Bluffs Advocate

Power for People

Beach Community Energy Cooperative Holds Successful AGM

Author and activist Bill Reno's comments create insightful discussion

By Neil Walker

Author Bill Reno inspires BCEC Annual General Meeting. Photo Rachel Irving            The 112-member Beach Community Energy Cooperative held its successful AGM at Beach United Church on June 9. The meeting kicked off with President Art Blomme's call to order and his introduction of guest speaker Bill Reno, activist and author of Public Power.

Reno spoke eloquently about community power and the history of power cooperatives in Ontario stimulating insightful questioning. In his book, Public Power, Reno says: We already know the Conservative and Liberal agenda. They both voted to abandon our public power system and deliver our future largely into the hands of private interests. Their vision of the future is narrow and mean: a daily (hourly, in fact) unequal economic contest between consumers and corporate power interests where electricity supply can be manipulated, and price fixing is rewarded. [Their vision] prescribes an electrical future in which we have no say, except in how we defend ourselves personally against the unregulated forces of greed.

Reno's comments were warmly received by all those present. After the formal part of the meeting, President Art Blomme told the Advocate that "all are welcome to join us as we build shared solar and our energy cooperative in the east end." Membership in the cooperative still costs only 10 dollars.

Members thanked Mary Hepperle for providing excellent food for all attending.