Site C dam project draws criticism at Vancouver public input session

An artist's drawing of the proposed Site C Dam.
Image Credit: Contributed/B.C. Hydro

VANCOUVER - Critics of an $8.8-billion dam project in British Columbia voiced concerns over the long-term costs of the project during the first in a series of public input session.

The province's new NDP government directed the BC Utilities Commission to review the economic viability of the Site C hydroelectric dam project that was initiated by the former Liberal premier Christy Clark.

Galen Armstrong with the Sierra Club BC says although the dam will be located on the Peace River in the northeast region of the province, everyone will be paying for it in the years to come through increased hydro rates.

The utilities commission released a preliminary report Tuesday that said $1.8 billion was already spent on construction by June 30 and the cost of cancelling the project would amount to $1.1 billion.

But Armstrong says those costs don't suggest the project is past the point of no return, as it represents a fraction of the total project cost, and its cancellation would spare the environmental implications of flooding rich agricultural land.

Ten more public input sessions are scheduled across the province in the coming weeks and a final report is expected to be delivered to the government on Nov. 1.


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