February 4th, 2016
FORT ST. JOHN – BC Hydro and the City of Fort St. John announced today they have reached an agreement-in-principle on a Community Measures Agreement related to the construction of the Site C Clean Energy Project. Negotiations between the City and BC Hydro have been ongoing for several years.
Under the terms of the legally binding agreement, BC Hydro commits to specific mitigation measures important to the City of Fort St. John. Some of the features of the agreement include:
BC Hydro will provide $1 million per year to the City during construction, increased by 3.5-per cent each year.
BC Hydro will contribute $100,000 per year for eight years to a community fund to assist non-profit agencies in the Peace Region.
BC Hydro will contribute $250,000 to local non-profits that provide emergency and transitional housing services, including the recent $200,000 donation to the Salvation Army’s Northern Centre of Hope.
BC Hydro will contribute $75,000 this year to support local charities identified by the City.
BC Hydro will fund one additional police officer to be based out of the Fort St. John RCMP detachment, and will also conduct regular traffic monitoring on local roads near the project.
BC Hydro and the City will work together through a Site C Community Agreement Monitoring Committee, consisting of senior representatives from both BC Hydro and the City. The committee will track implementation of the agreement, and provide a forum to identify and resolve issues arising during project construction. BC Hydro and the City have also agreed to a dispute resolution process to support resolution of issues, if required. BC Hydro will provide administrative support for the committee.
BC Hydro and the City will support the health and wellness of the project workforce, through BC Hydro’s annual pre-purchase of tickets for the use of Fort St. John recreation facilities totalling approximately $423,000 over the construction period.
Should the City decide to expand its boundaries, BC Hydro will support the application to include the 96 hectares of land at 85th Avenue.
BC Hydro will maintain a Community Consultation Office as a means of providing information to the public and stakeholders regarding procurement, employment and construction activities.
BC Hydro and the City will coordinate regular monitoring of the City drinking water source quality and quantity at BC Hydro’s expense.
The City has confirmed its ability to access its rights to water from the reservoir as a potential future source of domestic water, if needed, and at no charge from BC Hydro.
The City of Fort St. John has begun discussions with citizens to inform them about this agreement-in-principle prior to signing on their behalf.
Mayor Lori Ackerman:
“This agreement is a direct result of our residents taking a pragmatic approach, regardless of their personal feelings, to join in on a conversation about how they felt the community would be impacted. The features of the agreement are based on those discussions, your concerns and your hopes. So now we bring this agreement to you and close the loop."
Jessica McDonald, President and CEO, BC Hydro:
“BC Hydro appreciates the opportunity to work together with the City of Fort St. John to ensure a collaborative approach to mitigating impacts of the project and ensuring meaningful opportunities that benefit the residents of Fort St. John.”
Pat Pimm, MLA, Peace River North:
“I’m pleased with the outcome of the discussions between BC Hydro and the City of Fort St. John. Both parties have worked hard to reach an agreement.”
Rick Quigley, Peace River Hydro Partners:
“We look forward to working closely with local and First Nations communities to maximize the economic opportunity for families in the Peace Region and BC."
For media inquiries, please contact:
Mayor Fort St. John
BC Hydro Media Relations