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Ledcor Power Inc., the company who is trying to get the license, has in the past few weeks, according to one member of council, been "very nice" to all those members of local governments that have influence over the outcome of the project. For those who are unaware, the process of a multinational corporation being "very nice" involves throwing a lot of money around with things such as flying council members around in helicopters to see other so-called successful sites and creating flashy multimedia presentations. They even opened storefront campaign offices. Last week Squamish Councilor Raj Kahlon, in his Ledcor support speech, said he chose to believe Ledcor. We were certainly baffled by that speech. We have invested hundreds of hours in seeking facts and we have learned not to believe Ledcor.
Due to the District of Squamishs unwillingness to listen to the Upper Squamish Valley Citizens, let alone their own planning department which cautioned against IPP development on the Ashlu, it is now time to get more voices involved. This letter is calling on British Columbians who care about their neighbours, their country and their environment, especially those in the Vancouver, Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton areas, to please add your voices and get involved. A river power project is like a limitless oil well. We are selling off a renewable asset forever, for virtually nothing. We have all heard how fortunate we are, as Canadians, because of our natural resources, which provide all of us with a sustainable future. Each development of an IPP takes from Canadians the right to access the water, the power and removes control forever of the local environment.
No matter what you are being told, at the end of the day if the project proceeds we as Canadians will have lost an irreplaceable asset of fresh, clean, clear water and a limitless power supply and will have to beg for a cup of water from NAFTA.
Surrounding this project are some very expensive consultants who are making sure the public is told whatever it needs to hear. IPPs and the Ashlu in particular are like big oil wells. The only difference between the Ashlu and an oil well is that a well runs dry. The only dry thing about the Ashlu will be the creek bed when NAFTA inevitably demands more power.
Along with many other understated facts the value of the Ashlu deal has been understated to avoid roadblocks. Ledcor says the project is worth $100 million. By the time the Ashlu drainage is fully developed the value will be more like $1 billion, which is not bad for a small public relations investment and a license application along with some helicopter rentals.