EDITORIAL – If Horgan wants to issue Site C blame, he should look in mirror

Site C powerhouse. (Image:

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

“I AM NOT HERE TO PUT BLAME ON ANYONE,” Premier John Horgan said as he provided his Site C update.

He didn’t have any good news to share on the struggling mega project on the Peace River. The cost estimate to finish it now sits at $16 billion, five times original estimates when it was first broached and up $6 billion since 2017.

And, of course, it’s expected to go even higher by the time it’s completed at least a year behind schedule in 2025.

Horgan, though, has doubled down. The project will go ahead because, he says, it’s in the provincial interest and killing it now would saddle taxpayers with too big a debt. This, after a series of reports on problems with the project including soil instability.

He’s fond of reminding us that it was the BC Liberals who launched the project, something he wouldn’t have done if he’d been in power at the time.

His newest decision to carry on with it has left the Liberals without much to say except to complain about delays. Horgan says B.C. will reap benefits from it for 100 years but it’s hard to convince British Columbians of that.

Horgan could have stopped the project several billion dollars ago but didn’t have the political courage to back up his election campaign rhetoric. Now, his arithmetic seems to make some sense — add $4 billion (the cost of shutting it down) to the $6 billion already spent, and why not just spend another $10 billion to finish it instead of losing that much by killing it off.

But that doesn’t take into consideration the fact he could have put a stop to the bleeding in 2017 when we were only $2 billion in the hole. His procrastination has cost us billions more and gotten us into something we can’t get out of.

The blame Horgan speaks of points directly back at him.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (9510 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.

1 Comment on EDITORIAL – If Horgan wants to issue Site C blame, he should look in mirror

  1. The struggle had to do with what to do with all them backhoes and their operators in need of employment to keep their mega diesel pickups polished and fueled-up. Because no premier nor anyone else for that matter would want to deal with a bunch of unemployed backhoes…

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