Province initiates "comprehensive" B.C. Hydro review with no mention of Site C

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      Since 2001, B.C. Hydro rates have increased 70 percent, according to a June 11 B.C. Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources media release.

      To understand why and answer similar questions, the NDP government has initiated a two-stage review of the Crown corporation's operations.

      "In the first phase of the review, government is working with BC Hydro to identify cost savings, efficiencies, new revenue streams and other changes, to keep electricity rates low and predictable over the long-term, while ensuring BC Hydro has the resources it needs to continue to provide clean, safe and reliable electricity," reads the media release.

      "In the second phase of the review—starting in late 2018—the Province will establish an expert panel, to provide recommendations to ensure BC Hydro is well positioned to maximize opportunities flowing from shifts taking place in the global and regional energy sectors, technological change and climate action," it continues.

      The government says it expects the first phase of the review to conclude and have a report out sometime in the fall of 2018. The second phase is expected to wrap up by the summer or fall of 2019.

      Today's media release announcing the review does not mention the Site C dam, a $10.7-billion hydroelectric project that's under construction on the Peace River roughly south of Fort St. John.

      A terms of reference for phase one of the review does mention Site C, but only to state that the review will specifically exclude an examination of the dam.

      The controversial project was long championed by B.C.'s former Liberal government. After the NDP took power in July 2017, Premier John Horgan said his administration will continue constructing the dam despite concerns.

      "It's clear that Site C should never have been started," Horgan said in December 2017. "But to cancel it would add billions to the Province's debt—putting at risk our ability to deliver housing, child care, schools and hospitals for families across B.C. And that's a price we're not willing to pay."

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