KAMLOOPS — As NDP cabinet ministers descend on the Peace region this week consulting on the future of Site C, Kamloops-North Thompson Liberal MLA Peter Milobar is urging the government to push forward with the multi-billion dollar project.
"When you look at the ecomomics of it, when you look at the safe, reliable source of power that it will be which is important because some of the technologies are not as stable, it's no doubt that as we try to meet our GHG emissions we're going to need to electrify more and more of the province."
And while he's not sure which way the NDP is leaning on the project, he warns cancelling it would be costly.
"Well, there's the immediate 2,400 jobs, there's $4 billion dollars of taxpayers dollars that would have absolutely nothing to show for it, and there's a 10 per cent rate hike that would happen immediately if Site C is cancelled."
A recent review by the B.C. Utilities Commissison found terminating the $8.3-billion project could cost $1.8-billion while completing it could cost more than $10-billion.
Is Milobar concerned about the cost overruns should Site C move forward?
"Well, I think it's important to note that even the energy minister acknowledged that as of June 30 Site C was on time and on budget and that was before the NDP took over the project," he says. "And now we're hearing it's behind schdule and it could be dramatically over budget. So, you know I think any mega-project has the potential for some cost overruns.
"Obviously you hope it will be managed and be as minimal as possible but overall it is still best value for people moving forward and in terms of making sure we have green power for the next 100 years in B.C."
Milobar says the review of Site C cost $600 million. The NDP has promised to make a final decision on the project by the end of the year.
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