theQuestion: Should British Columbians be relieved now that permits to begin diverting river flow for Site C have been approved?*
Just as the sun rises each morning, Petr again lampoons Christy Clark, charging the BC Liberals’ pre-election rallying cry “British Columbians First” is absurd and insincere. He opines that campaign slogans expose “ultimate insecurities.” Perhaps he’s right. The BC NDP campaign slogan in the last election “Change for the Better — One Practical Step at a Time” certainly spoke to the party’s deficits. Voters took note and soundly rejected the NDP in favour of a pro-growth, pro-resource BC Liberal government. It’s an outcome the NDP can ill afford to forget.
Ignoring history is perilous. As renowned historian Will Durant said, “the present is the past rolled up for action, and the past is the present unrolled for understanding.” If there is one lesson from B.C.’s history, it’s that you can count on hydroelectric power to build this province. It’s quite simply the cleanest form of affordable, plentiful, reliable and sustainable energy.
These truths are likely why BC Hydro’s $8.8-billion Site C damn project is now nearly unstoppable. To the chagrin of left-wing opponents, the Justin Trudeau-led federal Liberals granted two crucial permits allowing work to begin within the Peace River — prelude to diverting the flow and constructing the earthworks dam. More than a tacit approval for the project, once workers set foot in the river there is no turning back.
British Columbians should be relieved Site C is becoming a reality — including the NDP. Why? Because strident opposition to the project is a losing proposition. Site C has already created 1,500 jobs with thousands more to come. These jobs largely go to the building trade unions, which are crucial to the lifeblood of B.C.’s economy. The financial benefits are also real for both the northeast region and the rest of the province.
The BC Liberals are demonstrating foresight and maturity in advancing Site C. The argument proffered by environmental zealots that hydroelectric power isn’t a form of “green energy” is ludicrous. As is the claim that we don’t need the power now, so Site C should not be built. Neither of these positions are likely to ring true to British Columbians.
If New Democrats ignore their own history and choose to support environmental justice warriors over blue collar lunch-pail workers, they will lose the next election. An outcome I personally would find quite relieving.