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Site C-affected British Columbians react to report

Metro talked to three people impacted by the Site C hydro dam for their take on the B.C. Utilities Commission's final report Wednesday.

Metro asked three British Columbia residents directly impacted by the Site C hydroelectric dam what they thought about a government report casting a shadow over the project's future Wednesday. From left: Jessie Cook, a Peace River Hydro Partners construction employee; Helen Knott, a social worker in Fort St. John and member of Prophet River First Nation; and Ken Boon, a landowner expropriated for the dam's floodplain.

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Metro asked three British Columbia residents directly impacted by the Site C hydroelectric dam what they thought about a government report casting a shadow over the project's future Wednesday. From left: Jessie Cook, a Peace River Hydro Partners construction employee; Helen Knott, a social worker in Fort St. John and member of Prophet River First Nation; and Ken Boon, a landowner expropriated for the dam's floodplain.

The B.C. regulator that oversees energy projects in the province cast a shadow over the future of the province's largest megaproject on Wednesday, the proposed Site C hydroelectric dam.

The B.C. Utilities Commission released its final report into the 1,100-megawatt Site C hydroelectric dam has called into question many of BC Hydro's core claims and forecasts about the project, which has been under construction for more than two years already.

The dam's price tag for B.C. taxpayers will likely overshoot BC Hydro's budget by nearly $2 billion, the B.C. Utilities Commission concluded Wednesday. And although the commission didn't issue its advice for the government, the B.C. NDP government said it expects to decide the dam's fate by year's end.

Metro asked three people directly impacted by the Site C — a local landowner whose land was expropriated for flooding, a First Nations advocate and social worker whose band is part of Treaty 8 in the dam's floodplain, and a construction worker who works breaking and washing rocks for the dam's concrete.

Here's some of what they told Metro in reaction to Wednesday's report.

Jessie Cook, employee at Site C site with Peace River Hydro Partners

Courtesy Jessie Cook

Jessie Cook, employee at Site C site with Peace River Hydro Partners

THE SITE C WORKER: Jessie Cook

It is what it is. If they do shut (Site C) down, it's going to be a disappointment for a lot of families and people up there, especially people who moved up there for it. The consistency and stability this has been has been really nice. The government's invested a lot in it — but a lot of us have invested our well-being into as well.

Helen Knott, Prophet River First Nation

Jennifer Gauthier/Metro

Helen Knott, Prophet River First Nation

THE INDIGENOUS ADVOCATE: Helen Knott

The BCUC stated what a lot of people already knew about the financial cost of the Site C dam—and it was just looking at the cost of the dam to ratepayers. There's much larger cost that can't be counted. The Peace Valley is a place that's not a replaceable part of our territory. For me and my family, it's become our place of connection.

Ken Boon, Peace Valley expropriated landowner

Courtesy Peace Valley Environment Association

Ken Boon, Peace Valley expropriated landowner

THE LANDOWNER: Ken Boon

It is very encouraging. At the end of the day, I cannot see any government—not just the NDP—wanting to taking all that risk carrying on with this project now. People will have to transition to other jobs; I'm sure (B.C.) can and probably will play a role in how that transition takes place. But it's clear now the only path forward is termination.

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