Mayor Walt Cobb said he has a meeting with the Premier to discuss Atlantic Power.
“I just received confirmation that we can meet with him on after the throne speech,” Cobb said Friday, noting that Williams Lake Indian Band Chief Willie Sellars and Paul French, first vice-president the United Steelworkers Union Local 1-2017 will attend the meeting with him.
Mayor Walt Cobb hopes to meet with Premier John Horgan in Victoria to push for a long-term electricity purchase agreement with BC Hydro for Atlantic Power Corporation’s energy plant in Williams Lake.
The biomass energy plant’s present extended agreement expires on June 30, 2019.
Cobb said he cornered the Premier at last week’s Natural Resource Conference in Prince George.
“I waited outside in the hallway where I knew he’d be after he finished his speech,” Cobb said. “He recognized me and stuck out his hand so I hung onto his hand and said ‘we need to talk soon’ and he said ‘OK.’ I told him what I needed to say could not be said in public and that’s when he said he would get me an invitation down to the throne speech in February.”
Cobb said he told Horgan he’d attend the throne speech, subject to getting a meeting before or afterwards.
If a meeting is confirmed with Horgan, Cobb said Williams Lake Indian Band Chief Willie Sellars and Paul French, United Steelworkers Union Local 1-2017 first vice-president are willing to attend it.
French said agreed to go to the meeting to help secure a hydro contract for Atlantic Power.
“We must convince government the importance of Atlantic Power to Williams Lake and give them as much history of the plant as we can,” French said, noting the union represents employees at the plant. “The power plant was built to burn wood waste and eliminate the pollution from the beehive burners.”
It doesn’t make any sense to allow wood waste to be open burned when it can be burned basically emissions free at the plant, he added.
“Plus it produces power.”
Cobb said he heard concerns from other who attended the Natural Resource Conference about the length of time it’s taking to get permits.
“It does not matter whether it is forestry, mining, pipelines, whatever it is. On Monday they rated the provinces and B.C. is one of the worst provinces to do business in and the highest taxes.”