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This would seem to be as good a time as any to make out a wish list for premier to be, Christy Clark. These are in no particular order.

May we please have back out our right to make a judgment as to matters which happen in our own backyard? Such as Independent Power Producers’ (IPPs) plans for a private power plant? Or a double pipeline for oil from the Tar Sands? It would seem that the wish to develop trumps the right to people’s wishes.

Here is the inconsistency: If a town wants to put in, say, a Walmart, councils listen to people BEFORE making a decision, but the provincial government doesn’t believe in consulting people and only lets the public in when it’s a done deal and government and the company are pretending to let the public make suggestions as to the environmental standards to be followed. Apart from all else, Dear Ms. Clark, no one for a moment thinks that either the government or the company gives – forgive the vulgarity – a fiddler’s fart about the suggestions made.

May we please see copies of the deals forced on BC Hydro for IPPs and have full disclosure of their contents and accompanying documents. Please don’t tell us that they must be kept secret for confidentiality purposes. The whole process is phony – the public knows that and since the government has access to these contracts, we the people respectfully ask that you make them public.

Once they are public, please have a judicial process to determine whether or not these deals are conscionable. No one expects you to cancel a deal just because someone made a good deal through an open process, but if these contracts are, as many suspect, sweetheart deals, we ask that you cancel them and, if necessary, see the IPPs in Court.

With the deepest of respect, again, Ms Clark, may I suggest a bench mark of fairness.

If BC Hydro has been forced or is being forced into what’s called “take or pay” deals, surely this is a point of fairness for an independent adjudicating process. If, as is expected, Hydro has been  forced to take power it doesn’t need then either export it at a 50% or more loss or forced to use it and thus pay from 10% on up more than they can produce it themselves these contracts are unconscionable and the contracts should be deemed void.

You probably know, ma’am, that the British Columbia Utilities Commission has said that these contracts “are not in the public interest” of British Columbians. May we, again with respect to this energy policy, suggest you tube it. Get rid of it.

Let me, with deference, move into the environmental issue.

Notwithstanding the assurances given by Finance Minister Colin Hansen, these projects are scarcely “run-of-river”, leaving the flow of the water undisturbed, nor are they small projects run by small companies.

Now again, with respect Ms. Clark, you may not be familiar with Mr. Hansen’s statement but if you Google “Colin Hansen private power” you will see his grandfatherly talk in its entire 1 minute and 51 seconds of untruths. Indeed, I’m sorry to say that Mr. Hansen could not have stated the opposite of the truth with greater particularity.  If you wish a hard copy transcript I would be pleased to send you one and, if you so desire, a copy for each member of your caucus.

I certainly don’t wish to seem pedantic or be rude but it must be said.

BC Hydro and the provincial government which you will soon head talk about “appreciable fish values”. These are weasel words designed to imply that none of the Pacific salmon, Chinook, Coho, Chum, Sockeye, Pinks, and Steelhead, is endangered. Quite apart from the fact that this is clearly not the case in many projects, including the Pitt River proposal, other fish are valuable and critical to the ecologies their river sustains. These include Cutthroat Trout (actually the 7th Pacific Salmon), Dolly Varden and Bull Trout (the last two being Chars). There are other species like Arctic Char, Rocky Mountain white fish, sturgeon and so on which also sustain their river’s ecology. If the words “appreciable fish values” are taken on their plain meaning, there’s not a bit of running water in the province that doesn’t contain these values.

I believe – and I hope you don’t think me rude – that an elementary mistake has been made both with IPP projects and fish farms. The “Precautionary Principle”, so important to fair science and good legislation, has been upended so that instead of the user of the water being required to prove the environmental safety of the proposal, the onus has been shifted to the public. I’m sure if you took a moment to reflect on this – and I can provide you with loads of evidence that this is happening – you would immediately reinstate the Precautionary Principle. One name I can give you now: the highly respected John Fraser, who could hardly be called a leftist, is an excellent person to contact on this point.

Still on the subject of the environment, so far as I’m aware there is no process, no responsible part of government, to evaluate the totality of the environmental disruptions that are permitted – the aggregate impact if you will. This should happen and should be done by an independent body with the chairperson appointed by the Legislature and reporting to them.

Again, with deep deference, may I suggest that these issues will be very much in play from now until the next election. You simply cannot wish them away. You have two options as I see it – you can pretend that these matters are all unimportant or you can take immediate and firm steps to deal with them. We at The Common Sense Canadian devoutly and respectfully urge you to follow the latter course.


British Columbians mourn the death of a great citizen, Allan Williams, QC.

Others knew Allan much better than I. I served in cabinet with him for five years and I can tell you that no decisions were taken until he had said his piece, such was his constant wisdom.

Allan served in local politics with distinction and was an MLA for 17 years and served as a highly respected Minister of Labour and as Attorney-General during some difficult times which he dealt with firmly and courageously.

One of the highest compliments I’ve received was when he asked me to be guest speaker at his annual constituency meeting.

It’s shocking to me that Allan never was awarded an Order of BC. Cato the elder put it this way: “After I’m dead I’d rather have people ask why I have no monument than why I have one”. The Order of BC can grant honours posthumously and should do so.

To Marjorie, his wife of 62 years, and his family I know I speak for all BC when I say about Allan, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.

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