Social impact assessment practice for hydroelectricity in Canada: a review of methods and monitoring
Pimentel da Silva, Gardenio Diogo
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This thesis reviewed social impact assessment (SIA) documents for licensing of projects, and news media articles for monitoring of social impacts from hydroelectricity projects. The results indicate a static consultant-led SIA practice using the same techniques to evaluate social impacts, with few improvements such as inclusion of community-based impact assessments (CBIA) for Site C and Keeyask. This study also demonstrated that news media analysis could be used to monitor selected social impacts, such as episodes of conflicts and chronic issues, socioeconomic effects, psychosocial impacts, and cumulative effects on daily life. Monitoring social impacts using news media coverage helped to explain political power playing a role in the different outcome for those projects in terms of community support. Finally, this work indicates that political interests and industry power to push forward projects, sometimes despite unresolved conflicts, are the critical hurdle for sustainable projects.