BC Hydro

What’s another billion or twenty?

Moody’s Investors Service issued a warning this week about rising debt at B.C. Hydro. In the first six months of fiscal year 2017, term debt increased $1.3 billion to $19.5 billion.

That number is up $7.8 billion during Christy Clark’s time as Premier, which is an increase larger than the total term debt incurred in the utility’s first 48 years of operation. Of course, debt has been rising quickly despite current consumption being the lowest in the preceding 12 years.


The Moody’s report, paid for by the Province of BC, noted that BC Hydro finances are among the weakest of Canadian provincial utilities. It also acknowledged that, with the Site C dam and other planned spending, BC Hydro debt will rise by $20 billion in the near future.

The chart of term debt shown above does not include the contractual commitments to independent power producers. That total is only reported annually and it stood at $58.3 billion at March, 2016.

It also does not include the $7.2 billion of intangibles and deferred costs that are carried as “assets” but are actually previous expenditures that will be written off at some future time, if BC Hydro begins adhering to strict Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

Categories: BC Hydro, Debt

7 replies »

  1. Bill Bennett’s decision not to run again in May is a timely decision. At some point the chickens will come home to roost.


  2. as I have believed for years B.C. if it continues with the B.C. Lieberals will become Detroit North. All the signs are there.

    great post.


  3. Hello Norm:
    Seems like the BC Liberals want to run all the Crown Corporations into huge debt positions so that they could be sold at a loss. Perhaps the plan is to drive them into bankruptcy then auction them off.
    Friends of the Liberals will pick up the shares at rock bottom prices. I wonder how many ex MLA’s will end up on the Board of Directors … and somehow make huge profits as private companies.
    Why is it that BC Hydro, BC Transit/Translink, ICBC and BC Ferries can’t become profitable at present, if we have such a strong growing economy?
    Maybe the government should stop skimming “dividends” to produce a debt ridden “balanced budget”.

    Christy’s Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline project could end up going south … via Keystone. No jobs or profits for BC but our Fishing, Tourism, pristine coastline and wilderness would be saved.

    Voters must be made aware that the Liberals are giving “Direct Award Contracts” on the Site C Dam project. Engineering companies like AECOM and SNC Lavalin who have been awarded contract are involved in major lawsuits and will be coming to court in 2018.

    Here is an example of what may put construction projects up for sale to third parties. The National Post – December 10, 2015:
    “The risk still remains that SNC could be found guilty on the corruption charges and a possible 10-year ban from bidding on public contracts that would come with that verdict still looms over the company.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/bombshell-lawsuit-shocks-winnipeg-councillors-1.3376884 AECOM

    http://business.financialpost.com/news/fp-street/foreign-buyers-target-snc-lavalin-group-inc-with-takeover-ambitions-people-are-circling SNC-Lavalin


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