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.

“A cathartic and vindicating moment”

Throughout that time, I couldn’t understand why the obvious insanity of costly private power programs didn’t raise the ire of many citizens. For that, I lay a large part of the blame on radio and Press Gallery pundits. Some had personal interests affecting their points of view and some believed that health of the business coalition party ranked above the public interest.

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.

Misinformation, disinformation, contempt for truth

In-Sights reader Hugh asked my opinion of a Tom Fletcher article. In it, the former head of the Legislative Press Gallery belittles the analyst who correctly estimated consumer losses from BC Hydro’s private power acquisitions are costing many billions of dollars. The Liberal ally and right-wing advocate complains BC’s NDP Government is moving away from previous energy policies…

Dermod Travis warned us six years ago

“Government watchdogs are supposed to have teeth, not wear muzzles,” said IntegrityBC executive director Dermod Travis. “It’s difficult to imagine that any successor to John Doyle will not read the writing that was written on the wall with this decision: if you want to be reappointed don’t do the job of Auditor General too well.”

Site C, again

Site C did not proceed through ignorance and stupidity. It was a mean spirited and carefully designed choice to favour special economic and political interests above all others. Residential and small business ratepayers were viewed as powerless consumers who, with sufficient advertising and mistruths, could be convinced to believe Site C was appropriate and inevitable, even a wise choice. The net effect is to remove money from many pockets and deposit it into the pockets of a few.

Breathless

Following Liberal defeat in the Nanaimo byelection, Global TV reporter Sarah MacDonald talked to Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson for the 11pm newscast. Breathlessly, she asked what is probably the worst question in the history of BC political reporting…

The lady doth protest too much

Ms. Bellringer is another highly paid failure. She did not protect taxpayers by examining for fraud when warning signals had been issued. Auditors have access that citizen watchdogs do not. She had a responsibility to thoroughly investigate deceptive practices. Having failed, she complains that Darryl Plecas didn’t ask her to redo her work with more diligence.

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.