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Site C a unifying issue for council candidates

The inevitable question about the controversial Site C dam was brought up at last night's All Candidates Forum, and those who answered had a lot to say. A member of the audience asked for each candidate's personal opinion on the proposed dam.

Trevor Bolin was quick to point out that the incumbent City Council has officially taken a neutral stance on the project, to ensure the City is included in discussions.

"For us to stand up and say, 'No, we don't want this dam', we're going to get cut out of the table. We want to make sure that Fort St. John is heard every step of every process along the way."

Lori Ackerman backed that up, by encouraging those who do have an opinion to take part in the environmental assessment process. Larry Evans, who has very publicly opposed the dam in the past, reminded the candidates that the question asked for their personal opinion, and reiterated that he doesn't want the dam.

Bruce Christensen agreed, adding, "If British Columbians absolutely need the power, and there's no other environmentally friendly, safe, economical way, then we have to consider it. Right now, I don't think we do." Don Irwin echoed that statement, adding there are better sources for power.

Although Mike Murray also opposes the dam, his choice was based on much different factors. He says his reasons for opposing the project are mostly financial. He cited the estimated cost of 8$ billion, and the hundreds of millions of dollars of interest it will accrue.

"We could build a 200-megawatt cogeneration plant every year just from the interest on that money. Financially it just makes no sense to put that dam there."

Each candidate's opposition to the project brought applause from the audience, but as they all share the same view, it may not help in making voting decisions. Due to time constraints, not every candidate was able to answer every question.

The full audio from the Site C question can be found to the right of this article.