BC Hydro

Pants on fire

Before the last election, Premier Clark justified BC Hydro rate increases as a “common sense decision” that would enable the private/public utility to pay off the billions in its deferred accounts.

“People are struggling, it’s a tough economy, and hydro rates are just one other burden that government puts on people in terms of cost. We’re finding a way to pay down the deferral accounts,” she told reporters May 23, 2012.

When she spoke, Hydro’s most recent annual report showed net deferrals were $2.1 billion.

As of December 2015, the total was $5.6 billion.

In addition, BC Hydro direct debt had risen more than 50% from $11.6 billion to $18.2 billion and is expected to rise by at least another $12 billion in the next five years.

Clark’s Specialty: Takin’ Care of (Big) Business

15 replies »

  1. The “care and watering” of BC Hydro is proceeding as it should, as it is run into the ground, and therefore prepared for the coming takeover by the “forces of yes”.The utilization of various “funded liabilities” being used to pay off “evolving debt requirements such as IPP's and the new “prosperity er slush fund” and perhaps a host of other special liabilities directly related to BC Liberal governance requirements, is proceeding. Does this include, the “iron snowbirds” high flying” jet set ways? Most likely.
    But the “lies”, “mistruths”, “justifications” or whatever you want to call them, reveal the intent of Christy and her cohorts.
    An “intent” full of arrogance, attitude, malfeasance and ultimately self serving behavior. The outright disregard of British Columbians, their rights, their democracy and utter disrespect for the people that a “democratically elected government”, is supposed to serve.
    Is this what governance in this province has descended into? Nothing more than a front for the perception of organized “criminal” activity by manipulating vast sums of taxpayer dollars, for the benefits of political supporters and friends?
    Has this government allowed its business related, non regulatory attitude, to “encourage”even more activity of a suspicious nature, in the real estate industry? What lies will be forthcoming here?
    No matter where we go from here, the lies, mistruths and justifications, will continue, just as the arrogance and malfeasance will. The “intent is clear”, and has been so for quite some time.


  2. Is this runaway train not stoppable?

    If I bought Dave Ritchie's 220 foot yacht for 47 million dollars or an 18″ pipe wrench from Princess Auto for 40 dollars and after the fact learned the vendor deliberately and knowingly lied to me about critical, material facts, I would have legal recourse.

    Why should this be any different?


  3. I find it interesting Norm that when I look at the G&M story about the Federal Liberals adding Billions to the debt and the reaction in the comments section is pretty well the same, taxpayers are worried and wonder will we pay it off or turn into another Greece.
    What I worry about is the same is happening with our Provincial Liberals and the majority don't care. If they do, they are surely being quiet…. or afraid to speak out.

    Guy in Victoria


  4. Liberal strategy now is to separate debt into component parts. Lately, they've been claiming BC is on route to be free of “operating debt.”

    They don't count amounts owed by the public that's been moved off to P3s. Taxpayers will provide cash to pay off those debts, but Liberals say the liabilities don't count. They sell the province's capital assets and say the proceeds are “operational revenue” but when the province acquires capital assets, the costs are not operational expenses and the resultant capital debt is not really debt.

    The Liberals accounting policies would be understood by many of the characters of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.


  5. In The House on Tuesday, when Adrian Dix was challenging Bill Bennett on Hydro rates: Bennett came back with a claim that rates were about the same as in (I believe he said) the 1970's, when adjusted for inflation.

    What's your calculation, Norm?


  6. Maybe someone should ask Bennett if wages and low income salaries or even welfare payments are the same as the 1970's, adjusted for inflation…of course. I doubt you'll get an honest answer. Perhaps Norm could calculate the values for those numbers, as a comparison and bench mark, to the reality of taxpayers today. I believe the net present worth of the dollar, in comparison to 1971's valuation day number, will show an “interesting” number. How much is a loonie, “really worth”?


  7. Bill Bennett justifying today's malfeasance by reference to prices charged decades before the current government came to power is like a thief who stole your grandmother's jewelry box and distributed its contents among his friends saying, “I did nothing wrong; your grandmother didn't use that stuff anymore.”


  8. I agree Norm. As your research and numbers have shown, the picture the Liberals paint is becoming more dim as the veil of deception is lifted. The manipulation of accounting information, constitutes white collar corruption at any level. Those who are responsible for the deception could already be facing consequences, if and when they are charged.
    The people of BC owe you a great debt. If possible this research should be widely published. Many people, after they see the facts in black and white, will begin to wonder how our system of governance got to this point. As I've said before, what agency in this country is responsible for the protection of governance from criminal subversion and corruption? So far, whoever “they” are, they have not done a damn thing about it.
    Terrorism is not this countries greatest threat…criminal subversion, within a serving democratic governance is. Its alive and well, in BC.


  9. Why wouldn't Adrian Dix have asked him if the BC Liberals are prepared to raise disability and welfare rates immediately to the same rates as 1975, adjusted for inflation?


  10. For residents in 1976, there was a $3 a month base charge then a small amount of power available at step 1 rates.

    Step 2 rates, paid by most single family residences, were 1.8¢ per KWh. Adjusted for inflation to 2015, that is 7.4¢ per KWh. Step 2 rate today is 11.95¢ a KWh.

    However, Bennett ignores the extra charges faced by Hydro customers. My current invoice shows me being assessed a basic charge (whether I use power or not), a 5% rate rider, a regional transit levy and sales tax.

    Bennett had nothing to do with modest price rises of earlier administrations so if we look at residential average per KWh residential revenues of BC Hydro under the Clark government, price rises run well ahead of inflation. (Chart added above.)


  11. How much would it cost to buy a full page ad in the MSM (and would anyone read it?) highlighting some of Norm's findings? We have been preaching to the converted for far too long!


  12. The sad reality is that the thieves, fraud artists and their enablers are funded by taxpayers or by ill-gotten gains from paying next to nothing for the billions of dollars they extract from this province.

    We saw recently that the “independent” Conference Board issued a report promoting LNG that was paid for by Petronas. Earlier they painted a rosy picture of the BC economy after they had been paid 7-figures by the BC Liberal Government.
    The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers promotes their own members' interests and has had huge amounts from taxpayers to sell their story. Meanwhile, environmental groups, who had a different version of truth, were being attacked by auditors from the Canada Revenue Agency.

    In BC, mining companies are too poor to even pay half the cost of hydro power and need a waiver that's not available to an ailing grandmother living out her days in poverty. Gas companies can't afford to pay royalties on the billions of dollars worth of BC gas they sell but they can afford to join with other resource companies to fund Resource Works, a lobbying organization that aims to have Liberals re-elected so the game can continue unchanged.

    With a BC election campaign now only a year away, there will soon be a number of new “think-tanks” and astroturf agencies (Smart Prosperity, the latest) funded by elites with the objective of helping the wealthy become wealthier and the poor become poorer.


  13. We all have to be 'shovel ready' for the upcoming election and 'Turf the Liberals'.

    There will be massive 1%er sponsored support and corporate funded advertorials all focused on reelecting their team. They will shower us with our own money and 'new promises'. Liberal captured media will support their record and attack any possibility of change and better governance. Christy's only goal as always will be to hold on to power so as to continue pillaging the province.

    We have to inform and unite all citizens, the many groups that have too long been neglected, lied to and abused. The poor, the disabled, students, young families, seniors… The 99% of BC citizens that are disadvantaged to the benefit of the Christy 1%. All that have been forced to pay too great a cost solely for the advantage of Christy and her Pirates.

    We have to engage the still uninformed and disengaged to the ongoing self interested assault that the Christy Party has inflicted on the citizens of BC. We have to encourage our fellow citizens to your site Norm and other blog sights that are holding the government and their sponsors to account for their actions.



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