“The panel has concluded the proponent has not fully demonstrated a need for the project. And they mention there are alternative sources of power at similar or somewhat higher costs, notably geothermal“.
The Joint Review Panel put forward 50 recommendations for the project if it is to proceed. Chief Roland Wilson with the Moberly First Nation says the most notable recommendation is the need for a cumulative affects assessment. “Whether or not Site C goes forward that B.C. needs to do a cumulative affects assessment up here because the amount of activity happening on the land”.
One of the key arguments against Site C is the loss of farmland if the valley is flooded. The Joint Review Panel said by itself and in the context of B.C. or western Canadian agricultural production, the loss is not significant.
Morison says they had agricultural economists testify before the panel who said this land is significant. “And they told the panel that this land is very important for the future of British Columbia”.
The Provincial and Federal Governments will now have 120 days to decide if the project receives environmental certification. Then the Provincial Government will make the final investment decision before the end of 2014.