I know, I have been slack for awhile. It's not because things haven't had me ranting, more so, because far too many things have set me off.
However, I figured I would take this time to bring anyone who wishes up to speed on our government's latest in regards to Site C. O.K. I say government, although in truth, it is laid on BC Hydro's doorstep, over time, I believe it is NOT Hydro in the driver's seat. I really don't think Hydro is who set out to throw up another dam, because they worried about future electricity issues. I think Hydro was quite happy with what they had on the Peace River already. Because I have had so much time to mull all this business over, I have come to the conclusion this proposed dam is NOT because we may need the power in 20 years, it is because Gordo, and Crusty have made some serious business promises, to some folks who have helped them over the years, and the massive amounts of riches that will rain on those lucky enough to get hired onto the project, is payback.
Hydro does not have the power to by-pass the British Columbia Utilities Commission, Hydro does not have the power to pull land out of the Agricultural Land Reserve. Hydro does not have the power to agree to suck billions out of the pockets of the tax payers. Hydro doesn't even have the power to stop the government from stealing money out of their pot. That leaves one to think...this was the only place Crusty and her previous Premier, could find a way to create something so massive, they could hand over prizes to pay those they promised back.
That said, I attended a meeting last week regarding what was going on with mitigation, between the town and Hydro. I personally HATE these types of meetings, and even more so, when I have to go alone, but...this impacts my world so much, I bit the bullet and settled my ample bottom down, sort of away from the "regulars".
I didn't realize that mitigation was such a secretive thing. Really..the lawyer is, in fact out there as our voice, right? He is working for us, the money he gets comes from our town budget, right, or the treasury? What he agrees to, will affect all of us. But....surprise, he was tied from disclosing a whack of stuff, because....it is still not agreed upon.
Now..I see this as one of the biggest issues in our country. I am sorry, if it was some divorce, or family matter, certainly, keep it confidential, but when something is going to affect a large chunk of homeowners (who, indeed must pay property taxes, and mortgages) why do they have to wait until everything is signed, sealed and delivered, to find out WTF it means to them?
See, sadly I can't imagine being able to afford a lawyer to step up and go head to head with Hydro, cripes, Hydro hasn't even contacted me. I have heard everything I know through the grapevine. Oh, I made a few calls a couple of years ago, only to be told I would not be impacted. Well, hummm..maybe I won't, but that is only if it doesn't go through. Maybe I will be impacted by the construction of the berm? Or...now this is something new and pretty dismal...maybe they won't even build the berm!!!
This is what happens at those meetings. I sit, hoping I will get the answers to my questions, but generally you will get the regular few who fixate on something like the highway realignment, and suck up a bunch of time, asking what I perceive to be stupid questions, like "are we going to get 4 lanes?". REALLY!!! Are they nuts? I just want to find out if I am going to have a house at the end of all of this, but, hey..4 lanes would sure make everything else better. However, in amongst the road business, someone pipes up with the information that apparently Hydro already owns 1/2 the property along the river. They go on to ask the astounding question " what is the chance that Hydro will simply expropriate the remaining riverfront property, and NOT build a berm?" Helllooooooo...Well bless my soul, this is a possibility. Yep, could happen. They could simply decide to save a whack of money, buy the property (for whatever they wish) and then let it sit, until such time as it all slides into the river. They are talking right of way, now I am a bit dim on this business, will have to do some checking. So, imagine, if you will, no berm, all riverfront property belongs to Hydro, then of course even behind that property you have to have a safe zone. The river goes the length of the town, that would mean a large part of Hudson's Hope would be off limits, behind the barricade, so to speak. The lawyer spoke some of asking Hydro to perhaps relocate some of these properties, or if time comes when they decide they don't need some of the properties, maybe selling them back to the district. Hellloooo, again..really, what the heck would the town do with properties?
I have to say, I left as soon as the lawyer finished, and walked out the door totally confused. I could NEVER sell my riverfront home. Who would purchase a home that might end up with a berm behind it...or....maybe be left to slide into the river, legally I would have to tell a buyer all of this. Again, I tell you, I do NOT own my property. I simply pay the mortgage (which means I must work hard) and the property taxes, and the insurance, but..I am simply leasing this from the government of British Columbia.
I read all of those folks who back LNG, and pipelines etc etc. Well, it is all fine and dandy for progress, people, but...most of those who constantly bash those who are not all gung ho, are those who won't get bit, not a single piece of dirt will move on their property. They only see what they can get out of a pipeline or a dam, they don't stand to lose diddly. So, take heed, I was once one of you!! Now, I understand what it is to have something taken, so that someone else can profit. Trust me, it is not a good feeling, it is a form of abuse, to wonder if you will manage to salvage enough to start over, when you did nothing wrong, you are simply stuck in the middle of a bunch of bullies, who don't know you, don't care about you, and make it abundantly clear, you don't matter. Bring on the pipelines, and I pray all those who have made fun of the rest of us who have to hand over what we worked for, get to "enjoy" the same. Keep paying your mortgages, and if you have already paid them off, don't be smug..you don't own a damn thing!!!
BTW..this was my personal take of the meeting..maybe next time, if anyone else around these parts is at all interested in what might happen, I won't have a whole row of empty chairs beside me.