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.

Wacky world of minimum wages

Increasing income of the working poor ensures that extra dollars are spent in local communities on things like food, clothing, medical and dental care, and housing. According to a University of California report, higher minimum wages reduce poverty rates among households and children, without affecting employment levels. To most of us, that is an admirable outcome…

Empires expand, until they disintegrate

BC Hydro’s 2019 Annual Service Plan Report shows the quantity of electricity sold to residential, commercial and industrial customers in BC is still flat. The value of 2019 sales is increased by BC Hydro’s $1.2 billion purchase of Teck’s majority interest in the Waneta dam, a generating site on the Columbia River southeast of Trail. Power produced at Waneta still goes to Teck but, since the dam is now 100% publicly owned, all electricity produced there becomes a BC Hydro sale…

“We are profoundly ignorant about what is going on”

I question why we allow fracking while there are significant knowledge gaps about safety. Authorities will not approve anyone to command flight controls of a loaded aircraft without certainty that person is proven capable of flying safely. In the production of BC natural gas, authorities have been unwilling to discover and accept sscience that suggests fracking is dangerous to workers, residents in gas producing areas and to the earth itself…

New Era of Truthfulness at BC Hydro?

In BC Hydro’s most recent annual report, the company promised “one of the largest expansions of electrical infrastructure in British Columbia’s history.” To gain approval for massive spending, BC Hydro doctored load forecasts, issuing a steady stream of pronouncements about demand increases…

They won; we lost

Financial elites have waged a decades-long campaign of self-interest against Canadians. They won; we lost. The most important front has been action to control mass media and reduce the influence of progressive voices heard by the general public…

Privatizing public wealth

In July 2018, newly installed Premier Doug Ford announced that noted ex-con and former BC Premier Gordon Campbell would lead an “independent” inquiry into Ontario’s past spending and accounting practices. Six weeks later, the commission delivered a short report that was obviously not written or much influenced by Gordon Campbell. It recommended approaches that Campbell was loath to implement when he presided at his own cabinet table.

North Vancouver District Policy Proposal

THAT staff is directed to prepare a policy that will require members of Council to declare before voting on any development proposal, campaign contributions knowingly received from the applicant, or from individuals associated with the applicant, and that members of Council are encouraged to recuse themselves where such a declaration is made;

For the times they are a-changin’

Today, British Columbia is far richer than fifty years ago but that wealth is distributed much differently. As a result, despair is widespread, homelessness grows, thousands die each year from drug abuse, more than one hundred die by homicide. Uncounted humans are wasted. Our current provincial government is searching for answers but influential citizens in this province are more than satisfied with the status quo. As John Kenneth Galbraith said, they are searching “for a superior moral justification for selfishness.”

Loyalty matters

Trust, communication and cooperation are vital elements in a workplace, particularly when staff is small, financial stakes high, and tasks important. But, what happens when trust is broken and wrongdoing discovered? Well, […]

Grand scale giveaway

Why the NDP has decided to fight teachers and not the fossil fuel industry is a mystery to me. The volume of BC natural gas production has increased substantially in the 21st century but public revenues have declined to almost immaterial amounts.

Wrongdoing? Nevermind!

If your house is burglarized and cherished possessions stolen, don’t call police. Cost of an investigation is likely more than the cash value of items stolen. That’s might be the advice you’d receive from a Liberal member of the BC Press Gallery…


Until a 2017 statute deterred corporate contributions to politicians, BC Liberals took in millions from radical activists with deep pockets. These were the foreign shareholders and financiers of large corporations doing business in this province.

Path of destruction

I’ve argued on this website that BC Hydro’s ratepayers are victims of corporate inertia. The company continues to do what it properly did for its first 45 years. Unfortunately, now 58 years old, the company’s failure to adapt puts it on a path of destruction.

Liberal legacy

Years ago, SFU Professor and private power promoter Mark Jaccard assured us “independent power producers who will lose their shirts — not ours – – if they get it wrong.” In his 2018 retrospective report, government finance expert Ken Davidson concluded that somebody got it wrong but definitely not the independent power producers.

Liberal evasion

Today, the Liberal who played a central role in casino oversight dodged questions about documents from Globe and Mail’s Justine Hunter. He also suggested he will refuse to reveal all that he knows to Inquiry Commissioner Austin Cullen. For Rich Coleman, it is not a matter of self-preservation. He aims to protect unnamed people who are vulnerable to violence if he talks.

Returning soon

April 2019 marked the tenth birthday of this online site. I say thank you to regular readers who participate with comments and make these sections interesting and informative. Special thanks are due the readers who provide financial support. Without it, In-Sights would not exist today.