BC government will move forward with Site C

Artist’s rendering of the Site C dam the third hydro dam on the Peace River that started construction in 2015

"Megaproject mismanagement by the old government has left B.C.in a awful situation", said Premier John Horgan.

Had the NDP government chose 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.

On September 13, 2017, the 10th anniversary of the declaration, Horgan said "Our government understands the enormous responsibility we have to Indigenous peoples, in the face of historical wrongs that have never been made right and in the wake of inaction by government after government".

The government decision to proceed marks the latest chapter in the long-running saga of the largest construction project in B.C.'s history.

An estimated $4 billion h as already been spent so far on the dam and the NDP government was debating whether to continue construction or cancel the work midway through the job.

It won't be done until 2024 at earliest (longer, predicted the BCUC), and already almost $2 billion into construction, several big contracts are still unsigned - and may be affected by the B.C.'s hope to cap costs at $10.7 billion through an "enhanced oversight" board.

"We began to receive copies of letters and realized hundreds, if not thousands of NDP supporters were angry and anxious about the Site C dam".

Furious lobbying from proponents and opponents of the third dam on the Fraser River has continued since The B.C. Utilities Commission released its independent report on the project November 1, ordered by Horgan to fulfil a promise he has repeated many times since becoming NDP leader.




"We know this decision is not what some First Nations wanted".

Former premier Christy Clark gave Site C the green light in December 2014, saying the decision to approve the province's most expensive megaproject marked a historic milestone that would be felt for a century.

However, Litwin said that "from the business community's perspective, this is a huge win", in terms of being an infrastructure investment that will, despite short-term pain, deliver long-term gains in less costly electricity. "I am not the first person to stand before you and disappoint Indigenous peoples", Horgan said.

The province's independent energy regulator concluded in its report last month that the dam is over budget and behind schedule.

The value of Site C on government's balance sheet would be the equivalent of constructing three Pattullo Bridges, 66 secondary schools or 11 hospitals. "Today's announcement by the NDP is the right decision", said Peace River South MLA Mike Bernier. The new project cost is now estimated at $10.7-billion, factoring in an increased risk contingency fund.

Site C has been part of the province's hydroelectric generation plans since 1958.

It will be the third dam on the Peace River in northeastern B.C., flooding an 83-kilometre stretch of valley near Fort St. John. The plan also allows more people to produce their own green energy to power their homes. Site C would also flood Indigenous heritage sites and force up to 20 families, many lifelong ranchers, to move.

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