Third party articles

CBC News, May 6 2009 Inspection reports and emails obtained by CBC News show B.C. government officials have raised concerns about environmental infractions during the construction of the rapidly growing number of run-of-river private power projects in the province. In one email obtained by CBC News, a forestry official involved wrote, “I am becoming increasingly nervous about the lack of attention to the projects.” (more…)
By Vicky Husband, Special to Times Colonist May 6, 2009 The New Democratic Party’s opposition to a carbon tax is a mistake. The result is that the NDP are pilloried as environmental dinosaurs, while the Liberals escape scrutiny for their own abysmal environmental record. Even on the climate-change file, the Liberal government’s record is decidedly mixed. Don’t forget that the Liberals have supported massive urban sprawl — a major source of B.C.’s greenhouse gas emissions. (more…)
Size of Plutonic proposal raises alarms Bute Inlet project 100 times larger than typical private venture Larry Pynn, Vancouver Sun Published: Saturday, December 06, 2008 Plutonic Power Corporation is scaling new heights for independent power projects — and the environmental concerns that accompany them — with a proposal to BC Hydro for a 1,027-megawatt hydro power project at the head of Bute Inlet on B.C.’s central coast. The proposal is 100 times larger than the current average run-of-river hydro project and involves a record 17 stream diversions, 445 kilometres of transmission lines, 314 km of roads, 142 bridges, 16 power houses, and a substation. FULL ARTICLE
It is once again time to stand up for the values of free flowing rivers. Please consider the below information from the Western Canada Wilderness Committee: PEMBERTON OPEN-HOUSE: When: Thursday, December 4th, 4-9 PM with Q&A session from 7:30 PM Where: The gymnasium at the old high school, 7567 Pemberton Meadows Rd. (near Collins Rd.), Pemberton, BC A large private power project is proposed for the Ryan River, an important grizzly bear recovery area near Pemberton. Toronto-based Regional Power Inc., a subsidiary of multi-billion dollar corporation Manulife Financial, is proposing a large 145 megawatt private hydropower project on the Ryan River. This project will involve building a dam (or “weir”) across the river, drilling a 9.5 km long tunnel, creating nearly 8,000 dump-truck loads of waste rock and dirt, and building 26 km of new transmission lines. The Ryan River is one of 11 rivers in this area recommended to be completely off-limits to private power development through the community planning process of the Sea to Sky Land and Resource Management Plan. The Ryan River is a key area linkage area for grizzly bears moving from the coast to areas further inland like the Cayoosh Range and Stein Valley. It is also home to dozens of other species including harlequin ducks, mountain goats and moose. Currently, the Sea to Sky area has over 100 private power projects proposals. Planning for each project is evaluated on a “one-off” basis, not assessing the cumulative impact of multiple projects on the landscape. Each project involves building river diversions, access roads, powerhouses and transmission lines. Make your voice heard! Attend the Pemberton open-house public meeting! The public has a limited time to speak up and stop this project. Comments close on December 15. When: Thursday, December 4th, 4-9 PM with Q&A session from 7:30 PM Where: The gymnasium at the old high school, 7567 Pemberton Meadows Rd. (near Collins Rd.), Pemberton, BC History is made by those who show up—this past spring over 1000 people succeeded in stopping a similar project in the Upper Pitt River Valley. If you can’t make it out to the meeting, please take a moment to write an email to the Minister of the Environment: Honourable Barry Penner Send copies to: Derek Griffin, Environmental Assessment Office Andrew Radzik, Wilderness Committee
Whistler – The debate about independent power projects (IPPs) rages on in some circles, leading a small but impassioned crowd to gather in Pemberton’s new community centre on Saturday (Oct. 18) to talk rivers, power and politics. Representatives from the Western Canada Wilderness Committee (WCWC) and the B.C. Creek Protection Society raised concerns about the environmental impact and the scope of privately owned run-of-river projects. Attachment: Full article (external link to
Attachment: Sedan Creek Letter Oct 24 Watershed Watch Salmon Society Please find below a letter by Watershed Watch Salmon Society that raises strong concerns about potential wild salmon habitat impacts on Sedan Creek due to a run-of-river hydroelectric proposal. If you could devote some time to write a letter for this cause, this would be greatly appreciated. (more…)
Attachment: Letter regarding Renewable Portfolio Standards legislation The BC Creek Protection Society and several other NGOs from BC have written a letter to the California Government. The letter is a result of a collaboration with the Hydro Reform Coalition and was triggered by a recently released study by the major utility PG&E. (more…)
We are faced with a threat few of us have considered. We’ve been distracted, and deliberately, by governments, most particularly by the Campbell government, into ignoring the real environmental issues that face us. Full story (external link to
Letter from Gary Diers (Purcell Alliance for Wilderness) Dear Supporters, The time clock is now ticking on the fate of Glacier and Howser Creeks. Early last week the final application for the project was submitted by Purcell Green Power, affiliate of AXOR Group of Montreal, to the BC Environmental Assessment Office (EAO). Upon submission, legislated timelines kick in. The EAO has 30 days to review the application. Then there is a maximum 180 days for public and agency review. Following this the BC Ministers have a maximum 45 days to make the final decision. (more…)
Klinaklini River at Risk The Klinaklini River is part of the remote Coast Range wilderness. For 200 kilometres, it winds its way from the Chilcotin Plateau past majestic peaks and glaciers toward Knight Inlet. It is one of the few rivers in the coast range that originates from the nutrient rich Interior Plateau and rich the river is: The Klinaklini hosts one of the most important eulachon runs of the Pacific West Coast. Steelhead and salmon spawn in its waters and bears gather here drawn by the abundant food. In the surrounding forests and estuary, many red listed species such as Marbled Murrelets can still be found in numbers. (more…)
Dear Editor, the recent article “Much heat, little light in river power debate” raised some interesting concerns about politicizing this important problem. However, the closing remarks of this article raised significant concerns with us. The author suggests that RoR projects are the energy option with the least environmental impact and a viable option for supplying future energy demand. We would like to challenge this point of view in the following. (more…)
Dr. Richard Hebda, Schools of Earth and Ocean Sciences and Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria and a respected, published author and presenter on climate change speaks about carbon sequestration in BC forests, and the risk of land developments which may disrupt this and release significant amounts of greenhouse gases. Forests, in particular, old-growth forests in complex ecosystems sequester large amounts of carbon compared to replanted seedlings in a clearcut. Carbon stewardship and full cost accounting, and eco-footprint analysis should be a pre-requisite to province-wide developments of power projects. Do we release more CO2 through the construction process, or modification of the landscape? Do we reduce the environment’s adaptive capacity by changing the way rivers run? Do we influence fish stocks and the way fish use rivers? Disturbing the landscape weakens its capacity to make adaptations. Landtrust Alliance
Full Report Video (external link to Google Video) Videography: Damien Gillis Save Our Rivers Society
In the below video, Jack Woodward explores potential impacts of aboriginal title and rights with regard to private power licenses. Video by Damien Gillis (externam link to Google Video)
Below is the press release form BC Hydro for the newest call for tenders. The call is for approximately 10% (5000 GWh) of the current energy demand in BC. In our view, acquiring such large amounts of power is highly irresponsible by the government. The detrimental ecological impacts that will be associated with such development will be vast since it can be expected that major power sources will be located in wilderness areas. For example, Plutonic Powers proposal for Bute Inlet will require approx. 400 km of new transmission lines. Further, the claim that these power projects are carbon neutral is highly questionable since environmental impacts are not accounted for. Cradle to coffin concepts are also non existent in the calculations that are used as the basis for the advertising of these projects. (more…)
Below is an article on a proposed hydroelectric project near Tofino. This is a great example for how an environmentally sensitive project can be developed and can create economic opportunity for First Nations groups. First Nations have shown outstanding leadership in sustainable use and development of natural resources over thousands of years. Unlike many large scale developments (such as the Klinaklini and Bute Inlet projects) sustainable development is possible when put into the right hands. (more…)
Excellent article about how Run of River projects can be build sustainably: Another Side to Private Power
Power project is not meeting its commitment to go green and to protect species at risk – Larry Pynn, Vancouver Sun, April 28, 2008 — An independent power project on Miller Creek near Pemberton is failing to meet its commitments to produce “green power” and to protect species at risk, according to an environmental consulting report. (more…)
By Craig Orr and Peter Broomhall Barely a month after promising to prevent hydro entrepreneurs from constructing a power line through Pinecone Burke Provincial Park, the provincial government appears determined as ever to privatize “new” hydro development throughout British Columbia. No one who remembers a certain event of June 2006 will be surprised. (more…)
By Stephen Hui There are more than 8,000 sites in the province with the potential to be developed as run-of-river power projects , a study commissioned by B.C. Hydro and the B.C. Transmission Corporation has found. (more…)
By Stephen Hui, Aril 17, Georgia Straight — Terry Sonderhoff insists that run-of-river power projects like the one he hopes to build near Squamish are far from the ecological and energy-policy disasters that critics say they are. The private power developer maintains not only that his Fries Creek project would have a minimal environmental impact but also that such enterprises represent the best way to provide British Columbians with cheap, clean electricity for years to come. (more…)
China Creek run-of-river hydro project. First Nations, municipalities explore controversial energy source., By Colleen Kimmett, Published: April 11, 2008 Environment Minister Barry Penner decided not to go against a very vocal majority when he nixed a plan to run a power line through Pinecone Burke Provincial Park last month. (more…)
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, Mar 31, 2008 (Marketwire via COMTEX) - - Plutonic Power Corporation (TSX:PCC) is pleased to announce that it has successfully completed Stages 1 and 2 towards securing a Water License from the Water Stewardship Division (Ministry of the Environment) and Crown Land rights from the Integrated Land Management Bureau (Ministry of Agriculture and Lands) for the development of eleven run-of-river non-storage hydroelectric power projects strategically located within the boundaries of Plutonic Power’s “Green Power Corridor”. (more…)
By Stephen Hui, Georgia Straight, March 30 2008 The Kwikwetlem First Nation was prepared to go to court in order to stop a company from building a massive waterpower project in the upper Pitt River valley.   (more…)
Scott Simpson, Vancouver Sun Published: Wednesday, March 26, 2008 The British Columbia government has rejected a controversial proposal by an independent electricity project developer to run a power line through Pinecone Burke Provincial Park, Environment Minister Barry Penner said today. (more…)
The Upper Pitt River, 40 kilometers from Vancouver, tops this year’s list of the most endangered rivers in British Columbia. (more…)
Private River Power Draws Diverse Foes ‘Green’ claims disputed. By Colleen Kimmett Published: February 19, 2008 Tom Rankin, president of Save Our Rivers Society, used to have to pester people to get his message out. Now he has plenty of citizens eager to listen. (more…)
Watch the documentary produced by Save Our Rivers Society: Power Play The documentary gives an excellent overview of the political and some of the environmental implications of the private energy development underway in British Columbia.

Thursday, November 22, 2007
This resolution was passed at the British Columbia New Democratic Party Convention on Nov. 17: (more…)

Larry Pynn, Vancouver Sun Published: Thursday, January 03, 2008 VANCOUVER - A private company is asking the Ministry of Environment to remove part of Pinecone Burke Provincial Park to allow a transmission line to connect with its proposed run-of-the-river power project in the upper Pitt River Valley. (more…)
An educational forum presented by the New Westminster & District Labour Council Panel Presentation and Discussion Privatization of Public Power in BC (more…)
By Jeannine Mitchell , Nov 29 Georgia Straight Donald McInnes, CEO of Plutonic, has been taken aback by recent criticism of the effects of run-of-river hydroelectricity. (more…)
Who benefits from privatization? By Diana French - Williams Lake Tribune - October 23, 2007 Public or private. That is the question. The issue won’t go away. (more…)
Tyee article: BC’s Hinterlands Are Opened Up for Business external link:
This is a video that has several interesting interviews, especially with Gwen Barlee from the Western Canada Wilderness Committee, and sobering footage from the development on Ashlu Creek: (external link to YouTube)
Electric companies (external link to The Georgia Straight) NDP promises fall fight on run-of-river power (external link to The Georgia Straight) (more…)

Full Story:
The politics of power

Just how political are power lines in B.C.? (more…)

Book Cover (PDF download) Order Form (PDF download) From the Book Cover: Secure, reliable, and affordable electricity has been one of British Columbia’s most important competitive advantages and a key contributor to the province’s prosperity. (more…)

Self-Sufficiency and Insurance: Exaggerating the Need for New Sources of Electricity Supply (PDF)


Resolution no. 2007-31

RE: Private Water Power Licenses

WHEREAS the UBCIC is a political organization for Indigenous peoples in British Columbia founded in 1969, dedicated to promoting and supporting the efforts of Indigenous people to affirm and defend Aboriginal Title and Rights; (more…)

August 28, 2007

The proposed Glacier/Howser hydroelectric project in the West Kootenay region of BC continues to be quickly rammed through the environmental assessment review process. With only a 38 day public comment period in the peak of summer holiday season over 75 submissions have already been posted on the BC Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) website. (more…)

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