BC Government to determine the fate of Site C dam Monday morning

A group of Site C opponents warns the B.C. New Democratic Party will face financial and political backlash from supporters as a result of approving completion of the controversial $8.8-billion dam. "I was not prepared to foreclose on the future generations by making a decision today that would make me feel good".

Horgan's cabinet spent nine hours over three meetings debating its decision and concluded to proceed on December 6. The main criteria were the impact on ratepayers and the effect on the finances of BC Hydro and the government.

Cabinet also explored whether the provincial government could have absorbed Site C's losses in a cancellation scenario, but concluded it could lead to a credit downgrade. That was their whole point.

The government said it had revised the budget for the project to $10.7-billion, up from $8.8-billion, and said the top deciding factors were the impact that cancelling the dam would have had on the province's finances and electricity rates.

"I want to speak to the people that demand it be cancelled, I respect the strength of your convictions and share the determination to protect farmland".

National Chief Perry Bellegarde of the Assembly of First Nations said Indigenous people will likely take the matter to court. "The previous government made decisions to proceed leaving some of those questions unanswered".

Horgan admits that this decision is an important one for many people in this province.

"Today we're announcing a way forward and it's been a hard journey", Horgan said. "But we cannot punish British Columbians for those mistakes, and we can't change the past".

The third of a series of dams on the Peace River, Site C would flood an 83-kilometre-long stretch of the river to generate enough electricity to power 450,000 homes.

VICTORIA-The B.C. government had no choice but to complete the Site C hydroelectric dam rather than absorb a $4 billion hit to its bottom line by cancelling the project, which would have jeopardized plans for more spending on schools, hospitals and bridges, Premier John Horgan said Monday.

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After forming government in July, the NDP asked the BCUC to report on the consequences of stopping, suspending or finishing the project.

"This is B.C.'s project, and it should benefit B.C. workers", said Wayne Peppard, spokesman for the Allied Hydro Council of B.C. The BCUC projected a final cost of at least $10 billion.

Remember, this is a BC Liberal project, not an NDP one.

"For the businesses, for the families, for the local First Nations in the area, this is the right decision", said Mike Bernier, who represents Peace River South in the legislature. "It's unfortunate we had to wait six months for an obvious decision". "Our caucus is extremely disheartened by this decision".

"In the long-run, Site C's affordable energy is a huge competitive advantage for business in the province", said Val Litwin, CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce.

The Site C project is now two years into construction and $2.1 billion has already been spent.

"This province doesn't have billions of dollars to waste on a make-work boondoggle for power we don't even need", Chief Lynette Tsakoza of Prophet River First Nation said in a statement. "With the BCUC's report in hand, we're confident that the court will grant our injunction".

In addition to a court-sponsored injunction, the nations also announced they will pursue a civil case against the project for treaty infringement.

"First Nations in the region have entrenched constitutional rights", Horgan stated in that interview. UNDRIP requires free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous peoples to development on their territories. The NDP was only able to form government with the cooperation of the Green Party, which could at any time could withdraw its support and bring the government down.

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