The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council, today issued the following statement outlining the Governor in Council’s determination that the environmental effects of the proposed Site C Clean Energy Project are justified in the circumstances.
“The Site C project, which has been proposed by BC Hydro and Power Authority, underwent a thorough independent federal-provincial review by an independent panel. This process included extensive, meaningful and respectful consultations with the public and Aboriginal groups. The environmental assessment process provided the scientific and technical expertise and the effective engagement of the public and Aboriginal groups to enable an informed decision by both governments.”
“The proposed Site C project is an important one for British Columbia and for Canada as it will support jobs and economic growth while providing clean, renewable energy over the next 100 years. The Site C Clean Energy Project will translate into about 10,000 direct person-years of employment from now until 2024 and when indirect and induced jobs are added in, that figure climbs to 29,000 person-years of employment.”
“This decision will benefit future generations. Over the life of the project, Site C is expected to help mitigate the growth in greenhouse gas emissions in Canada by preventing the discharge of between 34 to 76 megatonnes of CO2 equivalent.”
“In the Decision Statement that I released today, there are over 80 legally binding conditions that must be fulfilled by the proponent, BC Hydro, throughout the life of the project in compliance with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012. Failure to meet these conditions is a violation of federal law.”
“Our Government is committed to making environmental assessment decisions based on the best available scientific evidence, and balancing economic and environmental considerations.”
The next steps for this project are for the proponent to determine whether it will proceed. If the determination is to proceed, the proponent will be required to seek out a variety of federal regulatory approvals from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (Fisheries Act) and Transport Canada (Navigation Protection Act) and a variety of provincial regulatory approvals. These regulatory approvals will be required throughout various stages in the project.