Site “C” is a bad idea from every point of view. Let’s first consider if it's necessary for BC needs.The short answer is that it isn’t, for out of the mouth of BC Hydro we know that with a modicum of conservation, upgrading existing dams, putting generators on flood control dams and taking back - under the Columbia River Treaty - the power we export under that agreement, our needs as far as we can see are taken care of. Premier Campbell says that there are many “hurdles” to clear, meaning, one assumes, environmental hearings. If we believe that, like Charlie Brown, we believe that Lucy won’t pull the ball away at the last second. There are, you see - two flaws in this statement: first, environmental assessment procedures don’t deal with the question as to whether we want the dam in the first pace; and second, no matter what the reports are, the government can and does what it pleases. If Campbell wants this dam, he’ll have it whether we need it or not - whether we want it or not.
When was the last time a government turned back a project it wanted because an environmental panel didn’t like it?
Will these panels, federal and provincial, consider the loss of 5,340 hectares of land, much of it farmland? Whether or not they consider it, it won’t matter since the Premier knows about that now and by proceeding with the passage has written off all that land.
He’s also written off the animal world including caribou which graze in this area. If we know one thing about Campbell, he doesn’t give a fiddler’s fart about animals, be they be salmon destroyed by fish farms, fish and other wildlife dependent on rivers he’s given away to large offshore companies, nor about the birds that need Burn’s bog for nesting or as a transitional stop while migrating. He’s appointed Environment Ministers who get their jollies by kissing his backside as he ravages the province with their unneeded lickspittle support.
This important question remains unanswered: with all this private power the Premier is so proud of coming from the rivers he’s given away to the likes of Warren Buffett and GE, why aren’t we using that instead of building Site “C” – after all, their supporters prattle on about looking after 500,000 homes here, 500,000 homes there, and 500,000 homes somewhere else?
This is the only honest answer the Premier could give: because private power companies can’t produce energy in the winter when the rivers are so low and when BC Hydro might need it. (Don’t expect that reply because, as we know, honesty is not Campbell’s strong suit).
We must all get this through our collective skulls, folks – Premier Gordon Campbell doesn’t care for the environment other than when it can serve foreign hunters shooting Grizzly Bears, allow Norwegian companies to ravage our waters with fish farms, serve offshore companies he can give our rivers to, or land for his developer friends.
Another product of Campbell’s reckless energy plan is that the cost of energy will skyrocket (and is already doing so) – which will hurt citizens through their power bills and through the loss of jobs, as already hard-hit industries see their energy costs go through the roof (this according to the Joint Industry Electrical Steering Committee that represents large industrial power users). No doubt many are too young to remember WAC Bennett but it was he who developed the “Two Rivers” policy - the Columbia and the Peace - which would make BC self sufficient in energy. We paid a huge environmental price for this but we got what Bennett wanted – the right to charge what we please for power irrespective of what others had to pay.
To Bennett energy pricing should be a matter of government policy, which is to say public policy, so that business could have a lighter burden and British Columbians could pay reasonable prices because the construction costs were long behind us.
This was part of Bennett’s overall plan that included BC Ferries and BC Rail. He knew that private ferry companies and private rail companies couldn’t care less about services for people or creating an incentive for development. In that last regard, much of British Columbia wants tourism very badly because of the near collapse of the lumber industry. Does anyone think for a moment that CN will put in new lines and adjust prices to help these communities?
During the election last May, I was often asked how I could support the NDP given my background as a Socred. The answer was simple.
“Suppose”, I would say, “we have an NDP government that makes a balls up in fiscal management (although how they could do worse than Campbell I don’t know) that can be fixed by another government".
However, once you lose your rivers and your fish, they’re gone forever!
We didn’t think about that last May and what Damien Gillis, Tom Rankin and I – none of us even remotely interested in socialism - were talking about has come true.
We must start now to fight this regime every way we can, short of violence, to get our province back. And we can start by joining Alexandra Morton in her trek from Sointula to Victoria bringing the protest against fish farming to Campbell & Co with a huge rally at the Legislature Buildings on May 8th – further details at SalmonAreSacred.org.
reprinted with permission from "The Common Sense Canadian" www.http://thecanadian.org/