Friday, April 04, 2008


I'll build you a swamp

Remember the old yarn about political campaigns? The candidate comes to town desperate to be re-elected. "Elect me," he shouts passionately to his Town Hall meeting, "and I'll build you a bridge over the swamp!" From the audience, a citizen calls out "But we don't have a swamp." Without missing a beat, the politician shouts even louder: "Elect me! And I'll build you a swamp too!" It's a good story to remember, when reading about plans like these (below). Both stories, by the way, involve Run-of-River hydro schemes. - BC Mary.
part of
Terrace Standard

Group to push gov't for power line

April 02, 2008

MINING COMPANIES, suppliers, native-owned companies, local governments and others are putting up $300,000 to produce a business case study compelling enough to convince the provincial government to resume work on running hydro power up Hwy37 North.

The effort is being lead by the Mining Association of B.C. (MABC) which began working on the idea after two pieces of bad news came at the end of November last year.

First was the decision to shut down, pending re-engineering, work on the Galore Creek copper and gold mine because costs had soared far past its $2-billion budget.

Second was Victoria’s decision, made the next day, to stop work on its $400-million Northwest Transmission Line because its planned major user was to be the Galore mine.
That line was to be 287kV in size and run north of Terrace through the Nass Valley up north of Meziadin Junction, ending at Bob Quinn Lake, where a secondary Galore Creek-owned line would transmit power to the mine.

Galore Creek would use approximately half of the power, leaving the remainder open to other users who had yet to be identified. This time, says MABC official Byng Giraud, the emphasis is on users other than Galore Creek in order to demonstrate a broad viability and necessity of a line.

“To the extent of size [of line] and length, that’s what we want to find out – what’s out there,” he said.
“We want to present something that says this won’t be a white elephant. Something that should be treated along the same lines to government as a dam would or a rail line.”

The economic study itself will cost $100,000 and be due at the end of April or in May and the rest of the money will be used to support distribution of the study’s findings and other lobbying efforts aimed at provincial officials.

“What this is, is a coalition and it’s come together really well,” said Giraud. Giraud said it’s also significant that Pierre Lebel is chair of the MABC as he also heads Imperial Metals, the company that now owns the Red Chris copper property south of Iskut just off of Hwy37 North.

“I can tell you there’s no one more enthusiastic than he about the potential,” said Giraud of Lebel. The Northern Development Initiative Trust, the group northern local governments formed to use money from the sale of B.C. Rail for development plans, [huh?] is contributing $30,000 toward the project and is acting as its financial comptroller.

“This is really important to governments in that area as it is indeed to everyone else,” said trust official Janine North.
The business case study will lay out the number of ore bodies which will benefit from power, how many years of mining life each could provide, how many jobs would be provided, the potential for independent power producers to tie into a line, where it might go, how large it might be, how it might be financed and the possibility of the line connecting up with power users and producers in Alaska. [That would be the swamp. - BC Mary]

Giraud and North said it should not seem untoward that $300,000 is being spent to convince the province a power line is needed when it had already spent $4 million on the Northwest Transmission Line, which it then shelved.

“This is really about more than Galore Creek,” said North. “It’s about other users, independent producers and a whole list of others.”
NovaGold Resources, the company which developed the Galore Creek property and then took on Teck Cominco as a partner, was to pay $158 million toward the $400-million Northwest Transmission Line in return for having guaranteed power.

But it also has a hydro-electric subsidiary investigating using water from the Iskut River to produce power to transmit over a line it would build by itself for sale to BC Hydro.

NovaGold official Rhylin Bailie said the company had not seen details of the MABC plan and so could not comment.
“But we are clearly supportive of a power line in the region and lend our support and have told the province that,” she said.


This whole thing is all about the money. "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead"

Doesn't matter what it is in this province, property in the ALR, transmission lines through parks, making tailings ponds out of lakes, if the elected officials or the mining association of BC wants it done, they will get it done.
Hi Mary,

There was a debate going on in the legislature for a couple of days this week, as there is a bill about to be past. This bill will in affect take the regulatory authority out of the run of the river projects in BC. The utilities commission amendment act makes accountability a joke. This reminds me of the transportation minister, when he had a hard time convincing people that his way was the best way, then he just removed them from the conversation (trans-link board). This run of the river scam is just that, a scam. The Campbell government would have a very hard time convincing the commission that these projects would be good for BC, so Campbell just removed them from the conversation. It makes absolutely no business sense and it will only hurt the people of BC. This is a huge subject for the public to be informed about, because when were all paying through the nose for power it will be to late.

And when it’s gone it’s gone!
Every time Harper opens his mouth, another piece of BC falls off of the face of the Earth. Is Hydro once again planning to flood Iskut? Or they going to spend wastefully, the taxes that WE PAY on studies that will tell us what we already know. We live here, we are a small community with a small population; as we are such a small population, our votes don't count!

Don't worry about people up there, not enough to worry about... You've sent Northern Health your violent psychiatric patients, so you can provide the homeless in Vancouver with a place to crash while the Olympics are here; plan a nuclear facility in Dawson Creek; close the mills in Fort Nelson; close up Nova Gold, after they've torn up half the pristine countryside and no one can use it for anything else; another type of transfer station for dangerous chemicals on the western coast--Northwestern coast that is, you're sending geologists and miners to the north to see if there is anything else up here that you can take to supply the South and the United States as well. Just so long as you can see generous profits for your personal expenses. Just who the hell do you think you are?
You appoint yourself and your cabinet enormously outrageous amounts of money, RAISES. Maybe you could begin by explaining to us why you deserve those raises--I can't see any reason; it is most certainly not because you have done anything beneficial to or for our province--excuse me, the Northern end of our province.
The workers at Tackama in Fort Nelson have taken a very sizeable cuts in pay and made many concessions just to keep the mill open. I see that as only a matter of delaying the inevitable. How come you get a raise?


Businesses donate $4 million to
the BC Liberals. (payoff?)
Funding cuts lead to layoffs at BC
colleges and universities.
BC introduces carbon caP-and-trade
Second probe into deals involving
former BC Minister.
BC best placed to miss US economic
turndown, says bank.
B.C. Utilities Commission, which
reviews the rates four times a
year, has given Terasen Gas
permission to raise its prices
as of April 1
Terasen says competition to blame
for hike in B.C. natural gas

THIS ONE'S A KICKER: They have determined that it is colder in the North, than in the South, so they should put the prices up more here. Maybe they're going to try and freeze us out...
Let me say this; up here, we can see our glaciers and we can see that they are getting smaller. With a full awareness of the situation, we are happy to make some changes and do our part, but why the hell do we have to pay for the rest of the country as well?

Rates for Metro Vancouver, the
Fraser Valley, Interior, North
and the Kootenay regions will
rise by 11 per cent, meaning
the average homeowner will see
their bills jump by about $137
a year, according to Terasen
Rates on Vancouver Island, the
Sunshine Coast, and Powell
River are covered by a separate
regulatory agreement and will
increase 3.5 per cent, for an
average hike of about $33 a

The biggest increase will be for
Fort Nelson residents, where
the price will increase by 17
per cent, or about $239 per
(Oh, I see, they've inadvertently
neglected to mention where the
natural gas is coming from,

Is it possible that I am the only
person who is actually seeing

The list is never ending. As I said last week, let's dig our damned moat at the border to Alberta, and let Harper kiss our collective asses.

Hi Mary, click Hansard debates - click debates again- Wednesday April 2/08 afternoon- click pdf- ¼ down the page

Utilities commission amendment act. -Debate the page reads left to right

This is the condensed version.

The Campbell gov. put the river rights in bc up for sale, not sure who was told about this sale but I heard if you look up who donates to the bc liberal party you will see the bulk of the owners there. The sale prices of the rights to these rivers were as low as 5-10 thousand dollars.

The new owners of these river rights now can go to the bank (after it gets the nod from gov.) and say I need a loan. The bank will say your going to get paid WHAT for your power…. please sign here! (we will pay 88-90 mega watt hr.and up, and the going rate is 45). Not only will we pay a great deal more but we will have to buy the power when it’s NOT needed which is in the spring when the rivers are producing the most power from the snow run-of, and unbelievably when there is a overabundance of extra power on the grid which means that it would be a lot cheaper to buy power from the grid, but of course we would not need the power as the weather has warmed and bc’s dams are rising.

The Campbell gov. is saying this measure is so bc can become self-sufficient, but the deals with the independent power producers will run out when the contract ends (15-40 years) and the obligation to sell power to bc is over and they can sell to whom ever they wish. The gov. is also saying that we are importing more power that we export; this is misleading and is only stated so they can put the fear of brown outs and such out there. This importing/exporting is a way of making strategic moves in the market to make money for the people of BC, and nothing more. Sell high/buy low.

The public also will pick up the tab for building the power lines to these projects from the grid and all the cost of research that the gov. had already completed and the private sector no longer need to do. Along with the environmental impacts that seem to be very suspect after seeing the gong show on the pitt river not so long ago.

So, a company can buy the rights to a river for next to nothing, borrow money with next to no risk, we pay for the infrastructure to make the project work, the companies gouge the people of bc for years, and then move on for even greener pastures using our rivers later, wow…that makes a lot of sense doesn’t it.

The Campbell saying ya…but. It’s green power. Yes, but why would the gov. STOP BC hydro from making this green power. This also only makes sense if your Gordon Campbell and you are paying back your friends and insiders.
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