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Dysfunctional duopoly

Far from being “broken,” our political system is doing precisely what it’s designed to do. It wasn’t built to deliver results in the public interest or to foster policy innovation, nor does it demand accountability for failure to do so. Instead, most of the rules that shape day-to-day behavior and outcomes have been perversely optimized—or even expressly created—by and for the benefit of the entrenched duopoly at the center of our political system…

Facts seem to support a progressive agenda

David Card’s Nobel Prize carries with it a cash prize of more than C$700,000 but the economist may experience greater satisfaction from credibility the award lends to his findings. Those conclusions challenged conventional wisdom and have been steadily disputed by “useful idiots” of the evil geniuses who control economies of the world.

Planning fallacy

John Horgan’s crew had a truckload of hard hats ready to go when they formed government in 2017 and the last thing they intended to do was alter the controversial Site C project, secret deals BC Hydro had with private power producers, LNG promotion, and science-free facilitation of fracked gas production. Going forward with the status quo would cost tens of billions of dollars in unneeded construction and fossil fuel subsidies. It would also exacerbate extreme events from climate change. But following BC Liberal policies would dull the Official Opposition and silence many right-wing critics. The Premier decided that was smart politics for his party…

Deceit and distraction

BC Hydro and government overseers have long claimed electricity demand is growing at a rate of 40% over 20 years. In fact, demand has not grown since 2005. What did grow was the average unit price consumers paid BC Hydro. That increased 115% in the 20 years from 2001 to 2021.During that time, natural gas production in BC more than doubled and public revenues from gas almost disappeared…

Lotus Land turned to La La land

John Horgan is involved in a political game that could be called, “Look at This, Not at That!” No one can argue with the need for energy consumers to use non-destructive, clean renewable electricity in place of fossil fuels. Encouragement of that shift is vital to human survival. But another part of the Horgan plan is to increase use of fossil fuels while pretending there are no harmful emissions of carbon caused by burning coal exported from BC ports or by liquefaction, transportation, regasification, and consumption of natural gas in other jurisdictions.

Northeast BC — a sacrifice zone

While John Horgan’s government has been using billions of public dollars to improve profitability of private producers of fossil fuels, University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) professor Élyse Caron-Beaudoin has been examining effects of natural gas production on people living near BC gas fields…

Enough said

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you always get what you’ve always gotten.” That was the advice of Jessie Potter, the featured speaker at the opening of the 1981 Woman to Woman conference.

Bonhoeffer on Stupidity 

In 2021, we see strange people in BC — humans I suspect Dietrich Bonhoeffer would categorize as stupid — mobbing to prey on politicians, healthcare workers, hospital patients and now school children. For thousands, the restraints of decency are lost. Bonhoeffer’s words might help to explain the behaviour…

A spendthrift public utility

There is much written here about BC Hydro and 17 years of flat demand for electricity by the utility’s residential, commercial and industrial customers. Despite that, in the first quarter of fiscal year 2021-22, the volume of BC Hydro’s purchases of private power from IPPs increased 21% over the same period the year before…

Unnecessary risk to people and property in BC

The NDP government is blundering on with construction of the Site C hydro dam on unstable ground, despite availability of much lower-cost energy sources. It is the same government that BC’s Auditor General found has not effectively overseen the safety of dams in BC and did not adequately verify or enforce compliance of safety standards…

What we can’t see will hurt us

Fossil fuel producers — and governments captured by the industry — know full well that methane is a serious contributor to climate change. Invisible and odorless, the super powerful greenhouse gas has greater — variously estimated from 25x to 84x — global warming potential than carbon dioxide in the 20 years following release. Scientists believe methane is responsible for about a quarter of the increase in global temperatures caused by humans…