Canadian Manufacturing

Independent contractors rally behind proposed B.C. dam

Independent Contractors and Businesses Association of B.C. president calling for project approval



FORT ST. JOHN, B.C.—A group of independent contractors in British Columbia is voicing its support for a proposed $8-billion hydroelectric project in the province’s northeast.

Speaking at a public hearing into the Site C project near Fort St. John, B.C., near the Alberta border, Independent Contractors and Businesses Association of B.C. (ICBA-BC) president Philip Hochstein encouraged the joint federal-provincial panel to “be bold, be visionary and be guided by foresight” in its review of the proposal.

The controversial BC Hydro hydroelectric dam would flood an 83-kilometre stretch of the Peace River, and 10 kilometres at the mouth of the Moberly River and 14 kilometres of the Halfway River that feed into the Peace.

Hochstein said Site C would generate 10,000 direct jobs and another 23,000 indirect jobs during construction.

Hochstein quoted retired engineer Henry Wakabyashi, who reminded the joint review panel that dozens of B.C. communities owe their very existence to the province’s heritage of hydroelectric projects.

“Our mining and forestry industries and the communities and the paycheques and families they support would not have been possible without these hydro dams,” Hochstein said in a statement.

Hochstein said that BC Hydro has done a substantial amount of research and preparation to mitigate or eliminate the impacts of the project.

He also said the construction industry will do its part by using the most environmentally friendly techniques available to build the project.

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