Site C too damn dangerous and expensive to proceed

Friday, February 26, 2021

Wilderness Committee

Site C dam construction
Site C dam construction

VANCOUVER / UNCEDED xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mes and Sel̓íl̓witulh TERRITORIES — An environmental group is calling on the B.C. government to put an end to the Site C dam project. This is in light of revelations that the project cost estimate has now ballooned to $16 billion with no assurances costs will not continue to rise or a safe dam could ever be built on the shaky Peace River construction site. 

“Site C could very well hit $20 billion from the public coffers — and at the end of the day we could end up with a monstrous monument to greed and stupidity that may not work,” said Wilderness Committee Protected Areas Campaigner Joe Foy. 

The B.C. government has confirmed the Site C project will still go ahead, based on today's report by former deputy finance minister Peter Milburn, and additional information collected over the past several months. 

“Site C has been beset by a growing plague of financial and geotechnical issues. The government was aware from the beginning that building a huge dam on a shaky site with no bedrock is too risky. These findings confirm how dangerous and foolhardy this project has been from the get-go,” said Foy. “It’s not too late to walk away from this dam disaster.”

Originally predicted to cost $8 billion, the project has already hit $6 billion in public funds and is nowhere near completion. 

“Based on BC Hydro’s own estimated completion date and projected costs, Site C will spend an average of $6 million dollars a day right out of taxpayer pockets. How is that in the best interests of ratepayers?” said Foy.

The project’s rising costs and geotechnical issues have been shrouded in secrecy even before it began. BC Hydro has failed to file two quarterly reports with the B.C. Utilities Commission which typically would have included information on the dam. 

“This irresponsible mega project has gone ahead with little regard for Indigenous rights, irreplaceable farmland, the environmental impact on the Peace River Valley, the economics of the project — or any common sense what-so-ever,” said Foy. 

“Premier Horgan should put this dam out of its misery now. It’s time to walk away from Site C.”

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For more information, please contact:

Joe Foy | Protected Areas Campaigner
604 880 2580, joe@wildernesscommittee.org

More from this campaign
Premier John Horgan confirmed today that construction of the Site C dam will once again go ahead. ‘I know there are a lot of British Columbians who have never accepted this as an appropriate way for BC Hydro to go,’ he said. Photo via the BC government.
Premier John Horgan confirmed today that construction of the Site C dam will once again go ahead. ‘I know there are a lot of British Columbians who have never accepted this as an appropriate way for BC Hydro to go,’ he said. Photo via the BC government.