Federal and provincial governments urged to approve project
VANCOUVER, Jan. 23, 2014 /CNW/ - A broad cross-section of organizations representing companies, industries and chambers of commerce across British Columbia is voicing support for BC Hydro's Site C Clean Energy Project and urging the federal and provincial governments to approve the project.
Site C would be the third dam and hydroelectric generating station on the Peace River in northeast B.C. If approved, it would generate clean and renewable power, produce low amounts of greenhouse gas emissions and have a relatively small reservoir footprint for the 5,100 gigawatt hours of energy it would produce – enough to power 450,000 homes a year.
As part of a cooperative federal-provincial environmental assessment of the project, a Joint Review Panel has been holding public hearings in northern B.C. and Alberta communities over the past two months. The hearings conclude today and the panel will be preparing a report to the federal and provincial governments.
In supporting Site C and calling for the federal and provincial governments to approve the project, the group of organizations noted the role that hydroelectric power has played in building B.C.'s economy. They also noted the economic benefits of the project, with construction alone generating 10,000 person-years of direct employment, 33,000 person-years of direct and indirect work throughout the province, and $3.2 billion to the provincial GDP.
"B.C.'s energy needs are forecast to increase by about 40 per cent over the next 20 years as the economy expands and as our population grows," says John Winter, President and CEO, B.C. Chamber of Commerce. "Energy is the life blood of British Columbia's economy prosperity, and Site C will have the single-biggest bang for our buck in addressing our future energy needs."
"British Columbians in every part of the province rely on electricity," says Philip Hochstein, President and CEO, Independent Contractors and Businesses Association of B.C. "Site C will not only give us clean renewable power that we depend on, but it will also give us a competitive advantage to build more hospitals and highways, and fund more doctors and nurses to provide care when we need it."
"B.C. is experiencing an exciting period of economic development that will lead to more jobs, increased government revenues and enhanced prosperity," says Keith Sashaw, President and CEO, Association of Consulting Engineering Companies – B.C. "These major projects demand access to stable and dependable power in order to operate efficiently and to continue to attract investors in future development projects. Site C will deliver that power."
Among those supporting Site C:
- Association of Consulting Engineering Companies – B.C.
- B.C. Chamber of Commerce
- B.C. Construction Association
- B.C. Construction Association – North
- B.C. Road Builders and Heavy Construction Industry Association
- Canadian Dam Association
- Canadian Home Builders' Association – Northern B.C.
- Cement Association of Canada
- Independent Contractors and Business Association of B.C.
- New Car Dealers of B.C.
- South Peace Oilmen's Association
Additional Quotes from Supporters:
- Manley McLachlan, President, B.C. Construction Association: "The Site C Clean Energy Project is an essential component in providing valuable and rewarding jobs to British Columbians, and to building a skilled and internationally competitive workforce in the longer term."
- Rosalind Thorn, President, B.C. Construction Association – North: "As a Regional Association representing construction related contractor and supply firms whose home bases are in the northern two-thirds of the Province of British Columbia, we fully appreciate the impact that this project will have on the economic development of our region and the province as a whole."
- Jack Davidson, President, B.C. Road Builders and Heavy Construction Industry: "Site C will help B.C. meet its growing need for electricity with a clean and renewable source of power."
- Gordon Bliss, President, Canadian Home Builders' Association – Northern B.C.: "We believe the Site C project is a beneficial one contributing positively to the overall economy of British Columbia, providing stability for growth in all sectors and creating employment opportunities."
- Michael McSweeney, President and CEO, Cement Association of Canada: "The Cement Association of Canada is pleased to express its support for BC Hydro's Site C Project, a strategic investment in British Columbia's future prosperity."
- Andy Vizer, Canadian Dam Association and Director, Markets and Technical Affairs, Cement Association of Canada: "In addition to providing project specific economic opportunities for our industry, Site C will be an important addition to province's energy infrastructure."
- Blair Qualey, President and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of B.C.: "Site C would help ensure we have enough electricity to meet our increasingly plugged-in society, which includes the growing number of electric vehicles hitting our roads, helping to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions."
- Paul Gevatkof, President, South Peace Oilman's Association: "We appreciate the vision of the WAC Bennett government of the '50s and '60s to use the Peace River as a source of hydro-electric power to fuel northern expansion. This vision must continue to support the development of the north."
SOURCE: NATIONAL Public Relations
For further information: John Winter, B.C. Chamber of Commerce, 604.683.0700; Philip Hochstein, Independent Contractors and Businesses Association, 604.298.7795; Keith Sashaw, Association of Consulting, Engineering Companies, 604.687.2811