I listened to the interview with Ruth Sulentich on CBC Daybreak South on April 1, 2014.
Ms. Sulentich is the Community & Aboriginal Relations Manager for Fortis Inc. She stated that the proposed dam on the Similkameen River would be for water storage, water control and electricity. The dam would be 15 kms upstream from Princeton; it would be 165 m. high and made of concrete to allow water storage; it would be 500m wide and 20kms long.
The proposed dam is a the project of Fortis Generation which is a subsidiary of Fortis Inc., just like Fortis Gas and Fortis Electricity are. However, Fortis Generation is an investor group; they put up the money for any of their projects.
So I can safely deduce that the groups main motive is profit for themselves. The Similkameen Valley will not receive lower electricity rates or anything of this sort. The only economic benefits are 250 jobs for the duration of the dam construction, which if built, will take 2 to 2 1/2 years.
The project is in its preliminary stages; thus far, the company has received an investigative permit to look at sub surface of crown land not yet surveyed, and is waiting for Section 10 and Section 11 of the Environment Assessment Process to be granted which they feel will happen this summer. This identifies the timeline for required consultation with communities and other groups, but presentations have already been made to the Town Council of Keremeos and Similkameen Valley Planning Society, and Princeton is next in line.
When Ms. Sulentich was asked by the radio interviewer why anyone should support this proposal; the question was not answered. Instead Ms. Sulentich replied that everything was its preliminary stages. At this point the public should ask the same question. “Why should we support this dam?
Mary Masiel, Princeton