Author Archives

Norm Farrell

Gwen and I raised three adult children in North Vancouver. Each lives in our community with seven grandchildren, 12 years and younger. I have worked in accounting and financial management and publish IN-SIGHTS.CA with news and commentary about public issuesv.

Hiding financial information and misleading the Legislature

Tax expenditures are subsidies delivered through the taxation system. These promote policy goals of government but are subject to far less scrutiny and disclosure than direct spending. The primary beneficiaries of tax expenditures are Canada’s wealthiest citizens and corporations. In British Columbia, natural gas producers, many with foreign ownership, are milking a very generous cash cow.

Economic illiteracy in Canadian media

The Fraser Institute declares Tax Freedom Day each year. It is an inaccurate trick to further interests of the millionaires and billionaires for whom the “charity” works. Many of those people use overseas tax shelters so their tax freedom day falls in January. Don’t expect Fraser Institute to mention Earth Overshoot Day, “the date when we (all of humanity) have used more from nature than our planet can renew in the entire year.” Do not expect Canada’s mass media to pay much attention either

Die große Lüge

My writings in the past have decried BC Hydro directors and executives surrendering to corporate inertia. Inappropriate rigidity has led to failure in many badly run corporations and it now threatens our giant public utility. But, I now conclude that explanation is too generous to BC policy makers, past and present. We have evidence that shifting energy industry dynamics were anticipated but consciously ignored. Groups with special interests were favoured and fleecing of the public began.

We are the cause, we are the solution

BC Government webpages pay little or no attention to climate change as a driver of wildfire. Public servants have sound advice for homeowners and recreationalists but government provides few comments about the elephant in the room, which is fossil fuel production, something BC is working to increase.

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.