Energy Minister Bill Bennett

Energy Minister Bill Bennett

Chamber of Commerce gives thumbs up to Site C decision

The B.C. government gave the go-ahead Tuesday for BC Hydro to start construction on a third dam on the Peace River.

The Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce and the BC Chamber of Commerce say they welcome the B.C. government’s decision to approve Site C.

“B.C.’s economy has been built on reliable, low-cost power – but our aging infrastructure threatens that,” said BC Chamber president and CEO John Winter. “By committing to building Site C, government is investing in B.C.’s continued access to the energy we need to take B.C. forward.”

Winter said reliable, low-cost power has long been a major competitive advantage for B.C. as a business jurisdiction.

“Reliable, affordable power allows our businesses to compete nationally and globally and to create jobs right here in B.C.” Winter said. “It’s a key factor in our province’s economic success.”

Winter commended the government for the decision.

“Site C is the largest investment decision our province will make in a generation.  But let’s be clear: Today’s decision was the right decision for our economy and our future,” Winter said.

Mike Welte, president of the Abbotsford Chamber, said B.C.’s future energy needs will go beyond Site C.

“Site C will have a significant role to play, however we anticipate that B.C. will need to leverage its full basket of energy options including oil, natural gas, renewable energy and hydro assets to power our economy,” said Welte.

BC Chamber members have long backed Site C as a strategic investment in reliable, publicly-owned energy infrastructure.

Site C will be the third dam and hydroelectric generating station on the Peace River in Northeast B.C. It will generate 5,100 gigawatt hours of energy – enough to power 450,000 homes a year.

BC Hydro estimates that the project will generate approximately 10,000 direct jobs and an additional 23,000 indirect jobs, and contribute $3.2 billion to B.C.’s GDP. In addition, Site C will generate firm power for more than a century.