Author Archives

Norm Farrell

Made in Canada

Bitter old man

A person shilling for the pension funds management business complained about my recent article revealing extravagant salaries at the BC Investment Management Corporation (BMI). He wrote that I was a bitter old man…

Site C provides work of questionable quality to a mostly transient workforce

The NDP promoted its PowerBC program in the 2017 election. Had they been sincere, government would be keeping a promise to voters and they would now be preserving Peace River farmlands. Instead, they are destroying a valuable agricultural area. Government would be respecting rights of First Nations and protecting BC Hydro ratepayers. In addition, the province would be stimulating growth of construction, maintenance, manufacturing and technology jobs for permanent residents in every region of the province. Instead of good jobs in BC communities, Site C provides work of questionable quality to a mostly transient workforce employed by conglomerates from Spain (Acciona) and Korea (Samsung).

Bright and breezy days go dark

The province won’t now admit that solar power potential is huge and economical. If they did, voters would wonder why BC Hydro is borrowing $11 billion, destroying valuable farmlands and breaking promises to indigenous people, just to reward political friends. If BC had a Press Gallery or an Official Opposition that cared a damn about the public interest, Site C would be a giant issue. Sadly, wildfires and property taxes on multi-million dollar mansions are more important.

Punishment does not fit the crime

When Justice Kenneth Affleck jailed a senior who was honestly motivated to improve the world, the judge was following a long-established Canadian legal tradition. It dictates: Punishment need not fit the crime when the perpetrator is a white-collar criminal or a senior officer of a wealthy corporation.

Never retreat, never retract…

BC Hydro suffers a lack of managerial competence, contempt for fiduciary responsibilities, a disregard for present day energy realities and, perhaps most important, a failure of vision. The first exists because Government turned the company into a politicized utility, with senior managers and board members selected for Liberal Party loyalty, not for competence. As a result, BC Hydro dares not plot a new course with even a hint that recent energy policies have been a grand mistake.

Blog business

Thanks to readers who already provide financial support. Assistance defrays costs for research, computer equipment, internet and website maintenance. Readers enable me to deliver fact-based analyses of public issues. My entire work is funded by private citizens. If you can help, choose any amount, large or small.

A BC family’s 15-year struggle for justice

Despite the Moore case, which began in the nineties and was finally resolved after 15 years, in 2017, another family was forced to move their their son to a private school offering specialized instruction and supervision. The family is financially crippled by the $2,400 monthly tuition but they know it’s a necessity if their boy is to have a chance at future success.

No free lunch

The proliferation of plug-in stations breeds a mindset that electric vehicles are completely “green” …and they aren’t using “horsepower”. Though the overall impact of all electric vehicles is calculated to be less… it is only slightly less.

New ferry will have capacity 10x average passenger count

Bloated management of BC Ferries is addicted to empire-building like BC Hydro. With the exception of the Denman Island cable ferry, the company chooses not to build boats for specific needs of its minor runs. The result is oversized and overstaffed boats running substantially below capacity. That situation causes the ferry corporation to reduce trip frequency, a measure that serves residents badly on almost every day of the year.

Disaster warning

There is an “extremely high probability” that Site C will be delayed by at least one year according to a comprehensive report prepared by international dam construction expert, E. Harvey Elwin, who reviewed a number of confidential documents obtained by West Moberly First Nations in the leadup to their court application for an injunction to halt work on the project. Mr. Elwin’s report contradicts recent assurances by Energy Minister Michelle Mungall praising BC Hydro for doing “a fantastic job” and claiming the project is on track with its current schedule and budget.

Treaty 8

Report of Commissioners for Treaty No. 8 WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, 22nd September, 1899. The Honourable CLIFFORD SIFTON, Superintendent General of Indian Affairs, Ottawa. SIR, — We have the honour to transmit herewith the treaty […]

Power from the powerful

Politically connected individuals took advantage of citizens’ desire for clean, renewable energy and the Liberals wrote contracts with “lucky firms” that bore no relationship to market prices, guaranteed massive private profits and ensured all financial risks stayed with the public. The contracts in British Columbia last as long as sixty years and allow prices that are as much as 5x market value. In addition, the contracts have annual inflation escalators, a privilege allowed no other commercial segment. All taxpayers get is more power to sell at a loss.