Clark warns of $600 million delay to Site C dam

NDP leader John Horgan says Clark’s claims ‘unsupported’

Premier Christy Clark has written to the NDP and Green Party leaders, warning that a delay in removing two homes from the path of a Site C dam road could delay the project by a year and cost as much as $600 million.

In letters released Tuesday, Clark asked both NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver to reconsider Horgan’s request to delay the removal of two homes on land expropriated by BC Hydro for the third dam on the Peace River.

A decision must be made by June 15 on whether to proceed, Clark wrote. Her letters also ask:

“…whether or not you would like government to issue a ‘tools down’ request to BC Hydro on the other decisions that are essential in maintaining the budget and construction schedule of the Site C Clean Energy Project, given that the project is likely to progress past the ‘point of no return’ before the B.C. Utilities Commission review you have suggested could be reasonably concluded.”

Horgan responded Tuesday, calling Clark’s claims of cost escalation “unsupported” and accusing the B.C. Liberals of driving up BC Hydro bills due to “mismanagement” of the project.

Weaver also responded to Clark’s letter Tuesday, saying he would need access to official documents on the project before he could respond to her questions.

Horgan wrote to BC Hydro CEO Jessica McDonald May 31 to ask for a lease extension for two families, including Peace Valley Landowner Association members Ken and Arlene Boon, whose homes are on a road right-of-way needed for the dam.

“I believe there is no demonstrated short-term need to force these families from their homes, and because the status of the next governments of British Columbia are uncertain, the threat of imminent removal of residents from their expropriated homes and property is unreasonable,” Horgan wrote.

Clark’s letter says “the relocation of the homes in question is necessary as part of a two-year road and bridge construction project that will enable river diversion to occur in September 2019.”

River diversion has to be done when water is low in summer, not in winter when the two existing Peace River dams are running water through turbines to supply winter electricity demand.

“Preliminary work undertaken on this issue by BC Hydro indicates that should river diversion not be completed as scheduled, a year-long delay would occur in order to divert the river during the next low-flow period, in September 2020,” Clark wrote. “This one-year delay is estimated to cost ratepayers $600 million.”

“Given the obligation that BC Hydro has in place with respect to road construction and completion, a decision to proceed will need to be made no later than June 15, 2017 in order to maintain the September 2019 river diversion schedule.”

Weaver responded to Clark’s letter Tuesday, saying he would need access to official documents on the project before he could respond to her questions.

Just Posted

Quesnel Bantam Rep Hockey Tourney got off to a spirited start

Williams Lake jumped into a two-goal lead and never looked back in a 5-3

Biologist will be monitoring wildfire impacts on aqua culture and runoff

A change in runoff patterns in wildfire impacted areas could result in lakes not getting oxygenated properly

Snowy track made running very slick and slippery

Quesnel cross-country athletes dominated race and owned the podium

Curling Club Sponsor League keen on the ice

Weekly games began at the Quesnel Curling Club on Oct. 11

Silver Screen Scoundrels Quesnel performance an opportunity for a new experience

Homemade silent movie in background adds a unique atmosphere to performance

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Dorsett has 2 goals, assist in Canucks’ 4-2 win over Sabres

‘It was a real good hockey game by our group,’ Canucks coach Travis Green said.

Berry disappointed: Bear tries to eat fake fruit on woman’s door wreath

A Winnipeg woman has taken her berry-embellished wreath down, after a hungry bear visited her porch

Man in custody linked police search near Salmon Arm

Police have not connected arrest to search at Salmon River Road property

B.C. search groups mobilize for missing mushroom picker

Searchers from across the province look for Frances Brown who has been missing since Oct. 14.

Most Read