B.C. Liberals recklessly reject Site C review panel recommendation of third-party oversight

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VICTORIA – The B.C. Liberals’ rejection of key review panel recommendations for independent oversight of the proposed Site C dam is further evidence this government would rather recklessly push its political agenda than govern responsibly, say the New Democrats.

“The Site C Panel agreed with what New Democrats have been saying for years. It asked the same questions I’ve asked and raised the same concerns,” said New Democrat leader John Horgan. “Instead of accepting what the panel had to say on the proposed project, the B.C. Liberals rejected independent expert oversight in favour of their political agenda.”

The Joint Review Panel for the Site C project released its report Thursday, questioning the need for power that would justify building the dam. The panel recommended that the minister consider “referring the load forecast and demand side management plan details to the B.C. Utilities Commission,” something New Democrats have been calling on the government to do for years.

“The bottom line is B.C. families are already going to pay 28 per cent more for electricity over five years, and now they’re going to be stuck with the bill for an $8 billion project that we may not even need.”

The panel also recommended that the minister have the BCUC look at the costs of the proposed project. The B.C. Liberals rejected that too.

“The Liberals are clearly uncomfortable with a report that doesn’t support their narrow political agenda, but it’s reckless and irresponsible to simply reject the panel’s findings,” said Horgan. “British Columbians want a responsible and balanced approach to major projects and this report shows the Liberals refuse to ask the right questions so B.C. families don’t end up on the hook for unnecessary costs.”