Busy – and happy – day for us yesterday, with the NDP announcement that Site C will proceed. Here are some clippings:

  • Our president, Chris Gardner, in The Province:
    • The province’s big construction groups were also happy to hear they will keep their jobs and contracts. “With so much at stake for our province, better late than never for John Horgan,” said Chris Gardner, president of the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association.
  • Our Fort St. John rep, Art Jarvis, on the CBC:
    • Jarvis said he was glad construction would continue, but also criticized the way Horgan framed the announcement. “He made the statement that it’s not a project they would have started,” he said. 
      Still, Jarvis said many families tied to the project would be relieved by the news. “It could have been a blue Christmas,” he said.
  • Our Communications Director Jordan Bateman in Black Press:
    • Meanwhile, the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association celebrated the thousands of jobs they believe will be kept and created by continuing work on Site C. Spokesperson Jordan Bateman said all the extra time the NDP government took to have the dam reviewed was unnecessary, only to have Horgan ultimately go forward.
      Bateman said he also doesn’t buy the province’s new $10.7-billion estimated price tag. When it was approved by the then-Liberal government in 2014, the project was estimated at $8.8 billion.
      “You have one analysis done in six weeks that says it could run over budget,” he said. “Frankly, the overruns that the NDP are planning for here are going to be caused by the NDP.”
  • Our VP-Regional Initiatives Mike Davis on CKPG:
    • ICBA is also appreciative of the decision. “Today is a big day for the construction industry in British Columbia and, particularly in Fort St. John, where you have two thousand employees working on this project, 80 percent of which are from BC and a good portion of that 80 percent are from the Peace region,” says Mike Davis, the ICBA’s Vice President of Regional Initiatives.
  • Gardner in the Financial Post:
    • “I think the economic case was quite compelling. Cancelling it would have meant billions of dollars in costs that the taxpayers of B.C. would have been on the hook for,” Chris Gardner, president of the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association said.
      He said his group was frustrated the NDP undertook a review of Site C at all given that an independent panel had studied it and the review “caused a lot of anxiety among the 2,000 people working on this project.”
      “They did fight this project very hard and this is an about-face,” Gardner said of the NDP’s position on the project.
  • Gardner in The Vancouver Sun:
    • The Independent Contractors and Businesses Association also supported the NDP’s plan to continue. “With so much at stake for our province, better late than never for John Horgan and the NDP Government to support Site C,” said Chris Gardner, ICBA president. “This entire process and all of the uncertainty it caused was completely unnecessary. In the past four months, we have seen a rushed review and needless NDP-Green politicking create uncertainty and confusion that put this clean energy project, and the thousands of jobs it supports, at risk for no reason.”
  • Gardner again in The Sun:
    • And in the short term, for “the over 2,000 men and women working on that project, it is a great Christmas gift knowing they will have jobs in 2018,” said Chris Gardner, president of the Independent Contractors and Business Association of B.C.
      Despite the $10.7 billion cost, Gardner argued that Site C represents “a tremendous opportunity for British Columbia to help facilitate” Canada’s transition away from fossil fuels and “make our economy more competitive.”
  • Bateman on News 1130:
    • Meanwhile, Jordan Bateman with the Independent Contractors and Business Association says he’s relieved about today’s decision from Premier John Horgan and the NDP.
      He says the dam makes sense for energy, jobs and economics “and [you’re sending] a strong message to people looking at BC as a place to invest that yes, even with this government, there’s a chance you can get a big project through. So if you want to bring investment dollars to BC,
      hopefully this is a positive signal.”
      He believes some of the criticism of the project skewed the potential of alternative energy.
  • Gardner on CHEK TV:
    • Proponents say the announcement will save more than 2,000 jobs while giving investors more certainty about the future. “It’s an important project for the region. Remember, about 82 per cent of all the workers working on Site C right now are from British Columbia and half those individuals are from the Peace River area,” said Chris Gardner, president of the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association.