Government staff control public relations on Site C dam

 

 
In river excavation at the Site C project.

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – According to an article by the Vancouver Sun, Energy Minister Bill Bennett and other officials in the office of the premier, led decisions on when and how announcements should be made when it comes to the Site C dam.

Bennett apparently confirmed “direct control” of the Site C announcements in an interview yesterday, saying he was the minister made responsible in 2013 for the controversial project. Bennett said he is aware that if an announcement goes the wrong way or leaves the wrong impression, he will take the heat for it.

He goes on to say that he doesn’t direct the day-to-day operations of BC Hydro but that Site C is “different”.

According to the article, at the end of March, Hydro was going to announce that a temporary bridge across the Peace River had been completed but Bennett was concerned with the timing of the announcement since April 1st was going to mark a increase of 4% to Hydro rates.

BC Hydro also wanted to announce the completion of the 1,200 room worker lodge that was completed in June. That was also left up to Bennett and the premier’s office to decide when the announcement should be made.

The article also states that according to emails that were accessed through a freedom of information request, that the premier as well as ministers helped handle the “planned” Hydro reaction to a B.C. Supreme Court ruling which came from a challenge by 2 First Nations as well as development agreements with First nations and also materials that were used by Hydro for a meeting with reporters from the legislative press gallery that took place in July.

 

Article by the Vancouver Sun: http://vancouversun.com/news/politics/cabinet-political-staff-control-b-c-hydros-public-relations-on-site-c-dam