Campbell has to go..

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steven lloyd
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Re: Campbell has to go..

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Al Czervic wrote: In the grand scheme of things the small run of the river projects are really a drop in the bucket and barely make a dent in BC’s overall power picture. And keep in mind even Run of the River projects only have a lease; they do not own any crown lands whatsoever.

The amount of misinformation that has been put out there about Run of the River projects is staggering; it really is. Basically we have an opportunity to purchase relatively limited amount of BC produced power hopefully in place of Alberta Coal fired power. These small projects put British Columbians to work and in many cases will also provide employment and income for first nations bands; something buying private power from Alberta as we currently do, does nothing to help keep the money in BC.

I find it funny that people in BC have for over a hundred years accepted private companies extracting and processing our forestry and mining resource sectors but for some reason suggest the same thing from our water and suddenly there is Union and socialist induced hysteria.


So what you're suggesting is that Ralph Mair (a non-union member and formed SoCred, and established expert in the field) is feeding us misinformation? What I've read seems pretty credible and quite alarming, and I note not one reference to unions or socialism. I think its worth some open-minded investigation Al. Gotta go though. Later.
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Re: Campbell has to go..

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One of my main concerns is the poor. Generally many of these folk are what some call "Welfare Recipients". While I do recognize that some of them may be milking the system and really deserve squat from the taxpayers, for the record I put the following up for consideration of Gordo's performance in that area related to BC only....

In 2007, the "Market Basket Measure", which some may refer to as the poverty line, for a single employable person drawing welfare was $16,000.00. His/her benefits however only amounted to $7,400.00. Numbers are per year. This is approximately 6% LESS than in 1997, 10 years prior.

In 2007, the "Market Basket Measure", for a couple with 2 children was about $32,500.00 per year, while their benefits under welfare were just over $20,000.00. An almost 8% decline since 10 years before in 1997.

The difference in 2007 between income and poverty level is obvious in each case But I challenge anyone to demonstrate to me how benefits being reduced during one of the boomiest times in BC history, where the cost of housing, and so many things including food have substantially INCREASED, can result in such a significant reduction in benefits for our neediest folk.

I don't have a big problem with free enterprise, or even a right wing government supporting it and peddling a prosperity oriented platform and agenda....

What I do have a problem with is both lacking a social CONSCIENCE!

So for those here who feel Gordo's Government is doing so well on behalf of ALL British Columbians, perhaps even feeling more prosperous (rich) themselves as a result... Think about those who are increasingly suffering due to your "good fortune". Further, think what it is going to be like for them over the next few years as the economy goes into the tank and even private help for these folk becomes rarer (stocks at food banks, help from churches, etc).

Seems Kelowna has quite a list of folk seeking to replace the retiring incumbent Liberal AKA Conservative MLA. Perhaps many should be asking them what they think of the state of affairs and how they would handle it....

Just be sure to get their answer in writing, signed, and countersigned by Gordon Campbell hisself. Otherwise what they say or promise will be largely BS. Not that it probably will not be if put on paper and signed by them and Gordo either. But then, I wouldn't take anything the NDP candidates say to the bank either, even if they do win and form government. The question is, do they have a social conscience either, or, even if they do, will they/we be able to afford to accommodate it?

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Al Czervic
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Re: Campbell has to go..

Post by Al Czervic »

steven lloyd wrote:
So what you're suggesting is that Ralph Mair (a non-union member and formed SoCred, and established expert in the field) is feeding us misinformation? What I've read seems pretty credible and quite alarming, and I note not one reference to unions or socialism. I think its worth some open-minded investigation Al. Gotta go though. Later.



Rafe Mair is a former politician; lawyer and talk show host. Rafe is also no expert in this field or any field expect possibly the fine art of political spin. Basically he is just like anyone else with an opinion.

The fact is it is easy to oppose any power producing project on environmental grounds as they all in some form will affect the environment. Naturally some have a bigger impact than others do. The problem with most of these loons who oppose any and all power projects is that they ignore that if we cannot produce the power we need here; we ended up buying dirty power from elsewhere. However elsewhere is always OK; as long as it is in someone’ else back yard.

What is funny; is how does it makes sense to oppose small private run of the river projects as being “environmentally” damaging yet support a massively environmentally impacting project like Site C so long as it is public ? This entire position is flawed. Ultimately the debate is really about public vs. private power. Basically an ideological debate and that is what it is all about..
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Re: Campbell has to go..

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I don't believe Gordon Campbell even knows the meaning of social concience and is not inclined to learn it.
Al I do believe to an extent in these small river projects but the problem I have with them is environmental. Do you believe for a moment that most of them will be built to any environmental standards. Even if intentions are good I am willing to bet there are no inspectors out there to follow up or if there are, not enough to do it properly. Throught time many of these project will fall to into disaray. Can you see any of the sites being cleaned up or just left sitting to rot in our rivers. I can see so many potential problems and feel in the govt's rush to look good they will not look after it properly. If the sites are built by Hydro they will be tightly monitored throughout their life time. There will be problems in both cases but I don't think we realize how serious they could be in these small projects. Just MHO.

This is nothing to do with public verses private. I just know that the large public projects will be monitored to death while the small projects will get away with murder.
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Re: Campbell has to go..

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Smurf wrote:This is nothing to do with public verses private. I just know that the large public projects will be monitored to death while the small projects will get away with murder.


Lets compare mining to hydro power. We have private mines all over the province with companies like Tech Cominco have been caught red handed dumping mercury into the Columbia River. Last time I was down on the Columbia in Washington State there were signs up everywhere telling you not to eat the fish because they have excessively high levels of Mercury. Hydro power produces zero toxins.

If this were about the environment, we would be focusing on the Crown taking over mining instead of hydro electricity.
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Re: Campbell has to go..

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Smurf wrote:I don't believe Gordon Campbell even knows the meaning of social concience and is not inclined to learn it.
Al I do believe to an extent in these small river projects but the problem I have with them is environmental. Do you believe for a moment that most of them will be built to any environmental standards. Even if intentions are good I am willing to bet there are no inspectors out there to follow up or if there are, not enough to do it properly. Throught time many of these project will fall to into disaray. Can you see any of the sites being cleaned up or just left sitting to rot in our rivers. I can see so many potential problems and feel in the govt's rush to look good they will not look after it properly. If the sites are built by Hydro they will be tightly monitored throughout their life time. There will be problems in both cases but I don't think we realize how serious they could be in these small projects. Just MHO.

This is nothing to do with public verses private. I just know that the large public projects will be monitored to death while the small projects will get away with murder.


I think those are all good points. However that is what I am getting at; regardless of whatever type of power production method you choose; there are going to be environmental consequences. That is a given.

As a species we are not exactly the most environmentally friendly one on the planet. I am only pointing out that there will be far more significant environmental impacts from larger full on dams than small run of the river projects. I was also pointing out the hypocrisy of suggesting large scale environmental impact is somehow OK as long as it is “public” whereas private small scale is apparently not “OK” simply because it is private.
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Re: Campbell has to go..

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Al Czervic wrote: What is funny; is how does it makes sense to oppose small private run of the river projects as being “environmentally” damaging yet support a massively environmentally impacting project like Site C so long as it is public ? This entire position is flawed. Ultimately the debate is really about public vs. private power. Basically an ideological debate and that is what it is all about..


If you go back and read Mair’s first article I posted you’ll easily understand why hundreds of “small” private run of the river projects will potentially be significantly more damaging to the environment and our province than one mega-project. And it is not funny at all. This is not an ideological debate. It is an effort to stop a megomaniac from selling control of our province out from under our feet because he is blinded by ideology and arrogance.

Al Czervic wrote: I am only pointing out that there will be far more significant environmental impacts from larger full on dams than small run of the river projects. I was also pointing out the hypocrisy of suggesting large scale environmental impact is somehow OK as long as it is “public” whereas private small scale is apparently not “OK” simply because it is private.


It seems many who are studying the issue would disagree with this assumption. They compare one river being damned to hundreds of rivers being damned (albeit a mega project will have a greater single impact but will not impact such a widespread area – ie. the entire province). They compare the fishery of one river being affected to the fisheries of hundreds of rivers being affected. They compare one major road being cut through pristine wilderness, with maybe a few service roads, to hundreds of roads being cut through pristine wilderness all over the province. They compare one major right-of-way for transmission lines cut through the forest to hundreds of right-of-ways for transmission lines cut through the forests all over the province.They compare one community, or maybe a few being disrupted to potentially hundreds of small communities and rural areas being affected (unless you agree the many diverse lives of people outside the lower mainland and urban areas, or north of Kamloops are not worth considering). In fact, it seems to me there will potentially be a huge and negative environmental impact, far greater than one mega project, and the people of this province will have sold out their control in the matter – or at least, Gordo will have sold it out for them.
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Re: Campbell has to go..

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Steven,

First off; your basic proposition that “hundreds of rivers” will be damned is in fact wrong. The whole point of Run of the River projects and indeed why they are environmentally less impacting is because THEY DO NOT damn the rivers at all.

Secondly I did re-read Rafe’s article that you posted; by and large it is entirely ideological and on several occasions refers to “profit” to shareholders vs. public ownership. Thus I maintain that by and large it is really an ideological debate.

I am not suggesting that the debate is not a legitimate one (in fact it is) however you cannot use the blatantly hypocritical argument that small run of the river private projects are environmentally bad and somehow massive large scale public projects are somehow environmentally “good” simply because they are public. That argument and logic just does not wash and I cannot believe anyone would have the stupidity to support such a suggestion.

As I have said before; All power generating projects regardless of public or private delivery WILL have an environmental impact and that is a fact. To try and overlook the environmental impact solely because one is delivered publicly and argue against the other because it is delivered privately is the absolute epitome of pure low level BS politics at it’s finest. Hence why you hire a former washed up politician to be your spokesperson ala Rafe Mair.
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Re: Campbell has to go..

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All fine and dandy you guys. But i'm still convinced (perhaps even moreso now than I was when this thread started)... "Campbell has to go ;-)

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Re: Campbell has to go..

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Al Czervic wrote:
I am not suggesting that the debate is not a legitimate one (in fact it is) however you cannot use the blatantly hypocritical argument that small run of the river private projects are environmentally bad and somehow massive large scale public projects are somehow environmentally “good” simply because they are public. That argument and logic just does not wash and I cannot believe anyone would have the stupidity to support such a suggestion.


Al I must have missed it where someone said these projects are environmentally good because they are public. Is that not possibly something you are reading into it. I believe the real point is that if we must have the environmental impact and we must the way our population and use of hydro is growing, then the public should enjoy the profits from it not some private company. I also trully believe that in the long run you would find that a large project would end up more environmentally friendly than all those small ones. Do not believe the spin out there that these little projects do not affect the rivers, fish etc. Even minor things like lubricants which will be closely monitored in a large project will be overlooked in small ones. Every tiny thing matters when you are working on the water ways.

Another point, if we are relying on these small projects and the economy tanks, how many of these little companies will have problems and possibly stop production and/or require help to stay in business while still wanting to make a profit at our expense. One big problem with private industry in something like this is they will pull the plug as soon as they are not making a profit and where does that leave us. We will have lost control of things like this with one of our most important resourses involved. There are so many things that can happen. I can see them being a benifit but they should never reach a state where they are being relied upon and they should be closely monitored.
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Re: Campbell has to go..

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Good post, Smurf.

There is a huge problem with the way the government is controlling electricity generation. First off, they claim to want to keep electricity rates some of the lowest in North America, but then they say all future generation has to be done by IPPs. Then they put huge restrictions on what IPPs can produce and where. What I mean is that the government has mandated that IPPs can only produce clean power (run of the river, wind, solar, geothermal, and the like). It doesn't take a economist to figure out that you cannot artificially keep supply low and expect rates to also remain low. With the current restrictions and considering our population is increasing faster than any Western country in the world, we will not even come close to keeping up with growth. It is impossible with the current restrictions - unless the government plans on jacking rates way up.

The only way to keep rates relatively low is to either let BC Hydro expand capacity or let IPPs build large scale projects. The best way, IMO, is to let BC Hydro doing it because the profits say in BC.
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Re: Campbell has to go..

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recedingglacier wrote:
The only way to keep rates relatively low is to either let BC Hydro expand capacity or let IPPs build large scale projects. The best way, IMO, is to let BC Hydro doing it because the profits say in BC.


I have to agree with you on that one. Not only does it keep it in BC, but it keeps it in the public purse. Even if you believe the union workers get paid too much, at least all that is left over goes into the tax payers purse when it is a public company. Much better than nothing. When private industry has control it is run by profit and greed and many things including the environment are overlooked if possible. Look at the mess we are in today, Auto industry, banking everything in general driven by profit and greed. I strongly believe in free enterprise but it does need contriol and should not be allowed to gain control in things like utilities.

I was reading about Fortis getting approval for a rate increase and thinking of the giant headache that will be there when you have 50, 60, 100 little suppliers applying constantly to the utility board for increases. Can you say huge and or understaffed department. So many little things to consider that it makes you wonder if it is worthwhile. I know of people who have put in large solar systems for themselves and are selling surplus to Hydro. I believe in this type of plan but to start numerous little one as a for profit business is IMHO going to be a large problem.

I don't believe Campbell cares about any of this as long as he looks like a hero.
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Re: Campbell has to go..

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recedingglacier wrote:Good post, Smurf.

There is a huge problem with the way the government is controlling electricity generation. First off, they claim to want to keep electricity rates some of the lowest in North America, but then they say all future generation has to be done by IPPs. Then they put huge restrictions on what IPPs can produce and where. What I mean is that the government has mandated that IPPs can only produce clean power (run of the river, wind, solar, geothermal, and the like). It doesn't take a economist to figure out that you cannot artificially keep supply low and expect rates to also remain low. With the current restrictions and considering our population is increasing faster than any Western country in the world, we will not even come close to keeping up with growth. It is impossible with the current restrictions - unless the government plans on jacking rates way up.

The only way to keep rates relatively low is to either let BC Hydro expand capacity or let IPPs build large scale projects. The best way, IMO, is to let BC Hydro doing it because the profits say in BC.


It is neither fair; nor accurate to suggest that BC Hydro is NOT expanding. Under Campbell and the BC Liberals BC Hydro is currently investing $ 5.3 BILLION to expand their current power generating capacity. And this a $ 5.3 BILLION dollar investment just over the next five years. That is three times more money than the NDP spent on BC Hydro in the entire decade they were in power. Of course the NDP was busy raiding BC Hydro coffers and instituting politically popular (but very irresponsible and short sighted ) rate freezes.

For those of you who really care (and some of you sound like you do) here are some of the BC Hydro expansion projects that the anti- Run of the River crowd will never tell you about….

A concrete dam and powerhouse on the Stave River near Mission.
Plans are to rebuild the top portion of the dam and include new gate configurations.
The project will also include refurbishing the existing powerhouse and adding two or three new turbines.
Direct costs are estimated at more than $350 million and the job is tentatively slated to be done between 2010 and 2014.

The Mica Dam 135 kilometres north of Revelstoke.
Plans are to install two new additional generators/turbines.
There will be concrete work in draft tubes and unit pits as well as considerable mechanical and electrical work.
The turbine/generator tender has been issued and Hydro is currently calling for expressions of interest.
The estimated cost is more than $300 million.

John Hart project near Campbell River.
The project calls for seismic upgrades of the dam and complete replacement of the powerhouse, both of which went into operation in 1947.
A new powerhouse site is currently being determined and will soon be finalized. Total cost will be more than $500 million.

Strathcona Dam, also near Campbell River.
BC Hydro plans seismic upgrades of the intake tower and spillway. Direct costs are listed at $121 million.
• Bridge River Plant not far from Lillooet. Plans are to replace two generators with an option to upgrade or replace the remaining six generators.
Project costs are still under consideration.
• GM Shrum power house at Hudson’s Hope north of Fort St John.
This is part of the giant WAC Bennett earth filled dam on the Peace River.
The project will include turbine rehabilitation on five turbines, capacity upgrades on three other turbines, transformer replacements, upgrades to station service, the control building, cranes and fire systems as well as dam safety projects.

Keep in mind this does not include the Site C dam that would also be public. For those of you who think Rafe Mair is such a hero why not ask him why the anti crowd he represents is not being honest to people and telling them that BC Hydro is currently undertaking the biggest expansion in decades – all under the watch of Campbell and the BC Liberals. As an old washed up politician Rafe knows when it comes to BS and political spin you never be entirely upfront with people. That was they are easily fooled; as can be evidenced by some of the comments in this thread.
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Re: Campbell has to go..

Post by Al Czervic »

Smurf wrote:
recedingglacier wrote:
The only way to keep rates relatively low is to either let BC Hydro expand capacity or let IPPs build large scale projects. The best way, IMO, is to let BC Hydro doing it because the profits say in BC.


I have to agree with you on that one. Not only does it keep it in BC, but it keeps it in the public purse. Even if you believe the union workers get paid too much, at least all that is left over goes into the tax payers purse when it is a public company. Much better than nothing. When private industry has control it is run by profit and greed and many things including the environment are overlooked if possible. Look at the mess we are in today, Auto industry, banking everything in general driven by profit and greed. I strongly believe in free enterprise but it does need contriol and should not be allowed to gain control in things like utilities.

I was reading about Fortis getting approval for a rate increase and thinking of the giant headache that will be there when you have 50, 60, 100 little suppliers applying constantly to the utility board for increases. Can you say huge and or understaffed department. So many little things to consider that it makes you wonder if it is worthwhile. I know of people who have put in large solar systems for themselves and are selling surplus to Hydro. I believe in this type of plan but to start numerous little one as a for profit business is IMHO going to be a large problem.

I don't believe Campbell cares about any of this as long as he looks like a hero.



But again; as I have just proven. BC Hydro is NOT going anywhere. They are currently expanding capacity and upgrading infrastructure. BC Hydro WILL be doing the Site C Dam if the DAM is ever going to get built.

The question is do you allow some very small scale Private power projects that will be a drop in the bucket in the big picture? The fact is most of the alternative energy and Run of the River projects represent fairly new technology. The Government has a woeful record of trying to capitalize on new technology; look no further than the Fast ferries for evidence of that. Government simply does not have the expertise to take on these projects and the potential risk of cost overruns and ultimate failure is massive to taxpayers.

It only makes sense for relatively small specialized companies to take these projects on and let’s not also forget these projects do support the BC economy. They put British Columbians to work (granted non-Union British Columbians) they create jobs; they add much needed capacity and they might be able to create a new industry such as the case with Germany and wind power. Government run anything becomes a monopoly not an industry. Let’s not also forget that ultimately these cleaner producing power will help us reduce our imports of dirty produced power.

Many of these small scale projects will also benefit First Nations as well and I think we can all agree that First nations need to be able to capitalize on their resources; this is a great way to do that. It is basically a balance; however the Unionists who care only about themselves want to continue holding the monopoly on power production and they will continue to fight this cause to the very end. They will use BS; misinformation; washed up old politicians whatever takes. They don’t care.

I support more diversity and competition in our power delivery. Diversity means everyone can benefit instead of a select Unionist few.
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Re: Campbell has to go..

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Al, I agree with you that IPPs should be allowed to build small run of the River projects. I also agree, that the Campbell government has invested significantly into upgrading existing infrastructure. I am not arguing that Campbell is doing as little as the NDP did (kind of hard to do), just that the government is not adequately managing the industry. Basically, they are adding efficiencies to the existing dams by adding infrastructure or replacing inefficient turbines (A very welcome investment), but even with all these upgrades we are falling behind in meeting our growing electricity demand. With out major large scale projects we will end up importing more and more electricity from Alberta.

As far as Site C goes, it will be done sooner than later. An insider at BC Hydro told me he anticipates an announcement by the government in 2009 (although you can never tell with Government).
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