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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.