Leading conservation group issues warning about "green" east-west power corridor

    TORONTO, April 19 /CNW Telbec/ - In response to today's planned Green
Power Corridor Summit in Ottawa, a leading Ontario conservation group is
warning caution about a proposed east-west mega hydro corridor that would
bisect Ontario's intact Boreal Forest. CPAWS Wildlands League, a chapter of
the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, warns that building a mega hydro
corridor accompanied by roads would permanently remove forests and fragment
intact Boreal ecosystems.
    "We want Canadians to know that this project is not a panacea. It must be
approached with caution," says Anna Baggio Director, Conservation Land Use
Planning for CPAWS Wildlands League." Canada's Boreal Forest is the largest
terrestrial storehouse of carbon on the planet. "Protecting the carbon stored
in intact Boreal Forest ecosystems must be part of the plan for any new
resource development project," Baggio adds.
    The proposed corridor would transmit power between Manitoba and Ontario
cutting through a broad swath of Ontario's Northern Boreal region. CPAWS
Wildlands League urges governments to proceed with caution and says the
construction of a corridor must meet the following conditions:

    - The project must demonstrate that it is better than alternatives.
      Ontario needs a long-term energy strategy that addresses how we are
      going to transition from the current mix of sources to a sustainable
      energy future. Ontario is just beginning to explore options for
      conserving energy and the potential of renewable energy to augment
      supply. These options should be exhausted before plans that could
      destroy fragile northern ecosystem are trumpeted as "green"
    - Routes for the project should be considered through already fragmented
      landscapes before intact ones are permanently disturbed and opened up
      for further industrialization.
    - If fragmenting the intact Boreal ecosystem of Ontario is determined
      after exhausting all other options, then it should proceed only AFTER
      conservation-based land use planning determines how to protect the
      region's ecological integrity.
    - The carbon implications of this project must be fully accounted for.
      This includes calculating the impacts of permanently disrupting carbon-
      rich peatlands and intact Boreal Forests.
    - Aboriginal Peoples have constitutionally protected rights which require
      governments to fully consult and accommodate their rights, interests
      and concerns in advance of planning and construction.

    Background- Is this green power or brown power?

    To be green, power must meet or exceed the ecological bar on two counts -
how and where it is produced.
    How power is produced dictates how damaging to the environment it is.
Where power is produced is equally as important in deciding whether power is
green. There are two components to be considered, where the power source is
and how far it is from market or end user. Green power facilities can only be
sited after completion of a comprehensive land use plan taking into
consideration all land uses, including impacts to species and vegetation. In
addition, to be truly "green", facilities must be constructed close to the end
user. Why? Long transmission corridors and transportation of power can be as
damaging to the environment and as inefficient as a heavy power production

For further information:

For further information: Anna Baggio, (416) 453-3285,

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