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BC GOVERNMENT  (Premier Gordon Campbell)

GOING TO SELL OUR BC RIVERS?

Comment Form

Click on your refresh button in the top menu, to be sure you see any updates.

This web page was last updated January 25, 2015

Blue Divider Line

We received one forwarded email telling us that BC rivers may be sold with these comments.

Anonymous: this is what I spoke of this morning. It is outrageous. Campbell sold out labour with Bill 29 and now he is selling out our resources with Bill 30. I had heard this was happening but did not really believe it!!! We all need to address this issue and perhaps join the coalition. We should maybe put on our agenda or ??? Anonymous

This video is long but very interesting. I am now concerned as to what is going on. What my children will experience if this sell off is in fact true….Anonymous

B.C. Resources being sold out from under the noses of B.C. residents. The video is a little long but good.
cheers
Anonymous

Please take the time (15 Min or so) to watch the video link below. I think that our Liberal government should be put in jail for what they have done to the fabric of our province. The IPP's (Independant Power Producer) are just one facet of possibly irreparable damage they have done. They have made changes they had no mandate to do and made most of them outside the legislature.

The potential damage to our future if BC Hydro is not protected is really scary. I do not think that electricity is the main item here, it is the water behind the dams that is the real gold mine and I think the Liberals are positioning it for private sale.

Because of the way the government has operated since elected we have no idea the extent to which these IPP's (Independant Power Producer) can claim ownership of the water and they are popping up all over the place.

I heard on a recent to trip to Fort St. John that Site C is going ahead. Most of the land has been bought up and only a handful of landowners are holding out.

If the Liberals have curtailed BC Hydro's ability to create new dams that would mean that an IPP (Independant Power Producer) would control that water!!

Please take the time to watch the video and pass it on.

VIDEO http://ashlu.info/video/bcrivers.html

Blue Divider Line

Green light for smaller power projects
By Tom Fletcher - Kelowna Capital News - BC Local News - March 14, 2010

Toba Inlet, 150 km north of Powell River on the southern B.C. coast, has steep terrain and heavy rain and snow runoff that is being harnessed to produce electricity.

VICTORIA – BC Hydro has selected 19 independent power projects for its latest round of energy purchase agreements, including a scaled-down version of its proposed Upper Toba run-of-river complex north of Powell River.

Similar non-storage hydro developments near Mission, Harrison Hot Springs, Pemberton, Port McNeill, Sechelt, Golden and Terrace were also selected, with a total of 14 contracts.

The other five contracts are for wind energy projects, all in the Tumbler Ridge area of northeastern B.C. Finavera Renewables Inc. expects to start construction of four wind farms in 2012, with a total generating capacity of more than 800 gigawatt-hours per year.

The fifth and largest wind project selected is proposed by CP Renewable Energy (formerly EPCOR), which already sells power to BC Hydro from river projects near Prince Rupert and Pemberton.

BC Hydro still has 28 projects under consideration, and expects to announce more deals by the end of March. Among those is the Naikun Wind, an offshore proposal in Hecate Strait in partnership with the Haida Nation.

Plutonic Power Corp. was selected for a contract after it scaled its Upper Toba hydro plan down from three river generating stations to two. Plutonic's first-phase project at Toba Inlet is nearing completion, with its power lines and generating units set for testing this month.

Plutonic and its partner GE Energy Financial Services also announced they are delaying a power purchase application for a much larger run-of-river network on 17 creeks flowing into Bute Inlet, further north of Powell River.

Plutonic CEO Donald McInnes said the company needs another 12 to 18 months to work with local communities, before resuming negotiations for the largest run-of-river proposal in B.C.

In its Feb. 9 throne speech, the B.C. Liberal government promised a new Clean Energy Act it said will simplify the process for BC Hydro's power purchase agreements.

All projects offered contracts with BC Hydro must still be approved by the B.C. Utilities Commission.

The B.C. government is also studying the latest review of the proposed Site C hydroelectric dam on the Peace River, and is expected to decide this spring whether to send that project to public hearings.

Blue Divider Line

B.C.'s natural resources 'up for sale'
By Adrian Nieoczym - Kelowna Capital News - Published: March 25, 2009

“I think the world has changed so radically that the old capitalist versus socialist paradigm is smashed and broken,” says former NDP agriculture minister Corky Evans.

Evans, the popular MLA for Nelson-Creston who is retiring after the May 12 election, was speaking to about 50 Central Okanagan NDP members at a nomination meeting Tuesday night.

Gordon Campbell successfully defeated the NDP in 2001 by bringing a coalition of conservatives, reformers and Socreds into his Liberal party.

But according to Evans, Campbell has abandoned many core conservative and Social Credit values and has instead embraced an ideology of unregulated global free markets.

This has allowed wealthy investors to take big risks in their quest for huge profits but has now brought the world economy to the brink of collapse, said Evans.

As a result, some of Campbell’s supporters are abandoning him.

Evans pointed to the example of Rafe Mair, a popular ex-radio show host who was a cabinet minister in Bill Bennett’s Social Credit government from 1975 to 1980.

“Me and Rafe didn’t start out as friends. When I learned politics he was the bad guy,” said Evans.

But now Evans and Mair often travel around the province and take the same side when they appear together on discussion panels.

Mair has become an outspoken critic of the private run of the river projects the Campbell government is encouraging as the way to create new electricity generating capacity.

Mair is concerned that these projects will be environmentally disastrous and cause hydro rates to soar, with those profits going to private, often American, companies rather than into the public treasury as happens with the sale of electricity B.C. Hydro generates itself.

In addition, Mair is worried that under the North American Free Trade Agreement, once an American company get access to Canadian water for any reason, it can use it for any purpose, including bulk water exports.

“It didn’t matter that I was a New Democrat and he was a Socred,” Evans said about Mair. “We both thought it would be a very good idea if we had water, and public ownership and fish.”

Socreds, added Evans, were conservatives who understood work.

“What I remember of W.A.C. Bennett was that we had the highest minimum wage in Canada and the highest welfare rates in Canada,” he said. “Why is that? Because in those days the conservative politician thought, ‘The landlord is mostly my friend, I better give these poor people enough money so they can pay the landlord,’ and ‘You got to pay the person working at 7-Eleven enough money that they can buy stuff from the 7-Eleven.’”

Evans then invoked the legacy of former premier Bill Bennett, who Evans said went to Hong Kong and told foreign business people that “you can buy our lumber but you can’t buy our logging companies.”

Campbell in contrast, has opened all of B.C. up to the global marketplace.

“The whole thing is for sale,” Evans bellowed, his voice ringing with righteous indignation. “The sense that it was ours, or yours, is gone.”

adrian [at] kelownacapnews.com

Blue Divider Line

Run of river is dangerous
Terrace Standard - Opinion - Published: January 20, 2009
By Rob Hart

RUN OF river hydro projects are being presented as small-scale green power, environmentally benign and put into operation by small, local economic interests.

Some applications may fit that profile but many are neither small nor green, nor local, involving major diversions of water, the construction of power stations, kilometers of transmission lines and roads to service them.

Moreover, there is a complete lack of a public process to discuss this because the government removed it after the community successfully blocked the ruinous Pitt River proposal to damn eight tributaries and build a transmission line through the Pinecone Burke Provincial Park.

We will eventually need more power and hydro power is an attractive choice. It is cheap to produce and benign in terms of carbon emissions. With BC Hydro, we have a jewel of a crown corporation. It has a long history and a great deal of expertise in developing inexpensive power.

We have benefited by having the lowest energy costs on the continent and so has our business and industrial sector. In fact, we now generate a surplus of power that we sell to Californians at a very hefty profit, allowing the government to pay for public services and keep our taxes down.

So why don’t we allow BC Hydro to continue do this for us? Why has the government forbidden BC Hydro to do any further power development? Why has the corporation’s job of producing electricity been split from its job of transmitting it? Why will the government require Hydro to pay private corporations for their electricity at rates set by the government?

It’s because this government does not believe in great public enterprise. It believes in private enterprise. It doesn’t want Hydro to produce more power because that will mean less investment and profit opportunities for private corporations. They have split the BC Transmission Corporation off from BC Hydro because it is easier to sell it that way just as they sold our railway and our ferry system.

The BC Hydro that remains will move from a profit producer for the people of British Columbia to an organization that creates public debt because it will be forced to buy privately produced power, (river power is up to 20 times more costly), that it doesn’t need at high prices over which it has no control.

That will create a rationale to sell it off too under the banner that the private sector is more “efficient.” The reverse is true.

Efficiency to a public corporation is giving you a reliable service at the cheapest possible cost. Efficiency to a private corporation means cutting away as much service as possible because it is a cost and increasing the price as much as possible because that represents profit.

We do not need this power. We have more than we need for provincial use. This power is for export. It is a very profitable export.

Under NAFTA regulations, if American companies are licensed to use our water to produce power, they can sell it to anyone. We will lose both control of our rivers and control of the power they produce.

We will lose the integrity of our environment as it becomes crisscrossed with transmission lines and roads. We will even lose access to our rivers because those roads will be gated and locked.

Some run of river projects are modest, and local and truly green. Those in fact are the criteria to indicate that an application is beneficial to the community.

Many others are large, invasive, foreign-owned and created to produce expensive power for export at the cost of both our environment and our publicly owned, highly efficient and already green power system.

We should not be sold power as green when it isn’t and we should not lose a great public utility under the cover of a supposedly green blanket.

Robert Hart is a community activist and a member of local and provincial environmental groups.

It’s the great river giveaway plan

Blue Divider Line

Our current low electricity rates are a result of a legacy created in the last century. Our present government is not acting to protect or maintain this legacy. We are selling off water licenses to private power producers for remarkably low costs. We are permitting the development of private power plants which damage BC’s precious natural resources. We are purchasing electricity for well above market rates. And we are not investing in new technologies or resources for BC Hydro to meet the growing energy needs of the province. This does nothing to develop BC or to protect public interest in the future. We should be developing new sources of electricity through our public utility, and continuing the legacy of reliable, low cost, and green energy that is owned by the people of British Columbia.

Blue Divider Line

Self-sufficiency in power sensible
Kelowna Capital News - Letters - Published: November 04, 2008

To the editor:

Regarding letters about B.C. power self-sufficiency, (Privatization of Power Will Cost us Dearly, Oct. 19; B.C. Liberals Want Power Self-sufficiency, Oct. 31, Capital News) I really wonder why B.C. Hydro is not allowed to build and maintain run-of-the-river, wind farms and other power production for us.

They have done a good job to date with large projects and should be able to handle smaller projects more efficiently and economically than a variety of companies working in a variety of locations.

It seems simpler, would be easier to monitor regulations, should not involve NAFTA and WTO, could co-operate with local residents negating the need for laws overriding local prohibitions, be more environmentally conscious, and the land could stay Crown land which would be simpler for native land claims.

Most importantly, the energy and ownership would remain with British Columbians.

S. Fitzpatrick,
Kelowna

Blue Divider Line

IPPBC - Independent Power Producers Association of BC - Voice of IPP's

Right now there are 35 private power projects up and running, another 45 have been granted contracts and more than 500 water licenses -- obtaining one of these is the first step for hydro project development -- have been bought.

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