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Opening a policy window for organisational change: the creation of BC Hydro's Water Use Planning program Scodanibbio, Lucia 2009

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OPENING A POLICY WINDOW FOR ORGANISATIONAL CHANGE: THE CREATION OF BC HYDRO’S WATER USE PLANNING PROGRAM  by LUCIA SCODANIBBIO  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  MASTER OF SCIENCE IN PLANNING  in  The Faculty of Graduate Studies  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)  December 2009  © Lucia Scodanibbio, 2009  ABSTRACT In the last few decades decision-making processes dedicated to allocating water among different uses have accorded increasing importance to the environmental and social values of water. In British Columbia, the Water Use Planning (WUP) program is a multi-stakeholder process aimed at revising the operating plans of BC Hydro’s hydroelectric facilities in order to consider water values beyond electricity generation. The purpose of this thesis is to analyse the particular circumstances that led to the emergence of WUP and prompted BC Hydro to open up its decision-making processes to better respond to environmental and social concerns. In particular, the internal and external factors leading to the creation of the program are explored, as well as the factors that facilitated its institutionalisation. The policy change literature provides a framework to analyse these factors, and interviews with key stakeholders and an analysis of secondary data are used to address the research question. A number of external factors highlighted the need for a changed approach to operating BC Hydro’s facilities, such as the ecological impacts caused by the dams’ operations, an imprecise regulatory environment, and worsening relationships with federal and provincial regulators, exemplified by a number of court cases. Factors internal to BC Hydro, including the development of a business case and concerns regarding the utility’s reputation and public expectations, were also critical. While a number of approaches were explored for solving the problems faced by BC Hydro, a policy window for change was opened within a shifting context provided by the election of a more progressive government, the growth of the environmental movement, and new approaches to taking complex multi-stakeholder, multiple resource decisions. A successful pilot process was undertaken on the Alouette River, and within a few months of its completion, BC Hydro was directed by government to expand the process to all its facilities. Factors that enabled the institutionalisation of WUP included the availability of financial resources to compensate for the foregone power, the presence of a number of visionary individuals, the background preparation that facilitated a successful pilot WUP, and the remaining sense of urgency and need of a solution.  ii  TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract…………………………………………………………………………………………………..ii Table of Contents……………………………………………………………………………………...iii List of Tables……………………………………………………………………………………………v List of Figures………………………………………………………………………………………….vi Acknowledgements…………………………………………………………………………………..vii 1. Introduction…………………………………………………………………………………………1 1.1. Problem Statement…………………………………………………………………………….1 1.2. Purpose and Research Objectives…………………………………………………………..4 1.3. Rationale………………………………………………………………………………………..4 1.4. Study Approach……………………………………………………………………………….. 6 1.5. Scope……………………………………………………………………………………………8 1.6. Thesis Structure………………………………………………………………………………..8 2. Water Use Planning (WUP) and its Institutional and Regulatory Framework…………10 2.1. Regulatory and Institutional Framework……………………………………………………10 2.1.1. DFO and the Canada Fisheries Act…………………………………………………13 2.1.2. Province and the BC Water Act…………………………………………………….. 15 2.1.3. BC Hydro and the BC Hydro and Power Authority Act……………………………19 2.1.4. Other Key Stakeholders – First Nations, Municipal Governments, NGOs……...21 - First Nations and Aboriginal Rights…………………………………….21 - Municipal Governments………………………………………………….23 - Non-Governmental Organisations……………………………………...23 2.2. What Is WUP?.............................................................................................................. 24 2.3. Summary………………………………………………………………………………………28 3. Theories of Policy Change……………………………………………………………………...30 3.1. Policy Cycles and Agenda Setting………………………………………………………….30 3.1.1. Agenda Setting………………………………………………………………………...32 3.2. Multiple Streams Framework………………………………………………………………..34 3.2.1. Application of the MSF Model………………………………………………………..39 3.3. Collaboration Forming Model………………………………………………………………. 40 3.4. Back to Policy Change……………………………………………………………………….44 3.5. Summary………………………………………………………………………………………47 4. Research Approach and Methods……………………………………………………………..48 4.1. Research Strategy…………………………………………………………………………… 48 4.2. Data Collection and Analysis Procedures………………………………………………….51 4.3. Limitations of the Approach and Research Processes…………………………………...54 4.4. Summary of Framework and Restatement of Objectives………………………………...55 5. Historical Context of Case………………………………………………………………………58 5.1. Hydropower Production in BC in the 20th Century………………………………………...58 5.2. Socio-Economic and Political Context……………………………………………………...61 5.2.1. Changing Values and Increasing Mobilisation……………………………………..61 5.2.2. Changing Government………………………………………………………………..66 5.2.3. Changing Approaches to Decision-Making…………………………………………68 5.3. Summary………………………………………………………………………………………70 iii  6. Application of Collaboration Forming Model to WUP……………………………………..71 6.1. External Factors: Problem Stream………………………………………………………….71 6.1.1. Problems with BC Hydro Operations………………………………………………..72 - Ecological…………………………………………………………………72 - Imprecise Regulatory Environment…………………………………….75 o BC Hydro’s Water Licences…………………………………… 75 o Fisheries Act……………………………………………………..77 6.1.2. Problems with BC Hydro’s Relationship with the Regulators and the Public…...79 - Federal Government: DFO……………………………………………...79 - Provincial Government: MELP……………………………………….....80 - NGO and Media Pressure….……………………………………………84 6.2. Internal Factors: Organisational Stream……………………………..…………………….87 6.2.1. Public Expectations and BC Hydro’s Reputation…………………………………..87 6.2.2. Internal Culture Shift…………………………………………………………………..90 6.2.3. Business Case…………………………………………………………………………95 6.3. Solutions: Policy Stream……………………………………………………………………..98 6.3.1. Solutions Implemented by BC Hydro………………………………………………..99 6.3.2. Solutions Implemented by Government Agencies and Other Stakeholders…..105 6.4. Opening of the Policy Window……………………………………………………………..108 6.5. Summary……………………………………………………………………………………..112 7. Enduring Policy Change: From the Alouette Water Use Plan to WUP………………..113 7.1. Factors that Led to the Institutionalisation of WUP………………………………………114 7.1.1. Success of the Pilot - Structure of AWUP Process…………………………...….114 7.1.2. Resources - Rental Remissions……………………...…………………………….116 7.1.3. Background Preparation - Accepting Tradeoffs……………………………….….118 7.1.4. An Element of Chance - The “Right People at the Right Time”……………..….121 7.1.5. Remaining Sense of Urgency…………………………………………………..…..123 7.2. Summary…………………………………………………………….……………………….124 8. Discussion and Conclusion…………………………………………………………………..126 8.1. Applicability of Model…….………………………………………………………………….126 8.2. The Process of Policy Change and Future Research Needs…………………………..130 Bibliography………………………………………………………………………………………….134 Appendix I…………………………………………………………………………………………….144 Appendix II……………………………………………………………………………………………146  iv  LIST OF TABLES Table 1  Method for identifying interviewee quotes in the text……………………………...54  v  LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1  General research approach adopted by project..................................................49  Figure 2  Chronology of some of the key events in the socio-economic and political context of British Columbia in the 1980s-90s...................................................................63  Figure 3  Chronology of some of the problems associated with BC Hydro’s operating regime in the 1990s.............................................................................................73  Figure 4  Chronology of some of the solutions implemented by BC Hydro and other actors to solve problems with BC Hydro’s operating regime........................................100  Figure 5  Chronology of some of the key events that led to the emergence of the WUP program.............................................................................................................111  Figure 6  Process and factors that led to the institutionalisation of the WUP program.....125  vi  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank my supervisors, Tony Dorcey and William Rees, for their support and guidance throughout the time I worked on the thesis, as well as Michael Harstone, the external examiner. I also thank all the interviewees for their generosity in sharing interesting stories and their time with me. Finally, all friends and family for their wonderful support and help, and for withstanding a stressed Lucia.  vii  1 Introduction  1.1 Problem Statement  Around the world, the allocation of water among competing uses poses continuous challenges to decision-makers and interested users alike. While a few decades ago economic development was the primary consideration in water allocation and use, the importance of meeting social and environmental goals has more recently started to gain prominence too. In the past – and often today – the mandate of dam operators has been single purpose use, such as to maximise power production or the availability of water for irrigation, domestic or industrial water supply. In the operation of hydropower dams, there have been numerous calls for shifting from a sole focus on power generation, to providing water for purposes other than electricity, such as environmental, recreational or cultural uses. In most cases, demands to dam operators for the release of water for other functions, or environmental flows as they are often known, have tended to be brushed aside or responded to only insofar as to comply with existing legislation. This has meant that impacts caused by the operation of dam facilities on downstream ecosystems, and consequently on the people who rely on them, have been substantial. As a consequence, dam projects around the world have in recent decades very often been at the centre of the interactions among a number of governmental, nongovernmental and private sector actors. These relations have often been surrounded by conflict, which can start as early as during the planning stages of dam projects, or sometimes only much later once the extent of the impacts of dam operation become clearer to stakeholders.  In 1998 the World Bank and the World Conservation Union (IUCN) catalysed the establishment of the World Commission on Dams (WCD) in recognition of the controversies dams had been raising for the preceding few decades. The latter were characterised by conflicts among stakeholders, lack of equity in the distribution of benefits arising from dams and an increasing unease with the negative environmental and social impacts of dams (WCD, 2000). As the WCD recognises, the history of dam-building evolved over the course of the 20th century. Up to the 1970s, the decade that saw the peak in dam commissioning and construction, dams were equated with economic progress, modernisation and man’s ability to harness nature. As awareness and information regarding the impacts associated with dams started to increase, local opposition to specific facilities began to grow, to soon merge into a global debate 1  regarding the full costs of dam projects. As a result, the World Bank and IUCN established a two-year multi-stakeholder process overseen by an independent commission of experts, which culminated in the production of a report reviewing the development effectiveness of dams, assessing alternatives to water resources and energy harnessing, and producing a series of recommendations that should be followed in the planning and development of dam projects.  A similar evolution in the history of dam building can be recognised in British Columbia, Canada, a province endowed with abundant water resources that have enabled and driven the province’s economic growth and development. A large number of dams was built in the 20 th century by BC Hydro (the third largest electric utility in Canada today) and its predecessors, starting in 1903 with the Buntzen Lake plant (BC Hydro, 2003). The highest period of growth was between the mid-1940s and the early 1960s, when the number of facilities grew from 10 to 28, fuelling the mining and forestry industries, the mainstays of the economy. The last megaprojects to be built in the province were the dams on the Peace and Columbia rivers in the 1960s and 70s, under the government of W.A.C. Bennett, who saw these facilities as further engines of economic growth. While some impacts on the very productive BC salmon fisheries were recognised early on, under the BC Water Act beneficial use of water was equated with power generation, agriculture and flood control. Consequently requests for water releases by local fish and game clubs in the 1950s were largely ignored. As concerns regarding the environmental impacts of dams increased in the 1960s and 70s, so did the requests to BC Hydro that water be released in order to keep salmon spawning grounds wet and to maintain accessibility to fish migratory routes. Nevertheless, such appeals were either ignored or responded to with often minimal mitigation works. Some minimum flow agreements were reached with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, but these often consisted of a trivial fraction of the original river flow and were furthermore often not complied with. In the mid1990s, however, the provincial hydropower operator adopted a much more proactive stance, embarking on a multi-stakeholder process which reviewed the management of all BC Hydro dam facilities, thus initiating the Water Use Planning program.  While today BC Hydro is considered one of the most progressive hydropower producers internationally, up to the early 1990s the company operated in a conflicted environment. Most licences for BC Hydro-operated dams were granted in the early parts of the 20th century, when environmental and social concerns were minimal, and, as mentioned above, economic growth was the main interest of dam operators. The following decades, however, saw the rise of the 2  environmental movement and a change in societal values.  At the same time, scientific  knowledge on the impacts of dam operation became clearer, particularly on aquatic habitats, salmon fisheries and First Nations culture, thus spawning conflicts among different stakeholders. At the height of the controversy, BC Hydro was charged with regulatory violations by the Federal and Provincial Governments due to the impacts of dam management on fisheries. In the mid-1990s, the corporation was also found to be out of compliance with several of its water licences, and its misdemeanours were being made public in the media on what seemed to be a weekly basis. In 1997, a number of citizen groups filed a submission with Canada, Mexico and the United States’ Commission for Environmental Cooperation, alleging that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans was failing to protect fish and fish habitat from the impact of hydropower operations.  The situation faced by BC Hydro in the early 1990s was not rare for hydropower producers at the time or even today. Conflicts among dam operators, environmentalists, local communities and governments are extremely common across the world, and can remain untackled and unresolved for years. Nonetheless, the response by the BC Government and the electric utility has been recognised internationally as one of the most progressive initiatives aimed at including environmental flows in dam operations. In 1995, the revision of the water licence of one of BC Hydro’s Lower Mainland power plants at Stave Falls provided the opportunity to review the flows of the contiguous Alouette River. Thus a pilot study was undertaken at the facility, consisting of a participatory comprehensive review of the water management plan of the dam. The process, which used the concepts of adaptive management, value-focused thinking and structured decision-making was highly successful, and led to the development of the Water Use Planning (WUP) program, a partnership between BC Hydro, different government agencies and First Nations. WUP consists in a series of guidelines which spell out how the operating plans of BC Hydro’s dam facilities should be revised according to the input of a range of stakeholders, relevant up-to-date scientific information and through an inclusive participatory process, in order to meet social and environmental goals in addition to economic ones. The WUP program, which officially started in 1999, resulted in the development of 23 WUPs which revised the operating plans of 31 BC Hydro dam facilities, over a six-year period, at a cost of $26 million. In addition to resulting in significant improvements in fishery resources across the province, the program has revolutionised the relationships among stakeholders from what used to be antagonistic interactions to cooperative dialogue with much higher levels of trust. 3  1.2 Purpose and Research Objectives  The overall purpose of this study is to discover and analyse the particular circumstances that prompted BC Hydro to open up its decision-making processes and better respond to environmental and social concerns. Is there a lesson that might be extrapolated to other similar institutional settings?  My specific research questions are: What specific factors motivated changes in BC Hydro’s decision-making processes with respect to environmental and social concerns? How did the affected parties respond to these factors? What facilitated the institutionalisation of the process at BC Hydro? What can we learn from the BC Hydro case that might be applicable or generalisable to other dam operators?  1.3 Rationale  Over the last couple of years I have become more and more interested in understanding how change and transformation can be brought about. Those who work in the environmental field are well aware that the paradigm within which we operate, dominated by economic growth and widespread consumerism, is leading to the demise of our ecological system and the resources which can ensure our survival and that of the other species with which we share the earth. While scientists, and increasingly politicians and the public at large are ever more aware of the problems we face, our response to them is proving to be largely inadequate, with too little being done, too slowly and often too late. The only way we can reverse current trends in environmental degradation is by shifting from the dominant economic growth paradigm, to an ecological one that takes resource constraints into account. We need to move away from growth, to a more equitable and qualitative development keeping within the earth’s carrying capacity.  These concerns started my search for the factors and circumstances that can lead to a shift in paradigm. The search has however proven to be extremely challenging. 4  I went to the origin of the concept of paradigm shift, to see what Kuhn (1970) in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions said. The term “paradigm”, first coined by him, “stands for the entire constellation of beliefs, values, techniques, and so on shared by the members of a given community” (Kuhn, 1970, p.175). As Kuhn recognised, in his reading of scientific revolutions and shifts from one scientific theory to another, it is very difficult to eradicate a dominant “Crises simultaneously loosen the stereotypes and provide the incremental data necessary for a fundamental paradigm shift” (Kuhn, 1970, p.89)  paradigm and replace it. While anomalies emerge to indicate that the paradigm in place is incapable of explaining the way the world works, those who are embedded in the paradigm, particularly those whose daily lives and livelihoods are dependent on its being in place, ignore and deny evidence that contrasts their beliefs, values and assumptions. As the number  of anomalies increases, a small portion of the community realises that the paradigm in place can no longer adequately explain some aspects it had previously shed light on. Debate and research ensue (experimentation phase), although generally aimed at finding explanations for the anomalies within the paradigm in place. As contrasting theories arise and modifications are made to the dominant rules, a state of crisis is entered into. The bigger the crisis, the more place for innovation is created and the faster it can be brought about. Eventually, conceptual categories and theories are re-evaluated and modified, so that the anomalies can be explained (assimilation phase) and a new set of beliefs arises. Nevertheless, some members still remain attached to the old views, and the full transition to the new paradigm is achieved only when the current generation is replaced by a new one that is not committed to the previous world-view, as noted by Planck (1949): “… a new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it” (p.33).  As Kuhn (1970) highlights, crises play a large role in causing a change in paradigm in the scientific domain. He also recognises the role of other factors such as increased awareness of problems (i.e. anomalies) and debate (which could be media-led) in bringing attention to the issues. I became interested in seeing if parallel mechanisms operate outside the scientific discipline, at the societal level. I started by looking at past shifts in paradigms which appeared to be so deeply rooted in society that shifting away from them seemed to be nearly impossible. Examples like the history of  “Novelty emerges only with difficulty, manifested by resistance, against a background provided by expectation” (Kuhn, 1970, p.64) 5  civil rights or the rights of women, the perceptions around smoking, or the abolishment of slavery could all provide clues to which series of factors came together to enable change to happen. These topic areas were however too broad for me, and not in my domain of expertise. I therefore started thinking about environmental flows as a paradigm shift in the water resources management field, a transformation from the business as usual scenario where water is to be fully allocated to economic uses, to a situation where minimum flows are set in order to maintain ecological functions. Of course it could be argued that environmental flows cannot be considered a radical paradigm shift, but when compared to the status quo, which still prevails in the majority of river systems around the world, they are a substantial step in the right direction. And then Water Use Planning came to my attention.  Given that I had worked in an NGO which was advocating to have environmental flows released by a dam which had had destructive impacts on the lower Zambezi river in Mozambique, I remember my amazement at hearing about the success of WUP as a multistakeholder process which had been initiated by none other than the dam operator! How had that been achieved? Did it take strong NGOs to bring pressure? Was a crisis at play – perhaps an ecological one? Was it an example of visionary leadership? What factors had allowed the dominant paradigm of water having to be fully allocated to productive economic uses to be changed? And furthermore, I was interested in learning from this situation in BC so that I could later on revisit areas where conflict between dam operators, local water users, environmentalists and government agencies was rife, and suggest how change could be brought about for the better. This case study therefore provided the ideal opportunity for me to remain within my field of interest and expertise – water resources management and dams – while exploring a new topic that was increasingly attracting my attention and interest – how large-scale transformation in society can be brought about.  1.4 Study Approach  As I further explored the literature on paradigm shifts, I struggled to find models that could help to identify factors and circumstances which enable transformation to happen. I also realised, ironically, that it was not as straightforward as finding a recipe for change that one could apply in any situation. While some works, like Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point (Gladwell, 2000) discussed how change occurs and can be brought about quickly, the book points to examples 6  that are of epidemic proportions, comparing the spread of certain ideas, products or messages to the proliferation of viruses. The author discusses the role of key types of people who have large networks, who persuade others with their ideas, and who can share information and knowledge, as key to the success of social epidemics. The fact that some ideas are “sticky”, or memorable, also contributes to their spread. Similarly, works like the Diffusion of Innovations (Rogers, 2003), while interesting, also mainly provided examples in the marketing or technological fields, recognising the fundamental role of early adopters of new ideas in consequently assisting in their spread. Other literature was more of the inspirational type, suggesting what we could and should do to change the world, and where pressure could be applied (e.g. where to intervene in a system – Meadows, 1999; or what to do to act against climate change – Kopp et al., 2001). It was increasingly clear to me that this literature was not appropriate for understanding and analysing the Water Use Planning case study, which, while important in the dam operations and management field, was not a development of epidemic proportions or an innovation that was on everybody’s lips and that would spread across society.  I needed to search elsewhere to find models that could assist me, and found that the policy change literature provided more relevant frameworks. In particular the stage of agenda setting seemed the most appropriate, as this explains the process, means and mechanisms by which issues and problems come to the attention of policy makers and become the focus of government action (Howlett & Ramesh, 2003). Although WUP was not a formal piece of legislation that was created and adopted by government, but rather a voluntary program that had been initiated by a utility, BC Hydro is a crown corporation that is in effect an extension of government. Furthermore, Anderson’s (1984) definition of policy is: “A purposive course of action followed by an actor or a set of actors in dealing with a problem or matter of concern” (p.3). I therefore was drawn to go ahead and use the policy change literature in my analysis of WUP.  To meet my objectives, I use the model of policy change provided by the Multiple Streams Framework by Kingdon (1984) and its adaptation, the Collaboration Forming Model by Lober (1997). The models claim that a policy window is opened when four streams intersect to give rise to policy change. Therefore when problems are linked to policy solutions, within a particular social/ political/ economic context by an organisation seeking to improve its corporate behaviour, the momentum for change can be created (see Chapter 3 for a detailed explanation of the framework). I therefore attempt to identify the main factors in each of these streams 7  (problem, policy solutions, socio-political events and organisational change) to see what gave rise to the window of opportunity which allowed WUP to be generated. I did this through undertaking a number of interviews with key informants and through reading the relevant literature on the case (see Chapter 4 for detailed methods).  1.5 Scope Chapter 5 briefly covers some of the key events in BC’s dam-building history. However, the focus of this research is the events that led to the Alouette Water Use Plan, the pilot study which was the precursor of WUPs and that was initiated in late 1995. I therefore cover the period starting in the 1980s in more detail, and follow events up to 1999, when the WUP guidelines were formally released, thus allowing the program to proceed across the province.  Thus, the focus of this research is to explore the formative phases of the WUP program, focusing on why and how it emerged. Although it would be extremely interesting to then follow on to explore how successful it was and whether it was in fact a shift away from business as usual, that goes beyond the scope of this Master’s thesis.  1.6 Thesis Structure  This chapter has provided an introduction to the thesis, laying out its objectives and rationale, and giving a glimpse of the issues I tackle throughout it. Chapter 2 covers the relevant legal and regulatory framework within which WUP is situated, introducing some of the key governmental and non-governmental actors and institutions involved in its emergence and development. I also better explain the main features of the Water Use Planning program. Chapter 3 delves further into the policy change literature on which I have based my analysis of the case study. I explain the Multiple Streams Framework and Collaboration Forming Model, providing examples of how these models have been used by others in the past. Chapter 4 discusses the methods I use to pursue my objectives (a case study taking a grounded approach) and the data collection and analysis procedures I followed. In Chapters 5 and 6 I present my findings, based on the literature, and interviews I conducted. I start by describing the historical, political and socio-economic context surrounding the emergence of WUP, looking 8  at some of the key enabling events, such as the rise of the environmental movement and a change in government. I continue by laying out the external (push) factors that led to WUP, the factors internal to BC Hydro (pull factors), and the solutions that were put forward by different sets of actors in an attempt to solve the problems surrounding BC Hydro’s operations. I also describe the policy window which saw these circumstances and factors come together and result in the emergence of the Alouette Water Use Plan. In Chapter 7 I reflect on the aspects of the process that I think played an important role in transforming the pilot AWUP into an institutionalised process. Lastly, Chapter 8 distils the main lessons from the case, reflecting on the usefulness and applicability of the models I used. I also reflect on how change and transformation occur, and provide some suggestions for further research.  The thesis adds to the body of knowledge concerning the history of dam operations and policies revolving around water and hydropower in BC. The factors that led to BC Hydro taking a progressive approach to the conflicts that it was experiencing and to the way it managed its operations is documented and informs the broader literature around the processes influencing policy change and specifically agenda setting. I reflect on the factors that played a role in the emergence and institutionalisation of WUP, extrapolating to how such factors could be helpful to bring change about in other such situations.  9  2  Water Use Planning (WUP) and its Institutional and Regulatory Framework  This chapter discusses the main characteristics of the Water Use Planning program, and the institutional and regulatory framework that surrounded its emergence. I introduce the main stakeholders that played a role in the lead-up to WUP (the Canada Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the Provincial Government of BC, BC Hydro, and to a lesser extent First Nations, NGOs, and Municipal Governments). In addition, I discuss the main pieces of legislation and policy that are relevant to WUP, in particular the federal Fisheries Act and the BC Water Act.  2.1 Regulatory and Institutional Framework  In Canada, the institutional arrangements for managing water are complex, involving a range of jurisdictions, from federal government agencies, provincial and territorial bodies, to local and Aboriginal governments, which share the jurisdiction over water and its associated natural resources (Johns & Rasmussen, 2008). According to Section 91 of the Constitution Act, 1982 (an amendment to the 1867 Constitution Act), the Federal Government is responsible for fisheries resources and habitat; navigable waters and shipping; and transboundary aspects of water management1. On the other hand, under Section 109, Provincial Governments own all public land, mines and mineral resources that are not subject to aboriginal claims, and, as a consequence all surface and ground waters (Johns & Rasmussen, 2008). Section 92A delineates provincial rights over the development, conservation and management of nonrenewable resources, forests, and the generation of hydropower. Provincial Governments are therefore responsible for domestic and industrial water supply, pollution control, irrigation, reclamation and recreational uses (BC Aboriginal Fisheries Commission, 2000).  In BC, the Federal Government, through the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), has authority over fish habitat, marine fisheries as well as anadromous species that depend on freshwater systems for part of their lifecycle. Prior to the Oldman River and Rafferty-Alameda court decisions in Alberta and Saskatchewan, however, DFO was only exerting its mandate for  1  In terms of inter-provincial and international waters shared with the US, as well as interprovincial and international trade, such as trade in energy.  10  marine fisheries on the east and west coasts of Canada (Langer, 2008), having delegated part of its fish management responsibilities to the provincial governments. The above court cases found that the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans had been neglecting his fiduciary responsibilities in the application of the Fisheries Act, by failing to protect fish habitat in the interior of the country. DFO was thus reminded it was responsible for the management of fish habitat concerns in all freshwater ecosystems across Canada. In BC this meant also becoming involved in non-salmon waters in the interior, such as on the Peace River and in the Kootenays (Langer, 2008). The Provincial Government however retains responsibility over freshwater fisheries, such as steelhead.  According to the Federal Government, the two levels of government collaborate in setting environmental goals, by passing complementary legislation and effectively seeking compliance with it (Environment Canada, 1997). Problems in the management of water and its associated resources have however arisen in the past, as a result of the different jurisdictions and the complex administrative environment. This should not come as a surprise, given that the Provincial Governments are responsible for allocating and distributing water, while the Federal Government protects fish stocks and their (water!) habitat. As Langer (2008) puts it: “The basic job of protecting fish and habitat from physical harm or deleterious substances has  always been a reasonably complex and sometimes confusing job. The complexity originated in our Constitution and the complex nature of the countless jurisdictions we have in BC and the Yukon (and nationally). The real conundrum is the fact that the Province is responsible for land, water, air and business including waste management. DFO and DOE [Department of Environment] is responsible for fish and habitat protection. However, habitat is little more than an interaction of land, air and water. Protecting those media as fish habitat when most industry that harms or destroys habitat is licensed and managed by the Province makes it more than a challenge a single agency type approach can meet with the mandates and laws we now have” (p.19).  The legal challenge over water flows in the Nechako River in central BC exemplifies the difficulties faced in Canada as a result of the multiple and overlapping jurisdictions over water and natural resources.  11  In 1949 the Aluminium Company of Canada (Alcan) was granted a licence to build a water diversion from the upper Nechako and Nanika rivers in order to power an aluminium smelter near Kitimat, in north central BC (Healey, 1992). By 1952 Alcan had built a dam and water diversion on the Nechako, using only a portion of the rights to water that it had been granted. Its licence allowed the company to use the remaining percentage of flows by 1997. Although the initial project diverted 75% of the Nechako waters, causing significant impacts on the Cheslatta First Nation and the chinook and sockeye salmon runs, in 1978 Alcan announced it would divert the remaining licensed water, in order to double power generation. While the company claimed that the impacts of flow reduction on salmon would not be detrimental, DFO obtained an injunction in 1980, preventing Alcan from reducing flows below a certain quantity and until further analysis was undertaken. Although studies were conducted and the two parties negotiated and disputed the issue over six years, in 1986 Alcan took DFO to court pleading relief from the 1980 injunction. The company claimed that DFO could not demand flows for fish, given that water was owned by the BC Government. Finally an agreement was reached out of court between DFO, Alcan and the Provincial Government, which allowed the project – called Kemano Completion Project – to go ahead, subject to mitigation measures to protect the salmon fishery. Although public opposition to the project and a change in provincial leadership was successful at first causing the project to undergo a review by the BC Utilities Commission and finally leading to its cancellation (Harrison, 1996), what stands out is the provincial role during negotiations between DFO and Alcan. While the BC Government was responsible for the protection of resident freshwater fish species in the river, it did not want to be seen supporting DFO’s claim of authority over river flows (Healey, 1992). Furthermore, since it approved of Alcan’s proposal to expand power generation, which would stimulate economic development and job creation, it sided with the company against DFO in the negotiations.  This case shows the jurisdictional squabbles that have commonly occurred between the federal and provincial governments, which one would expect to naturally arise given one level is in charge of fish and the other in charge of water (Healey, 1992). It is clear that unless cooperation and joint agreements are in place between the two parties, the resource will ultimately suffer. Furthermore, this case is supportive of historic claims that provincial governments’ involvement in water resources management has revolved around ensuring sufficient water for resource-based industries that could contribute to economic development (Johns & Rasmussen, 2008). Even today, provincial governments have been more concerned  12  with using water for economic expansion than with its conservation or the preservation of its quality.  WUPs have been hailed as providing a much needed opportunity and venue, at least as far as rivers affected by hydropower facilities go, for different agencies to talk to one another and flesh out the operating parameters that will meet their respective regulatory requirements (Matthews & Hill, 2004). These requirements are what will be looked at next.  2.1.1 DFO and the Canada Fisheries Act  The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) is the federal agency responsible for administering the provisions of the Canada Fisheries Act, which regulates activities that could influence water levels and flows, thereby harming fish and their habitat. Under the Fisheries Act, DFO sets requirements for minimum water flows; the construction of fish-ways, fish guards or screens; pollution prevention; fish habitat protection, etc. Until the late 1970s there were no provisions for protecting fish habitat2 in the legislation, other than the Fisheries Act S.36 preventing the release of deleterious substances in water bodies. Although in 1968 DFO established its first unit to conserve fish habitat, it is only in 1976 that Section 35(1) on Harmful Alteration, Disruption or Destruction of fish habitat (HADD) was passed, demanding that no work or undertaking result in a HADD (Langer, 2008). Contravention of S.35(1) requires an authorisation by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans under Section 35(2) and, in addition, the activity must undergo a review under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (see below). Section 32 was also passed in 1976, prohibiting the killing of fish by any other means but fishing. Lastly, the Fisheries Act also authorises DFO to issue orders to ensure the release of sufficient flows3 from dams and water control facilities for fish safety and for the flooding of spawning grounds (S.22(3)).  In 1986 the Policy for the Management of Fish Habitat was released, enhancing the HADD measures. Its main objective is a “net gain in productive capacity of fish habitat”, through 2  According to Section 34(1) of the Fisheries Act, fish habitat includes spawning and nursery grounds, and areas for rearing, food supply and migration which fish depend on directly or indirectly in order to carry out their life processes. 3  Water is judged to be of “sufficient” quantity as per the judgement of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.  13  conservation of existing habitats, restoration of damaged habitats and development of new habitats, following the guiding principle of no net loss (NNL) (DFO, 1986). In practice, this means that if habitat is lost due to a development, it must be replaced by habitat of the same or better quality and quantity. In addition, integrated resource planning undertaken in cooperation with other resource sectors such as forestry, mining, etc. is also promoted to assist in conserving fisheries resources (Province of BC, 1998).  Together the NNL principle and S.35(1) on HADD are the main tools for conserving and protecting fish habitat. Although the Fisheries Act is considered the strongest Canadian piece of legislation protecting the environment and water resources (Johns & Rasmussen, 2008), its implementation and enforcement has often been the subject of strong criticism (e.g. Langer, 2008; Peterson et al., 2005; Quadra Consultants, 1997). The NNL policy, for instance, has not been very effective, due to the fact that habitat generally degrades slowly and thus impacts are sometimes only seen years or decades later (Narver, 2000). Furthermore, given that developers are given the condition (and possibility) of providing compensation for loss of habitat, the option of building replacement habitat is often chosen over the protection of existing habitat, despite the fact ecological functioning is lost as a consequence (Langer, 2008). In a number of cases, fisheries officers have allowed habitat damage to occur in order not to oppose economic progress and to avoid conflict with developers (Langer, 2008). In the past, DFO has been repeatedly accused of being too hesitant to use the powers of the Act, especially to hold provincial agencies or entities, such as crown corporations, accountable (CEC, 2000; Langer, 2008). Provincial proponents are however the main culprits who cause 85% of habitat damage in BC, through developments undertaken by provincial departments (e.g. Ministry of Transportation and Highways), provincial crown agencies, or by the granting of permits or licences (Langer, 2008). Furthermore, the Fisheries Act is also criticised for being a punitive piece of legislation, which only enables action once damage has occurred, often requiring litigation in order to prove such damage (McDade, 1996; Narver, 2000). McDade (1996), noting that fines are the main mechanism used by DFO, criticises them as a deterrent against future damaging actions for crown corporations, underlining that beyond providing a threat, they are not an appropriate regulatory tool which can solve problems in the long-term. It is therefore not possible to use the Act to proactively prevent damage from taking place.  14  2.1.2 Province and the BC Water Act As mentioned above, provincial governments’ involvement in water resources management in the past mainly revolved around ensuring sufficient water for resource-based industries that contributed to economic development (Johns & Rasmussen, 2008). This trend can be seen in the evolution of water legislation in BC (Johns & Rasmussen, 2008). In the province, the first law to be concerned with water emerged as a result of conflicts around the use of water for mining. This was the 1856 Gold Fields Act which granted rights for a specific quantity of water in exchange for rental payments to the Provincial Government. It was followed by the 1865 Land Ordinance Act, which allowed water diversions to cultivated lands, and the 1892 Water Privileges Act that declared that the Government of BC was vested with exclusive rights to the use and flow of all water. BC’s first Water Act was passed in 1909. This outlined the acquisition and control of water rights, and established a tribunal which would prioritise different claims with respect to the allocation of water.  Today the BC Government has the right and responsibility to protect water resources and to ensure that these are used sustainably. Section 2(1) of the British Columbia Water Act states that the government owns all water in BC and can grant rights to the use and flow of that water, through the issuance of water licences under the Water Act (BC, 19094). The main actor responsible for water management in the province is what is today called the Water Stewardship Division (WSD) within the Ministry of Environment5. Within the WSD, the Comptroller of Water Rights (Water Comptroller), regional water manager, and engineers and officers are responsible for regulating water use. In particular, the Water Comptroller is responsible for issuing and amending licences, regulating works and determining the precedence and appurtenancy of licences (BC, 1909). In addition he/she has powers and 4  Over time, there have been several amendments to the Water Act, as well as the other pieces of legislation I refer to in this chapter. Consequently, a number of different versions exist and it is at times difficult to identify the version of the legislation in place during the time period covered by my case study . Throughout the thesis, I have nevertheless put an effort into being as accurate as possible when it comes to identifying the legal framework which was current at the time of WUP’s emergence and development. 5  Up to 1991, the authority and right to administer water rested with the Ministry of Lands, Forests and Water Resources. With the coming into power of the New Democratic Party Government in 1991, the Water Management branch was created within what was then called the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks (MELP). With subsequent government restructuring, ministries’ names have been changed numerous times. Today, for instance, the Water Stewardship Division within the Ministry of Environment is in charge of water issues. Throughout this thesis, I use the names of the departments/branches/ministries that were current to the study period.  15  responsibilities concerning flood control, public safety and the environment (Province of BC, 1998).  The Water Act (BC, 1909) is the main piece of legislation administering water in the province. It governs the construction, operation and maintenance of works to ensure the beneficial use of the water resource. Part 2 of the Water Act regulates licensing, diversion, storage and use of surface water through a system of licences. Under section 5, water licences entitle the licensee to divert and beneficially use water; to store it; to construct, maintain and operate works for the diversion, use (including to produce hydropower) or storage of water; to alter or improve streams; and to construct screens, fences or other structures for fish conservation. Licence holders have to pay an administrative fee on application for a licence and an annual water rental charge based on volume of water used. Where water is used for power generation, rental rates are based on capacity and output. Water licences are granted on a prior appropriation basis6 (also known as “first in time, first in right”), meaning that where two licences grant rights to the water of the same stream, the one with a prior date has precedence in its use of the water (BC, 1909). This becomes especially relevant if water becomes scarce. When two licences have the same date, Section 15(2) ranks the purposes which have priority from highest to lowest as follows: domestic, waterworks, mineral trading, irrigation, mining, industrial, power, hydraulicking, storage, conservation, conveying and land improvement purposes. As one can note, water designed to meet conservation purposes, which are defined in the Water Act as “the use and storage of water or the construction of works in and about streams for the purpose of conserving fish or wildlife” (BC, 1909, S.1), ranks very low. This means that often this need has not been met, as all available water in a stream was already allocated. In the past it has therefore been very difficult to use existing legislation to grant water to instream flow purposes, given that licences issued for other uses have had a prior allocation date. For instance in the case of streams hosting BC Hydro facilities, most licences granted to hydropower purposes date back to the early or mid20th century, at a time when conservation values were not considered (Matthews & Hill, 2004).  6  The prior appropriation concept is in contrast to riparian rights, which apply in eastern Canada. Under riparian rights, landowners with property adjacent to water bodies have a right to that water as long as they don’t impact its quality or character, in such way as to affect downstream users (Johns & Rasmussen, 2008).  16  Several diversion or storage licences issued to BC Hydro have therefore allocated up to 100% of a river’s flow7.  Water licences have a number of clauses, such as to indicate whether water will be stored or diverted, the date the licence shall take precedence, the purpose for which water will be used, the quantity of allocated water and the period when the water will be utilised. Some licences in the past also included fish clauses, which indicated the amount of water that would be released downstream of hydropower facilities in order to protect fish. The 1954 licence granted to BC Hydro to divert water on the Cheakamus River, for instance, includes a clause stating that the Comptroller would issue (within 18 months) an order regarding the amount of water that should be released into the Cheakamus for fish propagation (Ward & Yassien, 1996a). This clause, in addition to being the exception rather than the rule, was however never complied with. Most licences did not include provisions for fish or for minimum flows, allowing the licensee to divert as much water as they applied for8. As a consequence, after dam construction, some rivers downstream of BC Hydro facilities came to be dry for parts of the year or for several kilometres until groundwater or tributaries would replenish their flow.  Despite the occurrence of such impacts during the latter part of the last century, the Water Act has no provisions for changing or revoking of a licence. According to Section 23(2), water rights can be suspended or cancelled by the Comptroller if, among other reasons, the licencee fails to pay water rentals or make beneficial use of the water as stated in the licence for three years; if he/she fails to construct the works authorised by the licence; or if the licencee fails to comply with the Act, its regulations, the terms of the licence or the orders of the Comptroller (BC, 1909). The Water Act does therefore not provide much protection to the ecology of a water body, even in the case of visible impacts. Furthermore, water licences issued for power purposes currently have a term of 40 years, unless they are renewed or amended before (BC, 1909). In the past however, according to subsequent modifications of the Water Act, licences have been granted in perpetuity (i.e. with no expiry clause) or have had terms of different 7  In the Alouette, for example, the licence granted to the BC Electric Railway Company in the early 1900s did not specify a requirement for the release of a minimum flow downstream, thus effectively authorising the dam operator to divert most of the water and cut off all flows to the river downstream of the dam, except at times of high precipitation or flood, when water would be released for safety. 8  A study conducted in 1990 indicated that of BC Hydro’s 198 licences, only 15 had environmental clauses (e.g. for compensation) or restrictions (Sigma Engineering, 1990). Although some licences had orders under the Water Act or agreements with government associated with them, more than 85% had no restrictions and allowed BC Hydro to operate with no regulatory control from MELP.  17  length, thus making it very difficult, if not impossible, to change them in order to reflect changing societal priorities.  Problems of interpretation have arisen in the past with regard to water licences, particularly those that were granted several decades, and sometimes even a century ago. The licences were found to be very general9 and often unclear, using language that could be subject to differing interpretations and providing minimal or no guidance to the licensee regarding specific parameters that could guide, in the case of hydropower, the facilities’ operation. This caused subsequent Comptrollers in the past to interpret the licences in different ways, often leaving BC Hydro unclear with respect to the way it should operate its works. As will be seen in Chapter 5, this lack of clarity and vagueness in the licences’ language was also one of the causes of BC Hydro being accused of being out of compliance with the terms of its licences on several rivers.  The main take-home message with regards to water management in BC relates to the inability of the Water Act, the main piece of legislation governing and regulating water use in the province, to protect water and the ecological values associated with it. Although the Ministry of Environment also has a unit in charge of fish and wildlife10, this division has in the past been relatively powerless in its discussions of fish concerns with the engineers of the WSD, opting instead to work more closely with DFO (Langer, 2008). In 1997, however, some change started to occur, with the passage of the BC Fish Protection Act (FPA), which enables water managers to take into account impacts on fish stock and fish habitat before approving or amending licences, or approving work in or near streams (BC, 1997). The four main objectives of the FPA are to ensure sufficient water for fish; to protect and restore fish habitat; improve riparian protection and enhancement; and increase local government powers for environmental planning. The Act mandates that fish habitat issues are considered when applications for licences under the Water Act are made. In the case of conflict between the Water Act and the FPA, the latter prevails.  Although the FPA seems to hold some power with regards to water management, Johns and Rasmussen (2008) maintain that Canadian provincial governments are “constitutionally, 9  Water licences generally provided minimum and maximum elevations, and average rates of diversion, but no directions on the myriad adjustments that need to be made in order to manage water conditions (MEI et al., 1999) 10  This unit was called Fish, Wildlife and Habitat Protection during the study period.  18  politically, and operationally privileged with respect to responsibility for water resources management, and they have historically been more concerned with economic development than with water conservation or quality” (p.74). The authors go further, in reporting that there have been arguments that water resources across the country have been poorly managed due to the provincial governments’ susceptibility to being influenced and captured by economic interests. As will be seen in subsequent chapters, this accusation has definitely applied to the BC Government in its relationship with its crown corporation BC Hydro.  2.1.3 BC Hydro and the BC Hydro and Power Authority Act  The British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority (BC Hydro) was created in 1962, as a result of the amalgamation of BC Electric, the company which built the first hydroelectric generating plant in BC in 1898, and the BC Power Commission, a public sector enterprise which promoted electrification across BC11. BC Hydro was specifically created as a crown corporation, in order to move ahead with the government’s plans to develop the Peace and Columbia rivers in the BC interior, two enormous projects that were too risky and uneconomical for private companies to venture into alone (Jaccard et al., 1991).  BC Hydro has an installed capacity of over 11,000MW, of which more than 90% is produced through hydropower from 30 facilities (BC Hydro, 2009). BC Hydro’s Board of Directors is appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council and the utility reports to the BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources12. BC Hydro is British Columbia’s largest electrical utility and has a customer base of 1.8 million people (BC Hydro, 2009). For a very long time it was the main body in charge of electricity generation in BC, until in the 1990s it started to increasingly consider acquiring power from independent power producers (Jaccard et al., 1991). Transmission of electricity has been under the charge of the BC Transmission Corporation since 2003, while trade of electricity with the US and Alberta is managed by BC Hydro’s subsidiary Powerex since the late 1980s13. 11  http://www.bchydro.com/about/company_information/history.html (website accessed on 08/09/2009)  12  In the early 1990s, the BC Ministry of Employment and Investment – MEI – was responsible for energy issues, and consequently for BC Hydro. 13  http://www.bchydro.com/about/company_information/history.html (website accessed on 08/09/2009)  19  The Hydro and Power Authority Act (BC, 1964) establishes BC Hydro’s authority such as the power to generate, distribute and supply electricity; develop power plants and projects; acquire and modify, in a number of ways, land and property; acquire the rights to roads, highways, railways, waterways, etc. for power supply or generation; enter into partnerships or working agreements with firms or persons to carry out or take over activities related to the Act, etc. The Act also gives BC Hydro the power to expropriate land, to borrow funds, and the power to enter an area to survey it or use it in order to meet its mandate. BC Hydro’s power developments are regulated by the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC). BCUC is in charge of regulating the pricing and investment behaviour of BC Hydro. Until the mid1990s, when the BC Environmental Assessment Act came into place, BCUC was also charged with evaluating, regulating and reviewing energy projects. The Commission was born out of the BC Utilities Commission Act, which was passed in 1980 (Smith, 1988). Prior to 1980, BC Hydro had never been subject to regulation or held accountable. Like other public power utilities across the country, it was never challenged or scrutinised; this, until a number of factors14 came together to call for bringing its operations under regulatory control (Smith, 1988). Part 3 of the Utilities Commission Act deals with the regulation of utilities, while part 2 dealt with the Energy Project Review Process until it was repealed with the coming into place of the Environmental Assessment Act in 1995.  Since 1995 new water control facilities on provincial Crown land are subject to the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Act (BCEAA, 2002). The BCEAA came into place to consolidate the three previously existing environmental assessment processes (i.e. the Mine Development Assessment Process, the Energy Project Review Process and the Major Project Review Process). The current BCEAA requires that some projects, such as those seeking to produce more than 50MW of energy, those building a dam higher than 15m, or those impounding or diverting more than 10 million m3 of water, are reviewed under this legislation and obtain an environmental assessment/ project approval certificate in order to proceed. This applies to both proposed new facilities and to existing ones requiring modifications.  14  Including the growth of the environmental movement, and increasing concerns regarding the need for further power supply, given the falling demand, the economic slowdown and the rising costs of production due to inflation (Smith, 1988).  20  Projects may also be subject to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) if a joint federal-provincial review is required (e.g. where the project is on federal land, it is under federal sponsorship or a federal act applies) (CEAA, 1998). Section 16 of the CEAA lists the factors that need to be considered in an environmental assessment, such as environmental effects and cumulative environmental effects, while S.59 allows regulations to be made regarding the types of projects that require an assessment, such as those affecting fisheries and fish habitat, wildlife, forests, protected areas or aboriginal lands.  2.1.4 Other Key Stakeholders – First Nations, Municipal Governments, NGOs  First Nations and Aboriginal Rights  According to S.91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867, the Federal government is responsible for “Indians and lands reserved for the Indians”. Aboriginal and treaty rights in Canada, however, became protected under the Canadian Constitution only in the 1982 amendment to the Constitution Act, 1867, when Section 35 came into force15 (BC Aboriginal Fisheries Commission, 2000). Although this section recognises and protects “existing” rights, it fails to specify what those rights are. “Existing” rights, which consist of the customs, practices and traditions of First Nations people therefore need to be defined through negotiation or litigation, in order to become protected in the constitution. Over the last couple of decades, these rights have been interpreted by case law, and are therefore site- and fact-specific. Overall, however, recent cases of the Supreme Court of Canada have more commonly decided for a narrow interpretation of rights16 (BC Aboriginal Fisheries Commission, 2000). So far agreements have been reached, among others, on the protection of aboriginal rights to fish for food, social and ceremonial purposes; some rights to fish commercially and treaty hunting rights.  Two types of rights exist with respect to aboriginal ownership of water, those associated to reserve land, upon which provincial laws cannot encroach, and those associated to nonreserve title land (BC Aboriginal Fisheries Commission, 2000). The time period of reserve 15  Before 1982, aboriginal rights and title were not recognised, although a court case involving the Nisga’a people in 1973 had seen the majority of the Supreme Court agreeing to the fact that aboriginal rights did exist. 16  For a complete history of cases regarding aboriginal rights – such as Sparrow, Gladstone, Van der Peet, N.T.C. Smokehouse and Delgamuukw – please refer to BC Aboriginal Fisheries Commission (2000).  21  creation and the process by which a reserve was created affects the type of water rights that are granted. For example, did the original boundaries of the reserve include adjacent water bodies or not? Did the process of reserve allotment also grant the right to fish, or to (partially or exclusively) control or manage water in order to ensure fish survival? Once again, individual court cases establish the answers to these and other such questions.  As far as the provincial process of granting water licences goes, the Comptroller, according to a common law obligation, must assess whether issuing or amending a licence will infringe upon aboriginal right or title (BC Aboriginal Fisheries Commission, 2000). Furthermore, both the Comptroller and the licence applicant have a duty to consult with First Nations when new licences are granted. Since 1982 the Crown must pass a relatively strict test in order to be allowed to infringe upon aboriginal right or title, undergoing consultation, compensation in certain cases, and indicating that there is a substantial reason behind such interference (BC Aboriginal Fisheries Commission, 2000).  In 1998, operational guidelines from the Provincial Government established how consultation regarding possible infringements of First Nations rights and title should be undertaken, and stated that the existing policy framework for aboriginal rights should be respected (Province of BC, 1998). As far as WUPs go, the WUP process envisages consultation with First Nations, recognising their existing aboriginal and treaty rights (Province of BC, 1998). The role of First Nations in providing local knowledge and the aboriginal perspective, which is a legal and constitutional requirement, is recognised as critical (BC Aboriginal Fisheries Commission, 2000). The WUPs that are developed for the different facilities, however, do not address past infringements of rights that may have arisen during construction or operation of the facility. While torts that emerged during construction should be addressed through negotiation, the Provincial Government expects WUPs to address First Nations issues through considering changes in operations in order to reduce impacts.  According to a number of interviewees, First Nations were not considered instrumental in leading to the emergence of WUP (e.g. BCH4, pers. comm.). Although problems between BC Hydro and aboriginal groups did exist, due to the impacts of both construction and operation of dam facilities, First Nations did not have a strong political voice when it came to calling for change, especially considering that their biggest concern during the time preceding and developing the WUP program was land claims. They did however partner with different public 22  interest groups, through which they voiced their concerns. In the rest of this research their role will therefore be covered through looking at non-governmental groups, so as to be consistent with the realities of the case study time period17.  Municipal Governments  Although municipal governments do not have direct responsibility for water resources management, unless delegated by the Provincial Government, some of their activities impact the water resource. Under the Municipal Act, local governments have the responsibility of adopting capital expenditure programs and financial plans, and are encouraged to develop and adopt Official Community Plans and regional growth strategies. Local governments are also responsible for waste and storm water management, greenways and parks. Within the Water Use Planning processes, municipal governments were generally responsible for bringing forward local concerns, mainly related to recreational, flood hazard management, water quality, etc. issues.  Non-Governmental Organisations Public interest groups are a key feature of BC’s political landscape (Mullen-Dalmer, 2009), with the province renowned across Canada for having the country’s most vigorous environmental and public interest movement (Blake, 1996). According to Langer (2008) BC has an environmentally aware group of citizens due to the fact many in the 1960s saw that industrial and population growth was impacting BC’s beautiful scenery and its valuable natural resources. The public interest groups that formed as a result have played an important role in pushing for the development of progressive legislation18 and stalling a number of environmentally harmful projects, such as around mining or logging. According to Mullen-Dalmer (2009), activist groups  17  One should note that while at the time of the case study First Nations did not play a very significant role, today they are a much more prominent actor. My discussion of their role in this chapter is thus only relevant to the period spanned by the case study. 18  In fisheries, for instance, BC has been at the forefront of developing legislation for the protection of fish and fish habitat for the past 40 years (Langer, 2008).  23  are significantly able to influence public opinion and policy processes in BC given the province’s large size and small population. According to Harrison (1996): “Environmental groups in BC range from fish and wildlife clubs, such as the BC Wildlife Federation, to the radical Earth First!, and in between are naturalists and outdoor recreation groups, protest-oriented groups such as Greenpeace, wilderness groups such as Western Canada Wilderness Committee and the Sierra Club of Western Canada, and the mainstream advocacy West Coast Environmental Law Association” (p.291). Some of these organisations undertake activities throughout the province, such as the Sierra Club of Western Canada, whereas others have more restricted local or regional agendas (Hoberg, 1996). Many formed in response to specific controversies, such as to preserve particular wilderness areas (e.g. the Valhalla Wilderness Society), most often in concern to the impacts of forestry and logging. As will be seen in subsequent chapters, public interest groups played an important role in the emergence of WUP. In particular, the Alouette River Management Society, the Sierra Legal Defence Fund (today called EcoJustice), the Steelhead Society and others were instrumental in calling for change and in developing studies outlining, for instance, hydropower impacts on fisheries.  2.2 What Is WUP? Water Use Planning (WUP) has been described as “a new planning process to enhance water management at hydroelectric power and other water control facilities in British Columbia” (Province of BC, 1998, p.1). The overall goal of the program is “to find a better balance between competing uses of water that are socially, environmentally and economically acceptable to British Columbia” (Matthews & Hill, 2004, p.2). WUP plans are aimed at clarifying the way rights to water resources in BC should be exercised, recognising that water has multiple uses and taking into consideration the varied input of interested and affected parties. WUPs add specific operating conditions and parameters19 to the licences of individual hydropower facilities issued under the BC Water Act. These orders are then applied by dam managers in their day to day operating decisions or in emergency situations. The WUP 19  Operating parameters are defined as “the technical constraints on facility operations that describe maximum, minimum, and target levels for reservoir elevation, water flows, rates of flow/diversion, etc.” (Province of BC, 1998, p. 38).  24  program was developed by BC Hydro in partnership with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, provincial agencies and First Nations representatives in the mid-1990s. The process is hailed as being innovative, inclusive and collaborative (Matthews & Hill, 2004). It uses a structured decision making approach based on the principles of decision analysis, which takes into account both scientific, technical information and different stakeholders’ values and concerns20.  While WUPs have mainly been developed for BC Hydro facilities, the process of undertaking WUPs can be followed for large scale industrial or municipal water operations, or water control facilities that cause adverse environmental impacts (Province of BC, 1998). When the WUP process is applied to existing facilities, it can result in  -  better defining how water rights are exercised under various conditions;  -  modifying the operations so the facility complies with regulatory requirements;  -  amending the licence to reflect the way the facility currently operates;  -  voluntarily changing operations, thus diminishing water rights;  -  reducing water rights to reflect licensees’ beneficial use of water.  The WUP process, convened by BC Hydro, follows 13 steps (Province of BC, 1998): 1. Initiate the process (following request by licensee, Water Comptroller or interested party); 2. Scope water issues and interests; 3. Set up the consultative process to be followed; 4. Define specific water use objectives considering power and non-power uses of water; 5. Gather data on impacts of water flow on the objectives; 6. Define alternative operating regimes for regulating water use; 7. Assess tradeoffs between alternatives in terms of objectives; 8. Document areas of consensus and disagreement, and prepare consultation report; 9. Submit draft WUP to Water Comptroller (licensee) 10. Review draft plan and issue a decision (Comptroller); 11. Review WUP and provide advice or authorisations (DFO); 12. Monitor compliance with authorised WUP; 20  For more information on the aspects of decision analysis, adaptive management and value-focused thinking see Gregory et al. (2001), Gregory et al. (2006) and McDaniels et al. (1999).  25  13. Review WUP periodically and when necessary.  All steps are meant to be followed for each facility, although flexibility can be applied depending on the size and context of the operation, or the degree of conflict (Province of BC, 1998). Each WUP must consider issues pertaining to fish and aquatic resources, flood control, hydropower generation and First Nations. Depending on the facility, WUPs can also consider agriculture, wildlife, recreational and tourism values. The purpose is to improve the management of the existing dam facility through a change in flows or physical works in order to accommodate nonpower values in addition to hydropower generation. However, WUPs are not intended to address historical impacts caused by the dam project, nor is the option of decommissioning a facility included among the operating alternatives, despite the fact that some stakeholders would like this option to be discussed for some of the dam projects (Ryder, 2005).  A number of principles guide and underlie the WUP process (Province of BC, 1998). These include the recognition of existing legal and constitutional rights and responsibilities, such as those under the BC Water Act, the Canada Fisheries Act and aboriginal rights. These rights and responsibilities are safeguarded under WUP and clarified through revised operating parameters for dam facilities. The WUP process is advisory in nature, meaning that the outcomes are compiled into a report and provided to the Comptroller, who then reviews and approves (or not) the plan. The plans are developed in a participatory manner, emphasising transparency, good faith, listening to others’ points of view and promoting a shared commitment and sense of stewardship towards the resource. While consultation and consideration of stakeholders’ interests is an essential component of WUP, consensus is not a requirement for the completion of the process21. Areas of disagreement need to however be identified and documented. As mentioned above, the multiple uses and values of water have to be recognised, with the acknowledgement that tradeoffs among competing uses and interests may need to occur. Given that decisions are in some cases undertaken in the absence of complete information, adaptive management plays an important role, as does monitoring of the resources in response to the decisions that have been taken. Regular reviews are carried out, with their frequency depending on the level of uncertainty surrounding the decisions that have been made, and context-specific information.  21  Most WUPs that have been undertaken to date have resulted in a consensus outcome (Matthews & Hill, 2004), thus preventing the need for inquiries, recourse and appeals.  26  For each WUP, a consultative committee is set up representing the different interests. It comprises of members of the public and user groups, agency representatives, BC Hydro and First Nations. Oversight committees are also established, in charge of providing direction and coordination in different areas of the WUP process (Mullen-Dalmer, 2009). These include the WUP Management Committee, composed of government and BC Hydro staff, which is responsible for overall program coordination; a Steering Committee, comprising of assistant deputy ministers and the BC Hydro Vice President; and a Policy Committee, formed by deputy ministers/ director generals and the BC Hydro Vice President/ President. The latter two have been created to resolve issues on which the Management Committee cannot reach agreement; to provide overall guidance, such as on public interest issues and tradeoffs; and to provide support to the consultative committees. Advisory committees have also been created on specific areas, namely First Nations, fisheries, resource valuation, power modelling and communications/ engagement.  A pilot WUP for the South Alouette River, a tributary of the Fraser River in the Lower Mainland, was started in late 1995. This process was undertaken in response to a condition set by the BC Government for relicensing a nearby facility at Stave Falls. BC Hydro was asked to revise flows for the Alouette in order to meet non-power values, specifically addressing fisheries and flood concerns, and to engage a range of stakeholders in this process (McDaniels et al., 1999). The outcome was to be a detailed water management plan which would provide specifications to the water licence, which, as it stood, afforded minimal restrictions and parameters for operation. The process was considered a success, as it provided substantial information to the decision-makers regarding the values and priorities of different groups, in addition to scientific information which showed the impacts of operation on stakeholders’ objectives, and set the basis for future monitoring (McDaniels et al., 1999). Having the public’s endorsement of the outcomes and the facility’s operating regime was also crucial for BC Hydro, as was its being in compliance with the regulatory requirements imposed by the Water Comptroller.  Following the experience and success of the Alouette Water Use Plan (AWUP), BC Hydro and the regulatory agencies set out to develop guidelines for conducting WUPs in all of BC Hydro facilities, seeking to answer the question: “How can a hydroelectric utility committed to sustainability effectively respond to operating conflicts driven by changing social, environmental and economic priorities?” (Matthews & Hill, 2004, p.2). The WUP program officially started at the end of 1998, and has resulted in the revision of the operating plans of 31 BC Hydro dam 27  facilities, over a six-year period and at a cost of $26 million. The costs have been mainly borne by BC Hydro, although the regulatory agencies have contributed in terms of staff time and other resources. While this may seem a large sum of money, to put this into context, for the fiscal year which ended March 1999, the utility paid $766 million to the Provincial and Municipal Governments in the form of dividends, water rental charges, and taxes (BC Hydro, 1999). Its net income for that same year was $395 million, as compared to $408 million the previous year.  Since the beginning of WUP, some of the most valuable outcomes of the process are considered the new, positive working relations and partnerships between the different stakeholders, which have replaced the previous adversarial, litigatory approach (Matthews, 2004). For example, in looking back at the AWUP, the Alouette Stakeholder Committee suggests: “There now exists a working environment involving the stakeholders and their respective organisations, in which cooperation is replacing divisiveness and trust is replacing mistrust” (ASC et al., 1996, p.51). Additionally, renewed, often win-win agreements have been reached on the management of BC Hydro facilities, providing environmental, economic and social benefits. On the Stave River, for instance, the WUP has enabled net improvements in fish habitat, in recreational water levels and in power values (Matthews, 2004). These positive outcomes have served to increase public acceptance of BC Hydro and its operations, thus translating into enhanced business certainty. Furthermore, BC Hydro has become a leader among electrical utilities in the field of conducting collaborative, inclusive processes and through the build-up of in-house expertise on structured decision-making techniques and computer modelling tools (Matthews & Hill, 2004). Finally, the WUP process has allowed the Government of BC to address numerous data gaps which existed with regards to fish and aquatic resources, and to thus increase the understanding of fish habitat, the impacts of hydropower on it and ways to reduce those (CEC, 2000).  2.3 Summary  The purpose of this chapter was to introduce Water Use Planning, and the legal and institutional framework and context within which it emerged. The most important point to note relates to the fact that multiple actors and jurisdictions operate to influence water resources management in BC, which can often be at odds with one another. Of particular note is the apparent contradiction between the Federal Government’s authority over fish and their habitat, 28  as contrasted to the Provincial Government’s right to allocate water to varied uses, with, in the past, minimal consideration for conservation. These topics will be further explored in Chapters 5 and 6, but for now the analytical framework and its exploration of the policy change literature follows.  29  3  Theories of Policy Change  This chapter introduces the policy change literature that provides the framework for analysing the emergence of the WUP program. I discuss the Multiple Streams Framework and the Collaboration Forming Model, as well as examples in which these models have been applied. A general discussion of how policy change has been found to occur follows, which sets up the stage for analysing the events which surrounded WUP’s conception.  3.1 Policy Cycles and Agenda Setting A policy is defined by Anderson (1984, p.3) as: “A purposive course of action followed by an actor or a set of actors in dealing with a problem or matter of concern”. Public policy has been defined by Jenkins (1978, p.5) as: “A set of interrelated decisions taken by a political actor or group of actors concerning the selection of goals and the means of achieving them within a specified situation where those decisions, should, in principle, be within the power of those actors to achieve”.  Scholars trying to understand public policy have attempted to break down the complexity involved in studying this phenomenon in different ways (summarised in Howlett & Ramesh, 2003). One approach has been to focus on policy content, under the claim that the nature of the policy problem and proposed solutions determines the way issues move through the political system. A different tradition has linked policy outcomes to the political regime/system from which they emerged. For instance, in democratic systems, it is claimed that governments that are receptive to citizens’ needs model public policy in response to demands for change, which are driven by perceived problems that stakeholders want addressed (Meyer & Cloete, 2000a)22.  Another approach is searches for the causes and determinants of policy change, which generally compare factors at the macro and micro levels, often in a quantitative manner  22  Accordingly, societal stability is enhanced when the policy system keeps up with its environment’s needs, demands and preferences, responding to the way these change (Meyer & Cloete, 2000a). In practice, however, such stability is rarely, if ever, achieved and continuous change is a reality.  30  (Howlett & Ramesh, 2003). Meyer and Cloete (2000a) recognise the following reasons leading to policy change:  -  Changing environments: problems or perceived shortcomings in the political, economic, socio-cultural or technological status quo call for policy-makers to implement change. Decision-makers are also influenced by the actions of specific actors such as regulators, supporters or competitors.  -  Changing public opinion, which is influenced by shifting values, belief systems or patterns of behaviour, as well as the media.  -  Changes in the demands on government, which often result from changing perceptions of policy problems and solutions.  -  Changes in the availability of resources to solve problems.  -  Changes in the nature of institutions: in the 21st century there has been a tendency for institutions to become less bureaucratic, formal and big. Their core business has also often been redefined.  -  Changes in political leadership.  -  Changes in policy solutions or service delivery strategies, which see government increasingly acting as facilitator as opposed to provider of goods and services.  Another approach towards understanding public policy that remains widely used today is to look at the separate stages of the policy-making process. Traditional policy cycle models were initially developed between the 1950s and 1980s. They all varied around a small number of key stages that helped disaggregate the policy process into discrete steps, thus assisting in breaking down the complexity of the process and making sense of the jumble of information which came together to influence it. In most of the early models, the stages that were identified, although sometimes given different names, revolved around:  1. Agenda setting 2. Policy formulation 3. Decision making 4. Policy implementation 5. Policy evaluation  31  These models, however, soon came to be criticised for a number of reasons (summarised in Howlett & Ramesh, 2003)23. Based on these shortcomings, new models were developed, which used the basic elements of the original frameworks, but also captured the complexities of actor behaviour and dynamics of policy-making. It had in fact become clear that appreciating the activities and interactions of policy actors and the political, economic and social context within which they operate was a key aspect of understanding the policy process (Howlett & Ramesh, 2003).  Several of the models that were subsequently developed only focused on one or another of the discrete stages identified in the policy cycle above, seeking to answer questions regarding the role of different actors, institutions, policy instruments and ideas (Howlett & Ramesh, 2003).  For the purposes of analysing the origins of the Water Use Planning program, the agenda setting stage is the most relevant, as it explains the process, means and mechanisms by which issues and problems come to the attention of policy makers and become the focus of government action (Howlett & Ramesh, 2003). The next section therefore covers the basics of agenda setting and in particular one model that has been widely used to analyse the processes occurring within this first stage of the policy cycle: the Multiple Streams Framework. I return to the issue of policy change in the last section of this chapter.  3.1.1 Agenda Setting  Agenda setting claims that the way in which problems come to be recognised by decisionmakers, if at all, determines the way in which they will be addressed, and thus the remainder of the policy process (Howlett & Ramesh, 2003). Studying agenda setting therefore means understanding the way stakeholders demand for change, the way decision-makers respond, and the conditions under which these processes occur. Agenda setting has been recognised as 23  For instance for the models’ assumption that problems are solved in such a linear fashion, ignoring the occurrence of idiosyncratic and ad-hoc developments. The original models also failed to consider that some stages can be compressed, skipped or followed in a different order (e.g. by evaluating policies during the implementation stage), or that the process may be stalled or end in the middle of the cycle. Smaller loops could occur within the bigger cycle (e.g. when certain decisions lead to more than one policy being formulated, skipping the agenda setting stage). Furthermore the models did not consider causation (what or who drives a policy from one stage to another?), traditionally assuming that government is the main actor driving the process and ignoring the multiple interests that interact and affect policy processes and outcomes.  32  perhaps the most critical stage of the policy process (Howlett & Ramesh, 2003), since it determines who influences or controls the policy-making process and how stakeholders exercise their influence in it (Meyer & Cloete, 2000b). Different actors have differing abilities to influence the policy process, depending on the resources they have access to, their degree of internal organisation and the extent to which their interests are shared by other groups, with whom they can cooperate or compete (Howlett & Ramesh, 2003). Business is in particular considered the most powerful group, “with an unmatched capacity to affect public policy” (Howlett & Ramesh, 2003, p.71), as a result of its vital role in the production process, and the financial contributions the sector can make to political parties24, or research institutions. As Cobb and Elder (1972, p.12) recognise, “Pre-political or at least pre-decisional processes often play the most critical role in determining what issues and alternatives are to be considered by the polity and the probable choices that will be made”.  It is clear that not all issues that stakeholders identify as in need of policy attention make it to the agenda of policy-makers. Certain items never make it beyond the systemic (or informal) public agenda, which comprises of all the issues that members of the political community think are worthwhile of public attention and government action – essentially thousands of issues (Cobb & Elder, 1972). Other items manage to reach the institutional (or formal) state agenda, which consists of the issues that move up from the systemic agenda to be given serious attention by government so that action is taken to address them, thus starting the policy process. The processes and mechanisms that allow items to reach the formal state agenda have been the focus of several theoretical models that seek to understand the agenda setting process.  While there were a number of early theories surrounding agenda setting which attempted to isolate single variables thought to be responsible for raising certain items on the agenda of policy makers, these theories were soon found to be unrealistic, when tested and examined with real-world examples25 (Howlett & Ramesh, 2003). They were therefore soon replaced by  24  Howlett and Ramesh (2003) mention that although the exact impact of interest group campaign expenditures on public policy is subject to debate, the information, financial and power resources of such groups makes them key members of the policy subsystem. 25  The univariate models of agenda-setting looked at variables such as socio-economic conditions; the interplay between economic and political cycles; swings in public mood and policy paradigms; and swings in government attention in response to issues raised by the media (Howlett & Ramesh, 2003).  33  multivariate models, which combined several variables. For instance the “funnel of causality” model (King, 1973) claims that a number of variables is nested and interact with one another, to give rise to social or policy problems which become recognised by policy makers. The model however failed to identify the causal agent or the role of specific policy actors in setting the agenda (Howlett & Ramesh, 2003).  Key questions that assist in understanding the agenda setting process include:  -  How are demands for a policy made by individuals/ groups and how are they responded to by government?  -  What are the conditions under which demands emerge and are articulated in the prevailing policy discourse?  -  What are the material interests of social and state actors, and the institutional and ideological contexts in which they operate? (Howlett & Ramesh, 2003)  The Multiple Streams Framework (Kingdon, 1984) provides one way to assist in answering these questions, by considering why some subjects rise on government agendas while others fail to do so.  3.2 Multiple Streams Framework (MSF)  Kingdon’s (1984) Multiple Streams Framework (MSF) is one of the most influential models of agenda setting. The author used this model to seek to understand agenda setting in legislative processes in the US. Specifically, he analysed the processes of deregulation in aviation, trucking and railroads; the creation of Health Maintenance Organisations; proposals for national health insurance during the Carter administration; and the imposition of waterway user charges. The model takes into consideration the role of both state and non-state actors in having items included onto the government agenda at particularly opportune times known as policy windows. Kingdon viewed the policy process as comprising of three streams – problems, policies and politics – which generally act independently of one another, except at certain times when these windows of opportunity open that allow the three streams to come together, often resulting in policy change. In more detail, the three streams are:  34  A problem stream, which comprises of issues that policy-makers and citizens perceive as problems and want addressed. Kingdon (1984) distinguishes between problems and conditions, claiming that the latter come to be viewed as problems when there is the belief that something should be done about them. Clearly this varies according to people’s values and their way of judging and classifying issues as problems. Focusing events (e.g. crises such as the crash of a plane) can draw attention to latent problems – in this case that of air safety. Similarly, feedback from existing programs, through indicators such as costs of medical care or the number of cases of a disease, focus a government’s attention on these problems. The author claims that sometimes decision-makers take action on certain issues based on comparisons between their own and other countries; based on the way the issue is framed; or when its way of being classified changes. For instance the classification of an issue as a transportation or energy issue can affect problem definition and the urgency with which solutions are developed.  A policy stream, which refers to the build-up of knowledge and perspectives among a group of specialists in the policy domain, and their proposal of solutions to policy problems. These experts analyse various alternative solutions – initially many more than will ever be considered – and they evaluate them and narrow them down. These specialists are considered hidden participants (when compared to the more visible political leaders, the media or campaigners) and include academics, researchers, consultants, analysts, etc. that are responsible for increasing the number of alternatives on the table. Both the substance of their ideas, and political pressure (through lobbying and mobilisation) act to move some proposals further ahead on governmental agendas than others. According to Kingdon, criteria that enhance the survival of policy ideas include:  -  Technical feasibility, especially including feasibility of implementation;  -  Value acceptability among the members of the policy community. The values include concepts such as equity and efficiency, or the specialists’ view on the proper role and size of key actors, such as public vs. private sector;  -  Anticipation of future constraints, including budgetary constraints; and public acceptance of the proposal, be it a specialised public, the general public or elected officials (i.e. politicians’ receptivity).  35  Some of the solutions that are formulated are innovative, particularly when they result from scientific or technological advances, which sometimes allow for rapid policy change. Others take old ideas and reframe them or combine them with other concepts, thus requiring reiterations and continuous discussions, hearings and bills before resulting in change. Often reformulation of already-existing ideas is more successfully accepted than completely new proposals. The key way consensus is achieved among different policy solutions is through diffusion and persuasion among specialists. A politics stream, which refers to swings in the “national mood” or political climate of a country, including attitudes towards government, public opinion, and general societal trends (Kingdon, 1984). The shifts in mood can be due to partisan realignments, or to feedback emerging from the implementation of certain programs, which sometimes lead to the emergence of new problems. Elected officials sense the mood through communications such as mail, media coverage, conversations with constituents, meetings, etc. and this information then serves to enlighten non-elected officials. A national mood affects election results, the receptivity of decision-makers to interest groups, and whether proposals are promoted or inhibited from entering government agendas. The politics stream also includes organised political forces, manifested in the activity and pressure of interest groups, and political mobilisation. Decision-makers judge the degree of consensus and balance between the different political forces, to determine whether the climate is ripe for action, or to at least be aware of what they face. The strength of different constituencies can be established by assessing their resources and the frequency and intensity of their communications.  Lastly, the politics stream is characterised by government events. These include shifts in the issues decision-makers prioritise and push onto the agenda; and legislative, administrative and agency top personnel turnover, which also leads to changes in the items dominating the agenda. In the U.S. the disposition of new presidential administrations and of Congress towards the issues under discussion plays an important role (Scheberle, 1994). Jurisdictional boundaries also affect whether issues are dealt with, given that some may remain neglected due to the presence of other departments officially in charge with them.  The key way consensus is built in the political stream is through bargaining and granting of concessions between members of the different coalitions, in return for support. Participants  36  enter the game sometimes suddenly to ensure they are not left behind, and in this way contribute to agenda change (Kingdon, 1984).  These three generally independent streams – the problem, policy and politics streams – can either create momentum and assist in pushing for change, or can act as constraints, thus preventing certain items from rising on the agenda (e.g. due to financial reasons, low public support, opposition by powerful interests or the fact that the issue in question is less attractive than the ones with which it is competing) (Kingdon, 1984). Problems, for instance, may fade after sometime because they stop growing and, as people get used to them, they become accepted. Problems may also come to be ignored because people’s attention is attracted by other issues, as Downs (1972) claims with the issue-attention cycle (see below). Government may also attempt to solve problems and fail, leading to frustration and the subsequent address of issues that have a better chance of being handled successfully.  The streams are described as being independent because Kingdon (1984) claims that in many cases solutions are developed irrespective of whether there is a problem to be solved; changes in the political system may occur suddenly; and certain problems may remain unresolved for years. However, the author also recognises that in some cases the streams are not entirely independent, such as when policy proponents work on solutions that are likely to fit within budgetary or political constraints, or the electorate votes for leaders that are likely to address certain problems. Nonetheless, the streams are considered to be largely separate and regulated by different forces, considerations and styles.  Nevertheless, sometimes the three streams intersect at specific times known as policy windows (i.e. fleeting opportunities that are opened by compelling problems that capture the attention of decision-makers, or events in the political stream, which allow the shift of items onto formal government agendas: Kingdon, 1984). During this time, a problem is identified, a solution is available to solve it, and the political climate is ripe for change. At this time coalitions are built, bargaining occurs and concessions are made in return for participation in coalitions, which people join for fear of being left out. Diffusion of ideas thus occurs, often through snowballing effects and by the passing of tipping points.  37  Policy windows can open at regular times (e.g. when legislation needs to be reviewed, at times of elections or new budget cycles); or unpredictably following a crisis, such as a terrorist attack, a flood, etc. Policy experts are aware that these windows need to be exploited, as they are generally scarce and short-lasting; if missed, one needs to wait for a new one (Zahariadis, 2007). Generally these moments are seized upon by policy entrepreneurs, who are brokers that link the three streams (i.e. policy problems to solutions, at times of political opportunity). Policy entrepreneurs need to have good skills, resources and strategies to ensure access to decision-makers and to gain the attention of politicians that are receptive to their ideas (Kingdon, 1984). Policy entrepreneurs need to do much preparation with decision-makers, policy communities and the public to familiarise them and begin creating acceptance of the solutions they are proposing, so that when a window opens the idea is more likely to move forward. This is known as “softening up”. This educational process is done through hearings, getting people to talk to each other, speeches, and trial balloons (the introduction of new ideas to test the water, knowing that they may not go immediately ahead, but that at least they raise public attention and initiate a debate).  Some authors (cited in Zahariadis, 2007) have criticised the MSF model arguing that the processes are seen as operating too randomly, that the streams are only linked accidentally and that the results are only a consequence of luck. On the contrary, they argue that the three streams (problems, policies and political processes) do not necessarily operate independently of one another and should instead be seen as interdependent, with changes in one stream triggering or affecting changes in another. They use the example of the problem of U.S. tax reform being linked to the solution of tax cuts long before President Reagan’s rise to power opened a policy window. Other authors claim that solutions are not developed independently of problems and can furthermore assist in creating problems. They argue that the US decision to depose Saddam Hussein and invade Iraq, for example, was on the agenda long before a specific problem emerged, and it remained unchanged irrespective of how the problem came to be framed (Zahariadis, 2007). The MSF has also been criticised for presenting the agendasetting process as too dependent on unpredictable events, ignoring the long periods of stasis and stability that separate these periods of sudden policy change which occur in spurts (Howlett & Ramesh, 2003). Nevertheless, the model has been used to analyse privatisation processes in different European countries, the reform process in eastern Europe, and collaborations between businesses and environmental groups in the US (as summarised by Howlett & Ramesh, 2003). 38  3.2.1 Application of the MSF Model Scheberle (1994) used Kingdon’s (1984) Multiple Streams Framework to study the case of the adoption of radon and asbestos legislation in the United States, following the inclusion of these issues on the formal federal government agenda. In the case of radon, while the problem linking radon exposure to lung cancer outside the workplace became recognised by federal officials in 1979, the issue did not enter the formal federal agenda until after a key focusing event in 1984, which indicated extremely high radon levels in a home in Pennsylvania. This led to local actions including a large-scale radon testing program and the formation of a citizen’s group. The group acted as policy entrepreneur and managed to gain the attention of the national media thanks to assistance from a regional counsel for the Environmental Defence Fund. National media coverage increased exponentially during the subsequent three years, as did pressure by state actors that insisted in keeping radon on the national agenda. However, the formal agenda was only entered when a coalition of senators from five states brought the issue to the congressional arena, causing radon to be included in the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorisation Act (SARA) in 1986. SARA authorised the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to conduct a national radon survey and to reduce indoor radon levels, and in 1988 the Indoor Radon Abatement Act was passed, which showed congressional concern for radon.  Curiously, in the discussion of the case, Scheberle (1994) does not directly use the language of the Multiple Stream Framework to analyse the events that led to radon entering the formal agenda, especially insofar as the role of the policy and politics stream. From a reading of the case, one could infer that the public interest groups were the key actors in the politics stream, raising the issue of radon exposure on the political agenda and demanding that a federal agency take action in dealing with it. Policy solutions were mainly provided by EPA, although it was only through public pressure and the action of policy entrepreneurs such as the citizen group and the Environmental Defence Fund counsel, that the formal agenda was attained.  The case of asbestos was similar to the radon case with respect to the role of the media and public interest groups in creating the focusing events, but had as an additional factor the role of litigation and court cases. By 1982, 30,000 claims had been filed against 260 asbestos firms, with the largest producer owing US$2 billion in settlements and court costs. Furthermore, scientific evidence linking exposure to asbestos with lung cancer and mesothelioma became 39  increasingly strong and indicated clear risks to the public, and not only to individuals exposed to asbestos in the workplace. Thanks to the role of policy entrepreneurs (scientists and consumer protection agencies), which expanded the scope of asbestos danger to include all Americans, the policy community responded with EPA regulations concerning asbestos exposure. Similarly, in individual states, local conflicts regarding asbestos concentrations in schools became common at the school district level, creating an additional push for national legislation to be passed to regulate asbestos in the school place (Scheberle, 1994)26.  3.3 Collaboration Forming Model  Lober (1997) has provided a modified version of the MSF, which better suits cases where the policy processes do not happen within the political and government system, and where voluntary collaborations between different stakeholders (e.g. through the setting up of multistakeholder taskforces) are undertaken. The author calls this the “Collaboration Forming Model”, which departs from the MSF in two main ways. Firstly, the political stream is expanded and renamed into the social/ political/ economic stream, to better take into account the fundamental role of public opinion and consumer demand. Secondly, an additional stream is added – the organisational process stream – which specifically captures the importance of the business sector in bringing change about, through for instance corporate behaviour that includes environmental considerations, or industry-specific trends and changes, such as the development of new technologies. Lober (1997) uses this model to explain the creation of the Paper Task Force in the US, which consisted in a collaboration between the Environmental Defence Fund, five large industrial paper consumers and a university to develop environmentally-sound guidelines for paper procurement.  26  Scheberle (1994) also uses Stone’s (1989) concept of causal theories to understand the asbestos case. Causal theories explain the cause of a policy problem by identifying a causal agent (a “villain” that can be blamed for the problem and for misconduct), who is forced (him or other political actors) to take responsibility for his actions and solve such problem. In the case of asbestos, the villains were the asbestos producers and industry, but also government, which for a long time promoted the industry and downplayed and concealed public health risks. A subsequent high level of distrust among the public led to extreme levels of litigation, which ultimately forced the government to take action in the form of legislation that regulated exposure to asbestos. Ultimately, the costs of litigation that the government was facing due to its allegiance with the industry exceeded the costs of putting strong legislation in place (Scheberle, 1994).  40  In this case study:  The problem stream was characterised by  -  The increasing availability of studies indicating the dangers associated with dioxins used in the paper production process.  -  The concern around logging old growth forests and the practice of clear-cutting.  -  The fact landfills were increasingly reaching capacity, thus reducing publiclyaccepted waste disposal options.  The policy stream indicated:  -  The growing occurrence of collaborations between businesses, government and environmental groups in the early 1990s.  -  The example provided by the collaborative model developed between McDonald’s and the Environmental Defence Fund in order to reduce waste produced by the company. This joint effort, in addition to successfully creating a waste management strategy which reduced packaging and saved costs for the company, also assisted in creating a model that could be used in other multistakeholder processes and helped build trust.  -  As of the early 1990s, an increasing acceptance of solutions that used market mechanisms to solve environmental problems, such as pollution trading schemes or the use of consumer purchasing behaviour to influence companies.  -  The increasing number of government initiatives aimed at increasing recycling and the content of recycled fibres in paper through the release of an executive order and the creation of guidelines at state level.  -  The development of legislation to prevent the release of hazardous chemicals from pulp mills, which promoted the exploration of production methods that were chlorine-free and that minimised the release of effluents.  41  Within the organisational stream:  -  A move in the early 1990s in many companies towards greening and more environmentally responsible behaviours (e.g. through the establishment of environmental policies, programs, management structures and designs).  -  Cyclical changes within the pulp and paper industry, such as the transition from a stagnant to a boom period between 1993 and 1994, and the beginning of a new spending cycle.  -  Increasing industrial responsiveness to consumer demand for recycled paper/fibres.  -  The development of innovative technologies for production of chlorine-free paper.  The social/political/economic stream showed:  -  Growing public interest and support for environmental issues in the US, characterised by increases in recycling rates.  -  Rising demand for more environmentally-friendly paper in Europe.  These four streams converged to give rise to a collaborative window of opportunity which saw, to summarise, the coming together of public recognition of the problems associated with the production of paper; policy solutions that set production standards and encouraged the use of collaborative approaches; companies improving their environmental performance; and public support for environmental issues and “clean” paper. In this context, the presence of a collaborative entrepreneur was a critical factor, someone that could take advantage of the opportunity provided by the opening of a window for the formation of a partnership. The Environmental Defence Fund acted as the policy entrepreneur, given the organisation’s interest and experience in collaborations with businesses, its expertise in waste management, and its concern with the environmental impacts of paper production and disposal. The organisation therefore assisted in inviting and convening the other stakeholders and in initiating the taskforce. Lober (1997), reflecting Kingdon’s (1984) comments regarding the length of time a policy window stays open, re-iterates that often the opportunity is fleeting. Political climate (e.g. 42  related to the strength of environmental legislation) may change, as could public attention and support. Cycles in organisational change may cause the greening trend to fade, and policy solutions that are proposed may be ineffective (e.g. due to the failure of collaborative fora or market approaches to solving environmental problems).  Although the Paper Task Force did not result in a change in policy, Lober (1997) justifies using the MSF approach to describe the creation of the Task Force by indicating that this collaborative venture resulted in guidance for the behaviour of organisations. Lober had initially explored the use of Gray’s (1989, in Lober, 1997) model of the preconditions that lead to interorganisational collaboration. According to Gray, the conditions that lead to collaboration are:  -  A perceived crisis;  -  The existence of problems of such complexity that they require multi-stakeholder fora to be solved;  -  Perceived and actual shortcomings of the adversarial approach in solving the problem;  -  Increasing turbulence in the social, political and economic environment.  However, Gray claims that not all problems are conducive to being resolved through multistakeholder collaborations. The author defines collaboration as “a process through which parties who see different aspects of a problem can constructively explore their differences and search for solutions that go beyond their own limited vision of what is possible” (Gray, 1989, p.5). According to her, the types of issues that are appropriate to being solved collaboratively include cases where  -  There is disagreement about the nature of the issue (e.g. between government, businesses and environmentalists);  -  Stakeholders have a vested interest in the problem (e.g. economically);  -  The problem is surrounded by scientific complexity and uncertainty;  -  Some of the stakeholders perceive that the solutions that have been put forth are inadequate and have not worked; and  -  The stakeholders dealing with the problem have unequal levels of power and influence.  Thus, whereas the nature of the problems associated with paper indicated that the issue was conducive to being resolved collaboratively, examining the context around paper against the 43  conditions that Gray (1989) identified as leading to collaboration did not provide a strong case for using the model. While some controversy existed around the environmental impacts of paper and there was some pressure on companies to change, this was not strong enough to be considered a crisis or a particularly turbulent situation that would necessarily lead to collaboration. It is in this context and with consideration of the static nature of Gray’s model, which is in contrast with the dynamic nature of the processes surrounding the emergence of multi-stakeholder fora, that Lober (1997) modified the Multiple Streams Framework.  The Collaboration Forming Model has since been used by Takahashi & Smutny (2002) to analyse the formation of a wellness collaborative among three community-based organisations (CBOs) aimed at providing services for people suffering from HIV and AIDS in Los Angeles.  3.4 Back to Policy Change  Kingdon (1984) recognises that while problems are crucial in bringing certain issues to the attention of decision-makers, they can also fade from view, either because the government has addressed the issue or because it has failed to do so, and turned its attention elsewhere. Crises may have passed or indicators calling for change may have improved; people may have simply become used to the problem, or more urgent issues may have emerged. According to Downs (1972) certain issues temporarily capture public attention and call for government to develop policies to solve them. Some problems, however, do not remain prominent for a long time, sometimes due to their complexity or intractability, and thus often fade from view, unresolved. According to the author, these are generally problems affecting a minority of the population, they are the result of activities that benefit the majority of the population, and they can capture media attention in spectacular ways, but for only brief moments. Downs claims that an “issue-attention cycle” develops around these problems, as they emerge and disappear from public attention, and consequently the agenda. While Downs’ work has been widely cited in agenda setting studies, it has been criticised for the vagueness of the author’s hypothesis in the original article, and for not exploring the issues he puts forward in sufficient depth (Howlett & Ramesh, 2003). Nevertheless, the argument that certain issues disappear from view unresolved is certainly accurate, as recognised by a number of authors (cited in Howlett & Ramesh, 2003) who claim that policy monopolies determine whether issues are tackled or simply given no attention. Hot issues like race in the 1960s, or gender discrimination and 44  regulations against polluters in the 1970s and 80s, gained no traction for a long time in the public arena due to the presence of powerful actors vying to maintain the status quo. Agenda denial therefore occurred over a long time before a window of opportunity allowed these issues to emerge on the agenda and to have sustainable solutions attached to them.  According to Hogwood and Peters (1983), there are four different types of policy change:  -  Policy maintenance and adaptation, where only minor, incremental modifications to existing programs, activities or goals are undertaken, without changing the overall policy framework.  -  Policy innovation, when a new policy direction, activity or service is embarked upon.  -  Policy termination, which occurs through either a change or overall cessation in a program or activity.  -  Policy succession, when an existing policy is replaced by another intended to achieve the same or similar objectives.  Policy innovation and termination are not very common in government, and tend to occur when triggered by a crisis such as a change in leadership (Hogwood & Peters, 1983). Hall (1993) on the other hand claims that there are three kinds of changes in policy: first, second and third order. First order change occurs when the levels (or settings) of policy instruments are changed, while leaving the instruments themselves and the overall goals unaltered (e.g. adjustments to budgets or lending rates). Second order change occurs when policy instruments and their settings are changed, without modifying the hierarchy of goals (e.g. if a new system of cash limits is put in place). Lastly, third order change occurs when instruments and their settings, as well as the hierarchy of goals are changed (e.g. the shift from Keynesian to monetarist modes of macro-economic regulation). The latter is considered a shift in policy paradigm (i.e. in the framework of ideas and standards that determine policy goals and instruments, as well as the nature of problems these are meant to address).  According to the Punctuated-Equilibrium Theory (PET: Baumgartner & Jones, 1991), political processes are characterised by periods of stasis, which are stable and during which incremental, moderate adjustments are made (normal policy change), interspersed with periods of crisis, which produce substantial change (atypical policy change). The moments of change alter the system by leading to new definitions of a problem, the mobilisation and participation of 45  new actors, and the creation of new rules or institutions (Pralle, 2003). Although the MSF has been criticised for only recognising the occurrence of such large-scale change processes, which occur when issues are included in the agenda following the opening of a policy window, Kingdon (1984) also gives stability some recognition. The role of incrementalism is seen as crucial in the process of generation of alternatives, as well as for the occurrence of small-scale legislative, bureaucratic or administrative changes happening over a number of years (Kingdon, 1984), which could be considered equivalent to Hall’s (1993) first and second order change. The gradual development of alternatives by policy specialists is crucial, in order for these solutions to be ready to take advantage of the moments provided by the opening of a policy window. And then substantial agenda change, equivalent to Hall’s (1993) third order change, can suddenly occur.  Hall (1993) compares third order change to a paradigm shift sensu Kuhn (1970). In his article describing shifts in British macroeconomic policy between 1970 and 1989, Hall provides examples of first, second and third order change, recognising that the processes leading to paradigmatic change are very different from the incremental, routinised processes leading to first and second order changes. The author claims that a shift from one paradigm to another is not only made on scientific grounds, but is more political, depending on the positional advantage and resources of the different actors, as well as exogenous factors influencing their power. He maintains that the shift in paradigm is preceded by a change in the locus of authority over policy, which affects who politicians listen to, or can cause a change in the venue where issues are discussed (e.g. from within the boundaries of government to the public arena, or from the local to the national level). Hall also recognises that policy experimentation and failure play an important role in the movement from one paradigm to another, through an iterative process. As Kuhn (1970) argued, initial anomalies that are recognised with respect to the paradigm in place are covered through ad hoc attempts to stretch the terms of the existing system. However, as its coherence and precision starts to decline, these attempts lead to policy failure and increasing calls for change. Issues come to be discussed in the broader political arena, as the contest between the different paradigms expands, and the supporters of the new paradigm gain increasing authority over decision-making. Finally, the new paradigm gets institutionalised.  In the case of the shift from Keynesianism to monetarism in Britain in 1979, the media played a crucial role in that it “catapulted monetarist thinking onto the public agenda” (Hall, 1993, p.288). 46  Similarly, the emergence of a number of policy networks of experts writing and commenting on macroeconomic policy was critical in broadening the venues for the discussion of such issues. Finally, the election of Margaret Thatcher, who used monetarism as her election platform, provided what Kingdon (1984) would call the opening of the policy window.  3.5 Summary  This chapter has explored a number of models and frameworks developed to explain the process of policy change. To combine Kingdon’s (1984), Hall’s (1993), and Baumgartner and Jones’ (1991) arguments, one could summarise the above discussion by saying that normal periods of policy change are characterised by small-scale, incremental decisions that do not affect the overall policy direction. During these times different policy specialists work on particular issues and develop policy alternatives that could solve existing problems related to the system. At times, anomalies start to emerge with respect to the system in place, leading some actors to question whether it is still appropriate to the reality it is meant to govern. Further questioning and increasing evidence indicating the shortcomings of the system in place lead to an expansion in the number of venues for discussion of such issues, and increasing involvement of varied stakeholders including the media. Eventually, at unpredictable times, an opportunity may arise for large scale change to happen, whereby solutions that had been developed by policy specialists are coupled with the growing problem. Such propitious times may emerge in response to a particular event such as a crisis, or a change in government. While infrequent, their most important feature is that they allow a large scale shift to occur, which could have been in the waiting for a number of years before. I use Kingdon’s MSF and Lober’s Collaboration Forming Model to analyse the circumstances that led to the emergence of the WUP process, in the light of the broader policy change literature discussed above. The next chapter explains the approach that I have followed in order to understand whether the events that surrounded the program’s origins fit within such a framework.  47  4  Research Approach and Methods  This chapter describes the methods I followed to address my research questions. I used grounded theory to analyse a case study. Following a description of the data collection and analysis methods, I summarise the analytical framework and restate the research questions.  4.1 Research Strategy  The research questions and purpose clearly lend themselves to qualitative research methods. The way the research project is structured is by initially taking a deductive approach. A general analytical framework (provided by the Multiple Streams Framework and Collaboration Forming Model) leads to the posing of a number of research questions. These are addressed by studying a particular case whose characteristics are analysed to test whether they are well described by the model. In the analysis of the case study a grounded approach is used to think iteratively, moving from the collected data to the theory, back to the data, until a tentative hypothesis and conclusions can be made, first regarding the case study, and then more generally about the theory (see Figure 1). Thus, the second half of the process is inductive, moving from observations back to the theory. Conclusions are reached about the applicability of the model to the case, how the model could be modified to better portray the case, and whether a different model emerges altogether to better take cognisance of the events that shaped the case. It is recognised upfront that given that only one case study is being looked at, a degree of caution is required when generalising back to the theory. Nevertheless, the grounded approach assists in ensuring that conclusions are not reached haphazardly.  48  Analytical Framework: Collaboration Forming Model  I N D U C T I V E  General Conclusions Research Questions  Case Study Conclusions  D E D U C T I V E  Case Study: BC Hydro’s WUP  Figure 1: General research approach adopted by project.  The research project thus revolves around a case study, which, as recognised by Stake (1995), is considered the object of study. As Yin (2003) explains, the case study method “...allows investigators to retain the holistic and meaningful characteristics of real-life events – such as individual life cycles, organisational and managerial processes, neighbourhood change, ...” (p.2). Case studies can be used to describe why a certain decision was taken, how it was implemented and what results it produced. In Yin’s definition, a case study “investigates a contemporary phenomenon within its real-life context, especially when the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clearly evident” (Yin, 2003, p. 13). Case studies therefore give significant importance to the context within which events occur, recognising that it is sometimes difficult to separate the phenomenon which is being observed from its context. Thus, continuing with Yin’s definition, “the case study inquiry copes with the technically distinctive situation in which there will be many more variables of interest than data points” (p.13), and, as a consequence, “it relies on multiple sources of evidence ... and benefits from the prior development of theoretical propositions to guide data collection and analysis” (p.14).  In the light of the above description, the case study is considered an appropriate method to analyse the processes and factors that surrounded the emergence of the Water Use Planning 49  program, given the importance of the context in such a case. Multiple sources of evidence have been sought in order to answer the research questions, including interviews and a range of secondary data sources, which serve the purposes of triangulation (see below). Furthermore, a theoretical framework has been developed to analyse the case, in the policy change literature provided by the Multiple Streams Framework and Collaboration Forming Model (see Chapter 3).  Yin (2003) recognises that case studies have been criticised as a research method for their lack of rigour and for not being generalisable. While the author acknowledges that sloppy case studies have been undertaken, which lacked a systematic approach or that were biased, a number of ways are put forward by Yin to increase their validity and rigour. Their construct validity, for instance, can be increased by using multiple sources of evidence (triangulation), by establishing a chain of evidence (i.e. showing the steps that led to the derivation of the conclusions from the initial research questions27), and having key informants review the case study report. The external validity of the case, which reflects back to its generalisability, can be increased by comparing the case study findings to existing theories, to see whether some broader conclusions can be made. Stake (1995) defends case studies by claiming they are adaptable, especially when used as an object of study, so that their rigour can be strengthened by using the insights and approaches of other research methods. As has been mentioned above, the approach that is used for analysing the WUP case study is grounded theory.  The grounded approach provides some backing when it comes to generalising, thus increasing the external validity of the study. In grounded theory, the systematic collection and analysis of the data through the research process leads to the generation of a theory that stands in close relationship (i.e. is grounded) with the data (Strauss & Corbin, 1998). The process of data collection is therefore guided by the gradual emergence of a theory, which indicates what further information is required in order to put together the components (categories) that feed into the theory (Glaser & Strauss, 1967). A close connection is maintained between data and conceptualisation, so that information that is classified under each category is constantly compared, iteratively, to ensure coherence in the emerging theory (Bryman, 2004). Theoretical 27  On this point, Hay (2005) mentions that producing “thick descriptions”, which delve deeply into the “context and the reasons, intentions, understandings, and motivations that surround that experience or occurrence” (Hay, 2005, p.260) also helps increase the validity of the research, by providing a more transparent account of the way the conclusions were reached.  50  saturation at the data collection stage is reached when new data no longer contributes new information or understanding to the emerging thinking (Bryman, 2004).  Grounded theory is particularly suited to this research. While the MSF and CFM provided a broad framework into which data could initially be categorised, the outcomes of the research, especially as concerns the specific factors and circumstances that led to the emergence of WUP, and their relative importance, were unknown at the start of the study. Through the process of data collection, patterns began to emerge, and some theories could start to be formulated. In particular, during the data collection process, it became increasingly clear that some of the factors that had led to the emergence of WUP were also crucial in leading to the program’s institutionalisation. Therefore, as data collection and analysis fed into each other iteratively, the research and the process of theory-making evolved further than initially planned. This is one of the recognised advantages of the grounded theory methods, which allow the researcher to iteratively shape the data collection process, so that the data are increasingly refined (Charmaz, 2006).  The emerging ideas were tested with one informant with whom the researcher informally discussed and reviewed the case study findings. This also helped increase the research’s construct validity, in addition to triangulation.  4.2 Data Collection and Analysis Procedures  Two methods were used to collect the relevant data needed in order to address the research questions: analysis of secondary documents and open-ended interviews with key informants. The documents that were consulted included letters and correspondence between a number of the different stakeholders; technical reports and studies by different organisations (including government agencies, NGOs, BC Hydro); general reports produced by different organisations; websites and news releases. A range of literature on policy and organisational change was consulted to aid in the identification and development of the analytical framework.  The ethics review process of the Behavioural Research Ethics Board of the University of British Columbia was followed prior to undertaking interviews with key stakeholders. This process required the development of a number of forms/documents including a letter of initial contact 51  and a consent form for the interview subjects, as well as a thorough analysis of my data collection process, to identify any areas of sensitivity or potential breach of confidentiality (see Appendix I for the relevant documents).  Interviews were undertaken between February and August 2009 with 17 key individuals that were involved in the original WUP process (the Alouette Water Use Plan, or the planning process leading to the development of the WUP guidelines) and/or that were knowledgeable about the role of different factors, actors and circumstances that led to WUP. The interviews consisted in asking a number of open-ended questions28 that stimulated the participants to provide a recollection of some of the key events and initiatives that occurred prior to WUP. As recognized by Charmaz (2006), the analysis of the documentation assisted by providing “sensitising concepts” that triggered initial leads and suggested preliminary questions for the research and interviewees. Interviews were undertaken in interviewees’ offices or homes, or public spaces like restaurants and cafes, with the exception of one interview that was undertaken telephonically given that the interviewee was not in BC. The interviews lasted at most approximately two hours, but generally averaged 1.5 hours. Through the snowball sampling technique interviewees suggested other relevant key actors that were later interviewed for the purposes of better understanding the WUP process. As mentioned above, a follow-up interview was undertaken with one of the interviewees in order to test whether the conclusions being reached from the analysis of the data made sense in the light of his knowledge and personal experience. Although this individual was not directly involved in the WUP process, his high position in government prior to and throughout the development of WUP gave him a broad view and understanding of the context and facts.  Interviewees were found to be extremely cooperative and very enthusiastic about my thesis topic, which was demonstrated by the interviews sometimes lasting even longer than two hours. I could see that they thoroughly enjoyed discussing the events that had led to WUP, and I could clearly discern their passion for the WUP process and the way it had emerged, which is in my mind a further indication of WUP’s success. I did notice that many of them (whether they were from government, non-governmental organizations or BC Hydro) were keen to emphasise the importance of their personal or organizational role in the lead-up to WUP, focusing in on 28  According to Charmaz (2006), in grounded theory, interviews that start with broad open-ended questions can encourage the emergence of unexpected statements and stories. The development of thoughts, meanings and reflections can be promoted with sentences like “That’s interesting, tell me more about it”.  52  those factors that they had personally played a role in. This was interesting for me, and also aided in creating a more complete picture of some of the events, given that not all stakeholders discussed all of them. When prompted, however, they were ready to discuss other factors I was aware of, and that they had previously omitted. Overall, the interview process was extremely pleasant for me, and I was grateful for the interviewees’ generosity of their time, and their opening of their houses or offices to me.  Interviews were audio-taped with the permission of the interviewees and were then transcribed. The transcripts were subsequently analysed by letting the data suggest relevant concepts, patterns, themes or issues relevant to the research questions. Although content analysis and the use of codes was not used in the strict sense, specific events that were possible factors that contributed to WUP’s emergence, possible solutions that were contemplated to solve the problems that were occurring, and relevant socio-economic, political or organizational factors were identified. The relative importance accorded by the different interviewees to different factors was noted, as were specific expressions or words used to describe particular issues (e.g. events, relationships between stakeholders, etc.). Furthermore, as the data were further looked at, broader categories and patterns started to emerge, which, as mandated by the grounded approach, were compared to other data sources (secondary data – for triangulation) and understood in the light of the theory and the way this was seen as changing. In this way a complex set of data could start to be broken down by identifying categories, their relative importance and the interactions among them.  In the report, quotes from the interviewees have been used with their permission, although nowhere in the thesis are interviewees directly identified. Table 1 indicates the way quotes from different interviewees are classified in this document (i.e. by their organization). Once relevant quotes were chosen they were sent to interviewees, who were given the possibility to approve or edit them, or refuse to have them included. Given the anonymity of the quotes, none of the interviewees refused to allow the use of their quote(s).  53  Table 1: Method for identifying interviewee quotes in the text. Organisation for which interviewee worked Individuals during period of time covered by case study Federal Government: DFO BC  Government:  Ministry  DFO1, DFO2, DFO3 of  Environment, MELPW1, MELPW2  Lands and Parks – Water Management BC  Government:  Ministry  of  Environment, MELPF1, MELPF2  Lands and Parks – Fish, Wildlife and Habitat Protection BC  Government:  Ministry  of  Environment, MELP1  Lands and Parks BC Government: Ministry of Employment and MEI1 Investment BC Hydro  BCH1, BCH2, BCH3, BCH4  NGOs  NGO1, NGO2  29  Other  OTH1  4.3 Limitations of the Approach and Research Processes  A number of limitations are recognised relating to the case study, the grounded approach, and the data collection and analysis procedures. Some of these have been hinted at above, but will be repeated at this point. It is firstly recognised that it is tricky to generalise and propose alterations to a specific theory, or even further, propose a different model, based on just one case study. Ideally one would continue from where this research leaves off, and look at other cases in order to see whether the conclusions reached still stand in the face of a different situation(s). The benefit of having undertaken one case study, however, relates to the fact that it could be explored in more detail, thus obtaining deeper insights. Secondly, the picture that emerges of the context and circumstances surrounding the origins of WUP relies mostly on the memory of the individuals that were interviewed, and their recollection of events that occurred, in some cases, up to two decades ago. Although secondary data sources were also used, 29  These include an individual who worked in BC Hydro subsequent to the case study period, but who could reflect back on the events.  54  some were no longer available, given that many of the individuals who were previously working on WUP-related issues in different organisations (governmental, non-governmental, BC Hydro) left their positions and consequently much documentation was lost or thrown away. Similarly, web searches of specific documents often did not yield many results, given that these were reports dating back to a couple of decades ago. Some of the government and BC Hydro documents were furthermore very confidential (e.g. correspondence) and thus not open to public scrutiny.  Regarding the methods, Creswell (1998) suggests that in grounded theory generally 20-30 interviews are undertaken to saturate the different categories that emerge from the data. The current study stopped at 17 (except for the follow-up interview). The last interview, however, was undertaken after a preliminary analysis of the results had been carried out. The information provided by this last interviewee was in line with previous findings, confirming that the emerging picture seemed to reflect the views of the different interviewees.  I am also aware of my own biases as a limitation to the study. My background experiences have heightened my perceptions that dams have strong environmental and social impacts, and that hydropower operators are often not interested in minimising such impacts, at the cost of the economy. I have explicitly tried not to let such biases enter the research, and have been open to hearing the views of the different stakeholders regarding the relative importance of different factors. This research has shown me that one cannot generalise, and that sometimes hydropower utilities can be proactive.  4.4 Summary of Framework and Restatement of Objectives  Recalling from Chapter 3, the Collaboration Forming Model (Lober, 1997), an adaptation of the Multiple Streams Framework by Kingdon (1984) has been chosen as the model to analyse the factors and circumstances which led to the emergence of the Water Use Planning (WUP) program in British Columbia.  According to the two models, four streams intersect to give rise to policy change. These are:  55  A problem stream (i.e. issues that policy-makers and citizens perceive as problems and want addressed). A policy stream (i.e. the build-up of knowledge and perspectives among a group of specialists in the policy domain, and their proposal of solutions to policy problems). A social/ political/ economic stream (i.e. swings in the political climate of a country, including attitudes towards government, public opinion, general societal trends, consumer demand and government events). An organisational process stream (i.e. business sector initiatives to bring change about, through for instance the adoption of environmental corporate behaviours, or industryspecific trends and changes).  Sometimes the four streams intersect at specific times known as policy windows and a change in policy is brought about. As recognised by Hall (1993), such change can be routinised and incremental, or can be a real shift in policy (third order change).  The purpose of this thesis is to use the above framework to identify the factors and circumstances that can lead to a change in policy, by using the specific example of BC Hydro’s Water Use Planning program. The research question being addressed is the following: “What were the circumstances that prompted BC Hydro to open up its decision-making processes and better respond to environmental and social concerns?”  The sub-questions that are being explored are: What factors (internal and external) motivated changes in BC Hydro’s decision-making processes with respect to environmental and social concerns? How did the affected parties respond to these factors (i.e. what types of solutions were put forward)? What facilitated the institutionalisation of the process at BC Hydro? What can we learn from the BC Hydro case that might be applicable or generalisable to other large organisations (and more specifically dam operators)?  56  The following chapters of the thesis will describe:  The historical background surrounding the emergence of WUP. The external factors (i.e. problems) that increasingly called for change. The internal factors (i.e. organisational factors) showing a changed approach within BC Hydro. Solutions proposed by a range of stakeholders to attempt to solve the previously identified problems. The opening of the policy window and how the change that was brought about could become institutionalised.  57  5  Historical Context of Case  This chapter provides the historical background to the case study, discussing the factors that led to the emergence of Water Use Planning within the framework’s social/ political/ economic stream. I introduce the history of hydropower production in British Columbia, as well as some of the key events that provided the context, over time, for the start of WUP. These include the rise of the environmental movement, the change in government in BC in the early 1990s and the changing approaches to decision-making.  5.1 Hydropower Production in BC in the 20th Century Canada is the world’s largest hydropower producer, with facilities spread across all provinces except for Prince Edward Island, and the largest capacity and future potential occurring in Quebec and British Columbia (Canadian Hydropower Association, 2003). While 60% of the country’s electricity comes from hydropower facilities that have an installed capacity of over 67,000MW, there is still the potential to feasibly produce 118,000MW across the country. Hydropower development in Canada has been led by provincial electric utilities, such as Ontario Hydro, Quebec Hydro, BC Hydro, etc., which in the past dominated the production, control and planning of the country’s electricity (Smith, 1988). For most of the 20th century these utilities, as provincial crown corporations, were subject to minimal control and regulation from government. Their mandate was to produce abundant, inexpensive power that would contribute to industrial development in the provinces.  In the Pacific Northwest of North America hydropower has been the engine behind the economy’s growth, as well as “a vital and integral part of the culture, economy, recreation and identity of its people” (Mullen-Dalmer, 2009, p.111). In British Columbia, over 90% of the electricity is derived from hydropower (Johns et al., 2008). The first small hydropower plants to be developed in BC, on Vancouver Island, date back to the mid-1800s (CEC, 2000). Bigger plants started to be built by the BC Electric Railway Company in the early 1900s in the Lower Mainland, starting with the Buntzen Lake plant in 1903. Other facilities followed on the Stave and Alouette lakes, and Puntledge and Bridge rivers in the following decades. Until the 1960s, different companies operated in BC, including the West Kootenay Power and Light Co., the 58  British Columbia Power Commission (BCPC) and the BC Electric Co. (BCE), which throughout the 1940s and 1950s either developed new facilities, or acquired and maintained existing power and distribution systems across the province30.  In 1962 BCPC and BCE were amalgamated to form the British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority (BC Hydro), created to harness the energy potential of the Peace and Columbia rivers (Smith, 1988). The ratification of the 1964 Columbia River Treaty by Canada and the US, for production and sharing of electricity resulting from storage provided on the Canadian section of the river, served to further jumpstart the development of the Peace and Columbia facilities31. Under the then government of W.A.C. Bennett, large corporations were created or expanded, and the government’s economic policy was characterised by tax concessions, royalty holidays and inexpensive hydropower to support the resource industry (Howlett & Brownsey, 1996). The Columbia and Peace River schemes were thus developed aggressively in the 1960s and 1970s, in order to fuel industrial and economic development of the province’s natural resources (Smith, 1988). Through this process, BC Hydro significantly impacted Columbia Basin communities through displacement of people, and flooding of land, farming and forestry resources (BC Hydro, 1993). The fact few permanent jobs were created, and minimal financial benefit ensued to the area once construction was over, stands in stark contrast to the benefits the rest of the province obtained in terms of electricity production. The utility’s aggressive stance when it came to expropriation, land acquisition and forced relocation of Arrow Lakes communities and aboriginal groups, made BC Hydro representatives comparable, in the opinion of Skene (1997), to 16th century explorers. The corporation’s limited care in the compensation process confirmed the bitter historical lesson that Canadian utilities have never allowed people to stand in the way of energy production (Skene, 1997). Consequently, during that period, BC Hydro became known to many as “big bad Hydro” (MELPW2 & BCH1, pers. comm.). With the 1973-74 energy crisis and the subsequent slump in the province’s economy a few years later, the demand for domestic as well as export power experienced a decline, which was accompanied by an increase in the costs of construction tied to rising interest rates and declining exchange rates, affecting funds borrowed from the US (Smith, 1988). Despite the fact 30  http://www.powerpioneers.com/BC_Hydro_History (website accessed on 02/09/ 2009).  31  These facilities still provide more than 80% of the province’s power today.  59  the province already had surplus electricity, BC Hydro still sought to expand its power base. In 1976 the utility put forward an application for the development of the Revelstoke scheme. By that time, the public increasingly found that the externalisation of social and environmental costs of dam projects was less and less acceptable, and public opposition to further development began to grow (see below). Concerns around the Revelstoke scheme were tied to the environmental and socio-economic impacts of the proposed facility, as well as the potential risk of landslides. Nevertheless, the mechanisms for public participation in such decisionmaking processes was practically non-existent at the time, nor did government approval require impact studies or project justification. With its water licence granted, BC Hydro went ahead to develop the dam, despite an appeal to Cabinet, which while unsuccessful at stopping the project, served to further raise the public’s interest on electricity planning in the province. Increasing public concern was exemplified by the widespread opposition BC Hydro faced against the development of the Cheekye-Dunsmuir transmission line, and the growing unease tied to the increasing debt being accumulated by the utility’s capital construction programme. Public pressure to regulate the utility was growing.  In 1980 the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) was established, which required BC Hydro to apply for an Energy Project Certificate (EPC) for new developments that generated, stored, transported or used large quantities of energy (British Columbia Energy Council, 1992). That same year the utility underwent the EPC process for development of the Site C facility on the Peace River, which BC Hydro had been considering since the mid-1970s, when it first undertook initial consultations and a feasibility study (LLBC, 2007). As part of the BCUC process, BC Hydro had to justify the need for the project; substantiate the land use, social, environmental and economic impacts; and undertake a benefit cost analysis and hearings with interested and affected parties including aboriginal groups (Smith, 1988). At the end of this process, the EPC was not granted, on the grounds that the project was not justified in economic terms or because of its need at the time, considering the already existing energy surplus and dwindling demand. This was the first project that BC Hydro proposed since its creation two decades earlier, to be deferred. Nonetheless, the utility relentlessly continued its pursuit of more facilities. However, after producing a report in the late 1980s aimed at proving Site C’s financial feasibility (as a result of an agreement for the sale of electricity with the US),  60  further consultation and growing awareness of the dam’s costs and environmental impacts led once again to the shelving of the project in the early 1990s32 (LLBC, 2007). Thus, as media and the public’s attention around energy policy and planning continued to increase throughout the 1980s, distrust towards BC Hydro also went on growing, a new phenomenon for the utility, which had previously been seen as the mainstay for the development of the province’s economy (Smith, 1988). In Smith’s (1988) words: “This was a distinct shift in public attitude from that of 15 to 20 years earlier, when BC Hydro was viewed as the provincial vehicle for development of the frontier and for economic prosperity. Public pride in the completion of the Columbia and Peace developments had gradually been replaced by concern for environmental impacts from further dam construction and economic integrity of Hydro‟s proposed plans” (p.440). At the same time as public interest groups were increasingly calling for government intervention in regulating BC Hydro, internal government support was high too, as suggested by the Premier’s (W.R. Bennett) acknowledgement that there was “a need to do something about BC Hydro and energy in general” by means of “a single window approach to the resolution of this problem”33 (Smith, 1988, p.440).  5.2 Socio-Economic and Political Context  5.2.1 Changing Values and Increasing Mobilisation  The values which dominated electricity production throughout most of the last century were economic and engineering concerns, with the priorities, under the Water Act’s beneficial use of water, recognised as power generation (aimed at post-war industrial development), flood control and water supply for agriculture (Mullen-Dalmer, 2009). As already mentioned, water licences for hydropower production were granted before 1962, and consequently most often did 32  Talks around the development of Site C have periodically resumed, with further studies conducted in the early 2000s, and BC Hydro including mention of the project in its 2004/2006 submissions to the BCUC, and its 2007 energy plan (LLBC, 2007). Nonetheless, the fact that the project has been unable to move ahead for the past three decades stands as a possible indication of the shift in the public and government’s perception towards hydropower development. 33  Smith (1988) poses questions about the general perceptions around BC Hydro: “Without a domestic market, what was the economic rationale for further construction of generating capacity? What were the financial implications of the capital costs involved? How could Hydro’s fixation with dam construction be halted?” (p.440)  61  not recognise any social, ecological or other values that could clash with economic growth, nor did they have any sunset clauses. Few rules existed for the protection of fish habitat when the economy began to boom in the 1960s, and consequently habitat destruction was widespread (Langer, 2008). In the words of Langer (2008): “In the 1970s many, including Provincial development agencies such as Highways, BC Hydro, BC Forest Service and BC Rail seemed to avoid DFO and its early habitat protection requirements. Refusal to accept „Ottawa requirements‟ was common and referral systems had not yet been set up to allow DFO staff to at least advise provincial and private parties of how to avoid harming fish and fish habitat” (p.13). Similarly, for more than half of the last century, the public was barely aware of the impacts of hydropower production on riverine ecology, and community involvement was practically non-existent. While early public concerns were tied to the reduction of sport fisheries populations in the 1950s, subsequently values started to shift and environmental concerns related to the health of salmon stocks and the quality of aquatic habitat began to increase. This reflected the emergence of the environmental movement.  In the late 1960s, in BC, as in other industrialised countries, the importance placed on environmental values started to grow, with people becoming increasingly concerned with the impacts of industrial activities (e.g. logging, mining, hydropower development) on natural processes, and with the need to preserve wilderness areas (Hoberg, 1996). According to Bankes & Thompson (1980), in the US the environmental movement was a reaction to the excessive consumption that followed World War II, as well as the friction that existed between laissez-faire capitalism and social democracy. Intellectuals also increasingly believed that mankind, through science and technology, was losing sight of his proper place on the earth, one which considered the finite limits of its resources. They claimed that decision-making needed to better take into account societal and ecological interests, and not just those of project proponents.  Both Hoberg (1996) and Dorcey (2004) suggest that environmental issues experienced a number of peaks and troughs over time, with the main peaks occurring around 1970 and then two decades later in 1990. According to Dorcey (2004), the first wave of innovation with respect to governance issues started in the mid-1960s in the US (which was then followed by Canada and other countries), and was characterised by increasing social and environmental concerns. In Canada, it led to government innovation in urban planning, watershed management and project assessment procedures, and the exploration of new communication and participatory 62  techniques around information sharing and advisory committees. By the mid-1970s, however, enthusiasm and energy had waned, to only come back in the late 1980s, influenced by the UN World Commission on Environment and Development report Our Common Future (also known as the Brundtland report: WCED, 1987), which first introduced the concept of “sustainable development”. More innovative techniques were developed, revolving around multi-stakeholder fora, consensus-building processes and conflict resolution, which could be started by any of government, business or civil society actors34. By the mid-1990s, however, the costs and time involved in such processes appeared to be too big a burden once again. Nevertheless, within the span of time that such issues remained prominent, much change was achieved (see below and Figure 2 for a summary of some of the key events).  Figure 2: Chronology of some of the key events in the socio-economic and political context of British Columbia in the 1980s-90s.  34  As an indication of the changing times, in 1986 the Fraser River Estuary Management Program (FREMP) was established and led by a committee composed of a number of government agencies to coordinate the management and development of the estuary, and the use of its water and shoreline (Dorcey, 2004). This was followed in 1992 by the Fraser Basin Management Board, which expanded to include non-governmental members and was aimed at addressing land, water and air sustainability issues in the Fraser basin.  63  As BC citizens became more concerned with environmental issues, they also increasingly questioned the flooding of productive agricultural lands and wildlife habitat, the displacement of aboriginal communities, and the drowning of sometimes entire communities that resulted from development of dam projects. Consequently during this time a number of public interest groups started to form and, along with other stakeholders (including the Federal/Provincial Government), began to demand that water be released from BC Hydro facilities in order to meet needs other than hydropower production. Of note is the Alouette River Management Society (ARMS), which was formed by a number of citizens concerned with the health of the Alouette River and local extinction of different salmon species in the river. The organisation worked alongside several other groups, ranging from fisheries and anglers associations fearing declining fish stocks, to environmental organisations concerned with riverine habitats, to families and citizens worried about recreational opportunities along the river and impoverished water quality. ARMS and other groups that focused on different BC streams were relentless in asking BC Hydro and the Provincial Government for the release of water for fish. Such demands however often went unheeded and were generally only complied with when requests were made using the legal authority of the Fisheries Act35.  Nevertheless, since the late 1970s, BC Hydro had begun putting some measures in place to mitigate or compensate for impacts of dam operations, through the negotiation of flow releases with DFO, for instance. Similarly, studies and task forces, often in partnership with the Ministry of Environment or DFO, were set up to attempt to evaluate damage and remedy it36. For a few decades, however, the only changes that were obtained, were those not requiring a reduction in BC Hydro’s power output. Furthermore, some of the changes that were agreed to were not upheld, in many cases because public requests kept increasing, and the utility and government could only manage such demands in an ad hoc manner37 (DFO3, pers. comm.). This was in 35  In the Alouette, the Maple Ridge Rod and Gun Club was the first to request that BC Hydro and the Provincial Government increase flows in the river in the 1950s, due to its concerns that steelhead fish were unable to properly spawn (Vanderwal, 1999). No additional water was released at that point. Concern was also tied to scouring and erosion of the riverbed downstream of the dam, caused by sudden water releases at times of flood risk. In the 1960s, further requests by the Rod and Gun Club, municipalities and concerned citizens, which were beginning to create the first environmental NGOs, were ignored. DFO also requested water releases to ensure the survival and spawning of salmon, which resulted in a Minimum Flow Agreement in 1971 (see below). 36  Some of the measures that were put in place (i.e. solutions to the problems tied to the operation of dam facilities) are discussed in more detail in the next chapter. 37  For instance, DFO successfully obtained a Minimum Flow Agreement on the Alouette in 1971, which ensured the release of 0.3% of the original average annual flow of the river (Hirst, 1991). A number of years later,  64  large part due to BC Hydro’s (already mentioned) position that as long as it operated within the terms of its water licence, which gave it legitimacy to use water to produce hydropower, it was in compliance with its responsibilities and did not need to accommodate demands from other water users (Mullen-Dalmer, 2009). This will be further explored in Chapter 6.  Change was however underway, thanks to the growing awareness tied to the global environmental movement, increasing citizen mobilisation, and starting in the late 1980s, more formal campaigns organised by a number of groups, which also partnered with First Nations who most often had the same worries (the actions of these groups will be further discussed in Chapter 6). Within this changing context, the actions of environmental groups also became increasingly effective and sophisticated as a result of rapidly evolving technology (Gawthrop, 1996). As recognised by Gawthrop (1996), “... fax machines and poster campaigns had given way to computer modems and the Internet...” (p.169). In the protests against logging in Clayoquot Sound (see below), the new technologies made a world of difference, allowing issues to instantly circulate worldwide, garnering international support. “Being in the right time in the right place with the right factors, computers... I mean to you it‟s normal, but can you imagine the excitement... it was like a wall was taken down and all of a sudden the computer age was there, such a change...” (NGO2, pers. comm.).  In July 1989, Angus Reid public polls found that concern for the environment had reached an historic high: in that year, the environment was reported as being “top-of-mind” issue for Canadians, falling steadily afterwards (Gallup Canada, 1989a). At the same time, in August 1989, the Gallup polls found that 82% of Canadians believed that the government was not doing enough for the environment (Gallup Canada, 1989b). That was not going to last long.  however, it became clear that in addition to the fact these releases were insufficient in maintaining viable fish populations, they were furthermore not being complied with (Vanderwal, 1999).  65  5.2.2 Changing Government  The coming into power of the New Democratic Party (NDP) Government in 1991 brought many changes along with it38. While the NDP had been briefly in office in the early 1970s, in 1991 it stayed in power for a decade. On both occasions, the environment was one of the main platforms on which the NDP based its campaign and won over the previously-ruling proindustry Social Credit Government (Hoberg, 1996). In describing the Social Credit party, Gawthrop (1996) states: “The governing Socreds were unequipped, strategically and ideologically, to deal with the consequences of the changing ecosystem” (p.155). The environment was not mentioned at all in the Social Credit campaign documents, and the Premier, Rita Johnston, had promised to put jobs over “environmental terrorists” (Harrison, 1996, p.295). The initial failure of the BC Round Table on the Environment and Economy39 also attests to the pro-business bias of the Social Credit party. The 31-member BC Round Table that was set up in 1990 under pressure from the opposition party, had its first decision vetoed by the Premier, for fear of offending business (Gawthrop,1996). Furthermore, the pulp mill emission standards that it aimed to put in place were significantly watered down, once again to avoid upsetting industrial interests. Gawthrop (1996) continues: “How could Socred strategists have failed to recognise that the environment was fast becoming a major election issue? Likely many of them still held on to a nostalgic vision of the past, the boom period of the 1960s when the great Socred patriarch, W.A.C. Bennet, was able to indulge in a spree of development and forest harvesting without worrying about the consequences. Because the party had won successive elections without having to commit itself to biodiversity, the governments of Bills Bennett and Vander Zalm only had to pay lip service to the environment while maintaining their collegial relationship with corporate polluters and profit-rich forest multi-nationals” (p.155).  On the contrary, the NDP appeared to be responsive to the shifting times (Gawthrop, 1996) and “was motivated by surging public concern for the environment in the late 1980s” (Harrison, 1996, p.294).  38  According to Gawthrop (1996), the Harcourt cabinet represented a new generation from a number of points of view. For instance the average age was 45, much younger than under its Social Credit predecessors; a much larger number of women came into power; and most ministers had a university education. 39  Round Tables on the Environment and Economy were set up in the late 1980s at both federal and provincial level, to provide input to government on policy analysis and approaches to sustainability (Healey, 1992).  66  “And of course there was an awakening, because the Water Rights branch and the Ministry of Environment certainly, even in the late days of the Socred government, began to realise that people demanded more of their government. The environmental movement was springing up, Rachel Carson‟s book was still on everybody‟s lips: it was like spring in a seasonal year, it was like the buds were coming out on the trees, but the buds were environmentalists, and a good politician can sense what is going on around them. And they were beginning to change” (NGO2, pers. comm.).  Mike Harcourt, the new NDP Premier, had been highly influenced by the Brundtland report, which he often cited and used, seeking to translate some of its concepts into an election platform (Gawthrop, 1996). In the end, sustainable development was included as one of the NDP party goals and several environmental catch-phrases, such as the “polluter pays principle”, and the “precautionary approach”, were included in the NDP’s environmental policy plans (Harrison, 1996). The environmental section was the most detailed policy of the NDP’s election platform document, comprising one third of the 48-point document. Along with healthcare, the environment was the province’s most emotionally charged area of public policy (Gawthrop, 1996). Among the NDP’s commitments were the doubling of the amount of protected land area in the province, green forestry policy, resolving land use conflicts, waste reduction and recycling programs, etc. (Harrison, 1996). In 1992, few months after the NDP came into office, the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks released a five-year Environmental Action Plan for British Columbia, which defined the government’s environmental priorities and its guiding principles. Among its plans was the consolidation of the existing review processes for mines, energy projects and major projects into one process, which in 1995 came under the umbrella of the BC Environmental Assessment Act (British Columbia Energy Council, 1992). In 1995, the NDP Government’s efforts with respect to land use and environmental issues were recognised through WWF’s A-minus rating of BC in its Endangered Spaces Report Card for 1994-95 (Gawthrop, 1996). Over a period of less than two years, the Provincial Government had protected huge tracts of wilderness, was on track towards doubling the amount of protected land areas, had passed a number of anti-pollution regulations, had declared a World Heritage Site out of an area that was earmarked for mining (Tatshenshini-Alsek, in northern BC), had cancelled the completion of the Kemano hydropower development, and was the first province in Canada to set up a system to protect marine areas. As stated by Sigurdson (1996), 67  “... if there is any lasting legacy of the Harcourt years in office, it is the province‟s vastly improved environmental record...” (p.333).  The NDP was re-elected for a second term in 1996. While its first term had been more fundamentally concerned with environmental land use issues, its second term took fish and water as one of its hallmark issues, as declared by the Minister of Environment, P. Ramsey, at the debates of the Legislative Assembly in July 1996 (BC Hansard, 1996). When the WUP guidelines were released in February 1999, the Fisheries Minister stated: “The world has changed since water licences were issued decades ago. Nowadays we place a very high priority on the fisheries resource and its habitat and we view this program as a significant component of our efforts to restore important fish habitat” (MELP, 1999, p.1). “...politically, because there was an NDP government in, they just said, hey this is just not acceptable because we have the environment as part of our mandate, being NDP party, so they instructed... you know the pressure, you can only sustain pressure for so long then it has to be released. And the release was saying, the Provincial Government said to BC Hydro, you will do WUPs” (MELPF2, pers. comm.). “As things were going through this transformative stage, government was, I guess, receptive enough to realise that change was in the air and, you know, if they had told BC Hydro, just batten down the hatches, weather the storm, all this will go away, Hydro would have” (MELPF2, pers. comm.).  5.2.3 Changing Approaches to Decision-Making One of the features of the NDP’s electoral strategy was its emphasis on procedural rather than substantive commitments when it came to contentious environmental issues (Harrison, 1996). Multi-stakeholder fora, consultations and consensus-based decision-making thus became much more common, at the same time as citizens’ access to information also significantly increased. In reflecting about these changes, Harrison (1996) states: “While consensus has been  elusive,  ...,  these  consultations  have nonetheless  fundamentally  transformed  environmental politics within the province. With the notable exception of the Clayoquot Sound  68  controversy40, environmentalists have in recent years channelled their efforts into consultation processes rather than protests and civil disobedience” (p.296). These procedural reforms are considered one of the most positive accomplishments of the NDP’s first term in office. “You know, government has moved progressively over the years to not wanting as much noise as they had in the past. And yet due to its concern about industry and finances in the country, over time it had to find ways and means to do its job that were not generating quite so much noise either, that would be a more productive way to go. This [WUP] fell into that category as well, it was a cooperative approach, which they were looking for” (DFO3, pers. comm.).  As an example, one of the longstanding issues that the NDP Government sought to tackle was the conflicts over logging of the old growth forest in south-western BC (Healey, 1992). As mentioned above, several environmental groups were born in BC in the late 1960s in response to concerns tied to logging and forestry impacts. Hoberg (1996) recognises that while these groups were active for a couple of decades through monitoring and at times influencing policy decisions, by the late 1980s they were nonetheless still politically isolated, having been unable to legitimately participate in core policy processes. A shift was however starting to be seen (Hoberg, 1996). The initial signs of change were brought into place by the Social Credit Government, which, in order to attempt to deal with the long-standing problems tied to logging in Clayoquot Sound, had firstly created a multi-stakeholder task force (in 1989) and then a steering committee (in 1990) to develop a long-term land use plan for the area41. While highly controversial and not entirely successful, these fora indicated that the public was beginning to become involved in decision-making processes that had traditionally been the realm of government agencies42.  40  The NDP government was especially put under pressure when protests against government decisions regarding logging escalated in 1993-94. Outraged environmentalists massively demonstrated in Victoria in March 1994 (Hoberg, 1996). 41  With respect to this, Gawthrop (1996) states: “As a business-first, pro-development party, Social Credit had continued on its free-enterprise mission, only introducing an environmental task force in the final year of its mandate when public opinion, an increasingly powerful green lobby, and a detailed blueprint by the Opposition New Democrats demanded it” (p.155). 42  Healey (1992) recognises that to bring the concepts of public involvement to regulatory agencies that were traditionally authoritarian was a great challenge, requiring much time, especially considering that many agencies felt threatened by opening up decision-making processes.  69  A more radical development was brought about in 1992, when the Commission on Resources and Environment (CORE) was created by the NDP Government to increase public participation on land use decision-making processes, in order to recommend relevant actions to government. While consensus was not reached at any of the CORE regional roundtables that were created, the plans that were developed did influence government decision-making and were successful at institutionalising environmental values in policy-making processes in a new, effective way (Hoberg, 1996). Through such processes, a degree of authority, going beyond mere consultation, was starting to be given to stakeholders, making BC become recognised countrywide for being at the forefront of the development of new governance models such as shared decision-making and consensus-based negotiation (Hoberg, 1996). Furthermore, the CORE process that handled the controversy over the potential development of a mine in the Tatshenshini-Alsek area made use of decision analysis techniques that were starting to be utilised for making public policy, multi-stakeholder decisions (McDaniels, 1999). These same techniques, that were increasingly becoming popular and better refined, were then used for the WUP process.  5.3 Summary  This chapter has indicated some of the shifts that British Columbia experienced over the past century. It started by describing the history of hydropower development in BC, discussing how the supremacy of hydroelectricity gave way to concerns on the social and environmental impacts of dams, and consequently to increasing demands for a change in the operations of hydro facilities by a range of stakeholders. It then moved on to describe the growth of the environmental movement, which was supported by the development of new technologies, and is evidence of a shift in societal values; a change in government with the coming into power of the NDP; and a new approach to taking decisions on controversial issues, which opens up such processes to stakeholders and strives for consensus.  70  6  Application of Collaboration Forming Model to WUP  This chapter discusses the factors that led to the emergence of WUP, using the framework’s problem, organisational and policy streams. The chapter seeks to address the first two research questions the thesis poses: What specific factors motivated changes in BC Hydro’s decision-making processes with respect to environmental and social concerns? How did the affected parties respond to these factors?  Some of the general contextual factors that played a role in the emergence of WUP were presented in the previous chapter. Now I examine more specific external factors (i.e. in the problem stream) that indicated to decision-makers within BC Hydro and government that the operating regime of dam facilities in BC was in need of major revision. I also discuss some factors internal to BC Hydro (i.e. in the organisational stream) that were indicative of the corporation undergoing a culture shift. I then address some of the responses put forward by BC Hydro, and governmental and non-governmental stakeholders aimed at tackling some of the problems that were previously identified. Finally I describe the opening of a policy window that enabled the emergence of the Water Use Planning program.  6.1 External Factors: Problem Stream  Several events that occurred in the late 1980s, early 1990s brought the problems associated with the operating regime of BC Hydro facilities to the attention of decision-makers in the utility, and the Provincial and Federal Government. These problems mainly led to a realisation on the part of decision-makers that the situation as it stood, and the approach being taken by BC Hydro and the regulatory agencies was not leading to satisfactory solutions. As mentioned before, the dominant attitude in BC Hydro, which was largely supported by the Ministry of Employment and Investment, and condoned by the Ministry of Environment, was that BC Hydro was to maximise energy production for the province, and it had a water licence with very few restrictions that enabled it to do so. This attitude was increasingly being challenged by the  71  public and agencies alike, especially at the federal level, as exemplified by the following facts and events indicative of the problem (see Figure 3 for a summary).  6.1.1 Problems with BC Hydro Operations  Ecological Salmon and rivers are a central component of British Columbians’ identity (Mullen-Dalmer, 2009). Salmon is not only an important economic resource for many coastal BC communities, but it is a central facet and symbol of the local culture, especially for First Nations who have a 10,000-year history and heritage related to these fish.  The decline of fish stocks in BC rivers became of major concern in the 1980s, as the effect of hydropower dams and diversions on fish populations became increasingly evident (BC Aboriginal Fisheries Commission et al., 1997). Both construction of dam facilities, which has obvious and often visible impacts on a river, and dam operations can severely affect riparian ecological processes, as a result of physical alterations of habitat (e.g. through erosion and washing away of gravel) and deterioration in water quality. Flow diversion, reduced or inadequate flushing flows, rapid flow fluctuation, altered water quality, reservoir drawdown, and entrainment, while not a feature of all BC Hydro dam facilities, were definitely recognised as affecting a number of the utility’s schemes over the past century (BC Aboriginal Fisheries Commission et al., 1997). As a consequence, fish populations suffered from lowered spawning, rearing and reproductive success, reduced food, increased predation and competition, enhanced mercury levels, stranding and reduced growth (BC Hydro, 1995a). As an indicative example, the dramatic reduction in flows in the Alouette River created a significant impact on fish species downstream of the dam, often leaving migrating salmon stranded in puddles, or causing their eggs to be suffocated by gravel and a build-up of waste materials which accumulated due to a lack of oxygen-rich running water (Clayton, 1995). In addition, the dam also created a barrier for many migrating salmon species, with its construction causing the death of thousands of fish which were blocked at its base (Smith, 1995). Previously abundant species with very large ranges in the area became rarer and rarer, due to the fact many of their spawning areas, such as the lake shores and tributaries, had become inaccessible since the dam’s construction. 72  73  While some of the ecological impacts encountered on local rivers were the result of operations taking place over a number of years (cumulative impacts), sudden events also occurred which caused immediate problems that captured the public’s and DFO’s attention. In the early 1990s, two particularly significant events were the spills on the Bridge River. Since the completion of the Bridge River schemes in the 1950s, a portion of the river downstream of the Terzaghi dam was left dry until it was replenished some four kilometers further downstream by groundwater and tributary inflows (Mullen-Dalmer, 2009). This was due to the absence of mechanisms to release minimum flows from the dam. In 1991 and 1992, due to large inflows into the reservoir, BC Hydro was forced to spill water into the Bridge River, causing extensive damage to fish habitat due to the removal of gravel. DFO accused the utility of a Harmful Alteration, Disruption or Destruction (HADD) of fish habitat under S.35 of the Fisheries Act. While the court found that BC Hydro had been duly diligent in the 1991 case, responding as best as it could to the major water inflow (a 1 in 200 year flow event) and then providing to mitigate the situation, the utility suffered from bad press coverage as a result of the event. Furthermore, out of court negotiations for the 1992 case resulted in an agreement between BC Hydro and DFO whereby the utility would pay $600,000 for modifications to the dam structure and fish habitat restoration, in addition to releasing water flows for fish spawning and migration (DFO, 1998). In 1997, another spill prompted DFO to again charge BC Hydro, despite the fact the agency and the utility had been discussing ways in which BC Hydro operations could cause less damage to fish and fish habitat. Also on this occasion an agreement was reached out of court, to begin environmental flow releases downstream of the Terzaghi dam, set up a habitat restoration and monitoring program, and finalise these solutions through a Water Use Plan (which started in 1999).  The Bridge River spills and a number of other events that occurred in the early 1990s provided increasing evidence that BC Hydro operations were impacting fish populations, to differing degrees, in several of the province’s streams. They were furthermore capturing increasing media attention each time a new problem occurred, and were costing the utility, both in reputational and financial terms. In November 1995, for instance, BC Hydro spilled water on the Campbell River, completely washing out a new spawning channel that had been built a few months before by a number of local community groups with locally-raised funds (BCH3, pers. comm.). BC Hydro’s actions were widely discussed in the media43, and the utility had to spend 43  Furthermore, a letter to BC Hydro from the Mayor of the District of Campbell River, highly critical of BC Hydro’s operations, stated: “I question the management structure and the decisions made over the last few weeks by BC  74  over $100,000 to undertake new fish enhancement work. That same year spawning habitat had been lost on the Columbia River downstream of the Keenleyside facility, while the following year BC Hydro dewatered Cranberry Creek, causing fish stranding downstream of the Revelstoke scheme (BC Aboriginal Fisheries Commission et al., 1997). In April 1996 BC Hydro also proceeded to lower the water level at the Downton reservoir, behind the LaJoie dam on the Bridge River, in order to undertake inspection and maintenance work on the facilities’ turbines (McDade, 1996). The impacts were substantial, as the drawdown, which accidentally occurred even more rapidly than planned, resulted in the stranding of fish up and downstream of the dam, entrainment of fish through the turbines, increased predation due to low water levels, and fish habitat damage due to siltation and worsened water quality. What made the event worse was that once knowledge about the draining of the reservoir became public, BC Hydro’s initial reaction was to state it was firstly the result of normal operations, and then an accident and the result of a miscalculation. The ecological impacts of BC Hydro’s operations (both cumulative and those resulting from one-off events), while not new, became more widely recognised in the late 1980s/ early 1990s, as a result of the growth of the environmental movement and increasing public awareness. Given that it had become clear that most habitat destruction was occurring with the approval of a provincial authorisation such as a water licence, or permit for forest harvesting (Langer, 2008), there were increasing calls for government action to deal with the situation. Fish losses were therefore an important factor raising decision-makers’ attention to the need to find ways to address the root causes of the problem, and not simply mitigate or compensate for the impacts.  Imprecise Regulatory Environment BC Hydro’s Water Licences  BC Hydro increasingly found that it lacked regulatory clarity (CEC, 2000), which was manifested in a number of ways. As mentioned already, the fact most BC Hydro licences were  Hydro staff. … I strongly feel that your organization is totally unaccountable to the public in its present structure and would like to see immediate changes made. … As Mayor of this community, I am very displeased with your corporation’s performance. If this performance cannot be improved, then I suggest you relinquish your water management licence” (Lomie, 1995).  75  outdated and imprecise, meant that they could be interpreted in a number of different ways. Given that they were often poorly defined, conflicts had emerged regarding the amount of water that storage licences actually allowed to be stored, or diversion licences allowed to be diverted (BCH1 & MELPW2, pers. comm.). When cases of disagreement over their interpretation had arisen, BC Hydro had asked the Comptroller to modify the licences and update them to reflect the way the utility actually operated (e.g. often using more water than that stated in the licence), or to release a statement saying it was in compliance (MELPW2, pers. comm.). Sometimes verbal agreements were reached, but the Comptroller would refuse to change the written licences without undergoing a formal process, thus leaving the utility in further uncertainty (MELPW2 & OTH1, pers. comm.). In 1996, the Ministry of Environment in partnership with DFO, commissioned a study to review whether BC Hydro was complying with its water licences. The Ward report (Ward & Yassien, 1996b), as it came to be known, showed that the utility was out of compliance on a number of its facilities, diverting significantly more water than allowed, especially on the Cheakamus operations44. The report results were contested due to the fact that once again the investigators’ interpretation of the licences offered only one of a number of ways in which they could be understood (BCH1 & MELPW2, pers. comm.). Nevertheless, the report made it even clearer to government and other stakeholders that BC Hydro licences needed to be revised45, both to be more attuned to current times, in terms of including provisions for fish flows, and to be sufficiently precise so that they could be objectively understood and followed. In the words of a former BC Hydro manager: “Some of the licences date back to the early 1900s, they were based on an old set of needs, an old set of societal priorities and an old sense of the concept of the abundance of natural resources. So it‟s kind of like a throwback in time, it‟s like walking into a modern home and going to the telephone and finding a wind-up telephone on the wall. They‟re anachronistic” (BCH4, pers. comm.).  44  In the case of the Cheakamus facility, close to Squamish, water diversions exceeded licensed amounts for 33 out of 38 years between 1956 and 1994 (Ward & Yassien, 1996a). In 1995, the worst year on record, BC Hydro had used 51-62% extra water. 45  Following the Ward report, the Provincial Government reacted rapidly and put interim orders in place, which temporarily modified BC Hydro’s water licences to ensure that the utility was in compliance (Ramsey, 1996). In the longer term the Government announced that Water Use Plans would be developed to amend BC Hydro’s operating regime. As a result, the Minister of Environment stated that the new working relationship between the Provincial and Federal Government and BC Hydro would eliminate the need for any more independent audits of the utility’s licences.  76  Fisheries Act  BC Hydro also found it lacked clarity with respect to the Fisheries Act, which, being a punitive piece of legislation, provided little guidance with respect to how to operate facilities in order to avoid impacting fish (McDade, 1996). Since the creation of S.35 on HADD in the late 1970s and the 1986 policy for the management of fish habitat, DFO had become much more active in putting pressure on BC Hydro to resolve long-standing fish issues (Mullen-Dalmer, 2009). As a consequence, DFO had begun releasing orders and constraints on some hydro facilities, negotiated flow releases on others, and had taken BC Hydro to court, such as for the spills on the Bridge mentioned above. In the utility’s view, DFO’s approach was however ad hoc and myopic when it came to putting measures in place to resolve issues at certain facilities46 (BCH3, pers. comm.; Langer, 2008). For instance, while DFO had for a long time sanctioned the changes to water quality that had resulted from the installation of BC Hydro facilities (despite the fact they contravened the Fisheries Act), disputes over Total Gas Pressure (TGP) remained unresolved and threatened the utility (BC Hydro, 1995a). BC Hydro, aware of the financial risk of having DFO potentially set standards for TGP for all of its facilities, saw the option of a cooperative approach as being increasingly attractive. “So in one system for example you would have changes in operating conditions that were costing a million dollars a day and in another system possibly more fisheries issues were not being paid attention to. There was a real inconsistency across the system. So it made it difficult to manage it from an analytical and technocratic approach” (BCH4, pers. comm.).  Furthermore, when BC Hydro looked at all of the orders and constraints that DFO had placed on its operations, it found that on some facilities, such as on the Campbell River, it was impossible to comply with each and every one of the requirements and still meet its mandate of power production (BCH3, pers. comm.). To add to the confusion, the demands being placed on BC Hydro by the different parties at times conflicted with each other. In one particular instance on the Shuswap facility, BC Hydro was asked to release water by DFO, and told to hold it back by the Ministry of Environment, thus putting it in a situation where it would de facto not be meeting government orders (BCH1, pers. comm.). Yet the threat of court action was very real:  46  According to Langer (2008), since its establishment, the 1986 fisheries policy has been implemented in a hit and miss and inconsistent manner across Canada.  77  DFO was warning that it would charge BC Hydro for destruction of fish habitat on a number of facilities, including the Cheakamus, Hugh Keenleyside and John Hart (Mullen-Dalmer, 2009).  In addition to litigation being very costly and time-consuming, the resolutions arrived at through legal action did not provide any further clarification regarding BC Hydro’s rights with respect to its licences or federal legislation, nor did they give the utility any assurance that DFO would stop challenging the utility or issuing orders (BCH2, pers. comm.). Clearly, ecological health and fish resources were not benefitting from the process either. Furthermore, the judges were finding it difficult to provide definitive answers to the contesting parties and were telling them to solve such resource management issues outside of court. “They [the Fisheries Act charges] were just essentially thrown out without a lot of definitive information concerning the line to draw with respect to Hydro‟s rights versus the Fisheries Act” (DFO3, pers. comm.). “BC Hydro has a very, very strong legal team, and they have been very successful in court. But these decisions didn‟t give them, nor did they give DFO, or the Provincial Government any kind of clarity as to really where their licensed rights stood in the face of federal legislation, and whether their position that if they had a water licence they could do whatever they wanted, was in fact a reasonable interpretation of their rights. So there was never any clarity at all issued on any of these court decisions and we were left with the status quo that if something happened then we would go out and investigate, we might shut them down, we could issue some orders, but it just wasn‟t an effective way of doing business with a large important utility” (DFO3, pers. comm.).  In this precarious situation, BC Hydro was looking to get specific provisions, authorisations and constraints on its licences, operating rules and regime, in order to ensure its compliance with provincial and federal legislation, while still meeting the terms of its mandate (BC Hydro, 1994a). In BC Hydro’s words: “BC Hydro needs clear operating boundaries for its facilities in order to fully utilise its assets while managing the water resource in a legally environmentally responsible manner. The implications of the Fisheries Act combined with the voicing of other competing demands for the water resource, have made BC Hydro‟s rights to operate less clear in recent years... Consequently a water use plan provides regulatory clarity for BC Hydro” (CEC, 2000, p.63).  78  6.1.2 Problems with BC Hydro’s Relationship with the Regulators and the Public  Federal Government: DFO  As hinted above, the relationship between the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and BC Hydro was antagonistic over the course of the 1980s and for a large part of the 1990s, until the development of the WUP guidelines. While DFO had been conducting meetings with the utility for a number of years, in an attempt to negotiate a change in flows at some of its facilities, these were always antagonistic and threatened by the Fisheries Act. “We would meet… and we would say you need to do this and they would say we don‟t need to do this, and we would snort and huff and puff around the table and in most cases we would finally agree to do something but it was always pulling teeth together. People were always polite, very civil, but there was always a Fisheries Act charge, or an order under the Fisheries Act looming in the background” (DFO3, pers. comm.). Even when changed flows were agreed upon, these were often not complied with, either because more urgent issues would come to the fore (BCH3, pers. comm.), or because if they implied a loss in generating capacity, the utility believed that it was not compelled to abide by the agreement they had reached47 (Smith, 1995). However , as time went on, BC Hydro increasingly felt that DFO was attempting to “micromanage” it. Through flow orders (e.g. on the Cheakamus48 and Columbia rivers), constraints, and legal challenges, DFO was putting increasing pressure on BC Hydro to change its operations. Although the utility was largely winning the court cases, and had contested some of the flow orders49, as mentioned above, it realised that DFO was going to continue down the litigation path. 47  When the utility was asked to release higher flows by DFO at its Shuswap Falls facility in 1991, for instance, BC Hydro released less than asked, claiming that the fall rains had not provided sufficient inflows (BC Hydro, 1992). This resulted in the dewatering of salmon eggs. 48  On the Cheakamus River, DFO ordered BC Hydro to release a minimum of 45% of the previous day’s inflow or a 3 minimum of 5m /s from the dam, in order to ensure sufficient water for fish preservation and to restore some of the river’s historical resource values (Yassien et al., 1998). 49  BC Hydro had argued, for example, that the DFO flow order on the Cheakamus was “arbitrary, unfair and based on theoretical science” (Ouston, 1998a, p.B12). It also claimed that overfishing was responsible for fish losses and that it was not possible to scientifically prove that reduced flows were the cause. Furthermore, negotiations as part of the WUP process for the Cheakamus were ongoing at the time the order was released (Ouston, 1998b). After one year in court, the Federal Court of Canada had ruled that DFO could give the utility orders, as long as it also gave it enough time to comply and negotiate, which it had not done in the case of the Cheakamus. By appealing the order, BC Hydro was seeking to avoid future “arbitrary” orders by DFO (Ouston, 1998a). In addition  79  “DFO was ready, very ready to now start issuing orders. Because it was so frustrated it had lost the case [on the Bridge River]. Luckily this [WUP] was going on at the same time so there was likely a better way to resolve the issue” (DFO2, pers. comm.). “DFO was trying to micromanage Hydro, when they had no capability and no understanding of the consequences to the system. So we had to come together to find out what were the interests and parameters which would allow us to go ahead” (BCH1, pers. comm.).  DFO was also becoming increasingly active in the interior of BC, since the Oldman River and Rafferty-Alameda court cases had reminded the agency of its responsibilities for fish habitat beyond the ocean and coastal salmon watersheds. Since the 1990 opening of its Pacific Interior office, responsible for the Kootenays, Peace and Columbia, DFO’s profile was much heightened, thus implying increasing risks to BC Hydro’s operations (DFO3, pers. comm.). Having DFO “meddle” with the Peace and Columbia operations posed a great risk to the utility, considering their 80% contribution to BC Hydro’s energy supply. “So that was part of it too. Now all of a sudden DFO is involved in their big facilities. The Peace and Columbia are the centre of their operations, plus there‟s a treaty related to the Columbia operations as well. Big dollars...” (DFO3, pers. comm.). Dealing with DFO instead of the provincial agencies that had been responsible for fish habitat in the interior until the court case decisions, also showed BC Hydro that complying with the terms of its water licences was no longer sufficient, and the historic agreements that had been reached with the Water Comptroller in the past regarding compensation and mitigation were no longer reliable (BC Hydro, 1995b).  Provincial Government: MELP  BC Hydro also faced growing pressure from the Provincial Government, given the utility is a crown corporation, and thus in effect an extension of government. Initially the Fish and Wildlife branch within the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks (MELP) was the main department which made demands that BC Hydro’s operations be investigated for their impacts on fish resources (DFO2 & MELPF, pers. comm.). BC Hydro also argued that it was unconstitutional for the federal DFO to interfere in inland matters; whereas DFO, through issuing an order on the Cheakamus, was seeking to set a precedent in order to have greater control over the facilities along the Peace and Columbia (Ouston, 1998b).  80  “Yes, „cause the Ministry of Environment was often told to back off and not impede development of the province. I don‟t think you‟ll ever find that in writing somewhere, but look at the history of the province, when they developed Peace and Columbia there were no environmental impact studies done at all. The resolution of the environmental issues was done through a compensation programme after the fact” (DFO2, pers. comm.).  As time went on, however, a number of varied events all put growing pressure on the Provincial Government to act. These included the high profile court cases with DFO; increasing threats posed by public interest groups like ARMS (see below); growing media attention towards problems with dam operations (e.g. due to peaking operations on the Stave River 50) or maintenance activities (e.g. the draining of the Downton reservoir); and the fact that the government had allowed and been complicit with Hydro “stealing water”51, as shown in the Ward report. The report threatened the reputation of the Provincial Government52, as not only did it indicate that the government had been aware of, yet never took any action regarding BC Hydro’s lack of compliance, but furthermore, it showed that it had been earning from the surplus rentals the utility was paying on the extra water it had been diverting (Anderson, 1996; SLDF, 1996b; Glavin, 2002). “Several of the facilities used more water than they were actually licensed for. And it was seen as acceptable by Water Management and Rights because it was still making beneficial use of the water and there weren‟t any other demands, or they pretended there weren‟t any other demands on the water. ... It probably could have ignored the Ward report but its reputation would have been sullied. It would have shown that it closed a blind eye to one of its licencees taking more water than it actually deserved and actually paid rental... No, actually Hydro paid rental on the excess water it used, so they were even complicit in that, 50  Several interviewees recalled that a fisheries biologist living along the Stave had discovered that the river was bone dry every night, due to the fact the Stave facility was a peaking plant, which was shut down at night due to low demand. The event then led to an agreement with BC Hydro for a minimum flow release from the plant (NGO2 & MELPW2, pers. comm.) 51  This refers to a news article that appeared in The Province, entitled “Hydro stole our water: Squamish” (Anderson, 1996): “And remember as a crown corporation the politicians in Victoria don’t like to see on the front page of the paper that their crown corporation is stealing” (MELPF2, pers. comm.). 52  Articles in the Vancouver Sun and The Province indicated that the Squamish First Nation, the Sierra Legal Defence Fund and the Steelhead Society of British Columbia demanded that an inquiry into the role of the Water Comptroller be conducted regarding the Cheakamus unlicensed diversions and that his position be given more muscle to enforce the law (Anderson, 1996; Vancouver Sun, 1996). Furthermore, the Campbell River Mirror stated that the government had prevented Peter Ward from finishing his second report that looked at nine other BC Hydro facilities, thus demonstrating “the inability and unwillingness of the Water Resources Division to govern Hydro’s water use” (Campbell River Mirror, 1996, p.A11).  81  taking the money” (DFO2, pers. comm.). The BC Government was therefore also at risk of being taken to court (Glavin, 2002). Furthermore, the report itself was a symptom of the failure of the adversarial and strict enforcement route, which ignored the variety of management choices available to better assist in meeting multiple needs53 (MEI et al., 1999).  The draining of the Downton reservoir (see above for details) also caused much furore, especially as it happened around the time of provincial elections and stood as a further indication of the poor relationship between BC Hydro and the Ministry of Environment54. Following the event, an investigation was undertaken by a Special Environmental Auditor on behalf of MELP in order to analyse the causes of the drawdown and review the actions undertaken by BC Hydro to mitigate it and prevent any further recurrence (McDade, 1996). The auditor found, in his interim report, that the event had been deliberately planned since September of the previous year. Although communication between BC Hydro, DFO and the Ministry of Environment had occurred on a couple of occasions in the months preceding the drawdown, the final letter of MELP asking to postpone the operation due to outstanding environmental concerns was ignored by the utility. In discussions with BC Hydro, the auditor was told that the letter was taken as a suggestion. MELP, on the other hand, indicated its sense of regulatory helplessness at dealing with the utility and attempting to push forward environmental considerations in its operations. As reported by McDade (1996): “Mr. MacGregor [a regional biologist at MELP] indicated a sense of impotence in dealing with BC Hydro. His experience with BC Hydro is that “when push comes to shove”, if BC Hydro‟s water licence allows them to take a course of procedure, there is not much MELP can do to stop them” (p.11). Internal BC Hydro email exchanges indicated that while senior staff were aware of going against MELP’s request for a fish inventory prior to the drawdown, they questioned the agency’s right to ask for such a study to be undertaken, given that their water licence was 53  The Water Use Planning program and associated review of BC Hydro’s licences was announced soon after the release of the second Ward Report (which was only released in draft form and indicated that six out of ten BC Hydro facilities were out of compliance) (MELP, 1996). WUP was thus put forward as a solution to the high degree of controversy stirred by the report. 54  In the words of an interviewee: “Some fisherman or somebody called in saying that Downton reservoir is bone dry, there are a couple little pools and the seagulls are having a pig-out. Is this the way our crown corporation manages the resource? And more embarrassment back to Victoria and it was an election and it was a long weekend, slow news weekend, so the media went nuts over this thing. I mean if there had been a dog fight at the corner of Hastings and Granville it would have been in the front page of the news, right? Nothing was going on, so this thing... I’ll always remember Gordon Campbell was in opposition then, he was so critical of the NDP, and the line was “Give me a break, they drained the lake”” (MELPF2, pers. comm.).  82  being complied with. Furthermore, since no policy or procedure existed outlining how BC Hydro should respond to MELP objections, guidance or directions, BC Hydro staff responded in the way they personally saw fit. Thus, while BC Hydro decided it would undertake a fish survey as required by MELP, this would occur after the drawdown!  In the July 1996 debates of the Legislative Assembly (BC Hansard, 1996), which discussed the budget estimates of the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks in the NDP Government’s second term, the Downton report was discussed, with the opposition raising the following: “C. Clark: It's my concern that there seems to be a history with the environment and Hydro where the Ministry of Environment appoints auditors, does investigations and makes requests. We can identify some cases where the Ministry of Environment actually has been monitoring what Hydro has been doing and asking it to change its behaviour. What we see, on the other hand, is a consistent denial on Hydro's part of any requests from the Ministry of Environment. In light of their history, I am quite concerned that when the final report comes out and says -which I think it will -- that we need very fundamental changes in the way Hydro operates and in the way the Ministry of Environment interrelates with Hydro55, it's not going to have any impact at all, because that's been the history of the way the two organizations interrelate. Hydro clearly sees itself as above the requests of the Ministry of Environment. It's my concern that the Ministry of Environment should be playing a little bit more of a policing role with Hydro” (BC Hansard, 1996, p.723).  It is clear, from the above, that the government was heavily criticized for its failure to better control BC Hydro’s actions. Another quote further indicates the pressure that the NDP was put under at the budget estimates, where most discussions centred on BC Hydro, its impacts on fish and fish habitat, and the way the Ministry related to the corporation and intended to increase environmental protection in the utility’s operations: “C. Clark: What I'm trying to point out to the minister, and what we've identified, is an area where the ministry hasn't really put enough focus and where, in some respects in the past, it's 55  The Auditor’s interim report recommended, among other points, that government (both MELP and DFO) consider laying charges against BC Hydro for its negligence prior to and during the drawdown event; that a multistakeholder process be set up to assess management options and strategies for BC Hydro’s operations that would take heed of water values other than hydropower; and that regulatory changes are made to better specify the legal requirements that BC Hydro should comply with and that would strengthen MELP’s role (McDade, 1996).  83  been quite negligent in terms of enforcing its duty. I've said this many times, and I'll say it again: if we can't count on the Ministry of Environment, in that community of interest that's represented in this province to be defending environmental interests and to be ensuring that corporate interests live up to environmental standards, then who can we count on? If we can't count on government agencies to be the leaders in environmental protection, it's really unfair to ask the private sector to live up to them. It's quite clear that the Ministry of Environment has spent a fair amount of time thinking about and looking at infractions on the part of companies in the private sector. That's part of its mandate, and it has done that quite thoroughly. On the other hand, we have a government agency which has been allowed to run wild with little environmental concern whatsoever. I don't think the ministry has really been looking closely enough at Hydro's operations and at Hydro's impact on the environment. That's what I'm trying to point out here today. That's why I'm trying to find out which areas of the Ministry of Environment are looking at Hydro, how they're looking at Hydro and what statutory methods they have to enforce the regulations” (BC Hansard, 1996, p.722-3).  From the above, it is clear that the pressure on the Ministry of Environment to act in the mid1990s was high.  NGO and Media Pressure  Starting in the late 1980s, BC Hydro was increasingly put under pressure from some First Nations groups and a range of NGOs including the Sierra Legal Defence Fund (SLDF), the Alouette River Management Society (ARMS), the Courtenay Rod and Gun Club, and Campbell River watershed community groups. These groups were becoming more and more vocal and attracting growing media attention, threatening the reputation of both BC Hydro and the Provincial Government. They demanded changed dam operations, the release of instream flows,  and increased participation in decision-making  processes surrounding water  management in the province (Smith, 1995). Through ongoing communications with the Federal and Provincial Government, publishing a large number of press releases and obtaining widespread media coverage regarding, among other factors, the declining state of BC rivers, BC Hydro’s lack of compliance with its licences and the failure of DFO to implement the Fisheries Act, ARMS and other groups largely contributed to the build-up of pressure and the reaching of a tipping point. 84  The groups specialised in taking advantage of key events that could be used to create further awareness of problems with BC Hydro’s operations. For example in 1996, the Squamish First Nation, Sierra Legal Defence Fund (which provides legal advice to not-for profit organisations) and the Steelhead Society of British Columbia demanded that BC Hydro pay $15 million in compensation for the fish stock losses incurred on the Cheakamus River as a result of the utility diverting more water than that allowed in its licences (Anderson, 1996). With attentiongrabbing headlines (“Hydro stole our water: Squamish”), the groups claimed that one million pink salmon were killed as a result of BC Hydro taking more water than licensed for close to 40 years. On the other hand, a large damaging flood which occurred on the Alouette in 1995 was used by ARMS to raise the issue of public safety and concern for property, and as a further indication that BC Hydro was mismanaging its dam (NGO2, pers. comm.). That same year, ARMS, together with the Katzie First Nation and SLDF, threatened to take BC Hydro to court over the fact the utility was diverting more than 98% of water flows from the Alouette River, thus destroying fish habitat and contravening the Fisheries Act (Smith, 1995). “It was a real community disgust about what had happened to their river. And nobody... Hydro just seemed to say hey, this is the way it is” (MELPF1, pers. comm.).  In April 1997 the Sierra Legal Defence Fund and the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund filed a submission with the Secretariat of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation on behalf of a number of Canadian and US NGOs, under article 14 of the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC) (BC Aboriginal Fisheries Commission et al., 1997; CEC, 2000). They asserted that Canada, a party to the NAAEC was failing to effectively enforce its environmental laws. In particular, DFO was accused of not enforcing S.35(1) of the Fisheries Act against BC Hydro, which, through its operations, had clearly caused harmful alteration and disruption of fish and fish habitat on several occasions, in a number of BC rivers. The submission cited six specific instances of harm (including the damage caused on the Cheakamus River and the Downton reservoir), and in addition reviewed the impacts caused by each of BC Hydro’s 33 facilities, noting that no authorisation had been issued by the Minister of DFO to allow such harm to take place. This instance provided further impetus to the Federal and Provincial Government to take action with respect to BC Hydro’s operations. It is notable  85  that one of Canada’s points of defence with the CEC56 was the fact the WUP program was underway, and that this would contribute to increasing compliance with the Fisheries Act.  Public interest groups were thus a significant factor in getting the government to take a stronger stance in water resources management issues and regulating BC Hydro’s operations (MEI et al., 1999; Mullen-Dalmer, 2009). Particularly in the Alouette, citizen mobilisation played a crucial role in changing the fate of the dam facility and beginning the restoration of the ecosystem in the river downstream, through contributing to the opening of a policy window (see below). Through very effective use of the media, NGOs were able to put BC Hydro under increasing pressure to respond (BCH2, pers. comm.). Furthermore the utility felt more and more that no matter what actions (e.g. mitigation, interim flow releases, compensation) it undertook, it was never enough to appease the public, which was quick to find shortcomings with the measures it had put in place and to ask for more57 (SLDF, 1996a). “It was a very difficult period of time for those of us working in environment, in the generation unit at the time, because almost weekly we were in the press and it was… there was a lot of public pressure on Hydro to do something different. So we were trying to be proactive, but we weren‟t able to keep up with the expectations. And the concern was, you know, if we return all of these systems to natural, there is no hydro system left” (BCH2, pers. comm.). The utility also had to continuously defend itself in the media, indicating its side of the story, or the information that had been neglected by the public interest groups. As recognised by Hall’s (1993) quote: “The press is both a mirror of public opinion and a magnifying glass for the issues it takes up” (p.288), the truth likely lay somewhere in the middle. What was clear, nonetheless, was that something needed to be done, and BC Hydro was increasingly aware of this.  56  Canada responded to the CEC submission in July 1997 alleging that varied enforcement activities had been undertaken, which included actions that went beyond the number of sanctions and prosecutions pursued by DFO (CEC, 2000). In particular Canada mentioned the important role of voluntary compliance and cooperation (e.g. through studies and projects), which it claimed were more effective and appropriate than a stronger use of its laws. In April 1998, however, the CEC Secretariat demanded that a factual record to collect additional information on Canada’s enforcement efforts be developed. The inquiry determined that the Federal Government should exercise the powers granted by the Fisheries Act to review the environmental impacts of BC Hydro’s operations. The WUP program, which had in the meantime been launched, provided some assurance that this would happen. 57  For instance, after BC Hydro agreed to release flows on the Cheakamus River, a number of NGOs accused the utility of falling short of what was necessary, by releasing insufficient water compared to pre-dam levels, and not measuring the discharge at the geographical location which would indicate whether BC Hydro was in fact contributing sufficiently to the river flows (SLDF, 1996a).  86  6.2 Internal Factors: Organisational Stream  Given that BC Hydro is a crown corporation and a monopoly, its operations and decisions are not only guided by business and profit considerations (Keeney & McDaniels, 1992). It receives direction from the Provincial Government and as a consequence is accountable to it, and to the electorate. Nevertheless, BC Hydro contributes more than half a billion dollars’ worth of dividends and taxes to the BC Government (Glavin, 2002), and, as mentioned before, has for a long time run its operations to maximise energy production for the province. It therefore operates with a business mentality and, as all corporations, is sensitive to its reputation and the way it is perceived by the public. In fact, according to an interviewee (MEI1), this sensitivity is probably heightened by the fact it is a semi-public body: “There are not a lot of people who really get the idea that BC Hydro is actually government. They‟re commercially run to the extent that you can run a public entity commercially, but there‟s that public interest, public policy of BC Hydro that is an important quality. This element both facilitated the WUP process and was an important quality behind the programme. The only way I can think of it, is that if BC Hydro were a private utility, we wouldn‟t have had the same results as we did with BC Hydro” (MEI1, pers. comm.). “And also, ministers can say the public demands this so we‟re going to tell you to sort of adopt this as part of your social policy. And so that‟s what BC Hydro is, and that‟s what makes it such a good agency, it has some accountability to the electorate via whatever government is in power at the time” (MELPF2, pers. comm.).  A change in thinking therefore started occurring within the organisation in the late 1980s, early 1990s, which was manifested in a number of ways.  6.2.1 Public Expectations and BC Hydro’s Reputation  Starting in the late 1980s, BC Hydro recognised it was not being a good corporate citizen and was not meeting the expectations of the public (MELPW2, pers. comm.). The corporation suffered from a bad reputation around most of its facilities due to impacts that had arisen during dam construction or through operations. As stated by Payne (1982, in Smith, 1988) in his 87  description of the utility’s development of the Peace and Columbia in the 1960s and 70s: “… rapid expansion during the period produced a growing number of critics, who regarded the utility as an arrogant giant, insensitive to public concerns and answerable only to the premier himself. Few details of its financial affairs were readily available, its expropriation policies created numerous public controversies, and its generation and transmission projects were designed to minimize the utility‟s own costs, rather than those of a province as a whole” (Smith, 1988, p.431). “If you talk to people on the Columbia they‟ll call it big, bad Hydro... Hydro just walked over everybody, it took what it needed, it went to build dams where it wanted...” (BCH1, pers. comm.).  The opening up of the decision-making process for the proposed Site C scheme provided an opportunity for the public to air its complaints through the hearings. As mentioned by Smith (1988, p.436): “… it was inevitable that the hearings would develop into a “major blood-letting” with everyone “wanting a kick at the can”: too many people had waited too long for a chance to “get the utility””. The hearings around the Site C scheme finally provided that opportunity. Furthermore, BC Hydro’s attitude was characterized as arrogant in the Site C negotiations with the Utilities Commission (Smith, 1988). Smith states that in the meetings and hearings “… only BC Hydro had the necessary expertise to conduct electricity planning, and thus “they couldn‟t be wrong”” (Smith, 1988, p. 437). This was considered a legacy of the past, as the utility had traditionally not been subject to review or been involved with consultations. Initially, when the BC Utilities Act came into place, BC Hydro was noted as being resentful of the processes tied to regulation. In Smith’s words: “Hydro staff resented the fact that the burden of proof was placed upon the applicant…” (Smith, 1988, p. 439) in the rate review hearings, with the utility adopting a self-righteous approach and showing resistance to change and the fortress mentality that characterized the corporation. “People loved to hate Hydro in those days. It was even spoken about this morning on TV: my have times changed, I remember the days when everybody hated BC Hydro, now they‟re the Cinderella and all our power should be generated by them as opposed to IPPs” (NGO2, pers. comm.).  88  “I can‟t think of one WUP where Hydro was beloved by the community. It was viewed as the big bad guy, the big bad corporation” (DFO3, pers. comm.).  Clearly, in such a situation, BC Hydro was under pressure to change. Starting in the late 1980s, the utility became aware that customers’ perceptions, values and priorities were shifting, and were indicating that they expected the company to change as a consequence and go beyond the minimum necessary to keep out of court (BC Hydro, 1994a). “There‟s a very high expectation of our ratepayers that Hydro will be a leader in how we run a business and so that whole public expectation was growing” (BCH3, pers. comm.). This was manifested through communications received by the utility; the activities of public interest groups; and the results of the annual survey run by the stakeholder engagement department, which indicates customer satisfaction and their perception of the corporation. In 1990, the survey indicated that the public believed that environmental concerns were the third most important issue facing BC Hydro, after future energy needs and rates, out of a total of close to 20 issues (Goldfarb Consultants, 1990). In response to the public’s level of satisfaction with the way BC Hydro was handling each issue, over 35% of respondents were either not very or not at all satisfied with the way the corporation was handling environmental issues, close to 58% were somewhat satisfied and only 5% were very satisfied. When asked to indicate how serious of a problem respondents felt that the impact of BC Hydro installations was on fish and wildlife habitat, close to 50% indicated that it was either extremely or very serious, 23% felt it was somewhat serious, 20% felt it was a little serious and 8% felt it was not very serious. Close to 75% of respondents expected BC Hydro to play a leadership role and set an example for others to follow in its approach to the environment, versus 25% that expected BC Hydro to comply with existing regulations to protect the environment but not necessarily play a leadership role in its conduct towards environmental issues.  While the company was starting to respond to the changing expectations, trying to be proactive through studies, reaching interim agreements with the agencies, funding restoration programmes, etc., as mentioned above, these measures were still insufficient. BC Hydro was however strongly seeking both for government to say it was in compliance with its licences and legislation, and to obtain the “public licence to operate”, which would indicate the public’s approval of its operations (MELPW2, pers. comm.). This meant, among other things, that the “movers and shakers” needed to be included in the decision-making processes (BCH1, pers. comm.). 89  As stated in BC Hydro’s Corporate Environmental Plan (BC Hydro, 1994a): “With changing regulatory directions, public expectations and corporate initiatives, there is a need to review current operational procedures and to provide a continual reassessment of all facility operations to ensure that the hydroelectric system is operated in an environmentally sound yet cost-effective manner” (BC Hydro, 1994a, p.10).  6.2.2 Internal Culture Shift As already mentioned, up to the late 1980s BC Hydro’s position was that it had a water licence and could thus operate in whatever way it preferred, as long as it respected the conditions set within it. With its corporate mission “to support the development of British Columbia through the efficient supply of electricity” (BC Hydro, 1993, p.6), its only trade-off was between flood control and hydropower generation. Furthermore, many people working within the utility had a fortress mentality, especially as far as the engineers within the operating units were concerned: “You go back 15 years, there were lots of parts of Hydro that never had any exposure to the outside world. So it was, you‟ve got everything in here, you‟ve got kind of a little..., almost a fortress mentality and so what can they tell us about how to operate the hydro system, we‟re the experts, we know what we‟re doing, they‟re biologists, they‟re fishermen, they‟re water skiers” (BCH3, pers. comm.). “Prior to that [early 90s] the belief in Hydro was that they had their water licence and it didn‟t really matter if somebody else came by and asked for water for fish” (DFO2, pers. comm.). “That was their formal position, that they had a water licence and required nothing else. In reality, they understood that the Fisheries Act was out there and could affect them, costing them time, energy, and in many cases a lot of foregone power generation” (DFO3, pers. comm.).  In the latter part of the decade, things started to change.  90  “The history of them being badgered by DFO and the Ministry of Environment in the late 80s, early 90s I think created a lot of thinking internally that they‟d better do something about it soon” (DFO2, pers. comm.). “The way corporations respond to environmental issues changes with the way society views its relationship to the environment. This relationship is evolving. Thirty years ago, smokestacks were a symbol of progress. The stench of pulp mill effluent was “the smell of money”. These were the days of frontier economics – anything that stood in the way of progress was uneconomic and unacceptable” (BC Hydro, 1994a, p.2). In 1989 BC Hydro’s Board of Directors passed the resolution: “In carrying out its business, BC Hydro will minimize adverse effects on the natural and social environment and actively pursue opportunities to manage our resources for the benefit of present and future generations” (BC Hydro, 1992, p.2). In 1992, BC Hydro released its first Annual Report on the Environment (BC Hydro, 1992) which summarized the work the utility had been undertaking to minimize the impacts of its operations on the natural and social environment. In the opening remarks of the report, BC Hydro’s senior vice-president John Sheehan stated that the decision to produce the report was a reflection of BC Hydro’s corporate commitment to be accountable for the environmental effects of its works. Although it was the first report on the environment to be produced, the corporation claimed it had already done significant work on such issues, such as reducing herbicide and pesticide use, waste management activities and energy conservation programs. The report states ”… we are determined to assume an environmental leadership role that goes beyond simple compliance with federal, provincial and municipal regulations and legislation. Consequently, our commitment to the environment has been formalized at the highest corporate level…” (BC Hydro, 1992, p.2) through the 1989 Board of Directors resolution. “And it wouldn‟t have happened five years before then... I remember one of the VPs telling us five years before then … I can‟t remember what we wanted to do, some research somewhere … but he said no bloody way, you‟re turning stones and don‟t know what you‟ll find underneath them” (BCH1, pers. comm.). In 1993 a Corporate Strategic Plan – The Way Ahead – was released by BC Hydro’s new Board of Directors (BC Hydro, 1993). In response to the Provincial Government’s request that 91  BC Hydro play a leadership role in the province’s social and economic development, The Way Ahead showed a departure from BC Hydro’s previous corporate strategic plans. New strategic directions were given and a new vision statement was released, due to BC Hydro taking on a larger role than before. Consequently two of its five objectives (the top two) were new and introduced as:  -  “To be a leader in the economic and social development of British Columbia.  -  To be a leader in stewardship of the natural environment.  -  To be the most efficient utility in North America.  -  To be a superior customer service company.  -  To be the most progressive employer in British Columbia” (BC Hydro, 1993, p.6).  These better reflected the utility’s new vision: “In the year 2000, BC Hydro will continue to provide safe and reliable electric service to British Columbians at fair and reasonable prices. In addition, as the province‟s largest Crown corporation, BC Hydro will use its financial, technical and human resources to provide leadership in the economic and social development of the province” (BC Hydro, 1993, p.6). In response to one of the Board’s eight strategic initiatives – “BC Hydro will strive to develop and maintain a leadership role in environmental stewardship58” (BC Hydro, 1993, p.15) – BC Hydro’s Environmental Affairs department developed a Corporate Environmental Plan 59 between 1992 and 1994 (BC Hydro, 1994a). The plan’s definition of stewardship was:  58  The Corporate Strategic Plan stated that opportunities for environmental leadership would be pursued through carrying out regional environmental initiatives where power production had impacted the environment; identifying the environmental implications of the utility’s operations; sharing BC Hydro’s environmental expertise with other companies; and opening up communication with the public (BC Hydro, 1993). It also recognized BC Hydro’s existing environmental expertise and that investing in the environment was an obligation to future generations. 59  The planning process aimed to clarify the environmental issues facing the utility and to identify an overall approach to environmental management (BC Hydro, 1994a). It identified 26 environmental issues facing the corporation and planned to put in place environmental management systems to address each of these.  92  “Going the extra mile beyond compliance, due diligence, and contemporary standards60. It means identifying opportunities to add benefit to nature and society that are over and above what we are required to do. It means selecting and funding a number of projects which exceed contemporary standards” (BC Hydro, 1994a, p.iv).  The Plan nonetheless recognized the inherent challenge BC Hydro faced with regards to the difficulty of balancing environmental protection while meeting the demands placed upon it as a crown corporation required to “keep the lights on”. Furthermore, before being able to be leaders in environmental stewardship (its ultimate goal), BC Hydro realistically recognized it had to put its “house in order”, through the interim destination of satisfying the triple criteria of compliance, due diligence and contemporary standards, within a five-year timeframe. It recognized that if it did not meet any one of these three criteria, it would be in trouble with either the regulators, the courts or the public.  In 1997, the BC Hydro Environmental Report further indicated the importance placed on public involvement: “All British Columbians who use electricity, or who value the environment, have an interest in how BC Hydro manages public resources for their benefit. We‟re committed to incorporating their attitudes, values and perceptions into decisions about our facilities and how they‟re operated” (BC Hydro, 1997).  It is clear that the above are formal statements that could mean little beyond paper and never necessarily be implemented. However, things really did appear to be changing. Several innovative and enlightened individuals came to join the corporation in the late 1980s, early 90s (MELPF1, pers. comm.). For instance Larry Bell, who was responsible for the Power Smart and Resource Smart programs (see below), became chairman in 1986 and is known for gradually pushing the utility to take the high road in its approach and decision-making processes (BCH3, pers. comm.). For instance he assigned BC Hydro’s director of planning with the charge of making BC Hydro “the best planned electric utility in North America” (Keeney & McDaniels, 1992, p.95). With the assistance of two decision-making experts, he and a planning committee composed of a number of BC Hydro senior managers developed a series of strategic objectives for BC Hydro, which went much beyond economic development. One of the objectives was to act consistently with the public’s environmental values. The 60  These are defined as “doing what is expected of us as a Crown corporation by the public and government” (BC Hydro, 1994a, p.3).  93  planning committee also recognised that such a process should include a range of stakeholder views, given that BC Hydro is a crown corporation rather than an investor-owned utility.  At mid-management level, there were also some progressive and highly-principled individuals, who became the champions of the WUP programme within the organisation, building the business case to convince top management, and creating the whole structure and process around WUP as co-leaders of the inter-agency committee charged with developing the WUP guidelines. In interviewing different stakeholders, no one failed to mention the role of Daryl Fields, BC Hydro’s manager of Executive Operations at the time, and according to most, the “real” initiator of WUP. “Well Daryl, her personal mission in life I think was more or less to better incorporate environmental and social issues into business decisions” (OTH1, pers. comm.). “I give a huge amount of credit to people like Graeme Matthews, Daryl Fields, she‟s a brilliant person, she was the one who probably had the most influence over designing the process and bringing in people like Ralph Keeney, Robin Gregory, who were world class decision support, structured decision making…” (BCH3, pers. comm.).  A number of internal events also assisted in changing the thinking within the corporation. For example, one interviewee reported an instance around the building of a substation on Vancouver Island, which came to be considered an internal paradigm shift in the company (BCH3, pers. comm.). In the late 1980s, BC Hydro attempted to build a substation within a residential development with no public consultation. Despite a 2,500 signature petition, the approach to building the substation project only opened up following an attempt by ESSO to build a petrol station behind one of the project managers’ property. For many years afterwards, people within BC Hydro would often refer to the Lantzville Project when a sloppy process was about to be followed. As some people within BC Hydro recognised: “It was the maturing of our company and our management, and part of that being reflected by who we are as BC Hydro, we‟re a crown corporation. As I said before, our rate payers, the taxpayers had expectations of how we conduct our business, which are, for the most part higher and better than anybody else” (BCH3, pers. comm.). 94  6.2.3 Business Case  From a purely business/ financial point of view, BC Hydro recognised that the current approach was not working. It knew its licences were not bullet-proof and that the way ahead was paved with orders, legal challenges and DFO trying to more and more closely manage the corporation (MELPW2, pers. comm.). “They [BC Hydro] also saw, and the provincial government saw, the conflicts with fisheries as being a major stumbling block in terms of their ability to generate power, and effectively run their operations” (DFO3, pers. comm.). An internal assessment of the worst-case scenario, should the situation proceed as it had been in the early 1990s, indicated that $180 million p.a. (1995 dollars) worth of generation were in jeopardy (BCH3, pers. comm.). Furthermore the actual costs of litigation were extremely high: in the case of the Bridge River prosecution, BC Hydro states that it was the longest Fisheries Act case in Canada, with the hearing and trial taking over 12 weeks, at a cost of $1-2 million just for the defence against the charges (CEC, 2000). The risk associated with remaining known as “big, bad Hydro” was also not conducive to good business decisions and profits. Something needed to be done. “We estimated that there were probably $180 million a year worth of generation at risk. And so we said, this is not a good situation to be in, so that was kind of the genesis of saying ok, we‟ve got to find a different way of doing things, because this is a no win situation and that was kind of the genesis of WUP” (BCH3, pers. comm.).  A business case was therefore put together by some of the WUP champions within BC Hydro. Although the document is not publicly available, BC Hydro’s 1994 Corporate Environmental Plan (BC Hydro, 1994a) and a couple of internal BC Hydro documents (e.g. BC Hydro, 1995b) make reference to some of the thinking that is likely to have contributed to economically justifying a change in approach: “BC Hydro faces a spectrum of pressures, interests and expectations that influence its environmental spending. Obviously, legal and regulatory requirements come first. But beyond these musts there is a long list of shoulds, need to’s, ought to’s, and would-be-nice-ifs. Some of these are compelling because of the self-interest involved, while others carry the heavy – and difficult to refuse – weight of government and public expectations. Factors such as these are a challenge when it comes to developing business cases” (BC Hydro, 1994a, p.10).  95  A risk assessment that BC Hydro undertook discussed some of the legal, business and public consequences tied to the occurrence of certain environmental events (BC Hydro, 1994a). The legal consequences for example included the penalties and enforcement routes that could be taken against BC Hydro should a problem occur; the business consequences included the changes in operations or in the utility’s licences that would have to be undergone in order to continue producing power, and their associated financial impact; the public consequences included the extent to which the corporation may be perceived as being irresponsible, or the degree to which the public would become concerned and so preclude the corporation from operating as it needed, should a problem occur. The risks were considered high: “In terms of effects of reservoir operations on fish, the 1992 Environmental Risk Assessment judged the risk of non-compliance with existing legislation to be high and recommended immediate remedial attention” (BC Hydro, 1994a, p.13).  BC Hydro recognized that under a traditional business case, the corporation would not voluntarily undertake (inevitably costly) changes in operations, as the value of fish losses would never add up to the power produced (BC Hydro, 1994a). Yet, the decisions the utility now faced were much more complex. One important consideration for the corporation, for instance, was the fact that it wanted to be a better resource manager than BC Electric had been, given that under the latter’s licences, granted at a different time and under different prevailing societal values, BCE had been allowed to divert all water it requested from rivers. “In a traditional business case, costs are weighed against benefits. In environmental decisions, however, the benefits of taking action are not simply the additional fish produced or the spills avoided, but the reduction or elimination of risks to our freedom to operate the system in a rational and balanced way. In other words, we can estimate the cost of doing something to satisfy regulatory demands or public expectations, but how do we estimate the potential cost of not doing something, especially when a consequence of inaction could be to bring about the regulations that remove the freedom to decide altogether?” (BC Hydro, 1994a, p.10).  In its Corporate Environmental Plan (BC Hydro, 1994a), the Environmental Affairs department warns BC Hydro that not to do something/ fighting the problem could result in the development of regulations that could remove much of the discretion the industry had, such as was the case for the forestry industry with the passing of the Forest Practices Code by the Provincial Government. These regulations were adopted after public and political opinion had called for 96  more environmentally friendly behaviours, to no avail, for a number of years. “If we decide not to do something for the environment that the government or public wants, the decision could be made for us” (BC Hydro, 1994a, p.5). Thus another important consideration for BC Hydro was that by being proactive, it would retain control over a potential process that might be put in place, instead of leaving the option to government, which on the other hand could go down the regulatory route and thus remove its freedom. For example, BC Hydro knew that the Provincial Government had among its plans to review the Water Act. If instead the utility came up with a way to address the shortcomings with its licences, through for example a partnership with the regulatory agencies, it was possible that changes to make legislation more restrictive may be postponed (BC Hydro, 1995b), as in fact was the case. “A new concept is clearly required. We cannot have BC Hydro moving along a route where differences of opinion on appropriate operational methods, such as the Bridge and Seton watersheds, result in charges being filed by DFO under the Fisheries Act while, at the same time, the Provincial Government is responding to the Electrical Systems Operations Review by proposing a province-wide compensation program. To reconcile these developments, a new partnership approach has to be formed and that partnership must include DFO” (BC Hydro, 1995b, p.3). “And quite simply there were three options. One option was to resist and to end up battling this thing through legal mechanisms. The second option was to do everything that we were asked and told to do, and the risk of doing that was that we would not be able to provide the energy that the system needed. And the third option was to try to find some sort of a collaborative compromise, maybe win-win even, or in some cases, although that was a bit of a dream maybe, but at least try to work our way through some sort of an integrated management process. So it‟s pretty logical, everybody felt that was the appropriate path to take” (BCH2, pers. comm.). “BC Hydro had two choices: it could negotiate or litigate, and decided that the former was a more productive and cost-effective approach” (Mullen-Dalmer, 2009).  While all this internal thinking was taking place within BC Hydro, external stimuli were also suggesting that times were changing, and that new concepts, such as green power, corporate environmentalism and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) were starting to become popular 97  (see de Bruijn et al., 1997; Banerjee, 2002; WRI et al., 2008). And BC Hydro had to jump on the bandwagon not to be left behind: “You know, green is now the in thing and every company has to have its green programme” (BCH1, pers. comm.). As indicated through its Corporate Strategic Plan, BC Hydro had decided that it was going to be a leader in environmental stewardship and economic and social development (BC Hydro, 1993), and thus react proactively to the conflicts it was facing. “I think that green power was a factor that may have... maybe not as, it probably wasn‟t as overt as what the other factors were, but it was still there. There was a culture within BC Hydro that said the time was right. Had we tried that, this process, ten years earlier it wouldn‟t have worked” (MELPW2, pers. comm.).  While the organisational shift that occurred within BC Hydro was probably in part a result of the pressures and problems surrounding the utility and its operations, there was definitely a stimulus within the corporation to change approach and become not only more responsible, but also a leader in its field. It nonetheless required a lot of internal convincing by the WUP champions during the initial phases. “So it was not an easy decision to say that… Legally we have the water licence, we can use that water to generate electricity, but we‟re going to give some of it back, for other benefits” (BCH2, pers. comm.). “There were ongoing meetings between senior management in DFO, the Province and BC Hydro. These meetings were largely driven from the working level, from staff within the three organisations, supportive of the WUP approach, attempting to convince senior management that a better approach was available” (DFO3, pers. comm.).  6.3 Solutions: Policy Stream  A number of potential solutions to the problems occurring with respect to water resources management and dam operations in BC started to be put forward in the late 1980s, early 1990s (see Figure 4 for a summary of some of these solutions, in addition to some of the factors included in the organisational stream). Some of these solutions originated within BC Hydro, which, to a certain extent was trying to be proactive, especially in the smaller systems where changes that were effected would not significantly impact power production (DFO2, pers. 98  comm.). Many of these were however mandated by the Provincial or Federal Government, or undertaken in partnership with government agencies. Other solutions were put forward by the Federal or Provincial Government, or NGOs and academics.  6.3.1 Solutions Implemented by BC Hydro Prior to the 1990s, BC Hydro’s approach to sustainability and to the environmental damage caused by the utility’s operations was strongly tied to legal compliance, it was mostly reactive and in response to requests by either government or other stakeholders (BC Hydro, 2005). The initiatives the corporation undertook were recognised as being costly and driven by single objectives, rather than focused on integrated planning. Furthermore changes were only undertaken where no loss of generating power would be incurred: “If a problem was identified, we‟d sit down and see what we could do to try and fix it, and we made a lot of progress, but typically on smaller facilities. If it was a big issue, with big ramifications to power generation, Hydro wasn‟t all that interested in effecting major change” (DFO3, pers. comm.). As a consequence, some of the solutions that were put forward61 were considered band-aids by some of the stakeholders, as they really did not address the problems that were being experienced around the different facilities in any significant way: “As a matter of fact when we tried to talk to them about that [providing water for other uses], as an agency, there were some attempts to provide some modest amount of funding for habitat restoration, but never really water, water was sacred, it was to produce power” (DFO2, pers. comm.).  61  For example some of the early initiatives BC Hydro undertook included the 1967 installation of a spawning channel on the Duncan River to compensate for the loss of habitat; the 1980 construction of a hatchery on Dinosaur Lake, responding to orders from the Ministry of Environment, followed by another hatchery and spawning channel at Revelstoke, built between 1981 and 1983 (Hirst, 1991). By 1984, incubation and rearing boxes for salmon were installed at Stave Falls, and in 1986 BC Hydro provided $3 million to MOE for fisheries compensation at Keenleyside.  99  100  Initially the measures BC Hydro put in place were thus tied to compensation and mitigation, and were generally undertaken once damage had already occurred. The utility’s approach to compensation itself evolved over time: before the 1960s no compensation for the impacts of major projects was required; between 1960 and 1980 one-off payments were made to the Provincial Government for compensation, in order to meet some water licence conditions (BC Hydro, 1992). However, if such compensation programs were ineffective, there was no recourse available, thus often leaving resource issues unaddressed by government or the utility. As of the late 1980s, a more holistic stance was taken, recognizing the need for cooperation between government, the utility and the interested public; the need to address short as well as long-term concerns; and the need for programs to be flexible in order to meet changing environmental standards and public expectations.  In 1988 BC Hydro and MELP began developing fish and wildlife compensation programs to address the requirements of BC Hydro’s most recent water licences (BC Hydro, 1992). A $1.1 million annual compensation fund was therefore set up in 1988 to enhance fish and wildlife resources in the upper Peace River, aimed at developing a participatory fisheries program, habitat and wetland improvement projects, wildlife programs, etc. In 1989 the Columbia, Bridge Coastal and Peace Fish and Wildlife Compensation/ Restoration programs were started, which allocated $7 million per year in perpetuity for habitat and stock production enhancement, including projects on reservoir fertilisation, fish passage and ladders, and hatcheries (BC Hydro, 2005). Impact assessment studies, and research and monitoring programs were conducted as part of the compensation programs, to address the impacts of the facilities’ operation on fish and water resources.  In order to pursue its environmental activities, BC Hydro hired a range of technical experts in the early 1990s on a range of issues such as water quality, agriculture, soils and terrain, waste management, fish and wildlife, etc. (BC Hydro, 1992). In 1991-92 inventories of fish and wildlife, and resource enhancement opportunities were carried out in the Mica and Revelstoke basins, in preparation for the development of a five-year fish and wildlife enhancement plan. At the same time audits were conducted to address the management of PCBs, to assess the environmental management plan for the Alouette dam spillway rehabilitation project, and containment of oil spills. Habitat enhancement programs included the development of side channels on the Puntledge River (co-funded by DFO and MELP); the establishment of a trout net pen at Buntzen Lake; instream habitat improvement on the Stave and Bull rivers; a fish flow 101  study undertaken on the Salmon River and the consequent installation of a fishway62 on its dam (BC Hydro, 1992). Other issues that BC Hydro focused on included land management issues tied to transmission lines’ rights-of-way (and the concerns around the use of herbicides, and pesticides); air quality, waste management and recreational areas. In the late 1980s BC Hydro had also begun investing in energy resources management, especially through the promotion of conservation programs, such as Power Smart, launched in 1989 to promote energy efficiency among customers, and Resource Smart, aimed at increasing the efficiency of BC Hydro’s generation, transmission and distribution facilities.  As time went on, BC Hydro, working with the government agencies also began to look more closely at the utility’s operations and evaluating the effects of flow regimes on habitat, through for instance the co-funding (with DFO and MELP) of studies on the operational impacts of existing Hydro facilities on fisheries resources (BC Hydro, 1992). For example, 1991 had seen the beginning of the review of the operating orders of the Cheakamus, Bridge, Coquitlam and Revelstoke systems, to identify opportunities to incorporate environmental concerns in their operations. The expected results at that point were protocols for water releases for fish, and a strategy setting minimum flow requirements. In the Alouette, DFO and MELP requested a study aimed at investigating the minimum flows required for fish (instream flow study, using the Instream Flow Incremental Methodology (IFIM)). BC Hydro established a task force composed of representatives of BC Hydro, DFO, MELP and the Alouette River Management Society to oversee the fish flow study, which was begun in 1994, with funding from the utility63. While the results showed how alternative flow regimes would lead to different benefits on habitat and were intended to guide decisions about restoration of ecological productivity, as for the other studies that had been undertaken until then, there was no mechanism in place to use such information, or no legal requirement that could force the utility to change its operations:  62  An example of a fish bypass project was the 1993 installation by BC Hydro of two penstock screens (known as Eicher screens) on the Puntledge River diversion, in order to prevent migrating fish from being entrained in the turbines (Fortin, 2003). These were put in place after a spawning channel and hatchery were built in the late 1960s and 1980s, which had however proved to be unsatisfactory in increasing fish stocks in the river. The screens raised survival rates of migrating salmon and steelhead from 40 to 99%. 63  The Alouette River Flow Study aimed to “assess the incremental changes in tangible and intangible values in the South Alouette River associated with flow discharge from Alouette Lake reservoir” (BC Hydro, 1994b, p.1). The sub-objectives were to identify the relationship between fish habitat and flow releases; fish production and flows; and the incremental improvements in fisheries that could result from increased flows.  102  “Late 1980s, this is where it‟s sort of a balance between us trying to be progressive and others trying to push us to be more responsive. So we were already doing studies prior to the court cases but we didn‟t have a process defined on how to utilise the results” (BCH2, pers. comm.).  In 1993 the Province directed BC Hydro to undertake an Electric System Operations Review (ESOR) “to explain how the BC Hydro integrated electric system is operated, to examine the social and environmental impacts of current operations, and to identify alternative operations that would increase the social benefits of the system to the province” (BC Hydro, 1995c, p.1). This was prompted by the problems around the impacts associated with BC Hydro plants along the Columbia and in the Kootenays, as well as the fact a similar study had been undertaken in the US by the Bonneville Power Administration. The Province’s mandate to BC Hydro was that the utility should not go too far in its recommendations, however, in order not to threaten power production (BCH3, pers. comm.). Any potential changes in operating regimes that were identified and potentially required thus had to be revenue-neutral. “The people who managed it for Hydro ran a very respectful process, but the marching order from the Provincial Government who told us to do it, was yeah, you make some trade-offs but don‟t go too far” (BCH3, pers. comm.). “It showed that there was a movement of attitude to some extent within Hydro. I think it was the first time that Hydro had ever put down on paper that they might be prepared to do some things for fish, ... but at the same time it also reflected the fact they were still pretty stuck on generating power” (DFO3, pers. comm.). The report was completed in 1994 but the Provincial Government’s response to it was lukewarm (MEI1, pers. comm.), and several shortcomings were identified (Province of BC, 1995). The official government response to ESOR argued that it had failed to properly assess the impacts of hydropower operations on fisheries and aquatic resources, the study had used insufficient and too conservative a set of data to reach its conclusions (i.e. it had underestimated non-power benefits, while overstating power costs), and the study team had not consulted stakeholders (especially First Nations) in the most effective way, further entrenching their dislike for Hydro and its operations (MELPW2, pers. comm.; Province of BC, 1995). A comparison of the US ESOR with BC Hydro’s also showed the former as being far stronger in terms of process and methodology, the level of public and agency involvement, the 103  amount of invested resources, and level of environmental information (McDade, 1996). Nonetheless, the ESOR did collect a significant amount of data and started a database incorporating information about BC Hydro facilities, their operations, stakeholder concerns regarding impacts, and the range of involved interests (BC Hydro, 1995c). It also set up a line of communication between the utility, government agencies and the public, and began to explore some of the decision-making frameworks which were later utilised in WUP: “Now that exercise [ESOR] didn‟t have a whole lot of teeth, because it said, yeah let‟s look around, see if you can find some places where you can improve the environment without it really costing us anything. But what it did do is that it set up a process, it set up a methodology and it devoted resources to looking at the system and its operations in a different way. And we used exactly the same methodology in Water Use Planning. The ESOR in my opinion was kind of like a mini watered down kind of version of WUP” (BCH4, pers. comm.).  While it was recognized that some of the changes to the operating regime discussed in the ESOR were not economically justifiable, eight small changes were identified that could and should be implemented immediately (Province of BC, 1995). These included formalizing a number of interim fish flow releases below certain schemes, and addressing siltation, recreational, water quality and flooding impacts in others.  In 1994 BC Hydro launched its Fish Flow Project (BC Hydro, 1996a), aimed at developing a series of studies to evaluate how the utility’s installations affected fishery resources and flows at all its facilities. The first phase of the project looked at 58 facilities at 33 hydroelectric projects and ranked them according to those which needed the most urgent attention, both in terms of being the focus of future studies, and for changing their operating regimes in order to lead to ecological, social and economic benefits. The ranking took into consideration the operational significance of the facility, the ecological improvements that would arise with a change in flow, and the level of public and government concern associated with the facility. Despite the fact that in several cases available scientific information was insufficient to make a decision, 15 plants were classified as having high importance, from both an environmental and business risk point of view for the utility. The top four included the Bridge, Columbia, Alouette and Cheakamus, which were facilities that were all recognized as having problems, as discussed in the problem stream above.  104  From the above, it can be seen that while BC Hydro was attempting to be proactive, and beginning to undertake studies and actions to mitigate the impacts of its facilities on fisheries resources, either alone, or through dialogue with DFO or MELP, it was clear that many of the early solutions (e.g. compensation through artificial spawning channels) were only temporary, and unable to solve the underlying problems. As mentioned before, actions were being undertaken mainly in cases where power production would not be significantly impacted and often only when problems reached crisis proportions and thus required urgent action (e.g. following spills or where public interest groups brought issues like dry rivers to the attention of the media and decision-makers). As soon as a more urgent issue would come up, agreements that had been reached with DFO would often be forgotten and the utility’s and agency’s attention would move on to other areas. Throughout this process, however, data was being generated and different approaches were being explored, which clearly fed into the WUP program, once this was developed. Furthermore, BC Hydro was also slowly beginning to indicate that it was willing for the first time to consider interests other than power production.  6.3.2 Solutions Implemented by Government Agencies and Other Stakeholders  In order to remedy to some of the ecological damage caused by BC Hydro operations, DFO, over a number of years, employed a range of actions from negotiation and cooperation, to stricter enforcement of the Fisheries Act (CEC, 2000). While some studies and projects were undertaken in partnership with BC Hydro (discussed above), DFO also undertook, commissioned and funded its own studies, such as fish habitat inventories on different river systems (e.g. DFO/MELP 1991) and the voluminous 1991 review undertaken by DFO’s Habitat Management Division evaluating impacts of hydropower developments on anadromous salmon populations (Hirst, 1991). The latter was meant to clarify fisheries issues at different facilities in order to enable DFO staff to address problem areas and establish restoration priorities (Environment Canada, 1997).  In 1988 an umbrella committee comprising of BC Hydro, the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks and DFO was established to look at fish and hydroelectric issues (CEC, 2000). Later this committee evolved into a Hydro/Fisheries Policy Committee, that was supported by a  105  number of Regional Technical Committees64 (RTCs). While the former was comprised of senior staff from the utility, MELP and DFO, and was in charge of dealing with hydro/fisheries conflicts, the latter were responsible for addressing technical issues related to mitigation and enhancement options identified in the Electric System Operations Review. The RTCs assisted to improve the relationship between DFO and BC Hydro, through a series of regular meetings aimed at documenting areas of concern for fish and fish habitat, and obtaining funding from BC Hydro for biophysical and fish inventory studies (Environment Canada, 1997). The Campbell River Advisory Committee (CRAC) was one of the more recent RTCs, which successfully reached an agreement for a flow release involving some interested and affected parties. In addition to enhancing fish habitat, the CRAC provided a useful multi-stakeholder model from which to learn for WUP.  On the enforcement side, since 1990 DFO issued BC Hydro with a number of minimum flow orders under S.22(3) of the Fisheries Act (e.g. on the Cheakamus, as mentioned above, and Columbia), as well as authorisations to destroy or disrupt fish habitat under S.35(2) (e.g. allowing dredging on the Shuswap River, a reduction of flows on the Columbia, etc.). In addition, minimum flow agreements were reached between BC Hydro and DFO on a number of facilities, especially below peaking plants, which tended to leave downstream rivers dry when not in operation. Agreements were for example reached on the Alouette starting in 1971 (then re-evaluated in 1993) and on the Stave below the Ruskin facility in the early 1990s. Ultimately, however, DFO was for a long time not considered a very active actor, for previously mentioned reasons. This was further demonstrated by the NAAEC challenge65 also discussed above, which accused the agency of not enforcing the Fisheries Act. “DFO never really had a strong presence in BC until the late 1980s. Unlike the eastern part of Canada, the eastern ocean, their presence was more limited here and they tended to defer to the Ministry of Environment. Until the late 80s there was not much use of the powers they had under the Fisheries Act on freshwater non-anadromous bodies of water. It was in the late 80s  64  These included the Columbia, Vancouver Island, South Interior and Lower Mainland Fisheries Technical Committees. 65  Furthermore, CEC’s factual record, produced in response to the NGOs’ submission, indicates that it was difficult to assess the extent to which DFO was enforcing the Fisheries Act, due to a lack of “well-researched, quantitative information” (CEC, 2000, p.58). In its defence, DFO put WUP forward as a solution to remedy its limited enforcement of the Fisheries Act in the past.  106  early 90s that they started to get more and more involved, they started to build up the department in BC and increase habitat enforcement activities” (MEI1, pers. comm.).  Some of the solutions put ahead by other stakeholders, such as actions undertaken by public interest groups, have been discussed in previous sections. In addition a number of scientific studies showing the impacts of regulation on salmonid resources were developed by independent researchers, who provided the evidence that public interest groups needed in order to require changes to BC Hydro’s operating regime66.  In 1990 the Electrical Power Research Institute (EPRI), an independent non-profit organisation which works on addressing challenges in electricity generation, delivery and use, evaluated different hydro relicensing alternatives and their impacts on the power and non power values of water resources in the US (EPRI, 1990). The report showed that there were two routes available to dam utilities, the adversarial one focused on litigation, or the collaborative one, where different stakeholders would become involved in an open dialogue regarding operating alternatives. The report stated that utilities that took the cooperative path achieved more benefits than those entrenched in litigation activities. “Taking the consultative approach resulted in the proponent being better off, i.e. getting a licence that allowed him to do more” (BCH1, pers. comm.). This report played an important role in influencing BC Hydro’s thinking (BCH1, pers. comm.).  Activities in the United States around hydro facilities and operations also played a role in showing BC Hydro and government what could lie ahead in the future with regards to dams and their operating regimes (MELPF2, pers. comm.). As mentioned above, BPA’s Columbia Electric Systems Operations Review had taken place in 1990-1992 in the US, and this had played a role in demanding the ESOR study in BC. Similarly, activities being undertaken by the US Federal Energy Regulatory Review Process (FERRP) were indicating that south of the border licences were being reviewed regularly, in order to reflect changing societal values and to continuously evaluate dams’ impacts, and this was something that BC could learn from. “Because they saw that BPA did it and they always look over their shoulder. They always want to keep an eye at what BPA is doing, because it almost predicts the future. If BPA is doing 66  These included, for example, Mundie (1991) and Slaney et al. (1996).  107  something because there‟s some pressure to address this, that or the other thing, invariably there‟s pressure to then... you know, the wave sort of moves north, right?” (MELPF2, pers. comm.).  Therefore a number of possible solutions to the problems identified in the problem stream above were circulating for a number of years preceding WUPs. Some of these responses were reactive and aimed at solving crises which emerged in the different systems, whereas others were not necessarily a particular response to a stimulus, but were simply studies and activities that could and in many cases did later influence WUP through the processes of information gathering, development of particular methodologies, etc.  6.4 Opening of the Policy Window  While all of the factors identified above were operating for a number of years between the late 1980s and early 90s (see Figure 5 for a summary of the key ones), a policy window only opened in 1995. In 1994, BC Hydro applied for an Energy Project Certificate to the BC Utilities Commission to expand the generating capacity of the Stave Falls power plant from 52.5 to 90MW (BC Hydro, 1995d). BC Hydro intended to increase its operations on the facility in order to be in line with the Ruskin plant, which was downstream of Stave Falls, in order to produce power twice from the water releases. Although the utility claimed that it did not require additional water to run the expanded power plant, there was evidence that water in excess of the licence was already being diverted by the utility (Vanderwal, 1999), and NGOs were concerned that this would be even more the case in the future. Therefore, while the utility was in a rush to push the approval of the licence forward, ARMS was increasingly demanding that something be done about the absence of flows in the Alouette67, which feeds water to the Stave (MELPW2, pers. comm.). In the end, the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, which was responsible for giving the approval for the project, included a clause in the 1995 Disposition Order for Stave Falls as a condition for going ahead with the Stave Falls upgrade. The clause stated: 67  “So these guys, the Alouette River Management Society, never disappeared, they kept bugging and bugging government until finally they said ok, we’re going to develop a consensus based plan here, we’ll sit around a table for a year or however long it’s going to take, we’ll talk about flows, fish, flooding, we’ll have technical subcommittees, First Nations subcommittees, a whole series of different groups and we’re going to try to figure out what is the best optimisation...” (MELPF1, pers. comm.).  108  “... BC Hydro shall, subject to the approval of the Comptroller and in consultation with the Regional Director, the Senior Habitat Biologist, the Katzie First Nation and other stakeholders including the Alouette River Management Society, incorporate the results of the Alouette River Instream Flow Study, to be completed on March 31, 1996, as well as the interests of recreation, flood control and energy production, in an operating plan for the Stave and Alouette systems and will: (i) implement the approved operating plan with respect to the Alouette River on or before May 31, 1996; and (ii) operate the Stave and Alouette systems in accordance with any future adjustments to the approved operating plan as may be directed by the Comptroller” (MEMPR, 1995). Curiously, no one knew what an “operating plan”, the name given to the Water Use Plan in the Disposition Order, really meant, but it was seen as a way to appease the public interest groups, while still allowing BC Hydro to steadily proceed with the expansion of its facility project (MELPW2, pers. comm.). “There was no precursor to the Alouette WUP to suggest that it was going to work, it was a…. kind of a shot in the dark, but there was a good chance that it could work” (DFO3, pers. comm.). “When we started we had no idea of what a WUP really meant, what it looked like, what its scope was... we knew what it meant conceptually... but not on an implementation level. However we did know it was the right thing to do - open the door to having a discussion with communities ... and developing plans that captured multiple interests and issues.... It wasn‟t until we actually worked through the process and developed it collectively and collaboratively that it actually became a model that worked, and there were a lot of people that participated in that” (MEI1, pers. comm.). “One of the managers of operations of BC Hydro said afterwards, you shook the tree and even we were surprised at what fell out” (NGO2, pers. comm.). “And the term WUP was just kind of thrown out there, there were no bounds around what that meant or anything” (DFO3, pers. comm.).  109  A multi-stakeholder process, which came to be known as the Alouette Water Use Plan (AWUP), was therefore launched in late 1995 to review the operating plans of the Alouette scheme. It was composed of 19 stakeholders from federal, provincial, local and First Nations governments, non-governmental associations and BC Hydro, joined together in what became known as the Alouette Stakeholder Committee. A number of meetings which took place over a period of several months was facilitated by two consultants, and resulted in the signing of an agreement in 1996 that BC Hydro would release 92 cfs (cubic feet per second) of water p.a., equivalent to approximately 10% of the river’s average annual flow (ARMS, 1995).  110  111  6.5 Summary This chapter has discussed the factors preceding WUP’s emergence, according to the framework’s problem, organisational and policy streams. It has shown that a vast array of factors was at play in bringing WUP about, ranging from external problems such as the ecological damage wrought by BC Hydro facilities and lack of regulatory clarity, to issues internal to BC Hydro such as concerns regarding its reputation and financial considerations. At the same time, solutions and expertise regarding such problems were being explored and developed by different stakeholders, but without being able to reach any satisfactory outcome. The occasion however presented itself when the Stave Falls plant needed to be upgraded, thus providing the policy window necessary to experiment with a new, different type of solution: a Water Use Plan. The next chapter will reflect back on how the Alouette WUP, which was largely undertaken by chance, transformed into a large-scale programme affecting all of BC Hydro’s facilities.  “It‟s quite difficult this, why did it start? It kind of happened at the time. So many different things were going on. No one thing made it start. Many, many different influences that were around. It was not one trigger, rather a whole mismatch of factors” (BCH1, pers. comm.). “In a way it‟s kind of like the perfect storm” (OTH1, pers. comm.). “So it was a balance I think of external and internal drivers. From my perspective we took a lot of internal initiatives, from a regulatory agency perspective they probably feel that they had a lot to do with developing the programme. And it‟s a combination of both” (BCH2, pers. comm.). “If you want to know why it started, build pressure, pressure, pressure and then... : it‟s like a pimple when you‟re 16 and all of a sudden boom, it just exploded” (MELPF1, pers. comm.).  112  7  Enduring Policy Change: From the Alouette Water Use Plan to WUP  The previous chapter indicated that a number of external problems increasingly pointed towards the symptoms of a crisis – an ecological one, seen in the drastic decline in salmon resources in BC rivers, and one that showed worsening relationships between BC Hydro and governmental and non-governmental stakeholders. While these external factors were pointing towards the need for a different approach, internally BC Hydro was also undergoing a shift in response to the changing times (manifested, for example, by the growth of the environmental movement, a shift in societal values, and changing approaches to decision-making). The internal shift was increasingly justified in monetary terms too, given that the confrontational approach of litigation and ad hoc actions in response to crises (e.g. setting up compensation funds or working groups, undertaking studies, etc.) was not giving rise to satisfactory, lasting solutions. New problems kept emerging and the confusion tied to the lack of clarity in the regulatory environment meant that the future could be paved with just as many, if not more problems, especially given the public and media’s increasing awareness of the environmental shortcomings in BC Hydro’s operations.  The opening of the policy window allowed BC Hydro, under the direction of government, to try a different approach, which aimed to explore new ways of managing multiple resource conflicts, specifically addressing long-standing concerns regarding fish impacts on the South Alouette, by means of a multi-stakeholder process involving a range of interests (BC Aboriginal Fisheries Commission, 1997). While the Alouette Water Use Plan (AWUP) was really considered a pilot and had a number of hiccups along the way (MEI1 & DFO2, pers. comm.), it clearly showed potential for solving longstanding problems and providing a method to reach agreement between several stakeholders in a structured manner. Given the fact so many BC Hydro facilities were suffering from conflict, a WUP process seemed to provide a good way of moving ahead to agree on new operating rules for the facilities: “We saw the success of the Alouette, and we said, wow, if this worked here, this in theory could work for all of BC Hydro‟s facilities” (MEI1, pers. comm.). As a consequence, MEI and the Ministry of Environment issued a letter of direction in 1996 mandating BC Hydro to undertake Water Use Plans for all of its facilities within a period of five years.  113  A number of factors seem to have been crucial in transforming the pilot AWUP into the institutionalised process WUP became. Considering that most interviewees claim that it was not known that AWUP would turn into a larger-scale program, these factors are even the more important. “I think that generally it [the AWUP] was seen as a reaction and as a one off. I think that maybe there were a few people that saw the broader implications but generally I don‟t think it was seen as the beginning of a bigger program” (BCH4, pers. comm.). “When they did the one on the Alouette it was a one off. I don‟t think that at that point in time, BC Hydro was planning that this would naturally spin off into each and every facility, because they had no idea of how it was going to turn out. First of all, it was the first time that you brought the public in along with First Nations, the regulators and the operators to sit around the table and collectively make decisions” (DFO3, pers. comm.).  These factors will be explored in the next section, thus answering the third research question the thesis poses.  7.1 Factors that Led to the Institutionalisation of WUP “It [the AWUP] was definitely a factor, and it definitely accelerated it, and it definitely gave it credibility. There‟s no question about it. Now was it critical? I‟m not sure. Was it THE event that made WUP happen? No. We could have done that and there were lots of factors that had to come together after that in order for the program to come together and to happen” (BCH4, pers. comm.).  7.1.1 Success of the Pilot - Structure of AWUP Process  The success of the AWUP, in terms of its being an inclusive and science-based process, was considered a critical factor in enabling this initial review of water management options to turn into a province-wide extensive exercise (Matthews & Hill, 2004). The objectives of the AWUP consultation process were to explore the different values related to water in the Alouette, to develop a common understanding and information base to be used for developing an operating plan for the facility, and to conduct an open consultation process with integrity and seeking consensus (BC Hydro, 1996b). However, some of the benefits of the process went far beyond 114  these initial objectives. The trust that had been built among stakeholders and the confidence that such an exercise had worked was recognised by decision-makers in government and BC Hydro as critical: “And the fact that they did the AWUP and most people thought it was a success, it gave BC Hydro the comfort to move forward and scale up the program since it was a known entity now, they were not afraid by it” (OTH1, pers. comm.). Furthermore, the fact the process was based on structured decision making68 (SDM), which combined objective, scientific data with the values people placed on different water uses, really boosted the acceptance of the process among decision-makers and the public alike. “If it wasn‟t for that [SDM] it wouldn‟t have had the success it did” (OTH1, pers. comm.). Similarly, the inclusion of the principle of adaptive management69 also gave security to a number of stakeholders and incited their participation (Mullen-Dalmer, 2009). For instance, DFO felt better inclined to take part in WUPs knowing that the decisions that were taken in the process would be subject to review after a set time period70 and that funds would be allocated to monitoring changes in the resource (DFO3, pers. comm.). This would ensure that the agreements that were reached, most often in the absence of substantial scientific data, would not be final and could be changed after a number of years, to better incorporate information reflecting the status of the resource in the light of the monitoring studies. BC Hydro also felt more secure in such a situation, as it now had the legal certainty that DFO would not accuse it of infringing the Fisheries Act, even in the event stocks should decline, given that the decision had been taken with DFO, and the agency had released a fisheries authorisation, which could be reviewed should problems arise (BCH1, pers. comm.). 68  In the case of the Bridge WUP, Mullen-Dalmer (2009) claims that the fact the process was structured and used value-focused thinking and multi-attribute techniques was one of the keys to its success. The fact objectives were articulated in a participatory manner, with clear, generally quantitative performance measures that assisted in evaluating the different alternatives, enabled the different stakeholders to understand each others’ needs and facilitated the collection of decision-specific information. 69  Adaptive management was essential, given (i) the complexity of the systems and the uncertainty associated with the decisions that were taken; (ii) the fact more information than could be collected during the actual WUP process was desired and needed; and (iii) budget constraints (Mullen-Dalmer, 2009). 70  The WUP guidelines specify that WUPs are subject to periodic review, with the timing varying according to the water use impacts specific to the facility and the scheme’s economics (Province of BC, 1998). The Alouette WUP was the first Water Use Plan to come under review in 2005, ten years after the first AWUP was undertaken. On the other hand, the consultative committee of the Bridge River WUP, which was begun in 1999 and completed in 2001, recommended that this WUP be reviewed in 2012, the end date of the proposed adaptive management program (Mullen-Dalmer, 2009). A formal review was to be conducted after five years of implementation, however, and if this found unexpected and/or unacceptable impacts, it could trigger an earlier review.  115  “We could have not done WUPs and gone the old school way, which was BC Hydro has a water licence, DFO has the Fisheries Act; if BC Hydro is not doing what they‟re supposed to do, or someone thinks they‟re not doing what they should do, then slap an order on them and go to court and fight about it there – that would have been a most unsatisfactory outcome” (MEI1, pers. comm.). Instead an inclusive, structured, transparent process was set up, which resulted in win-win outcomes, smoother relationships between stakeholders and a stronger information base from which to take decisions (Matthews & Hill, 2004).  7.1.2 Resources - Rental Remissions  Another crucial factor in easing the transition of AWUP into a province-wide exercise was, in the opinion of several interviewees (DFO2, DFO3, MELPW2 & MELP1, pers. comm.), the creation of a System Operations Fund (SOF). An important factor in ultimately convincing BC Hydro senior management to buy into the programme, the SOF was an agreement between the utility and the Provincial Government, whereby the latter would cover any power generation losses that may result from the decisions taken during the WUP processes (BC Hydro, 2004). Thus, while it was accepted that the operating regime of facilities may for instance change in order to release water for fisheries or recreational purposes, it was agreed that the losses in revenue arising from that foregone power would be offset by the Provincial Government, through a rebate on the rental fees the utility paid for the use of water for electricity generation (BC Hydro, 2002). A cap of $50 million per year was however put on how much revenue would be sacrificed. This amount was based on calculations by DFO, MELP’s Fish and Wildlife branch and a BC Hydro fisheries biologist, who devised a “spreadsheet” which indicated the funds required to completely restore fisheries in the different watersheds, to partially restore them and to just maintain them at their then current level (DFO2, pers. comm.). It was estimated that the most benefits, which would be considered financially feasible by other stakeholders (especially the Provincial Government and BC Hydro), could be obtained for approximately $30 million p.a.. $20 million were added for other water uses and projects (e.g. recreation, First Nations, aesthetic values) and for monitoring, to give a total of $50 million p.a.. Thus BC Hydro could forego paying up to $50 million of its annual water rental fees, depending  116  on the actual reduction in power generation incurred, in order to meet other water users’ needs71. “At least there was some sort of implicit acknowledgement that it could be up to 50 million dollars a year and that gave people, Hydro, the confidence, the surety, in saying ok it‟s a known entity, they could go to the board and say the programme could cost as much as $50 million. They could go to the Province, the Province would say ok, we‟d be willing to give up those licensing rights up to $50 million and DFO knows that ok, they‟re at least willing to play the game up to this much water that we feel is the minimum amount that would be required. So that was a critical piece” (OTH1, pers. comm.). “The court cases were important, the public consent to operate was important, the SOF was key. Certainly key at the senior management level, because again, it kept them and their licence rights whole. They were foregoing water in some cases, but not their right to the water, which is important” (DFO3, pers. comm.).  By 1997, even though the WUP guidelines had not been released yet, BC Hydro had gained close to $12 million in water rental remissions through interim water use orders72 that had been issued at eight facilities (BC Hydro, 2002).  Beyond the rental remissions, financial resources were crucial in enabling the full-scale WUP process to occur. These were contributed by BC Hydro, as well as the Federal and Provincial Governments, which often also provided staff and other resources. Funds were necessary to for instance finance the studies that created the information base required to make decisions; to hire the strong group of biologists that BC Hydro had employed, often taking them from government positions; for both drafting the guidelines and then running the individual WUP 71  As it later turned out, there was no actual monetary loss to the Provincial Government either, as a result of a request from BC Hydro to the BC Utilities Commission to raise electricity prices, thus making it a user-pay system, covered by ratepayers (MELP1, pers. comm.). This however only came about towards the end of the implementation of the program (i.e. after 2000) (OTH1, pers. comm.). 72  Interim orders were “good news stories” that were released while WUPs were being undertaken at different facilities. These were temporary agreements reached between BC Hydro, DFO and the Water Comptroller to begin releasing minimum flows, or a certain quantity of water at a specific time, from certain operations in order to accelerate ecological benefits along watersheds. Once the WUPs were completed, interim orders became formalised into BC Hydro’s water licences. The purpose of these temporary measures was to demonstrate BC Hydro’s willingness to change its operations, even in the absence of formal orders (DFO3, pers. comm.).  117  processes; for physical works needing to be undertaken once WUPs were complete; monitoring, etc. The cost of running the five-year WUP process that began in 1999, for example, amounted to $26 million. Although these resources may appear minimal when compared to the US73, for instance, it is questionable whether even a fraction of these would be available in developing countries.  7.1.3 Background Preparation - Accepting Tradeoffs  The series of events that contributed, over a number of years, to leading up to the pilot AWUP, also laid the groundwork for it to more easily become institutionalised. These included, for example, the scientific studies providing increasing evidence for the need to solve fisheries problems; the preparation of the business case to obtain the buy-in of BC Hydro senior management; and the internal convincing that had to be undertaken by champions both at BC Hydro and at the agency level (more on this below), etc. In addition, once AWUP was undertaken, the process of drafting the guidelines and principles that would govern WUP was also a good way for the different stakeholders to test the ground and explore the kind of tradeoffs that would need to be made. “The process of drafting the guidelines was to find a way ahead that could work for DFO and BC Hydro. And even that was tough to start with” (BCH1, pers. comm.). The process of drafting the WUP guidelines was lengthy74 and required a degree of patience, trust-building and acceptance of tradeoffs on the part of the different stakeholders. “..I can tell you that... everybody was onboard or it wasn‟t going to happen, and that‟s why it took three years to develop the programme. You know… everybody had to play into this, everybody had to have a stake in the process. And everybody had to pick some risk, and that was the nature of the collaboration” (BCH4, pers. comm.). For instance, although the WUP process and recommendations did not fetter the regulatory powers or discretion of any of the agency  73  BC Hydro’s 1996 fisheries budget was close to $5 million (Hume, 1996), which pales when compared to the US’s Bonneville Power Administration’s annual US$252 million budget allocated to fisheries projects, or the US$280 million p.a. it foregoes in revenues through environmental flows. The BPA has a generating capacity of close to 20,500MW of power (BPA, 2008), however, in comparison to BC Hydro’s close to 10,300MW (BC Hydro, 2009). 74  The drafting process took over two years to be completed, and went through some 28 revisions (OTH1, pers. comm.).  118  decision-makers (e.g. Water Comptroller, or Minister of Fisheries and Oceans) (Mullen-Dalmer, 2009), in order to successfully advance with the process, the inter-agency committee’s75 objective of moving beyond legal positions to instead focus on interests had to often be reemphasised (MEI1, pers. comm.). “In the beginning DFO was very reticent to participate. Their position was: “We have the Fisheries Act, we can come in and do whatever we want whenever we want because we are the law and we are Canada”. We couldn‟t argue with the foundation of this (i.e. the law) and the fact that they could use the law, but what we wanted to do was to leave the law outside the room and have a discussion about what was important to us collectively as people who live in BC, who understand that there are multiple interests, multiple values and potentially multiple outcomes. You can achieve something more than just the law. You can spend a lot of money, you could fine BC Hydro a lot of money but what would you really get out of that?” (MEI1, pers. comm.).  Initially the agencies and BC Hydro felt that WUP could be a very risky exercise, given that they were parting with some of their legal authority, and thus proceeded cautiously, outlining the bottom-lines they needed the other parties to accept before they could commit to the process (DFO2 & BCH1, pers. comm.). DFO, for instance, was only prepared to go ahead if the Provincial Government committed to the process in writing (i.e. through the letter of direction mandating that BC Hydro undertake WUP) and if it agreed to cover the costs of foregone power generation (in order to avoid the risk that BC Hydro reneged once the costs of implementing the decisions reached during WUPs became clear) (DFO3, pers. comm.). “Hydro was ready, willing and wanted to do it. But we also recognised that if it was directed and it was tied to our licences then it would give a whole lot more assurance to all the parties that it was going to happen. Because we had a bit of a legacy, probably more than a bit, where something would happen, there would be a spill event, or this or that, and there would always be a gathering of the parties, a chit chatter, commitments made, you‟ll do this and then you go measure and monitor, yeah, sure, and, with the best of intents at all times, what often happened is that two or three months later something else would happen, and suddenly there 75  The inter-agency committee, formed of representatives of the Federal, Provincial and Aboriginal Governments and BC Hydro, was initially formed to assist to advance the AWUP, and then was charged with drafting the WUP guidelines.  119  would be a higher priority here, you go and work on that one, the other gets forgotten, something else, something else, gets forgotten...” (BCH3, pers. comm.).  DFO also expected that BC Hydro operations would allow at least the baseline conditions identified in the “spreadsheet” to be met and that there would be a minimum flow released downstream of each facility (DFO3, pers. comm.). In exchange, the agency had to recognize that dams were not going to be decommissioned and removed from any of the systems, despite the fact some DFO staff members would have insisted in pursuing such route through the powers of the Fisheries Act (DFO2, pers. comm.). The agency also had to agree to BC Hydro’s bottom line, which was that it still needed to produce sufficient power to meet provincial needs: the $50 million annual cap was going to enable that to happen. While the Provincial Government had to accept to have provincial revenues reduced by $50 million p.a., the public and DFO had to acknowledge that such limit was in place and that changes would therefore only be incremental and not radical departures from the previous operations: “Before every WUP there would be a briefing to the participants, what the management committee, and the Province and the Feds and the other ministries in the Province had agreed to, that the process was capped at a certain amount of dollars and all of the WUPs would be managed with that cap in mind. So it irritated a lot of people but, for all purposes it was the only way that government was going to agree to do something” (DFO2, pers. comm.). This was particularly exemplified in the Peace and Columbia WUPs, where, given these systems’ crucial contribution to BC’s energy grid, only incremental changes could be agreed to through the WUP processes (BC Hydro, 2004).  Although BC Hydro promoted the idea that WUPs provided a blank slate whereby different regulatory agencies would leave their legal authority outside the door, the utility had to go along with MELP’s Water branch request that BC Hydro’s licences be reviewed concurrently with the WUP processes (BCH1, pers. comm.). This was necessary in order for the Water Comptroller to establish the utility’s exact water rights before calculating the difference WUPs would bring about, and to thus determine the exact amounts of rental remissions the utility would benefit from. “It‟s all part of allowing the interagency group, allowing each of them the ability in the programme to do what they felt was necessary as part of their legislation” (BCH1, pers. comm.). On the other hand, BC Hydro needed assurance of the other parties’ commitment to the decisions that were taken in WUPs and that it would not incur any more legal problems once the processes were completed, especially as far as DFO was concerned. BC Hydro, 120  through the cap and the principles that all stakeholders agreed to when entering WUP, was given some degree of control in the process and thus some assurance that no drastic decisions would be taken in WUPs: “We didn‟t want to lose control. You can‟t lose control of your fuel source. So this is where we said ok, we would undertake WUP under some conditions. And the conditions were we wanted a cap on and the Province had to accept that cap; we wanted a process whereby we knew how it was going to be funded and we had to put forward a budget and acquire the funds to do WUP; we had to have some agreement on how the losses in the revenue stream were going to be accommodated. And we wanted some regulatory certainty. We were not going to go through this huge process, you know $27 million process, $50 million a year in lost revenue, and still not be in compliance, that outcome wasn‟t going to work for us” (BCH2, pers. comm.). “Everybody had to be in it, everybody had to have something at stake, everybody had to have something to benefit, or it wouldn‟t have happened. We couldn‟t have done it without BC Hydro, DFO, MoE, the Comptroller” (BCH4, pers. comm.).  7.1.4 An Element of Chance – The “Right People at the Right Time”  It appears that the combination of people that was involved played an important role in both leading to the AWUP, and then in allowing the institutionalisation of the process through the drafting of the guidelines, which was further eased by the trust that had been built in the AWUP process. “There‟s one category that I don‟t think you‟ve captured, and that is the people at the centre of it. We had an extraordinary group of people who saw the potential, who‟re all fighters, fighters for… that was good and that was bad… There was no holding back in these discussions, you had an extraordinary group of people that were highly committed to the concept. And that was probably as important as any other issue that we‟ve talked about” (BCH4, pers. comm.).  It was already mentioned that a number of visionary and enlightened individuals joined BC Hydro in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In addition, the people that were interviewed for the thesis all indicated a high passion for the resource (both the environment in general, and specifically fisheries, water, etc.) and high principles regarding how decisions should be taken (in a participatory manner, transparently, through building trust, etc.). “So the bottom-line is that 121  you can engage them [the public] at the front end or you can anger them at the back end, and that‟s kind of the way it goes” (DFO3, pers. comm.). This could be seen across the board, from the champions that were part of the inter-agency committee and that were thus responsible for selling the idea back to their senior managers (in BC Hydro, DFO, MEI), to the members of the public interest groups, and the individuals within the Fish and Wildlife branch of MELP who wanted to see a change in the way resources were being managed. Many interviewees recognised that today this is no longer the case, that for instance DFO and the Ministry of Environment have become significantly weaker in their management and regulation of the resource and that individuals are more interested in climbing the career ladder than fighting for a healthy environment (Langer, 2008; MELPF2, pers. comm.). “So we had a one shot window there, that maybe would never have happened before then and may never happen again” (NGO2, pers. comm.). “And BC Hydro was in a state of transition and change [towards the end of the program around 2003], they had a new vice-president who was there and asking why are there all these environmental people? By virtue of the fact that I was involved in the WUP, which kind of tried to integrate environmental and social benefits into BC Hydro‟s hydroelectric facilities, we were seen like the environmental folk. So our days were numbered by the end of the process” (OTH1, pers. comm.).  Personal relationships between the initiators of WUPs (i.e. the people who were part of the inter-agency committee), who had in many cases worked together before or had known each other for decades, were also crucial in smoothing out the initial phases of the process, such as by overcoming some of the initial suspicion that is common to such processes, and promoting dialogue and agreement in what were often very controversial decisions. “The personalities of the people at the time probably really helped” (BCH1, pers. comm.). “Well, I think relationships really.. things changed after the AWUP in that there was a lot more willingness to work together and there was a recognition that this can work and they were scaled up” (OTH1, pers. comm.). “For whatever reason, two people click, you know, they have the same worldview and similar philosophy... being idealists in some ways, we had always hoped for something like this to happen: where people would talk about issues and that our process would become a way of viewing natural resource management choices” (MEI1, pers. comm. about her and BCH4). “I think it was the right set of personalities, and the fact that we had known each other and worked together in times gone by, that had a large part to do with the success of at least getting it off the ground. I think it played a big part, but I don‟t think that a process absolutely has to have that kind of relationship to be successful” (DFO3, pers. comm.). 122  In addition, another key feature of the people who were involved was that they had the influence and authority to make the changes that they envisioned actually happen. That was possible either by way of their position (e.g. that they were in government and thus had the regulatory power behind them), or because they had a sufficiently large sphere of influence to be the champions of the cause within their organisations. “So Denise said why don‟t we just try to do like the ESOR here, why don‟t we try? So she had the knowledge, she had the awareness and she had the authority” (BCH4, pers. comm.). “We plateau-ed very early because there were so many baby-boomers who were ahead of us, so we were stuck in our jobs for 20 years. So rather than progressing up with more authority and getting to be more afraid of our own shadows, we were at the same level. And you got to know your level so well that you did things that government had never seen from people at that low level who knew the system so well” (MELPF2, pers. comm.). “But we were proxies for the higher levels, ok, so we were so technically good at what we were doing... And so we became... we had influence but we didn‟t have authority, and so we were making decisions by providing the information that we wanted to provide to the decision-makers...” (MELPF1, pers. comm.).  7.1.5 Remaining Sense of Urgency  One last factor which remains to be mentioned is the ultimate importance of finding a solution. As mentioned before, the province of BC has a 90% reliance on hydropower for its electricity supply, which BC Hydro is mainly responsible for producing. Given that problems with the utility’s facilities and operations could be seen in all directions, and such problems were not disappearing, it was increasingly clear that a lasting solution was needed. The issue was therefore “sticky” enough not to disappear after firstly ad hoc solutions, and then a pilot process were put forward to move the issue off the public and decision-makers’ radar. On the contrary the sense of urgency was as strong as ever: even once the AWUP was completed, court cases were still being carried on, NGOs were asking why water was being returned to some streams but not others76, the NAFTA challenge was being drafted, flow orders were being issued, etc. (please refer back to Figure 5). In short, the sense of urgency calling for a solution remained, and a successful pilot was there to provide hope that such a solution could feasibly be attained.  76  This refers to the article “Society wants more water for Coquitlam” (Poole, 1997).  123  7.2 Summary  From the above one can see that the crucial factors that were needed in order to institutionalise WUP were a successful pilot, which gave confidence that such a structured, inclusive process could work; the financial resources available, both to manage such a process and to “compensate” BC Hydro for its foregone power; a group of visionary individuals, who had the power and influence to envision and run such a process, and the commitment to work through its minute details in order to ensure it would be acceptable to all stakeholders; a sufficient degree of background preparation, which allowed the process to take off once the policy window had been opened; and the importance of finding a solution, which was tied to the remaining sense of urgency (see Figure 6 for a summary).  124  Need for a Solution; Remaining Urgency  Background Preparation Successful, Structured Pilot  Stimulus Crisis Problems Pressure Conflicts  Reactive Response Studies Compensation Ad hoc consultations Task forces  Policy Window  Institutionalised Response  AWUP  WUP Resources  Visionary, Influential, Committed Stakeholders  Figure 6: Process and factors that led to the institutionalisation of the WUP program. 125  8  Discussion and Conclusion  In this final chapter I firstly discuss the extent to which the model put forward at the beginning of the thesis assists in understanding the emergence of WUP. Secondly, I summarize in more general terms how I understand the process of change happens, and the applicability of my findings to other situations. In the process, I highlight some ideas for further research.  8.1 Applicability of Model  The previous chapters confirmed that the events that surrounded and compounded the emergence of WUP could fit the streams Kingdon (1984) and Lober (1997) identified as leading to policy change. At the same time, the events preceding WUP could also be understood in the light of the Punctuated Equilibrium Theory (Baumgartner & Jones, 1991), and making reference to the processes leading to Hall’s (1993) third order, or paradigmatic change, which were presented in chapter 3.  The origins of the WUP process can be in part traced back to a series of external focusing events that over time put increasing pressure on BC Hydro, an organisation which gradually was beginning to see the need to green its corporate behaviour. At the same time a number of solutions were being explored by different actors, including the litigation route (DFO), compensation and mitigation (BC Hydro and MELP), attracting public and media attention to increase external pressure (public interest groups), undertaking studies and some degree of consultation (BC Hydro), etc. Yet these solutions were unable to solve the problems tied to BC Hydro’s operating regime to any satisfactory degree, and, along with what appeared to be a never-ending stream of emerging problems, instead increasingly pointed towards the shortcomings of the paradigm in place (i.e. anomalies). The dominant paradigm was characterised by BC Hydro striving to maximise its operations to produce electricity, enabled to do so by its water licences. Going with Hall’s (1993) theory of how paradigmatic change occurs, the solutions that were being proposed could be interpreted as ad hoc reactive attempts to stretch the terms of the paradigm in place (with BC Hydro for instance responding to spill events by putting in place fish habitat enhancement projects, rather than addressing dam operations). Mounting questions by different stakeholders were however leading to a shift in the 126  locus of authority over policy and voices that were being heard. Within a changing socioeconomic and political context, which had just seen the emergence of the environmental movement, rising public awareness and increasing demands for public involvement in decisionmaking meant that the venues where issues were being discussed suddenly broadened. While the public demanded to take part in decisions regarding the management of natural resources, a newly elected pro-environment and socially-minded government also saw that the best way to solve controversial environmental issues was through open, multi-stakeholder processes. With the NDP Government experimenting with a range of roundtables and fora in the early 1990s, the wave of the future seemed to be characterised by such openness. All that was needed was a policy window to attempt such a route to address BC Hydro’s problems. This was provided when BC Hydro requested to expand its Stave Falls facility.  The Alouette River Management Society could be recognised as a possible policy entrepreneur, since it had been involved in “softening up” (Kingdon, 1984) decision-makers and the public for a number of years, through raising awareness of the problems tied to the lack of flows in their river, threatening to take BC Hydro to court, contributing media articles, demanding to participate, etc. The opportunity to review Alouette flows as part of the same process that would grant approval for the Stave Falls expansion was, in the eyes of ARMS, the one shot window that had to be opened77. The different solutions and activities that had preceded the Alouette Water Use Plan could then be re-interpreted as an essential preparation that was required for the AWUP to be the successful process it turned out to be. The ESOR, fish inventories, the Fish Flow Project, studies using the Instream Flow Methodology, etc. all provided a strong basis from which to work in a multi-stakeholder setting, in a structured manner, to review the operating regime of BC Hydro’s facilities. Thus, as identified by Kingdon (1984), the exploration of policy solutions during periods of policy stasis, which lead only to incremental change (Hall’s first and second-order change), are what enable paradigmatic change to happen once a policy window opens, as they have contributed to the build-up of knowledge. At such politically opportune times, solutions are linked to problems, to give rise to policy change. Similarly, the gradual internal change in thinking that had been occurring within BC Hydro and government was also the crucial “softening up” required for the seed that was 77  Comparing the draft Stave Falls Disposition Order to the finalised version shows the absence in the former of the clause demanding that an operating plan for the Stave and Alouette systems be undertaken. A fax from ARMS and the Katzie First Nation addressed to MEI (Bailey & Clayton, 1995) requests that a clause be included stating that a decision regarding the modification of flows in the Alouette will be agreed to in consultation with the Katzie First Nation and ARMS.  127  being planted to successfully germinate. The champions and innovative thinkers within BC Hydro and the agencies who had been working on the business case and internal convincing had also been laying a critical base from which to build such a progressive process.  The length of time the policy window was open for was however limited, in a number of respects. For example, although the NDP government was re-elected for a second term in 1996, its leader changed from being Mike Harcourt to Glen Clark that year. With Glen Clark as Premier, there was a shift in the issues decision-makers prioritised, with the NDP focus now less on the environment and more on labour issues. At the same time, as mentioned before, by the mid-1990s enthusiasm and energy for multi-stakeholder processes was beginning to wane (Dorcey, 2004), so that by 1997, of all the processes that had been set up in the early 1990s (e.g. CORE roundtables, the Energy Commission), only the Fraser Basin Management Board remained. Similarly, as mentioned before, the wave of progressive and enlightened individuals that converged in government and BC Hydro at the time of WUP was no longer present a few years later. The problems tied to BC Hydro’s operating regime were also sticky enough not to suffer from Downs’ (1972) “issue-attention cycle” and thus disappear from public attention. Today this would probably not be the case: fisheries problems in BC centre around salmon farming, and hydropower concerns focus on the problems tied to independent power production. Thus it is possible that had these other issues of concern emerged earlier, they may have captured public attention at the expense of the problems that were tied to BC Hydro’s operations. Also, had AWUP failed (which it came close to on a number of occasions, as different stakeholders nearly walked out of the process (BCH4, pers. comm.)), the issue would have probably been abandoned as the different parties would have just been frustrated at the failure of another lengthy multi-stakeholder process leading to no solution.  One of the criticisms of the Multiple Streams Framework is its claim that the three streams operate autonomously, and thus that solutions are developed independently of problems. To confirm this criticism, solutions being developed in the WUP case appear to be a response to the problems being experienced in BC Hydro operations around the province. In fact it is questionable whether, especially in the early phases, the utility would have developed compensation or mitigation programmes, or undertaken studies, were it not for these being demanded. The ESOR itself was mandated by the Provincial Government. As time passed, however, as discussed in the organisational stream above, BC Hydro’s thinking began to change, and with that its sense of environmental stewardship and increasing desire to be a 128  leader in its field. What is clear, however, is that as with the case of radon in the US (Scheberle, 1994), although problems were identified for a number of years, it took time before the issue was included in the government agenda. More and more focusing events were required, especially to attract the Provincial Government’s attention and concern. In fact the combination of the draining of the Downton reservoir and the release of the Ward report within the span of a couple of months, seems to have played a crucial role in making government issue the letter of direction demanding a review of all of BC Hydro’s licences, and that WUPs be undertaken in all its facilities. In the case of BC Hydro, the costs associated with litigation and its inability to operate freely were likely the critical factors that positioned the need for a WUP-like process on the decision-makers’ agenda. In fact, according to BC Hydro, the WUP program had three objectives internally: to assist in building and maintaining public support for its operating regime; to clarify the way its water rights could be exercised; and to ensure those rights were reflected in its licences and orders (BC Hydro, 2002). Similarly to the emergence of the Paper Task Force described by Lober (1997), key stakeholders recognised the failure of the adversarial approach and that a multi-stakeholder process was going to be the best venue for discussing complex problems that were symptomatic of a crisis.  Perhaps the greatest shortcoming with regards to the Multiple Streams Framework and Collaboration Forming Model are that beyond putting forward a description of the streams, and the fact they intersect when a policy window opens, the models do not describe the processes that follow the opening of the policy window, or for that matter the mechanisms that operate even before, to any significant extent. Only the second edition of Kingdon’s (1984) book (published in 1995) mentions processes in more detail, and this is in part done by referring to the Punctuated Equilibrium Theory. The above description of WUP also had to make use of Hall’s (1993) theory of change in order to discuss how the streams leading to WUP intersected to give rise to change. Similarly, chapter 7, which discussed the institutionalisation of the process, could no longer rely on the framework to understand possible factors having played a role in creating enduring policy change. Perhaps this should be expected, given that the MSF and CFM models describe the agenda-setting stage of policy change, and not the subsequent stages of policy formulation, or decision-making identified by Howlett and Ramesh (2003). The models also do not go into much detail when it comes to discussing the role of lobbying of government actors by the corporate sector. While the different interest groups are discussed by Kingdon (1984), the specific role of lobbying is not addressed in detail. On the other hand its function in WUP is also not very clear, as little access could be gained to such processes 129  beyond knowing that several internal discussions took place behind closed doors between BC Hydro and government. Such discussions and close interactions would be even more expected in the case of BC Hydro, given that it is a crown corporation and therefore its tie with the Provincial Government is even stronger.  Lastly, one could question whether a model developed 25 years ago to explain large-scale policy changes at country level in the US, is translatable and appropriate to analyse a smallscale change in water management within a Canadian province, mainly revolving around changing a hydroelectric utility’s operations. Looking back at the MSF model, however, shows that it is perhaps rather simplistic, and it would be difficult to fail in identifying a series of factors that could be placed in either a “problems”, “solutions”, or “context” stream. Even Lober’s (1997) contribution of the organisational stream helps to identify the internal factors and motivations that drive an organisation to change, which is useful, but does not add richness or complexity to the model. From the perpective of this thesis, therefore, it seems the models have provided a useful framework that aided in separating out the myriad factors that were concurrently operating to give rise to the WUP program. Hall’s (1993) discussion on paradigmatic change then provided a complementary lens that assisted in weaving a story out of the multiple events and processes that were taking place.  8.2 The Process of Policy Change and Future Research Needs  The length of chapters 5 and 6 seems to attest to the fact that numerous factors and processes had to intersect to enable the emergence of WUP. It is as difficult to identify the ones which could be removed from the picture without affecting the final outcome, as it is to single out those that were ultimately crucial and without which nothing would have happened. Nevertheless, as I reflect back on the WUP, I will attempt to draw out some general conclusions on what, in my opinion, is necessary to create change. I will then compare this to some of the relevant literature.  As obvious as this may sound, it really seems that action must happen from the bottom-up as much as from the top-down, with external pressure pushing from outside and being complemented by internal shifts in thinking. The timing of these different push and pull factors, however, seems to play a crucial influence. Initially, the role of external pressure and bottom-up 130  action by the grassroots is essential in attracting and focusing the attention of the broader public and decision-makers on the problems at hand. The actions of public pressure groups pointing towards anomalies with the system in place can definitely contribute to triggering internal changes in thinking (e.g. within government or an organisation) regarding the status quo. However, these are not sufficient, as denial, and political and economic interests are generally deeply entrenched and much more powerful. Other contextual changes (such as more progressive societal or industrial trends that all point towards a new direction) occurring at the same time as external pressure can therefore further contribute to the change in thinking. The build-up of pressure, however, generally only lasts a limited period of time (as identified by Downs (1972)) before more urgent problems emerge and the attention shifts. The peak in the issue-attention cycle therefore provides the window of opportunity for change to happen (e.g. through top-down direction). For this to occur, however, something else is required, one final trigger such as an external event like a change in government, or a substantial focusing event which creates the final straw, or tipping point.  The above paragraph could be imagined as setting up the canvas and the base layer of paint which provide the foundation upon which change can occur. Within this framework, however, there is the need to paint several details which are critical for its completeness. Firstly, I don’t think that change, especially organisational change, can happen without the presence of some enlightened, passionate, visionary leaders that champion the issue. They do not necessarily need to be in a position of authority, but if they are not, they need to be able to exert their influence in other manners. Secondly, resources are critical, both financial and in terms of capacity including access to scientific information, technical skills, the latest thinking, human and managerial resources, etc. While these may be taken for granted in the developed world, they are generally lacking in the areas where solutions are often the most urgently needed. Thirdly, for organisational change to occur, a business case is essential, as I still do not think that environmental stewardship, or being a globally recognised leader can be sufficient motivation for change, unless it makes financial sense. The positive aspect is that there is increasing evidence that it is possible to be an environmental leader and have a competitive advantage. The WUP attests to this: in the case of the Bridge WUP, the changes in operating regime that were agreed to allowed BC Hydro to generate an additional $1.8 million in electricity, in addition to meeting a number of cultural, environmental and social benefits (Mullen-Dalmer, 2009). Lastly, I think that an element of chance plays a role in bringing change  131  about, and that is what often contributes to either the opening of a policy window, or the grasping of the opportunity provided by it. According to Williams et al. (1993), different pressures can act on raising firms’ environmental awareness, including, among others, increasingly stringent environmental legislation and enforcement; increasing costs associated with compliance; increasing pressure from the supply, consumption or disposal side, or on the part of investors; increasing public expectations of the firm’s environmental performance, etc. In a survey of a number of firms, it was found that increased expenditure on pollution control was driven by the carrot provided by improved market performance resulting from a “clean” image, and the stick of stronger enforcement and more stringent environmental policies. However, a number of conceptual obstacles to more environmentally responsible behaviours are often at work, including company policy underrating the environment; the idea that protecting the environment is costly and prevention can only be done in the long-term; resistance to change; company environmental policy being dictated only by legally established standards, etc. (Dieleman & de Hoo, 1993). Other barriers can include organisational obstacles tied to the way the company operates, or in its relationship with government; technical obstacles related to the development and dissemination of knowledge or technology; and economic obstacles such as vested interests, disincentives to environmental behaviour, or incomplete or biased calculations of environmental costs. Kotter (2007) suggests that for change to happen champions within an organisation need to, among other things, establish a sense of urgency, create a vision, form a powerful guiding coalition, plan and create short-term wins which can be consolidated to produce more change, and institutionalise new approaches. This thesis did not delve into the processes that occurred within BC Hydro to create the convincing necessary for senior management, or staff working in operations, to buy into the program. This specific aspect of organisational change, tied with an analysis of how some of the different barriers mentioned above were overcome, would be an interesting focus for future research.  Given that this thesis only analysed one case study, it would be necessary, and extremely interesting, to analyse different cases of organisational change and see whether similar mechanisms to the ones I described above operated to stimulate change in those situations. Perhaps some of the case studies identified in a recent World Bank publication (Hirji & Davis, 2009) looking at the inclusion of environmental flows in policies and plans could be analysed using the same framework for policy change. One also however needs to recognise WUP’s 132  uniqueness, as even international water resources experts state that there is little it can be compared to at the global level (BCH4, pers. comm.). Perhaps, then, relevant research to follow from this project would look into evaluating the success of the WUP program. Has it led to the improvements in the resource that were hoped for? Are we any closer to being “sustainable”? While WUP definitely led to a revision of the operations of BC Hydro-controlled facilities and the release of environmental flows, is this a radical departure from what was occurring before? It could be assumed that from the process point of view, a significant change was achieved (i.e. decisions started to be taken transparently within a collaborative framework provided by the multi-stakeholder process, as opposed to behind closed doors in deals only involving industry and government). From a substantive point of view, one would need to evaluate both the impacts of the changed operations (e.g. did fish populations recover following WUP?) and the effect the change had on BC Hydro itself (e.g. is the utility really producing less electricity in order to benefit the environment? Did it just become more efficient in the way it manages water? Does that matter, as long as other water users reaped the benefits they were demanding?).  Although I recognise the innovativeness of the WUP process and am inspired by what it achieved, which, from my experience, is admirable and surprising for hydropower producers, as I think back of my initial question of how radical paradigm shifts can be achieved, I remain sceptical of whether we are any closer to sustainability. WUP remains in the realm of weak sustainability, where we reshuffle existing systems, but do not question the underlying paradigm more radically. As stated by Gladwin (1993): “Unless we learn how to drastically shift economic opportunity, technology, capital, and primary social service provision toward the poor of this planet, then it is possible that greening in rich nations merely amounts to a rearranging of the deck chairs on a “Global Titanic”” (p.56). While this quote is oriented towards global social justice, I would push it further to say that unless we address the underlying dominance of economic growth in our thinking and way of operating, our tinkering within the current dominant paradigm also equates to a “rearranging of the deck chairs on a “Global Titanic””. Nevertheless, it is true that small victories can pave the way to much larger ones along the road, and should thus be celebrated.  133  BIBLIOGRAPHY ARMS (Alouette River Management Society). 1995. History Sheet Presented to MELP in the Parliament Buildings, Victoria, BC, RE: South Alouette River Low Flow Concerns. Presented verbally by G. Clayton. 26th January 1995. ASC, BC Hydro, Gregory, R.S., McDaniels, T.L. and McDaniels Research Ltd. 1996. The Alouette Stakeholder Committee: Process, Analysis and Recommendations – Final Report. Vancouver: BC Hydro. Anderson, J.E. 1984. Public Policy-Making: An Introduction. 3rd Ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Anderson, C. 1996. 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Case Study Research – Design and Methods. 3rd Ed. Thousand Oaks: Sage.  142  Zahariadis, N. 2007. The Multiple Streams Framework: Structures, Limitations, Prospects. In: Sabatier, P.A. (Ed.). 2007. Theories of the Policy Process. Boulder: Westview Press.  143  Appendix I The University of British Columbia Office of Research Services Behavioural Research Ethics Board Suite 102, 6190 Agronomy Road, Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1Z3  CERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL - FULL BOARD PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR:  INSTITUTION / DEPARTMENT: UBC BREB NUMBER: UBC/College for Interdisciplinary Anthony H.J. Dorcey Studies/Community & Regional H09-01356 Planning INSTITUTION(S) WHERE RESEARCH WILL BE CARRIED OUT: Institution  Site  N/A  N/A  Other locations where the research will be conducted:  Subject's home or office; public spaces such as restaurants or cafes  CO-INVESTIGATOR(S): Lucia Scodanibbio  SPONSORING AGENCIES: N/A PROJECT TITLE: Factors and circumstances that led to the creation of BC Hydro’s Water Use Planning programme. REB MEETING DATE: CERTIFICATE EXPIRY DATE: June 11, 2009 June 11, 2010 DOCUMENTS INCLUDED IN THIS APPROVAL: DATE APPROVED: July 15, 2009 Document Name  Protocol: Research outline WUP 28 May Consent Forms: WUP Consent Form 1 July Questionnaire, Questionnaire Cover Letter, Tests: Sample Interview Questions 28 May Letter of Initial Contact: WUP Letter of Approach 1 July Other Documents: Quote Attribution Form 1 July  Version  Date  N/A  May 28, 2009  N/A  July 1, 2009  N/A  May 28, 2009  N/A  July 1, 2009  N/A  July 1, 2009  The application for ethical review and the document(s) listed above have been reviewed and the procedures were found to be acceptable on ethical grounds for research involving human subjects. Approval is issued on behalf of the Behavioural Research Ethics Board and signed electronically by one of the following:  Dr. M. Judith Lynam, Chair Dr. Ken Craig, Chair Dr. Jim Rupert, Associate Chair  144  Dr. Laurie Ford, Associate Chair Dr. Anita Ho, Associate Chair  145  Appendix II: Interview Materials.  School of Community and Regional Planning  Letter of recruitment I am writing to inquire if you would be willing to participate in a research project that I am conducting. I am a second-year Master’s student at the School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP) at UBC. My Master’s thesis will focus on the origins of the Water Use Planning programme in BC, examining the actors, factors and circumstances which led to the creation of the programme. I am interested in the shift that occurred in water management, from just focusing on hydropower, to including environmental and social concerns. How is it, that from a situation of conflict (as is so common in many dam-affected areas), such a progressive programme emerged? What led to it? My research is being carried out under the supervision of Professor Tony Dorcey from SCARP. Besides the thesis, the results of the research may also be published in an academic journal. A summary report of the research results will be distributed to any participant who wishes to have a copy. The study will involve an interview with each participant of between one and two hours in length. Because of your knowledge about the WUP process and/or water resources management issues in the province of BC, I would very much appreciate an opportunity to interview you. However your participation is entirely voluntary, and you may refuse to participate or withdraw from the study at any time, without prejudice. All information that you will provide me with regarding the WUP process will be kept strictly confidential unless you consent to be identified in the thesis or other publications. A form will be sent to you at the appropriate time asking for your consent to have comments or quotes attributed to you. If you have any questions or concerns about this study, please do not hesitate to contact me or my supervisor Professor Tony Dorcey. I will contact you by phone to confirm whether or not you are interested in participating, and to arrange a mutually agreeable time and place for us to meet. Thank you very much in advance. Yours sincerely,  Lucia Scodanibbio  146  School of Community and Regional Planning  Consent Form Factors and circumstances that led to the creation of BC Hydro’s Water Use Planning programme  Principal Investigator: A.H.J. (Tony) Dorcey, School of Community and Regional Planning. Co-Investigator(s):  Lucia Scodanibbio, MSc Student in School of Community and Regional Planning, University of British Columbia.  The research is being carried out by the co-investigator, Lucia Scodanibbio, as part of her Master’s thesis. In addition to the thesis, the research may also be used in a paper published in an academic journal. Purpose: The purpose of this research is to analyse the actors, factors and circumstances which led BC Hydro, British Columbia’s electric utility, to shift its approach to water resources management, through the creation of the Water Use Planning (WUP) Program. I am interested in investigating the key problems that brought the issue of dam operations and flows to the attention of BC Hydro decision-makers, some of the solutions that were put forward before the adoption of WUP and the organizational shift which took place within the utility. You are being asked to take part in this research study because of your knowledge about the WUP process and/or the history of water resources management in the Province of BC. Study Procedures: The study will involve an interview of between one and two hours, which will be carried out in your place of business, home, or other location where you will be comfortable. With your consent, the interview will be tape recorded. Upon request, you will be sent a summary report of the research results, as well as a transcript of your own interview (see below).  147  Confidentiality: The tapes and transcripts that will result from this research study will be available only to Ms. Lucia Scodanibbio and her supervisory committee. In order to ensure confidentiality, all documents will be identified only by code number and kept in a locked filing cabinet. Most quotations will be structured anonymously, something like: “… a BC Hydro staff member stated that …”. Participants will not be identified by name in the thesis or related publications unless they consent. The text of any quotations which identify the research participants by name will be confirmed with them through a consent form before use in any publication. Contact for information about the study: If you have any questions or desire further information with respect to this study, you may contact Tony Dorcey or one of his associates at the telephone numbers given above. If you have any concerns about your treatment or rights as a research subject, you may contact the Research Subject Information Line in the UBC Office of Research Services at 604-8228598 or if long distance e-mail to RSIL@ors.ubc.ca. Consent: Your participation in this study is entirely voluntary and you may refuse to participate or withdraw from the study at any time without jeopardy. Your signature below indicates that you have received a copy of this consent form for your own records. Your signature and ticking of the appropriate boxes below indicates that you consent to participate in this study. Please tick any or all of the following: (a) I consent to have the interview tape recorded (b) I would like to receive a summary of the results (c) I would like to receive a copy of the transcript of my interview  □ □ □  ____________________________________________________ Subject Signature  Date  ____________________________________________________ Printed Name of the Subject  148  

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