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BCUC set to release final report on Site C dam

Last Updated Nov 1, 2017 at 6:54 am PDT

The Site C Dam location is seen along the Peace River in Fort St. John, B.C., Tuesday, April 18, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Summary

Opponents of Site C says there are now cheaper alternatives and the project isn't worth the environmental impact

Supporters of Site C say cancelling the project would have a devastating effect on the BC economy

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Opponents of a controversial mega-project in northeastern BC hope regulators are going to bring them some good news today.

The BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) is expected to release its report on the viability of the Site C dam.

Ken Boon with the Peace Valley Landowners Association has been fighting against the project for years and is banking on the BCUC telling the provincial government it should pull the plug.

Boon says the situation is clear. “We don’t need the power. It’s very expensive power. And there are alternatives to it now that are much cheaper.”

“Why would you carry on building it, when you add on all the terrible impacts of flooding this river valley and all the environmental harms that causes by itself?” he questions.

But supporters of the $8.8-billion hydroelectric project say cancelling it would have a devastating effect on the BC economy and lives of thousands of British Columbians.

“There are 2,500 families that are being supported by these jobs,” says Chris Gardiner, president of the Independent Businesses and Contractors Association. “Right now, their lives’ [are] on hold. They don’t know if they’re going to be collecting a paycheque in the months ahead.”

Gardiner noted in a preliminary report that the project was going to come in ahead of schedule and could see a scenario where the BCUC turns the final call over to the government.

“Site C is an investment into a project that’s going to provide clean hydroelectricity for British Columbians for over 100 years,” he argues.

The nearly project is already under construction along the Peace River near Fort St. John.