Are there secret reasons why Liberals committed billions of dollars for Site C to produce power that BC consumers won’t need, even in the distant future?
Have we had hints of why there is a rush toward what Premier Clark called the point of no return and what others called a route to nowhere?
Do those reasons have anything to do with the rewarding habits of prime Site C contractors?
Some months ago, writing at Desmog Blog, Dermod Travis noted that BC government announcements failed to make:
any mention of collusion and bid-rigging by Korean-based Samsung C&T, the ongoing investigation into “allegations of misappropriation of public funds, falsifying documents and money laundering” at Acciona and liquidity issues at Petrowest…
There was a stunning development in Korea this week, involving a massive multinational known to foster cozy relationships with ruling politicians.
Samsung Heir Jay Y. Lee Is Arrested on Bribery Allegations, Bloomberg News, February 17,2017:
Samsung Group’s Jay Y. Lee was formally arrested on allegations of bribery, perjury and embezzlement, an extraordinary step that jeopardizes the executive’s ascent to the top role at the world’s biggest smartphone maker.
…Samsung has denied it made an unlawful offer or paid a bribe to the president in exchange for favors…
Lee has been the de facto head of Samsung with his father Lee Kun Hee hospitalized since 2014.
…The drama has also dredged up memories of Chairman Lee’s own run-ins with Korean prosecutors: Over the years, the Samsung patriarch was convicted of tax evasion, bribing a former South Korean president and breach of duty over losses at Samsung affiliates.
BC Liberals have long had a tendency to do business with scandal involved companies that have no accountability to citizens of the province. Soon after taking office, government completed a long-term deal to outsource major segments of BC Hydro to Accenture, a global consulting business that emerged from the ashes of giant Arthur Andersen LLP, following its convictions during Enron scandal.
We also know the long history of SNC-Lavalin’s involvement in questionable practices. Although the company is barred from doing work for the World Bank and its affiliates, it remains a favoured contractor of BC Liberals.
In Christy Clark’s pay-to-play world, some observers assume that only the BC Liberal Party receives money from corporations seeking government business. In my view, it is naive to believe that corrupt individuals here draw firm lines about where the benefits go.
Following the May election, I hope a new government will appoint a commission of inquiry with power to investigate all contracts entered into by BC Hydro and with authority to audit personal accounts of the decision-makers.