Mr. T. Mulcair – Leader of the NDP
House of Commons Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1A 0A6
30 November, 2015
Dear Mr. Mulcair:
Thank you for circulating your recent note, a note in which you asked for financial support from the over three million Canadians who voted for your party on October 19. I have a few comments, an urgent request and a suggestion.
As I’m sure you realize, not all of those votes came from NDPers; many of them will have been cast by strategic voters who believed the NDP candidate stood the best chance of defeating the conservative candidate in their riding. For future success, you need to find ways to persuade those voters to stay on board with your Party.
Prime Minister Trudeau and his federal Liberal Party are in the same position but, now on the world stage, they are even more vulnerable to a swift change of heart should they disillusion those who voted for them. In many ways, they will need the cooperation of your NDP MPs if they are to maintain the support that swept them into power – which leads to my next point:
On an urgent basis, would you be prepared to dedicate a small working group to analyse the BC Liberals’ plan to build its proposed $9-billion hydro-electric Site C Dam on the Peace River?
With increasing energy – pun intended – many British Columbians have gathered apolitical, sound, financial, environmental and technical evidence in their quest to persuade Premier Christy Clark not to proceed with the project. Their entreaties have been ignored; ignored to such an extent that pre-project tree-cutting and in-river back-hoe work is proceeding, heedless of several court cases which have been filed.
Further, the premier has refused to put the project before the B.C. Utilities Commission – a board which was struck specifically to analyse the rationale, quality and costs of such projects. It is believed that one reason for this refusal is that BCUC has given the project a failing grade in the past.
Saying there were still a lot of unanswered questions that could benefit from a moratorium of three or four years, Harry Swain, Chair of the Federal-Provincial Review Panel for Site C HYPERLINK “http://www.uvic.ca/research/centres/globalstudies/people/associate-fellows/swainharry.php” http://www.uvic.ca/research/centres/globalstudies/people/associate-fellows/swainharry.php called the failure to put the project before the BCUC a “dereliction of duty”.
Further, in a CBC-BC Almanac interview Richard Bullock, former chair of BC’s Agricultural Land Commission, said that the BC Liberals’ removal of a vast area of Class A agricultural land in the Peace River District was a “sin against humanity”.
These individuals are not radicals, Mr. Mulcair. They were appointed to their positions because of their training, qualifications and experience.
Understandably, opposition to the project is strongest in the prime agricultural lands of the Peace River District. That said, all British Columbians will be taxed to pay the bills, not just for the current estimated cost and the inevitable capital cost overruns, but also for the decades of interest on the $9B. All that for a dam for which power-demand projections clearly show to be unnecessary as well as being agriculturally and environmentally unconscionable and abusive.
That opposition is all the more persuasive in the knowledge that governments in many parts of the world – Africa, India and America – are moving to greener, less expensive, less concentrated and less damaging alternative energy sources. What are those diversified sources? Solar, geothermal and wind turbines come to mind.
To emphasize without making this message even longer: the evidence has been accumulated and prepared not by radical “naysayers” but by professionals and responsible lay people alike – people who would be more than happy to share their work if you would be willing to name a small task force to study the matter and take action in the House on its findings.
In these days of the increasingly volatile climate that is negatively affecting our traditional sources of food – California being but one – it is essential to all Canadians that our B.C. government be prevented from building an expensive legacy project that would flood 83 kilometres of Class A farmland, destroy three generational farms and obliterate thousands of acres of wilderness – all while proven, job-creating, non-invasive alternatives are available.
With or without NDP cooperation with our new government, I believe that if you were to show you are open to addressing crucial issues like this on behalf of British Columbians, we believe it would encourage those Canadians who voted NDP or not to “Throw a dollar in the pot” for the NDP.
Erik and Catherine Andersen
erik andersen email@example.com
cc. Sheila Malcolmson, MP, Nanaimo- Ladysmith
John Horgan , NDP Leader of the Opposition , BC
Douglas Routley; MLA
Rafe Mair, Common Sense Canadian
Mr. Ken Boon; Peace Valley Landowners’ Association