By Roy L Hales
Though Christy Clark’s government recklessly spent close to $2 billion of taxpayer’s money trying to push the proposed Site C Dam beyond the point of no return, their days in office may be ending. More than 57% of British Columbians voted for parties that want to see this project either reviewed, or stopped. The NDP leader does not yet possess the authority to give the utility orders, but John Horgan urges BC Hydro to not finalize contracts.
Horgan Urges BC Hydro To Not Finalize Contracts
He wrote the utility’s CEO:
“Given what the Premier has characterized as a probable change in government over the coming weeks, we urge BC Hydro to suspend the evictions from these lands and grant a further extension on the timeline so that impacted families can stay in their homes until the future of Site C is firmly determined.
“Similarly I am concerned at the potential to increase the liability of BC Hydro, BC Hydro ratepayers and taxpayers for new contracts that BC Hydro may be contemplating during this time of uncertainty regarding future governments and what new decisions may be made regarding Site C. We urge BC Hydro not to finalize any contracts that do not contain a penalty-free cancellation clause until a new government has gained the confidence of the legislature to govern and decide future policy regarding the Site C project.”1
Work continues in the dam area. Around seven kilometres have been cleared. Most of the project area is still intact.
For the time being, the Boon and Meek/Jardine families have been allowed to stay for a month beyond their original May 31 eviction notice.
Independent Review By The British Columbia Utilities Commission
“No one is quite sure what contractual commitments have been made. The overall projected budget for the project, approximately $9 billion, hasn’t been verified by anybody other than Hydro and friends of the BC Liberals. That is why the Federal/Provincial joint review panel said they should be sending it to the BC Utilities Commission to see if the costs are what they say they would be, and if there is a need for the power,” said George Smith, of Alliance 4 Democracy.
The Clark government did not do this, most likely because the commission turned the project down twice in the past.
“Christy Clark and Hydro created this debacle, we don’t need to make it worse. Even Hydro says they will be operating at multi-million dollar losses for years. If you are spending money on something that has turned out to be a turkey and created an economic hole, you don’t keep shovelling more of your resources in to that hole. You cut your losses, try to recoup as much as possible and you use that money to try to do something that will provide you with a return.”
Andrea Morison, from the Peace Valley Environment Association, Galen Armstrong, of Sierra Club BC, and Candace Batycki, of Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative sent out a joint press release stating:
“We want to send a huge THANK YOU to all of you who have taken action to protect the Peace River Valley from the Site C dam! From informing friends, sharing social media posts, writing letters, taking to the streets, meeting with politicians, waving banners, to joining the Site C White Elephant and so much more – you are amazing and your efforts have paid off!”
“As you know, the BC NDP and Green party have now formed an alliance and it looks like they will soon form a minority government in BC. The two parties have signed an agreement that includes sending Site C to the BC Utilities Commission for the economic review it should have had years ago.”
Photo Credit: (l to r) Candace Batycki, of Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, Galen Armstrong, of Sierra Club BC, and Andrea Morison, from the Peace Valley Environment Association
- May 31, 2017, letter from John Horgan to Jessica McDonald, President and CEO of BC Hydro ↩