This “Just Environments” contribution from Rick Hendriks, Philip Raphals, Karen Bakker, and Gordon Christie focuses on the adverse environmental, socio-legal, and economic impacts of Site C, a large-scale hydropower project in British Columbia. Based on in-depth analysis, the authors suggest that construction of Site C would violate First Nations Treaty rights, result in a loss of biodiversity, and generate greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, Site C is more expensive than other renewable alternatives. They call for the cancellation of the Site C project, raising broader questions about the role of hydropower in a carbon-constrained world.
Richard Hendriks is the director of Camerado Energy Consulting, an Ontario-based firm providing environmental assessment, energy planning, policy analysis, and research services to clients across Canada. For the past two decades, he has been engaged in the planning and assessment of several large-scale hydroelectric developments, providing testimony before regulatory bodies concerning their economic viability, environmental effects, socio-economic impacts and benefits, and implications for Indigenous rights.
Hendriks has been qualified as an expert witness by the Manitoba Public Utilities Board in the policy and planning aspects of large-scale hydroelectric development, and the socio-economic implications and environmental consequences of such development for Indigenous people. He was an expert witness before the Utilities Board during its Need For and Alternatives to review of the proposed Keeyask and Conawapa hydroelectric projects.
Hendriks testified on several environmental and economic matters before the Joint Review Panel for the Lower Churchill Hydroelectric Generation Project. He also testified on environmental and socio-economic matters before the Joint Review Panel for the Site C Project, and provided environmental assessment advice to the Treaty 8 Tribal Association.
Hendriks was recently retained by the Expert Panel for Review of Federal Environmental Assessment Processes to provide expert written advice to the Panel concerning the incorporation of Indigenous consent into federal environmental assessment.