February 26, 2021 (Vancouver, B.C.) – The Business Council of British Columbia has released the following statement on behalf of Greg D’Avignon, President and CEO of the Business Council of British Columbia:
“Today’s announcement is an important decision point in the long history of the Site C project approval and construction process. The Business Council recognizes the complexity of this decision in light of the stage of construction completion, geotechnical challenges, regulatory process and COVID delays juxtaposed with the reality of increasing demand for firm power required in the future.
"The government has assured rate payers that today’s decision will have minimal impact on rates, including for industrial and commercial customers. The Business Council will monitor carefully the province’s approach to this commitment as we remain concerned about the significant erosion of B.C.’s energy cost competitiveness in the last decade or more.
"For years, B.C.’s relatively affordable electricity costs and clean electricity grid have served as an advantage in attracting job-creating investments and businesses. These advantages have diminished over time. Looking ahead, businesses in B.C. can ill-afford further increases in costs to fees, taxes or energy rates as we look to support economic recovery for British Columbia.
"While we cannot understate the economic impact of the thousands of construction and related jobs this major capital project provides or the strategic importance of clean electricity to our climate commitments, the process and cost increases to date on Site C highlight several challenges with B.C.’s overall competitiveness and regulatory processes that require attention.
As the government looks to address the mounting provincial debt, part of which reflects B.C. Hydro’s growing debt load, policymakers will need to focus on creating the conditions that enable private sector growth and productivity-enhancing investments to expand the tax base, accelerate the post-pandemic economic recovery, and strengthen the public finances over time.”
About the Business Council of British Columbia
Now in its 56th year as the premier business organization in British Columbia, the Business Council of B.C. is a non-partisan organization made up of over 200 leading and largest companies, post-secondary institutions and industry organizations from across B.C.'s diverse economy. The Council produces exceptional public policy research and advocacy in support of creating a competitive economy for the benefit of all British Columbians.