New year brings new development around Site C

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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Two update chapters have been added to the Site C Dam construction story.

First, Petrowest Corporation has announced in Calgary that the main civil works contract is now positioned to be underway in less than two weeks.

The contract, valued at approximately $1.75 billion, is the companies largest award since its inception.

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However, it has also announced that it has been named the Prime Contractor for Progress Energy’s civil earthworks programme around the Fort St. John area.

Petrowest adds it has successfully transformed into a diversified infrastructure company with, excluding Site C, over 100 million dollars of projects expected to commence this year.

Meantime, the protest camp occupancy continues at the Rocky Mountain Fort, Site C construction site, and First Nations members have called on the Federal and B.C. governments to embrace a three point plan to protect lands allegedly at imminent threat of destruction as the project preparation work continues.

Calling themselves the Treaty 8 Stewards of the Land, they have camped out at the Fort for about three weeks and are calling on Prime Minister Trudeau and Premier Clark to work with them to ensure the plan is initiated.

It calls for a temporary suspension of all construction and land clearing operations related to the project until decisions have been rendered regarding the unresolved court challenges by First Nations and landowners.

It also requests the Trudeau government to temporarily suspend all federal project approvals and the issuance of any future permits pending an expedited, open and transparent federal review of alleged infringement on constitutionally protected Treaty 8 rights by the Site C Dam.

Finally, it asks the provincial government to temporarily suspend all project construction work pending an independent review by the B.C. Utilities Commission of the project, with full procedural safeguards — as recommended by the federal/provincial Joint Review Panel, but hitherto rejected, by Energy Minister Bill Bennett.

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