Grand openings, ribbon cuttings, rubber chicken dinners, charity fundraisers and announcements of pretty much any public business or project must be accompanied by fatuous self-congratulations attributed to any BC Liberal politician in the region. So it is in this example, where funding of energy retrofits at North Vancouver's Capilano University becomes a political news item worthy of praise by all three North Shore Liberal MLAs.
Of course, this is the work of the Public Affairs Bureau, part of the $600 million a year Ministry of Citizens' Services. Jane Thorthwaite (awaiting dismissal of her impaired driving charge), Naomi Yamamoto (Chamber of Commerce representative and, ahem, Minister of Building Code Renewal) and Joan McIntyre (Evi Mustel's partner who served under a year before being dropped from Cabinet) are keen to share good news.
There is a custom in politics that good news should be claimed widely and repeatedly while other news is best ignored. Therefore, the beginnings of all projects are greeted with proud acclaim while nothing is heard again about those that end in failure. As JFK said, "Victory has a thousand fathers; defeat is an orphan."
Politicians aplenty were on hand years ago when Capilano College announced a reduction in its energy footprint by collecting and using methane gas from the nearby Premier Street sanitary landfill. It was a unique, ground breaking effort intended to save money and reduce greenhouse gases. Few dignitaries visit the facility today.
A while back, I talked with North Van workers doing maintenance at the old dump site. I wondered if they were working on the methane collection system. The response was a laugh and the suggestion that I examine the high tech gas facility for myself. This is it, the final point in ensuring efficient venting of landfill gases to the atmosphere. It appears to be working although perhaps not as originally announced.