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.

Deception and duplicity

While John Horgan’s government was almost doubling the Site C budget to C$16 billion, the Biden administration was getting ready to approve a C$3.4 billion wind project off the coast of Massachusetts. The per megawatt cost of the wind project is less than 30% of Site C’s capital cost per megawatt and it destroys no farmland, violates no Indigenous rights agreements, and presents no threats to nearby communities…

BC NDP arming opponents

Like BC Liberals before them, BC NDP is dishonest about BC Hydro operations and the Site C megaproject. Government joins BC Hydro and continues lying about demand growth. At the same time, they hide embarrassing information about the dam and its out of control budget. The Horgan path is inexplicable when pre-2017 NDP statements are reviewed. The explanation will be had some years from now when NDP opponents are denouncing the party’s competence. Liberals used BC Ferries as a hammer for 15+ years after the 1990s but the financial blunders at BC Hydro are much, much larger…

Fuel on a fire

I understand why people gaining direct financial rewards support the Peace River megaproject. But it is harder to explain why rational and, we hope, honest cabinet ministers stay attached to a hazardous hydropower project when less expensive, less damaging options are available. Perhaps the refusal to admit error is explained by Dr. Guy Winch, writing in Psychology Today…

Lesson to be learned

A Bloomberg Quicktake video, How Boeing Lost Its Way (embedded below) put me in mind of BC Hydro. Years ago, both companies were effective in delivering value for money to customers. Then attitudes changed. Growing bigger became more important than growing better…

Volte-face

Years from now, after physical frailty or political transience has ensured John Horgan’s removal from the cabinet meeting room, a political opponent or a savvy journalist will definitively explain Premier Horgan’s about-face on energy matters.

Vague promises and half measures…

Leaders who worry about the state of the world in future years want actions to address climate change taken today. Leaders who worry about the state of the economy today want actions to address climate change taken in future years. In Canada, the former type are rare and the latter commonplace…

Just have a think!

Dave Borlace opened a YouTube channel in 2018 to review the science behind climate debates and discover what is being done to avoid catastrophe. In the first minute of his first video, Borlace declared he was not a scientist and not a client expert, just a person wanting to learn and share information. Perhaps Borlace’s strength in sharing knowledge about climate and energy is that he is not a scientist. Nor is he a spin doctor paid to advance financial interests of paying clients…

BC Hydro quandary

Unrestrained capital spending and needed write-offs of valueless items will result in major rate increases. But that presents a critical problem. Alternatives for consumers are steadily getting easier and less costly. BC Hydro is entering the utility death spiral.

BC Hyjacked, provincial utility

In the early 2000s, Liberals changed BC Hydro’s primary purpose from utility service for the public to financial service for party friends and other special interests. BC NDP carries on much as before, except they slightly altered beneficiaries of the utility’s massive spending…

Wind turbine for when the winds don’t blow

Years ago, the head of BC Hydro said the least-cost solutions to energy needs were conservation and efficiency. While that remains true, recovery of energy now wasted would be advantageous. Alpha 311 now offers a vertical axis wind turbine that can produce electricity by harvesting energy produced by moving vehicles.

Paving paradise

Forests provide Canadians a wealth of benefits that go beyond providing jobs and income. Forests provide habitat for living things, fight flooding, keep us cool, feed us, heal us and provide sanctuaries of spiritual meaning for many Canadians and Indigenous people. Old growth forest should be icons of the province. Having survived hundreds of years, they must not be destroyed for the convenience and profit of a few, or for political debts owed to unions that funded John Horgan’s rise to power…

A rural coastal property

The BC Liberal Government refused to address affordability issues because the real estate industry was a large benefactor of that party. In addition, property transfer taxes were putting billions of dollars into the public treasury. I’m not sure the BC NDP dares to alter the status quo…

Covid-19 tales

Hostility to commonly accepted health practices does not come only from the foolish and the uniformed. The New Yorker published Sweden’s Pandemic Experiment, which shows highly educated policy makers can put more faith in hope and wishes than in science…