BC Hydro

Kleptocracy: rule by thieves

BC Liberals claim to be the “free enterprise” party of British Columbia but scams in play at BC Hydro are not examples of free enterprise. These are old fashion economic frauds committed by amoral thieves who have been enabled and protected by docile and dishonest politicians.

There have been a number of scenarios, here is one example.

Group X had no expertise in constructing and operating power facilities, nor money to fund any projects. However, they did have political influence with provincial policy makers who ensured open doors at BC Hydro. A few dollars spent on consultants to prepare attractive presentations led to assurances that British Columbia would allow access to public waterways and the provincial utility would sign long term contracts to buy all power produced at rates high enough to ensure profitability. Those commitments in hand attracted the large energy players who could provide construction funds and bring the generating stations to life. The politically savvy deal-makers converted their arrangements into cash and shares worth millions and walked away.

There was little financial exposure for the arrangers and no risk to the operating enterprises; they had guaranteed sales at prices that ensured profitability.

The deal makers bet on a sure thing because the results were rigged. Once Gordon Campbell was on board, it was merely a case of dividing the spoils. Media that has been wilfully blind allowed shifty operators to do deals with BC Hydro worth tens of billions of dollars. That may sound like hyperbole; unfortunately, it is not.

Now, BC Hydro is shutting down publicly owned generators because it is forced to acquire and distribute very high priced private power. This is kleptocracy operating with great efficiency. Thank you BC Liberals. Thank you Postmedia. Thanks also to the Shaw Family at Corus Radio and Global TV.

Hydro awash in private power, Scott Simpson, Vancouver Sun

“After a bumper year for precipitation in the Pacific Northwest, BC Hydro stations around British Columbia are sitting idle while independent power producers run flat out.

“There’s so much water available for hydroelectric power that a Washington-Oregon utility, which runs full-time to protect salmon and trout, is paying other utilities to take electricity off its hands.

“That means bargain-priced import electricity is available to BC Hydro from the Bonneville Power Authority, but it’s a bittersweet opportunity…”

“Overall, according to Hydro’s 2011-12 annual report, IPPs earned $676 million from Hydro in the 12-month period ending March 31…”

Had BC Hydro purchased that same quantity of power at recent spot prices, the savings to BC power consumers would have been as much as $500 million.

14 replies »

  1. It is an “I told you so” moment for those of us who saw through these private power deals.

    Were LIberals stupid or corrupt. I think there is only one answer: Both!


  2. where are the police and the powers that be to control this kaos.The fifth estate has been corupted and we just sit on our hands all the while tearing at our pockets.But the truth of the matter is they are robbing us blind and we just let it happen.


  3. Police, judges, courts, media, and absolutely everything is BC was controlled by Campbell, and now controlled by Boessenkool. Christy is merely a mouthpiece, she has no say in the governing of this province. Both Campbell and Boessenkool are Harper's henchmen. The Campbell/Clark BC Liberals all work for Harper.

    Where was Van Dongen, when Campbell thieved and corruptly sold our BCR? Van Dongen was right there. Campbell thieved a whole hell of a lot more than the $6 million dollars, that went to pay the two patsies legal fees. Basi and Virk were set up, to take the fall for Campbell's theft and corruption. Campbell thieved an entire railroad and the priceless Real Estate that went with it. And Van Dongen is fussing about $6 million dollars? I'm not buying it. Get our BCR back, Mr. Van Dongen. Campbell cheated to win twice, by lies, deceit, corruption, dirty tactics, dirty politics, just as his boss Harper does.

    There is an extremely sick evil on this country. Every province that prefers, should separate from Harper. Let the tyrant Herr Harper and his henchmen, sit in Parliament all by themselves. There are some provinces, that are telling Harper, to go to hell.


  4. Essentially and “Order in Council”, is needed to remove this and all other instances, where a contract or contracts are not in the “best public intrest”, of the people of this province. The contracts would be “nullified” and the resource returned, to the people of the Province.

    What has been done in this province and is being done in the country as well, is a well “orchestrated subversion” of the taxpayers, their resources and ultimatley their rights. This has been ongoing, since the 1980's where it first began being discussed, by right wing organizations, in think tanks and universities in the Western world. Political party agendists picked up on it and it has “flourished”, as a way to “expropriate” the taxpayer's wealth.

    If an “outside entity” engaged in this conduct, it would be at the least “industrial espionage” and at the worst an attempted takeover, of public resources, by illicit means.

    This is intolerable and not acceptable, in any modern democratic society.

    By using the “archaic” system in place, the parlaimentary system, and manipulating the voter and party structures, “organized subversion” has been fostered on the people of BC and Canada. Proof…look at the mess BC is in, and Canada is sure to follow.

    Responsiblity for this…, right wing agendists, the press, business organizations, puppet politicians whose backroom boy's, orchestrate this mess from within, and the wealthy.

    Solution…, a return to strong democratic principles for all, grass roots involvement for individuals so inclined, a more open, responsible and less corporate media, ultimately,the de-corporatization of the political system.

    Don't beleive me? Just ask them. They are “apparently” quite pleased, with their newly acquired wealth, and brag about it constantly….the 2008 financial crisis, notwithstanding.


  5. $500 million savings in a single year? Seems hard to believe but, its possible. That's way more than the fast ferries but not something we hear about from the MSM pack.

    Even the possibility of half a billion wasted ought to be talked about constantly.


  6. Hydro is a complete mess. Down a president & CEO and two senior VP's – and they arent even looking to fill them. WHY? – It doesnt matter – every decision is made in Victoria so no need.
    The only execs left are the Liberal appointments too stupid or stubborn to go before the entire house of cards collapse. The only thing thats keeping that company afloat is the employees.
    Deferral accounting, blatant cheating and nepotism in IPP selections, double digit rate increases, tripling of the debt – the LIBERALS have ruined our electric company.


  7. I installed a 10 kW wind turbine on my Okanagan property 3 years ago, buying into the BC government's Live Smart/Green program. Imagine my surprise–as an independent power producer–when I was ineligible for the B.C. “incentive” because the B.C. program was limited to a maximum 3 kW turbine. Yet nowhere on their snazzy website was a maximum size listed; even employees at Live Smart didn't know about it when I phoned to complain.

    That's not the end of it. Turns out my 10 kW turbine was also ineligible for the Federal Eco-Energy Retrofit…are you sitting down?….because annually, seems I didn't USE enough electricity to qualify.

    Then a year later, to add salt to the wound, received a call from a member of CANWEA, the Canadian Wind Energy Association, offering that I could join for $300 bucks a year. I declined, stating that CANWEA was part of the problem. How so? he asked. So I told him: “Your group's members sat on both the provincial and federal committees that helped governments set not only the rates, but also who would qualify. So, thanks a pantload for excluding the 'big little' guys like me.”

    Yet people today see my 10 kW spinning merrily in the breeze and ask if I am also overpaid as an Independent Power Producer. I tell them the truth: the buggers credit me EXACTLY the same kiloWatt per hour rate as they charge me to use electricity. No more!

    So not all IPPs are sucking at the public trough.


  8. Why is this financial issue not a larger issue with the newspapers and broadcasters who remind us to “remember the nineties.”

    Hey, CKNW, Vancouver Sun, Vancouver Province, Global TV, CBC !


  9. If more people did this, with solar panels on their roofs, for example, it would reduce the demand for power from BC Hydro. The govt could look into providing subsidies for solar panels.


  10. Hugh: yes, that would be the perfect use of the millions of dollars raised in carbon taxes. Start with schools and other government buildings. I know the swimming pool in Hope has two energy saving devices, though I don't know where the funding comes from. One is solar panels for the pool water heating and the other is energy reclamation from the moist air. As the air is dried, energy is reclaimed and put back into the water.

    I'm interested in solar-voltaic panels for my house, as I have good southern exposure.

    Regarding smart meters: we've had ours since last October and BC Hydro tells me the meter readers are still coming around to manually check them. For our house (in Chilliwack), there has been no spike in readings after the installation. Pretty well the same pattern of use for the past 3-4 years, with heat pump installed throughout those years.


  11. A neighbour of mine in North Vancouver built a new house heated with geothermal energy. It's not a particularly complex system but the pay back period is fairly long because the technology is not encouraged. Since it is not widely adopted, it remains much more expensive than it could be.

    This is the sort of energy that would be encouraged by government not in the pockets of the oil industry.


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