VICTORIA, B.C. – The Union of BC Municipalities has passed a motion this morning calling for the immediate halt to construction on the Site C Dam, and to conduct public hearings.
The motion was one of 47 in total that were passed by the UBCM this morning. Vancouver councillor and former BC Green Party leader Adrianne Carr explained that the group of motions, which are known as a Consent Agenda, passed by an overwhelming majority. Carr explained that in addition to the motion regarding Site C, others on the Consent Agenda included motions calling for: a provincial poverty reduction strategy, a national housing strategy, home renovation tax credits, community-based agriculture, carbon reduction targets, among others.
Coquitlam city councillor Terry O’Neill told Energeticcity.ca that the motion was included on the table by the delegation from North Saanich. O`Neill said that he attempted to have the motion removed from the list of 47 resolutions in order to be further debated by the conference as a whole. He said that according to the rules of the UBCM, a vote of 60 percent was required to have the motion removed from the list of resolutions, however he said that at most, 52 percent of the delegates at the conference voted in favour of the removal.
O`Neill added that his rationale behind having a further debate on the motion was twofold. Firstly, he said that the timing of the motion didn’t make sense, stating that it might have made sense several years ago. With construction having already started on the $8.8 billion project, “the train has left the station… Angelina [Jolie] has left Brad [Pitt].” O’Neill was also against the motion since if construction on the dam were to be halted, 1,700 workers at the dam site would be laid off.
In a response to O’Neill’s post on Facebook regarding the Site C motion, Coquitlam mayor Richard Stewart replied that the required 60 percent vote in favour was undemocratic.