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

Terrace conservation officers relocate Spirit bear

Bear roamed Kitsumkalum Valley north of Terrace for many years

Seabridge Gold starts drilling along proposed tunnel route north of Stewart

Twin tunnels will connect the KSM mine to its mill and tailings site

Mother grizzly bear with two cubs spotted on Gruchy’s Beach trail near Terrace

Conservation officers also warning public to stay away from Grizzlies on lower Kitimat River

Village of Gingolx upgrading trails, studying campground improvements

Initiative is one of 39 trail and recreation projects to receive provincial funding

Terrace first responders honour late colleague with large procession

Dozens of emergency vehicles drove through Terrace July 7

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Large rogue floating ‘island’ corralled by Lac la Hache residents

At least 60 feet wide, this large mass of plants is free-floating on the lake

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

B.C. premier applauds call to decriminalize drug possession

Police shouldn’t struggle with health issues, Horgan says

Most Read