Don't kid yourself. Premier Gordon Campbell may have decided to build the Site C hydroelectric dam around the same time as then-B.C. Progress Board chairman David Black recommended doing this in a newspaper article back in April 2004.
But it wasn't going to help Campbell's northeastern MLAs by announcing this before the 2005 or the 2009 elections.
With the last election out of the way, Campbell will likely declare on Monday (April 19) that his government is moving to the third of a five-stage process that will determine the future of the proposal.
This will create an impression among some that this is not a done deal.
This third stage, which is expected to last two years, involves dealing with regulatory issues and the environmental assessment of the project.
Keep in mind that in Campbell's B.C., environmental assessments never thwart major capital projects. Especially ones as big as the Site C dam, which will cost up to $6.6 billion and would flood the Peace River valley between the Peace Canyon Dam and the point where the Peace and Moberly rivers connect.
And if the B.C. Utilities Commission gets in the way—like it did with run-of-river power projects—a Campbell-led government will likely change the law to ensure that the Site C dam will still go ahead.
That will be followed by stage four (detailed design and engineering) and stage five (construction).
The 1,100-metre-long Site C dam would be located seven kilometres southwest of Fort St. John, and would generate enough electricity for about 460,000 homes. Behind it would be an 83-kilometre reservoir, which would flood approximately 5,340 hectares.
Even though this will be one of the biggest announcements of Campbell's political career, the Site C dam wasn't even mentioned in the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources service plan this year.
Here are some things I'll be watching for in Monday's announcement:
* Whether Campbell will admit that the power generated by the Site C dam will be used to help companies extract bitumen from the Alberta tar sands, which would belie any claims that this is a green energy project.
* Whether Campbell will provide reporters with an estimate of how much energy generated from the Site C dam will cost per kilowatt-hour.
* Whether Campbell will link the pending environmental assessment of the Site C dam to concerns about peak oil, which is a topic he has steadfastly avoided discussing while promoting the Gateway roadbuilding program in Metro Vancouver.
Related article: Peace River power play over potential Site C dam
Follow Charlie Smith on Twitter at twitter.com/csmithstraight.