Site C will now go ahead, one year later and $5.3 billion more, the NDP announced Feb 26. (BC Hydro image)

Site C will now go ahead, one year later and $5.3 billion more, the NDP announced Feb 26. (BC Hydro image)

A timeline of events in British Columbia’s Site C dam project

Site C will go ahead, one year later and $5.3-billion more, the NDP announced Feb 26

A chronology of events in British Columbia’s Site C hydroelectric dam project:

Late 1950s: The location for a third dam on the Peace River is first looked at after the locations of WAC Bennett Dam and Peace Canyon Dam were identified.

1970s: Engineering work is done to determine the feasibility of a third dam.

1989: Plans for Site C are shelved because of local opposition to the project.

March 2001: The chairman of BC Hydro says he would like to see the project revived and get fast-track approval from the government.

April 2004: BC Hydro includes Site C in a package of initiatives it is studying to boost the province’s long-term supply of hydroelectricity.

December 2007: Preliminary cost estimates for Site C show the project could cost between $5 billion and $6.6 billion, doubling previous estimates by the province.

April 2010: The B.C. government announces a plan to build Site C.

December 2013: Public hearings begin on the project.

May 2014: A joint review panel gives no clear yes-or-no answer but says B.C. will need new energy at some point. It says the project would cause significant adverse effects on the environment and wildlife, as well as Indigenous communities and farmers in the area.

October 2014: Provincial and federal environmental certificates are issued.

December 2014: The B.C. government makes the decision to go ahead with construction.

July 2015: Construction begins on Site C.

July 2015: The B.C. Supreme Court dismissed a petition by the Peace Valley Landowner Association challenging provincial environmental approval of Site C. An appeal was dismissed in September 2016.

August 2015: The federal court dismissed an application by Prophet River First Nation and West Moberly First Nations challenging environmental approval of Site C by the federal government. An appeal was dismissed in January 2017.

February 2016: A judge orders protesters to leave their tent camp near the construction site after BC Hydro asked for an injunction.

December 2016: The government says the project is on schedule and on budget.

March 2017: The government says more than 2,000 workers are employed at Site C.

Aug. 2, 2017: The province’s newly sworn-in NDP government asks the B.C. Utilities Commission to review the project as it considers cancelling or delaying its construction.

Aug. 28, 2017: A United Nations panel says construction of the dam should be stopped until there is a full review of how it would affect Indigenous land.

Nov. 1, 2017: The B.C. Utilities Commission says the project is over budget and behind schedule in its report to the government, which promises a decision on Site C’s future by the end of the year.

Dec. 11, 2017: Premier John Horgan says the dam will be completed but the price tag is expected to rise from $8.3 billion to $10.7 billion.

July 31, 2020: Energy Minister Bruce Ralston asks for an independent analysis of the project from former deputy finance minister Peter Milburn after BC Hydro identifies problems with the project in an update to the B.C. Utilities Commission, including the need to improve its foundations to increase stability below the powerhouse, spillway and core areas of the dam.

Sept. 28, 2020: A former president of BC Hydro is among 18 prominent Canadians who urge the province to stop work on the project while geotechnical problems are explored.

Feb. 26, 2021: Horgan announces the project’s cost has grown to $16 billion, and it won’t be completed until 2025.

RELATED: B.C. to go ahead with Site C dam, with new $16B budget and delayed to 2025

RELATED: Open letter urges B.C. to pause work at Site C dam to review costs, geotechnical issues

Site C

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