B.C. premier John Horgan has given the green light to finish the Site C hydroelectric dam. He says British Columbians would have gained nothing if they didn’t complete the northeastern B.C. project, because if they had decided to cancel it, the government would have taken on the project’s $3.9 billion in debt.
Horgan says it wasn’t an easy decision.
“I can’t think in the 30 years I’ve been involved with public policy of a choice that was more difficult then this one, but it is absolutely in the interest of British Columbians to take advantage of an opportunity to go forward and make better a bad situation.”
Horgan adds the NDP government had no choice because the B.C. Liberals “recklessly pushed” Site C to the point of no return, committing billions to the project without proper planning.
The capital project is the biggest B.C. hydro has ever taken on, and a new project team will be put in place to provide enhanced oversight to make sure it is built “on time and on budget.” The project is estimated to cost $10.7 billion when all is said and done.
When asked if this will hurt his relationship with First Nations groups, many of which oppose the project, Horgan says he’s fairly confident they can work through it.
“There has been over 150 years of disappointment in British Columbia and I’m not the first person to stand before you and disappoint Indigenous people. But I am, I think, the first to stand before you and say I’m going to do my level best to make amends for a whole host of issues.”
In response to the provincial government’s decision to push ahead with dam, the West Moberly First Nations and Prophet River First Nations have announced their intention to obtain a court injunction to stop the project from being constructed and to start a civil action for Treaty infringement.
Written by Jeff Slack, 94.3 The Goat