About us

Contact us

Media releases


Livewire Blog


Latest news
and updates




Green energy
sources for B.C.

Why B.C. needs
green energy

Why BC Hydro
can't supply it

Articles of interest

answers to
persistent myths

Who stands
in the way?

Go to top of page

media releases

Media release
B.C. Citizens for Green Energy
June 11, 2008

Anti-run-of-river re-runs
coming to the Kootenays

‘Rivers at Risk’ speeches poised to repeat the same old myths
while avoiding some difficult questions

“Based on past experience, this ‘Rivers at Risk’ speaking tour seems likely to repeat a litany of discredited myths,” said B.C. Citizens for Green Energy co-spokesperson Gene Vickers. “At the same time, they’ll probably be avoiding some difficult questions.” The tour will visit six locations between June 10 and 15: Castlegar, Invermere, Cranbrook, Fernie, Balfour and Nakusp.

“These events will be hosted by the most influential groups in the campaign against run of river,” said Vickers. “But we’re asking people to listen carefully to what they say and consider other information before making up their minds.”

So far their campaign has emphasized a number of outright myths, explained Vickers. “For example the 500 rivers myth claims that 500 B.C. rivers are being sold, stolen, given away or otherwise affected,” said Vickers. “We’ve totally refuted that myth on our Web site, www.greenenergybc.ca/myths.html. Yet Rafe Mair, the celebrity speaker on this tour, has recently inflated the myth to 750 rivers.”

“Some of their other favourite myths are the skyrocketing rates myth, the privatization myth, the American control myth and the myth that we don’t need more electricity. We answer all that on our Web site. But they never seem to tire of repeating this nonsense.”

The groups’ environmental credentials are highly questionable, added Vickers. “The most prominent group has been COPE 378, a BC Hydro union. Last January COPE 378 was campaigning to have the Burrard Thermal plant restored to full capacity. But in the years when the gas-fired plant did run at full capacity, it was one of the region’s worst sources of GHGs.”

That makes COPE 378 a strange bedfellow for the Wilderness Committee, said Vickers. “The WC works very closely with COPE 378 on campaign events. In fact, the WC says it will support run of river if BC Hydro develops it. There’s no reason to think BC Hydro could surpass the environmental standards of independent operators. The WC didn’t oppose run of river until after the NDP left office, even though about half the independent projects now operating were approved during the NDP era. That shows the WC’s opposition is strictly political.”

The same applies to the Council of Canadians. “When the NDP was in office, run-of-river water licences were granted in perpetuity. The present government has limited them to 40 years. Now, for some reason, the Council of Canadians thinks that’s a sovereignty issue.”

Vickers asked who’s behind the Save Our Rivers Society. “Until recently it was entirely anonymous,” he said. “Now, all of a sudden, they can hire a celebrity spokesperson in Rafe Mair.”

As for the participation of NDP MLAs, “that just reinforces the political motivation of this event,” said Vickers.

“We’re asking people to listen carefully to their claims and check out our Web site for more info. These groups seem to have lots of money for public events and they get great press. But we believe an important issue is at stake. We have to develop new sources of electricity for future generations and it has to be clean electricity. Independents are best suited to do this, despite what you hear from a BC Hydro union and its allies.”

What you will and won’t hear at the “Rivers at Risk” event

What you likely will hear at the “Rivers at Risk” event

“Power Play” — a heavy-handed propaganda film narrated in the tone of a wannabe gangster. B.C. Citizens for Green Energy chose this film for a Relentless Hyperbole Award:

The 500 Rivers Myth — they’ll tell you that 500 or more rivers are being sold, stolen, given away or otherwise affected. We refute that myth here:

The Skyrocketing Rates Myth — they’ll tell you that green energy will cause soaring electricity rates. We refute that one too:

The Environmental Desecration Myth — they’ll tell you green energy is bad for the planet unless it’s developed by COPE 378 members:

The We-Don’t-Need-More-Electricity Myth — they’ll tell you we have everything we need for future generations:

The Privatization Myth — this one’s actually a conspiracy theory:

The American Control Myth — another conspiracy theory:

What you won’t hear at the “Rivers at Risk” event

COPE 378’s self-interest and lack of credibility:

The Wilderness Committee’s political agenda:

How did the Save Our Rivers Society buy its way from anonymity to celebrity?

Is the Council of Canadians really nationalist?

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

Go to top of page