The Globe and Mail reports in its Monday edition that on Friday, B.C. Premier John Horgan confirmed what has long been known: The Site C dam, half built on the Peace River, is way over budget. A Globe editorial said that the estimated cost is now $16-billion, 50 per cent higher than the $10.7-billion forecast in 2017, and nearly double the $8.8-billion budget when Site C was given the green light under the BC Liberals in 2014.
The news lands after months of review of the troubled project. Even before the pandemic slowed construction, BC Hydro oversight was lacking. Then proposed fixes for the geological issues threatening the dam's stability needed to be addressed.
With about $6-billion already sunk into Site C -- and the cost of killing the project outright pegged at another $4-billion -- Mr. Horgan on Friday said the best choice is to spend $10-billion more to finish the dam. Mr. Horgan is likely right that, at this stage, it is too late to turn back. A decade ago, it was hoped Site C could be built for $6-billion, but as early as the 1970s, BC Hydro knew there were potential problems with building a dam in that spot on the Peace River. Those concerns were waved away amid promises of bountiful, cheap power.
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