The panel – chaired by former Deputy Minister Peter Ostergaard – concluded in its interim report on October 1, 2014, that “the existence of an independent expert commission is more important that ever today,” adding that “by regulating monopolies, the BCUC provides and essential public service.”The panel also made seven recommendations in what they say would strengthen the commission’s role.“The government’s own report reaffirms the necessary and legal role of the B.C. Utilities Commission,” says New Democrat spokesperson on B.C. Hydro, Adrian Dix. “Yet Premier Clark and Energy Minister Bill Bennett ignored even their own experts in exempting the Site C project.”- Advertisement -Dix adds, “Instead, they played with numbers to try to reduce the project’s cost estimates without scrutiny.”Dix also point to other points in which the B.C. Liberals diminished the role of the BCUC.“In recent years, the Liberals have refused to allow their IPP program, the Smart Meter program and B.C. Hydro rates to go before the commission,” Dix goes on to say. “The result every time has been catastrophic for ratepayers, leading to the 28 per cent hydro rate increase British Columbians are dealing with today.”Advertisement The B.C. government approved the construction of Site C in December of 2014 – slated to have the shovel in ground by the summer of 2015.
B.C. Liberals ignore own expert panel advice on Site C: NDP