Horgan’s reluctant ‘yes’ on Site C was the right call

Armchair Mayor
By Mel Rothenburger
December 12, 2017 - 5:12am Updated: December 12, 2017 - 3:36pm

KAMLOOPS — So, Site C is a go. Which leaves about half the people in B.C. happy as clams, and the other half mad as hatters.

The Greens and their ilk are in the latter category, of course, but leader Andrew Weaver has already said his party won’t abandon the NDP over it.

He questions why John Horgan was willing to absorb the cost of removing tolls from Lower Mainland bridges but now cites debt-servicing concerns as justification for approving Site C.

Environmental groups have quickly lined up to condemn the decision, with one, the Wilderness Committee, giving a clinic in hyperbole, calling the project a “money wasting, human rights abusing boondoggle of a white elephant.”

Tell us what you really think.

Business is happier. The Independent Contractors and Businesses Association likes the decision but rather than thanking Horgan for saving 2,000 jobs, it grouses that the review was “completely unnecessary.”

Stopping Site C was always a longshot. The decision to let it go ahead is hardly the shock some are claiming.

As costs soar above and beyond the budget, the debate will continue to rage. Site C is a bad project, but letting it go ahead is the right decision, all things considered. Cancelling it would have boosted Hydro rates and cost billions for no return. To use a phrase from the thoughts of former premier Christy Clark, it was already past the point of no return.

Remember, this is a BC Liberal project, not an NDP one. It’s the Liberals who ultimately have to wear it if it goes wrong, and the government’s reluctant “yes” takes a lot of wind out of their sails.

There may even be some good news in it for Kamloops. I’m convinced more than ever that the Ajax open-pit copper mine will be rejected, not only for environmental reasons, but because the NDP, having said yes to one mega project, can feel a little more at ease saying no to another.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.