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.

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…

BC: a follower, not a leader

The BC Government could have learned from hydropower disasters in Newfoundland and Labrador and Manitoba as those were unfolding. Spending went out of control on Muskrat Falls and Keeyask. Because NL has only about 10% of BC’s population, the federal government had to step in to avoid ruinous electricity rate increases. BC could have learned. It did not, because political and private interests ranked ahead of the public’s.

Toothless watchdogs

Sadly, the people of BC have been badly served by financial watchdogs who are paid to protect us. Perhaps the removal of Auditor General John Doyle some years ago was a blunt lesson. Of course, being dependent on government for year to year funding is also an effective leash. Make the politicians unhappy? They will remember when its time to establish the office budget.