VANCOUVER, B.C. – The B.C. Union of Indian Chiefs is calling for construction to stop at Site C due to COVID-19.
In a letter to Premier John Horgan, the organization is asking the Province to halt all construction at the dam due to the risk COVID-19 poses to workers and nearby Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.
The letter went onto say, “UBCIC now calls upon the Province to recognize that the transmission of COVID-19 amongst workers is an urgent and pressing concern. BC Hydro has confirmed that 16 of its construction workers at the Site C Dam site are under self-isolation with flu-like symptoms. Given the close quarters and inevitable contact points at the 1,600-worker camp, an outbreak of COVID-19 would be disastrous and with dire implications for nearby communities, including First Nation communities”.
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Last week B.C. Hydro announced work at the project would scale down to essential work only. Hydro has also been sharing statistics about the size of the camp at the dam. As of Thursday, there are 864 people at the camp and 12 remain in self-isolation.
The UBCIC letter also said, “This negligence and irresponsible continuation of construction places the welfare of workers and communities at unacceptable risk and is utterly inconsistent with the health advice provided by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry”.