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MP, Liberals agree on wind

Conservative MP John Reynolds and the federal Liberals don't agree often - but they do agree that wind energy has potential.

Conservative MP John Reynolds and the federal Liberals don't agree often - but they do agree that wind energy has potential.

The Liberals announced the Wind Power Production Incentive (WPPI) in 2001 and then in the election this summer the party dusted off the initiative to reiterate support for increasing our use of green energy sources. The platform included a policy on wind powered electricity generation.

"Developing clean, renewable energy sources is one of the greatest contributions Canada can make to the global effort to achieve environmental sustainability," the Liberals wrote in their 2004 platform. "Wind powered electricity has the potential to make a big difference."

Reynolds is in favour of the Liberal initiative and calls it a good plan.

The new Conservative Party of Canada also promoted alternative energy in its election platform. The Conservatives said they want Canada to become an environmental world leader by focusing on clean air, clean water, clean land, and clean energy.

"Work with the provinces to develop a national strategy for alternative energy and energy conservation, including increasing the use of renewable energy sources, research and development into alternative energy and energy efficiency technology, and a long term study of Canada's energy situation that considers the relative cost of energy sources, energy security, trade relations, and environmental conservation," said the Conservative platform.

"I think there is a real asset," Reynolds said. "We have a facility in Squamish that can produce the materials."

The facility Reynolds referred to is the 12,077.4 square metre (130,000 square feet) Power-Pacific Poles operation on Government Road at the B.C. Rail shops.

Reynolds has been to the Nordic countries that are tapping the wind for energy in a big way. He says those countries host the world's leading wind energy companies.

"I'm promoting Squamish as an area where they should be coming," Reynolds told The Chief. "There is a really good business opportunity there [in Squamish] - certainly with Whistler and the Olympics coming up."

Reynolds plans to pursue the wind opportunities that exist in Squamish. On occasions when he is in Squamish this summer Reynolds said he plans to follow up with people in Squamish and around the world.

Squamish is currently involved in a pilot project to test the quality of the wind as an energy producing-resource and how to determine how Squamish residents feel about hosting wind energy towers.

Ledcor Construction's energy division is working outside the local government initiative. The company recently applied for an occupancy permit from Land and Water B.C. to install a test tower in the heart of the Squamish Estuary to monitor the local winds for a year.

Squamish council is opposed to the Ledcor application because of the location of the tower and the fact that Ledcor isn't participating in the local initiative to test local support for the concept.

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