BC Hydro

More Energy Ministry duplicity

Four months ago, concerned that BC Hydro had failed to make public its second quarter report as required by law, I wrote this message to Minister Michelle Mungall:

From: Norman Farrell [mailto:normanfarrell.ca@gmail.com]

Sent: Tuesday, October 10, 2017 12:33 PM

To: Minister, EMPR EMPR:EX

Subject: BC Hydro – Overdue Quarterly Report

May I have a copy of the Minister’s written statement explaining BC Hydro’s non-compliance with this act respecting the quarterly report for the three months ended June 2017 that should have been made public by September 15, 2017.

Budget Transparency and Accountability Act:

Quarterly reports:
10 (1) Quarterly reports must be prepared in accordance with this section and with the accounting policies as established by Treasury Board…
(3) A quarterly report must be made public on or before
(a) September 15, in respect of the first 3 months of the fiscal year…
Non-compliance statements:
17 If a document required to be made public under this Act
(a) is not made public within the required time,
(b) does not include all the required information, or
(c) does not present the information in the required manner,
then, at the time the document is required to be made public, the responsible minister must make public a written statement giving the reasons for the non-compliance.

Four months later (being today), I received this response:

EMPR DMO Correspondence EMPR:EX
Attachments3:27 PM (1 hour ago)

to me, Chris.Oriley, Ryan.Layton
Ref: 102663

Mr. Norm Farrell

Dear Mr. Farrell:

Honourable Michelle Mungall has sent me a copy of your October 10, 2017 email regarding BC Hydro’s Quarterly Report for the three months ending June 2017.

BC Hydro prepared its Fiscal 2018 Quarter 1 Financial Results report in accordance with the Budget Transparency and Accountability Act (Act) and with the accounting policies as established by Treasury Board.

As required by Part 5 of the Act, electronic and paper copies of the Fiscal 2018 Quarter 1 Financial Results report were available upon request to the general public beginning on the deadline of September 15, 2017. The report was also submitted to Minister Mungall’s office as the Minister responsible.

The report was not posted online until October 16, 2017. BC Hydro has been asked to ensure that, in addition to making quarterly reports available to the public upon request by the deadlines specified in the Act, a copy also be posted online at http://www.bchydro.com/about/accountability_reports/financial_reports/quarterly_report.html.

The Fiscal 2018 Quarter 2 Financial Results report was posted online by the deadline of November 30, 2017 at https://www.bchydro.com/content/dam/BCHydro/customer-portal/documents/corporate/accountability-reports/financial-reports/quarterly-reports/f18-q2-report.pdf. You can expect the Quarter 3 report to be posted on or before the deadline of February 28, 2018.

Thank you for writing.


Ines Piccinino


Dave Nikolejsin

Deputy Minister

Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources

Note the government’s response says, “electronic and paper copies of the Fiscal 2018 Quarter 1 Financial Results report were available upon request to the general public beginning on the deadline of September 15, 2017.”

However, I contacted BC Hydro’s media office in late September, asking for a copy of the first quarter report for fiscal year 2018. The individual I spoke with could provide no link to an electronic copy and had no idea when the report might be available to the public. She promised to get back to me but did not.

In addition, I directed numerous Tweets at the Minister and other NDP members noting BC Hydro’s failure to provide the public with timely reporting, as required by statute.

That the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources took four months to offer a disingenuous response to my communication illustrates that little has changed since a new government was installed in July. It may also explain why policies contrary to the public interest are still being followed.

dave_nikolejsin 200By the way, Deputy Minister Dave Nikolejsin’s employment cost taxpayers almost $350,000 in the last fiscal year, including $90,255 in expenses, an amount that was more than $25,000 higher than any other DM or ADM.

How does one bureaucrat spend near $2,000 a week on expenses?

Categories: BC Hydro

7 replies »

  1. Norm,

    It’s a shame that a $350K per annum public servant has to be pestered by a citizen in order to do his job. Especially when he had lots of practice in the same job under the previous government.

    According to Mr. Nikolejsin’s LinkedIn page, he had the DM gig in the same Ministry for more than 2 years (June 2014 – September 2015), which includes the time when the Site C project was approved by his old bosses, Bill Bennett and Christy Clark.

    Next, he served almost 2 years as DM for Natural Gas Development, presumably making his best efforts to keep the LNG mirage alive.

    All of which makes it even more puzzling that a routine part of doing a familiar job should be so difficult.

    Because he’s certainly not being distracted by having to think up and implement any new policies for his new bosses, Michelle Mungall and John Horgan.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Minister Mungall and her boss Premier Horgan would do well to remember that arrogantly ignoring government legislation and constituent concerns (either directly or via an incompetent deputy) netted the last NDP government all of 2 seats at election time. It is not a winning strategy.

    As for Mr. Nikolejsin, I very much doubt that his remarkable expense total included travel and accommodation to inspect and gather best practices at the Muskrat Falls project.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. BC Hydro is another dumpster fire the govt needs to deal with. It’s an even bigger mess than ICBC. Again thanks to the BC Liberals.

    There are those who say these messes are due to the fact they are publicly-owned.

    Nonsense. BC Hydro was in good shape until quasi-privatized in 2002. Both of these companies can, and should, be run as public utilities – monopolies meant to benefit the public.


  4. Article about Aecon, which looks like it has a major contract in Site C construction, Feb 8 2018:


    “The union leader said he was unaware that China has ordered CCCC (which wants to buy Aecon) to include Communist Party officials in its management. He acknowledged, though, that he has concerns about corruption allegations that have followed the Chinese state firm.

    “Is it unsavoury? Yes. Is it the standard of business to which we would like people to adhere? I think the answer to that is of course we would like business to be relatively pristine,” he said in an interview.”

    Good grief.

    Funny how BC state-owned businesses like ICBC and BC Hydro get destroyed, yet foreign SOE takeovers are somehow ok.


  5. BC Hydro is not a dumpster fire, it is a raging inferno.

    This pyrotechnic conflagrations by BC Crown corporations only show the utter and complete dishonesty of the BC Liberals; BC Liberal MLA’s BC Liberal Cabinet Ministers and BC Liberal Premiers.

    If you or I had done the same, it would be jail time, but not politicians, they revel in dishonesty and grow rich by corruption.


  6. Norm, I think you already said (here or on Twitter) that you believed BC Hydro’s financial statements were being withheld from public distribution until the completion of the BCUC hearings into Site C. The statements showed that demand for electricity in 2017 was comparable to 2005 and that fact was contrary to what the provincial utility’s spin doctors were saying about the need to generate more power.

    BC Hydro’s management and their provincial government supervisors have demonstrated that they cannot be trusted.


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