Excerpt from the Official Report of
DEBATES OF THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

(Hansard)


May 12, 2014

Site C Power Project review and the role of the B.C. Utilities Commission

S. Simpson: The joint review panel concluded that it could not confirm the accuracy of the project cost estimates because it doesn't have the information, time or resources. They also concluded that there is much uncertainty in the long-term forecast put forward by B.C. Hydro. On both of these question and others the panel recommends sending the project to the B.C. Utilities Commission.

As the minister for both Hydro and the core review, which is supposed to concern itself with best practices for government, how does the minister justify proceeding without proper due diligence and the independent assessment that the Utilities Commission would provide?

...

S. Simpson: The B.C. Utilities Commission's biggest problem is they've been under assault by this government for a decade because the government doesn't want independent assessments.

The panel questioned the credibility of basing a $7.9 billion project on a 20-year-demand forecast without an explicit scenario for long-term pricing, and they concluded that the proponent has not fully demonstrated the need for the project on the timeline set forth. That's what the panel said. Again, on these fundamental questions, they said: "Send it to the B.C. Utilities Commission."

We know this minister has ideological blinkers concerning the Utilities Commission and with the political manipulation of B.C. Hydro that's been going on with this government for years and years.

I quote the minister. In his letter concerning the core review he stated to ministers: "The overall goal of the core review process is to ensure the best possible use of government resources and respect for the interests of taxpayers."

How can the minister have any credibility on either of his files when he ignores the panel's advice to ensure due diligence is done by sending this project to the Utilities Commission for a full assessment?

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