Have they lied to you before?

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George Orwell: Political language …is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. Although BC’s debt and obligations increased $99 billion in ten years, Liberals claim the province is “on track to be free of any operating debt by 2021.”

Other lies

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BC Hydro’s management are using deferral accounts and accounting trickery to conceal the company’s financial conditions and prospects and they are telling outright mistruths about demand for electricity by consumers in British Columbia.

Blunders, haste and waste

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We know the Premier vowed to get Site C dam past the “point of no return” before the May 2017 provincial election. Clark’s Liberals have their own reasons for Site C haste and these eventually will be revealed, perhaps by a postmortem report of an inquiry into the economic destruction of BC Hydro. However, we do know that incautiously pushing a project forward can be costly. Unfortunately, the cost of error will fall not on decision makers but on taxpayers not wealthy enough to hide their income elsewhere.

Why this, why now?

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Are there secret reasons why Liberals committed billions of dollars for Site C to produce power that BC consumers won’t need, even in the distant future? Have we had hints of why there is a rush toward what Premier Clark called the point of no return and what others called a route to nowhere? Do those reasons have anything to do with the rewarding habits of prime Site C contractors?

Designed to mislead

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The British Columbia Liberal 2001 election platform had 37 references promising improved democracy, increased accountability or more open government. Its 2013 platform had none, because the party had lost interest in the goals, not because they had been attained. If ever any party strayed far from principles that first got it elected government, it is the one led today by Christy Clark. If you doubt my assertion, read through A New Era for British Columbia. That document was prepared by Gordon Campbell and his associates. Some will believe that it was a pack of lies from the start. Others would argue — excepting the page 9 promise to “not sell or privatize BC Rail” — that the Liberal Party started with good intentions and lost its way, corrupted by wealth and power…

Induced failure

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The set of facts that troubles BC Hydro executives most is the one that best reveals their deceptions. The consumption of electricity in this province has remained stable for a dozen years. In fact, the first half of the current fiscal year shows consumption is down by 2.1%, compared to the preceding year. Under its current Liberal direction, BC Hydro’s leadership forgets the company’s original purpose. Now, the aim is to deliver benefits to a tiny group of individuals and corporations and to have ordinary citizens pay the cost, whether it is affordable or not.

Awash in power at premium prices

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Increasing IPP purchases and flat demand for power obviously means that BC Hydro creates less power to meet demand by its users in BC. However, massive spending means the utility employs more than triple the assets to produce one gigawatt hour of electricity than it did a dozen years ago. This is bad policy not explained by mere incompetence of management. We must conclude that the Liberal Government is directing the public utility, either to cripple it or to deliver billions of dollars to friends and supporters.

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