Premier John Horgan is greeted by federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh as he enters to speak to the B.C. NDP convention in Victoria, Nov. 4, 2017. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

Energy issues face NDP leaders John Horgan, Jagmeet Singh

Alberta and B.C. are at odds on pipeline, electricity needs

As the cheers fade from the B.C. NDP convention over the weekend, Premier John Horgan has to get back to the pressing issue of oil pipeline and electricity grid expansions that don’t match up with his neighbouring NDP government in Alberta.

In his speech to delegates at the B.C. NDP convention in Victoria Saturday, Horgan touched on the independent report he received last week on the Site C dam project. A B.C. Utilities Commission panel confirmed the third dam on the Peace River is over budget and behind schedule, which was admitted at the hearings by B.C. Hydro CEO Chris O’Riley.

RELATED: Decision time for Horgan on Site C dam

Horgan has imposed a deadline on cabinet to decide by the end of 2017 whether to stop the $10 billion project or complete it. A C.D. Howe Institute analysis of the commission’s findings made the decision more complicated, pointing out that the BCUC ignored Alberta, where NDP Premier Rachel Notley is preparing to shut down coal-fired power plants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“If B.C. and Alberta were one province, Site C would be a no-brainer,” wrote Blake Shaffer, a C.D. Howe fellow and former electricity trader at B.C. Hydro’s subsidiary Powerex.

In his speech, Horgan criticized private power contracts signed by the previous B.C. Liberal government, saying “ideological policy choices” led to too much run-of-river power and not enough wind and solar capacity.

Taking questions from reporters after his speech, Horgan sidestepped the question of his disagreement with Notley over the twinning of the TransMountain pipeline from Alberta to its Burnaby marine terminal. He reiterated his opposition to increased oil tanker traffic on the B.C. coast.

Asked about the new federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh’s s position on TransMountain, Horgan replied, “I don’t take orders from Jagmeet, and he doesn’t take orders from me.”

Horgan received several standing ovations during his convention speech, where he said the minority government supported by three B.C. Green MLAs will lead to better government, because he has to find “compromise and consensus” to stay in office.

B.C. Liberal MLA Steve Thomson was at the NDP convention as an observer. Thomson said Horgan’s speech was notable for what was not in it, including a firm commitment to deliver $10-a-day child care and ride-sharing service to compete with taxis in urban areas.

Thomson called on Horgan to set an early date for a by-election in Kelowna West, where former premier Christy Clark resigned her seat after her government was defeated by the NDP-Green alliance in July.

#TransMtnBC HydroSite C

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. salmon farms challenge activists’ demands for site closures

News reporting also unfair, inaccurate and distorted

ALBERNI GOLF: Van Lent gets hole in one

Next Sunday, Oct. 4 will be the windup for Sunday morning golf for this crazy year of 2020

EDITORIAL: Election forces change, uncertainty for Mid Island-Pacific Rim riding

The Mid Island-Pacific Rim riding is heading into a snap election at a time when we least need it.

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs prepare for unusual 2020-21 season

Questions remain about funding, fans in seats at the Alberni Valley Multiplex

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

FINLAYSON: COVID-related job losses concentrated in urban areas… especially Metro Vancouver

The biggest job losses, in absolute terms, have been in Metro Vancouver

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

6 puppies rescued in mass seizure on Princeton farm die from illness: BC SPCA

Of the 97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized, most of the puppies suffered from parvo

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

U.S. boater fined $1,000 for violation of Quarantine Act

49-year-old man entered Canada to visit girlfriend in Surrey

More sex abuse charges laid against B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’

Investigators now focussing efforts on alleged victims within the Glad Tidings Church community

Most Read