FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A petition that sought to ask the provincial government to cancel building the Site C dam has failed.
The petition was filed by Ion Delsol Moruso and was given an approval in principle by Elections BC on May 3rd. The petition papers were issued to canvassers on July 3rd, who had 90 days to collect signatures from at least 10 percent of registered voters in each of the province’s 87 ridings.
“The purpose of the initiative draft Bill is to stop construction of the Site C Dam project currently underway on the Peace River,” stated Moruso in his petition application. “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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Then Chief Electoral Officer Keith Archer said that the initiative petition application is the eleventh to be approved since the Recall and Initiative Act came into force in 1995.
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.