October 29, 2001
Kennedy Slams Plan for Canadian Dam in Belize Rainforest: Environmentalists target TSE-listed power company

TORONTO -- Robert Kennedy, Jr. will join environmentalists from Belize, Canada and the United States at a news conference this Thursday to alert Canadian shareholders to plans by Newfoundland-based Fortis to flood Belize's Macal River Valley, one of the wildest places remaining in Central America. Kennedy and other leading environmentalists will urge the power company's shareholders to cancel the proposed Chalillo dam. Other speakers will present evidence that Fortis' dam is a bad deal for the environment and economy of Belize and an international embarrassment for Canada.

See the transcript of the November 1 Press Conference or news coverage


Robert Kennedy, Jr., Natural Resources Defense Council

Jamillah Vasquez, Belize Alliance of Conservation NGOs
Sharon Matola, Belize Zoo
Greg Malone, Newfoundland hydro activist
Elizabeth May, Sierra Club of Canada
Gráinne Ryder, Probe International

WHEN: Thursday, November 1, 2001, 11:30 AM

PHOTO AND VIDEO OPPORTUNITIES: TV and newspaper ad campaign material, as well as photos of wildlife threatened by the dam, will be available. Post-conference interviews with the speakers can be arranged. 


, Probe International, Toronto, Canada Phone: (416) 964-9223 ext.228.

BACKGROUND: Fortis Inc., a billion-dollar Canadian corporation traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange, is the majority owner of Belize Electricity, which wants to flood an invaluable stretch of Belize's Macal River Valley. Fortis President and CEO Stanley Marshall has said his company is ready to start building the $45 million hydro dam this January even though Fortis' own wildlife consultants, the Natural History Museum of London, has recommended that the dam not be built. The study, paid for by the Canadian government, concludes that the dam will cause "significant and irreversible" harm to more than a dozen rare or endangered species, including the jaguar, freshwater crocodile, howler monkey, and scarlet macaw. Fortis' dam would also flood ancient Maya archaeological sites.

Fortis' top shareholders include Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board, Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement Board, and Royal Bank Investment Management. A complete list of major shareholders will be presented at the press conference.

For background on the campaign to stop Fortis and save the Macal River Valley, visit the coalition's web site stopfortis.org.

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