Secrecy abounds in the West Kootenay

Concern over lack of transparency in Greater Trail operations.

We are so lucky to live in this area. We have an abundance of highly talented, educated and paid officials dedicated to looking after our best interests. They work very effectively behind closed doors and in great secrecy. We, the people, can sleep well at night, under the mushroom, and in the dark as these officials plot our future  and send us the bill.

Trail is hosting the Association of Kootenay Boundary Municipalities Convention.  Guest speaker is Mr. Mike Harcourt , B.C.’s own Tommy Douglas. Alas, none of us has to worry about what he has to say to our elite leaders, as his talk will be conducted behind closed doors and we the public, will not be welcome.

We, the people, don’t have to worry our silly little heads about what Celgar is doing with the 55 million dollar tax free federal grant to produce on site power because they have a secret and confidential agreement with BC Hydro for the sale of power.

Then we have Columbia Basin Trust. They too are keeping us in the dark as to their potential revenues from their participation in the 900 million dollar Waneta expansion project. All discussions related to this expansion is secret and confidential.

Fortis Inc., who is the major partner at the Waneta Project, is controlling in excess of 450 million dollars of tax payers money. So we, the people, will only pay  the  increasing bill and never know the costs, as Fortis too, has a secret and  confidential agreement with the BC Utilities Commission to purchase and sell this power to us.

But never fear—help is near. If you want any of the secretive information, simply spend a year applying to the BC Freedom of Information Office as I did.

The City of Trail was forced to give me a copy of a mundane agreement between the City and AM Ford for the sale of the property near the city well.

What could Mr. Harcourt possibly say to this area’s elected municipal members that we, the people shouldn’t hear?

Norman Gabana

Trail