Premier John Horgan is greeted by federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh as he enters to speak to the B.C. NDP convention in Victoria, Nov. 4, 2017. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

Energy issues face NDP leaders John Horgan, Jagmeet Singh

Alberta and B.C. are at odds on pipeline, electricity needs

As the cheers fade from the B.C. NDP convention over the weekend, Premier John Horgan has to get back to the pressing issue of oil pipeline and electricity grid expansions that don’t match up with his neighbouring NDP government in Alberta.

In his speech to delegates at the B.C. NDP convention in Victoria Saturday, Horgan touched on the independent report he received last week on the Site C dam project. A B.C. Utilities Commission panel confirmed the third dam on the Peace River is over budget and behind schedule, which was admitted at the hearings by B.C. Hydro CEO Chris O’Riley.

RELATED: Decision time for Horgan on Site C dam

Horgan has imposed a deadline on cabinet to decide by the end of 2017 whether to stop the $10 billion project or complete it. A C.D. Howe Institute analysis of the commission’s findings made the decision more complicated, pointing out that the BCUC ignored Alberta, where NDP Premier Rachel Notley is preparing to shut down coal-fired power plants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“If B.C. and Alberta were one province, Site C would be a no-brainer,” wrote Blake Shaffer, a C.D. Howe fellow and former electricity trader at B.C. Hydro’s subsidiary Powerex.

In his speech, Horgan criticized private power contracts signed by the previous B.C. Liberal government, saying “ideological policy choices” led to too much run-of-river power and not enough wind and solar capacity.

Taking questions from reporters after his speech, Horgan sidestepped the question of his disagreement with Notley over the twinning of the TransMountain pipeline from Alberta to its Burnaby marine terminal. He reiterated his opposition to increased oil tanker traffic on the B.C. coast.

Asked about the new federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh’s s position on TransMountain, Horgan replied, “I don’t take orders from Jagmeet, and he doesn’t take orders from me.”

Horgan received several standing ovations during his convention speech, where he said the minority government supported by three B.C. Green MLAs will lead to better government, because he has to find “compromise and consensus” to stay in office.

B.C. Liberal MLA Steve Thomson was at the NDP convention as an observer. Thomson said Horgan’s speech was notable for what was not in it, including a firm commitment to deliver $10-a-day child care and ride-sharing service to compete with taxis in urban areas.

Thomson called on Horgan to set an early date for a by-election in Kelowna West, where former premier Christy Clark resigned her seat after her government was defeated by the NDP-Green alliance in July.

Just Posted

Washington State man facing murder charges in 1987 killing of Victoria couple

Two counts of aggravated first-degree murder filed against William Talbott II in Snohomish

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria expansion gets $6M boost from province

Project many years in the making, but planned for current Rockland site

Does a creature lurk beneath Cadboro Bay?

Researchers on hunt for Cadborosaurus, with sightings dating back centuries along the B.C. coast

Celebrating the 120th Philippine Independence day

Local Filipino communities host first public celebration in Victoria

Public invited to share views about local health care

Meeting takes place Saturday at Sooke Baptist Church at 1 p.m.

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

5 fun things to do this weekend in Greater Victoria

Car Free YYJ, family fishing, Sooke bluegrass, walk for cancer and a mascot’s birthday

WEB POLL: Would you be in favour of a ban on plastic straws?

Would you be in favour of a ban on plastic straws?… Continue reading

B.C. NHL prospect expected to make ‘full recovery’ after an incident in Calgary

Jordy Bellerive was injured in a reported house fire Saturday night

BC Lions defensive back Marcell Young levels streaker in home opener

Young hit the fan near one of the 45-yard lines

Police: Taxi driver who hit 8 Moscow pedestrians fell asleep

Two Mexican World Cup fans were among those hit

B.C. VIEWS: Orphans of our urban drug culture neglected again

Child advocate Bernard Richard leaves B.C. with harsh message

From marijuana beer to pot cookies, Canadian companies creating cannabis edibles

Manufacturers think that edibles will do well with users who don’t want to smoke or vape

Privacy lawyer warns against victim blaming in recent sextortion scams

Perpetrators get sexual photos of the victim and threaten to share them with friends and families

Most Read