BC Chamber backs Panel report, calls for momentum on Site C

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Vancouver, May 8, 2014 – The BC Chamber of Commerce backs the Joint Review Panel report on Site C and calls on the provincial and federal governments to move ahead with Site C to help ensure that B.C. can meet its long-term energy needs.

“The Chamber has consistently supported the need for B.C. to enhance its generation capacity,” said Jon Garson, the BC Chamber’s vice-president of policy development. “Our support is based on a clear recognition of the need for aggressive action on both the supply and demand side of B.C.'s energy mix. We need to enhance conservation efforts to reduce demand, as well as bolster our supply through the construction of new generation capacity. It is within this context that we support the development of Site C.”

Responding to a Joint Review Panel report on Site C, Garson noted the under the current construction schedule proposed by BC Hydro, Site C would not be completed until 2023 and any further delay could have longer-term impacts.

“In B.C., history shows that we have always benefited over the long-term from the addition of new hydroelectric resources,” Garson said. “B.C. has enjoyed a competitive advantage because of low electricity rates achieved through investments that looked to the long term.  This report demonstrates that Site C would build on this legacy by providing long-term cost certainty.  To use the Panel’s words, this ‘locks in low rates for many decades.’ This is good for B.C. businesses and B.C. job creation for generations to come.”

Garson emphasized that low-cost power positions B.C. as an investment destination of choice, both for local and non-local businesses.

“Low-cost power has long helped drive B.C.’s economy and we need to ensure that we can maintain this competitive advantage over the longer term, to attract needed investment,” he said. “Today’s Panel findings back what B.C.’s chambers have long been saying: we need to move ahead and get this project built.”

The BC Chamber has been calling for Site C since 2004.

The BC Chamber is the largest and most broadly-based business organization in the province. Representing more than 125 Chambers of Commerce and 36,000 businesses of every size, sector and region of the province, the BC Chamber of Commerce is “The Voice of Business in BC.”

For further details, please contact:

Jon Garson
Vice-President, Policy Development
BC Chamber of Commerce
T 604.638.8113
C 778.960.3712

Jenny MacPhee
Communications Officer
BC Chamber of Commerce
T 604.638.8114
C 604.366.4990
E jmacphee@bcchamber.org