Policies of British Columbia’s public sector management dictate that:
Crown corporations must follow the spirit and intent of B.C. government core policies and procedures and comply with all applicable legislation, policies and guidelines…
Section 10(3) of that legislation requires that:
A quarterly report must be made public on or before
(a) September 15, in respect of the first 3 months of the fiscal year…
At time of writing, the report for three months ended June 30 is unavailable.
For a crown corporation with assets soon to rise above $40 billion, being weeks late meeting statutory financial reporting requirements is reckless and irresponsible, particularly as it defends spending and management of Site C, the largest ever provincial infrastructure project.
Senior officers of BC Hydro have been regularly cavalier in their interactions with regulators, ratepayers and citizens. It is a culture that has become ingrained and will not be altered without wholesale change in senior managers and directors.
In 2015, Adrian Dix revealed that BC Hydro lied to regulator BCUC about a $400 million computer project that was over budget and delayed for years. Dix said:
BC Hydro knowingly deceived the B.C. Utilities Commission, and the evidence for this is overwhelming.
The allegations were confirmed and CEO Jennifer McDonald apologized more than a month later.
BC Hydro partly justified construction of the nearly $800 million Northwest Transmission Line by saying it would end diesel generated electricity in the community of Iskut, where population is about 350. They believed that would fly better than saying the line would allow Liberal supporter and financial contributor AltaGas to deliver expensive private power to the grid, from which Murray Edwards’ Red Chris mine could draw power without payment under the Liberal mandated mining payment deferral program.
In 2017, Dave Conway, Hydro’s community relations manager for Site C, continued to claim that demand for electricity in BC will increase “by almost 40 per cent over the next 20 years.” This has been a longstanding position of the utility, undeterred by sales records that show zero demand growth in a dozen years.
When British Columbia’s new government took power In July, they quickly changed the CEO, the Board Chair and two other directors. That left in place most of the hierarchy that managed the utility into its current disastrous condition.
More changes are needed.