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Fort St John. “BC’s Energy Capital”. “Fort St John will be a community where nature lives, businesses prosper and families flourish”. Council Strategic Planning. #1 issue facing us: Site C. Site C. Our approach. “ Noah wasn’t in favour of the flood but he built an Ark”.

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Fort St John

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Fort St John

“BC’s Energy Capital”

“Fort St John will be a community where nature lives, businesses prosper and families flourish”

Council Strategic Planning

#1 issue facing us: Site C

Site C

Our approach

“Noah wasn’t in favour of the flood

but he built an Ark”

So…..Let’s Talk Site C

“Taking a proactive approach to protecting and promoting the best interests of our community”

We needed to create a document that:

  • laid out the basis for discussion;

  • asked our community to reflect on how it could impact them, benefit them; and

  • overall how do we ensure the community remains strong and resilient.


  • Decision resides with Province and Federal Government, not Local Government

  • The City would be the most impacted municipality by and during construction

  • Community consultation done to develop the Official Community Plan

  • The City neither supports nor opposes the project

life of a community

If approved, it will have short-term consequences for our community during construction and will

forever alter future life

in Fort St John.

International protocols

  • United Nations World Commission on Dams.

  • Suggests that the large dams have not provided the benefit predicted.

  • Evaluation framework and protocols were developed that more fairly balances the interests of the proponent with the interests of those likely to experience impacts.

  • The City continues to believe that this is the appropriate path to take.

Simply put…

Council will need confirmation that our community will be better off in the long term as a result of the project than without it.

Relying on our Official Community plan

  • Created in 2011

  • Guiding principles attempt to capture the community values and tie the community vision to the policy direction of the OCP

OCP 4 Guiding Principles

  • Economic Prosperity:

    A prosperous economy has a diverse cross section of employment sectors including industries retail and tourism.

    A prosperous economy also must recognize and support existing industry and business.

OCP 4 Guiding Principles

  • Environmental Sustainability:

    Environmental Sustainability refers to living within the means of the local and regional eco-systems.

    For Fort St John this means understanding how the city impacts the water and air.

OCP 4 Guiding Principles

  • Social Inclusion:

    Encompasses the notion of “community”

    It is the essence of a safe, healthy, accessible and friendly city.

OCP 4 Guiding Principles

  • Cultural Vitality

    Cultural vitality is a rich and diverse culture that has thriving traditions, heritage and art.

    This cultural environment creates a key sense of place and is what gives FSJ its heart.

In addition to the Principles

We have 9 Goal areas that further define our our community’s target.

OCP 9 Goals:

  • Building a community

  • A community that promotes affordable and adequate housing for all residents

  • A diverse inclusive and multicultural community

  • An accessible and inclusive community

  • A built environment that provides a safe and attractive community for all seasons

OCP 9 Goals

  • Land use

  • Focus on well designed neighborhoods to promote active lifestyles

  • Identify the location of land uses that support community development and efficient

  • Provide high quality effective and efficient development in the community.

OCP 9 Goals

  • Economic Development

  • Strengthen partnerships with all business sectors including the forestry, agriculture and energy sector

  • Retain existing business and grow our reputation as BC’s Energy Capital

  • Strengthen a vibrant and diverse economy by retaining business

OCP 9 Goals

  • Environmental Stewardship

    Water: Our water has a huge impact on the health and well-being of the city. In addition, how the rivers are treated and managed will impact communities downstream.

    Air: Prevailing winds are usually westerly bringing any air pollution from Western BC. Areas that we will focus on will be pollution and climate change.

    Land: It is the city’s responsibility to use land efficiently and effectively while maintaining a safe community.

OCP 9 Goals

  • Infrastructure and Growth

  • Provide services and infrastructure in a suitable and efficient manner for long term fiscal and environmental sustainability.

  • Promoting infill of lands within the municipal boundary

  • Efficiently use existing infrastructure

OCP 9 Goals

  • Community Food Security

  • To ensure the long-term access of residents to fresh and healthy foods

  • Promote marketing opportunities for residents

  • Advocate for increased food security from all levels of government

OCP 9 Goals

  • Culture

  • Create a thriving arts, culture and entertainment experience through facilities, programs, partnerships and resources

  • Develop a history, heritage preservation and promotion plan

  • Allow for residents to have access to culture & art

OCP 9 Goals

  • Recreation

  • A healthy community through facilities, programs, partnerships, and resources

  • Establish Fort St John and the Pomeroy Sport Centre as a high-calibre, internationally-recognized speed skating venue

  • Develop a master recreation plan

OCP 9 Goals

  • Transportation

  • A safe and accessible community

  • Increase the diversity of transportation options in the city

  • Clearly identify future transportation routes within the city

All this came together to create the discussion points with the community:

Discussion points

  • Optimize economic opportunities for the community

    • Hiring local

    • Purchasing local

    • Establish a Peace Trust

    • Continue to develop the City as BC’s Energy Capital

  • Construction force housing

Discussion points continued…

  • Service the staging areas to benefit use after completion

  • Include areas in the city

  • Offset the cost of addressing impact through a Payment in Lieu of Taxes

Discussion points continued…

  • Enhance the regional transportation system

  • Conduct a basin wide assessment for the Peace River Basin

  • Master plan for the reservoir

Discussion points continued…

  • Improve the process review

  • Establish a monitoring program to address any unforeseen impacts and issues

  • Enter a formal agreement incorporating all commitments

Foundational Principles:

  • Council will maintain its legitimate authority

  • The City’s long-term plans

  • Financial impacts

  • Benefits consistent with the City’s vision

Evaluating future developments

  • Economic development

  • Region’s natural environment

  • Socially inclusive community

  • Cultural vitality


  • International Association of Business Communicators

    • Golden Quill Merit Award

    • Silver Quill Excellence in Multi-Audience Communication

    • Silver Quill Excellence in Community Relations

Thank you!

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