Community Benefits and Mitigation Measures
To date, BC Hydro has reached a regional legacy benefits agreement with the Peace River Regional District and community agreements with:
Among the benefits to local communities from the Site C project are a regional legacy benefits agreement, infrastructure improvements, recreation and tourism opportunities, and affordable housing.
BC Hydro is proposing a number of measures to improve transportation infrastructure in the Peace region during construction, such as upgrades to roads and highways and pavement condition monitoring on project-related roads.
The construction and operation of Site C will provide new and expanded recreation and tourism opportunities
for residents of the Peace region, such as new boat launches and day use areas, viewpoints of the dam site and funding for community recreation sites.
- Build and operate three permanent Site C reservoir boat launches, which would include docks and day use areas, at Cache Creek, Lynx Creek and at the base of DA Thomas Road in Hudson’s Hope.
- Provide $150,000 to the District of Hudson's Hope for the enhancement of Alwin Holland Park or other community shoreline recreation areas.
- Build a shoreline walking trail along the Hudson's Hope berm.
- Provide $200,000 for a community recreation site fund to support community groups in developing new shoreline recreation areas
- Provide $200,000 to the District of Chetwynd to support recreation projects on the south bank.
- Build a public viewpoint of the dam site on the north bank.
- Invite local museums to participate in mitigation by funding the development or enhancement of heritage programming.
- Provide $200,000 to fund the development of a BC Peace River / Site C Reservoir Navigation and Recreation Opportunities Plan.
To support housing options for workers, BC Hydro is working with BC Housing to build new housing units in Fort St. John, provide new daycare spaces in Fort St. John, and add new long-stay RV spaces at Peace Island Park.
- Build a total of 50 new rental housing units in Fort St. John. Forty units will be used by construction workers and their families during project construction. Ten units would be built for immediate use by the community. At the completion of construction, all 50 units would be provided as affordable rental housing for community use.
- Provide new daycare spaces in the Fort St. John area to support families in the labour force.
- Add 20 new long-stay RV spaces at Peace Island Park in partnership with the District of Taylor.
BC Hydro is proposing a variety of measures to support non-profit organizations in the Peace region during construction, along with other measures to reduce the impact of the project on community services and infrastructure.
- Provide more than $1 million to support regional non-profit organizations during construction, including:
- Provide an on-site project health clinic, water and sewer systems, and recreational facilities at the worker lodge to reduce demand on community infrastructure and services.
- Provide funding to local and regional governments to support emergency rescue services during project construction.
- Assist workers and their families relocating to the area by providing local information packages about health, education and social services.
- Provide direct funding to the City to fund one additional RCMP officer to be based out of the Fort St. John detachment.
- Support local governments, Northern Health, emergency service providers and School Districts 60 and 59 by providing information to help them plan for changes in resident population.
- Replace Hudson’s Hope water supply infrastructure affected by the Site C reservoir.
- Implement community water supply monitoring programs with the District of Taylor and the City of Fort St. John; implement appropriate mitigation measures if required.
BC Hydro recognizes the importance of hiring locally. To help increase the availability of local labour, BC Hydro has invested approximately $1.5 million in a number of skills and trades training programs.
In addition to provincial benefits, Site C will result in increased revenues and economic development in the region during construction and operations, including:
- Estimated $130 million increase in regional gross domestic product (GDP), during construction;
- A regional legacy benefits agreement that will provide $2.4 million annually to the PRRD and its member communities for a period of 70 years; and
- Estimated $2 million per year for local governments during operations from grants-in-lieu and school taxes.