RE: guest column by Chris Gardner, President, Independent Contractors and Businesses Association of B.C. — ‘NDP-Green deal will burn British Columbians.’:
Ms. Clark’s letter includes the unsubstantiated claim that delaying the eviction of two families in the Peace Valley may come at a risk of a “$600 million cost increase to Site C” — a figure that Harry Swain, the man who chaired the review of Site C for the federal and provincial governments, has called “preposterous.”
The Prophet River First Nation and West Moberly First Nation also thoroughly debunked Clark’s claims in a letter sent to Clark and BC Hydro on Wednesday. Clark has been mysteriously unavailable to respond to any of these criticisms since issuing the letter, which demands an answer within four days on whether Horgan and Weaver would like the government to issue a “tools down” request to BC Hydro and argues that the project will progress past the “point of no return” before the conclusion of a review by the B.C. Utilities Commission.
What Clark is doing here is creating a zero-sum game — saying that if the province pauses to review the project, it’ll result in lost jobs and increased costs. While that may intuitively make sense to some people that isn’t necessarily the case. A team of experts from UBC recently found that by stopping Site C by June 30, the province could actually save nearly $2 billion. And Swain has been saying essentially the same thing for years.
One need only look at the economic devastation the Muskrat Falls dam is wreaking on Newfoundland to get an idea of what can happen when a government falls in love with a mega project there’s no demand for.
“If you represent things as a zero sum game, it’s easy to create conflict because then you’re all fighting over the same pie,” Jason Stanley, professor at Yale University and author of How Propaganda Works, told DeSmog Canada. “It’s standard in propagandistic politics to limit the future, to fix things in the now, and then set up false dichotomies.”