News and Information
The news and information section includes media releases, information sheets, field work notices and project videos about Site C.
Site C Project Assurance Board
The Site C Project Assurance Board provides independent due diligence and oversight of the Site C project to enable the project to be fit for purpose and completed safely, on time, and on budget.
The Project Assurance Board makes recommendations to the BC Hydro Board of Directors on matters requiring BC Hydro Board approval and keeps the BC Hydro Board, the Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, and government apprised of developments and progress on the project.
Project Assurance Board members are appointed by the BC Hydro Board of Directors in consultation with the Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation and consist of:
- Two members of the BC Hydro Board of Directors;
- An individual from the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation;
- An individual from the Ministry of Finance;
- Four individuals with expertise in one or more of the following areas: capital project construction and management, delivery of major civil projects and experience in commercial negotiations and construction-related claims settlement;
- A member of the Technical Advisory Board (non-voting); and
- Such other individuals with expertise as required from time to time.
The Chair of the Project Assurance Board is elected by the Project Assurance Board from among its members, after consultation with the Minister Responsible, and cannot be a member of the BC Hydro Board.
The 10 members of the Site C Project Assurance Board are:
- Mitchell Gropper, Chair
- Fred Cummings, Independent External Advisor
- Joseph Ehasz, Independent External Advisor
- Amanda Farrell, Independent External Advisor
- Daryl Fields, BC Hydro Board of Directors
- Doug Foster, Assistant Deputy Minister, Ministry of Finance
- Les MacLaren, Assistant Deputy Minister, Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation
- Cathy McLay, Independent External Advisor
- Catherine Roome, BC Hydro Board of Directors
- Lorne Sivertson, Independent External Advisor
Project Assurance Board Biographies
Mitchell Gropper, Chair of Project Assurance Board
Mitchell Gropper has been practising law since being called to the British Columbia Bar in 1966. For the past 23 years, Mr. Gropper has been a partner in the law firm of Farris LLP, where his active advisory practice involves complex transactions, boards of directors, and independent committees as well as corporations and directors. From 2009 to 2013 he was engaged by the City of Vancouver to advise on the completion of the construction and financing of the Olympic Village.
Mr. Gropper has been recognized by Best Lawyers in Canada, Chambers Canada and the Lexpert directories as one of Vancouver’s leading lawyers in energy, finance, mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, mid-market advisory services, income funds and corporate commercial (one of only three lawyers recognized in three categories).
Fred Cummings, Independent External Advisor
Fred Cummings has close to 40 years of experience overseeing the execution of large-scale, multidisciplinary infrastructure projects including public-private partnerships. He has been responsible for the planning, development, implementation and operation of many major transit, highway, and water system projects in British Columbia. He has assisted both private and public sector clients in the planning, design and construction of large-scale capital projects.
Joseph Ehasz, Independent External Advisor
Joe Ehasz has more than 50 years of experience in water resources and dams. He has extensive experience in planning, engineering, design, and construction aspects of hydroelectric facilities, reservoirs, dams, levees and water conveyance facilities. His major field of expertise is in geotechnical and heavy civil construction related aspects of water resources; in particular, the design and construction of hydroelectric projects and related embankment dams and reservoirs. He participates on several technical review boards evaluating the engineering and design of reservoirs, embankment dams and spillways.
Amanda Farrell, Independent External Advisor
Amanda Farrell is the President and Chief Executive Officer at Transportation Investment Corporation (TI Corp). Ms. Farrell took on this role in December 2018 to lead the management and delivery of major transportation projects, including the new Pattullo Bridge, the Kicking Horse Canyon Project – Phase 4 and the Broadway Subway.
Prior to TI Corp, Ms. Farrell served as the President and CEO of Partnerships BC for five years. Ms. Farrell focused the organization’s culture on client responsiveness and strengthening relationships with current and future clients in the development of major public infrastructure projects from hospitals to courthouses to transit lines. Ms. Farrell also served as Chief Project Officer on the now completed Evergreen SkyTrain Line in Vancouver during that time.
Earlier in her career, Ms. Farrell gained extensive public policy and operational experience in the UK before moving to British Columbia. Ms. Farrell was honoured by her peers as the recipient of the 2018 Women’s Infrastructure Network Outstanding Leader award.
Daryl Fields, BC Hydro Board of Directors
Daryl Fields is a current Director of BC Hydro in addition to serving on the Site C Project Assurance Board. Ms. Fields has over 35 years’ experience working in natural resource management, including water allocation, hydropower, transboundary rivers and environmental economics in both national and international contexts. Ms. Fields previously served as a Senior Water Resources Specialist at the World Bank leading projects and technical assistance in water resource management and sustainable hydropower development in Africa, South-East and Central Asia, and India.
She also represented the World Bank in the development of the International Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol. Before joining the World Bank, Ms. Fields worked at BC Hydro, holding numerous management positions, including Operations Planning, Asset Management, Environment (Generation) and Indigenous Affairs and Executive Operations. She was also responsible for BC Hydro’s re-licensing program on both national and international rivers, leading the development of the Water Use Planning process, which is now an internationally recognized approach to water resource management. Ms. Fields holds a bachelor’s degree from University of British Columbia and a master’s degree from the London School of Economics.
Doug Foster, Assistant Deputy Minister, Ministry of Finance
Doug Foster has been a member of the public service since 1975 and has held various senior and executive positions with the Ministry of Finance since 1985. Mr. Foster joined the Deputy Minister's Office in 2004, and was appointed Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Initiatives in 2012. As ADM, Strategic Initiatives, Mr. Foster responds to major proposals, projects and initiatives with consideration of the economic and fiscal priorities of government.
Mr. Foster is supported by a background that includes a Chartered Professional Accountant/CGA and bachelor's degree in Commerce and Economics from the University of Victoria.
Les MacLaren, Assistant Deputy Minister, Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation
Since 2008, Les MacLaren has served as the Assistant Deputy Minister leading the Electricity and Alternative Energy Division in the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation. He has worked in the B.C. public service since 1991 supporting (and now responsible for) the development of policies related to electricity and utility regulation which provide a unique perspective to BC Hydro’s Site C Clean Energy Project. He also supports Ministers Responsible for BC Hydro in their governance roles.
Prior to joining the B.C. public service Mr. MacLaren worked in the oil and gas exploration and development in western Canada and Australia. Mr. MacLaren holds a BSc from Queen’s University and an MBA from the University of British Columbia.
Cathy McLay, Independent External Advisor
Cathy McLay is a former Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Finance and Corporate Services with TransLink. Previously, Ms. McLay worked in the forest sector in several senior executive roles at Canfor and Howe Sound Pulp and Paper.
Ms. McLay currently serves on the boards of Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, Coast Mountain Bus Company, and GreenPower Motor Company. She has previously served on the boards of Providence Health Care, Transportation Property & Casualty Company Inc., British Columbia Rapid Transit Company Inc., Vancouver Coastal Health and Canfor Asia Corporation.
Ms. McLay is an International Certified Business Coach, a fellow of the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia and a graduate of the Institute of Corporate Directors Education Program.
Catherine Roome, BC Hydro Board of Directors
Catherine Roome is a current Director of BC Hydro in addition to serving on the Site C Project Assurance Board.
Ms. Roome co-leads Pulse Technologies, a health-tech start-up based in Vancouver. She is the former President and Lead Executive Officer of Technical Safety BC.
Prior to Technical Safety BC, she worked as Director, Business Development, Generation Line of Business, BC Hydro, which included Asset Management and the portfolio of potential projects including Site C. While at BC Hydro she was also General Manager, Thermal Operations and the Project Manager for the Proposal for a Heritage Contract regulatory filing.
Ms. Roome holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from the University of Victoria and is a Fellow of Engineers Canada. She has served on various boards related to her profession as well as finance, science, health, and the performing arts. In 2018, Ms. Roome was named as one of the Top 100 women in Canada recognizing her work as an advocate for diversity in the workplace.
Lorne Sivertson, Independent External Advisor
Lorne Sivertson has broad national and international experience in the energy and mining sectors gained from his work in industry, banking, government service and consulting. He established Columbia Power Corporation in 1994 and was its CEO until he retired from that position in 2006 to form his consulting firm. At Columbia Power, Mr. Sivertson was responsible for the permitting, financing, development, power sales negotiations and operations of a combined total of 800 megawatts of run-of-river hydroelectric power projects. One of these projects won the International Hydropower Association’s Blue Planet Prize at the United Nations Conference of Parties on Climate Change in Montreal in 2005.
As a consultant in British Columbia, Mr. Sivertson has negotiated long-term power sales agreements, helped firms find project financing, assisted on regulatory and policy matters, advised on project procurement arrangements and on public private partnerships. His clients include major engineering and construction firms, private power producers, a world-class electromechanical equipment supplier, an industry association, British Columbia Crown Corporations and government agencies. Mr. Sivertson holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in economics.