The BC Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) and three ministers today handed BC Hydro an EA certificate for the Vancouver Island Generation Project (VIGP). While the approval was expected, waiting until December 23 was a cynical move designed to mute criticism.

More reprehensible, however, is the ministers’ use of the EA certificate to improve the odds that VIGP will win in BC Hydro’s Call-for-Tenders (CFT) process. “Today’s decision provides greater certainty for those bidders who expressed interest in the VIGP assets….“, boasted the EAO’s news release. The EAO is stepping way beyond its jurisdiction in promoting the sale of VIGP.

In September, the BC Utilities Commission denied BC Hydro a permit to build VIGP, and encouraged Hydro to conduct the CFT to find the most cost-effective power solution for Vancouver Island. BC Hydro is manipulating the CFT to ensure that the assets of VIGP are sold (and this EA certificate will help with that), and that the project is resubmitted into the CFT process.

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