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Whistler Forum to host ‘enemy of B.C.’



The Whistler Forum for Leadership and Dialogue is readying to engage in conversation with a woman a premier once called an "enemy of B.C."

Tzeporah Berman, a former organizer with Greenpeace and now executive director of PowerUp Canada, will take part in a dialogue titled "Building a Green Economy in Hard Times: Why the Green Energy Backlash in B.C.?"

Berman was one of the founders of ForestEthics, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to protect forests and wildlife through staffers in Canada, the United States and Chile. She's been featured in The 11 th Hour, a documentary produced by Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio about the state of the environment.

She's also provoked the ire of B.C.'s former NDP Premier, Glen Clark, who called her an "enemy of B.C." when she drew a circle around B.C.'s remaining intact costal rainforests and called it the "Great Bear Rainforest." Today, current Premier Gordon Campbell has introduced new rules for logging in the region.

Berman comes to Whistler at a controversial time - opposition to independent power producers is loud and vocal province-wide, but she doesn't back down. She is a vocal supporter of run of river hydro and has lambasted what she calls a "backlash against the Green Economy in B.C."

In an op-ed piece she wrote on March 19, Berman said that a green energy backlash is being orchestrated by opponents of green energy, who are doing the work of the fossil fuel industry by opposing initiatives such as run of river projects.

"Considering the fossil fuel industry's efforts at deny-and-delay tobacco strategies, I know of little evidence they are major players in the B.C. backlash," she wrote. "It seems possible that they are simply gobsmacked by their good fortune as an alliance of politicians, a B.C. Hydro union, resource nationalists and wilderness advocates do their work for them."

This opposition, she says, amounts to a "fossil fuels forever" campaign.

Berman will be speaking alongside others from the Whistler Forum's Corridor Environment Network at the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre on April 9 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. There's a $10 donation at the door and discussion will take place in the Istken Hall.