BC Hydro

A non-partisan citizen speaks a powerful message

Private developers behind the Narrows Inlet power project are already assured their place at the public trough. BC Hydro will buy more power they don’t need. If you are happy to see additional risk-free profits flowing to private companies using public waters, do nothing.

If you want this to end, visit the website of British Columbia’s Environmental Assessment Office and voice your objections.

For more information, read through old Northern Insights stories linked HERE. Here is one originally published September 2011.

Motorcycleguy, a regular reader here, left a lengthy comment at The Vancouver Observer in response to efforts by Nigel Protter and Tzeporah Berman to defend private power producers that interfere with water systems all over the BC wilderness.

Berman is an oft criticized former environmentalist  who, in addition to working for Greenpeace International, tours as a professional speaker and greenwash consultant. Protter has been an administrator for aboriginals near Pemberton and has consulted for a Toronto-based subsidiary of Manulife Financial that wants to establish a power plant on the Ryan River, a major tributary of the Lillooet River near Pemberton. The project would divert water through a 9.5-km tunnel that will be burrowed through Sugarloaf Mountain. Protter had claimed IPP critics were providing “repetitive class warrior chants.” and unfounded observations.

Motorcycleguy’s response:

I take great offence to being labelled a chanter. I absolutely stand behind my great distaste for the present group of people that make up our provincial government, regardless of the name of the party. The deceit has surfaced on all topics, not just this one. Political priorities? None before the IPP industry got me involved. Yes, this is a class war….. you just need to put a new definition on class…..it is not what you infer as bound by income levels, political parties and profession….it is one bound by those who revere our province and recognize the commons are not best protected if boardroom profits are involved….a class that does not appreciate finding out in bits and pieces what is going on.

Unfounded concerns? I challenge Mr. Protter and Ms. Berman to appear on camera at such sites as Tyson and Ramona Lakes in Narrows Inlet. I challenge them to present to the public photos during construction, views of the transmission lines linking clusters of projects together, views of the service roads. How about a view of the silt deposits flushed all the way into the ocean at Tyson Creek?…..and then you can tell us there is minimal impact. A sequence showing opening the financial statements of the parent companies would be good. These are major hydroelectric projects….you are misleading the public by not acknowledging this.

This power is for export. Conservation on any level will not be considered…..profits are the motive. You are correct that there is no one answer….but using our lakes and rivers at the scale you propose is absolutely not a step in the right direction…….if it were, you would not be hiding behind the “run of river” moniker. That is bunk.

Tell the public you are tunneling into alpine lakes like Ramona and Phantom on the Sunshine Coast….and draining them by levels of 20m….tell them you are building real dams….tell them you are diverting waterfalls….take them kayaking down the Ashlu now….tell them the truth at meetings in easily accessible venues, not the Egmont Community Hall. Show me the projects that have been disallowed. Show me one baby you have thrown out. Show me the actual amount of fossil fuel generated electricity that has been displaced….and I don’t mean displaced because of lower price on the commodities ticker….I mean displaced solely because of lack of hydroelectric supply.

You have already misled the public by saying it is for self-sufficiency and that IPP’s are small and locally owned. The whole premise of this industry has been built on deceit and lack of information being made available. The fact of the matter is…..no amount of hydroelectric power in our part of the world can offset completely the dependence on alternate sources. In the winter it doesn’t matter who owns the rivers, the water is hard and it doesn’t flow….maybe not so much for the legacy BC Hydro dams, but particularly in the vast number of watersheds developed for IPP’s.

The benefit for disrupting all watersheds in the province is just not there….the only reason is a vehicle to provide monetary benefit for owners with taxpayers paying 3 times the rate ….that is what makes them feasible for the short period they do operate. All you are doing is adding more electricity to the grid, you are not doing anything to alleviate fossil fuel use during times when the water is “hard”. You are making a lot more electricity available for resource extraction in the north….at taxpayer expense. Why not hold IPP EAO public meetings in places other than the Egmont Community Hall?

Why is it necessary to pay professional journalists to teach the IPP industry how to put a spin on things? How is carbon credit trading with subsequent tax free profits in our province going to help climate change? Show me a legally binding document, that will be recognized in world courts, that proves foreign corporations will not be able to dictate the future uses of our rivers and alpine lakes. Certainly there are a couple of good projects out there, too bad the good engineers and good locally owned enterprises hooked up with the wrong people. Once the projects get EAO approval they are flipped on the stock market to foreign corporations and investment funds. Am I wrong? Prove it.

No two ways about it we are blessed in Canada with wide-open space and nature the likes of which many Europeans have simply never seen. So I wonder in my first days back why I feel this nagging sense of loss?

I’ll tell you why……we lowly members of the general public that nag are starting to have some effect…. We may not be as eloquent or as polished in our writing skills, but we sure do know what we have at stake with our BC wilderness areas…..and we sure know when the governing party (and those who benefit monetarily from their policies) has pulled one too many sheets over our eyes.

17 replies »

  1. Because it was Campbell who thieved and sold our rivers, we also knew there would be treachery and money involved. Campbell was never one to pass up a buck.

    Campbell is noted for his lies, thieving, corruption, dirty tactics and cheating to win. Campbell isn't known as, the most and worst corrupt politician in Canadian history, for nothing.

    Campbell is also Harper's best buddy. Campbell's reward for destroying BC, was the High Commissioner to England, which Harper appointed him to.

    The ecological damage the run of the rivers has caused, is horrendous. If you look at the photo's of the damage, hand on to your stomach contents. Salmon runs have been ruined. The First Nations people, rely on the salmon for food to help feed their people. The bears, eagles and many other wildlife species rely on the salmon, for food as well.

    Harper and Campbell are very sick, disturbed people. Their greed trumps common sense every time. Neither one of them have any morals or ethics. They willingly lie and deceive the people, for their own selfish goals, GREED and POWER. Harper even trying to peddle, the dirty oil sands crud to Europe, as clean energy.

    Harper and Campbell have also worked on other pollution plans for BC. We already have, the filthy, diseased fish farms, killing our salmon as it is. The dirty Chinese oil tankers. Enbridge pipeline. Drilling for gas and oil off BC's coast.

    Fracking for gas, however, that may provide free home heat. In the U.S. all they have to do is, put a match to their water faucets, and the water lights up and burns the poison gas, caused from fracking. In the U.S. fracking is blamed for minor earthquakes. BC is ready for the big one, so they say. Hopefully, fracking for gas, won't set off the big quake.


  2. The difference between truth and deception is that one resonates from within and the other from without. A set of statements such as motorcycleguys' which form a whole much greater than ourselves but our planet. Thank you.


  3. “Why is it necessary to pay professional journalists to teach the IPP industry how to put a spin on things?”

    Are you implying that certain journalists have been bought off with these payments?


  4. This blurb from the 2009 IPPBC Convention 2009 Official Agenda

    “E-savvy stakeholders can be your best friend or your worst nightmare when it comes to sharing information and encouraging dialogue around clean energy project development. A diverse group of top local bloggers, tweeters and opinion shapers will share their views and demonstrate that a social media presence,no matter how small, can make a big difference in how your project will be perceived by a growing segment of society”

    Alexandra Samuel-CEO, Social Signal
    Chris Hatch -Blogger, PowerUp Canada

    Gillian Shaw -Journalist, Vancouver Sun

    Raul Pacheco-Vega-Principal, Hummingbird Strategy
    James Glave-James Hoggan And Associates

    Couple the above with the complete lack of coverage of these issues in the MSM and I ask you to draw your own conclusions.


  5. Anonymous 10:00 PM – You are right, it is good.

    These are words of a man who has no financial interest at stake and no political agenda separate from that of protecting British Columbia from spoilers. To be honest, it takes a brave individual to stand up for principles when immoral and dishonest people are following agendas aimed at netting billions.


  6. What a wonderful piece. No truer words spoken that's for sure. Money and greed. Follow it to it's final destination and the truth becomes obvious.


  7. I have read morcycle guy's commentaries, on this blog for some time. It is refreshing to see an individual, with no intrest and no agenda, stand up and be counted. Bravo!

    Our society here in B.C. has “morphed”, into nothing more than an upper class, who chooses to keep its profit agenda to itself, while burying the lower classes, in debt and keeping them in the dark. This must end, or class warfare will become a reality.

    We have seen government manipulation, of taxpayer resources and dollars. We are seeing the results of that mess. We are seeing the “dmmying down” of the MSM, in order to hide, the malfeasance and manipulation. Simply put, they report only the “news” they have an intrest in reporting. Whether or not there is something else at work here, I do not know.

    Ultimatley, we the “people” have to take back “Our” BC. The province and the country belong to all of us. Organize, Communicate, and Act. These are the means to changing public opinion and government opinion. You are not a “criminal element”, as some governments are inferring, for standing up for your rights and your beliefs.

    This manipulation, must be stopped and the perpetraitors held to account. Economic subversion in any form, by any group, must not be tolerated. We are supposed to live in a democracy, lets all set out to make sure we are.

    All the while, the manipulation gets worse.


  8. Very well thought out comment by Motorcycleguy!
    I am in awe at the sense in it.
    The most glaring 'issue' in all of this is the relationship forced on BCHydro to buy this electricity that is uneeded. If these ipp producers don't have a market or at least as in normal buisness have to seek out their markets then they should be considered burdens.


  9. There's only one thing left for them to do. Enact a law that makes it illegal to refer to IPP's negatively in papers, TV or the Internet.

    Wait for it.

    There's just too much money to be made.


  10. It irks me that Carole James took a bunch of reporters up in an airplane to show them the damage and scope of the ROR power projects and she was ignored. The weather was too windy for them to look out the window and see the damage. Instead of reporting on the damage the IPP's were doing, they ridiculed her for taking them on a bumpy ride. What a bunch of gutless reporters. Now we are getting some pictures and an update of the damage she was pointing out. Just think what would have happened if she was listened to by these useless media types.


  11. A very eloquent piece by Motocycleguy.

    If the MSM had not been covertly corrupted, they could easily go to bat on this issue and many others. After all, in this case, a picture speaks a thousand word and the debt accumulation by Hydro is not difficult to explain.

    Unfortunately, I have no confidence anything significant will change in Victoria should the NDP “win” power. After all elections, phone calls are made…

    Very sad.


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