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Council sends open letter to Eastern Canadian premiers

On Friday, Council of Canadians energy campaigner Andrea Harden-Donahue, trade campaigner Stuart Trew and Atlantic organizer Angela Giles sent an open letter to Eastern Canadian premiers on climate, energy and trade in the lead up to their meeting with New England governors in Saint John.

The top story in today’s Charlottetown Guardian reports that, “The Council of Canadians has written a letter to Canada’s East Coast premiers cautioning them against large energy corridors saying it undermines energy security in Eastern Canada. Andrea Harden-Donahue, energy campaigner with the Council of Canadians, says Prince Edward Island’s premier should focus on ensuring the Island’s energy needs are met. Then, she added, the province should be looking at meeting the needs of other Canadian provinces before shopping its wind energy to the U.S. ‘What we’re encouraging is instead of looking at export-oriented trade, looking internally and really ensuring that each province is maximizing the opportunities to ensure its own energy security, with its own sources,’ Harden-Donahue told The Guardian in an interview from her offices in Ottawa. ‘I know in P.E.I. there’s opportunities, for example, with wind energy to meet local needs.’”

“(PEI premier Robert) Ghiz said the stand being taken by the Council of Canadians is the same stand being taken by his province. He said his government wants to ensure Islanders benefit from wind power. But Ghiz said that doesn’t mean excluding exports to the U.S.”

“Harden-Donahue said the Council of Canadians is also concerned about who has control of Canada’s energy resources, including the wind. In particular, she’s concerned about the expansion of privately-owned wind farms. Private investors are behind the largest wind development being carried out in P.E.I. That project is in western P.E.I. Harden-Donahue said publicly-operated wind farms ensure any profits made go back into the public purse for other green projects. ‘It’s not a matter of saying that P.E.I. should not be looking at expanding wind energy,’ she said. ‘It is ensuring it’s done in a way that most benefits P.E.I. residents.’”

The open letter from the Council of Canadians can be read at http://canadians.org/energy/documents/Letter_Atl_Premiers_1109.pdf. Our media release on this letter is at http://canadians.org/media/energy/2009/11-Sept-09.html.

Please also see Andrea’s energy campaign blog on this at http://canadians.org/energyblog/?p=75.

The full article in The Guardian can be read at http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/index.cfm?sid=285907&sc=98.