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.

Solar power unstoppable, even on the wet coast

Dave Melrose, a reader who is in the solar installation business, commented on my previous article Death knell for net metering. He worries that people could be misinformed because I didn’t make clear that self-generation of electricity remains viable for homeowners. People tell me a 15-year payback on solar installations is common, even without selling excess power to the utility. However, having studied the financial statements of BC Hydro, I know that huge rate increases are coming. These will shorten the solar system payback considerably…

Liberal amounts of fake accounting

Residents of British Columbia understand financial pain that follows when officeholders subvert public utilities to gain political advantage and reward special interests. BC Liberals aimed to privatize public assets and services. When it could not be achieved overtly, it was done by stealth. After inevitable failures and disasters, legislators concealed them by employing a broad misinformation strategy. BC’s success in duping the public on utility matters encouraged Ontario Liberals to adopt accounting fakery in their own province…

Death knell for net metering

BC Hydro fears the amount of power fed to the grid by participants in net metering will expand substantially. As a result, this week the utility announced they intend to change the program so that it is not available to customers generating power beyond their own energy needs…

Akratic NDP

It’s easy to understand why BC Hydro argued that pushing ahead with Site C was the preferred option. A change in course would require directors and executives to admit their past decisions were colossal mistakes. Blunders that cost billions don’t help job security and do not enhance resumes…

Inevitable change

This weekend, Kinder Morgan Canada Limited (KML) suspended all “non-essential activities and related spending” on its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. They blamed “continued actions in opposition to the project.” That’s only part of the story…

We must demand redress

Important people perverted British Columbia’s judicial system so that wrongdoing in the privatization of BC Rail assets was hidden and remains in that state even today. These people included politicians, high ranking civil servants, RCMP officers and senior members of the BC Supreme Court. Their actions were facilitated by journalists employed by corporate media…

Pushing back on Site C disinformation

Brian Cochrane’s byline is on an article about Site C published March 28 by The Tyee. The author is described as business manager of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 115, one of the unions whose members will be working on construction of BC Hydro’s Site C dam. I was appalled by misinformation Cochrane presented — and by the publication’s fact-checking failure — and left a lengthy comment. My contribution drew approval from a some readers and a response by one diligent Site C proponent, one of 15 he left on Cochrane’s article. However, after a few hours, The Tyee removed my comment. After my inquiry, it was restored a day later…

Unsolved crimes, a cold case file

BC residents who read comments here and like places in social media will be familiar with the very articulate Lew Edwardson (@valtamtech on Twitter). Lew has had a particular interest in general matters of public integrity and in particular, the mouldering case of BC Rail. Lew has tried to interest corporate media members in examining facts he’s assembled  but they’ve ignored this scandal for years and are determined to continue in states of purposeful ignorance. I invited Lew to make a contribution here. It follows

Plug pulled on PowerBC

Before John Horgan was sworn in as Premier, BC NDP promoted a wise alternative to construction of Site C, a dam that would cost many billions of dollars and had no certain customers for electricity generated. “Clean energy and energy conservation technology will increasingly power our economy and drive the jobs of the future. A major energy efficiency retrofit program for B.C. just makes sense. And retrofits will create meaningful skilled employment and apprenticeship opportunities for British Columbians across the province, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

Private power – BC’s unmitigated financial disaster

The Horgan Government indicated it will conduct a review of private power purchases but lifting contract secrecy is the one thing that could be done immediately. It is inconceivable that IPPs could prove damages from publication of contracts since the business terms are widely known throughout the industry. Secrecy only exists to protect politicians and utility executives from being accountable for massive financial mistakes.

Real news reshaped, redefined and side tracked

Because many traditional news sources have been sidetracked by political, commercial and personal interests, acquiring accurate information is now more time-consuming. People with other priorities are vulnerable to lies of commission and lies of omission. Postmedia’s obfuscating political reporters are experienced practitioners of new style journalism.