I wish to thank each and every one of you very much for taking the trouble to respond to our invitation to attend a meeting concerning the possibility of installing a hydro-generating facility in the Watson Lake area recently.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge, insights and opinions on the complex subject of considering a potential hydro project for Watson Lake.
First, I would like to thank Chief Liard McMillan and his assistant Sheila Caesar for attending the meeting on behalf of the Liard First Nation. I know you had to leave the meeting early to attend another meeting, but it was very reassuring that you came and gave your support to the possibility of joining a future hydro project partnership (as yet to be determined).
Appreciation also goes to Tom Cove for his insights into the environmental impacts of this project and for his interesting views on implementation methodologies.
Next, thanks goes to the Honourable Larry Bagnell, MP for the Yukon.
Bagnell took the trouble to find time for us in his busy schedule and came down to lend moral support for this project, which was really appreciated.
He also gave us some advice on the availability of grants, which was a real plus when it comes to financing this sort of project.
A special thanks goes to Jerome Babyn and his staff from The Yukon Electrical Company Ltd. for their PowerPoint presentation and lively discussion which followed.
Babyn and his team provided a wealth of background information on the history of hydro studies in the Watson Lake area.
They also gave a tremendous overview of the economics of a potential hydro scheme and put in perspective the realities behind the future of district heat and how this may still need to be a partial option for the town.
Thanks, too, to Hector Campbell, from the Yukon Energy Corporation, who has been involved in so many projects, like this one, in his career, and for his very valuable insights into the practical aspects of a hydro project.
Thanks, too, to government representative Bert Perry, who was so helpful in advising on the economics of this type of project.
Thanks, too, to Colin McDowell and Shane Andre, of YTG energy solutions branch, for its advice and direction, particularly on the future of district heat expansion projects.
Thanks also to Scott Allan of Yukon forestry branch for his interesting views on the need to maintain focus, keep this project on track, and many other objectives.
Thanks, too, to a number of local residents who provided their specific historical knowledge, advice and pointers on practical outcomes for such a project.
I acknowledge Jim Holt, Rick Carter, Norm Griffiths and a special thanks to Gerry Amman who first inspired the entire idea (one afternoon a few months ago) to get a hydro project moving and shaking in this town!
I acknowledge also Mayor Nancy Moore who has been a supporter of this project from the get-go and councillor Sharon Miller, who has been a constant supporter for initiatives from the first day I arrived here.
Thanks also to Terry Colebrook, our community development officer, who shared some valuable insights and who will be our dollar seeker in this venture!
Acknowledgement also goes to Tom Paterson, of the Association of Yukon Communities, who represented the seven other municipalities and who also gave his support and insights into a potential hydro project of this nature.
Our next step is to invite those who agreed to become members of a steering committee to attend their first meeting.
Thanks again to you all for being present for this historic seed-planting exercise, which, one day, might result in an alternative source of electrical supply for Watson Lake.
Colum McCready, CAO