BC Hydro

State and future of BC Hydro

Opposition parties in BC ought to create a set of hearings to conduct a thorough PUBLIC examination of independent power contracts, alternative less-destructive energy sources and the state and future of BC Hydro.

MLAs should try to initiate the examination as a committee of the legislature and when Liberals refuse to participate, cross the street to a public place and begin hearings. Leave empty chairs for Liberals.

The Christy Clark Government would try to ignore the event but the public would not and the corporate media could not, without destroying what little credibility they still have on matters of resources.

There are plenty of experts from business, academia and environmental groups who would participate in meaningful ways. Invite Rafe Mair to give first testimony.

Provide a public forum and take the lid off the financial shenanigans that took us into the current situation. There won’t be any ability to subpoena documents and compel people to participate and there won’t be millions of dollars from taxpayers to spread among friends organizing the events.

In other words, it would be about MLAs representing the people, getting energy policy information to citizens and revealing how BC Hydro was hijacked to profit Liberal friends and insiders. The public forum would not be an exercise managed by ranks of lawyers, spin doctors and ass-coverers.

The Liberals would refuse to take part but the Green Party and the NDP could proceed without them. How about it John Horgan and Andrew Weaver? Let’s put policy over party and protect the future for our children and grandchildren.


14 replies »

  1. You're getting heated up over this corruption, Norm. Good to see!

    I'd love to see a street-side hearing on Hydro and LNG, for starters. Ministry of Children and Family Development, as well.


  2. Well considering Mr. Horgan didn't see fit to show up at the Leg. to debate site C methinks the fix is in.
    Maybe he was discussing future business plans with Mark and Moe.


  3. Your suggestion is valid & must be implemented by the NDP if they ever want to regain some sort of trust from BC taxpayers. Enough of making yourself look useless with invitations to a pop star to discuss issues that can very well be handled by BC taxpayers.
    John Horgan will be labelled anti development and against creating jobs over the Site C project. Christy has alreay started playing that game & the Liberal election campaign.
    Taxpayers need to be reminded of what the Liberals have done to BC Hydro and there is no better way than your suggestion. If John Horgan & the NDP want to be respected, they must stop with the stupid headlines you read like the pop star story or David Eby and his advocating for single causes. I'm not saying they should stop helping people in the community, but please analyze how the media & it's readers will react to some of their issues.
    The Ndp can take your suggestion and prsent in a positive way because taxpayers have been telling them they want to know just how bad is the financial picture of BC hydro.
    The NDP can't continue to sound like the anti government party. When Christy stood up in the house to call a vote on Site C this week, the NDP should have reacted in a positive way with a statement like, they support it but like the Premier and her position on pipelines, the NDP has a few “conditions” as well. Then thank the Premier for showing how projects can proceed in a favourable tone with “conditions”.
    I'm tired of the NDP fighting for issues that are sometimes aimed at a very small minority. Get elected first then take care of those issues.
    So John Horgan, if you ever take the time to read what people are thinking, follow Norm's suggestion. Hell if you're so devoted to BC, then invite Norm to sit down with you and go over his best suggestion yet.

    Guy in Victoria


  4. We can't be certain what the final terms of TPP will do for energy markets. Governments are holding secret negotiations and, while they consult with big business, they don't talk with citizens groups. Elizabeth Warren Slams Confidentiality of Sputtering Trans Pacific Partnership Deal

    Adrian Raeside got it right.

    One of the reasons that IPPs wanted very long term contracts, is that it transferred all business risks to BC Hydro. If the energy market suddenly collapsed, IPPs would continue smiling. There was no good reason for BC Hydro to agree to long term deals that gave full protection to suppliers except the utility followed directives from corrupt mandarins and politicians. Managers at BC Hydro that saw the mistake were given a choice: stay silent and take rewards or leave now.

    I've had ex-BCH people contact me who cannot go on the record because of non-disclosure agreements they were required to sign. However, at some future point, the information will be revealed.


  5. This idea has merit both to expose the BC Hydro situation and to shine some light on the broken legislative committee system. The BC Liberals generally control these committees, and initiatives by opposition MLAs to get to the truth through these committees are frequently voted down by the BC Liberal majorities. The recent reference of the health ministry firings to the Ombudsperson is one example, and the disgraceful refusal to have Graham Whitmarsh and David Loukidelis appear to explain their respective roles in the illegal Basi/Virk payoff is another.

    The NDP failed miserably to highlight the misdeeds of the government for the electorate in the last election campaign, and it’s obvious the current strategy in getting the public’s attention to critical issues like this one isn’t working. It’s time to live up to the “New” in the NDP moniker, and that requires some bold moves. Otherwise the raping and pillaging will continue unabated.


  6. The BC Liberals can't stop anyone from seeking a court injunction against the execution of specific policy, nor can they avoid the court of public opinion in an upcoming election, but they can and would block a committee under any parliamentary capacity.

    Anyone can convene an ad hoc, extra-parliamentary committee, but, being as the proposed is one formed to inquire and examine BC Hydro policy, and no BC Liberal would ever attend, it would go some ways at least in not looking totally partisan if both opposition parties were included. I can see MSM broadcasting BC Liberals' dismissive derision, but otherwise ignoring whatever the committee does—“Grandstanding!” they'll exclaim, “Wasting taxpayers' money!” they'll charge—then drop it and move on.

    I'm afraid that'd happen even if highly respected people testified—after all, even the provincial Auditor General condemns the public books every single year, and gets a only sidebar or a sound-bite. NGOs could add their weight, but they'd be portrayed as the usual environmentalist suspects. And if a few street people happen to be attending, in part for a free coffee, MSM will follow them back to the tent city with which to inaccurately associate all witnesses to the committee, maybe interview some Site C workers whose jobs are alleged to be threatened, et cetera—MSM's been consistent with that kind of stuff. As long as MSM and the neo-right are allied, the legitimacy of any extra-parliamentary “committee” will always be condemned, purposely without much further ado. Leaving the opposition the option of appearing on the evening news, shown standing on the sidewalk with a few placards looking like they just missed the bus (like their “Axe The Tax” initiative).

    The hypocrisy of the BC Liberals knows no bounds: citing “political interference,” they “privatized” BC Ferries—really, simply cloaking the 100% public-owned service with a bogus contractor, also publicly owned, so's to conceal precisely their own political interference. The independent public watchdogs for various public enterprises are either stacked with BC Liberal cronies, like the one that's supposed to mind the public's interest in ferry transport, or knackered of authority, like the BC Utilities Commission, et cetera, this so's to allow the parasitization of the venerable public power-producer by more BC Liberal cronies.

    The government's gonna have to change before any kind inquiry, with power to subpoena and hear testimony under oath, can be legitimized (until then it's easy for the BC Liberals to avoid one). Even then, the independence of judiciary and executive has to be maintained by the intercession of a special commission of inquiry—it's rarely done by legislators in a court of law (recall Gordon Campbell's court action against the Nisga'a Treaty was brought by him as a private citizen, not as a legislator). It's unlikely any opposition member would initiate any court action—but that doesn't mean someone, or some concerned party, can't. Still, injunction is about as much as could be expected, perhaps in the eventual pursuit of a specific repeal (of, say, the law compelling BC Hydro to buy expensive IPP power it can produce more cheaply itself). If IPPs are found to be irrefutably not in the public interest, court actions will be getting filed aplenty to clear up long term purchase agreements. To save BC Hydro, court action is absolutely unavoidable. Some of this will probably be recommended by the findings of a legitimate parliamentary committee that can only be practically convened by an NDP government.


  7. Its about time that “participatory” democracy, gained a real foothold in this province. The so called “reigning” parties get into office and then ignore the public, “period”
    This has to change.
    The MSM ..simply ban them from participating as “trolls” for the serving party
    And I whole heartedly agree that court action is a nessecity in dealing with BC hydro. As for the BC Liberals, a courtroom will be the preferred method of dealing with this group of malfeasants.
    Indeed, the “use of the law to hide behind” must be removed. Corruption laws and investigative powers must be improved to prevent the kind of manipulation and bending of parliamentary rules,
    procedures, and oversight committee requirements, that so often have failed to prevent the continuation of these clowns and their abuse of the public.

    Insofar as the TTP, my big concern is the ability of foreign corporations to sue governments. Laws protecting our environment, supply management systems, assessment of projects and a host of other protections, currently built in to protect our “way of life” may have been subverted at the stroke of a pen, to provide the corporate world with a “legal” means to undermine our laws.
    Short sighted in the very least, treasonous in the extreme.
    What kind of politicians do we elect and who really pulls the strings?


  8. Horgan knows enough on the BC Hydro file to seriously damage if not bring the government down…..but he doesn't use it….why?
    I suspect because “it's easier” not to…..
    …and they wonder why they never form government ….


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