“The progress of the rivers to the ocean is not so rapid as that of man to error.” ~ Voltaire

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A wise and good friend once said here: “Some times the sheer indignity of the will of a government imposed on people leaves me in a state of tongue-tied rage, unable to even put voice to the injustice served up…”

Hence my feeling since the decision on Site C was announced, and flu didn’t help matters. The flood of emotion that resulted completely caught me off guard and was unexpected, much as the decision to proceed was still unexpected despite the niggling misgivings I have had since Horgan refused to order tools down. There is so much to say and I’m just going to let the words flow as they come,in no particular order. But let me start with something that’s been weighing heavily the last few days.

From the Globe and Mail: 

Premier John Horgan said he is not bound to uphold his commitments to reconciliation with British Columbia’s First Nations in the case of the Site C dam, saying the $10.7-billion dam his cabinet has decided to complete is not really his project.

“It’s my view that activities that began before I was sworn in as Premier are out of my control,” Mr. Horgan said in an interview on Tuesday. “In the case of Site C, I really have to say it is 25-per-cent done. It’s not like I’m going to [start] it – I’m going to finish it.”

The hydroelectric project on B.C.’s Peace River faces multiple court challenges from Indigenous communities that argue the completion of the dam – which will result in the flooding and destruction of 5,550 hectares of land within the traditional territory of Treaty 8 First Nations – will infringe on their aboriginal rights.

Six aboriginal bands have signed benefit agreements with BC Hydro around the project. However, Mr. Horgan said some of those bands are also displeased that Site C is going ahead: “They are not happy,” he said.

This just blew my mind. It left me feeling sick.

Clark ran roughshod over First Nations opposition or concerns to Site C and other projects, calling critics a rag-tag group of Forces of No who say no to everything. After 16 long years it is a pleasure to see the BC Liberals sit in opposition trying to appear indignant at how the Greens and NDP are operating, when they have zero credibility on every single file or issue they critique, particularly when it comes to Site C.

They refused to submit it to the BCUC and the people of BC deserved to have due process done however expedited. Clark ignored repeated calls even from the UBCM. Horgan, Mungall et al have rightly used this point over and over again that the BCUC review SHOULD have been done before the project was started, so his government was trying to make that right.

But  suddenly when it comes to fixing how Clark stomped on Treaty rights under UNDRIP, it’s not his project? He’s just the guy finishing it, not starting it, so reconciliation doesn’t apply here?

I felt ashamed and I wondered if he truly understood how that was going to sound… because there is no explaining this separation of what was his to rectify and what was not, to friends directly impacted…because I have learned more about colonization and its lasting trauma through generations by covering Site C than in everything I have read…because I actually sat in the same courtroom as Yvonne Tupper and Grand Chief Stewart Philip and saw their reactions when BC Hydro won the case to have the camp at Rocky Mountain Fort removed…because meeting Helen Knott and reading her heart-wrenching,stark and sometimes painful posts on her relationship with the river, through her people and her people’s history which is directly connected to the river… tells me that we are still very much trampling on Treaty rights as much as some would prefer to pretend we are not. And as much as we say there is commitment to reconciliation, saying it now comes with conditions… very much puts a stain on the intent of the commitment itself.

Which leads me to a couple of points that need to be clear.

Two Treaty 8 nations, Prophet River and West Moberly, will be seeking an injunction and are launching an infringement suit. https://www.sagelegal.ca/news-blog-1/2017/12/11/press-release-west-moberly-and-prophet-river-first-nations-to-seek-injunction-launch-site-c-infringement-action   They are directly impacted by the footprint of the dam.

Other nations have signed benefit agreements but still oppose the dam,making clear that those agreements do not mean consent. It has been said that some signed agreements preventing them from directly speaking out against the project.

One nation, McLeod Lake band, is hailing the dam as a Christmas present that Horgan gave them, because of not only the economic boon they say it will bring them, but a massive land gift and a final settlement in the nine figures….but their nation is 250km away from the dam and not directly impacted. The settlement makes economic restitution for the destruction the WAC Bennett wreaked on their territory more than the minimal impact of Site C itself.

Oh,how the irony of making restitution with one nation for past wrongs while deciding to do it again with two other nations now, is stark. Just last summer BC Hydro opened an exhibit acknowledging the dark past associated with the WAC Bennett dam:

West Moberly First Nations Chief Roland Wilson said while BC Hydro may be apologizing for how First Nations were impacted during the W.A.C. Bennett project, “they are building Site C and doing it again.”

Peace River Valley

A view shows a portion of the Peace River Valley that would be flooded by the construction of the Site C dam. (Peace Valley Environmental Association/YouTube)

“There’s nothing clean about a large-scale hydroelectric dam and destroying the last remaining 80 kilometres of river valley that we have on the Peace River,” he said.

“There’s an old adage, if you’re really sorry, stop saying sorry. Stop doing it. It doesn’t mean anything if you just keep doing it.”

The decision has created new divisions between nations now. It has made me examine how I perpetuated colonial attitudes – I focused on the economic risks of the project in most of my posts for the greater good,failing completely to convey how this project impacts a people still strongly dependent on and connected to the land. And for that I am sorry. When you think you are thinking of the bigger picture but suddenly see your writing leaves out an entire peoples history, it’s a failure. That’s how I feel.

To me, the project still doesn’t make sense, nor do the reasons it is being continued. Especially after this:

The NDP said it could not stop the dam, because doing so would mean a large rate increase in two years, put the credit rating at risk and mean other programs they promised could not be rolled out. We all know how much needs to be done and repaired in BC after 16 years of slice and dice policy under the BC Liberals, so while some called for Weaver to pull the plug on the GreenDP agreement, I didn’t and still don’t. An election would only put the Liberals back into power-never forget why they are not.
But many can’t understand this decision, when to discontinue and put it all firmly back right into the laps of Clark and the BC Liberals & showing BC how reckless their decisions to proceed without a review were would have been the final nail in their coffin. Their mess. Their mistake. Their dam.

Sarah Cox has done an excellent job here of detailing the discrepancy between what the NDP has stated and what other experts have said could have been done to cancel the dam: https://www.desmog.ca/2017/12/15/ndp-government-s-site-c-math-flunk-say-project-financing-experts

A former BC Hydro ceo has chimed in here: http://www.timescolonist.com/opinion/op-ed/comment-site-c-continues-on-premier-s-faulty-arguments-1.23121222

Most compelling though, is the following link.

Robert McCullough has countered the letter David Eby sent out to his constituents and Rob Botterell, lawyer for the Peace Valley Environment Association & Peace Valley Landowner Association have asked the Auditor General to launch an examination of the decision because of the contradiction in statements: 

The groups want Bellringer to determine if the NDP government had no alternative but to incur an immediate $3-billion to $4-billion charge on either B.C. Hydro ratepayers or B.C. taxpayers if it cancelled the dam.

Attorney General David Eby made this claim in a statement posted on his constituency website about the Site C dam approval.

“In contrast,” Eby stated, “we were advised that if we continued the project, even if it went significantly over budget, the accounting treatment of the completed project as an ‘asset’ would enable it to be repaid over 70 years by ratepayers with a significantly different impact on rates and public accounts.”

Eby’s claim was contradicted by Portland-based energy consultant Robert McCullough, a consultant to the two Peace Valley organizations.

McCullough maintained in a letter to Botterell and landowner Ken Boon that B.C. Utilities Commission reviewers were very clear how to account for sunk costs and reclamation costs.

“The analysis assumed a seventy-year amortization period for the sunk costs of $2.1 billion,” McCullough stated. “They also assumed a thirty-year amortization period for the reclamation costs.”

He added that the commission’s estimate of reclamation costs was “quite a bit higher” than the evidence suggested.

“Both BC Hydro and Deloitte forecasts costs in the $1 to $1.2 billion range,” he stated.

According to McCullough, Eby appears to believe that the $2.1 billion in sunk costs have been held in abeyance.

“This is a curious belief,” McCullough declared. “British Columbia has a continuous financing program designed to balance cash requirements and cash inflows. These needs drive the province’s issuance of bonds. The province has already spent the $2.1 billion dollars [sic] and the cash has been disbursed.”

Later in his response, McCullough wrote: “Mr. Eby has also raised a concern that Moody’s (the only bond rating firm that has expressed concerns about BC Hydro’s unusual finances) would react negatively to the recovery of the $2.1 billion. Regulatory recovery of the costs of termination is a very common practice in the utility business and is addressed in every utility’s annual report.

I would be remiss to leave out this excellent story too, on how the media failed British Columbians on Site C. https://www.desmog.ca/2017/12/12/how-media-failed-british-columbians-site-c-dam

Like many, I didn’t even really pay much attention until it was already approved and the Rocky Mtn Fort Camp contacted me. And therein lies how these things get this far. We don’t pay attention, even to what little coverage there is to issues that will change our province forever. There is little coverage to hold government to account. If the media had covered the BC legislature proceedings daily back then, as they do now under the NDP, perhaps we wouldn’t even be having this discussion right now. In fact I know we wouldn’t be.

I strongly hope for clarification on the accounting rationale govt is using as main reason for approval. But perhaps Helen Knott is correct when she states that she “knew from the place where I know things that the Site C dam would go ahead because man still needs to learn the hard way. Not heeding the prophecies that came forward  about the inevitable collapse of these dams that came a long time before me and before many alive today, stories that came from the territory…..

I will always believe this dam is wrong for all the reasons mentioned above and the questions being asked are important ones… The geo-technical risks I have reported on with photos here often are the wild card and I not so secretly hope Mother Nature puts an end to it once and for all with a mighty rain and a massive north slope failure at the tension crack when no one is around. It could very well happen as history has demonstrated.

So what comes next?

Electoral reform. It’s perhaps how we can stop things like this from happening in the first place. Big money will band together to try and defeat it, just as the BC Liberals are already claiming the referendum is rigged. ( ask them how they vote to choose their leader though, why don’t you?) Please inform yourself of the facts, not the rhetoric and check out this site for a better understanding of why this matters https://fairvotingbc.com/join-the-campaign-for-fair-voting/why-voting-reform/

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For now, I’ll be continuing work on a couple of books and focusing on family, so there will be a hiatus on blogging & social media – I have deactivated my twitter account for now because I have very little faith left in political process and I’m afraid I will lose what’s left completely if I don’t. It’s incredibly disheartening.   Be well and keep fighting.

47 thoughts on ““The progress of the rivers to the ocean is not so rapid as that of man to error.” ~ Voltaire

  1. Hello Laila,

    Your writings express my feelings. Mr. Horgan is not a good fit. I felt uncomfortable with him ever since it became evident he was also in favour of horizontal hydraulic fracturing…an integral component of the LNG industry. We know the repercussions of that. Mother Nature has told many states of the union she’s sick and tired of being fracked. What does industry do about it? They pay hush money to those residents who shout the loudest….sometimes. Sad world out there.

  2. Shelley Ouellette

    This is an excellent piece, but you left one thing out. The Dene Tsay Keh received a $20.9 million settlement from BC Hydro for infringement due to WAC Bennett dam. I believe [though not positive] the land at McLeod Lake was part of that settlement. For them to now say “this is monetary reconciliation] is bullshit.

  3. Bruce Jaffary

    After the Liberals spending 4 billion on the project, I support them going ahead and finishing the project instead of throwing that money down the drain. We will eventually need the power and in 25 years it will look like a good decision.

  4. Rick Koechl

    Bruce Jaffary….you are dead wrong……that we will need HYDRO power…. won’t be able to afford it in comparison to solar and wind… period…end of story..
    I thought that I would never give up my old FILM camera….
    I was wrong…. use DIGITAL exclusively….
    I got over myself and my attitude towards this..
    you will too….. the world is changing…. like it or not….

  5. DBW

    Thank you for your detailed analysis. It is so obvious that this project should never have been started. But here’s what disappoints me most about the NDP decision to proceed.

    Last month I read Naomi Klein’s new book No is Not Enough. Forget her politics, her basic premise is that we have to do more than just say no to something. We have to offer something in return.

    So, here we are with a project that should never have been started and was continued with a heavy heart blah blah blah…. Does that mean there was nothing to offer in return for shutting it down. Money saved could not have been used to help develop alternate sources? Here we are at a pivotal moment and the government has nothing to offer? Nothing?

  6. Gary T.

    I was extremely disappointed at this decision. Either way our Hydro rates will increase,either to cover the cost of stopping the dam, or to cover the losses we will incur selling the power from Site C for half of what it costs to produce. The statement from Horgan that ” we can always sell the excess power ” shows that he really does not understand how selling excess power on the spot market works. We always take a good kicking in the pants doing that. Like you, I do not want to see an election, and over all, Horgan is doing a reasonable job. He stooped Ajax in Kamloops, but Site C was a major failure. The Liberals have left us Screwed, Blued, and Tattooed.

  7. Susan

    Regards to increasing Hydro rates; let’s not forget the rates have been artificially suppressed by the libs and now ndp. Rates should already be much higher than they are so wait for the reality of current market prices.

  8. Scotty on Denman

    Whoops! You made a contradictory boo-boo right at the very end of your excellent piece: “Please inform yourself of the facts, not the rhetoric…” and then incongruently direct readers to FairVote’s site.

    I could go on at length about rhetoric, but I’ll simply point out for now that “100% of the power with 40% of the vote” is actually a very good example of it.

    I too am extremely disappointed with the Site-C decision. We agree something’s not quite right about the government’s economic math — it’s as if other factors influenced the decision. That shouldn’t be too surprising: politics is about fashioning something out of multi-vectored components. Yet we lament politics is often about political power, or power achieved by political means. That is the case with or without democracy, but with it political power is supposed to be directed by the electorate’s approval; however, there’s a subtle difference between approval and will: politics is empowered by approval — why we vote — but not necessarily, or merely as a nicety, by the electorate’s will.

    I view pro-rep as a marginally more precise way to interpret voters’ choices as an expression of will, and otherwise just another way of legitimizing approval. Though power is needed to do things, we lament that it’s also used to keep power, once it’s been gotten, and thence to do things of which the electorate does not approve — which is why limited terms and separation of judicial and executive powers are enshrined in constitutions (that is, beyond the meddling of voters, politicians and judges): because power corrupts, democratic governments are designed to preclude artificially the absolute corruption which would result naturally.

    I’m not convinced pro-rep is necessarily a better electoral system for reflecting the electorate’s will. Since I don’t want to besmirch anyone’s belief that it is a better system, or that any measure of besmirching is a good way to tell if it (or any ther system) is better, I accept deciding the matter democratically. And if voters make well informed choices at referendum, I’ll whatever the result is, even if it isn’t my preference. There’ll be a variety of opinions disappointed by the result, so it’ll be an approval of a single option, not an accommodation of contending wills. Innate human power-lust and constitutional checks and balances against its abuse will still be in force the morning after.

    One of the reasons I reject pro-rep is its proponents’ conviction that it will add to or outdo existing checks against pursuing power for its own sake, keeping it once it’s gotten, and using it to do things voters don’t want (presumably to unfairly favour a certain clique), all by way of empowering competing factions in a slightly more precise way (direct democracy would be the ideal precision of 100%) — that is, by divvying up power to the extent that it can’t be abused in ways the majority of citizens would disapprove. It seems to me a minimum amount of power must exist below which we can’t get political things done as effectively as needed, but I also respect there is a variety of opinions about the location of that critical point. Mine, for example, sees the virtual preclusion of majorities ever getting elected again as falling below that point of political effectiveness, meaning I don’t feel pro-rep would be a significant improvement over the checks we already have.

    A bigger concern is illustrated, I think, by the Site-C decision: it appears, conjecturally, that the possibility of voters approving pro-rep next year might have factored in the NDP’s political calculus — how else to explain a party that didn’t grow its voting base, depends on another party to support the thinnest of minorities, and won more by disapproval of Christy Clark? Well, it might be the NDP estimates pro-rep will prevail, with no party able to win a majority thereafter, and itself ending up the larger partner of a multi-party government, which would render any concerns about losing majority-forming support moot under single-member-plurality. “If an election were held today…” do you think the NDP would still be government after the votes were counted?

    It’s beyond conjecture that the Greens buckled on one of their main campaign promises (to shut down Site-C) because they don’t want to topple the government before the Referendum, one they hope pro-rep will win, their best chance to grow their seat-count to a level that’d guarantee critical influence in a subsequent, hung Assembly. Our current three-party hung Assembly exemplifies, in this way, what I don’t like about the promise-breaking that has to be made to maintain parliamentary confidence. My contention with pro-rep has mainly to do with the fact that it would make hung parliaments a permanent and feature similar jockeying for power. I don’t like how decisions would have to be made by party cadres behind closed doors, which would become a regular feature under pro-rep: it gives voters less of a “voice” than pro-rep rhetoric posits, refuting that it’s more representative than SMP. (With the balance of power currently held by 3.5% of the seats, it should go without saying that pro-rep is also far less proportional than SMP.)

    Finally, I’m very concerned with the partisanship that has contaminated the whole electoral reform debate: it’s wrong-headed, misleading and chauvinistic (which seems to have gotten even worse in the wake of the Site-C decision), obscuring what should be the goal: approving a system that’s totally impartial, unbiased and non-partisan. Partisanship has permeated the whole debate, including the promotions and censures of every electoral system; but pro-reppers have probably been the worst in this regard, insinuating a system that’s supposed to be impartial into overtly partisan positions surrounding virtually any issue. It’s trite, to say the least, and informs voters with opinions, not facts. And of course fertilizes the surly mob from which politicians attempt to auger their electoral fortunes. Unfortunately it looks like they’re all doing it now in light of the approaching Referendum — and in a way that reminds of power-seeking for its own sake, getting it and using it in ways voters might not even be apprised of, let alone approve of in time to react with disapproval — much less respect their will. I don’t think the NDP would have dared do what it did if it were assured the next election would be held under SMP; nor do I think the Greens would have absolved themselves from using their balance-of-power position against Site-C if the Referendum weren’t on the horizon. These are both examples of partisanship availing the reform debate for its own ends, not for the voters’ wishes nor the province’s best interests.

    I’ve been hoping — perhaps beyond hope — that we can do this Referendum exercise based on democratic principles, not on particular politics of the day or the outrage they inflame. I have my concerns about pro-rep on its own demerits, but have even more that the whole issue is becoming a political football, and that our politicians appear to be playing for themselves, right in front of us, precisely because the Referendum is approaching. I think power is weighing circumstance, not votes.

    You are a priceless asset to political discourse in this province, Laila; I just don’t think recommending a particular electoral system in reaction to Site-C does justice to the tremendous work you’ve done informing and rallying us against its completion. That can’t be tarnished or bettered by any electoral system, nor should it be.

    Peace and Love,

    Scotty

    1. Laila Yuile

      Thanks for the kind words. Horgan and all mla’s are in a tough spot now that several knowledgable experts have disputed and contradicted their justification for approving the dam. Those justifications are being repeated as if by script by party loyalists all over online.
      Horgan can and will likely ignore the calls for the BC Auditor to review his assertions & decision.
      He can either address the experts rebuttal to his reasons or he can ignore it. But the longer he ignores it the more doubt will grow as this dam continues.

      Good points on electoral reform. I’m not convinced it will pass. Most people I encounter are completely confused by it. What I do know is there is violent opposition to it from certain quarters who want supreme power with no accountability or counterpoint to impede their decisions or policy.
      Electoral reform does give a chance to elect someone other than the two big entrenched BC parties. Which the voters clearly feel neither is outstanding by the results of the last election.

    1. Laila Yuile

      Hard to see and watch people I have respected spout pure BS & defend what they would never have shut up about if the Libs did it.And then mock & attack their own members for rightly questioning it all.
      I have no doubt the ndp & greens will work hard to fix some of what needs to be fixed in bcpoli. But the hit to them as a party on site c may not be so easily repaired.

  9. hawgwash

    Be angry but please, don’t be bitter. It will only hurt you, not “them.”
    Let us all know when you will be selling autographed copies at Mudsharks.
    —————————-
    Now allow a nutbar to fantasize…
    1-Nestle is already lobbying for the water at 2 bucks a million liters
    2-Kinder Morgan has plans for a pipeline; Site C to Death Valley
    3-“Someone” will arrange for BC’s population to double in the next 10 years, to justify Site C.

    1. Laila Yuile

      Right now I am both 😦
      Its hard when I invest time to try and get people to understand why they need to pay attention & get engaged in politics and the process. At any level including civics which impacts their lives the most often. Then…this.
      Integrity BC tweeted a link yesterday to a page on FB the ndp used a year ago. The info and replies are a good indicator of why people feel so let down. They told people site c would hurt generations of bc’ers and there was a better way. And now cant understand why people including their own very smart members wont let it go.

      Its hard to believe in the good when the good gets shit on.

  10. Laila Yuile

    I’m fine. I don’t need anyone to ‘rally’ round. I just don’t think as much as people aren’t happy with status quo, they aren’t motivated to make real change yet. I can’t justify the rationale used to flood a valley when they chose to remove tolls to get votes without any concern at all…knowing full well the decision on site c was coming down the pipe.

    I voted for Horgan to get rid of the Libs and as last chance to potentially axe site c.

    Now I am off to finish writing my books. And neither has anything to do with politics either. 🙂

  11. John Horgan stood before the citizens of British Columbia and used an argument based on the immediate financial consequences of termination to justify continuance of the Site C project. David Eby, in a letter to his constituents, stated that the “devastating” advice cabinet received regarding those consequences was “unambiguous”.

    Many credible experts, some of whom Laila mentions above, provide compelling contrary advice.

    So in order for the advice cabinet received to be “unambiguous”, cabinet must only have listened to one side of the argument.

    Why would cabinet do that?

    1. Laila Yuile

      You tell me.

      The fact not one mla will address that compelling contradictory evidence is telling. And the longer it goes the more it will be questioned.
      Some more questions passed on that were asked but not given:
      . Why doesn’t the Site C “70 Year Amortization” argument apply to the cancelling of the tolls
      on the bridges in Surrey?
      2. How was the Fast Ferry debt booked back in 2001?
      3. Where will BC Hydro sell its surplus energy from Site C?
      4. If there are no surplus energy markets, will BC ratepayers have to absorb the costs?
      5. How will the reliance on Site C energy affect the development and use of alternative fuels in
      BC such as solar or geo-thermal?

  12. hawgwash

    It is all moot now.
    The NDP won’t be in power to see this project to it’s completion and will be blamed for the boondoggle it is. We will hear “Site C” AND “Fast Ferries” for another 20 years.

    But, I really don’t care anymore.

  13. The rationale for such a momentous decision has to be rock solid and unassailable. Right now John Horgan’s rationale appears to be as shaky as the shale Hydro plans to build the dam on, and his silence in the face of credible public allegations that it’s pure nonsense is troubling. I can’t support someone who won’t support himself.

    As for Mr. Eby, his statement was curious. He said, “…our government took the Utilities Commission’s information to experts in finance…”, and “…Devastatingly, at this stage we received unambiguous advice…”.

    The backgrounder to the government press release on the announcement to proceed said in part, “Analysis conducted by the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, and external experts on the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC), report concluded that completing Site C will be significantly less costly to British Columbians than cancelling the project.”

    The only way the advice the Executive Council of British Columbia received could be termed unambiguous is if the external experts were handpicked to give the same advice as government bureaucrats were dispensing, because there are sure as hell a lot of external experts who are not singing off the song sheet the NDP is using.

    Which begs the questions: Who were the external experts? Who picked them? What selection criteria were used? Will we have to wait for the looming legal proceedings to get those answers, or are we dealing with a more open and transparent government than we’ve had for the last 16 years?

  14. Just maybe (although exceedingly unlikely) Horgan has received word from the geotechnical engineers that they can’t find a stable base for the dam and they must concede, reluctantly, that the dam cannot proceed with sufficient safety assurance against failure.
    Thus, Horgan satisfies his benefactors (Santa and the Teamster’s Union?) that he is on their side, knowing all the time it will not proceed.
    Or maybe he is counting on the Supreme Court to rule on the side of the Indigenous peoples and state that it cannot be built.
    One can always dream.

  15. Ernest Random

    Where can BC residents find expert alternate energy advice on innovation? Not in the BC media…

    But neighbouring Alberta takes alternative energy much more seriously than does Victoria, with its regressionomics a la Site C.

    So does the US, which over the decades has decommissioned 50 dams.

    For a more in depth and advanced view, there’s Europe.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-13/canada-s-oil-capital-is-making-leap-toward-renewable-energy

    https://www.nationalobserver.com/2017/12/14/news/alberta-blows-past-competition-claim-cheapest-wind-energy-rate

    Alberta blows past competition to claim cheapest wind energy rate

    Alberta’s new green energy program has secured the lowest renewable electricity pricing in Canada, its provincial government declared Wednesday, in addition to bringing in roughly $1 billion of private-sector investment and adding around 600 megawatts (MW) of wind power to the grid.

    The results come as British Columbia says it can’t afford to cancel the controversial hydroelectric Site C mega-project, and as the federal government pushes expanded liquefied natural gas trade with China.

    The room inside Calgary’s McDougall Centre broke out in applause when Alberta Premier Rachel Notley unveiled the results of the first round of her government’s Renewable Electricity Program on Dec. 13.

    The province has now locked down a 20-year average price of 3.7 cents per kilowatt-hour — less than half of Ontario’s 2016 procurement that resulted in an average of 8.5 cents.

    “It’s a new record for renewable energy pricing in Canada — the lowest price Canadians have ever seen, right here in Alberta,” a triumphant Notley told the crowd.

    “Alberta isn’t only a leader in the [fossil fuel] energy that we are going to get to tidewater. We are also a leader in renewable energy, and we are going to show our fellow Canadians, and the world, that economic growth and environmental responsibility can, and must, and will go hand-in-hand.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/renewable-energy-eu-new-power-90-per-cent-capacity-wind-power-coal-fossil-fuels-climate-change-a7571026.html

    Renewable energy makes up nearly 90% of new EU power capacity as wind overtakes coal
    Germany builds an incredible 44 per cent of all the windfarms installed in Europe last year as it continues massive investment in renewables

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/wind-power-electricity-half-us-grid-power-record-spp-latest-a7613946.html

    Wind power provides half of the electricity on US grid for first time ever

    ‘Now we have the ability to reliably manage greater than 50 percent wind penetration. It’s not even our ceiling,’ electricity 

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/scotland-wind-farms-green-energy-power-four-million-homes-industry-renewable-job-losses-a7613421.html

    Scottish wind farms provide enough power for four million homes – but industry warns of job losses

    The UK Government is refusing to allow wind and solar – the cheapest forms of electricity – to compete with fossil fuels for long-term power contracts

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/denmark-ran-entirely-on-wind-energy-for-a-day-a7607991.html

    Denmark runs entirely on wind energy for a day

    ‘The transition is fully underway. If we are looking for cheap, competitive and reliable, I don’t see much alternative to wind’ says Wind Europe spokesman

    1. Laila Yuile

      From Erik Anderson whose analyisis I trust implicitly. And always have:
      Dear Editor;

      The Site C go ahead by the BC NDP is more of the same “cool-aid” the BC Liberals fed the population. The BC Auditor General’s report of a year ago pointed out that on top of the $60 billion of Liabilities posted by the BC Comptroller General there is another $100 billion in contractual liabilities the citizens of BC are responsible for and nearly $60 billion of that total is because of secret IPP contracts for electricity nobody needs right now. Taken together, these amounts come to about $50,000 per person in BC, the greatest of any province in Canada by at least double the next greatest. What is worst is those numbers are before providing any amount for personal borrowing such credit card loans, car loans and mortgages.

      What makes the decision to go ahead with Site C bad is that we will get un-needed electricity at a borrowed money cost of about $11 billion or about $125 per MWhr when the open market wholesale price in Western North America has and will likely continue to be at about CDN $35 per MWhr, a third the cost of electricity from Site C.

      The NDP have again shown they can’t do financial numbers very well. They have overlooked a reality that the true market value of an investment is defined by the revenue it can generate: not the revenue generated behind a monopoly like BC Hydro.
      As matters stand right now the value of a finished Site C will maybe be CDN $3.5 billion, not the number an accountant wishes to give it.

      The purpose of a Utility Commission is to try to impose a substitute for the discipline of open market trading onto a corporation enjoying a monopoly status. The intention is supposed to be to curb abuse of power. For the most part the BCUC has been precluded from fulfilling its mandate as protector of the consumer.

      Making a CDN $11 billion investment to get an asset that will only be worth about CDN$3.5 billion is not an idea that covers anyone in glory. This sort of example only convinces the citizens that politicians should be severally restricted in what they can unilaterally sign the population up for. It also rightly generates conspiracy theories as explanations of what seems to be unexplainable.

      Sincerely Erik Andersen

  16. Pingback: Did you know…Week of December 23, 2017 | North Island - Powell River Greens

  17. It’s interesting (and disheartening) to watch the people who used to rail against the promedia bias and failure to analyze BC Liberal decisions on Site C now give it a pass when it’s the NDP’s decision that should be under scrutiny for veracity and compared with opinion of experts they recently revered. I wonder if they realize they are exhibiting the sycophancy they once derided.

    They might also give some thought to the fact that when the lawsuits begin arriving from First Nations and those being forced from their homes (Merry Christmas), the NDP will use a legal team under the direction of a familiar face to fight them tooth and nail. That face belongs to the current deputy to Attorney General David Eby. As assistant deputy to Attorney General Michael de Jong he authored and signed the Basi/Virk BC Rail secret and illegal plea deal. The deal the NDP promised a public inquiry over, but now will not even answer my letters on.

    Trust is hard earned. It is also easily squandered.

  18. Tim.

    Lew;
    Thank you, for the two pieces above.
    The second one nails it.
    Hypocrisy and greed are cozy partners.

    Thank you also for continuing to carry the faint light.

    Rafe and Laila have moved on.
    Bob Mackin has gone to Hedda Hopper mode.
    The few, who do care and pay attention, are finding it more and more difficult to do so.

    If Norm Farrell’s latest does not gain traction, you too, may as well take up a less frustrating pastime.
    https://in-sights.ca/2018/01/10/ruled-by-criminals/

    1. Laila Yuile

      Haven’t died yet Tim. 😉

      Part of the issue is that the same David Eby mentioned above defended the decison to continue site c ‘cuz finances’….
      Neither he or any other caucus member has addressed the rebuttals still left hanging. And likely never will. We have Bill Tieleman all over the press as an NDP pundit yet he has partnered with Anton to fight electoral reform. He has become the NDP’s biggest impediment. But is anyone taking him into the backroom ? No. Yet a member of an executive was removed in a constituency down island because of her ongoing criticism. Activism is now frowned upon by the party who relied on activists to get elected. Good people who fought corruption under the Libs are now told to hush when they see the NDP hangers on doing the same thing the Libs did around the trough. It demoralizes everyone. And tsk tsk don’t say boo about it.

      You wonder why things get no traction?

  19. Tim.

    No wonder her.
    If a corruption inquiry is even hinted at there will be a population explosion in Palm Springs and more empty houses in BC. Someone convinced Gregor to take the money and run.

    You done the prologue yet?

    1. Laila Yuile

      Ha! I got it. I’m the Queen of typos thanks to fingers that can’t keep up with how fast the brain thinks.

      No, not yet. 🙂 These things take time!!

      I do miss you all though. Very much.

  20. Leah

    Hi Laila, hope you had a happy holiday season this year!

    I believe that articles subject matter is the reason Clark had to get past the point of no return with Site C, all the trips to China paid off…..I also believe it’s why Horgan will complete her dirty work. It has only just begun with the sale of Aecon to a consortium known for less than stellar practices worldwide…would I feel comfortable living downwind of Site C? Hell no.

    Never again Mr. Horgan. 50 years of total NDP support gone. Fool me once… .

  21. Tim.

    I don’t know of another venue to bring this up so, I rely on Old Faithful(LY)…

    https://www.straight.com/news/1025746/martyn-brown-how-bc-liberals-have-made-us-all-icbcs-crash-test-dummies

    From that piece, this asinine situation that hogties the NDP and any semblance of openness:
    “In yet a further twist that makes this incredibly sordid saga even more absurd, Eby has now had to go cap-in-hand to beg the offenders’ permission to release that draft report that they withheld from the public and from their caucus colleagues.”

    Hopefully there is someone on the inside with a conscience that will leak the desired material.

    Your move, taxpayer financed Civil Servant.

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