BC Hydro

Why this, why now?

road-to-nowhereAre 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.

Categories: BC Hydro, Site C

6 replies »

  1. Hello Norm, thanks again for your investigative skills and time spent targeting truth. I fully agree the need for a commission of inquiry. I would also support an investigation into how cash for favors played into specific contracts being awarded

    Further, I would like the Petronas contract presented to a third party for a critical examination and a constructive report written on its’ merits for the benefit of all BC taxpayers. An informed voter is a valuable asset.


  2. Blowin’ in the Wind

    I am amazed to see that Christy Clark’s opinions change with whatever way the wind is blowing. There were two wind farms (Thunder Mountain and Sundance Wind) shovel ready in Tumbler Ridge. Suddenly, they were cancelled by the province due to “limited demands for power”. Two more wind farms ($650 Million projects) were put on hold due to the Site C announcement in 2015.
    Site C approval leaves two northern BC wind projects up in the air: https://www.biv.com/article/2014/12/site-c-approval-leaves-two-northern-bc-wind-projec/

    In the past year, Christy Clark made an unscheduled trip to Haida Gwaii to give $150,000 to a First Nation School for a gymnasium. It might appear as a conflict of interest or perhaps a bribe. The school is a federal school not a provincial school. But, her brother Bruce has a $4 million Wind farm project with a $10 million contract. Christy will call it a “gift” from the generous taxpayers of BC.
    Christy Clark accused of interfering in local band election to aid brother’s deal

    Open this photo in gallery:Senvion Canada Inc.
    B.C. Premier Christy Clark has been accused of interfering in a local band election to help a candidate who supports a $10-million wind farm proposal involving her brother, Bruce Clark.
    Mr. Clark said due to his sister’s job as premier he is very sensitive to potential conflicts of interest, and he won’t get involved in business deals unless it’s through a public bidding process.
    “At the end of the day, when you go through a public process and you’ve been prescreened and qualified and you have the best price and you win, I don’t see how anybody can complain about that.”

    BC Hydro proposes underground substations

    “… a news release that it will upgrade electrical infrastructure by proposing to build two new substations underground, leaving the space above available for developments such as schools.

    The substations would be located in the West End and Yaletown, supplying power for what is anticipated to be a 75 per cent growth in demand across the downtown region over the next 30 years.”

    The concern is the electrical magnetic fields that Canadian Health regulators have warned about especially around children. … Where are the documented facts about 75% growth?


    Finally, there appears evidence that BC Hydro violated the Utilities Commission Act causing CEO Jessica McDonald to apologize for inaccurate testimony.

    I think we should ask Christy Clark for her version of the truth. We all need a good laugh.



  3. Hi Norm, according to all information to date, Site C is only being built for two reasons. The first is to generate power to fuel the mass extraction of non-renewable in BC and Alberta. The second is to provide a gigantic reservoir of pure, clean fresh water, required to frack the gas from the Liard Basin. It takes one million gallons of poisoned fresh water to extract one gallon of LNG, making Clean LNG the greatest environmental oxymoron of our times. Once poisoned, one cap full of the residue is able then contaminate one million gallons of fresh water. This waste fluid is held in holding tanks (most of which leak like sieves) before before being trucked to government ‘containment’ sites, where fluid designed to fracture rock is pumped deep underground, into rock containment wells. The reason for this is because there is no way to clean the contaminated water, which will eventually drift down into the pristine Mackenzie River delta, which makes up almost one fifth of Canada’s entire land mass.


    • Do not forget that we are dealing with long term planners here, the big resource extraction concerns are almost dynastic in their long term planning.

      Site C and Lelu Island both will serve to further normalize the de facto extinguishment of land title rights on the part of the oh-so inconvenient First Nations of BC, and by destroying the agricultural potential of the Peace River Valley and bringing an end to the Skeena sockeye salmon fishery, people will have to participate in resource industries to afford basic food stuffs.

      Whether or not California, etc recover from what might very well be a long term North American mega-drought, or if nourishment takes the form of some Soylent-esque nutritional replacement manufactured in vats from algae, etc, there will be total control over one of the basic requirements of life, and a labour pool that is effectively hostage to their sustenance.


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