After being thrown out of meeting, submitter writes, “so much for free speech in central Alberta!”

Dear Editor,

Recently, a research group invited me to a meeting however shortly after a bit of discussion, I was thrown out.

It turns out that the Alberta Electrical Systems Operators contracted the research group. Apparently the opinions they wanted had to fit with their overall goal of getting public support for a mega power line to export power to the United States. However they will not admit that, only that they say we are at capacity now in the province. They presented us with a copy of a paper that had been distributed to all the citizens across the province. They asked us to access it and to tell them what they could do to improve it.

I had seen the paper before and had accessed it as a paper to bring public opinion into line with what the government is trying to do with the passage last year of Bill 47 and the passage of Bill 19, which was slated to have third and final reading on Tuesday, April 21. Both Bill 47 and 19 were and are being opposed vigorously by the Liberals, NDP and the Green Party. Bill 19 was specifically designed to tie up farmland without do process for energy corridors in the province. Farmers had better pay attention to this one.

Anyway, after about one hour of general discussion about electrical energy in which I made several suggestions they brought out the main reason for the meeting, which was to, in their words, improve their publication called Power Albertans.

I responded by suggesting that the publication was a “propaganda” publication to change public opinion and to get the public onside to allow the electrical energy companies to expand their dirty coal-fired power plants and to build more transmission lines over good farmland. That was when I got the invitation to leave. I went without objection because I believe that my fellow panelists would be more likely to see how they were being used than if I had made a fuss. So much for free speech in Millet and central Alberta!

Roger Buxton

Millet, Alta.