first_imgIn fact, through a freedom of information request, DeSmog Canada has learned that government spokespeople were prepared to respond to questions about why it wasn’t referred to the utilities commission when announcing its approval on December 16, 2014.Government response was essentially that the proponent, B.C. Hydro, should be responsible for a review of its own project, according to DeSmog Canada.Swain’s panel made 50 recommendations to the provincial and federal government, but stopped short of rendering a “yes” or “no” decision. When asked why they didn’t, Swain says “we weren’t asked to” and alludes to the government’s instruction of not persuading First Nations’ opinion – which includes whether or not enough consultation was held.- Advertisement -The panel has predicted that in the first four years of production, Site C will lose at least $800 million because more power will be generated than needed at a cost of $100 per megawatt hour.Some questions Swain says he still wants answered include the real cost and availability of alternatives, how the province should use its Columbia River rights, how British Columbians will react to increased electricity rates, and how B.C.’s LNG industry will develop.New Democrat spokesperson for BC Hydro Adrian Dix is welcoming Swain’s criticism.Advertisement “New Democrats have been calling for years for the Site C decision to be put before the B.C. Utilities Commission,” writes Dix. “The Liberal government has preferred to make a politically motivated decision to press ahead with this $9 to $10 billion project without proper oversight and without good evidence that the power is needed or that the project is in the public interest.”Dix adds, “We are glad to see Harry Swain, someone with a long history of public service, agrees with us.”Construction of Site C, the largest infrastructure project in B.C. history, is scheduled to begin the summer of 2015. However, it is also facing a number of different legal challenges – including opposition for Treaty 8 First Nations.The dam was first turned downed by the B.C. Utilities Commission in the early 1980’s, and would be the third on the Peace River. It’s widely speculated that if built, Site C will flood 83 hectares of the Peace Valley and impact 13,000 hectares of land.Advertisement Follow this link to read the entire DeSmog Canada article.last_img

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