LETTER: It is not fish versus Hydro

Should I turn on the lights, or should I support the protection of wild fish in the Cheakamus River? Blowing up BC Hydro’s logical fallacy

I am writing this letter in response to The Chief’s Aug.7,  article (picked up by the Pique Sept. 5, 2019) describing the fish stranding and kills as a result of operations at BC Hydro’s Cheakamus Generating Facility.

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As a defense, I have heard several times that “people need to turn on their lights,” or, “taking measures to adequately protect fish in the Cheakamus will mean higher hydro rates for customers.”

 I think BC Hydro has successfully messaged this either/or thinking to the public, and I want to dispel these arguments. Protecting fish or turning on the lights — this is a classic black-or-white logical fallacy. “If you aren’t for me, you’re against me.”

This kind of thinking crushes discussion and totally disregards the middle ground; it is childish and simplistic. No one is expected to choose between power in their homes and the protection of fish. The two have nothing to do with one another.

Same goes for the higher rates argument. We already pay the third lowest rate in a survey of electricity prices in 22 major cities. BC Hydro cannot justify killing fish to keep electricity rates low.

Again, the two are not related. And we have asked Hydro numerous times to show us the numbers. If keeping more water in the Cheakamus River and using slower ramping rates is going to cost them the earth, let them prove that. Then at least we can have that discussion in the public realm. Please folks, don’t feel like your hydro is at risk if you support the protection of salmon and trout in the Cheakamus River, or any river where Hydro has a facility.

-Chessy Knight

Squamish

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