Minister Thomson objects to story, supports IPP projects

Editor,

A recent article by reporter Aaron Orlando demands a response because it failed to provide your readers with a balanced perspective on the proposed Selkirk Power clean energy project.

The fact is, like all clean energy projects, local communities and citizens will have the opportunity to hear from the proponent about the proposed project, participate in the public discussion and submit their views to government for consideration. Before any decision is made by government, agency staff will be carefully assessing all information prior to making any tenure decisions regarding the project.

It is important for British Columbians to know the facts about clean energy projects in general and why this government supports them.

B.C. was once energy self-sufficient. However, in recent years we have relied on power imports to meet up to 15 per cent of our electricity needs over the past several years. This gap between demand and supply is expected to widen, with BC Hydro experts anticipate increases in demand of 35-45 per cent over the next two decades.

The good news is that small hydro projects generate clean, renewable electricity without producing greenhouse gas emissions – as will wind power projects and major BC Hydro expansions now underway.

Our government is returning B.C. to energy self-sufficiency by combining aggressive energy conservation with new investment in energy projects. This approach is creating jobs and local taxes, while helping to reduce greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

At a time of economic uncertainty, now is not the time to turn our backs on the good paying jobs these clean energy projects are bringing to rural B.C. which is exactly what families in the province need right now!

Steve Thomson,

Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations