Conifex Timber Inc. released a White Paper that outlines the several ways in which the British Columbia (B.C.) Government’s recent moratorium on cyprtocurrency mining projects contravenes the law, interferes with the regulatory system, and in fact works against the government’s own stated economic, carbon mitigation and reconciliation goals.
The White Paper concludes that the moratorium instituted by the provincial government in December 2022 on new cryptocurrency mining projects gaining access to electricity in B.C. imposes heavy costs on residents of BC, including:
• Restrictions on value-added development opportunities in rural and hard-hit forest communities.
• Foregone Indigenous reconciliation opportunities.
• A chill on investment in BC, reflecting the risk of future arbitrary government policy actions.
• A general loss of economic efficiency and a stifling of innovation and employment.
• An undermining of regulatory integrity and independence.
“By taking a narrow view of next-generation data centres as simply cryptocurrency mining ventures, the moratorium also effectively prevents British Columbia from participating in the rapidly evolving digital payment system technology boom now underway,” stated Ken Shields, Conifex’s Chair and Chief Executive Officer. “The moratorium limits the ability for developers and operators of advanced computing technologies, that all of us will increasingly rely on in our daily lives, from locating in our home province.”
The White Paper is included as part of Conifex’s submission to the provincial government’s “consultation process” currently underway on the future of the high performance computing (HPC) industry in B.C. It also responds to several misleading claims in BC Hydro’s “Crypto Conundrum” report, used by the Province as primary justification for the moratorium. The White Paper concludes that, by imposing the moratorium, the government has ignored the fundamental principle of obligation to serve.
“The Government has used the power of office to disadvantage one particular class of customers, as well as the customers’ employees. In doing so, the government has established a precedent for having the provincial cabinet pick economic winners and losers, which is not any government’s job,” concluded Mr. Shields.
Conifex currently has two actions against the Province and BC Hydro. Conifex has filed a petition in the Supreme Court of British Columbia seeking judicial review of the Lieutenant Governor In Council of British Columbia’s Order In Council 692/2022 (the moratorium). Conifex has also filed a notice of civil claim against BC Hydro in the Supreme Court of British Columbia seeking an order requiring BC Hydro to supply service to Conifex’s proposed HPC projects. The claim also seeks general damages against BC Hydro.
Conifex and its subsidiaries’ primary business currently includes timber harvesting, reforestation, forest management, sawmilling logs into lumber and wood chips, and value added lumber finishing and distribution.