Heal Our Planet Earth

Rafe here!
I recently felt the need to explain to my kids and grandkids what the old guy was up to. I thought I would share it with you.

Hi Everybody!

The question raised - and I'm sure that you've even considered this - how could a former Sacred Cabinet Minister now support the NDP? And it's a fair question.

My answer is that my principles haven't changed which, if you look at my record, is obvious. I was called "Red Rafe" by many of my colleagues. I could send you a letter from my longest serving deputy if you cared to see the legislation I sponsored especially In Consumer and Corporate Affairs. They're still fishing the Skagit River because I saved it from being flooded by the Ross Dam on the American side. On the business side, I started the "cottage" wine industry which has proved so successful. There is no way I could have brought in the legislation I did under a Liberal government as it's principles now stand.

This speaks volumes of where Campbell has taken the Liberal Party, You can't look at www.saveourrivers.com and look at what's happening in our province and not be appalled.

The BC Energy plan was never debated but done in secret as was the deal he made with Accenture (the stepson of Enron) to privatize 1/3 of their work force.

There is no energy crisis in BC, something Campbell simply lies about. He says BCH imported energy for 7 of the last 11 years. The Federal Energy Board, which monitors exports, however, says that BC Hydro was a net exporter for 8 of the last 11 years!

How can there be such a discrepancy? It's the old story about how figures don't lie but liars can sure as hell figure. Campbell's figures include energy BCH buys from Alberta cheap and transmits at a huge profit to the States and never is for use in BC. Let me use this example. Suppose you made widgets of which you exported 1000. You discover that you can import widgets from Alberta at a hugely reduced price so you but 2000 of them and immediately export them. Under the Campbell way of figuring you would be importing more than you export which is, of course nonsense but that's how they figure. BCH makes a very nice profit "flipping" energy which shows good business moves.

BC Hydro itself says that all our energy needs for the foreseeable future can be met with modest conservation, upgraded generators on existing dams, new generators on existing dams (Duncan Dam has no generators) and taking back the power from the Columbia River Treaty to which we're entitled, which we now take in money .

WAC Bennett, at a huge environmental loss built a power system which is the envy of the world. It has produced plentiful and cheap power AND sent 100s of millions of dollars a year into the provincial treasury.

Here's what Campbell has done.

He has forbidden BC Hydro from creating any "new" power meaning though they can do the upgrades and additions I mentioned, and bring in Site "C" on the Peace (which we don't support and neither does the government which would kill it if it showed life for reasons you will see) and all power must be now be produced privately.

We were originally told that these were little plants on streams with no "appreciable fish values" and were Mom and Pop operations.

Look at Powerplay I on our website and you'll see what an awful deceit this was. Mom and Pop are General Electric, Ledcor and Axos and the plants are disabling. The one I refer you to (the Ashlu , Powerplay #1 on the website) is a fairly small plant so you can judge for yourself. The largest one proposed is at Bute Inlet where General Electric's subsidiary, Plutonic Energy, is damming 17 rivers, building 100 bridges, a road nearly 100KMs and over 400 kms of transmission lines. It would be, if approved which it will be if Campbell is re-elected - the largest private power plant in Canada and bigger in output than Site "C" would be.

What must be done is not just dam or divert the rivers - the siltation from that process alone wipes out resident fish - but a large gravel road in and transmission lines out, all by clear cutting, are required.

Now let's talk about money. For many of these projects the fee was $187.50. Yes you read that right. They now are a puny $5000 for multi millions indeed billions in profits. For this price there is a fixed contract purchase which the government has forced BC Hydro to take from private power sources at a cost which is nearly 20x what they create their own power for! THEY CANNOT COME CLOSE TO GETTING THIS PRICE ON THE SPOT MARKET! As Dr Marvin Schaffer of SFU has said "here is a new business notion, buy high and sell low"!

Please mark this! The power created by private companies can only be produced during the Spring run-off, the very time Hydro's reservoirs are full and they need no power! When Hydro's reservoirs lower the private companies cannot produce. It is this that makes it absolutely certain that the private power is for export. (see NAFTA notes to follow)

What does the government get out of this? Some taxes and peppercorn rent. Almost every nickel goes not into the public treasury as from BC Hydro but into the pockets of shareholders of large international companies!

What about employment?

There is, of course, short term employment for construction then the plant is fully computerized and requires one or two caretakers.

I'm sorry to take so long but I want you to understand that this isn't some political mischief by an old man but a serious blow to our province which will never be the same again ... and there is absolutely no reeason for it except to make a hell of a lot of money for the shareholders of General Electric and their ilk.

I've left the worst for the last.

NAFTA (North America Free Trade Agreement) comes into play in at least three ways.

1. If an American company gets any rights to Canadian water, they have ALL rights meaning that General Electric, for example, can sell bulk water.

2. If an American company is still using the water after the water licence expires or the contract ends, it can continue to use the water for as long as it likes.

3. The "proportionality" clause prevails meaning that if we cut back our supply to an American customer we must cut back our own use by the same amount.

As I'm sure you understand, NAFTA, being an international treaty, "trumps" all Federal and Provincial law and all private contracts.

I forgot to mention that BC Hydro is doomed. It now has had $30 Billion in contracts (above) forced upon it that it can't recover, Campbell took away their power lines and put them into a Crown Corp called BC Transmission Corp (no doubt to be privatized if Campbell wins in May) but at any rate lost to BCHydro which must still service its ca$7 billion capital debt with no income to do it with.

Yes, Campbell has promised that BC Hydro is safe. He said that about BC Ferries which he has structured for sale, and BC Rail. Now Campbell says he only "leased" BC Rail. I looked at the length of that lease and determined that if you went back as many years as the lease runs, we'd be in the reign of Ethelred the Unready! Now it's been a couple of years since I did that calculation and it may be that the length of the lease calculated backwards could have us up to the reign of Edward The Confessor!

Who is Save Our Rivers Society?

A very small group that has no institutional funding and relies on generous people on a month to month basis.

The three "working" members are Tom Rankin, the founder, a rancher and highly successful businessman who has never voted NDP in his life, Damien Gillis, a successful businessman but mainly a highly skilled producer of films who has done all the marvelous videos on www.saveourrivers.ca, who has never voted NDP, and an old man of 77 years just trying to pass on to his grandkids a province which, with a lot of care and concern, could be the wonderful place their Grampa grew up in.

Sorry to be so long winded but I thought you were entitled to know why I'm doing what I'm doing.


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