The NDP Visits

Back in December, we made a couple of new political contacts.

John Horgan, James, Leanne,
John Horgan, James, Leanne, and George Heyman in The Little Yellow House

They were John Horgan, MLA for Juan de Fuca, Leader of the Provincial NDP and Leader of the Opposition in Victoria as well as George Heyman, the MLA for Vancouver-Fairview and the Opposition Spokesperson for the Environment, Green Economy and Technology.

Mr. Horgan’s office contacted me in November about visiting Hammond Forever House and talking about energy efficiency retrofits. They battled traffic from Vancouver and made it out just after sunset. The house was in darkness and still hovering above the ground on 6 Nickel Bros. legs with a skirt of newly poured foundation wall around it, so we couldn’t go inside.

The house as it was when the NDP came to visit.
The house as it was when the NDP came to visit.

We stood in the street in front of the house and talked for a while and then went next door to the Little Yellow House to warm up.

Now, I don’t know what your political views are, but I welcome any public official who wants to learn more about our project. I have met both the MLAs from Maple Ridge now. I met our former MP and our new MP, Dan Ruimy.

Chatting in the Little Yellow Kitchen

Mr. Horgan and Mr. Heyman were, by far, the visitors best informed about climate change and the challenge of getting off fossil fuels. Like you, I was curious about their political agenda (there is always a political aspect to these things) and it soon became apparent.

Have you heard about the $8.8 Billion Site C Dam project? I posted about it a while back. It’s the hydro-electric dam project that BC Hydro and the current Liberal BC government is pushing for. If it is built, it will generate a lot of electricity.

The NDP is opposed to the Site C Dam project and in December, when they visited, they were working on an energy strategy. It makes sense that if you’re going to oppose something, you should have something to propose as an alternative. It was a great conversation and I was able to list a number of barriers to regular folk retrofitting their homes.

I don’t like to take a strong position on something like the Site C Dam project that I haven’t had time to research properly. If only we had people whose job it was to research this stuff.

But wait, we do!

It was mere weeks ago that 250 of scientists and academics–those professional truth-seekers–wrote a letter of concern about Site C. Here is a link to the story in The Globe and Mail. And here is a link to the letter itself on the Royal Society of Canada’s website.

You know the Royal Society doesn’t normally weigh in on this political stuff, so it’s either they are crazy and/or on the payroll of the tiny clean energy lobby, or the issue is important enough that they felt a duty to speak up. Given how much academics like to stay out of the spotlight, I tend to believe the latter.

Personally, I would like us to first reduce our energy needs drastically. Contrary to a gut reaction most of us have–doing that doesn’t require going back to the Bronze Age. Secondly, I think we should spread more of our power generation out with solar and wind generation closer to where people actually live.

Scientists and academics are recommending this stuff, but we’re not really listening, are we?

I have heard critics of the project say that this push to build Site C is really about generating a massive amount of power for the Liquified Natural Gas industry. Is that true? I don’t know if that’s true, but I’m pretty sure that forcing more fossil fuels out of the ground by Hydraulic Fracturing (Fracking) is a terrible justification for such a project.

So thank you very much John and George for taking the time to come out to Maple Ridge and learn about what we’re doing at Hammond Forever House. Now, can you help to regulate the home renovation industry so that homeowners never get put in the position we are in with our former contractor?



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James Rowley

James lives in Maple Ridge, BC, Canada with his amazing partner, Leanne Koehn, and their two amazing kids in their beautiful house. He studied Science and English Literature at the University of British Columbia where he met Leanne. He also studied acting for a while at Studio 58 in Vancouver. He works as a teacher of English and curriculum writer for new Canadians.

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