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Site C Dam Approval Seen To Boost Fort St. John Real Estate Demand

Will B.C. Hydro’s proposed dam on the Peace River finally be given the green light? That’s the question local authorities, residents and other stakeholders are anxiously awaiting an answer to.

Further increasing anticipation is the fact that a joint panel review will soon be released by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) and the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office (BC EAO)—the result of which may have an immense bearing on the dam’s future. Business in Vancouver provides more details on this development:

The federal and B.C. governments will reveal a Joint Review Panel's recommendations regarding Site C on May 8, officials confirmed Thursday.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency issued a statement saying the Joint Review Panel had issued its report on the proposed hydroelectric dam that could be built less than 10 kilometers away from Fort St. John.

However, that statement did not say whether or not the panel recommended the project to move forward.

Lucille Jamault, a spokeswoman for the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA), said that the panel gave the report to the federal Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq and the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office (BC EAO).

"As the Joint Review Panel agreement states, it is the agency and the BC EAO that will make public the panel report," she said. "It will be posted on the agency's public registry and the CEAA website."

The dam is meant to provide renewable energy to the residents of British Columbia, as well as to supply adequate power to the province, whose energy demands will steadily increase in the years ahead.

Site C Dam Approval Seen To Boost Fort St. John Real Estate Demand

Of course, power generation won’t be the only thing that experiences an uptick should Site C push through. As early as now, REALTORS® like Scott Sauer are already predicting a boost in Fort St. John real estate demand given the dam’s proximity to the city.

According to Sauer, B.C. Hydro expects the project to attract 5,000 workers to the area. Given Fort St. John’s current population of 20,000 people, that’s a whopping 25% increase which will likely translate into robust growth for the real estate sector.

While the hydroelectric company will most likely build housing for its Site C employees, it is expected that many of these new employees would much rather look at suitable Fort St. John real estate listings, and be full-fledged homeowners instead. Buying a house in the city also offers other perks, like easy access to shopping/business districts, and proximity to good schools—a must for workers with children.

Real estate investors are also keeping a keen eye on the city. Many will look to develop subdivisions, condominiums and other multi-family properties that will address the influx of new residents in Fort St. John should Site C become a reality.

(Source: Government to release Site C report May 8, Business in Vancouver, May 2, 2014)

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