The Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA) is urging B.C. politicians to keep the Site C project on track. "If they decide that they want to review or cancel this project, it will affect a lot of livelihoods," said Rieghardt van Enter, PCA’s B.C. regional director, referring to the 2,252 people currently working at the site near Fort St. John.
B.C. Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver and NDP Leader John Horgan, who are hoping to form a minority government in the province, have stated they intend to conduct an independent review of the project. However, after a razor-thin election result, the BC Liberals remain in power and won’t face a vote of confidence until at least June 29.
Weaver has told the B.C. Utilities Commission that he intends to get an interim report on the project within six weeks.
Van Enter noted that letters Horgan has sent out indicate they would halt awarding contracts on the Site C project and previous campaign rhetoric would also put other massive projects like the George Massey Tunnel Replacement Project and the Trans Mountain Pipeline in jeopardy as well.
"We’re concerned about the threat of putting more than 2,000 people out of work when your election promise was to create jobs," wrote van Enter in a letter to Weaver.
He also reminds Weaver that back in 2009 he was a strong supporter of Site C.
"Your inexplicable change of heart is costly to each and every taxpayer in B.C.," writes van Enter. "Considering even a project delay at an annualized cost of more than $630 million is hardly sound fiscal policy. Unpredictable leadership that puts a question mark beside so many important infrastructure projects is not the way to build investor confidence."
He concluded by asking Weaver to put politics aside and support the project. He also requested to meet with him to discuss the issue.
"We are not trying to be partisan," said van Enter in an interview with the Journal of Commerce. "It’s not about who governs, but it’s about these projects and how they will impact our members."
The PCA represents progressive unionized employers in Canada’s construction industry, employing more than 25,000 skilled construction workers. Its member companies are responsible for 40 per cent of energy and natural resource construction projects in B.C. and Alberta, the association states, and advocate for getting infrastructure projects built through its Let’s Build It campaign.
Van Enter also praised B.C.’s Independent Contractors and Businesses Association, which supports the open shop construction industry, for its own campaign to get the government to see the Site C project through.