Energy Policy

Electricity, Site C Dam, BC Hydro Charges, Carbon Tax, Sustainable Energy.

MEDIA RELEASE –  THURSDAY APRIL 13, 2017

  • HALT ON SITE C HYDRO DAM & APPOINTMENT OF SITE C ROYAL COMMISSION
  • ABOLITION OF STEP 2 HYDRO CHARGES IN WINTER + MORE EQUITABLE CHARGES
  • SUPPORT FOR CARBON TAX AND SUSTAINABLE ENERGY

The BC Citizens First Party today announced that it will immediately initiate a 2 year halt to Site C Hydro Dam works and appoint an independent  Royal Commission into the entire project in order to determine any future progress.


His party also announced that it will abolish Step 2 BC hydro electricity charges (currently 50% higher than normal charges) during winter months for private homes; reduce overall standard electricity charges for BC citizens to the lower cheaper charges currently paid by out-of-province and US users of our electricity; and opposes the building of BC Hydro substations underneath schools or parks used by young children.


Mr. Ryan said the BC Citizens First Party also supported the current carbon tax regime and also supported the development of sustainable energy alternatives for BC.


1.       ELECTRICITY GENERATION AND SITE C DAM: We believe the Government of BC is unnecessarily attempting to in-debt the citizens of British Columbia with its foolhardy $9 billion expansion of electricity generation to primarily support illusionary LNG projects which are doomed to failure over the next 15 years due to a global oversupply of LNG. This debt will rapidly and unnecessarily increase electricity bills unnecessarily for BC Citizens for decades to come.  We believe  there is already more than adequate electricity generating capacity in BC from existing facilities to cover demand for many generations to come.

 2.       ACCORDINGLY, WE WILL IMMEDIATELY CALL A 2 YEAR HALT ON ALL SITE C DAM WORK IN ORDER TO UNDERTAKE AN INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT as to immediate and future provincial electricity demand requirements, as well as assess impacts on landowners to be swamped by the site and to hear the concerns of key stakeholders and citizens of BC.

3.       THIS ASSESSMENT WILL BE UNDERTAKEN BY A ROYAL COMMISSION INTO THE SITE C DAM.  The Royal Commission will be tasked to:

  • Establish the most likely and reliable demand forecasts for electricity energy for BC over the next 20 years (with and without one or more LNG plants).
  • Establish any unmet demand needs for a Site C Dam in such a forecast.
  • Establish the impact on all stakeholders of proceeding with, indefinitely deferring until needed, or permanently terminating the current Site C project.
  • Make a recommendation on the net costs and benefits of either proceeding with the dam or cancelling the dam for the foreseeable future or some other alternative actions deemed appropriate.
  • Establish both the private and public criteria, as well as the evaluative processes used by the Clark Government, the Premier, her Ministers, Cabinet and Ministry officials, and BC Hydro in approving and contracting and funding the Site C Dam.
  • Assess the professionalism of the Clark Liberal Government’s and BC Hydro’s approach and procedures adopted in their recent decision to proceed with Site C.
  • Provide advice to the Parliament on suggested improvements for future evaluations and implementation of such large Government owned projects in the future.

4.       THIS SITE C ROYAL COMMISSION will have quasi-judicial powers and the Commissioners will be retired or serving judges. The Royal Commission will research the issues, undertake consultations with experts both within and outside of government as well as public consultations. The Warrant for the Royal Commission’s establishment will grant immense investigatory powers, including summoning witnesses under oath, offering of indemnities, seizing of documents and other evidence (including those normally protected, such as classified information), holding hearings in camera if necessary and compelling all government officials to aid in the execution of the Royal Commission. The results of the Royal Commission will be published in findings containing policy recommendations. 

5.       WE WILL COMPLETELY ABOLISH STEP 2 ELECTRICITY CHARGES BEING IMPOSED ON BC CITIZENS IN THEIR PRIVATE HOMES DURING THE WINTER MONTHS OF JANUARY, FEBRUARY AND MARCH EACH YEAR. Step 2 charges currently make electricity 50% dearer during winter months and we see their abolition during winter months as being the first step in achieving a more equitable retail charging regime for BC Citizens in their private homes.  

6.       WE SEE FAIR POWER CHARGES TO OUR CITIZENS AS BEING A CITIZEN RIGHT and we currently oppose residents being charged $106 per MW hr,  whilst commercial business receive power 20% cheaper at $91 per MW hr, large industrial businesses are charged $56 per MW  hr and our current excess electricity is sold to other provinces and US States for only $43 per MW hr.  We expect BC citizens to be offered comparable rates to businesses and outside province clients. Currently BC sells more excess power to the USA than to all the combined power needs of all its residential homes (which just shows we don’t have urgent need for a new dam in BC) and it sells all this massive excess power to the USA at a 60% discount to the price it sells it to its own BC citizens.

7.       WE ARE OPPOSED TO THE BUILDING OF BC HYDRO SUBSTATIONS UNDERNEATH SCHOOLS OR PARKS USED BY YOUNG CHILDREN since epidemiological research has found associations between residential magnetic field exposure and cancer. This situation is further exacerbated by the excessive electromagnetic wave radiation generated by high voltage transmission facilities used in electricity sub-stations. 

8.       WE SUPPORT THE CURRENT CARBON TAX: We believe the current carbon pricing policy for BC is appropriate for the time being, and should remain at $30 per tonne of emissions in BC until at least the end of 2020 at which time the rest of the country will have theoretically raised their carbon taxes to the same levels at BC. We believe such a public policy is prudent particularly given the uncertainty around potential competitive  disadvantage against the USA with the new Trump administration’s relaxation of carbon pricing.  We also support the establishment of an independent national panel of experts to report in 2021 on the current status of all provincial carbon pricing programs and to provide recommendations for moving forward.  Our party will only support an ongoing national carbon pricing program in which our province is not financially disadvantaged compared to any other province in Canada.

9.       WE ENCOURAGE SUSTAINABLE ENERGY ALTERNATIVES and believe there is an important role for Government to play in encouraging such energy activities. Accordingly we support renewable energy in British Columbia,  the reduction of emissions from transport and energy efficiency and conservation.


Contact Party Leader: Phillip Ryan, Cell: 604-355-4069, p.ryan@bccitizensfirst.ca. Party Headquarters: 170-422 Richards Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 2Z4


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