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NEWS: Golden chapter protests Selkirk Power Ventego / Cupola Creek power project

The Council of Canadians Golden chapter has been opposing Selkirk Power’s proposal for an ‘independent power project’ on the Ventego and Cupola Creeks in British Columbia.

The Golden Star reports, “Selkirk Power chairman Douglas Hurst was welcomed to last Tuesday’s Town council meeting by a rally of around 100 locals who are opposed to the company’s proposed Beaver River Hydro Project. Although Hurst came to Golden to present an update on the project to council and answer questions Councillors might have regarding the proposed power line route through town, local organizations Wildsight, the Council of Canadians and concerned Golden residents saw it as an opportunity to show why they opposed this run-of-river hydroelectric project. Selkirk Power’s Beaver River Hydro Project includes hydroelectric power projects on Cupola, Ventego and Alder Creeks, all located about 50 km northwest of Golden.”

“Trevor Hamre, vice-president of the local Council of Canadians chapter, spoke at the rally, explaining that COC’s main issue with the project is the move to private ownership of our energy resources while Rachel Darvill, Wildsight’s Columbia Headwaters Program Manager, spoke on the ecological damage Wildsight believes the Beaver River Hydro project will incur with the addition of roads, power lines, human activity and three river diversions. Other Golden and Kootenay residents spoke on topics like energy conservation and the power of a community rallying together.”

On February 24, the Golden Star reported, “Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald presented to the Legislature last week a petition signed by more than 500 Golden and area residents indicating their opposition to the development of private river-diversion projects on Ventego and Cupola Creeks. The petition was created by the Golden Chapter of Council of Canadians. Trevor Hamre, vice-president of the local Council of Canadians chapter, said his message is: We oppose the privatization of rivers in our community. The delivery of the petition to the legislature coincided with the opening of the official public comment period for Selkirk Power’s proposals. The B.C. Ministry of Natural Resources is now accepting comments until April 1, 2011. ’We had to do this petition because Selkirk Power denied that there was even any opposition to their project,’ said Hamre. He believes what happens from here depends on how well the community bands together.”

On March 19, we noted a 3-minute BCLocalNews video of a protest against the private river-diversion project. In the video, Hamre says, “We see the sale of our rivers as theft from the commons.” To see that video, please go to http://www.bclocalnews.com/kootenay_rockies/thegoldenstar/news/118109659.html.