New Democrats call for expanded oversight of Site C project

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VICTORIA — B.C.’s New Democrats are challenging the B.C. Liberals to restore independent oversight and to push for expanded public hearings into the proposed Site C dam.

In a letter sent to Energy Minister Bill Bennett this morning, New Democrat energy critic John Horgan and environment critic Spencer Chandra Herbert asked that the government reinstate the independent oversight roles of the B.C. Utilities Commission and the Agricultural Land Commission, and to take steps to expand public hearings so that they are accessible to the majority of British Columbians.

“The vast majority of British Columbians are being shut out of the review process,” said Horgan. “The hearings are confined to the northeast corner of the province over just a few weeks in the dead of winter. Will the minister continue to ignore calls for an appropriate review of this project?”

Horgan added that people across the province are facing skyrocketing hydro rates and they deserve a chance to comment on a project that could add $8 billion to B.C. Hydro’s debt.

“The Liberal government’s reckless interference with B.C. Hydro has led the province’s utility into escalating financial turmoil. Independent oversight must be returned to protect ratepayers.”

Horgan and Chandra Herbert’s letter to the minister can be viewed here.