ON THE FARM: Tidal project study OK, as long as it's on their nickel

Glenn Ells
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While attending the information meeting about the proposed Scott’s Bay tidal power project, I noticed that intrepid reporter Wendy Elliott was present. That means a professional report of the event will be in this issue of the Advertiser, so all I need to do is give a couple of my observations here.

I was impressed by both the size of the crowd and their interest and knowledge of many aspects of the proposal. The presenter had done this job before. They could have whipped up a skeptical crowd into a hostile one by talking down to us and trying to give the impression they had all the answers. It is always refreshing to hear one word answers of both “yes” and “no” instead of a lot of doubletalk that doesn’t commit to either.

They were talking about a very complicated project that has to have solid, scientific answers to the concerns raised before it can be permitted and planning begins for what they say is a two to three-year construction phase. That would start if five years of study say “go.”

One thing that impressed me was that no government subsidy of investment is being sought. We have seen too many big projects fail after sucking up one heck of a lot of taxpayers’ money. If these developers are willing to risk their own funds on something that has a lot of expensive studies and hurdles to pass before proceeding, I say, “carry on, as long as it’s your nickel.”

I’ll bet the gentlemen were impressed by the questions coming forward. There will be more public meetings, if their promises are kept, which I suspect they will be. If the interest continues, it will take a big room in Scott’s Bay to hold the crowd. Maybe a closed-circuit TV setup connecting the three public buildings there would work. Or maybe one of the large broiler buildings would be empty at the appropriate time. That would give a real, rural flavor to the gathering.

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