This is a letter to the editor written in response to a Black Press column published by the President of the Legislative Press Gallery. By sheer coincidence, the columnist’s wife has spent years as a Public Affairs Officer appointed by the Liberal Government through an Order-in-Council.
The letter writer is a regular reader here who is both informed and articulate.
I am glad to see columnist Tom Fletcher agrees with John Horgan on small hydro power projects such as the Nuu-Chah-Nulth being beneficial for remote communities. This one may have a light footprint and displace diesel generated power for a good portion of the year. The powerhouse is close to the point of use and it is a true run-of-river project.
But I do not believe Mr. Fletcher could have seen projects such as the Ashlu before construction. He would have noticed that there used to be water in the river.
The critics are far from silenced as drying up of the Ashlu has brought even more opposition to these projects. He most likely wasn’t on site during construction of East Toba or Tyson Lake. Alpine lakes such as Tyson on the Sunshine Coast are being bottom drained by levels of 60 feet. This is not run of river.
The blasting and tunnelling required, the clearcuts for the penstocks, the clearcuts for the power lines to join clusters of powerhouses together, service roads larger than for logging, clusters of permanent powerhouses, diversion of waterfalls, drying of rivers — all are my idea of devastation.
Yes, I do get out. Will Mr. Fletcher publish photos of construction of projects such as Tyson Lake on the Sunshine Coast and let his readership form an opinion? There are no road deactivations or replanting as there is with forestry.
If one were acquainted with the history of logging, one would know a deactivated camp is virtually impossible to find. The IPPs are not bound by the Forestry Act when it comes to road building, construction or visual impact.
Will Mr. Fletcher publish the monthly production figures of these hydroelectric projects and correlate them to a decrease in purchase of fossil fuel generated electricity?
Has Mr. Fletcher watched the silt deposit reach all the way from Tyson Lake, down the Tzoonie River and into Narrows Inlet?
Mr. Fletcher acknowledges majority ownership of these projects gets flipped to foreign corporations and investment funds as soon as approvals are granted. You bet I have a problem with them making a profit rather than the people of B.C. The case for political corruption looks pretty strong when you see government officials who lobbied for their existence move to prominent positions in private power companies. Will Mr. Fletcher publish that list and let his readership form an opinion?