Between 100-150 Victorians came out Sunday to voice their opposition to the unilateraly imposed installation of so-called 'Smart Meters' by the publicly owned power utility, BC Hydro. The meters are a hot-button issue with health, privacy, and government accountability activists, and the evidence backing the objections of these disparate groups grows stronger by the day. That may be the reason Hydro is moving at break-neck speeds to have the, estimated, $750 million project. Irksome too, this program was slid in by the governing BC Liberal party with minimal public consultation, and excluded oversight by the BC Utilities Commission, whose function is to hold the Crown corporation to account.
With municipal elections looming, and a provincial poll predicated by law before next summer, this could be a paradigm-shifting issue for British Columbia.
This is a show I rescued from obscurity. Recorded originally on analog cassette, the tape had been trodden upon. At great pains, I rewound the tape into a new cassette and transferred to this format. the audio quality suffers somewhat, but the material in both Ranyn Seibold's segment on the power industry in British Columbia, and George Monbiot's discussion of war, empire, and energy are still highly relevant.
This week: Crowds in the Egyptian capital reacted to Israel's encroachment of their territory and the killing of five Egyptian soldiers by surrounding the Israeli Embassy, with one intrepid scaling the highrise housing it and pulling down the Israeli flag. Typically, there was no international condemnation of the Israeli attacks in Gaza, or the killing of civilians there. In fact, Israel has lobbied the United Nations to draw up a Security Council Presidential Statement condemning the attack in Eilat.
Saturday, Israel issued an apology to Egypt for the attack, but the press, and most notably the Jerusalem Post, is condemning the Egyptians for allowing terrorists passage across the Sinai. Now, the Israeli regime and its allies in the press are calling into question the Sinai agreement with Egypt, hinting at a re-annexation of the so-called 'Peninsula of Peace.'
Jon Elmer is a Canadian journalist and photographer living in and reporting from Occupied Palestine. Jon's reports are carried by Al Jazeera, the InterPress Service, and are featured at other online forums. His work can also be found at his website, JonElmer.com. Jon Elmer and Israel under attack in the first half.
And; over the weekend, the Vancouver Sun featured the leaked "minutes" of an internal BC Hydro conference call, where Hydro CEO, David Cobb reportedly criticized the government's IPP, or Independent Power Producers policy. Also known as the Run of Rivers program, or "Ruin of Rivers" to its many opponents, the controversial plan was rammed through the Legislature by the former Campbell government and effectively divided what exists of an "environmental activist community" in British Columbia. I spoke to David Cobb in July, asking directly about contracting out power production in the province. Me and David Cobb in the second half.
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher, and CFUV broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft is back from her foray into the wilds of Vancouver Island's retirement country, and will join us with harrowing tales of her survival at the bottom of the hour. But first, Jon Elmer and Assassins Across the Sinai.
Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Monday, 5-6pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, 104.3 cable, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.ca. He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://GorillaRadioBlog.blogspot.com
Resistance to the so-called Smart Meter project foisted upon the citizens of British Columbia without the benefit of public input, and through a special disqualification of the B.C. Utilities Commission, the governmental body that would normally oversee such a broad project, is spreading. Activists have taken their objections to municipal bodies, asking that they ask the provincial government exercise the Precautionary Principle, and heed their local jurisdictional duty to protect the health of the polity.
I went down to BC Hydro's open house, held at Hydro's West Saanich Rd. offices expecting a serious-minded attempt by the publicly-owned Crown Corporation to explain some of the serious concerns British Columbians have about the state of the Corporation regarding increased outsourcing, Run of River schemes gone bad, the controversial Site C dam, and the nearly billion dollars estimated to be spent on the extremely controversial SmartMeters program. What I found instead was hot dog stands, games for the kids, and a half-dozen booths full of feel good pamphlets and various other bits of corporate communications PR materials. Hydro president David Cobb did show up, and I managed a few words with him, and some more with the few demonstrating outside the event. - Ape.
[[Note: Reference to BC Electricity Commission (BCEC) should read "BC Utility Commission (BCUC). -ed]
G-Radio is dedicated to social justice, the environment, community, and providing a forum for people and issues not covered in corporate and state media. Gorilla Radio airs live every Monday, 5-6pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 102FM, 104.3 cable, and on t