Friday, July 18, 2008

Power Poles and Power Outage Woes

Trust us, Gordon Campbell seems to assure the Mothers Against Power Poles in Tsawwassen, those high voltage power lines I’ve agreed to put into your back yards and the school yard aren’t really dangerous to your kids even though they will constantly zap their growing bodies and bathe their budding brains with voltages high enough to supply Vancouver Island with lots of additional electricity.

But I suspect it isn’t even Vancouver Island Mr. Campbell is worried about. It’s his American friends. The ones who want to privatize the entire electrical and hydro electrical fields of BC so they can suck it all up. Or most of it. But a growing worry among citizens is that our own people who build, repair, maintain important infrastructures might not actually know what they are doing. At least some of the time.

For instance, Monday’s blow out in Vancouver’s City Centre. How could the maintenance people who inspect underground vaults in substations around the city not know when one is approaching a dangerous condition of blow out? Or is there no way to tell? If not, why not? If it’s matter of aging wires and things, why in heaven’s name haven’t they been replaced long ago? Who is in charge of this? Whoever they are, why aren’t they on the radio and TV explaining what happened and why, instead of all the media speculation?

Sam Sullivan is calling for an independent investigation. At least that’s something. However, with the provincial government’s love of ruling as an oligarchy, and the mayor and council’s history of following Campbell’s lead, will we ever know the truth of it? Probably not. However, I don’t see how aging infrastructure can be hidden forever. As most of the public money is earmarked for Gateway expansion and other Olympic construction and the bloated overruns is there any money for tending to the nitty gritty things like upgrades on the power supplies in Downtown Vancouver? Surely Peter Lander and Gregor Robertson might help us out here. After all, they’re biting at the bit for the job of mayor. Is the Work Less Party the only municipal party who think it disgusting that so much of our communal money is going into the corporate games while our infrastructures rot? Speak up, guys. It’s your chance to shine.

And a word to the Mothers Against Power Poles: I think you are wise to be skeptical of the people who supposedly know abut electricity when they give you advice on what’s healthy or not healthy for your kids. This is the same provincial government who thinks cutting welfare to mothers with dependant children will make the children strong and healthy. Why would they act more intelligently about children anywhere in the province? They don’t and won’t. But when enough mothers find they can’t protect the health of their children and all three levels of government have in reality combined to become the enemy of the health of children, things will start to happen. I know they will. Betty Krawczyk

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