BURNABY, B.C. – The message in the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) submission to the B.C. Utilities Commission’s (BCUC) Site C review panel is very simple: Finish the job building Site C.
“The Site C dam has been the subject of a robust, nearly three-year, independent review and its business case is solid – we cannot produce this kind of high-quality, reasonably-priced, clean energy anywhere,” said ICBA President Chris Gardner. “For the next century, Site C will act as the foundation for the solar, wind and other clean sources of energy that comes on stream, ensuring B.C. can meet its climate goals and power its economy with renewable energy.”
In response to the BCUC’s terms of reference, the ICBA submission made five key points:
- Site C is on time and on budget
- Ratepayers cannot be expected to spend billions of dollars and get nothing in return – the result of cancelling or postponing the project
- Site C provides the best value and an all-important backbone for other renewable energy sources as we transition from fossil fuels to the clean renewable energy provided by Site C
- Energy demand will continue to grow in B.C., as more people move here and the economy expands
- Site C, the subject of more than 150 legally binding environmental and technical conditions, will be one of the most sustainable energy projects ever built in any country
“Claims by Site C opponents that electricity demand is flat are false. They forget that the once-in-a-generation recession of 2008/09 artificially held down the demand for energy for two years,” said ICBA Communications Director Jordan Bateman. “That recession crippled our economy, but unless we’re going to have a major recession every single decade, energy demand will grow substantially over the next 50 years as it has for the past 50 years. We need Site C to meet the demand of a growing population, more electric vehicles, an expanding economy and to help meet our commitments under the 2015 Paris Climate Accord.”
ICBA, the voice of B.C.’s construction industry, has been fighting hard to keep Site C workers on the job. Today, more than 2,400 men and women are working on Site C.
“The stakes of the outcome of the BCUC review are significant,” said Gardner. “It affects real people and real families who are counting on the jobs at Site C to pay the bills. To shut it down now would hurt BC Hydro’s finances, cost B.C. taxpayers dearly, cripple the Peace River economy, and send a chilling message to investors looking to build a business and create opportunities – B.C. is not open for business.”
Click HERE for the full ICBA submission to the BCUC and here for a list of cities in B.C. where Site C workers live.