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.

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.

True cost of hydro power?

Proponents of megaprojects routinely underestimate financial costs. After conducting an extensive study, top experts concluded this is caused by “strategic misrepresentation, that is, lying.” In addition, proponents invariably ignore environmental and social costs of megaprojects…

Site C bywords: misinformation and secrecy

Misinformation and secrecy have become the bywords at BC Hydro and at the Premier’s office and the provincial energy ministry. Because the decision makers involved with Site C are determined to spread misinformation, they rely on secrecy to keep evidence out of the view of project critics and the BC Utilities Commission…

Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead

When the project assurance board was populated by insiders and avid Site C cheerleaders, inevitably, it would fail to protect the public interest. Everyone involved knew that but were satisfied with the status quo. The main responsibility for massive waste and destruction in northeast BC lies not with self-interested enablers and not to the previous government; it belongs to the man who four years ago needed money to wage an election campaign. To get it, he made promises to a group of trade union leaders.

Electricity policy built on lies

No one doubts that in coming decades, demand will grow, partly fueled by electric vehicles. But that growth will be more modest than claimed by BC Hydro’s agents. It could be easily met by conservation and efficiency programs, upgrades to existing facilities and creation of clean, non destructive renewable sources.

Hypocrisy!

Stop, go, yes, no! NDP Cabinet Minister Murray Rankin wants to be on both sides of a vital issue. He congratulates University of Victoria students for partial success after an eight-year campaign asking the university to adopt responsible investment policies that exclude fossil fuels. Yet, Rankin sits at the Cabinet table of a government making massive investments for the benefit fossil fuel producers.

NDP Cabinet needs a reality check

Harry Swain, having served as chair of the federal-provincial review panel for Site C, is qualified to provide a project analysis. The BC NDP caucus should pay attention because Premier Horgan has mishandled Site C at every step. Doing the right thing now involves Premier and Cabinet admitting to a years long series of blunders. That’s not likely to happen without severe pressure from their enablers…

On paper, he’s great

Politicians like John Horgan understand the value of scholarly prescriptions for leadership but their actions are tempered by a preference for secrecy and political expediency and the need to reward patrons that helped obtain office. The primary objective of most political leaders is to maintain power.

Limitless supply, limitless potential

You can safely bet politicians and bureaucrats use the latest computers and communication devices and regularly view high-definition smart TVs that replaced smaller screens weighing one or two hundred pounds. Despite knowing about short lifespans in the world of high-tech, decision makers have not used their modern tools to learn how energy technologies have shifted radically as well.

Campbell Clark Horgan madness

While British Columbia has policies to prevent additions of solar power to the provincial power grid, Germany has been moving forward on this form of renewable electricity. It should be noted that the centre of Germany is at a latitude similar to that of Kamloops…

Anomaly

In the last 28 days, British Columbia has reported half the number of new Covid-19 cases as Alberta. Yet during those four weeks, more people in BC have died from coronavirus than in AB…