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Monday, November 15, 2010

So Long AXOR!

Late last week I heard that perhaps the detested and anything but green Glacier/Howser Creek Pirate Power Project was dead in the water. Just what the situation was seemed unclear and finding any further information was difficult as it seemed that neither Google News nor Bing had heard anything about it or indexed any published articles. All I could find as late as yesterday (Sunday) was that a fairly current list of awarded purchase contracts for IPP power according to the BC Hydro Website did NOT include the AXOR Glacier Howser project - which considering the fact that the project had not as yet satisfied the EAO process (Environmental APPEASEMENT Office) wasn't surprising in itself. This morning however at the nelsonpost.ca I found this:

BC Hydro and AXOR, the company behind the Glacier/Howser power project, no longer have a power purchase agreement. Just what that means for the controversial hydroelectric generating project is unclear, but the Nelson-Creston MLA says it’s “great news.”

Michelle Mungall, MLA for the Nelson-Creston riding, says she heard the news after she received a copy of an email from a source. The email, sent by a BC Hydro employee, reads: “‘BC Hydro no longer has an electricity purchase agreement with AXOR for the Glacier/Howser project,’” says Mungall, reading directly from the email sent on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2010.

According to Michelle Mungall:

“I can only speculate what it means, but for AXOR to lose its energy purchase agreement is a significant development in terms of whether they’ll go forward and whether the project continues to be viable for them."

“To me this is showing that AXOR might be pulling away from the Glacier-Howser project,” says Mungall. “Or that BC Hydro is recognizing that this is not a viable project for the people of British Columbia and the people of the Kootenay region.”

At this time it isn't clear whether it was BC Hydro or AXOR who "cancelled the agreement," a curious statement in itself, as there has never been a purchase agreement in place as far as I know, AXOR having never satisfied the almost automatic evironmental assessment process to date. Simi Heer, spokesperson for BC Hydro would only confirm that "there is no longer a contract with AXOR to buy energy from the Glacier/Howser project" and would not elaborate because of confidentiality agreements and proprietary/commecial ly sensitive information. Why deals of this nature involving PUBLIC ASSETS should be allowed to be conducted with secrecy (confidentiality) is beyond this observer - but that has been a hallmark of the Campbell Crime Family style of conducting the public's business for almost a decade. Neither Simon Goudreau, AXOR's point man on the project (one of the happy gang in photo above) nor AXOR's head office in Montreal were available for comment as yet. The Evironmental Assessment Office also has not deigned to return calls seeking further information. It is rumored that SOMEONE (AXOR, the EAO or both) will be issuing a statement sometime this week regarding this apparently pleasant development.

Meanwhile - Hearing on Injunction over Perry Ridge TODAY

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Dispatch from Perry Ridge

On November 3rd, Jeff Mattes of Sunshine Logging and a person serving court papers presented the Sinixt with an injunction. Then on Friday, the lawyers worked out a day for a judicial revue on Monday the 15th of November. A judge from Vancouver will most likely preside over the case (in Vancouver).

The camp is getting more refined everyday. A new kitchen has been built by people from the Shuswap Nation. The weather is terrible, heavy rains and strong winds. The day is spent trying to stay warm and dry. Many people drop in and bring food from soups, to deer ribs and deserts. More have joined in to help with a rotation of people, especially for overnight. It’s a hard time of the year, everybody is getting organized for winter but best of all is that nobody is giving up.


Below is the Resolution of the Sinixt Nation Society issued October 25, 2010.

More about the Protest Camp can be found in the November 3rd issue of the Valley Voice. Some excerpts follow below.

It will probably come as no surprise that things are heating up on Perry Ridge. What may come as a surprise is that it is the Sinixt who have set up camp on Perry Ridge Forest Service Road and are blocking Sunshine Logging from starting work on their recently awarded BC Timber Sales contract. Supporters of the Sinixt are present at the camp, but the camp is clearly an initiative of the Sinixt. Sinixt supporter Eloise Charet called the action “historical,” not just because the Sinixt were laying claim to the land, but also because they were showing that their culture is not separate from the land......./snip

In an interview at the camp on October 27, Lola Campbell, a member of the Sinixt Nation, said that one of the reasons they set up the camp was because they were not consulted on this timber sale. “The Crown doesn’t recognize us because we’ve been declared extinct. I think it’s a cop-out to use that excuse for not consulting us. It’s as if we are not human – it’s like being treated as if we are just a piece of paper. How can they argue that we don’t exist if they are standing right in front of us?”

A letter from the Sinixt Nation dated October 26 to BC Timber Sales and Sunshine Logging states: “Please be advised that, as of today, the Sinixt has established and occupied a protest camp obstructing access to the Perry Ridge Forest Service Road.” The letter says the rationale for the camp is set out in a resolution made by the Sinixt Nation Society on October 25. timber sale.

Much more about the situation can be found in the front page article "Sinixt protest camp established on Perry Ridge logging road."

Congratulations to Jan and Dan of the Valley Voice for their Silver from the 2010 West Kootenay Best of Business Awards!

Tuesday, October 26 , 2010

Communiqué from Eloise:
Perry Ridge Peace Camp

Tuesday, October 26, 2010 12:06 AM


I'm off tomorrow to help set up a Peace Camp on Perry Ridge. Can we get a map of the area. Maybe Jan has one and we aren't sure yet where it will be but most likely close to the gate on the main Road. The Sinixte are very concerned and involved. This is history in the making and a pivotal time for a nation that was once declared extinct.

We are asking everybody to come forward and support the Sinixte and their claim to preserving ancestral lands as a legacy to future generations. Anybody who cares should be there.


An aerial view of the top of Perry Ridge.
The flat top of the ridge is home to some of
the remaining old growth forests of the Slocan Valley.

Monday, September 5, 2010

Glacier Creek Water Blessing

On the full moon of August 24th, sixty people gathered from many nations and all walks of life to attend a water blessing ceremony at Rainbow's End Ranch on Glacier Creek called "Protecting the Sacred". In all Indigenous traditions water is considered a sacred living entity and honored for its life giving qualities. Through the teachings of Masuru Emoto science has finally proven that a drop of water can turn into a beautiful crystal just with our thoughts.

The event was organized by the proprietors of the ranch, Mick and Gabriela Grabowsky, and Eloise Charet Bear Clan of New Denver. They were inspired to hold the ceremony after attending an international indigenous meeting in Lillooet this past spring. There, water they brought with them from Glacier Creek and New Denver was blessed by several indigenous spiritual leaders.

The children were the first to speak and were very concerned about fresh, healthy water in their future and they were very, very worried. Then the adults rose to hold the talking stick and spoke of coming from countries like Israel, Mexico, United States and Europe where water has become polluted and scarce. One never realizes the true value of water until the well runs dry. Grace from Alberta was concerned with the oil industry and the amount of fresh water used in the extraction process. Gabriela spoke of Glacier Creek, their home and the constant threat to the valley. From mining to logging and now a power plant that will dam the creek and remove the water, or a Jumbo ski resort with 6000 toilets flushing glacier water in a world dying of thirst.

We all spoke of our spiritual connection to the source that connects all of us with all life. The gratitude we have for its sustenance and the hope that we can preserve this fragile ecosystem. The children proudly poured the blessed water into Glacier Creek with their hope and prayers to the sound of drums and the rushing creek.

These mountains are the source, the watersheds of our country in a world running out of fresh water. They, like our children, are priceless.



Thursday, September 2, 2010

Glacier Creek Ceremony Update:

The ceremony at Glacier Creek (August 24) was well attended by people from all over this year. Eloise will be sharing her thoughts about the time shortly. In the meantime one can look at great pictures of the event at Doug Pyper's Photography website - then go to Portfolio Galleries and to the Glacier Creek Ceremony folder.

Friday the 13th on Idaho Peak

On Friday the 13th, a group of around 30 people gathered on the top of Idaho peak. We were led by two musicians, Jugo and Carlos from Peru. They call themselves culture keepers and do this same ritual back home in their mountains. They poured blessed water from a Native American Ceremony performed earlier that week and honored the four directions. Their drum and Andean flute brings joy to the heart; their song is one of gratitude for all that we receive from mother earth. It was a pleasure to participate in this ancient ritual that reflects a culture that treats the earth as a sacred living entity and is in harmony with all life rather than seeking to dominate, harness and exploit the re-sources. We turned the corner and there was this incredible rainbow illuminating our location while around us much was in darkness. We were awestruck…

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

August 24, 2010

Up Glacier Creek

For larger map Click Here.

On Tuesday August 24th, in the afternoon, we will be honoring and blessing the water of Glacier Creek. Not far from Nelson, it is located north of Kootenay Lake, past Kaslo towards Meadow Creek. You turn right at the Lardeau Bridge and make a left up the Duncan Road for 10 km. Then you make a right up the Glacier Creek Road for 5 km and Rainbow’s End ranch is on the road.

In accord with our Indigenous traditions, we see water as a sacred living entity, truly the liquid plasma that incubates life and the cradle of genesis. Science is finally retrieving its spirituality where physics returns to metaphysics, chemistry to alchemy and so on. In the teachings of Masuru Emoto, we can visibly see a water drop turn into a beautiful crystal just with our thoughts.

I will be carrying the water blessed by a Hopi Grandmother at the International Indigenous gathering. Mick and Storm Grabowsky have Glacier Creek water charged and blessed by Frank Many Horses. They told me the water was almost boiling hot when he handed it to them. I will also have water from Kootenay Lake and my source in New Denver, Silverton that was blessed and prayed over in a Native American church ceremony led by Kwalt-le (not sure of spelling), on Siniixte Land in Vallican.

These waters will be poured into Glacier Creek. Everybody should bring water from their source and pour half into the creek and fill your container with Glacier Creek water to bring back and pray over your source. All these waters will flow out towards the lake, the river and the ocean with our love and gratitude for the health giving qualities of the water of life. The Buddha once said that faith is like holding a vessel of holy water, if you keep it to yourself it will evaporate but if you pour it into the stream of life it will live forever.

Think of how water drops have such a powerful attraction to one another and when they gather together can hold a weight up that is heavier than them. We too must hold together and be strong to carry through the adversity of our times. The threat to the watershed of life is endemic from oil and toxic garbage turning our oceans into an acidic wasteland or clear cut logging drying the earth, mining pollution and power plants damming the rivers and now creeks. Presently Glacier is one of the most threatened ecosystems in British Columbia. Mining with acidic waste rock already impacted the area, then clear cut logging destroyed a lot of habitat and many animals have died. Now it’s either a ski hill for the rich or a Ruin of the River Power Project.

It has been proven that water carries memory in its molecular structure. Our Glaciers are melting back down to the time of the last ice age and the dramatic changes that occurred to the earth. In that water is the memory of those days and drinking it reminds our DNA of our ancient past.

So bring your water and your love for the all the beauty and bounty of life and help us fertilize these waters with good thoughts and remember the more we hold things sacred, the more it reflects back unto us. Thank-you,
Eloise Charet, Bear Clan

Monday, May 17, 2010

On - Tuesday May 18th noon- 1pm,

at - Taghum Beach Park on Kootenay River

a focused and intimate group of us is coming together here in the Kootenays to take part in an international effort for healing and prayers for the world's waters. I think of you as a person holding focus and grounding for the earth in a good way, and if you are available, I would love if you could participate. We are coordinating with an event for Planetary Waters that we learned about from Marshall Jack at the last 13 Indigenous Grandmother's Council (info included below). I have included the email/links below about what is happening officially around the world for May 18th.

Thus far we have confirmations for ceremony from Ananda (prayer/sound), Celesttina (song), Claire and Jean (song, music), me (guided visualization, crystals), Terence (giving us water water from Machu Picchu), Miriam/Adonia (chant), several other young people, children and a few carpools from the valley& Nelson. If you're interested, could you offer a simple prayer for the waters? We are suggesting folks bring a picnic lunch to share if you wish to stay to break bread together,*picnic afterwards 1-2pm.*

You are asked to* bring your intentions* for our local waters& the waters of the world, and to*bring any offerings, crystals, waters from the world, and prayers for these waters.* Any crystals need to be in the river waters by 12:38pm PST May 18th, when there will be a raising of energies at 8 lakes on 6 continents around the world to create a nine-pointed star ( the earth is the ninth point on the star)... each lake has crystals in them, several have had Kootenay Lake crystals distributed to them. Among many dedicated groups gathering around the globe will be Marshall Jack and his group near Galveston, Texas to offer healing to the Gulf of Mexico.

Anybody that is interested in joining us would certainly be welcome. In the coming days I'll be sending more info., including a way to participate through meditation if you and other friends of yours are not able to be there in person. While I truly hope you can come , any offerings you may have are welcome for this water ceremony.

Much Love and Light, Jo Ann

**once you reach the beach, we'll be either visible to the far right - OR - we'll be at the far end of the beach on the left past the volley ball net*

Canada Day - July 1, 2009

If Anyone Thought There was Opposition at Pitt River.......

Recently there were meetings in Kaslo, Meadow Creek and Invemere regarding the proposed Glacier/Howser Creek IPP project. Eloise's first sketches of the meetings in Meadow Creek and Kaslo are already posted on the WaterWalk Blog, and more information and photos will be published about these meetings on the blog and elsewhere on the site soon.

The Kaslo meeting was extremely heavily attended, the gym crammed with more people than the entire population of Kaslo, partly because AXOR and the Environmental Assessment folks refused repeated entreaties to hold a meeting on the issue in the most centrally located community in Nelson. Obviously the people in Nelson are also concerned and hundreds of Nelson residents made the one hour trip up Kootenay Lake to attend the closest meeting they could attend to express their oppostion to this project for environmental and economic reasons.

Pitt River is relevant because at least there the local citizens and non-locals who treasure the wildlife values of this river were successful in either changing or stopping this development. It isn't clear yet if the voices of over a thousand people were heard in Kaslo, but this will be an indication whether or not democracy is just a fantasy or actually a form of government that we enjoy.

It is clear that the only people who want this project to go ahead are those who either will, or have been perhaps deluded into thinking that they will, make money from its implementation. It is clear that the project will not address or provide a solution to any real or imaginary energy shortage for the residents of British Columbia. There is no question that the environmental costs would be far more than any real or imaginary value of the project. As long as this same water flows over the Duncan Dam during freshet without going through non-existent (none installed) turbines, there is no sane reason to destroy three or four valleys and streams merely to line the pockets of a few people in Montreal and on Wall Street!

January 5, 2009

There was originally going to be a hearing in Nelson today, but that has been postponed until some future date.

"The court date has been postponed. Kenyon (McGee) says that Axor agreed to stage the court case in Nelson and so they don't have to appear just set a date for the next court case which will be about them suing the Grabowsky's."
Axor wants the Grabowskys to pay for the costs of them (Axor/Purcell) getting an injunction and to possibly bear future losses due to delay of the project (or its cancellation). This is too funny as they are currently being delayed by their failure to meet, as yet, the environmental parameters designed by THEMSELVES!

The re-organization of this website is progressing. There are some new features/pages to tell you about.

  • A new blog, incorporated into the website - called WaterWalk
  • Though there is a growing list of links at WaterWalk Blog - there is also a Links page where more information can be included regarding the links.
  • Like the Links page, there will also be another place to find links to videos, at the Videos Page. Videos will also be labelled as they come up in the Blog. There are many powerful and informative videos and even feature length films being made about issues around water - for drinking, agriculture and energy. We will be providing links to them here as we discover them and where to find them.

December 9, 2008

Yesterday was court day in Nelson regarding some matters involving the Injunction to End the Blockade of Glacier Creek road and perhaps the gag-order on details regarding this ongoing assault on Glacier Creek, Howser Creek, the Grabowskys and the once publically owned and shared hydraulic power resources of British Columbia and the habitat of the actual original inhabitants, namely grizzly bears, elk, mountain sheep and other and large and often threatened mammals in the North American Empire of Greed above all other values. Hopefully in a day or two there will be news to report about what, if anything, happened yesterday in the old Rattenbury designed jewel of a Courthouse in Nelson, B.C. There were indications that some people were going to demonstrate in front of the courthouse their support of the Grabowskys and their opposition to the fire sale sell off of our resources.

Meadow Creek Meeting of the Chosen

NOVEMBER 24, 2008


On Tuesday many residents of the Lardeau Valley were invited by phone to a meeting two days later on Thursday, November 20th at the Lardeau Valley Hall in Meadow Creek hosted by Purcell Green Power (AXOR Group, Inc.), the company proposing to develop the controversial Glacier/Howser hydroelectric project. No public notices or announcements were given.

Residents were lured to the meeting with the promise of job applications, an attractive prospect in an area with high unemployment due to the economic downturn. At the meeting, however, the only paper concerning jobs was a skills survey of residents with no job applications in sight.

Project manager Simon Gourdeau of Montreal announced that there would be 290 person years of employment over two years in constructing the project. What he failed to mention was that earlier this year the Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) approved the project’s Terms of Reference which expected 450 person years of employment. This is a 35% drop in job numbers.

The Terms of Reference also stated 3-4 permanent jobs. At the meeting Gourdeau now claimed 6 permanent jobs. When pressed for the details of these jobs he admitted that the systems were entirely automated and that someone only needed to go to the site occasionally. He said that two people were needed to be on call 24/7 for each installation totaling 4 “operators.” Then there is a need for a manager to do the scheduling and an office assistant to write cheques. Local resident Gary Diers and spokesperson for the Purcell Alliance for Wilderness states, “I expect that one person could do four of these jobs simultaneously with one hand tied behind his/her back. What is becoming clear is that these few jobs may be long term but certainly not full time.”

Although advertising job applications, AXOR does not even have an approved project. In fact, their final application was rejected this summer and no new application has been submitted. In addition, Gourdeau admitted that the bulk of the construction work would not begin until 2010 and that AXOR does not directly hire labour. They use contractors to get the work done. He expected that union labour would be hired and a local resident pointed out that local workers were generally not union workers. A resident of Lardeau pointed out that much of the work is actually mining work and that training might be necessary for local hiring. Gourdeau seemed little interested in training anyone local for more than 2 or 3 weeks on the job for a position. While expressing interest in hiring locally, the project manager gave no guarantees and appeared reluctant to go the extra mile. Diers surmises that “the whole event was a public relations exercise preying on unemployed workers. The entire project is regionally very unpopular and AXOR appears to be desperately attempting to garner public support from this sector –somewhat unsuccessfully.”

While the final application has not been resubmitted, Gourdeau updated the attendees on some of the new information. The amount of waste rock muck created from the tunneling was last stated in the 2007 project description as 243,165 cubic meters. This has now increased 60% to 390,000 cubic meters. There are few prospects for use of this waste so that most of it is expected to be dumped along the creeks. The project cost has escalated from $240 million to $295 million. Despite past assurances to the contrary, both class 8 and class 9 forest will be leveled. The nameplate capacity of the project has been established at 99.5 MW. Gourdeau now estimates that the EAO application review process, which requires formal public meetings, will take place in early 2009. This is dependent on the EAO’s acceptance of their next final application.

Rafe Mair comes to the Lardeau

Proponents of public power and the environment will give their perspective on the proposed Glacier/Howser project at the Lardeau Valley Hall on December 3rd at 7pm. Rafe Mair is leading a Save Our Rivers tour in the West Kootenay with additional stops in Nelson, Nakusp, Kaslo and Rossland. The public is warmly invited.


Gary Diers

The Valley Voice is on the Case

In spite of not being on the Lardeau valley "phone tree" intrepid Valley Voice reporter Jan McMurray traveled over the Selkirks to attend the meeting described above. Their coverage appears on the front page of the December 3, 2008 issue and will soon be available online here.

Longtime Kaslo resident and electrical wizard, Don Scarlett, also has a letter published in the Voices from the Valley section of this issue that succinctly exposes AXOR Corp's base strategy to divide and conquer local residents to satisfy their lust for green power money.

......Axor's strategy may work if we're just country bumpkins as they appear to believe. But it is tragic to watch the money-making dreams of a Montreal corporation drive up unrealistic expectations in a community already hard-hit economically. And it may take a long time to heal the wounds if Axor creates divisions among the North Kootenay Lake communities for its own benefit.

Don Scarlett

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