Conifex files claims against B.C. gov’t, BC Hydro
Seeks order quashing recent moratorium on cryptocurrency mining projects; seeks order requiring BC Hydro to supply service to Conifex’s proposed HPC Projects
April 24, 2023 By Conifex Timber
Conifex Timber has filed a petition in the Supreme Court of British Columbia seeking judicial review of the Lieutenant Governor In Council of British Columbia’s (LGIC) recent Order In Council 692/2022 (OIC).
The OIC directed the British Columbia Utilities Commission to issue orders relieving the British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority (BC Hydro) of its obligation to supply service respecting cryptocurrency mining projects for a period of 18 months. Conifex alleges that the OIC exceeds the statutory powers granted to the LGIC under the Utilities Commission Act, is discriminatory and breaches statutory and common law restraints on the LGIC’s delegated powers. Conifex is seeking an order quashing and setting aside the OIC as unauthorized or otherwise invalid.
As a result of the OIC, two of Conifex’s proposed high performance computing projects (HPC Projects) have effectively been paused.
Conifex has concurrently filed a notice of civil claim against BC Hydro in the Supreme Court of British Columbia seeking an order requiring BC Hydro to supply service to the HPC Projects. The claim also seeks general damages against BC Hydro. The notice of civil claim alleges that BC Hydro’s failure and refusal to supply service to the HPC Projects is in breach of BC Hydro’s common law obligation to supply electricity and unfairly discriminates against Conifex vis-a-vis other commercial customers.
Ken Shields, Conifex’s chair and CEO, stated: “The OIC represents considerable government overreach. The Government is not entitled to disregard British Columbia law enacted by the legislative assembly acting on behalf of the people of British Columbia. The OIC was made without consulting the high-performance computing industry, First Nations or British Columbians at large. The OIC has not only harmed Conifex’s business prospects, but limits opportunities for British Columbians to participate in emerging new technologies that create employment and economic opportunity in hard hit resource dependent communities.”
Conifex has been working collaboratively with Tsay Key Dene Nation to develop and build high performance computing projects. Both Conifex and the Tsay Keh Dene remain committed to advancing their business of hosting high performance computers.
The OIC does not impact Conifex’s previously announced 3-megawatt high performance computing project.
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