I’m disappointed in the provincial government’s decision to continue Site C. It is not the choice I would have made, were I in a position of influence.
However, I understand it. Financial issues interconnect.
Finance ministry people influenced the Site C decision, emphasizing that what is done today affects what can be done tomorrow. A $4 billion dollar write-off would reduce the province’s credit rating and elevate annual costs by hundreds of millions.
Christy Clark vowed to get Site C past the point of no return. She succeeded.
Perhaps, this is one of the few successes in the political career that special interests hired her to pursue.
However, Mr. Horgan must know there are even more serious problems to address at BC Hydro.
People with influence have been treating the utility as an always-open ATM. This is not only demonstrated by payments to independent power producers – $481 million more in the first six months of the current fiscal year than in the comparable period twelve years ago, despite no growth in demand – but also to the contractors who’ve grown fat as BC Hydro added $20 billion to its assets.
This situation should amaze everyone. It would be headlined in corporate media, if they cared about people of the province.
How does a utility pay $20 billion for additional assets, move its purchases of private power in the first half of fiscal year 2005 from $219 million to $710 million in the first half of fiscal year 2017,
deliver 2% less power to BC consumers in the current period?
The government must reclaim management of BC Hydro from the Liberal pirates that have been in charge.
This chart illustrates my argument.
Our public utility delivers (or, but for IPPs, could deliver) electricity from generating facilities built years ago. But, it continues spending massive sums to add assets, without economic justification.
Profligacy allows the recipients of spending to gain but adds significant amounts to every utility bill issued by BC Hydro.
Politicially privileged people gain; ordinary ratepayers lose.
Directors of BC Hydro, drawn mostly from Liberal contributors and supporters, failed to protect citizens of BC. They turned blind eyes as the utility was pillaged.
The immediate action should be to replace every director remaining from days of Liberal governance. The new people should be committed to protecting the public interest.
Particularly the interests of BC Hydro’s millions of consumers.
Residential consumers pay BC Hydro more than $2 billion a year for electricity. Commercial operations and light industries pay almost $2 billion more. Every extra dollar charged by BC Hydro imposes a burden that affects our economy.
The time to change direction is now.