ANDREW Weaver, Leader of the B.C. Green Party, on Wednesday said that he is skeptical about Premier Christy Clark’s claim that a delay in Site C dam construction would cost $630 million.
Weaver issued a statement following the B.C. Green caucus’ visit to areas affected by Site C construction. Weaver and Green Party MLAs Sonia Furstenau and Adam Olsen were in Fort St. John and the surrounding areas on Tuesday to meet with the West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations and tour their culturally significant sites that would be affected by the Site C dam construction.
The caucus also met with the Boon and Meek families, whose properties would be affected by the proposed new highway, as well as the Christian Labour Association of Canada, which represents Site C workers, and Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman.
“We travelled to Fort St. John to listen to Chief Roland Wilson and Chief Lynette Tsakoza and learn how their communities will be impacted if Site C goes ahead as planned,” Weaver said. “After Premier Clark wrote to me on June 6, I requested detailed information in order to determine whether her claim that a delay in Site C construction would cost $630 million. Based on what we learned in Fort St. John, I remain skeptical.
“The West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations have advocated for a different highway option, which according to their engineering consultant will cost just 0.06% of Site C’s current estimated budget, and will spare the disruption of their ancestral gravesite and sweat lodge. It is essential that BC Hydro provide open and transparent disclosure of information in order to support fair and respectful discussions with those affected by the current highway realignment proposal.
“The budget for Site C has gone up by billions of dollars since it was first proposed, and experts have projected it will cost even more than the current $8.8 billion estimate. The fact that the government has proceeded with the largest tax-payer funded project in B.C’s history without the proper due diligence is an affront to the people of B.C. I look forward to forward to this project being referred to BCUC under a new minority NDP government to ensure that B.C. ratepayers’ interests are being protected.”