Breaching the Peace tells the story of the ordinary citizens who are standing up to the most expensive megaproject in BC history and the government-sanctioned bullying that has propelled it forward. Starting in 2013, journalist Sarah Cox travelled to the Peace River Valley to talk to locals about the Site C dam and BC Hydro’s claim that the clean energy project was urgently needed. She found farmers, First Nations, and scientists caught up in a modern-day David-and-Goliath battle to save the valley, their farms, and traditional lands from wholesale destruction. Told in frank and moving prose, their stories stand as a much-needed cautionary tale at a time when concerns about global warming have helped justify a renaissance of environmentally irresponsible hydro megaprojects around the world.
Sarah Cox is an award-winning journalist who specializes in energy and environmental issues. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines, online publications, and provincial and national newspapers. Breaching the Peace is her first book. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia.
Environmental journalist Cox presents a well-researched, accessible history of the Site C dam, a British Columbia project that’s drawn international attention for pork barrel politics, violations of First Nations rights, and threats to the ecosystem in the Peace River Valley. With energetic prose and extensive on-the-ground reporting, Cox profiles the people and issues behind the divisive project.
Breaching the Peace is an excellent title for Sarah Cox’s important book about the Site C Dam. That title yields a cascade of kaleidoscopic connotations — insights into this complex history of a river being broken up, of communities being divided, of “breach of the peace” lawsuits, and of byzantine machinations by BC Hydro to overcome the resistance.
Sarah Cox has written a searing new book about the scandalous Site C Dam in British Columbia … [she] expertly provides the context to the Site C saga that allows readers to understand what has happened here. Few people, except those who stand to profit immensely, have ever been enthusiastic about this project.
Cox’s book is a damning reminder that Canadian politicians of all hues still practice a state-sanctioned tragedy: they murder rivers to serve their political ambitions, tolerate no dissent, consider no alternatives and then call the fiscal abomination “green energy.”
[This is] a breathtaking examination of how Site C was rammed through despite its devastating impacts on public finances and an ecological treasure trove ... Cox delivers science journalism of the highest order, presented with passionate intensity and relentless curiosity.