Absence makes us wonder

On October 22, the western climate initiative asked the public for comments on its workplan. More than 80 organizations and individuals responded to that request by the initiative's November 30 deadline. But, according to a Public Eye analysis, only one of those responses came exclusively from Canada - a submission by Calgary-based power generation company TransAlta Corp.

Asked why that might be, Western Governors' Association air quality program manager Patrick Cummins said, "If that's the case, I don't really have any explanation for that. The materials were made available to anybody and everybody that wanted to look at them." Explained Mr. Cummins, whose association is project managing the climate initiative, "We have a listserv. And we sent information out on that listserv. Everything was posted. And each of the individual jurisdictions sent out notifications on their own lists."

Indeed, a provincial spokesperson confirmed the Campbell administration did inform stakeholders of the opportunity to directly and publicly comment on the regional carbon trading system's workplan. But, instead of doing that, most stakeholders are sending their comments to the government rather than the initiative. And those comments are then being incorporated into British Columbia's overall negotiating position.

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