Breaching the Peace
Release Date:01 May 2018

Breaching the Peace

The Site C Dam and a Valley’s Stand against Big Hydro

UBC Press, On Point Press

From award-winning journalist Sarah Cox comes the inspiring and astonishing story of the farmers and First Nations who fought the most expensive megaproject in BC history and the government-sanctioned bullying that propelled it forward.

In 2010, the BC government announced its plan to build a third hydroelectric dam on the Peace River. Although Site C would cost $9 billion and would destroy land of great ecological value and significance to First Nations, Premier Gordon Campbell and his successor, Christy Clark, insisted it was necessary to generate jobs and clean energy.

Starting in 2013, Sarah Cox travelled to the Peace Valley to talk to locals about what was really at stake. This powerful work of advocacy journalism reveals the dam’s true costs from the perspective of the people who tried to stop the wholesale destruction of their land in courts of law and the court of public opinion.

In frank and moving prose, Cox weaves the personal stories of expropriated farmers such as Ken and Arlene Boon and First Nations leaders such as Roland Willson into a stunning exposé of Big Hydro and its power to erode our land, our rights, and our ability to embrace (and afford) alternative clean energy sources.

This modern-day “David and Goliath” story stands as a much-needed cautionary tale during an era when concerns about global warming have helped justify a renaissance of environmentally irresponsible hydro megaprojects around the world.

This book is for anyone concerned about environmental destruction, climate change, and social justice issues, and it is a must-read for students, policy makers, and government leaders working in these areas.

Sarah Cox is an award-winning journalist who writes about energy and the environment. She lives in Victoria, BC.

Foreword / Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada


1 The Birth of a Goliath

2 Stand Off at Rocky Mountain Fort


4 Subdivide and Conquer

5 The Nature of the Peace

6 Treaty Lands and Corporate Plans

7 Solar Panels and Wind Turbines

8 Yellow Sticks and Expropriation


Notes; Selected Bibliography

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