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Letters to the editor

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Given the lack of a plan for distributing province-wide the micro-hydro projects that might provide energy for B.C.’s needs, when will the SLRD cease to be burdened with the power production needs of the province? The SLRD currently produces power far beyond its needs, and given the current, and expanding importance of tourism and recreation activities in this area, why are we even considering this large number of projects in a corridor where other use values are so high, and so clearly important?

If there is a need to have some of these micro-hydro projects in this area, when will we have a process that ensures that the correct projects are built here – not simply the first projects to come along, or those put forth by the corporations with the most time and money to do so?

After the obvious concerns that have come forth from the Miller Creek Project, many are now acutely aware of some of the "less than green" issues that accompany these projects. At the same time, let us recognize the efforts of the project developers who have chosen to work co-operatively with local interests, be they First Nations, recreational instream users, or local communities. Let us also recognize that there are a number of other project proponents who attempt to avoid dealing with recreation instream users, or First Nations when proposing their projects, or do so in a confrontational manner.

I ask the SLRD to consider the efforts of the community-minded project developers when evaluating proposals, and to look to working with them in considering appropriate projects that maintain our community values, while considering future needs.

On top of all of this, there are negative free-trade implications of an energy-production market where independents may sell power directly to international markets. This promotes more impacts in our communities, while benefits are once again exported elsewhere.

These are some important unanswered questions, and at present the disconcerted flood of power project proposals, each proponent seeking their approvals without reference to a large scale plan, is clearly unacceptable.