Media Statement – March 12, 2015
Andrew Weaver Calls for Pause on Site C Dam Development
For Immediate Release
Victoria B.C. – Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay – Gordon head and Deputy Leader of the B.C. Green Party says its time to hit the pause button on the Site C dam before British Columbians have to foot the $800 million bill for this government’s rushed decision.
Dr. Weaver’s call follows “unprecedented” comments from Harry Swain, chair of the Joint Review Panel that reviewed the Site C Dam proposal. In an interview with DeSmog Blog Canada, Mr. Swain called the government’s failure to properly consider alternatives to the dam a “dereliction of duty”.
“Mr. Swain is a highly respected former public servant. When someone like him raises such serious concerns, we need to listen,” said Andrew Weaver.
Mr. Swain, is a former Deputy Minister of Industry Canada and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. He is concerned the government was irresponsible in rushing into its decision on Site C and instead should be taking the time to explore alternatives.
According to the panel’s report, by building Site C now the government will end up saturating the electricity market to the point where it will cost B.C. Hydro more to produce electricity than it will get from selling it. The result would cost British Columbians at least $800 million in the first four years of operation.
“The question that needs to be asked is what’s the rush?” said Andrew Weaver. “LNG isn’t materializing along the timeline promised by government. Even if B.C. Hydro’s current projections are true, we still have up to four years before we need to start building the dam. We should use that time to explore alternatives before embarking on the largest infrastructure project in B.C. history.”
Mr. Swain made it clear that alternatives to Site C exist and should have been considered. The panel, however, was not empowered to do so.
“The Minister’s talking points are missing the point.This dam didn’t make sense for BC thirty years ago, and it doesn’t make sense now.”
Andrew Weaver also joined numerous others in calling on the government to send the Site C project to the BCUC for a full, regulatory review.
Press Secretary – Andrew Weaver MLA
Cell: 250 216 3382
Victoria BC V8V 1X4
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