BC Hydro appears to have one set of books about the $9 billion Site C dam project for the B.C. Utilities Commission and another set of books for the Crown corporation’s directors and executives.
Just before last Christmas, the public-owned utility released its first annual report to the BCUC, claiming it had spent $1.3 billion on the project by Sept. 30, 2016.
But, BC Hydro censored all budget and expenditure figures, names of contractors and amounts paid to First Nations from documents that it sent four months late to theBreaker.
The BC Liberal cabinet intentionally diverted the megaproject from BCUC review. A Green-supported NDP minority government pledges to send Site C to BCUC for review. Such a move could stop the controversial megaproject that is costing taxpayers more than the entire estimated cost of building and operating the 2010 Winter Olympics.
theBreaker applied, under the freedom of information laws, on Dec. 14, 2016 for all agendas, minutes and PowerPoint or like presentations for Site C project board meetings since Oct. 26, 2016. BC Hydro was supposed to respond by Jan. 30, but did not release the documents until May 31 — more than three weeks since the provincial election.
The documents — censored by BC Hydro for fear of financial harm to the Crown corporation and its contractors — include the agenda and a report to the Nov. 14, 2016 project board meeting. Attendees included BC Hydro chair Brad Bennett and ex-BC Hydro executive Susan Yurkovich. Bennett campaigned with Premier Christy Clark during the election. Yurkovich is now the head of the Council of Forest Industries, but remains a Site C “board advisor.”
The presentation to the board said year one early works were completed within budget, but environmental compliance continued to be challenging. The overall schedule milestones were on track to meet the 2019 river diversion, but the schedule was censored.
The report said 900 hectares had been cleared cleared and 2.4 million cubic metres of material excavated. Challenges included geotechnical conditions, the Rocky Mountain Fort protest and weather.
BC Hydro had acted on only one of the 10 recommendations from Ernst and Young. The presentation showed the project was on track for the June awarding of the Cache Creek roads contract and July awarding of the generating station and spillways civil contract.
See the documents below.