By December 11, 2017 Read More →

BC to complete controversial Site C hydroelectric dam, price tag balloons to $10.7 billion

site c

B.C. Site C hydro power dam artist’s rendering.

Cancellation of Site C would have cost B.C. $4 billion dollars: $2.1 billion already spent, $1.8 billion for site remediation

The Site C dam will be completed because cancelling it would have cost the  British Columbia government $4 billion with nothing to show for the money spent, Premier John Horgan announced Monday.

The British Columbia government will complete construction of the Site C hydroelectric dam, saying that to do otherwise would put British Columbians on the hook for an immediate and unavoidable $4-billion bill – with nothing in return – resulting in rate hikes or reduced funds for schools, hospitals and important infrastructure,

“Megaproject mismanagement by the old government has left B.C. in a terrible situation. But we cannot punish British Columbians for those mistakes, and we can’t change the past. We can only make the best decision for the future,” said Horgan in a press release.

“It’s clear that Site C should never have been started. But to cancel it would add billions to the Province’s debt – putting at risk our ability to deliver housing, child care, schools and hospitals for families across B.C. And that’s a price we’re not willing to pay.”

Had government decided to cancel Site C, it would have taken on the project’s $3.9 billion in debt, made up of $2.1 billion already spent and another $1.8 billion in remediation costs.

electric semi-truck

As public debt, it would become the responsibility of BC Hydro customers or taxpayers.

The NDP government blamed it predecessor, the BC Liberals under Christy Clark, for “megaproject mismanagement.”

“The old government recklessly pushed Site C past the point of no return, committing billions of dollars to this project without appropriate planning and oversight,” said Horgan.

“Our job now is to make the best of a bad deal and do everything possible to turn Site C into a positive contributor to our energy future.”

Horgan said that in moving forward with the project, his government will launch a Site C turnaround plan to contain project costs while adding tangible benefits.

A new Project Assurance Board that will provide enhanced oversight to future contract procurement and management, project deliverables, environmental integrity, and quality assurance – all within the mandate of delivering the project on time and budget.

Based on current projections, BC Hydro has revised the budget to $10.7 billion. the Site C project is already two years into construction

“We’re taking the steps the previous government showed no interest in: a solid budget, enhanced review and oversight, community benefits, and an eye to the future. We’re putting an end to the years of energy policy that put politics ahead of people – where government forced BC Hydro into costly contracts, hiking rates for homeowners and renters, and delivering dividends to government it simply couldn’t afford,” said Horgan.

He added that the NDP government will also be pursuing an alternative energy strategy that helps the province exceed its climate goals.

“I respect and honour the commitment of people who oppose Site C, and share their determination to move B.C. to a clean, renewable energy future and to embrace the principles of reconciliation with Indigenous communities,” said Horgan.



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