Clark warns of $600 million delay to Site C dam

Clark warns of $600 million delay to Site C dam

NDP leader John Horgan says Clark’s claims ‘unsupported’

Premier Christy Clark has written to the NDP and Green Party leaders, warning that a delay in removing two homes from the path of a Site C dam road could delay the project by a year and cost as much as $600 million.

In letters released Tuesday, Clark asked both NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver to reconsider Horgan’s request to delay the removal of two homes on land expropriated by BC Hydro for the third dam on the Peace River.

A decision must be made by June 15 on whether to proceed, Clark wrote. Her letters also ask:

“…whether or not you would like government to issue a ‘tools down’ request to BC Hydro on the other decisions that are essential in maintaining the budget and construction schedule of the Site C Clean Energy Project, given that the project is likely to progress past the ‘point of no return’ before the B.C. Utilities Commission review you have suggested could be reasonably concluded.”

Horgan responded Tuesday, calling Clark’s claims of cost escalation “unsupported” and accusing the B.C. Liberals of driving up BC Hydro bills due to “mismanagement” of the project.

Weaver also responded to Clark’s letter Tuesday, saying he would need access to official documents on the project before he could respond to her questions.

Horgan wrote to BC Hydro CEO Jessica McDonald May 31 to ask for a lease extension for two families, including Peace Valley Landowner Association members Ken and Arlene Boon, whose homes are on a road right-of-way needed for the dam.

“I believe there is no demonstrated short-term need to force these families from their homes, and because the status of the next governments of British Columbia are uncertain, the threat of imminent removal of residents from their expropriated homes and property is unreasonable,” Horgan wrote.

Clark’s letter says “the relocation of the homes in question is necessary as part of a two-year road and bridge construction project that will enable river diversion to occur in September 2019.”

River diversion has to be done when water is low in summer, not in winter when the two existing Peace River dams are running water through turbines to supply winter electricity demand.

“Preliminary work undertaken on this issue by BC Hydro indicates that should river diversion not be completed as scheduled, a year-long delay would occur in order to divert the river during the next low-flow period, in September 2020,” Clark wrote. “This one-year delay is estimated to cost ratepayers $600 million.”

“Given the obligation that BC Hydro has in place with respect to road construction and completion, a decision to proceed will need to be made no later than June 15, 2017 in order to maintain the September 2019 river diversion schedule.”

Weaver responded to Clark’s letter Tuesday, saying he would need access to official documents on the project before he could respond to her questions.

BC Election 2017BC Votes 2017Site C

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Teagan Hunt (Grade 12) and Aiden Grew (Grade 11) are the 2020 winners of Lambrick Park’s annual Queen & King of the Hill demanding race up Mount Doug’s Churchill Drive. (Photo courtesy of Tom Turnbull)
Lambrick King of the Hill wins Cedar Hill time trial

Aiden Grew sets course record for gruelling King of the Hill run

Shea Smith is one of three creators of The Homeless Idea podcast. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Victoria podcasters talks homelessness first-hand

Three homeless Victoria residents created The Homeless Idea to give themselves a voice

The president and chief executive officer of BC Ferries promises additional reviews to help sustain BC Ferries. (Black Press Media File)
BC Ferries to review expenditures following 43 per cent passenger drop in 2020

Promise from CEO follows new figures showing significant decline in passengers

Local MLA Adam Olsen, a member of the Tsartlip Nation, here seen before the 2020 provincial election, said a new report finding “widespread systemic racism against Indigenous people” in the provincial health care system does not surprise Indigenous people. (Hansard TV)
MLA, Tsartlip member says ‘silo’ approach won’t work dealing with racism in health care

Adam Olsen calls for comprehensive approach in dealing with systemic racism

The University of Victoria will mark the eighth annual Giving Tuesday with its Add Sprinkles campaign which collects funds to support various student initiatives across campus. (Photo courtesy UVic Photo Services)
Nearly 150 Greater Victoria groups prepare for eighth annual Giving Tuesday

Last year Canadians raised nearly $22 million in 24 hours

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

The CVRD will reconsider its policies on fireworks after receiving complaints. (File photo)
Cowichan Valley Regional District considers options for fireworks after complaints

Distict only allows fireworks on Halloween and New Year’s Eve, with a permit

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

Paramedics register patients at a drive through, pop-up COVID-19 test centre outside the Canadian Tire Centre, home of the NHL’s Ottawa Senators, in Ottawa, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians aren’t currently worried that people in other countries might get a COVID-19 vaccine first. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Canadians not worried other countries will get COVID-19 vaccine first: poll

Forty-one per cent of respondents say they want the vaccine to be mandatory for all Canadians

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Kettle bells sit aligned in an indoor fitness studio. (PIxabay.com)
1 COVID-19 case at a B.C. fitness studio leads to 104 more infections, 6 school exposures

According to case data released by Fraser Health, one case of the novel coronavirus carries a big impact

Vehicles drive past a display thanking essential workers in Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
B.C. changing COVID-19 case reporting as virus spread continues

Manual counting takes more time, leads to errors

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Most Read