A request by the New Democratic Party to halt construction of the Site C clean energy project has been denied by BC Hydro.
As report in The Globe and Mail, the NDP had made the request to delay elements of the construction until a full independent review could be conducted.
At issue is the planned diversion of the Peace River, scheduled to take place in September of 2019. According to BC Hydro CEO Jessica McDonald, there is a tight work schedule leading up to that date, and the September timing represents the only point of the year when the diversion can take place. Any delay to current construction would mean the September 2019 would not be met.
McDonald and her team estimate that delaying construction, and the resulting year-long delay to the diversion of the Peace River, would increase the overall cost of the project by $630 million.
NDP Leader John Horgan, who is expected to become the next premier of British Columbia thanks to an agreement with the Andrew Weaver and the Green Party, had called for an independent review of the Site C project by the B.C. Utilities Commission during the election campaign. Weaver campaigned on the notion of halting the project all together, suggesting that the project is environmentally irresponsible.
Of the current $8.775-billion budget for the Site C project, BC Hydro has stated that it has spent $1.75-billion to date.