BC Hydro Site C Clean Energy Project

Communications, Consultation and Community Relations

Comprehensive Consultation Process (2007 – 2013)

Kirk & Co. designed and executed a comprehensive public consultation program incorporating public input from an early pre-consultation (2007-2008) and four subsequent rounds of consultation with key stakeholders, communities and the public.

From the onset, we worked with BC Hydro to ensure that communications and public consultation regarding the potential project followed best practices in consultation and were well known to key stakeholders and the public.

Kirk & Co. assisted BC Hydro in consulting on topics of interest to local government, key stakeholders and the public, such as agriculture, worker housing, transportation and outdoor recreation. The input received on these and other topics was considered by BC Hydro in the development of the Environmental Impact Statement, the application for environmental certification, and consultation records were submitted as part of the application.

A Comprehensive Consultation Approach

Kirk & Co. coordinated and facilitated 139 stakeholder meetings and 29 open houses from December 2007 to December 2012, providing facilitation services, meeting recording and logistics support to BC Hydro. Following each round of consultation, we produced a Consultation Summary Report, highlighting feedback received through feedback forms, key themes from stakeholder meetings and open houses, and submissions from stakeholders.

Public Materials

Kirk & Co. produced a variety of print media and web materials to support the consultation process. Materials included discussion guides and feedback forms, display boards, postcard mail-outs, newspaper public notices, radio ads, an interactive project website, and materials for community consultation offices located in Fort St. John and Hudson’s Hope. In addition, we coordinated the production of artists’ renderings and supported the development of video productions.

Community Relations and Construction Communications

Kirk & Co. continues to assist in the management of community relations and maintains a public-enquiry line and project email address.

We also supported the planning and implementation of a comprehensive construction communications program, including open house, small group meetings and information materials to ensure Aboriginal groups, residents, stakeholders and the public are aware of construction activities and how to find more information about the construction schedule and activities.

Project Background

BC Hydro’s Site C Clean Energy Project will be a third dam and hydroelectric generating station on the Peace River in northeast B.C. It will provide 1,100 megawatts (MW) of capacity, and produce about 5,100 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity each year — enough energy to power the equivalent of about 450,000 homes per year in B.C.

As the third project on one river system, Site C will gain significant efficiencies by taking advantage of water already stored in the Williston Reservoir. This means that Site C will generate approximately 35 per cent of the energy produced at W.A.C. Bennett Dam, with only five per cent of the reservoir area.

In December 2014, the Site C project received approval from the provincial government to proceed to construction.

This decision followed a rigorous and independent environmental assessment by the federal and provincial governments, which included a Joint Review Panel process. The conclusion of the three-year environmental review was that the effects of the Site C project are justified by the long-term benefits it will provide.

Construction of the project began in summer 2015 and is anticipated to be complete in 2024. Once built, Site C will be a source of clean, reliable and affordable electricity in B.C. for more than 100 years.

Learn more: Site C Clean Energy Project

Judy and her team take the time to get to know the issues and details of the project, and are successfully able to anticipate and manage issues. They understand the governance and public policy issues that are critical in a project environment.
Mina Laudan, Director, Public Affairs, Community Consultation and Properties, BC Hydro, Site C Clean Energy Project