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'Betrayed' B.C. Greens stick by NDP deal despite Site C approval

Green leader Andrew Weaver says his pact with the government intact despite its 'fiscally reckless' dam decision

Construction work has been underway for more than two years in the Peace Valley on the Site C, near Fort St. John, as seen in this 2016 photo.

Courtesy Peace Valley Hydro Partners / Metro Web Upload

Construction work has been underway for more than two years in the Peace Valley on the Site C, near Fort St. John, as seen in this 2016 photo.

The NDP government will continue to be supported by the B.C. Greens, despite the party's anger over the Site C dam decision.

"This government promised to be better than the B.C. Liberals," Green Party of B.C. leader Andrew Weaver intoned following the Site C dam approval Monday. "On this issue, the NDP government's approach has turned out to be no different whatsoever."

But despite the clear rift between him and Premier John Horgan over the $10.7-billion megaproject, don't expect Weaver to pull the rug out from under his allies.

As expected, the Green leader reiterated his vow to prop up the NDP government on any confidence votes until 2021. It meant that Greens will have to assert their staunch opposition to the dam through other channels. And assert it, they did Monday.

"It is fiscally reckless to proceed with Site C, to spend $10.7 billion on power that we don't need … at the same time fulfiling a reckless promise to freeze BC Hydro rates," Weaver told reporters Monday. "The fiscal management is very troubling.

"… There are a lot of British Columbians who are very upset, as is our caucus, who feel betrayed."

But the three-seat Greens admitted there is little recourse.

"We are elected by British Columbians to act as adults and to work with whoever is there," Weaver said, citing its agreement with the NDP was to simply send the dam to the B.C. Utilities Commision (BCUC) for review.

That didn't stop him for criticizing Horgan's decision.

"The only correct decision based on that BCUC report was canceling," Weaver said. "To argue that you want to go forward now shows you lack the political courage and bold vision to actually move in a direction that is the right one."

Weaver even tweeted that a recall campaign might be in the works, targeting NDP energy minister Michelle Mungall in Nelson-Creston.

"I would suggest a recall campaign in Nelson-Creston would be in order if Site C is approved on her watch as energy minister," Weaver wrote on Twitter.

But when pressed on the tweet, he insisted his party would not participate in such an effort.

He said the tweet came after a phone call from a woman in Mungall's riding who said she wanted to lead a recall campaign.

"I understand her rationale for wanting to do it — when someone tells you one thing and does the opposite there's a problematic element," Weaver said. "Obviously, I won't participate in that; it would be inappropriate as an elected person, but I would expect that to come into play."

As construction ramps up for Site C, and the Greens effectively admitting their inability to stop it, environmentalists and First Nations have vowed to stop the project themselves — whether through the courts or on the banks of the Peace River itself.

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