This weeks column for 24Hrs Vancouver: Site C- Case hasn’t been made.

This week’s topic: Did the provincial government make the right decision approving the Site C dam?

I agree with Brent that British Columbia does have a real opportunity in front of it right now, but it has nothing to do with energy. The controversial and confusing decision to approve the Site C dam on the Peace River provides ample opportunities to examine and highlight just how this government operates when it comes to projects of immense proportion.

Contrary to what some might think, I’m not “anti-everything.” I stand firmly in support of responsible development and when multi-billion-dollar projects are proposed, it’s critical to ensure proper process and independent examination of the proposal have occurred. It’s not in the best interests of the province or taxpayers to charge ahead without being absolutely sure this project is justified and costed correctly.

Sadly, in the case of Site C, that hasn’t occurred and there are serious concerns surrounding the justification and the cost of the project. Over the last couple of years, the premier has presented an ever-changing litany of reasons why Site C is needed.

It started off on the books as a project for B.C.’s power use, but for much of her time in office, Premier Christy Clark has billed Site C as essential to power the various LNG project proposals – we know that’s incorrect, since any plants would most likely be operated on power produced in a natural gas-fueled power plant. Then, during the final day of the public hearings in front of the Joint Review Panel, BC Hydro said the power from Site C would be perfect for export to California.

Read Brent Stafford’s column here.

However, in the announcement last week, Clark said this dam will provide future generations with good clean power for a century. Who’s right? It’s easy to see where the concern is with so many conflicting justifications for a project that the government exempted from an independent review by the BC Utilities Commission…

READ the rest of this week’s column, comment and vote at: http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/2014/12/21/site-c-case-hasnt-been-made

25 thoughts on “This weeks column for 24Hrs Vancouver: Site C- Case hasn’t been made.

  1. As most of your readers would say, ‘follow the money’ and that is what I think, too. Site C has always been about export. The C stands for California. No question. Always remember: the government does NOT work for you, you work for it. We are just tax-payers, they are the owners of all the resources. And they get the spoils. Serfs just get enough to live to work. And that applies to the resources as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Julie

    BC doesn’t have a lot of farmland and it shouldn’t be wasted on a dam. Nor, should they be wasting our water. In time, there will be wars for food and clean drinking water. There is a global shortage of food and valuable farmland shouldn’t be wasted on government greed.

    I don’t doubt Christy will give the jobs for building the dam, to thousands of foreigners. She lied regarding her 100,000 LNG jobs for BC people, she campaigned on. Same with her, thousands of 6 figure wage mine jobs.

    Because we have never been able to trust the, Campbell/Clark BC Liberals nor Harper, I am against the site-c-dam. There have been far too many lies regarding, the intent for the dam.

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    1. Jrtokin

      Julie says:
      December 22, 2014 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm
      “There is a global shortage of food…”

      Say what??
      We have lots!! Of everything…. if used responsibly.
      http://www.fao.org/food-loss-and-food-waste/en/

      The only “food shortage” claims I see being made, are by those (who are poor, or) the very companies that stand to gain from “shortages” and more importantly, our fears.
      Here is an excerpt;
      “The report, from the Global Harvest Initiative, states that with a world population expected to be at least 9 billion people in 2050, the demand for food, feed, fiber and fuel will likely outpace food production if the current rate of output remains the same.
      “This is a call to action,” said Margaret Zeigler, executive director of GHI, a private sector agriculture group with members that include Monsanto, John Deere, DuPont and the World Wildlife Fund.” http://www.cnbc.com/id/102086930#.
      The very companies who monopolize our foodstuffs, now calling (us?, or their corporate friends?) to “action”.
      It’d be laughable if it wasn’t so messed up.

      And then there’s things like this:
      http://theindependent.sg/blog/2014/12/12/egypt-launches-country-wide-food-security-network-with-blumberg-grain/

      They (“private enterprises”) are controlling the air, the water.. how food is grown, what “defines foodstuffs”… It’s getting damn scary.
      It’s like a science experiment gone horribly wrong, everyone can see it except for (in this analogy) the scientists. And yet, we let them keep their Bunsen burners.
      Go figure.

      No to Site C.

      Like

    2. Gary Y

      you are all around one issue… the dam will have a primary purpose… to supply billions more litres of water for fracking and all this water is lost forever… the power is just for others while we wrestle with more debt.

      Like

  3. John's Aghast

    Brent’s column isn’t worth the time to comment, but he sucked me in with his obvious misrepresentations.
    ‘,,,,cleanest form of cheap, plentiful, reliable and sustainable energy the world can muster.’ Bullshit! Dam construction costs, transmission lines are NOT cheap. Try geothermal, solar, fission etc if you want cheap,
    ‘BC hydro forecast power demand will increase by 40%….’ Excuse me? When did any of the governments forecasts mean anything? Let’s have a review by the BCUC.

    ‘Yes some land will be flooded. Since the reservoir is downstream it uses the same water….’ What a ridiculous statement! What has flooded land got to do with using the same water? Its at this point I stopped reading, or paying attention to his gobbledegook. I think there were a few more boners but it was obvious he knew naught (not?) of what he was saying.
    Go Laila! You rock!

    Like

    1. Laila

      Good grief, 400 words only goes so far, and no,we choose our topics with no input or influence from either our editor or publisher. I have never had any interference with my writing and very much enjoy working with 24Hrs. 🙂

      Like

      1. Blake Newton

        All mass-media is (usually). Every now and then you see a good article, but then the creativity of the writer is suppressed. We exist in a time now where the MSM has “appointed” a few select members to be the approximate of TASS in the old Soviet Union.

        Like

  4. gregorio99

    Good article. I lived in northern BC for four years and saw the huge agricultural potential of the Peace River Valley. There’s no need for Site C, and when there is the need for that power, cheaper greener options should be used. But explain that to the average Lower Mainland resident – that a frozen northern wasteland can be anything more than a source of power, oil and gas to urban areas of B.C. – and their eyes will glaze over.

    The Peace River valley should be farmed, not flooded.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laila

      Thank you. I agree completely to flood this area would be a tremendous loss for the province.Another consideration must be the total footprint of the many projects in this area already and how that impacts residents,wildlife, first nations food supplies etc. It’s phenomenal -I’m looking for a map I saw showing where all the current gas and oil sites currently are and it’s a lot.

      Here’s a good read from Calyn Shaw of the CBC on where the energy from Site C is likely to end up. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/is-b-c-s-site-c-dam-a-gateway-to-dirty-energy-1.2879785

      Like

    2. G. Barry Stewart

      Gregorio, being a Fraser Valley resident: I wonder how valuable the farmland is… at least in our current weather patterns. I can see wheat and hay working up there — but how about vegetables and fruits? Are the long summer days enough to counteract the long winter nights? These kinds of questions need to be asked, to get the attention of the “banana-belt” citizens of BC.

      Meanwhile, I don’t trust the BC Liberals or any kind of plans they have. Too much smoke and mirrors.

      Like

        1. John's Aghast

          And the plans are already drawn up! Google ‘Moran Dam’. That would get rid of the damn salmon problem too and open a great Atlantic farmed fish industry. Just think of all the breeding capacity in ‘Moran Lake’.

          Like

  5. erik

    R has it right. In 2013 BC Hydro discovered it could supply over 5,000 GWhrs of power from existing generation so it sent this energy free to California and in settlement of the legal action against the Province and BC Hydro arising from the Enron fraud. Site C is destined to generate a little more than 4,000 GWhrs per year, power Minister Bennett knows we have on hand as surplus to our needs.
    Site C is only about having some political photo ops and spending a great deal of borrowed money that will benefit a few friends of the government. As of May 2014 the government was given notice that a credit rating downgrade is a real possibility. Now that the prices of primary commodities are in free fall, BC, as a place that relies upon the production and sales of primary commodities, is certain to get some credit downgrades. The certainty is also as a direct consequence of the government pressing ahead with costly projects such as Site C. The population of BC may be fooled by the nonsense put about by government MLAs that our provincial debt is only a little more than $61 billion. Moody’s is not fooled, however, they count all those other obligations that add up to an extra $100 billion . You may not see the importance of a credit downgrade but it will result in several tens of million per year from higher borrowing costs that will stay as a financial burden for a long time.

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  6. Blake Newton

    Absolutely correct. This project is indicative of the problem of what we have to endure now. There might even be good intentions (which I doubt) behind these mega-projects. Part of the justification used for site C was it was to be used to extract LNG (another half-baked idea). I am not anti-everything either, but these “ideas” from Northern Gateway, LNG, Site C, and others just are a poor idea as delivered. Each and every time Christy unveils another “brainstorm” it makes me wince. The BC Liberals simply work on knee-jerk reaction. Anyways, getting back to the quoted prime motivator of site C, LNG. Today I watched the news where 30 % of a exploration companies workforce based in Alberta, Saskatchewan and BC was laid off. This is due to the low price of crude oil. Now when one looks at the price of oil, I believe that it will be kept low in a way to punish Russia for invading the Ukraine. It makes sense that way. The US gets cheap resources, they get to use other countries resources and fatten their surplus at the same time. It makes sense for them financially, And due to this oversight by the chronically blind BC Liberals, we are about to get hit by skyrocketing tax and service hikes.

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  7. R

    If the province approves Site C this fall and it actually gets built, the project is expected to chalk up $800 million in losses in the first four years due to a lack of market for its power — and it’s BC Hydro customers (pssst … that’s you and me) who will be on the hook for covering the loss.

    While British Columbians are picking up the tab for that, the LNG industry will be enjoying a free pass to pollute.
    http://www.desmog.ca/2014/06/24/b-c-s-natural-gas-hypocrisy-leaves-consumers-paying-price

    Like

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