Victoria Sends Site C to BCUC for Review
Victoria, B.C. – The provincial government has asked the British Columbia Utilities Commission to begin reviewing the Site C project.
Construction on the $8.8-billion dam in northeast B.C. was started by the previous government in July 2015 without such regulatory oversight.
“Our government is delivering on our commitment to British Columbians by ordering an independent review of Site C to ensure we can keep hydro rates affordable,” said Energy, Mines and Petroleum Minister Michelle Mungall.
“The previous government refused to allow our independent energy watchdog to examine the project to determine if it was in the public interest,” she added. “That was wrong. We’re sending this project to the BCUC to ensure we make the right decision for B.C. families.”
Mungall also released the review’s terms of reference which included:
- Confirm whether or not BC Hydro is on target to complete Site C on budget and by 2024, and;
- Provide advice on implications for ratepayers associated with:
- Proceeding with the project
- Suspending the project, while maintaining the option to resume construction until 2024, and;
- Terminating the project, remediating the site and proceeding with other resource portfolios that provide the same level of benefits at the same or lower cost as Site C.
The terms of reference also require the BCUC to consult with interested parties, which Mungall confirmed meant it’s her understanding there will be public consultation throughout the province.
The review is set to begin Aug. 9, 2017 and the terms of reference specifies a preliminary report from the BCUC within six weeks (by Sept. 20) and a final report within 12 weeks (by Nov. 1).
A decision by cabinet is expected shortly after the final report is released.