Environment Minister rejects Pitt River project
B.C. Minister of Environment Barry Penner says he will not approve the independent power project proposal for seven hydro-electric dams to be built in the Upper Pitt River.
He will not give a green light to the project after he was briefed by his staff, he told reporters on Wednesday.
"I won't be bringing forward legislation, and legislation would be required to amend park boundary," he said.
"It's very clear it doesn't have a lot of public support, I haven't found a lot of First Nations support, (and) local governments are lukewarm at best ... (even) BC Parks staff have concerns about this project," he said.
On Tuesday night, Penner said he was waiting for BC Parks' report and would make a decision in a couple of weeks.
Developer Run of River Power submitted the proposal to change the park's boundary in order to build a transmission line through the park, and said the $350 million project wouldn't compromise existing wilderness. The company called the project a clean, green energy proposal and said the damming would be quite small.
But the province maintains a policy that a proponent of boundary changes in provincial parks must "demonstrate a clear need" for boundary adjustment.
People were turned away from the last scheduled public meeting in Pitt Meadows on Tuesday night after more than a thousand people packed a school to speak out against the controversial project proposal.
Local residents argued the proposal for the dams North of Pitt Lake would harm the wetlands and surrounding area of Pinecone Burke Provincial Park.
Watch CTV British Columbia's report with Carrie Stefanson tonight at Six