“We live in a society in which we should be making our views known or our concerns known,” Mayor Johansson explains. “So I guess that’s what we’re doing, we want to make sure the province, local governments and also the population in general knows what the implications of this project are because I don’t think they’ve been terribly well known.”
Mayor Johansson says the letters were sent to every municipality in the province, as well as all of the regional districts – expect for the PRRD, as she says they’re already well aware of Site C and Hudson’s Hope’s position. Mayor Johansson says the district also sent the letters to as many B.C. First Nations they were able to track down.
“This project is not just a northern project and not just a concern for the northeast – it’s a provincial thing, it has provincial implications; both on the impact on electricity rates, and on the fact that borrowing that significant amount of money is then going to, as Minister De Jong pointed out, it may push some other projects off the table because you already used up your borrowing room,” says Mayor Johansson.
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Some public infrastructure projects that Mayor Johansson points to as an example include the George Massey Tunnel Replacement, other bridge repairs, and the Rapid Transit System being discussed on the Lower Mainland.
“Besides the two proponents, which are B.C. Hydro and the province, the only independents eyes that have looked at that this time around was that Environmental Assessment Joint Review Panel, and what the panel said was if you [the proponents] decide to go forward, then you need to take it to the B.C. Utilities Commission, especially on cost, because they said they didn’t have the information, or the time, or the resources to comment on whether – at that time $7.9 billion estimate – was accurate,” Mayor Johansson goes on to say. “…We’re [Hudson’s Hope] saying ‘ok you appointed this panel to make recommendations, they did that so would you please follow the recommendations.”
“We’re not way out of line here, or asking for the moon, or anything that’s outside the box.”
When asked about the many court cases against Site C that are currently underway, Mayor Johansson replied, “Certainly we are going to be watching what happens with those, but as far as being able to judge whether they’re strong or weak – that’s beyond my capabilities I’m afraid.”
Mayor Johansson concludes by explaining the bottom line is every energy source carries with it different pros and cons – but ultimately she would rather see the province invest in a combination of geothermal, solar, wind and natural gas resources.