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The government of British Columbia, often with the federal government in tow, holds environmental assessment hearings (EAPs) into whether or not a private river project should go ahead or not. These hearings make trial by the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland look like paragons of judicial propriety. They are so phony that I can only conclude they copied their procedures for Stalin’s old “show trials”. They have just flat out admitted that but that in a moment.

The basic flaw is that at these “public hearings” the public are not permitted to question the need for the project in the first place. A Ms Kathy Eichenberger chairs these meetings and simply won’t let a word be said about whether we need the project – unless, of course, you’re a spokesman for the company. I went to a number of hearings on the Bute Inlet project and was called out of order every time I spoke as did hundreds of outraged citizens. Don McInnes, the president of Plutonic Power, the company, however, could talk as long as he wished about the merits of the proposal, give power point presentations – whatever he wished.

It’s also interesting to note the chummy socializing Ms Eichenberger and the Plutonic Power folks indulge in.

All right – pause and take a deep breath. The government, which is supposed to be neutral in this process, has sent a delegation abroad to promote private power projects and who do you suppose is part of that Committee?

None other than Kathy Eichenberger of the Environmental Assessment Office!

At the same time Ms Eichenberger is the primary contact for Stlixwim Hydro/NI Hydro Holdings proposal for a private power plant that will impact every remaining alpine lake and stream in the Tyson Lake vicinity of Narrows Inlet on the Sunshine Coast.

Let me make this clear – if Ms Eichenberger wants to be the chair of meetings where she is employed by one side, that’s for her and her conscience to deal with. I allege no criminal acts whatsoever. What I say is this:

How the Hell can two governments appoint someone to be an independent chair when she has conflicts of interest you could run one of those monster trucks that screws up our rivers through?

And how can the provincial government appoint an “independent” chair to join a committee whose only business is to shill for the very companies she’s supposed to be independent of?

Every day in every way this government shows itself to be utterly devoid of any moral compass.

One Response to “Environmental Assessment Office in a conflict of interest”

  1. Kim says:

    Rafe, will you lead us out of the darkness? No one seems willing to stand up for democracy.

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