultural land in the Peace River Valley at Site C. While the project will produce 35% of the energy of Bennett dam from a reservoir only a
carry with them, even today. It’s a reminder that some things you can’t fix with money. “The agreements were an important step, but they were just a step on the path to reconciliation, just a start. The [First Nations gallery at Bennett Visitor Centre] was another step, and you’ll notice when you go there that there’s a significant contribution from the Kwadacha First Nation. But there’s just a little placard from the Tsay Keh Dene that says they just
weren’t ready to be part of this. We included the placard because it’s part of the story as well.” RK: You also said at the First Nations gallery opening that we won’t repeat the mistakes of the past. How are we ensuring that doesn’t happen? CO: “We sometimes get accused of making the same mistakes again with the Site C project, and I appreciate why people might feel that way. But I think if people step back and look at what we’ve done, that’s not really supported by the
facts. There’s been many, many years of consultation and engagement with First Nations, and we have six agreements with Treaty 8 First Nations for the Site C project that include benefits for communities, and commitments to procurement. “Procurement is important because it helps build capacity for employment in those communities. Contracts provide employment and help people grow in their abilities, and they can apply those skills in other
20th of the size of Williston, the reservoir formed by Bennett Dam, there are those who say the environmental impacts are still too great. What’s so different about Site C? CO: “The environmental standards and practices when Bennett was built were pretty limited. There are some awful images of the way the reservoir was cleared, and in many cases it wasn’t cleared. The trees were just left. In other cases, standing trees were just knocked over en masse with chains
stretched between bulldozers and dragged through the woods. The consequence of all that is that the reservoir was choked with debris for many years and it was very difficult to travel on.” “This time, we’re removing all the trees on the reservoir. We’re cleaning it up. That’s just one example of how we’re doing things differently today.” “Site C has gone through a three-year independent joint federal-provincial environmental panel, and Continued on page 62
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November 2017 Supply Post Newspaper Western Canada edition