On January 23, 1995, British Columbia’s then premier announced that he was cancelling Alcan’s Kemano Completion Project. But is such a simple political announcement all it will take to cancel this $1.4 billion hydro megaproject? Many tough questions remain: about who will pay for the cost of cancelling this megaproject, already half-completed at the time of Mike Harcourt’s announcement; about whether or not binding legal contracts dating from 1950 and 1987, between Alcan and the governments of Canada and British Columbia can be broken by a simple political decision; and about why Alcan has fought so hard to preserve a project which makes absolutely no sense, either economically or environmentally.
This book outlines the 45-year history of Alcan’s industrial activities in British Columbia, uncovers the back-room political deals that have made those activities possible, and discusses the roles Canada’s federal and provincial governments must play in their attempts to reverse the dangerous precedents that the Alcan deals have set.
It also examines the consequences for Canada and North America if these governments fail to address responsibly the mess that they themselves have created.
This book is a must-read for those who wish to remain informed on the question of who is to control North America’s vital water and power resources in the twenty-first century.