A coalition of Islanders took to the street to show their concerns about plans by Fortis, Inc. (which owns Maritime Electric) to build a power dam in a sensitive natural area in Belize, Central America.

These concerned citizens assembled on Tuesday [May 22nd], at 12 noon to hand out information leaflets in front of the Maritime Electric offices on Kent St. in Charlottetown.

The Proposed dam, which has been the center of a growing international controversy, would flood Belize'S Macal River Valley, and destroy critical habitat for jaguar, Scarlet Macaw —a large colorful parrot— and numerous other rare or endangered species, including Belize's national animal, the tapir.

"Many people on PEI own shares in Maritime Electric/Fortis and, of course, most of us are Maritime Electric customers," says spokesperson Tony Reddin of the Environmental Coalition of PEI," We want to make Islanders aware of the company's plans in Belize. Once they find out, we think they will urge Fortis to cancel this destructive dam project."

Two prominent environmentalists from Belize, Sharon Matola and Ambrose Tillet, were in St. John's and Ottawa last week to protest plans by Newfoundland-based Fortis Inc. to build a hydro-electric dam in their small Central American country.

The Natural Resources Defense Council convinced another potential backer of the dam, Duke Energy of North Carolina, to abandon the project last year.

For more information, see and,

and contact: Gary Schneider, ECOPEI, 566-4696 or 651-2575

Leslie Dickout, Sierra Club of Canada (613) 241-4611

Grainne Ryder, Probe International, 416 964 9223 ex228

Ari Hershowitz, Natural Resources Defense Council, (202) 289-2388,

song to the tune of: 'O Sinner Man'


O Power Dam Nobody wants you
O Power Dam Nobody wants you
O Power Dam Nobody wants you
You're too damn big

Not in Belize, Belize don't want you
Not in Belize, Belize don't want you
Not in Belize, Belize don't want you
You're too damn big

Leave them alone the beautiful birds
Leave them alone Jaguar and tapir
and medicinal plants and trees and herbs
Leave them alone

Maria Minna, Minister for International Cooperation
Government of Canada

Dear Ms. Minna,

Please respond to the following information:

"Fortis, Inc., a billion-dollar Canadian corporation wants to build a hydro dam on Belize's Macal River which, if completed, would flood almost 1,000 hectares of lush rainforest, home to some of the world's most endangered species. This undisturbed jungle is one of the last large havens for jaguars, tapirs, freshwater crocodiles, howler monkeys, and scarlet macaws, fewer than 200 of which remain in Belize.

Using the Access to Information Act, Probe International has learned that the Canadian International Development Agency is backing the Fortis bid to dam the Macal River. CIDA gave almost $250,000 to Toronto-based AMEC, the world's third-largest engineering company, to prepare a "project justification report" and an environmental impact assessment.

Amazingly, CIDA is refusing to release this assessment, arguing that it has no legal obligation to do so.

Opposition to this catastrophic dam is growing worldwide. Robert Bateman, Harrison Ford, scientists and environmental groups from Belize, Canada and the United States are united in demanding it be stopped."

Please explain why this assessment is not being released and tell me if you support the building of this dam.

In my present opinion, Fortis should not flood this precious river valley, and Canada should not help destroy the world's biological and cultural heritage.

I thank you for a prompt reply,

Tony Reddin,
Bonshaw RR3,