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Landowners unsure about future due to BC Hydro expropriation

PVLA President Ken Boon and his wife Arlene at their home in Bear Flats. File photo
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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Ken and Arlene Boon have been facing uncertainty when it comes to their home they currently live in due to expropriation from BC Hydro.

 “BC Hydro is in the process of expropriating the lands that are needed for the Site C project. There is 8 different landowners they are dealing with so all of them are being expropriated one way or another, either through a Section 3 agreement or through straight expropriation.”

Boon says in the case of him and his wife, they didn’t sign a Section 3 with BC Hydro so the case will be going straight to expropriation.

He says by BC Hydro’s schedule, that process could be completed by the end of this month. They won’t officially own the land anymore but Boon says that they aren’t leaving the property completely.

“Having said that, we did sign a side agreement where we could stay as tenants in our house until the end of May and we can also continue to farm the River Bottom Lands for 3 more seasons.”

Boon says expropriation shows that they don’t many any rights as citizens and landowners.

“We will be compensated of course but that is a long and drawn out process because right now, this is all based on their own appraisal and their own offer to the landowners and that is all everyone is going to be paid at this point. It will be up to the individual landowners to try and negotiate a better price at the end of the day. Some people might end up in court in order to do that.”

Boon says he is planning to stay in his home until May. He points out the ever important election that will be taking place in B.C. in May.

“May 9th I believe is the election and the NDP have said they will halt this project and get it reviewed which is what many of us, all of us, have been calling for years. It is what the government should have done in the first place and have refused to do so. It will be a little late but it won’t be to late, the project won’t be past the point of no return so that needs to happen. We might not need to move out of this house.”

The belief is still that the province doesn’t need this power, something Boon says would make the process of them leaving much easier.

“Quite frankly, if Site C was for a greater good and there were no other options and we actually needed it, then that would just have to be it but that is so much not the case with Site C. We simply don’t need this power and if we did, there would be better ways to do it.”

Boon says they will be watching and waiting eagerly to see what unfolds in the election in May.

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