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The more things change, the more they stay the same: BC NDP government approves continuation of Site C – BC’s biggest boondoggle – for the second time.

If you had told me years ago that one day I would be sitting down to write about the second time Horgan made the worst decision of his career, I would have shook my head and chuckled. And I would have likely said: “No, he’s a smart man, he wouldn’t make the same mistake twice.”

But here we are. It is March 1st, 2021 and I’m sitting down to reflect on the press conference Premier Horgan held Friday, in which he announced that not only would they be continuing, but it was the right thing to do to keep life affordable for British Columbians. (The hubris is strong with this one, because as a knowledgeable energy wonk,he absolutely knows this isn’t true)

It was November 13th, 2017, when I sat down to make my final case again continuing site C. I had just heard the decision would be coming before the end of the year, but many of us already knew the dam was going to continue due to behind the scenes chatter from caucus members who had yet to cut off site c critics from personal communications. We heard about some of the private meetings between Horgan and caucus members. We heard about how much anxiety it was causing. And I warned in that post that if they continued the dam, it would be a financial mess bigger than anything BC has ever seen. This was a view shared by experts then and now, and is backed up by a wealth of documentation, least of which is BC Hydros own material.

First I’m going to post this link to the press release from Friday, which contains links to the Milburn report and the expert reports. These are very important, and I recommend you read them all. https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021PREM0014-000342

Not surprisingly, Horgan has repeatedly referred to the pandemic in his messaging to the public, trying desperately to push that reasoning ahead of the geotechnical ones largely responsible for the increase in price. But let’s take a look back at why Horgan can no longer point to anyone else for whats gone wrong on this project since 2017, when he first became premier.

I spent the greater part of 2016 documenting endless slides, cracks, geotechnical issues on the North( left) bank, with photographs taken by plane.There were many instances where those stories resulted in major media pickup, along with federal and provincial politicians taking up the posts to push for transparency and a call to halt. You can read those posts on this page, under the 2016 listing: https://lailayuile.com/the-case-to-stop-site-c-construction-links-news/

When the NDP formed government with the BC Greens in 2017,Site C critics fully expected the BCUC review of the project ordered by Horgan, would include a geotechnical review, based on the magnitude of problems prior to them taking power. But, he did not. The BCUC was given a tight terms of reference and geotechnical concerns were not specifically reviewed on their own, nor was the dam design or its safety.

Even with that failure to get expert oversight and opinion then, the BCUC did make note of both North ( left ) bank challenges AND right bank challenges briefly, which were already becoming evident. To claim these challenges were not known, is demonstrably false and deceptive on the part of BC Hydro, and of Horgan.

That BCUC report made for big headlines, because it warned then, that the dam would not be on time or budget, and would likely cost up to 50 % higher than the $8.3 budget at the time. And keep in mind, the dam was no where near past the point of no return. ( ndp supporters now claim it was, but at the time they were telling people there is no way he would approve it.)

Horgan was quick to fire Jessica McDonald, the former Hydro president, and replace her with his handpicked choice, Chris O’Riley. He then went onto form a very secretive Site C dam oversight board, the terms of reference for were set up by Peter Milburn...the same bureaucrat who Horgan chose last year to do an ‘independent’ report we now refer to as the Milburn report. (Hardly independent.) See where I am going with this? *I urge you to read all the articles and reports I link to, because one day this will matter when people go to find out why their hydro bills are so high.*

Surprisingly, the Milburn report was chock full of details showing just how much of a gong show the oversight of that board actually was. Ironically, Milburn himself bears some responsibility for that, since he had helped create the terms of reference for it, which both Vaughn Palmer and Andrew Nikiforuk have done an excellent job of detailing. Why was this board so quiet about the inadequacies of what was going on? Horgans deputy minister, Lori Wanamaker, had been on that board, before he offered her the job in the premiers office. Why did everyone let this gong show continue to this point?

There isn’t anyone else to point the finger to now except at Horgan and his circle of advisors, and the people he said would fix what was wrong at BC Hydro. He has had 2 opportunities to right the wrongs of Christy Clark, but has chosen to continue building this money pit both times, trying to point fingers at everyone but himself. He has walked into the sunk cost fallacy so deep that when economics students look into textbooks in the future, they will probably have a photo of John Horgan and a story about site C beside it.

One thing that stood out in the Milburn report for me that hasn’t been mentioned elsewhere, was that Frank Margitan was on the review board.

Frank is a former VP with Kiewit, and this isn’t his first involvement with the Site C project, or other way over budget projects in BC, not by far. (I’ve written extensively about Kiewit projects in BC, as well as their close relationship with bureaucrats like Milburn)

In fact, he was given a $336,000 direct award contract in 2016 by BC Hydro, for ” senior advisory services, including reviewing cost estimates for Site c”. My dear departed friend Dermod Travis took a look into that review back in 2016, and discovered this:

B.C. Hydro asked Margitan — a former vice-president of construction firm Kiewit & Sons — “to engage a panel of industry experts, to undertake an independent review of the direct cost estimate, and provide an opinion regarding its completeness, sufficiency and accuracy. Margitan was Kiewit’s point man on the Sea-to-Sky Highway and Port Mann Highway 1 projects.

For the B.C. Hydro review, he retained three individuals who “have 35 to 50 years of experience [each] in management and construction of major projects.”

He didn’t go far to find two: David Imper and Carl Jonasson. Together with Margitan they share a combined 80 years of construction experience at Kiewit.

While Margitan and Imper’s Kiewit connection was noted in the panel’s report, Jonasson’s was not. The third member was Bev Trautman.

The panel concluded that: “The direct cost estimate appears to be sufficiently complete and adequate to cover all anticipated costs associated” and “has sufficient allowances/contingency to cover any reasonable increase in cost resulting from design development or cost-estimate uncertainty.”

B.C. Hydro puts the “contingency and project reserve” at more than $1 billion on the $8.8-billion project. The Sea-to-Sky and Port Mann projects were first estimated at $2.1 billion. Final price tag? $4.1 billion.

B.C. Hydro then turned to KPMG for a third-party review of Margitan’s third-party review.

KPMG’s two-page December letter is signed by Gary Webster. It’s generously sprinkled with high praise.

Webster noted: “The expert panel of construction estimators that independently reviewed the major components of the estimate was again a level of diligence that increases the confidence of the estimate compared with other capital projects.”

Left out of his letter was the fact that for a good chunk of his 30 years in the construction industry, he had more than a nodding relationship with Margitan. Webster was the province’s representative (boss of the bosses) on the Sea-to-Sky project, and Margitan was Kiewit’s point man.

When terms like “independent external peer reviews” are bandied about, the public might be less skeptical if the peers were independent of each other, too.

It smacks of the old-boys’ network in action.

Indeed, which is why the choice of Frank Margitan for the Milburn review is so curious. Those old boys networks span governments and premiers. Those cost estimates were incredibly off the mark and called into questions by critics who knew better even back in 2016, including ndp mla’s. Margitan has no place on that panel, not after getting it so wrong the first time. Did he get paid again this time ? Why do the same names keep popping up again and again?

(side note, speaking of old boys networks, I will have a post on the potential BC Liberal leadership run of former Gordon Campbell protege, Kevin Falcon soon.)

This is why I want to also touch on the outside expert reports and a key issue with all of this confidence Horgan and Ralston claim to have.

Take a look at these screenshots from the outside expert reports.


That is a hell of a big disclaimer in the first screen and what really concerns me is the part where they say “... it was not possible to provide a detailed review of all the material in the time provided.In particular the panel has not performed detailed checks of calculations and designs completed by the project team. Such detailed checks are provided by the control/quality assurance programs for the project.”


Gosh, I think we are where we are, because those project oversight programs have not been working or managed well! Is it just me or is this a sham of a review, just to make it look good? I don’t call into question the experts whatsoever, i call into question why they were restricted in time and access, and why Hydro set the terms of reference. Because if there is one thing I know about managers who make poor decisions, is that they will continue to try and find ways to make things work long after they should have been stopped to justify them. This should alarm every British Columbian. But now, read this:

That is a pretty clear warning to expect a final cost of way more than $16 billion. My guess is at least $20 billion.

The reports are clear that there is far from certainty with any geotechnical issues, and its also clear the outside experts were not given a free rein, an adequate scope or time to review in detail Hydros calculations or design. And frankly I’m not surprised. BC Hydro ( and the BCUC) has always been intefered with by successive governments, yet still remains out of control even under the NDP. Who is running the show here? But there is one more thing we need to look at before I’m done.

In January I posted a blog detailing some key points about Site C, including details on how Moodys issued a warning to the Province of BC in their last credit rating report.

Regardless of stopping this dam or not, Hydro rates are going up. And provincial debt is serviced at incredibly low rates regardless, amortized over a longer period keeps that under control. This should have been considered, because there is no way to sell the power from Site C at the rate it need to be sold at to service the costs, as Norman Farrell points out.

That is, if we aren’t experiencing climate change extremes like we did in recent years, which resulted in record low reservoir levels at WAC Bennett dam in 2019, and an inability to generate what we needed as a province…

Upstream from Site C, is the Williston reservoir, a reservoir that BC Hydro claims hold a multi year supply of water for electricity. BC voters have been fed a repetitive line of bullshit from BC Hydro and from successive BC governments, that Hydro power is THE most reliable, consistent power source in BC.

Except… when it isn’t. The Williston Reservoir saw record low inflows this last fall .

The WAC Bennett dam and Peace River Dam typically provide 30 % of BC’s electricity. However, due to the lack of rain, coupled with higher demand due to the Enbridge explosion, BC hydro had to import electricity from the US and Alberta this spring, as revealed in this discussion between Andrew Weaver and Michelle Mungall in the legislature this spring: https://www.andrewweavermla.ca/2019/05/13/budget-estimates-bc-hydro-collapse-bcs-clean-energy-sector/

And if WAC Bennett isn’t generating due to low levels, neither will Site C. Climate change, really does change everything. My link above also mentions how low Vancouver Island reservoirs were in 2018, 2019 as well. And BC Hydro knows this. We will only continue to see extremes that test our old ways of thinking. https://www.bchydro.com/news/press_centre/news_releases/2019/report-reservoir-levels.html

I’m not sure how the caucus can continue to stand behind this mess, or express confidence that this is in the best interests of British Columbians as staunchly as Horgan has. The Ndp dodged the bullet with a snap election this time…they won’t in 4 years if this hits $20 billion.

24 Comments »

  1. Wow! Fantastic analysis Laila. YOU should have done the report rather than Milburn and those other toadies. I’m going to have to reread it to fully absorb all the nuances, but ya done good Girl! Too bad you couldn’t be cloned!

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  2. What we have in BC is a government by proxy.

    Horgan is Premier in name only, who pulls the strings on Premier Puppet, is left for the reader to decide.

    Unions want site C because of the mass of union jobs and unions support the NDP.

    Government friendly contractors want Site C because they need work and government is too ossified to think beyond the next election.

    Major manufacturers, want site C because they will make money selling their goods to contractors.

    Sire C has morphed from a dam/power project, to a make work project for the better off.

    Thus site C is important for the NDP’s moral and pumping ever more billions into a dam built on shifting shale will inflate egos; long term it will transform into a curse, but then the politicians gardened in promoting Site C will be enjoying their six figured pensions in the sun.

    Regional transit planning is the same in BC, where the most expensive transit is always built, but no independent audit of the system is allowed and success comes via well scripted news releases by the mainstream media.

    The same will be true of Site C.

    “If you tell a Site C Dam lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The Site C Dam lie can be maintained only for such time as the NDP can shield the people from the political, economic and/or environmental consequences of the Site C Dam lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the province to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the NDP.”

    It worked in the 30’s and early 40’s and is working again in BC for the past 30 years!

    “Hats off” for you and Norm on this file, the clarity you bring, I know comes from, not hours of research, but months of research. If there is an inquiry of Site C (and that is a big if) your documentation of the fiasco will be used, quoted, and thus will become a historical record of the event.

    Memo to premier Horgan: Those who do not read history, therefore cannot understand the lessons of history, therefore are doomed to repeat history!

    Memo to Laila: your work is invaluable, your analysis spot on and you make the mainstream media look like Harlequin Hacks. keep it up.

    Now a comment about “Have you had enough” Kevin Falcon. He is Christi Clark on steroids and reminds me of Charles Dickens Ghost of Christmas Present’s children Ignorance and Want.

    “This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased.” — Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol. In place of ignorance and want, place Falcon and Clark, Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased.”

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  3. Great article. Like all your articles. I shamefully admit that I voted NDP in 2017. Anything to get rid of the Liberals. Who was it I voted for? George Heyman. Former executive director of the Sierra Club of BC. Great! Someone with environmental credibility. What could go wrong? Indeed. Now I can’t stand him. Period. And I sure as hell didn’t vote for him in 2020! But we’re stuck with him anyways. But I digress.
    When Horgan did his big backstab in Dec. 2017 and announced he’s going ahead with Site C, and all the bullshit and lies that accompanied that announcement, I swore I will never vote NDP ever again. At any level of government.
    Horgan said the new price tag would be $10.7 billion and their would be an independent board appointed to ensure that. More bullshit. I remember thinking to myself…”When 2024 comes and the damn dam is not finished and the money is spent, what will the excuses be then? What will they say when the price is $15 or $16 billion?” I certainly didn’t have to wait! It’s only 2021 and the price tag is already set at $16 billion and completion is now set at 2025.
    Now, when 2025 rolls around, what excuse will the BC premier (won’t be Horgan) use to carry on when we’re in the same situation? Not complete and the money spent?

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  4. Great work as always Laila. Yourself and many others , in predicting how this was going to unfold years ago need to be listened to. The way this phony “Project Assurance Board” was set up was merely to say it was there. Didn’t do anything or they would have spoken up when Hydro started playing games. Of the nine members, five are on the Hydro board, again a sign of lack of independence. A mere facade. At any rate it is up to all of us in the interests of keeping Hydro rates down to insist on costing from our MLAs and Ministers. There has to be some that will realize the magnitude of this mistake for the BC economy.

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    • Expert Reports in BC are meaningless, unless they are done by a recognized outside agency (outside of BC and Canada).

      Business Cases for BC projects are a dime a dozen and not worth the paper they are printed on.

      Example:

      The Eye has been involved in the Broadway Subway debate (scandal is a more apt term) and what has transpired is, well, more than disturbing.

      When TransLink was faced with a possible legal action over the claim that “Broadway was the most heavily used transit corridor in Canada, no in North America”, TransLink said in a letter: “No Broadway is our most congested bus route”. Hmmm.

      The North American standard for building a subway, because of high construction, operating and maintenance costs, is a transit route with traffic flows in excess of 15,000 persons per hour per direction.

      The only real metric on Broadway to compare with is the 99 B-Line Bus, which offers a maximum headway’s of 3 minutes (20 buses per hour per direction), with a maximum capacity of around 2,000 pphpd. That is 13,000 pphpd less than the bare minimum traffic flows that would justify a subway. Double Hmmm.

      An expert report was done, but by a former SNC Lavalin Engineer and Lavalin (before it went bankrupt, then amalgamated with SNC ro be come SNC Lavalin) used to own the proprietary ALRT system used on the Millennium and Expo Lines. SNC Lavalin still hold engineering patents for the now called MALM (Movia Automatic Light Metro is the sixth name for the proprietary light metro system), which is now owned by Alstom which purchased Bombardier’s rail division.

      Of course the report said the $3 billion subway was viable, why not, as there is no competent agency in Canada to deny this.

      After contacting several professionals, who reside outside Canada, I was told that the current traffic flows would only support an enhanced bus service and not a tram and certainly not a subway. There is a lot more but I shall not bore everyone with the details.

      Major mega project, supporting expert report, fabricated business case, what can go wrong! ……………….. Shifting shale?

      Like the Broadway subway, the Site C dam follows the same corrupt process as all BC mega projects have and the outcome will be the same, cost overruns, dubious public benefit, politcal friends and insiders pleased, and ribbons to cut at election time.

      Again, the following proves true.

      “If you tell a Site C Dam lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The Site C Dam lie can be maintained only for such time as the NDP can shield the people from the political, economic and/or environmental consequences of the Site C Dam lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the province to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the Site C Dam lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the NDP.”

      Horgan ain’t looking so good these days.

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      • The trouble is. as I see it, most people don’t give a rat’s ass about Site C. They’re more interested in the tolling of the Port Mann bridge. Suzie’s ballet lessons, juniors hockey practice and their mortgage payments. They care little about some far off wilderness boondoggle. That’s tomorrows problem, and we’ll address it when we get there. Meanwhile, we have more pressing issues, we certainly don’t want the Liberals back, and the Greens don’t stand a chance! So Horgan MIGHT survive. Who else is there?

        Meanwhile, I stand fully behind “don’t have a chance” Greens. I’d much rather lose to an incredible party than support one with no credibility at all!

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  5. I really miss seeing this kind of work regularly. I’ve been following your posts for many years, enjoyed your incredibly knowledgable and accurate investigations into the sea to sky highway and retaining walls, the Port Mann bridge and the SFPR. And of course, site C. Women covering infrastructure of any kind is uncommon, and your keen intelligence is still needed under our current government, obviously. This is my first comment, so bear with me. Most general reporters do not have the background knowledge to do what you do here. There isn’t one part of any of the projects I listed above that you have failed to examine and I think newer readers likely can’t fully appreciate the body of your work.

    This extensive knowledge of how things work within ministries and parties, is what makes you so threatening to so many. As you have shown in this post, behind the scenes its the same people he is keeping on. And he knows how it works. He isn’t naive, he has been around the block more than a few times.

    Horgan doesn’t want you to look at his government the way he enjoyed all of you looking at Clarks and Campbells.

    This is why the Twitter twits attack Bob Mackin, and are starting to try and discredit Norm Farrell as well. Speaks to their character, I guess.
    You were right about Horgan all along before the 2017 election.And he knows,that you know.

    I, like you, feel that John Horgan pulled a fast one on his caucus in 2017. Hes what in the US, they call a Conservative Democrat, which makes him a cunning leader. The NDP mlas and supporters should quietly assemble and put their support behind someone like David Eby or Bowinn Ma, and send Horgan to pasture where he can chew on some of the ridiculous and tone deaf things hes said and done in the last year in particular. Hes from the brown wing of the NDP thats just as right wing as Clark. Yes, we need a true democrat as a leader, not a faux one trying to spout woke dad jokes.

    Thank you for all you have done and still do for BC. And I can not wait until your Kevin Falcon post!

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  6. 22 billion is my guess-that might be the cost of site c if they ever get around all the geotechnical issues-the whole area is silt-gravel-shale for at least 125 ft down and the shale is 900 ft down-this is like trying to get a sandbox to hold water-it is impossible-but throw some more money at it and that will fix the issue—the dum leading the dumber-sad there are hundreds of people at site c that know of all the crooked corrupt problems and no one will say a word which leaves them all guilty of covering up a disaster and in the end no one will be held crimminally accountable for spending billions of bc rate payer dollars and destroying the peace river valley and its wildlife habitat all for crooked corrupt political and corporate greed–mark meiers-charlie lk bc

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  7. I will be frank. Being that Horgan is just another low down no good liar and hypocrite of a politician, he and his self serving compliant ass kissers must surely be okay with putting so many lives at risk below and around the dam. See how that works out for them if the dam collapses. They won’t get a free get out of trouble pass so easily. But these types always seem to find a way too pass the blame card. And the biggest lie right now is that it is not past any point of no return. The reports since Horgans tenure have all been for not. The dam was always steered to be built. They made sure a good report card went out to the public. Sorry but but Horgan and his lying non transparent team are a team of bleep, bleep ,bleep. Scum. Woops.

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    • Kennylad……I have been reading blogs for years…..including this one….with your constant negativity on horgan i must assume you are a card carrying BC Liberal. Never once heard you mention the previous administration….or all of their follies……..i understand site c was not maybe the best decision but have you ever heard of Christy Clark ??
      She started this boondoogle and yet no mention of her making sure it got beyond the point of return………..maybe you can next go after the fast ferry fiasco or the casino gate just to change up the order………..bet you’re a real treat at a dinner party……..

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      • David, just to be clear, it never was past the point of no return in 2017 and thats been well documented. This was a choice and a poor one.

        Disliking Horgan doesn’t automatically make anyone a BC Liberal,or anything else and it’s risky to make that assumption.

        Kennylad, may very well be a BC Liberal, or just someone choked at Horgan, but just because Clark was horrific doesn’t mean Horgan or anyone else gets a free pass on accountability. On site C, or anything else.

        There’s over a decade of history on this blog alone on the BC Liberals. They aren’t in government now, and you should remember how Clark became so arrogant and above the law.

        Her party members were silent on every single thing she did, even when it was unconscionable.Kids in care dying, triple delete, Rod MacIsaac….they were all silent.

        The longer members said nothing,the more hubris BC saw Clark display. Until the end when finally her own party turned on her when she stole the NDP platform.

        Horgan might want to remember that. And so should NDP members. Arrogance grows when members stay silent in the face of wrong-headed policy. We have seen Horgan specifically say and do some really tone deaf things, we have seen BC Liberal policy continued in many ministries. By choice, not need. We don’t need BC Liberals back anytime soon so Horgan better stop campaigning left and governing to the right.

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        • There is really no “Point of no return” for construction projects and the term is wrongly used for politcal reasons.

          “Point of no return” is an aviation term, meaning there is not enough fuel to return to your departure airfield and if doing so, you would crash.

          With Site C, stopping the money flow, would stop the projects and spent monies would be written off, that embarrass for the government but more embarrassing for the bureaucracy who have mismanaged the project.

          With the NDP using the term “Point of no return” means that they will continue shoveling huge amounts of monies into a project which time has come and gone.

          The cowardice of Horgan and the NDP is clearly evident as they are afraid to admit to a mistake and so the sunk funds climb ever higher. Reminds one of FastFerries.

          By the late 1980’s there was around 100 km of disused subway tunnels in Germany, due to the fact that the costs escalated much higher than any transit benefits they would bring and construction stopped. This literally “sunk” funds amounted to billions of D-marks spent on holes in the ground.

          In 2021, some of the subways have been completed while others have been repurposed for traffic tunnels, mushroom farms, storage or just bricked up waiting for a future use.

          It is very hard to repurpose a dam on shifting shale.

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        • Sorry I got distracted, and missed stating my appreciation for your straight shooting that reply to that fellow of shameful assumptions. Anyhow, now that I’m here. My family and I have been NDP supporters all of our voting lives. I personally broke ranks and voted Green, the last unwarranted election, because of, yes, being choked at Horgan and his people for the BIG Site C lie and hypocrisy. It wasn’t just a little political lie or a wee bit of hypocrisy. But you know, the straw that broke the back, was him and the compliant silent robots using a deadly crisis such as this pandemic for their own selfish, greedy political gain.
          That was the end run for me. He also did it too try snuffing out the little Green Party. Still didn’t work.
          Even though Horgan got a majority, to me that is not the point. It’s the unbridled greed and lust for power and taking advantage of your people in the throws of a crisis that really got me.. Maybe the Liberals would have done it being in the same position. Who knows. Can’t stand that pack anyways, and never have. Trudeau might even do the greedy devious deed. It will be interesting. I will definitely be staying with the Greens though and proud of it, especially when it has such a good leader in Sonia Furstenau. She did such a winning job at holding the two Boys Club members to the hot coals at the debates. The lady has a strong unbreakable moral compass. That’s my gut instinct and I’m sticking too it. Thanks for listening.

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      • You seem like a person who jumps into the ditch of assumptions and complete and utter bias, and have never really been reading for years as you say. You couldnt possibly, with fly off the line assumptions like that.

        I hold the governments of the day and past to account as a citizen. If you can’t stand being on the the field of battle for holding all to account then why are you on the field. Your completely wrong conclusions about me are really quite sad. I’m sorry too hear you’re so sensitive about negativity about your dear leader Horgan and liar and hypocrite. I don’t have any tears for display when I carry out my duty as a hard working taxpaying citizen too hold them to account. I pay for them. None of those cheats are my dear leader. Oh and by the way since you HAVEN’T really read everything, Horgan and Clark and most of them from both sides think the new normal is being unaccountable to the citizen. Sounds like you’d be a real treat at a garden party of everything sugar and spice and everything should be nice.

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  8. Sure. we’re all (those of us who are paying attention) upset with Horgan’s decision to proceed with Site C. But instead of denigrating him and casting aspersions on his honesty, corruptibility and hypocrisy amongst other less than honorable traits, lets get the bottom of this ill founded move.
    Facts, in no particular order:
    1) The project is far from being “beyond the point of no return (in construction lingo) It is well beyond the point of no return financially! That has been established innumerable times.
    2) There is a large ‘sunk cost’ growing at a rate of more than $20 million per week
    3) There are any number of variables that are unanswered; the outcome and cost of the Moberly Lake Suit, the cost of the distribution line, whether it be to LNG Canada or the lower mainland, the cost of the loss of Agriculture Land. When this evil project is terminated there will be a HUGE increase in agricultural production because:
    i) there will be not uncertainty about BC Hydro appropriation of the land (who is going to improve the land that is destined to be flooded) and
    ii) there will be a massive effort to prove the viability of one of the main reasons for cancelling – becoming the Breadbasket of the North, capable of feeding a million households.
    4) There are a number of well paying jobs (3 -4,000) involved.
    5) There are a number of well paying jobs involving government projects that could eat up those jobs in a heartbeat: eg There is a 3 year Highways job in Chase costing $28 Million, or less than 9 DAYS output at site C.
    There is a multi year Highways project east of Golden scheduled to cost 200 days of Site C productivity. I no longer keep tabs on the government’s antics but I’m sure there are hospitals, schools , roads and bridges, sewers and water systems that should be addressed before this money is wasted.

    6) Horgan had a pretty good handle on these these things when he was in opposition, as did Ms Mungal.
    7) The NDP won a very narrow victory in 2017, in part because of the views espoused regarding Site C. I was particularly impressed that he was taking it to the BCUC to ensure his decision to cancel the project was NOT politically motivated (as was Gordon Campbell’s to sell of the Fast Ferries for a ‘dime on the dollar’)
    .
    Okay, I’ve run out of ‘Facts’, although I’m sure there are more. Let’s turn to some False Facts, or Questions:

    1) What/who pressured Horgan to change horses in midstream? One day he’s against the project, the next day he’s all for it! You don’t come to an epiphany such as this in the middle of the night without some pressure!
    2) Who put the restrictions on the BCUC report to limit their criticism for shutting down the project then and there?
    3) Who virtually shut down ANY reporting on the largest public project in BC’s history. Usually a project of this significance would be top headlines
    4) Who restricted the public knowledge of the unstable condition of the base. Does anyone suspect that Chrispy Clark had any inkling of what an ‘unstable base’ or ‘impossible foundation’ was when she decried this project should go ahead ‘Beyond the Point of No Return”. Without the complicity of John Horgan, it was NEVER beyond that point. Still isn’t!
    5) Why are we to this date not privy to the 3 reports that Horgan commissioned and had ‘no idea’ who they were?
    6) Who, beside me, have no confidence that the so called $16 Billion fix will in fact prove that this dam is ‘safe’?

    Okay, I’ve found my lost thread and I’m going to ‘shut my mouth’ before I lose it again!
    Keep your eyes open with regard to what havoc Ma Nature will play on this project as Spring develops. We may be lucky because I think they’re enjoying a mild one this year.

    Like

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