Media Release: September 30, 2015
Andrew Weaver Calls Site C Dam Fiscally Foolish
For Immediate Release
Victoria B.C. – In a debate on the Site C dam in the B.C. Legislature today Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay – Gordon Head and Deputy Leader of the B.C. Green Party will reject the need for the Site C dam, calling the project ‘fiscally foolish, socially irresponsible and environmentally unsound’.
The debate has been called on a motion brought forward by the Minister of Energy and Mines, The Honourable Bill Bennett, for the House to support the construction of the Site C Clean Energy Project.
In his response to the motion, Andrew Weaver will make seven points arguing alternatives to Site C which will demonstrate clear fiscal, environmental and social benefits for the province.
1: Site C will require the flooding of 16,000 acres of viable agricultural land where alternative energy projects can provide the same power without the footprint;
2: First Nations traditional land use and provincial historical sites would be preserved;
3: Job creation associated with Site C is constrained to one region while alternative energy projects would benefit communities throughout the province, with better long term job prospects;
4: Cost overruns associated to Site C will be borne by provincial taxpayers. Solar, wind and geothermal project risks are covered by industry;
5: Renewable energy projects can be done in partnership with First Nations who would directly benefit through employment and revenue from installed facilities;
6: Site C will take far longer to complete, and is not scalable compared to wind and solar.
7: Renewable energy projects would be located closer to where the energy is required, benefiting regions throughout the province, and reducing energy loss through transmission.
While the Joint Review Panel did not specifically recommend or reject the Site C project, the report highlighted the lack of analysis on renewable alternatives, significant adverse effects on fish, wildlife and wetlands, and unmitigable adverse effects on First Nations traditional land use. In addition, the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association issued a comprehensive report demonstrating the viability of equivalent firm power at a cheaper megawatt rate, and with construction costs of $3.3 billion vs the estimated Site C costs now approaching $9 billion.
“I have been pointing out for several years now that Site C is the wrong project at the wrong time” said Andrew Weaver, “There are clear, viable and cheaper alternatives which the government is deliberately ignoring in order to justify a truly damaging decision. Imagine if we invested $9 billion into the clean technology sector, what a boost that would mean to the economy and employment around the province.”
The full transcript of Andrew Weaver’s speech is attached and will be available at www.andrewweavermla.ca, along with previous statements and analysis on the Site C project.
Press Secretary – Andrew Weaver MLA
Cell: 250 216 3382
Victoria BC V8V 1X4