LETTER: NDP has tough decision to make on Site C dam

Re: Dam decision a big test for the NDP (B.C. Views, Nov. 15)

If only Tom Fletcher tried to clarify issues instead of making outrageous statements that imply complex issues are simple.

I am someone who travelled to the Peace River Valley over a year ago to see what the fuss about the Site C dam was all about, and have since come to the conclusion – for a whole lot of reasons – that the dam should not be built.

The latest reason is the financial burden this megaproject will cost all of us by the time it’s operational. We have no clear evidence that by the time the project is completed we will even need the electricity from the dam.

Meanwhile, the estimated cost of building the dam has already increased to $9.4 billion, while serious geotechnical problems continue to arise, causing major cost overruns. Deloitte LLP, the independent advisor to the BC Utilities Commission, says the final cost may be as high as $12 billion – or 45 per cent over budget.

Just think what else we could use this money for? Mental health and addictions, housing, much needed services for the elderly, education, investment in renewal energy – the list goes on.

It’s reassuring to know the money spent so far has not been wasted, as B.C. Hydro reports that most of the $3.9 billion already spent on the project went towards long-needed upgrades to transmission lines and roads in the northeast. So, let’s stop while we are ahead.

There’s no doubt the NDP government has a difficult decision to make about whether to stop building the dam, as the political cost will be high no matter what the final decision will be.

But let’s hope that clearer, more analytical minds prevail, than that of Tom Fletcher.

Elaine Hopper, Sooke

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