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.

Just Posted

Port Hardy council creates subscription-based portal for agendas and minutes

It was a “council decision based on presentation by staff during financial planning budget meetings.”

World Class Hiking Trail For The North Island?

The idea is getting some serious attention.

Provincial grants help communities map, meet housing needs

The next intake for funding is open until Nov. 29, 2019.

North Island Rising: Can the future of the North Island be managed?

Can growth be managed and if so, is now the time to start figuring things out?

Less than a month to go until the Mount Waddington Fall Fair!

The committee is hoping for a record number of exhibits this year

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

U16 B.C. fastpitch team named national champs

Girls went undefeated at national tournament in Calgary

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

Most Read