Liberal boondoggle now an NDP boondoggle: Weaver


British Columbia Green Party leader Andrew Weaver said the party caucus is “extremely disheartened” by the provincial government’s decision to proceed with the Site C dam project in northeastern B.C.

“It is fiscally reckless to continue with Site C and my colleagues and I did everything we could to make this clear to the government,” Weaver said in a statement issued following Monday’s announcement. “This government promised to be better than the B.C. Liberals. On this issue, the NDP government’s approach has turned out to be no different whatsoever.

“Since the beginning I have been concerned this would end up being a political decision. Today’s announcement reflects a sad reality for B.C., and British Columbians deserve better. They deserve a vision grounded in bold ideas that will enable our province to be a leader in the 21st century economy, not more empty campaign promises and political calculation.”

Premier John Horgan said cancelling the project would have resulted in the province losing $4 billion immediately however, pushing ahead with the $10.7 billion project would allow for the costs to be recouped over time.

“The government’s argument that cancelling Site C is too risky due to debt is incredibly cynical,” said Weaver. “This is a question of priorities. They had no problem adding billions onto the public debt to cancel the tolls on the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges, transferring those costs to people outside of the Lower Mainland to pick up votes in a couple of swing ridings.

“Today, Site C is no longer simply a B.C. Liberal boondoggle – it has now become the B.C. NDP’s project. They are accountable to British Columbians for the impact this project will have on our future. We have seen what is happening to ratepayers in Newfoundland because of Muskrat Falls, a similar project, where rates are set to almost double. I am deeply concerned that similar impacts are now in store for B.C. ratepayers.”

He said the lost economic opportunities from continuing with Site C are profound.

“Our caucus has met with dozens of local governments, First Nations and B.C. companies with viable alternative energy projects,” he said. “As countries  across the world embrace small scale distributed renewable energy, this decision keeps B.C. locked in the past and risks foregoing enormous opportunities.”