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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy,

Not certain how many of you know what Rafe Mair is up to these days on the 'Rivers Private Power' scrape, so I'll paste the email here that I received from him yesterday. Rafe, busy as he is, is also on the Advisory Committee of the Wild Salmon Alliance.

For those of you who have read this already, forgive me; for those of you who are unawares, please get involved - THIS AFFECTS ALL OF US!

Standing for Wild Salmon,

Terry Anderson

Wild Salmon Alliance

***​


Here's a summary of one of the things I'm now doing. I would be pleased to receive your comments.

Sincerely,
Rafe

I am consultant to and spokesperson for the Save Our Rivers Society .

First, a bit of my background. I was born in and have lived all my life in British Columbia. I am a former lawyer who found honest work and went into the government; that was followed by 25 years in radio during which time I was Broadcast Performer of the Year (1993), twice short for the Michener Award which I received in 1995 for work done to help end the Kemano Completion Project, was given the Bruce Hutchison Award for Lifetime Achievement at the Jack Webster Awards in 2003 and in 2005 was inducted into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

I have long been an environmentalist and my proudest achievement in government was saving the Skagit River from being flooded through Seattle Light and Power raising the Ross Dam, which they were entitled to do under a 1941 agreement with BC. As Minister I put a moratorium on the slaughter of wolves and put a moratorium on the exploration for and mining for Uranium. In later years I've battled hard to stop the farming of Atlantic salmon on our coast and have conducted several other environmental battles.

The Save Our Rivers Association was formed just to do that - save rivers. I am not a member and had nothing to do with its foundation but I'm proud indeed to have been taken on to help deal with the Campbell government scourge that has hit our outdoors.

It's hard to keep this story brief but I will do my best. In 2002 Campbell & Co brought in a new Energy Policy which, frankly, none of us paid much attention to; the next year they announced a Run of River project which was to harness the power of small rivers doing no harm to the environment. In 2003 the government entered a 10 year agreement with Accenture, the godchild of the late Enron, which, in effect, privatized BC Hydro's bureaucracy. Smarter people than I smelled a rat. Then the government removed BC Hydro's Transmission lines and put them into a new Crown Corporation and questions started to appear. Why would they do this - unless, of course, they intended to privatize them?

I suppose the light went on when the government handed out a license for the Ashlu River near Squamish. When the local Municipal District held hearings that all but unanimously passed. the government passed what is known as Bill 30 which gave the government the right to override this sort of project and the Ashlu went ahead. Those who founded the Save Our Rivers Society, with strong backing from the Labour movement, started to look more closely. Far from these being Mom and Pop operations on streams with no fish values, the lessees were companies like Ledco and Westinghouse and the deal was unbelievably sweet. And there were lots of fish. BC Hydro would guarantee prices greatly in excess of the present value of power and would sell it into the US Grid. The light then shone much brighter! It did not take rocket science to see that all new power would be private (Campbell & Co said as much) but the Transmission lines, now BCTC, would be privatized leaving BC Hydro with its dams and the Burrard Thermal plant with their power along with private power funneled through a company, probably Powerex, into the States. This would mean that the cost of electricity to BC consumers and to industry (and passed through to the consumer) would skyrocket AND BC power would be now subject to NAFTA and the profits thereform would longer go to building schools and hosptals but to shareholders, most of whom live outside BC .

The environmental damage will be huge. The rivers and streams do have fish values which will be severely impacted. The plants are large and ugly, surrounded by barbed wire fences. There will be dirt roads into what was once wilderness and transmission lines out. .

My job is to spend the next year leading up to the May 2009 election traveling the Province and telling people what is really happening. We have not supported a political party for what I think are sound reasons but are suggesting to people that they demand of every candidate, as a price of support, their commitment to public power and to saving the environment with particular emphasis on ending the Run of River policy, a policy which the government has painted green as grass proving that Orwell was out by 14 years!
 

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That Rafe is one smart, well spoken, dude.
This is a situation that requires the attention of all.
We need to let others know of the devilish greed that is driving this plan forward.
The rich don't need to get richer at our expense.

Baiter
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Howdy,

Rafe sent me this correction today:

Correction

In the letter I sent on May 16th telling of my proud association with the Save Our Rivers Society I said the following "Those who founded the Save Our Rivers Society, with strong backing from the Labour movement" ... This was plainly and simply a mistake by me.
 
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