Local MLA Rob Fleming, here earlier this year announcing seismic upgrades at Campus View Elementary school as minister of education, said the B.C. Liberals’ mishandling of B.C. Hydro left the current government with no choice than to continue with the Site C project.

Victoria – Swan Lake MLA defends Site C decision

Victoria – Swan Lake MLA Rob Fleming, who also serves as a minister of education, defended his government’s recent decision to push ahead with the controversial Site C hydro-power project in northern British Columbia.

“If it was just about politics, it would have been easy [to cancel it],” said Fleming, when asked whether New Democrats missed an opportunity to make a signature decision as a new government. “But it is about looking at the best interests, even in a bad situation, of British Columbians,” he said. “We will have more to say about how we might mitigate Site C to become a better project, and to address the First Nations’ and environmental concerns, and the loss of agricultural lands [in 2018].”

Fleming made those comments, as the provincial New Democrats approach six months in office.

Their route into the halls of power was circuitous, after the provincial election of May 9, 2011 had reduced the ruling B.C. Liberals to 43 seat. This outcome created a scenario that eventually allowed the New Democrats to assume power following a confidence vote on June 29 during which the three members of the B.C. Green Party voted with the New Democrats under a confidence-and-supply agreement to last four years.

The current cabinet including Fleming and Saanich South MLA as minister of agriculture assumed their posts July 18.

“Site C, by far, is the most difficult decision we have had to make to date as a government,” he said. “It required a lot of debate and information. At the end of the day, there was no ideal decision, and it was a decision we would have never made. But in terms of a project, at $4 billion dollars, and 25 per cent completed, at the end of the day, it was hard to walk away from a project that was that far along.”

Fleming said his government got left with a “number of messes on a number of fronts” including B.C. Hydro.

Just Posted

Friends, family remember Dan Sealey, stepson of Minister of Agriculture, in private gathering

Lana Popham confirmed Sealey died of an accidental drug overdose earlier this month at age 23

PHOTOS: Uptown lights up the holiday season

Annual event drew crowd of all ages for parade and Christmas tree lighting

New figures show City of Victoria spent $30,000 to remove Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

High school graduation rates on the rise in Greater Victoria

High school completion up from 71 to 86.8 per cent over 10 years

Mommy’s Inside Voice: A little piece of you

Mommy’s Inside Voice is a biweekly column by Amie Jay, a local mother of three

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Greater Victoria holiday craft fair roundup for Nov. 16 to 18

Check off all of the items on your shopping list at these great events

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 14

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

High-end B.C. house prices dropping, but no relief at lower levels

But experts say home ownership remains out of reach for many for middle- and lower-income families

Worker killed in collision at B.C. coal mine

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. this morning

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

Most Read