BC Hydro

Gordon Campbell making history – REPLAY

First published in December, 2009

History is indeed little more than the register of the crimes, follies and misfortunes of mankind.
– Edward Gibbon, English historian of Rome (1737 – 1794)

Doug McArthur at SFU’s Public Policy School cast his eye on one of British Columbia’s crime scenes:

I have suggested that since this whole system essentially involves a non-earned transfer of billions of dollars from BC citizens to private power producers, and that this result is perfectly obvious to anyone who takes the time to follow the money, the whole arrangement is essentially corrupt. The fact that the whole program has been developed behind closed doors in association with private power producers simply strengthens that argument.

Some have objected to this characterization, saying that while it may be bad policy it is not necessarily corrupt. I remain to be convinced. Meanwhile, it is perhaps worth noting that on the very week that Campbell profiled the Danish program, investigators in Denmark commenced a corruption investigation into the arrangement there. Perhaps a closer look at what is happening here in BC is warranted after all. Especially since the BC program is almost a total replica of that of Denmark.

We had a similar story HERE at Northern Insights October 2009. Imagine if Campbell’s policies guided W.A.C. Bennett and Gordon Shrum when they developed the two-rivers policy years ago. Today, citizens would have no low-cost heritage benefits from the Peace and Columbia rivers. Instead, every kW-h would cost consumers whatever the market would bear in today’s dollars, not those of 1965. That would have been bad for British Columbians but good for Wall Street, perhaps delaying its meltdown by 15 minutes or so.

11 replies »

  1. Thanks for keeping this important story in the forefront, Norman.

    It is, as SFU's Doug McArthur suggests, a case of grand theft….and one not measured alone by the massive billions of dollars robbed from BC citizens. The sleepy inhabitants of our coastal town are just beginning to wake up to the whole IPP issue of lack of public access to and control over our rivers as well.

    Our rivers…. and our rights have been stolen from us in so many sly ways through the arrogant, undemocratic policies of the present government. It is more than deeply disturbing.

    I just wanted to wish you a Happy New Year… and thank you for your outstanding efforts and diligence against the “outrage of silence” that has overtaken so much of our mainstream media. All the best to you and your family.


  2. Our hydro rates are going up. I don't mind paying more, for necessary upgrades to the public-owned system. I totally object to paying more just to subsidize private power companies, for surplus power that will have to be exported at a loss.

    Plutonic's massive Toba/Bute projects are examples of unnecessary, expensive IPP power. The fact that they're half American (GE) makes them all the more outrageous.


  3. Why isn't this stuff on the 6:00 news? In the paper, etc? Why do I only read about it on the internet? Oh yea, we are talking about Canwest!! Never print a bad word about the BC Liberals/Gordo, only print the good things (and do the complete opposite for the NDP)


  4. There was an article on the Toba/Bute project in the Vanc. Sun months ago. There have also been articles in the Sun about the problems with private power. These articles are just not put on the front page with huge headlines, as they should be.


  5. Oh well, we've only known about this for what, 6 1/2 years? It takes a while for the masses to get fired up and then another long while for them to something about it. Merrily we row along……
    Read Grant's epistle in the Straight Goods to hear about the latest atrocity to do with LNG/LFG. Takes your breath away, so it does!


  6. Gordo the Gone will go down in BC history as the greatest confidence trickster in the history of BC. He came and distributed BC hard won assets to political friends and cronies for peanuts.


  7. Gordon Campbell maliciously destroyed BC Hydro to benefit his friends and influencers.
    I know he was confronted by numerous angry BCers downtown and in restaurants before Harper gave him his plum London appointment. If he ever returns to BC, he deserves that same kind of treatment.


  8. One of the effects of corporate influence on journalism is that the true nature of Gordon Campbell’s skullduggery isn’t properly exposed in the present. It is therefore very unlikely to be chronicled appropriately in the mainstream historical register.

    When our great grandchildren are paying off the mortgages Campbell and his cronies put in place, the record will inform them it’s all because of those damn fast ferries and the mess the NDP made of the province in the 1990s.


  9. I've been keeping my paper Hydro bills since March 2008. I wish had them going back further. It's shocking how much our Hydro costs have increased in just 7 years. On March 31, 2008 our basic charge was $0.12130 per day. Today it's $0.17640 per day. A 45% increase. Our usage charge was $0.06150 per kW.h. Today it's $0.11950 per kW.h at step 2. A 94% increase. Our rate rider was .5%. Today it's 5%. A 1000% increase! Campbell, along with many other BC Liberals should be in jail.


  10. McFarlane writes as a person more concerned with politics and workforce management than science.

    First, few believe that, under the dogmatic Harper regime, Canadian government scientists are “admired and trusted advisers.”

    Second, the problem is not that scientists must seek “permission before talking about their findings.” The problem is that scientists are routinely denied permission to talk to the public about any of their work and denied engagement with professional colleagues in academic bodies and scientific journals

    Third, McFarlane presumes one can not separate scientific discussion from policy making. The power of intellectual inquiry is unleashed when tentative conclusions are put to rigorous review. When that is denied, conventional wisdom in the form preferred by political rulers becomes the default position for all. The flat earth concept remains.


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