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Site C could be delayed due to COVID-19 impacts, B.C. energy minister says

Last Updated Jul 31, 2020 at 7:52 pm MDT

Summary

B.C.'s energy minister worries the COVID-19 pandemic could delay the Site C Dam project

Bruce Ralston raising concerns after BC Hydro report

Work on Site C was scaled back due to the COVID-19 pandemic

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – There are concerns the Site C Dam project could be delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Energy Minister Bruce Ralston says he’s “very concerned” about a recent report submitted by BC Hydro to the BC Utilities Commission on the project.

“COVID-19 has created significant challenges for the project that we could not have anticipated,” Ralston says in a statement, saying the project was scaled back in March to essential work only due to the health crisis.

“While the project remains on track to achieve river diversion this coming fall, there is uncertainty with the project’s schedule and budget due to the ongoing pandemic,” Ralston adds.

Ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Site C Dam project was pegged at a cost of $10.7 million. It’s unclear at this time how much more money and time will be needed to complete construction.

Ralston took aim at the previous B.C. Liberal government for an already-delayed start to the Site C Dam, saying the Liberals “chose to start Site C in 2010 and made it clear they wanted to push it past the point of no return. And they did.”

Construction on the project began in 2015, with the dam expected to be completed by 2024.

In order to help the project, Ralston has appointed a special advisor, Peter Milburn, who is a former deputy finance minister and secretary to Treasury Board, to work with BC Hydro.