Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Numbers included in the latest Alberta Health annual report show the goal of providing a continuing care bed within 30 days of assessment was achieved for 56 per cent of patients last year — the worst rate since the province began tracking the standard in 2011.

"Lack of room in continuing care has a domino effect on the whole health system, as patients often have to wait in overtaxed hospitals before they get placed.-----------Executive staff at AHS and Alberta Health are getting paid astonishing wages and returns for no deliverables. Performance is the worst to date in placing citizens in the continuing care system. What does this mean for us? It means we are paying for hospital costs when there is no damn reason for this when we could be paying for lower costs in a continuing care placement. What is stopping the cycle of deferment of placement? I guess it is GOA indifference and yes, incompetence.
You saw how fast the GOA and the political hires worked to get the image of the oil and gas industry buffed up by decommissioning the coal fired electricity plants which cost us billions of dollars for no damn reason? Well if they can waste billions to end the production of electricity by coal fired power plants WITHOUT a back up plan for replacement of this source of electricity they jolly well could have a plan for the continuing care system so that poor seniors aren't stuck in hospitals for no reason. But nope. The seniors can stay in hospital or in the community while the problems of image and lack of reputation for the oil and gas industry get fixed.
Hopefully the dumb decision to end the generation of electricity by the power companies does not result in problems for citizens not only in terms of increased costs when the electricity cap is removed but also with the lack of a back up plan for the power. Where is Alberta going to get the replacement power from? Now that there is an NDP government in BC what happens with the site C megaproject? I'm guessing that the review that has been proposed will cleanly result in an end to this project and if this was Alberta's back up plan what is the new one in case of an electricity shortage?
B.C.’s New Democrats and Greens are promising to send the Site C megaproject to the B.C. Utilities Commission for review, raising the possibility of scrapping a project Premier Christy Clark previously vowed to get “to the point of no return.”


Velvet Martin shared a link to the group: Protecting Canadian Children.
23 hrs


The 30-day benchmark was achieved 60 per cent of the time during the previous two years.
EDMONTONJOURNAL.COM

http://edmontonjournal.com/news/local-news/alberta-patients-waiting-longer-for-placement-in-continuing-care-report


Alberta patients waiting longer for placement in continuing care: report

Keith GereinKEITH GEREIN

More from Keith Gerein

Published on: July 2, 2017 | Last Updated: July 2, 2017 9:25 PM MDT

Alberta Health Minister Sarah Hoffman on Dec. 13, 2016.

Alberta Health Minister Sarah Hoffman on Dec. 13, 2016. LARRY WONG / POSTMEDIA

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Plans to provide faster access to long-term care and supportive living flopped last year, according to new provincial statistics that show many patients actually found themselves waiting longer for a bed.

Numbers included in the latest Alberta Health annual report show the goal of providing a continuing care bed within 30 days of assessment was achieved for 56 per cent of patients last year — the worst rate since the province began tracking the standard in 2011.

The 30-day benchmark was achieved 60 per cent of the time during the previous two years.

The province had hoped to hit a target of 62 per cent this past year.

Health Minister Sarah Hoffman could not be reached for comment, but the health ministry provided an emailed statement that said a number of factors contributed to the disappointing result.

Among those reasons were delays in opening new continuing care spaces, and some “unanticipated” issues that arose at a few specific facilities. The statement did not provide any details.

“These facility challenges have since been resolved, and all new spaces originally planned for 2016-17 are expected to open in this fiscal year,” the statement said.

Upon entering office in 2015, the NDP government promised to address the crunch by opening 2,000 long-term care and dementia units. As an initial step, approval was given to 25 construction projects under the Alberta Supportive Living Initiative — down from 31 projects approved by the previous government — though just a handful of these facilities have since opened.

The province’s latest budget features $322 million over four years to expand continuing care, the ministry said.

Lack of room in continuing care has a domino effect on the whole health system, as patients often have to wait in overtaxed hospitals before they get placed.

Besides building more care centres, the ministry said it is also addressing the problem by expanding home care. In theory, this will keep patients independent for a longer period of time and prevent them from needing a continuing care bed.

For this year, the province has set a target of getting 65 per cent of patients into continuing care within the 30-day benchmark.

The annual report noted overall health spending last year was $252 million higher than budgeted, largely due to extra costs for paying doctors. A deal signed with the Alberta Medical Association last year to slow physician costs prevented spending from getting further out of control, the ministry said.

As for Alberta Health Services, the agency posted a $67-million surplus last year, representing less than one per cent of its $14.3-billion budget.

However, the health authority saw its administration costs jump to $478 million, an increase of 10 per cent.  

Alberta Health Services issued a statement saying the increase was mainly due to higher insurance costs resulting from infrastructure damage.

“Several facilities experienced flooding or water damage in the past year that contributed to a higher loss ratio.”

Administration costs represented about 3.3 per cent of total AHS spending, still well below the average for other health-care organizations in the country, the health authority said.

kgerein@postmedia.com

twitter.com/keithgerein

Other highlights included in the Alberta Health annual report included:

• AHS CEO Verna Yiu earned $565,000 in base salary last year, along with $16,000 in cash benefits and $163,000 in non-cash benefits. AHS did not provide details to explain why the non-cash benefits are at that level.

• Yiu’s salary is higher than her predecessor Vickie Kaminski, who earned $540,000 annually.

• Two other AHS executives — northern Alberta medical director David Mador and northern Alberta chief health operations officer Deb Gordon — also earned substantial non-cash benefits of $104,000 each.

• According to the government’s latest sunshine list, Covenant Health CEO Patrick Dumelie earned $544,000 in compensation in the 2016 calendar year, plus $31,000 in other benefits.

• The AHS board collectively earned $310,000 in honoraria in the 2016-17 year, including $71,000 for chairwoman Linda Hughes

• Noela Inions, the chief ethics and compliance officer, was the only top AHS executive to receive severance last year. Inions received $219,000 in severance after leaving her job in April.


• Deputy health minister Carl Amrhein earned $327,000 in base salary last year, along with about $8,000 in cash benefits and $67,000 in non-cash benefits, resulting in total compensation just over $400,000.



21 Comments
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Raminder Gill · 

Get rid of private for profit companies. Use that money to open new beds and take control of health care system. Private companies are pocketing taxpayers money. Not fair to our seniors.
LikeReply4Jul 3, 2017 2:08am
Gordon Moshuk · 

Totally agree
LikeReplyJul 3, 2017 11:06am
Dar Dealmeida
Totally agree - this was indeed a mistake the pc's made
LikeReplyJul 3, 2017 10:08pm
Wayne Jason · 

Too few beds. Patients living longer. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out. Even Hoffman can figure it out. I wish they'd just give an honest answer for once.
UnlikeReply6Jul 2, 2017 9:59pm
Louis Tiedemann
We need more women shelters too. The existing ones are packed, and the demand is sky-rocketing.
LikeReplyJul 3, 2017 8:25am
Ross Peck · 

Hoffman can't figure anything out without Notley's stamp of approval and hand-holding.
LikeReplyJul 3, 2017 7:00pm
Alaina Letawsky · 

SMH. this government acting like this is a new thing. Its been the same story for 10 plus years. Ask any healthcare worker. Stop making excuses why pts couldnt get placed. This isnt even news anymore.
UnlikeReply6Jul 2, 2017 9:54pm
Wendy Rudiger · 

I just shake my head. The ignorance of people regarding this issue. I've worked in senior care for almost 40 years. 30 in AB. The PC'S ignored this problem for decades and now everyone whines that the NDP hasn't got it fixed in 2 years. What a bunch of whiney morons! Give them at least 10 and it will get done.
LikeReply4Jul 3, 2017 7:44am
Heather Landsiedel · 

The NDP have said they are going to save the day and are putting us deep in debt to fix everything they deem needs fixing so yes they will be on the receiving end of the blame!
UnlikeReply5Jul 3, 2017 8:55am
Jerry Steele
Lots of money for everything else Wendy. Plus, since this began to be tracked back in 2011, this is the WORST Alberta has ever done. The NDP certainly isn't "fixing" it.
UnlikeReply4Jul 3, 2017 10:27amEdited
Ross Peck · 

"the PC's ignored this problem for..." - the mating call of the misguided NDP ballot. PC's demanded accountability for the money, but now a government that writes blank cheques. And the unions still want more.

Every single one of these facilities was given monies for maintenance and insurance. Tell me why the repairs and recoveries are the past PC's fault?
LikeReply2Jul 3, 2017 11:12am
Julie Ali · 

Jerry Steele I agree the NDP folks aren't fixing it. They are diverting attention from the problem of lack of long term care beds to the home care solution but I doubt that dementia patients at the end stage of the disease can be taken care of at home. Also why are we providing an inefficient expensive solution in terms of home care when public long term care beds will solve the problem?

This problem indeed was started by the PCs who decided that the private sector would solve the problem of government failures in policy but certainly the NDP folks aren't fixing these problems. They are focused on re-election and have already began campaigning. Only problem is where are your supporters now? Swing voters like me won't vote NDP based on the poor performance in the continuing care sector and the child welfare system.
LikeReply1Jul 3, 2017 12:18pm
Jerry Steele
And Wendy wants to give the NDP 10 more years to fix it? We may be broke like Venezuela by then!
LikeReply2Jul 3, 2017 1:18pm
Margaret Baird
Health care in Alberta is broken. Don't blame that on past govt,
LikeReplyJul 3, 2017 4:16pm
Dar Dealmeida
Julie Ali
Truth is the baby boomers are going to and are making the numbers go up, that's exactly why Klein really wanted to privatize health care - starting small and eventually privatizing everything. Truth is many spouses want home care support first and want to delay the need for faculty placement as long as possible, the need is great. The system was the worst in the Klein days when my father could not even get a bed locally because rooms in facilities and hospitals were just closed up - which will happen again if the UCP get elected! Just because Hoffman hasn't commented does not mean she will not - this is just a post media slam as usual.
LikeReplyJul 3, 2017 10:01pm
Julie Ali · 

Dar Dealmeida It doesn't take much time to read up on dementia and determine the lack of readiness of the health care and continuing care system. The NDP folks also had 44 years while in opposition to get familiar with the facts and in fact they were always holding the PCs to account with reference to their poor performance. This issue goes beyond privatization. We simply have no beds. This should be a major issue and it is not. I don't think this article is "just a post media slam" but a concern for many of us.

Also why is it fine to criticize the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta for their failures and not the NDP folks? Every political party we hire is accountable to us. I have no allegiance to any of them. I want performance, value for my public dollars and to date neither the PCs or NDPCs have provided this value. Hence I believe it is the correct thing to vote for anything other than these two choices. Why bother to vote over and over for failed governance and no accountability? Not to mention no transparency.
LikeReply19 mins
Julie Ali · 

I don't think we are being whiny. We understand the challenges but I see no reason not to get the problems fixed. If contractual obligations are in place to prevent renaissance then I respectfully suggest to the NDP folks to redo the contracts. I mean they were willing to do this with the power companies with billions of dollars wasted--so why not with the continuing care industry?

Could it be because the NDP aren't committed to public continuing care? Is this the reason why we don't have more continuing care beds being created in the public sector? Is this also the reason why we are paying for the revamping of the Misericordia Hospital which is not a public asset but the property of a private organization--Covenant Health?

Also it is nice to be respectful of all commenters. We're not morons. We're citizens with different perspectives than yours. I also have worked in hospitals and the non-compliances and lack of training I have observed are tolerated for no damn reason by all the governing political parties.
LikeReply10 mins
Jessie Bourque · 

Long waits are not easy, however I think that we have to make sure that the care and safety of patients is the first concern. To often we hear of ill treatment (from physical to sexual abuse to neglect) of people in continuing care, which is unacceptable. People working in nursing home and continuing are of any kind should have proper training.
UnlikeReply1Jul 3, 2017 3:44pm
Julie Ali · 

The dumbing down of the system is a problem. Increasingly complex patients are being treated in the supportive living format that is staffed primarily with LPNs and PCA (personal care attendants). There is a push to augment medical staff with NPs (nurse practitioners). All of this is good for saving bucks but is it good for patient care in the continuing care system? My feeling is that it is not.

Also downgrading of long term care patients to the supportive living level is occurring and may not meet the requirements of the patient as well as add to the stress of work for staff.

It's not simply enough to provide training commensurate with the patients at the site. All residents need comprehensive oversight by integrated care teams to ensure that their needs are being met. This means specialist support and on site mental health services provision. It's ridiculous how difficult it is for facilities to access mental health services --almost as bad as in the community. The staff in continuing care are not magicians and cannot be expected to handle a work load that is too high or work that they cannot do. It's time the GOA got off it's rump and did the oversight, penalties and deep dish auditing to get the facilities up to the standards of care; residents are suffering and there is no need for this if government did it's job.
LikeReply14 mins
Devin Artzen · 

Can blame the PCs for this. How about spending more of our money funding the massive buerocracy instead of cutting unnecessary middle management role and re-evaluating the way Albertans are given healthcare. #speNDPfail
Julie Ali · 

You may not blame the PCs but they deconstructed the adequate long term care system and are directly responsible for this mess. Mind you the NDP continue this problem with the poor decision to increase bureaucracy with board for AHS that seems to be present so that blame can be placed on them rather than on the GOA. I don't actually think this board is anything other than window dressing which is costing us big bucks. The board and executive salaries increase our costs for what?

I guess the increased salaries and compensation indicate to us that the NDP are more fiscally irresponsible than the PCs. I am curious what the Wildrose Party will do when we elect them in the next election. Will they continue the culture of entitlement in the GOA and ABCs (agencies, boards and commisions)? Or will they decrease our liabilities so that money can be redirected to families?
LikeReplyJul 3, 2017 12:26pm
Dar Dealmeida
Julie Ali
Well the Conservatives brought in consultants from Austrailia and all over - they did nothing - improved nothing - and then after being dismissed left with huge severance packages - I prefer the NDP's plan - and look at how jack Davis did nothing and finished with 6 million in his back pocket. No severance packages and planned improvements
LikeReply1Jul 3, 2017 10:07pm
Julie Ali · 

Dar Dealmeida What plan are you referring to? The NDP have no plan. They continued the ASLI hand outs of the PCs. http://www.seniors-housing.alberta.ca/.../2014-15%20ASLI...
They did nothing about retribution in the continuing care system. The most recent case of banning occurred in Grande Prairie with the Tucker family so obviously the banning policy that Ms. Hoffman directed AHS to create isn't working.
We have no action in terms of increased staff numbers and training; recently we had the folks in Cold Lake being fired as a group. While the terminations were overturned the NDP folks stood by and did nothing. Meanwhile we have had the sad spectacle of the NDP health minister do what previous PC ministers did which is attempt to close long term care beds in Sundre. You really need to read the facts of what the NDP folks have done to see what they have not done.

http://www.friendsofmedicare.org/wodak_sundre

Closure of the LTC beds was not an AHS decision. The LTC beds in the Sundre Hospital were registered as an Auxiliary Hospital. According to the OPERATION OF APPROVED HOSPITALS REGULATION Alberta Regulation 247/1990 “Every hospital shall require prior approval of the Minister for a) any proposed major change or termination of an existing service provided by the hospital ...”

This was a decision made without any consultation with the community, and the community is very concerned about the loss of the LTC beds. AHS is now planning consultations to determine future use of the hospital space

The current NDP government is on record over a long period of time, in 2012, NDP MLA David Eggen compared the closure of the long term care facility in Carmangay to “domestic abuse” at a rally to protest Premier Redford’s decision. Also in 2012, Premier Rachel Notley commented that the Tory plan to limit LTC beds and shift to supportive living “aims to force sick seniors to shoulder a larger share of their health-related costs and live in facilities that may offer them an inadequate level of care.

"It's unfair, but it's also absolutely penny wise and pound foolish," Notley said.

"These patients will end up in much more expensive ER and acute care beds because they are the last resort."

The 2015 NDP Election Platform promised to create 2,000 public long term care beds [not to close public beds and shifting to private supportive living], and to “end the PCs’ costly experiments in privatization, and redirect the funds to publicly delivered services.

They are short-changing Alberta seniors by not creating enough long-term care beds and relying on expensive, for-profit delivery of inadequate assisted living and homecare.

Hansard records for Monday, March 14, 2016 and Tuesday March 15, 2016 show an interesting role reversal; the Wildrose protesting shutting down long-term care beds and laying off nurses in Sundre, and NDP Health Minister Hoffman explaining that they’re not really losing LTC beds, although there might be a slightly different level of care the number of beds is increasing from 15 to 40.

The Minister’s lines could have been written by any of the Tory Health Minsters in the last dozen years.
LikeReply6 mins
Sharon Sullivan-Olsen
but, But , BUT they are shutting down efficient coal generating electrical plants, paying big dollars to the energy companies to change over, building wind farms. What do you think is important? Senior care? ( I say this all with a grimace and disgust in my heart. )
LikeReply1Jul 3, 2017 4:09pm
Julie Ali · 

It is indeed very sad. Billions of dollars to decommission coal fired power plants that were being decommissioned slowly so as to follow the federal government's lead in terms of reducing carbon emissions.
I have nothing against this sort of action by both the provincial and federal governments but I am curious what is going to replace the coal generated electricity?
https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm...
The electricity companies will receive annual payments until 2030, totalling $1.1 billion in 2016 dollars. The payments will be fully funded by Alberta’s price on industrial carbon emissions – not by consumer electricity rates.
*************
Also I am curious when the cap on the electricity rates will end and how much the resultant uncapped electricity rate will cost my family. Will this action be of any worth? Will it be sufficient to raise the reputation of Alberta's oilsands in the world? It doesn't seem to have worked in BC has it?
Finally, I am curious why -if the GOA has so much money to throw away in this poor manner--why it did not create public long term care beds instead and help the many waiting in hospitals and in the community?
LikeReply4 hrs
LikeReply1 min
Jason Specky · 

People are getting old. It's the NDPs fault they are ruining this province with old people. ... lol
LikeReply3Jul 2, 2017 11:16pm
Jerry Steele
An asinine comment. Maybe one day you'll have a loved one that is affected by this. Jerk.
LikeReply2Jul 3, 2017 7:50am
Louis Tiedemann
The NDP didn't deliver what they promised; that's the bottom line.
UnlikeReply3Jul 3, 2017 8:06am
Clark Mckenzie · 

what are you smoking jason
LikeReplyJul 3, 2017 6:47pm
Jason Specky · 

LikeReplyJul 3, 2017 7:01pm
Dar Dealmeida
Lol - good one - the ndp must be feeding people dementia pills
LikeReplyJul 3, 2017 10:09pm
Jerry Steele
And there's Dar .... another class act.
LikeReplyJul 4, 2017 12:11pm
Gregory Paul Gavin · 

Cut back on privatized procedures. That will put more doctors in the system
LikeReply1Jul 3, 2017 7:43am
Shawn Ginn
The Huffster will comment as soon as she is back from her 3 months off.
Julie Ali · 

I doubt that Ms. Hoffman will comment unless there is money to be given out. Problem issues are given to the Payne and she gets to tell us the bad news.
LikeReplyJul 3, 2017 12:26pm
Ruth Maria Adria
Indeed. The ND's froze funding in regard to long term care before they even brought the budget down. Don't get old.
Leah Doyle · 

My mother has been in the hospital for over 2 months waiting for a bed....ridiculous!
Fazli Raziq Shah · 

Alberta health care is the worst in the whole wide world-there is no doubt about it
Trish Mallett · 

Ha! Not! Try some other countries buddy. Ridiculous statement
LikeReply8 hrs
Jerry Steele
They're too focused on indoctrinating the youth to care for the aged. Money for everything else apparently.
Jeremy Johnston · 

Are you equally as outraged over decades of Conservative neglect on this file?
LikeReply1Jul 3, 2017 9:37am
Jerry Steele
Yes. Are you equally outraged Jeremy?
UnlikeReply1Jul 3, 2017 9:56am
Jerry Steele
And let's not forget, that since the government began tracking getting a bed within 30 days of assessment back in 2011, this is the WORST Alberta has done. So I guess I'm not equally outraged when the NDP actually does worse than the PCs were doing.
LikeReplyJul 3, 2017 10:24am
Julie Ali · 

Jerry Steele I am annoyed by the failures of the PCs but they are gone now. The NDP know about the problems since they were yapping about them for 44 years and telling us that they would solve these problems. So if they had the solutions when they were in the opposition -why are they not providing these solutions now? Could it be that the NDP --like the PCs want the private sector to solve the problems in the continuing care system? Could it be that PC contractual arrangements handicap the NDP from quick action? Could it be that government itself is controlled by corporations? Could it be that our political hires can't do what they promise us because seniors and the handicapped aren't significant as voting blocs? Or could it be that we just don't get action because continuing care for all political parties represents a black hole that they don't want to go near?
LikeReply1Jul 3, 2017 12:29pm
Jerry Steele
I wouldn't say the NDP allows the corporations to control things, but they sure do love the unions.

Jeremy, still wondering if you are equally outraged over the NDP performance?
UnlikeReply2Jul 3, 2017 1:15pm
Dar Dealmeida
Jerry Steele
Always enjoy your comments with little to no substance
LikeReplyJul 3, 2017 10:12pm
Jerry Steele
Please Dar. Are you still advocating the beating up of women? Schmuck.
LikeReplyJul 4, 2017 12:08pm
Jerry Steele
Jeremy Johnstone I see you can't respond to my question. I guess only those opposed to the NDP need to be "equally outraged" eh? Your hypocrisy is showing Jeremy.
LikeReplyJul 4, 2017 12:09pm
Julie Ali · 

Dar Dealmeida
Not a very nice comment. But then it takes one to know one.
LikeReplyJust now
bs
LikeReply2Jul 2, 2017 10:02pm

----Clean way to end clean power---------So I am curious. Now that the NDP folks in Alberta are decommissioning the coal fired electricity power plants with our money to the tune of billions of dollars --and if the site C megaproject was one of their back up plans for power should Alberta lack power--what will Alberta do if this project does not go through? Will BC have less power to sell to Alberta with the probable end of this project? Will we be paying more? And what happens when the electricity cap ends because as you all know good times don't last forever?

The parties’ election platforms differed in their approach to the project – while the NDP promised to send it to…
THEGLOBEANDMAIL.COM

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https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/bcs-ndp-greens-plan-to-initiate-new-site-c-megaproject-review/article35160074/






B.C.’s NDP, Greens plan to initiate new Site C megaproject review

VANCOUVER — The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, May 30, 2017 10:18PM EDT
Last updated Tuesday, May 30, 2017 11:17PM EDT
B.C.’s New Democrats and Greens are promising to send the Site C megaproject to the B.C. Utilities Commission for review, raising the possibility of scrapping a project Premier Christy Clark previously vowed to get “to the point of no return.”
Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver and NDP Leader John Horgan outlined the terms of their fledgling relationship on Tuesday, including their plans to place Site C, an $8.8-billion project in northeastern B.C. along the Peace River, under renewed scrutiny. It was part of an agreement to bring down the Liberal government in the minority legislature.
The parties’ election platforms differed in their approach to Site C – while the NDP promised to send it to the commission for a review, the Greens wanted it cancelled outright.
The agreement commits to “immediately refer the Site C dam construction project to the B.C. Utilities Commission on the question of economic viability and consequences to British Columbians in the context of the current supply and demand conditions prevailing in the B.C. market.”
The B.C. Utilities Commission, set up in 1980, regulates natural gas and electricity utilities in the province and typically would have reviewed a major project like Site C.
But under former premier Gordon Campbell, the Liberal government exempted Site C, along with other projects including the Northwest Transmission Line, from review.
A 2014 report blasted the Liberal government for cabinet interference that undermined the commission’s role.
“We laid out some draft documents about how we would direct the [commission] to answer the specific questions about why the decision was made, what the cost of going forward would be, what the consequences were going to be for hydro rates in the long term and what other alternatives were available,” Mr. Horgan told reporters in Victoria.
“We’re not going to stop work at Site C while that review takes place, but we have a six-week and a three-month time frame for a preliminary response and a final response and we’re going to get at that as quickly as possible,” he added.
The dam is under construction, with about 2,000 people working at the site. The Liberal government has already spent or committed $4.4-billion for the project.
It has faced several legal challenges and opposition over environmental and financial concerns, with critics questioning the costs and even the need for the electricity it would provide.
Groups backing Site C immediately cried foul, saying the project should be evaluated on a long-term basis that takes future population growth and energy demands into account.
“Site C is being built for the growth of the economy that is going to occur over decades to come,” said Chris Gardner, president of the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association of B.C., a group that represents non-union contractors and supports Site C.
“This is a project that provides clean energy, clean power … we are going to need secure, reliable energy,” Mr. Gardner said.
The value of a utilities commission review would depend on its terms of reference, which would be set by the provincial government, said Vancouver energy lawyer David Austin.
“Site C has not been properly reviewed from a financial perspective,” Mr. Austin said.
“What’s the financial justification for this project – how much is it going to cost, what’s the revenue and what are the risks? So that’s what the terms of reference, in very basic terms, should encompass.”
The provincial government approved Site C in December, 2014, after an environmental assessment by the provincial and federal governments through a Joint Review Panel process.
Harry Swain, one of three panel members who wrote the 2014 report, has said there are better alternatives, but that the panel was not permitted to evaluate them as part of its work.
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency’s review panel report found clear benefits to the project, in terms of supplying a large amount of energy, but noted the judgment hinges “on the degree to which present consumers should pre-pay the benefits to future generations.”


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