YOU SAY – Clark’s $600-million claim on delaying Site C project ‘preposterous’

Site C Dam Contruction aerial. (Image: Desmog Canada)

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.”


About Mel Rothenburger (8563 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

6 Comments on YOU SAY – Clark’s $600-million claim on delaying Site C project ‘preposterous’

  1. Jobs created to construct a project that can’t (apparently) be shown to be economically sound, are really just welfare. Cheaper to pay the workers to sit home, and save the equipment and materials costs.

    Or better yet, build projects that DO pass the economic sniff test. If the projects result in a net benefit to the province, then the jobs are real… not welfare positions. Solar, wind, geothermal, etc…

    It’s not all or nothing. It’s about doing what’s right, not what’s politically expedient.

  2. Does not matter what the party is, whether the elimination of jobs took place years ago, or if it was last month or a week or so in the future. I am not quite sure as who Mr. Campbell is, but I assume that you are saying that the Liberals were wrong in doing what they did, but that it is okay for the NDP and Green Party to cut thousands of jobs.

  3. I know that this note will not be included, but the money is secondary to the numbers of individuals, who will lose jobs at the project. Something over 2,000 jobs will be gone. Horgan’s comment that these workers can find jobs working on various jobs in the Vancouver area, they could seismic proof schools in the Lower Mainland. A humble question might, given the housing shortage in the Empire of the New Democratic Party, where are these workers going to live.

  4. tony brumell // June 9, 2017 at 1:31 PM // Reply

    Just what is the cost of integrity and honesty these days????Obviously mz Clarke thinks its to high.

    • No one seems to remember the thousands of jobs, between eight and ten thousand, that Gordon Campbell eliminated with Bill 29 as soon as the Liberals came into power. This bill shredded legal and binding contracts and outsourced the jobs to multinational companies. Many lost their incomes and homes, facts that have long been forgotten about the actions of the Liberal party.

      • ajaxtoobigtooclose // June 10, 2017 at 9:06 AM //

        True, and there seems to be short memory of thousands of educator jobs that were lost after Campbell radically reduced teachers bargaining rights, and which the courts have found was illegal. Clark presided over the ongoing attrition of educators in the public system, and she sent her son to a private school. What about all the students over the past 16 years who have been receiving steadily deteriorating education, inflated grades notwithstanding. Clark takes the high ground when it suits her.

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