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Elections BC gives approval in principle to petition seeking to cancel Site C

VICTORIA, B.C. — B.C.’s Chief Electoral Officer has granted an approval in principle for an application to petition the provincial government to cancel construction fo the Site C dam. 

Keith Archer said the petition, entitled: “An initiative to cancel the Site C Dam project”, will be issued to proponent Ion Delsol Moruso on July 3rd. Archer said that the initiative petition application is the eleventh to be approved since the Recall and Initiative Act came into force in 1995. 

The proponent’s application reads as follows:

“The purpose of the initiative draft Bill is to stop construction of the Site C Dam project currently underway on the Peace River. The draft Bill states that the May 2014 Joint Federal-Provincial Review Panel report on the project was found to have unsupported claims and procedural inconsistencies, and that a November 2017 BC Utilities Commission report concluded that the project is not needed for future energy power in British Columbia. The draft Bill would require the Site C Dam project to be cancelled, and would come into effect on Royal Assent.”

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Site C was initially approved by the then-BC Liberal government in December 2014 and had been under construction for over two years when the Liberals lost a confidence vote in the BC Legislature last June. After the NDP formed a minority government, Energy Minister Michelle Mungall announced that Site C would be subject to a fast-tracked review by the B.C. Utilities Commission.

In their Final Report, the BCUC did not say outright whether construction on Site C should be cancelled or continued, but did say that the project was running over its original $8.9 billion budget. Premier John Horgan announced last December 11th that construction on the 1,100-megawatt project would continue, with a revised budget of $10.7 billion.

Elections BC says that any registered voter can apply to have a petition issued to gather support for a legislative proposal. After the petition is issued, the proponent will have 90 days to canvass and collect signatures of at least 10 percent of the registered voters in each of B.C.’s 87 provincial ridings. 

Individuals or organizations who intend to oppose the initiative, conduct initiative advertising, or canvass for signatures must be registered with Elections BC. The deadline to apply to be an opponent of the initiative is June 4th. 

Registered voters as of July 3rd may sign the petition once, and only for the electoral district in which they are registered. 

For more information on the initiative petition, visit the Elections BC website elections.bc.ca.

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