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media releases

Media release
B.C. Citizens for Green Energy
October 3, 2008

Two-day training conference prepares anti-IPP activists for major offensive

Big money, central organization and discredited info
behind supposedly ‘grassroots’ movement

Big money and a powerful central organization are backing the More Power to You conference in Vancouver on Oct. 4 and 5, said Gene Vickers, co-spokesperson for B.C. Citizens for Green Energy. “It looks like vested interests are training their troops for a major offensive in their war against independently produced clean electricity. I think the result will be the most aggressive battle so far in a campaign of discredited information.”

“Looking at the conference program, it appears to be a two-day boot camp heavy on indoctrination, strategy, communications and networking,” Vickers added. “The result will probably be many more small, supposedly grassroots groups across the province. But they’ll be taking direction from a central source that’s acting out of self-interest.”

The conference program is available here:

The event sponsors are COPE 378 (a BC Hydro union), Take Back the Power (a COPE 378 front organization), IBEW local 258 (another BC Hydro union) and the Wilderness Committee (which states it will support run of river if it’s developed by BC Hydro).

The event is presented by B.C. Citizens for Public Power, whose seven-person board of directors is mostly made up of representatives from the sponsoring organizations. “This all comes down to some powerful vested interests and a highly politicized environmental group,” said Vickers.

The campaign is well-funded. Admission to the two-day session costs only $35 to $50, suggesting that the event is highly subsidized. In addition, the sponsors are subsidizing travel and accommodation expenses for attendees from outside the Vancouver area.

“Big spending has been an ongoing feature of their campaign,” said Vickers. “They have big money to send speakers all over the province. They can even bus in audience members from other regions. They have full-time salaried spokespersons and salaried support staff with lots of expertise in media, communications and campaigning. But with all those resources they mostly try to play on peoples’ emotions.”

Two SFU professors, John Calvert and Marvin Shaffer, will each present seminars based on their books, despite being discredited by Dr. Mark Jaccard. Jaccard is an internationally respected authority on energy economics and a Nobel Prize winner who has worked for both the current and previous provincial governments. In an academic peer review released on Oct. 1, Jaccard found the conclusions in Shaffer’s report, Lost in Transmission, to be unsupported by the evidence. Jaccard was even more scathing about Calvert’s book, Liquid Gold: Energy Privatization in British Columbia. Jaccard called it “a conspiracy theory” and “a political propaganda tract.”

Dr. Jaccard’s review is available here:

Global TV reporter Keith Baldrey will present a workshop called The Media and Your Message. Baldrey will co-host the workshop with the Wilderness Committee’s Gwen Barlee, one of the anti-IPP campaign’s most prominent spokespersons. Baldrey is apparently a replacement for CKNW’s Sean Leslie, who was originally scheduled to give the workshop. Both Baldrey and Leslie are members of the legislative press gallery.

Union officials, activists, and people with expertise in law and media will be among the others presenting speeches and workshops.

“All this training will help activists push a message that’s been thoroughly discredited,” said Vickers. “Predictably they’ll be taught how to propagate the 500 rivers myth, the privatization myth, the skyrocketing rates myth, the environmental devastation myth and the myth that we don’t need more electricity.”

BCCGE refutes these myths on our Web site:

“They’re not trying to inform people,” added Vickers. “They’re trying to scare people. But what’s really scary is that their campaign might succeed. Then future generations will pay the tangible and intangible costs of an insecure supply of dirty electricity.”

Other media releases

Myths about green energy spread to North Shore February 28, 2009

Anti-run-of-river road show coming to Campbell River and Courtenay January 29, 2009

Anti-run-of-river rent-a-mob coming to Sechelt January 28, 2009

Anti-run-of-river road show pulls into Powell River January 27, 2009

Anti-IPP campaign challenged to divulge amount and sources of spending November 27, 2008

BC Hydro forecasts underestimate our electricity needs November 24, 2008

Anti-run-of-river road show rolls through the northwest October 16, 2008

Faux environmental group gives Pemberton speech October 16, 2008

Two-day training conference prepares anti-IPP activists for major offensive October 3, 2008

Academic report destroys basis of anti-IPP campaign October 1, 2008

Veteran journalist’s anti-IPP involvement raises concerns July 14, 2008

Big money backs the campaign against clean electricity June 19, 2008

Is BC Hydro turning away from clean energy? June 16, 2008

Anti-run-of-river re-runs coming to the Kootenays June 11, 2008

B.C. Citizens for Green Energy congratulates Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association for annual show
June 6, 2008

Run-of-river hydro project short-listed for Canadian Environment Award May 22, 2008

Anti-IPP myths, misinformation and great big whoppers April 25, 2008

The anti-IPP campaign: Creative hyperbole, inflationary hyperbole, relentless hyperbole and lack of attribution April 16, 2008

Opposition to run of river ideological, not environmental March 25, 2008

Newly formed citizens’ group supports independently produced clean electricity March 11, 2008

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