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.

Trust in AG is broken

If the Horgan Government and the LAMC allows Auditor General Bellringer to direct a re-examination of the Legislative Assembly’s financial records, that is a clear sign, they’ve made a choice to sweep yet more scandalous behaviour under the carpet.

Standards of behavior

Integrity and putting interests of the public and the public service above personal interest seem to have been forgotten. Yet, it was not only James, Lenz and Speakers Linda Reid and Bill Barisoff who dismissed those promises. In fiscal year 2018, Deputy Clerk Kate Ryan-Lloyd was paid $251,925 (up 121% since 2009) and Executive Finance Officer Hilary Woodward received $198,380 (up 74% since 2014). Yet neither sounded an alarm of financial mismanagement.

Fossil fuel fanaticism

Fossil fuel promoters had either not read the FCA judgment, or reject it for their own reasons. Many of these people applauded when a court jailed opponents of Trans Mountain expansion but judge the courts wrong when they disagree with a decision.

Site C: undo, redo or make do?

Wasting money on destructive energy projects makes zero sense when there are better alternatives. British Columbia is spending billions on Site C. It could suspend the project today and have less harmful and cheaper sources of clean power operational by the time more electricity is needed.

Ministry’s cozy relationship with industry costs taxpayers billions

As is typical of resource management, the regulating ministry sees its prime purpose is to enhance growth and profitability of companies extracting resources. the public share of produced values is no longer material. This cozy relationship costs taxpayers billions of dollars, money that could be spent on renewable energy, transit, daycare, education or many other responsibilities of government.

One person, no vote

Canada’s Conservatives are committed to the Republican Party value of opposing voter fraud, if someone else is doing it. Like their American mentors, HarperCons protest electoral manipulations even more strongly when no one is doing it. Bill C-76 amends the Canada Elections Act to establish spending limits for third parties and political parties before of a general election. It also establishes measures to increase transparency regarding the participation of third parties in the electoral process. Conservatives opposed Bill C-76 from the start. They preferred the Harper Government’s C-23 legislation, which some call the unfair elections act.

Still too timid to act

Freelance reporter Bob Mackin wrote that BC’s Legislature was a scandal waiting to happen and he quoted journalism professor and former Legislative reporter Sean Holman about the significant potential for abuse. Mackin blames excessive secrecy and lack of transparency…

Spendthrifts at work

BC Hydro’s quarterly report for the period ended September 30, 2018 shows the utility is very good at some things. Specifically, borrowing and spending money. In the thirteen years from 2005, assets employed to service BC consumers have almost tripled in value. Trouble is, actual sales to residential, commercial and industrial consumers are less in 2018 than in 2005.

Merv Adey – UPDATED Oct 13/2018

Check out the fine work on electoral reform by Merv Adey 2018 fellowship recipient Andrew Seal. It’s a fabulous five part series published by The Tyee. We’d like to raise additional funds to initiate the next fellowship. You can be sure it will support a comprehensive examination of a subject important to all British Columbians.

Natural resource giveaway

British Columbia sees itself in competition with Alberta to attract gas exploration and production companies. As a result, both provinces have been in a race to the bottom. By giving away its natural gas resource, BC has reached bottom and through its plan to provide below cost electricity, the Horgan Government policy is to pay producers to remove this natural resource. Quite a change from the NDP’s promises before the 2017 election.

Tax expenditures

Tax expenditures, represent a tax break that government offers people and corporations in support of policy objectives. It’s forgone revenue, or money that government doesn’t collect, but could if it didn’t offer that tax break. In 2016/17, tax expenditures in B.C. accounted for over $7 billion in foregone revenue.

Too timid to act?

BC NDP’s unwillingness to appoint a Commission of Inquiry to investigate corruption in public administration is one more sign of timidity, a thing becoming the Horgan Government’s hallmark. We’ve seen much evidence of illegal money laundering at casinos and no significant penalties have been assessed against corporation or individuals. Business as usual continues and, good business it’s been for insiders.