The funds, which will be adjusted for inflation, will be allocated to each member community based on a formula that takes into account population and relative impacts from the project.
PRRD Chair Karen Goodings explains that the Regional District asked Hydro for an agreement like this, to recognize the contributions it would be making for this project to go ahead.
“The Peace Region recognizes the provincial economic opportunity and value this new power source would bring British Columbia,” she says. “It is important to acknowledge the significant sacrifices that the Peace region will be making in hosting this economic generator. This legacy agreement is a symbol of that acknowledgement.”
However, this isn’t the end of community agreements. Community Relations Manager for the Site C Clean Energy Project David Conway explains that there is still the potential for agreements with individual communities.
“We were asked by the Regional District to negotiate a legacy benefit agreement with the Regional District and its members communities, and that’s what we’ve done,” he says. “What that doesn’t include though, is us doing separate agreements with communities like Fort St. John, Hudson’s Hope, Chetwynd, District of Taylor, in regards to the mitigation measures that would be needed.”
For example, mitigation would be needed for the potential impacts of a large workforce in Fort St. John like transportation, and the reservoir impact on the District of Hudson’s Hope. It its Environmental Impact Statement, Hydro committed to giving Hudson’s Hope one-time contribution to address land no longer available for development, and provide annual grants-in-lieu estimated at $1.3 million to local government throughout operations.