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Media release - for immediate release
B.C. Citizens for Green Energy
November 27, 2008

Anti-IPP campaign challenged
to divulge amount and sources
of spending

Another pricey campaign tour
prompts BCCGE to issue challenge

With another anti-IPP speaking tour about to take place, B.C. Citizens for Green Energy today challenged the campaign against independently produced clean electricity to divulge how much money it spends and where the money comes from. “This is a very well-funded campaign that uses big money to push misinformation,” said Gene Vickers, BCCGE co-spokesperson. “Their spending must easily be into six figures by now. But I’ve never heard anyone ask publicly where their money comes from.”

BCCGE’s challenge was prompted by an upcoming anti-run-of-river tour, one of several that’s been criss-crossing the province on and off for about a year. This particular tour features speeches by former talk show host Rafe Mair. The tour begins on Nov. 30 in Nelson, with other events on Dec. 2 in Nakusp, Dec. 3 in Meadow Creek, Dec. 4 in Kaslo and Dec. 5 in Rossland. This is one of a number of tours sponsored by a group called the Save Our Rivers Society (SORS). A few similar groups have been sponsoring similar tours all over the province.

“Just to consider this one tour in isolation, this group is paying Mair to act as its spokesperson and they’re paying him and others to travel the province,” said Vickers. “They’ve paid for a lengthy series of heavy-handed propaganda films, they’re paying for travel, accommodation and meals, venue rentals and advertising. These are very considerable, ongoing expenses from a group that not long ago seemed to consist of just one person. How much are they spending and where does it come from? And how much is the entire campaign spending? Where does all that money come from?”

The SORS speaking tours and propaganda films are part of an even bigger, even more expensive campaign. “In addition to tours and films, allied groups have paid for sophisticated radio ads, glossy brochures and mail-outs, prominent billboards and flashy Internet banner ads. Last October they subsidized a two-day training conference for activists from all over B.C. They also subsidize the proliferation of much smaller groups around the province. They even have money to bus in supporters from other regions to their events. They have full-time campaigners working on salary. They have the money to hire Rafe Mair and he’s a bit of a celebrity so some people will accept anything he says without question.”

The campaign uses relentless repetition to push discredited information like the privatization myth, the environmental degradation myth, the skyrocketing rates myth and others. BCCGE refutes their claims on our myth-busting Web page:

The anti-IPP campaign’s speakers often use a scattergun approach of jumping from one allegation to another so quickly that it’s hard to pin them down. They also rely heavily on emotional rhetoric that tries to make people feel scared or angry.

SORS and the other groups follow a consistent ideological line. “Their message closely follows that of COPE 378, a BC Hydro union,” said Vickers. “Although they claim to be concerned about the environment, they keep coming back to the public-private issue, which is really irrelevant to the environment. They want us to continue using dirty energy, or to invest our tax dollars into financially risky projects, just because it suits the COPE 378 status quo.”

“Money talks and this campaign has lots and lots of money,” said Vickers. “These groups are spending big money to push discredited myths and to play on peoples’ emotions. All this benefits just a small number of people. So the time has come to ask them: How much money are you spending, how much money have you spent, and where does all that money come from?”