THE B.C. Green Party said on Thursday that Premier John Horgan has admitted to the need for two additional and previously undisclosed reports on Site C, making it clear that the Milburn report was nothing more than political cover for this government to continue barrelling ahead with construction on the mega-dam while avoiding answering to the public.
“There is a shocking level of secrecy around Site C. This is the most expensive project in B.C.’s history, and this government is keeping British Columbians in the dark,” said Sonia Furstenau, Leader of the B.C. Greens and MLA for Cowichan Valley. “The admission that Milburn doesn’t have the expertise to advise on dam safety makes it clear that the Milburn report has been used as a smoke-screen to continue construction and avoid answering questions.”
“The Government and BC Hydro have known about serious geotechnical challenges since 2019. Now the Premier has admitted that they still need more information and that their own appointed expert did not have the capacity to advise on dam safety. Yet there is still no timeline and no information about the new experts and their terms of reference.”
MLA Furstenau raised the fact that Peter Milburn did not have the technical expertise to recommend fixes to the dam site during Question Period in December 2020, and in response the Minister stated at the time that he had “full confidence” in Milburn’s expertise and qualifications to answer these crucial questions. On Thursday, the Premier said Milburn “did not have the capacity to address the safety challenges” and two other experts will be tasked with reporting on the geotechnical issues.
“Government has known about these issues for well over a year – why did the BC NDP not appoint experts with the capacity to answer these questions from the beginning?” said Furstenau.
The public is also still waiting on missing quarterly reports for Site C that have not been released by BC Hydro. The last quarterly report released by BC Hydro covered up to March 30, 2020. Q1 and Q2 quarterly reports, covering April-June and July-September, have still not been released and are now significantly overdue, she noted.
“British Columbians deserve better. When will the Premier come clean with the public about what is going on at Site C?” said Furstenau.