B.C.'s Site C dam to cost $16B, delayed until 2025

Elias Hubbard
Февраля 27, 2021

"Cancelling it would cause people's electricity rates to skyrocket, and we will not burden people with additional financial stress during these hard times with nothing to show for it. Site C is already 50% finished, and our government will complete this project, ensuring British Columbians have clean and affordable power for decades to come".

If ratepayers were to pay off this debt over 10 years, an immediate increase of 26%, or about an extra $216 per year for the average residential customer, would be in place for the next decade.

The experts concluded "the Site C earthfill dam can safely be constructed, meeting all Canadian Dam Association dam safety and reliability guidelines". "It will keep our rates among the lowest in North America", he said. "We want to make sure that the financial implications of this project will be felt not immediately, but over the life of the project".

It says continuing with the project means the costs will be recovered through rates over the 70-year lifespan of the dam. The province says the new cost increase is due to COVID-19, geotechnical issues, other related code, and schedule pressures.

July 31, 2020: Energy Minister Bruce Ralston asks for an independent analysis of the project from former deputy finance minister Peter Milburn after BC Hydro identifies problems with the project in an update to the B.C. Utilities Commission, including the need to improve its foundations to increase stability below the powerhouse, spillway and core areas of the dam. The province ordered the review last July after Crown-owned BC Hydro reported concerns about risks, delays and costs.

Both the provincial government and BC Hydro have accepted the recommendations.

The geotechnical review was also released, which confirmed the foundation enhancements developed to address geotechnical issues on the project͛s right bank will work.

Horgan also announced new leadership at BC Hydro. He said Doug Allen, who has held top positions at the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia and TransLink, will replace Ken Peterson as chairman of the board.

April 2004: BC Hydro includes Site C in a package of initiatives it is studying to boost the province's long-term supply of hydroelectricity.

But the latest update suggests it will cost about $16 billion in total.

Horgan said he understands there are a significant number of B.C. residents who have never supported the project and they were not going to be any happier Friday than they were in 2017.

In 2014, the clean energy site was approved with an $8.775 billion budget but it was announced today (Friday) that the project is expected to cost $16 billion.

"When we made the decision to move forward with Site C in 2017, none of us could have imagined the impact that the pandemic would have on projects here in B.C. and around the world", said Premier John Horgan. The NDP's got to be accountable for this.

In it, the nation argues the construction of Site C is a violation of its rights set out in Treaty 8, signed in 1899 with First Nations in northeastern B.C., northern Alberta and northwestern Saskatchewan.

August 28, 2017: A United Nations panel says construction of the dam should be stopped until there is a full review of how it would affect Indigenous land.

"The Site C dam has never had the free, prior and informed consent of all impacted First Nations, and proceeding with the project is a clear infringement of the treaty rights of the West Moberly (First Nations)", said Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, the union's secretary-treasurer.

In February 2019, the provincial Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation entered confidential discussions with BC Hydro, West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations in an attempt to avoid litigation.

"Premier Horgan should put this dam out of its misery now". "I am confident in the path forward for Site C".

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said the cost overrun was $6 billion.

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