VANCOUVER, June 11 /CNW/ - In a ruling today, the BC Supreme Court
granted the BC Transmission Corporation (BCTC) an injunction to stop the
owners of four properties and others from interfering with construction on a
50-year-old right-of-way in Tsawwassen.
The Court confirmed that BCTC has all the permits and authority necessary
to construct the project. The Court has spoken and has stated that they expect
that people will respect the Court's ruling. BCTC is proceeding with
The Court has confirmed that no permits are required under the Migratory
Bird Act. All necessary regulatory permits, including environmental permits,
have been obtained.
The Court has included the indemnification agreements already provided by
BCTC in the Court order.
The construction will upgrade the aging transmission lines serving
700,000 customers on Vancouver Island and the southern Gulf Islands.
Interference with construction jeopardizes the October 2008 in-service date of
the project required by the BC Utilities Commission in its July 2006 approval
of the project.
Existing right-of-way agreements, which were established in the 1950's,
give BC Hydro and BCTC the legal right to access these properties. All but one
of the 138 residential property owners along this existing right-of-way moved
there after the line was built.
Following two months of pre-construction communications with affected
Tsawwassen homeowners, BCTC began construction on June 2nd. During this time,
BCTC has been working directly with residents on minimizing and mitigating the
impacts of construction. Offers of voluntary compensation, appropriate
indemnification and restoration of properties post-construction have been
ongoing with affected property owners.
In recent months, BCTC and its contractors have had many communications
with Delta staff to discuss construction activities. BCTC has shared
Construction Management Plans for various sites and reviewed traffic
management plans with Delta staff. BCTC has worked with Delta staff to take
into account their concerns. To respond to Delta's desire for more information
on construction activities, BCTC has offered to provide Delta staff with plans
for construction activity which affect roads and parks.
BCTC is bound by a legal obligation to construct this project. In its
July 2006 decision, following 12 months of review and hearings, the BC
Utilities Commission, an independent quasi-judicial regulatory authority,
directed BCTC to construct the VITR project. That direction included using
overhead lines along the existing right-of-way that has been in place for
50 years and requires that BCTC proceed expeditiously with the project.
In addition to the BCUC's independent review and approval, this upgrade
to the existing line has been upheld in the courts, including the Supreme
Court of Canada. The project has also passed a comprehensive environmental
approval process which considered numerous concerns including health and
safety, EMF and migratory birds.
This important upgrade to BC's electricity infrastructure will ensure
700,000 residents and businesses on Vancouver Island and the southern Gulf
Islands continue to receive reliable electricity.
For further information:
For further information: BCTC Media Relations, BC Transmission
Corporation, (604) 699-7298, www.knowthefacts.ca