I am picking on John Weston, Conservative MP for West Vancouver – Sunshine Coast – Sea to Sky Country but it’s nothing personal. I’ve known Weston since 1978 when I gave a speech to the Harvard Canadian Club and John gave me a marvelous tour of Boston and environs and I even got the meet the Massachusetts governor Mike Dukakis. John worked in my Ministry of Consumer and Corporate Affairs. We played squash together. I like him but “liking” irrelevant in my line of work.
I’m beating up on John because of his utterly unschooled support of the called Independent Power Producers (I’ll call them IPPs hereafter) and I don’t think it’s unfair to assume that he represents the Conservative government’s position.These IPPs are mostly huge corporations like GE, Ledcor and the Dupont family companies. The Tories have even pumped money, our precious tax money, into the Plutonic undertaking. As I did in a recent mail-out, I reiterate what I said in a recent mail-out, namely that Weston has made this decision without hearing from academics, economists or the ever growing environmental movements.
I can only assume, as I think you must, that Weston’s information comes entirely from the head of Plutonic, Don McInnes and his captive First Nations band.piled on with large doses of Milton Friedman/Fraser Institute philosophy I’ve asked him to hear me out and he hasn’t.
I don’t pretend to be an expert but I am a former Minister of Environment and have spoken on this issue around the province with many more to come. I have not been challenged on my facts except by a silly man from Citizens for Green Power (the name tells you that they’re black as Toby’s ass) who generally asks a technical question on an obscure fact. As I travel the province I hope this guy attends all my meetings.The issue goes way beyond John Weston but into the policy the Conservative Party and I think, this indicates that the Tories simply will never interfere in anything involving which corporations that support them. Every indicator supports that and it’s an historical policy that goes back to 1986. The then Prime Minister, Mulroney, and the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans , Tom Siddon, who, largely because of the Alcan bid to have approval of Kemano II, gutted and took over the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (a fact I can easily prove.)
We are, then, ruled by our Conservative masters that hasn’t got an environmental bone in their body; thus we can conclude that it isn’t just Plutonic that will be supported but so will present and future private power projects.But it’s not just private power that will be involved. The Tories can be counted upon to approve Enbridge’s and Kinder Morgan’s plans for piping Tar Sands “oil” across our province and transporting it to be shipped in tankers down the most treacherous areas on our coast.
The Common Sense Canadian (www.thecanadian.org) of which I’m a founder and spokesman is scarcely a socialist coven. I can assure you that its political object is to protect our environment for future generations. (we have no institutional financing) Moreover, we have amongst our contributor’s outstanding writers and advisors.The facts we put forward are unchallengeable – here they are in a nutshell:
BC is a net exporter of energy
As mentioned above IPPS are not little “Mom & Pop” operations but huge corporations who take their ill-gotten profits out of BC and apart from the construction, jobs, most of whom are from out of province, leave little more than caretakers as employed.
Almost all the power produced by IPPs comes during the run-off when BC Hydro has full reservoirs and thus no use for IPP power.
Under Gordon Campbell’s mailed fist BC Hydro must pay on a “take or pay” basis double or more what they can get on the market for it.
The environmental destruction is huge – the river can no longer sustain the ecology it supports. It destroys life, very much including fish, in all forms including forests decimated by clear-cuts for roads and transmission lines. This has a huge impact on animals like the bear and the eagle amongst others.
Because Hydro can’t use the power, it must either export it at a huge loss or use it, paying about 12x what they can make it for themselves.
BC Hydro is now on the hooks for about $50 BILLION in private power’
Because of the above, BC Hydro can no longer pay taxpayers the huge annual dividend and, get this, want a rate increase (from us) to pay the lost dividend!
In an understatement to say the least, the BC Utilities Commission has stated that this policy is not in the best interests of the public.
This is the policy that John Weston and his Conservative Party endorses, a policy made by Campbell with the help and advice of Alcan, IPPs and the ultra conservative Fraser Institute (which believes all rivers out to be in private hands) without a single bit of input from any who might spoil their party.
This is a policy which excludes the public either through their municipal government or themselves.
The is a corporate/political policy, as is the fashion these days, for which couldn't care less about people, the environment (for which they are responsible) or legacies for those who follow.
Our only defence is to throw people like John Weston and his ilk out of office.