(more photos to follow story)
If there was ever any doubt that so-called 'run-of-river' private power projects are a government/corporate coalition.......those doubts were completely dispelled for anyone attending the so-called Public Consultation meetings in Kaslo and Meadow Creek recently. It was Simon Gordeau, Axor Corporation spokesperson (proponent) and Gary Alexander, BC Environmental Assessment Officer at the head tables, joined at the hip in a blatant alliance against the public.
The EAO was clearly in defense of the Glacier-Howser project and answering questions merely as a matter of government process, repeatedly defending the proponent and their application. Alexander frequently passed questions he simply could not answer over to the proponents who would then implement their well-rehearsed rhetoric of lies. It was alarming and disgusting....if not frightening.
The EAO had refused a meeting in Nelson assuming that limiting the meetings to the remote smaller communities would lower the profile. Suprise! The largest assembly at any private power meeting to date in the province.......over 1100 socially, economically, and environmentally savvy folks from throughout the region rallied in Kaslo to voice their opposition to the theft of our rivers. They lined up at the microphone for three hours with educated and informed concerns.
We showed them what the West Kootenay is all about. Be proud people! And keep up the energy. But be aware the EA process is streamlined legislation in the interest of these private companies. It is a "rubber stamping" process....period.
An environmental certificate has NEVER been refused to any river diversion or other project to date. These public meetings are mere window dressing and an affront to the people of this province. The passing of Bill 30 (legislated dictatorship) by Gordon Campbell stripped regional disticts and municipalities of any legal say in these matters. The reality is our tax dollars are being spent on paying bureaucrats to set up and perform this political public theatre. Adding insult to injury!
Similar government backed corporate giveaways of public resources for private profit are common in the third world. Since we live in a supposedly modern democratic society they rely on public lack of education and apathy to carry on what is done more tranparently in developing nations. But be aware we are being raped in exactly the same way.
Cherish your public resources.....you're rapidly losing them. Speak out for the repeal of Bill 30 and other corporate initiatives by the Campbell government. It's your province and your home he's giving away!
Take a serious look at what this government is doing with our precious rivers and ask yourself one all important question. What's in it for us ....the people of BC. You'll find there is no answer to that question!!!!
And frighteningly they have another four year mandate to arrogantly attend to the desires of their corporate friends and political donors.
Your letters and emails to the EAO are merely "catalogued" as part of this whole sham. Nevertheless, keep it up so they are "on record" when other pressures such as unavoidable civil disobedience are brought ot bear on this autocratic government.
Buses ArriveFrom Nelson
People from Buses
Crowd of Over Eleven Hundred Assembled
Michelle Mungall MLA
More Rally Folks
Marilyn James Sinixt Spokesperson
Gabriella "Storm" Grabowsky
Lee-Ann Unger from Eco-Society
Samba Band from Nelson
Parade Around School to Gymnasium
Gary Alexander, Environmental Assessment Officer