Kamloops newsmakers react to Site C decision

By Greg Fry
December 11, 2017 - 1:22pm Updated: December 11, 2017 - 6:24pm

KAMLOOPS — Reaction is pouring in regarding the NDP government's decision to forge ahead with the multi-billion dollar Site C dam near Fort St. John in northern B.C.

Premier John Horgan said Monday while "it's clear that Site C should never have been started," cancelling it "would add billions to the province's debt," putting at risk the province's ability to "deliver housing, child care, schools and hospitals for families across B.C."

"I'm not surprised, it was the right decision to make," said Kamloops-North Thompson Liberal MLA Peter Milobar. "And now it's important to make sure we hold government to account and make sure that the project gets back on time and on budget. It was on time and on budget at the end of June right before the NDP took over and I think people's expectations are the government will manage the project properly."

He couldn't resist a dig at the BC Greens, though, for their willingness to continue to support the NDP despite the Greens' vociferous opposition to the project.

"Mr. Weaver says it will not cause the Greens to stop supporting the NDP and I think that speaks volumes to the level they will go to agree and support things contrary to things they say they want."

Milobar's colleague, Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone agrees it was the "right" decision though he says the NDP's decision to put it to a review was "irresponsible, shameful, politically-motivated meddling" that has potentially "added billions to the project's budget."

Surveyed on his views, Kamloops-North Thompson NDP constituency association president Michael Crawford said while he personally opposes the project, he understands why the government decided to move ahead with it.

"Looking at the BCUC's report, I can understand how Horgan and his cabinet have decided to go ahead feeling as though the other two options — to put it on hold, which would have been very, very costly or to cancel it, which would also have been costly, I can understand why they made that decision."

Dan Hines, BC Green candidate in the Kamloops-North Thompson riding in last spring's election, was the most disappointed person CFJC Today spoke with.

"I think it means we're going to be transferring a really risky project onto future generations who are going to be paying for this," he said. "You know it would be very different if we were in a scenario where there was a large demand for this power and we were going to be able to provide it and sell it for a good return in order to justify a $10, or $12 or $15 billion project and that's not the case."

Hines added his financial misgivings are on top of the environmental issues, agricultural issues and Aboriginal rights and title concerns he has about the project.

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