Premier Christy Clark and BC Hydro CEO Jessica McDonald at announcement to proceed with Site C dam on the Peace River, 2015. (BC GOVERNMENT)

Premier Christy Clark and BC Hydro CEO Jessica McDonald at announcement to proceed with Site C dam on the Peace River, 2015. (BC GOVERNMENT)

$1.75 billion spent on Site C so far

BC Hydro details risks of delay with $60 million a month being spent

The Site C dam project in northeastern B.C. has spent $1.75 billion as of the end of May and is currently spending $60 million a month, BC Hydro CEO Jessica McDonald says.

McDonald and other BC Hydro executives briefed reporters Wednesday on the project, after an exchange of letters Tuesday between Premier Christy Clark, NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver.

McDonald provided details on Clark’s estimate that a delay in relocating two houses on the site on the Peace River near Fort St. John would create a “domino effect,” delaying construction of a realigned road and bridge that would lead to a one-year delay in diverting the Peace River to begin work on the dam foundation in the riverbed.

BC Hydro estimates show that delay would add $630 million to the cost of the project, including storage of turbines and generators, an additional year of site and environmental maintenance, and shutting down and restarting the main civil works contract.

McDonald said there is $4 billion spent or committed in existing contracts for the third dam on the Peace River, a system that already supplies a third of B.C.’s hydroelectric power. She would not comment on eventual costs of cancelling the project.

Horgan wants the Site C dam put to a review by the B.C. Utilities Commission. He said during the election campaign that does not mean stopping the project while the review goes ahead. After the minority government result and Weaver’s decision to support an NDP government, Horgan wrote to BC Hydro asking it to stop issuing new contracts and extend the lease on two houses set to be moved.

Weaver campaigned to have the project stopped. He attended the briefing at a Victoria hotel Wednesday, and said afterward the $4 billion cost estimate is a “gross exaggeration” based on the assumption all contracts would be paid out in full.

McDonald wouldn’t comment on the scenario of cancelling the $8 billion project, which she said is a political decision. Her presentation detailed the fallout from delaying the relocation of two houses for realignment of Highway 29 along the Peace River, a project about to be tendered by the B.C. transportation ministry.

The house properties have been expropriated and if they are not moved to make room for the two-year road and bridge construction, that would trigger a one-year delay in the river diversion needed to build the dam foundation in the main channel of the river.

BC Election 2017BC Hydro

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Prince Rupert Fire Rescue attend an apartment fire on the morning of April 11 in a building at 521 Fulton Str. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Sunday morning fire rouses tenants

Prince Rupert Fire Rescue attended an apartment fire at 521 Fulton St.

Bears are waking up hungry and starting to forage, Conservation Officer Service said on April 9. Prince Residents are advised to keep garbage in sealed containers to lessen bear attraction. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Keep bears wild – they are not teddy bears

Conservation Officer Service warns bears are waking up hungry

Prince Rupert couple Alvin Tait and Loni Martin have postponed their wedding two times due to COVID-19 affecting the marriage rates in Prince Rupert. (Photo: supplied/L.Martin)
No marriages in Prince Rupert in 2021 so far

Weddings down 23.9% in P.R. since COVID-19 with B.C. wedding industry loss at $158 million

Three North Coast organizations are granted funding to promote multiculturalism and support anti-racism, Jennifer Rice MLA announced on April 8. Conrad Elementary School students recognized the first Black Shirt Day on January 15, 2021, to advocate for anti-racism. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
North Coast organizations to benefit from anti-racism funding

$944,000 granted in provincial funding to aid multiculturalism

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has suspended indoor dining at restaurants and pubs until at least April 19 in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. sets new COVID-19 daily record with 1,293 cases Thursday

New order allows workplace closures when infections found

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

Most Read