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Site C not deal-breaker for Greens

The B.C. Green Party will continue to prop up the minority NDP government, despite its “fiscally reckless” decision to go ahead with the Site C dam, party leader Andrew Weaver said Monday.
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Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver, speaking at legislature news conference, said it is "fiscally reckless" for B.C. NDP government to continue building Site C hydroelectric dam,

The B.C. Green Party will continue to prop up the minority NDP government, despite its “fiscally reckless” decision to go ahead with the Site C dam, party leader Andrew Weaver said Monday.

“Does this mean that we’re going to topple government? No,” he told reporters at the B.C. legislature. “I’ve signalled that publicly for quite some time. But does it mean that we’re going to take a very hard look at the finances come February? Yes.”

Weaver supported the project himself at one time, but changed his mind after the price tag continued to increase, he said. It’s now projected to cost $10.7 billion.

“But we know that we’re only two years into a nine-year project, so who believes the 10.7? “I certainly don’t,” he said. “It is fiscally reckless to proceed with Site C, to spend $10.7 billion on power that we don’t need.”

Weaver disputes the NDP government’s stance that by killing the project, B.C. would take on $4 billion in debt with nothing in return. He said that’s a cynical argument, given that the same government took on billions in debt by cancelling tolls on the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges.

Still, Weaver said he has never entertained the idea of defeating the NDP over the Site C issue.

“People elected us to actually work as adults on these issues and try to develop good public policy,” he said. “We’ve been criticized for being the green tail wagging the orange dog. Here’s an example where the green tail is trying to wag that orange dog and that orange dog isn’t listening. So, frankly, I think the people of B.C. are the ones who need to hold them to account.”

Premier John Horgan said he’s confident the NDP’s pact with the Greens will survive the Site C dispute.

“I’m fairly confident, although Mr. Weaver and his colleagues disagree with us on this decision, that it won’t have an impact on the long-term viability of the government,” he said. “I’m firmly convinced of that.”

Weaver did, however, suggest on Twitter Sunday night that a campaign to recall Energy Minister Michelle Mungall would be in order, given her previous opposition to the project.

Mungall responded by highlighting her accomplishments in the Nelson-Creston riding since her election in 2009.

“I appreciate that Mr. Weaver frequently takes to Twitter to share his particular views,” she said. “But I think this is an opportunity for me to actually say I’m very proud of the people that I represent and I’m very proud of the work we’ve been able to do together over the last eight years.”

lkines@timescolonist.com

asmart@timescolonist.com

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