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Help plan discussion topics for future Site C meetings


People who want to have a say in what is discussed at future Site C public hearings have a chance to help plan the meetings. Once the Joint Review Panel completes their review of the BC Hydro's amended environmental impact statement they will host a round of public hearing. Joint Review Panel spokesperson Lucille Jamault says the panel is currently inviting public comments on the future meetings.

"It will issue a notice of hearing, and that will be at least 30 days before the start of the public hearings, but we're not there yet. Currently the panel is inviting the public to write in to submit their written comments on the public hearing procedures."

The Peace Valley Environmental Association (PVEA) are currently getting a collection of statements ready to submit. Andrea Morrison with the PVEA says they are concerned that presenters won't have a chance to answer BC Hydro's response after they present.

"In order to have a productive discussion it's nice to be able to have the opportunity to go back and forth a little bit, and this is called the right of response. It normally is allowed in a hearing process, so we find it quite unusual that it won't be allowed in this process so we'll be asking for reconsideration of that stipulation."

The PVEA are currently going over the comments they will be sending in with their legal team. Once the meeting dates are announced the PVEA plan on coming in prepared.

"We always take a look at what environmental processes on similar projects have had, and what's been allowed. We always back up our requests with examples from other processes," says Morrison.

As the Joint Review Panel works through the environmental impact statement they will be releasing information to the public. People can even have themselves added to the mailing list to receive email updates.

"Well it's important to know that you can go on the agency website. That's ceaa.gc.ca and have a look at the Site C web page. All the information is posted there. Including comments that are received, directions from the panel, invitation for the public to comment on the public hearing procedures, the public hearing procedures themselves. So it is a very transparent process. People can go to the website and read what has been received so far," says Jamault.

The Join Review Panel have up to 8 months to complete their review. Comments must be submitted by September 16. To learn how to submit comments you can click the following link.