Alternatives to the Site C Dam can create additional Job opportunities: UBC Analysis
A study by the University of British Columbia mentions that Alternatives to the $10 billion Site C dam can produce many additional job opportunities when compared to the construction of the hydroelectric dam. This had done by the researchers of the Program on Water Governance. They were of the opinion that if Site C is dropped, the job losses would be low in the short-term ranging from 18 to 30 percent until 2024, but job opportunities will increase in the range of 22 and 50 percent until 2030.
An investigation by the B.C. Utilities Commission suggested alternatives to Site C, like wind energy and conservation initiatives will reduce the electricity demand, and also replace the dam at a low unit energy cost.
Karen Bakker, an author of the report said that by the year 2054, the alternative portfolio of B.C. Utilities Commission will create thrice as many jobs as Site C. Measures of Site remediation, energy conservation, and geothermal construction will help to create many job opportunities every year. Alternative energy also creates many jobs for every dollar invested.
Using the data, the researchers came to the conclusion that between 2017 and 2024 Site C can create 35,398 person-years of employment, in comparison with 24,612 for alternative portfolios. By 2054, the alternative portfolio will overtake Site C, and offer 105,618 instead of the 37,618 job vacancies years by Site C.
Pressure to Go Ahead
The government thinks about the Site C options, of continuing or scrapping the project, the thought of around 2,000 construction workers losing out on jobs before Christmas is a serious concern. The government is under pressure from union groups, who feel that the project has gone far and cannot be omitted.
In case the project is ended, remediation of the site will need several workers, and give a transition period, to the local economy and the workforce. The project being huge it will absorb the site workers and offer similar pay scales to construction jobs.
Two year period of remediation and ten years of monitoring can create 10,000 job vacancies at the same pay levels. And in the long term, It can generate better job opportunities for the dollars spent. The province and the Peace region can have more jobs owing to the best wind resources available.
Job Losses Overstated
The present job statistics were questioned by a few groups, like the Association of Peace Valley Landowners, which has made the claim that the job figures were inflated. The public confusion on this issue will complicate it for the decision-makers.
Robert McCullough, an Energy Consultant who represents the Association of Peace Valley Landowners and Association of Peace Valley Environment, says that there is a mistaken belief that canceling Site C means the loss of construction job opportunities. Bankrupt of some jobs will be at Site C but creates more employment opportunities by investing in alternative energy projects. Some jobs will be of specialized nature and not belong to energy and resource development. This will lead to more Job opportunities in Canada.
$2 billion had spent on Site C so far and remediation measures cost $1.8 billion. The cost to continue with it is likely to overreach $8.9 billion budget.
The government requests for the BCUC report and concludes that it was running behind time and was over budget too. The cost of completion will be at least $10 billion. Canada jobs undergo a lot of such pulls and pressures and time will decide about them.