Work camp for the Site C dam is a self-contained town called Two Rivers Lodge, with restaurant, theatre, lounge, gym, yoga studio and hair salon. The camp is budgeted at $470 million to build and operate. (BC Hydro)

Letter: The most expensive boondoggle in Canadian history

Kelowna letter writer says the Site C dam needs to be scrapped

To the editor:

The BC Utilities Commission’s independent review of Site C found the project is over budget, off schedule, based on inflated demand, alternative energy projects could be developed at equal or cheaper costs, and that it should either be cancelled or continue.

The results prove the review was necessary and the project should have never started. It also excludes other critical implications Site C has on conservation, innovation, freedom to produce our own energy, future energy rates, and economic development.

1. Approving Site C led to curtailing of conservation programs to justify the project. Even those actions weren’t enough for the BCUC to feel that BC Hydro’s electricity demand forecast was realistic.

2. While previous private sector energy contracts may have been too rich, Site C leaves little room for other energy sources. It killed innovation and private sector investment in place of a behemoth funded by public debt. Cheaper alternatives exist that will become even cheaper over time relative to Site C. Developing them gradually in step with demand would reduce risk and encourage conservation first so ratepayers aren’t paying for debt, excessive energy capacity, and manufactured demand. Smaller projects will spread economic opportunities throughout the province over a longer period of time. Just tell the private sector what price for power we are willing to live with.

3. BC Hydro has a monopoly on electricity production. It should enable conservation and energy options for its customers. The need to make up revenue to pay for Site C could restrict British Columbians from producing their own power and getting fair credit for it.

Site C is likely the most expensive boondoggle in Canadian history thrusted by arrogance and is still being defended by BC Liberal candidates. Voters should be livid.

This past election Kelowna voters rewarded BC Liberal candidates with the largest vote shares in the province. Why? “Debt free BC” ignores the mountain of multi-generational debt accumulated over four years including a housing affordability, child poverty, and opioid crisis, unnecessary pet projects for corporate donors, near bankrupting ICBC and BC Hydro, and an abysmal environmental track record.

Do the majority of us including MLAs actually agree with this?

If Site C is just a make work project there are far more pressing issues to spend billions on.

We are fortunate the review occurred. The next move is for Horgan to kill Site C and tell us the impact BC Hydro’s multi-billion dollar debt will have on long term rates so we can plan our energy destiny on facts over politics.

Robert Stupka, Kelowna

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