BC Hydro says Site C project expected to miss Peace River diversion deadline

10/6/2017

Some Site C opponents are renewing their calls for cancellation of the project after the latest BC Hydro submission to the BC Utilities Commission.

 On Wednesday, October 4, Chris O’Riley, CEO and president of BC Hydro, informed the commission the September 2019 deadline to divert the Peace River will be delayed, leading cost overruns of $610 million. However, Ken Boon, president of the Peace Valley Landowners Association, says that’s not the only bad news contained in the letter.

“It’s almost like they’ve washed their hands of the project," said Boon. "He said ‘we know there’s a whole lot of more risk coming, and we’re going to try to do our best to mitigate them, but basically we’re identifying a whole bunch of risk, and we don’t know how they’re going to work out yet.’”

 BC Hydro says while cost overruns are expected, there is a one year float built into Site C’s timeline, meaning they still are on schedule to finish the dam by 2024.

The commission will release its final report on November 1st, at which point it will be up to cabinet on whether the project will proceed. Boon says he doesn’t expect it will be approved.

 “I can’t see any other path forward," Boon said. "How can any government of any political stripe put their ratepayers and tax payers of this province at that kind of risk willingly, knowing that they’ve been forewarned like this? There just can’t be any other kind of outcome that I can see.”

Construction on the dam began in the summer of 2015, with over $2 billion expected to be sunk into the project by December of 2017.