Environment Minister George Heyman, Premier John Horgan and Energy Minister Michelle Mungall announce decision to proceed with construction of the Site C dam, B.C. legislature library, Dec. 11, 2017. (Ragnar Haagen/Black Press)

B.C. Conservatives applaud Site C decision

B.C. Conservatives happy with government decision to proceed

B.C. Conservatives are happy with the provincial government’s decision to carry on with the Site C dam project.

Premier John Horgan gave the go-ahead Monday for completion of the hydroelectric dam after BC Hydro revised its cost estimate upward by more than $1 billion.

“I am pleased that the current government of British Columbia has decided to clear the Site C dam project for completion,” said Vernon councillor Scott Anderson, interim Conservative Party leader.

Related: Site C dam goes ahead, cost estimate now up to $10.7 billion

“Site C has been thoroughly vetted through extensive consultation and science-based environmental assessment, contingent upon more than 80 legally-binding conditions. The project will not only support local families with jobs but will benefit all British Columbians as demand for electricity rises across North America.”

Black Press’ Victoria correspondent Tom Fletcher noted Monday that the B.C. NDP cabinet struggled with the decision, with the project two years in and facing a cost of $4 billion to shut down construction of the third dam on the Peace River and put the site back the way it was.

Related: Environmental groups slam NDP decision to continue with Site C

After hearing from experts for weeks, the government faced an estimate that B.C. Hydro rates are already expected to rise 30 per cent over the next 10 years without the costs of Site C.

If the dam is halted, rates would go up another 12 per cent by 2020 to pay the cost. That translates to an extra $198 per year for an average single-family house.

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