Monday, December 11, 2017
The voice of B.C.’s unionized construction sector lauds the decision today by the B.C. NDP government to move forward with the Site C hydroelectric dam.
“We recognize this has been a difficult decision for the newly elected NDP government,” said Tom Sigurdson, executive director of the BC Building Trades (BCBT). “We respect and appreciate the many contributions from all sides of this issue because this was certainly not an easy choice. That said, completing the Site C dam remains the best choice for British Columbian families.”
He adds, “The time has come to turn this project around.”
Sigurdson hopes the government will put in place measures to increase the number of local workers hired, support apprenticeship opportunities on the project and create opportunities for First Nations and women.
The project has been plagued with problems since the start of construction. It has been fraught with safety concerns. Petrowest, has been kicked off the site and is in receivership. Just 31 per cent of the workforce is from the local area and 20 per cent are from outside BC. Just two per cent of the workforce are apprentices.
“This is B.C.’s project, and it should benefit B.C. workers,” says Wayne Peppard, business representative for the Allied Hydro Council of B.C. “Now that the decision has been made, we want to move forward and we want to move B.C. forward using the skilled B.C. workers and apprentices that have been building this province for 50 years.”
Two separate reports commissioned by the Allied Hydro Council of B.C. released last week analyzed BCUC’s Site C Inquiry and agreed that the completion of Site C would serve BC Hydro ratepayers best. Energy lawyer Jim Quail determined that finishing Site C “is the hands-down winner” while energy economist Marvin Shaffer recommended completing the project and “taking whatever steps are necessary to minimize remaining costs, maximize the value of the surplus Site C will inevitably produce and address as best as possible the issues that First Nations and local residents have in respect of the unavoidable impacts the project will have.”
Contact the BC Building Trades office