We’ve just received word that an international day of action against the proposed dams in Patagonia has been called for this coming Saturday July 2. For now we are spreading the word, but we will also be looking at some way to participate in this day of action.
The Council of Canadians has been following this issue for several years because Transelec – the Chilean company that would most likely build the transmission line that would deliver the energy generated by the dams in southern Chile to northern Chile – is controlled by Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (with a 27 percent share in Transelec), and the British Columbia Investment Management Corp (which has a 26 percent share in the company).
That transmission line is likely to require an 80-metre wide, 2,300 kilometre long clear-cut corridor through 14 national parks, nature reserves and conservation areas.
While there have been massive protests already in Chile against the dams, the Santiago Times reports, “Public rejection (is expected) to grow even stronger once the location of the…transmission line is made public in July.” The Guardian reports, “The transmission lines…face a separate environmental review in December.”
These dates may now shift given a Chilean appeals court decision on June 20 that suspended the plan to build these dams because the government commission that had approved them had not taken into account a technical review.
In May 2011, Maude Barlow stated, “Most Canadians have no idea that their pension plans are fuelling the kind of environmental destruction planned in Chile. In a global world, what can seem far away may be very close to home. Canadians must stand with the people of Chile in opposing this terrible project.”