Category: Natural Resources

Socialized losses, privatized gains

Every megaproject conceived and executed by BC Liberals in recent years has ended with massive cost overruns, despite the predictable “on-time and on-budget” claims. Most involved contractors with foreign domiciles. Check out the Port Mann bridge project, South Fraser Perimeter Road, BC Place renovation, Vancouver Convention Centre, Sea to Sky Highway, Northwest Transmission Line, etc.

Behind the ostensible government

Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics, is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.

Log exports updated

BC is exporting substantially more unprocessed raw lags by volume but recording – per exporters’ reports, at least – little more than half the unit value realized in the 1990s. The volume of exported raw logs during Christy Clark’s tenure is 567% of what was experienced in ten years of NDP administration. BC jobs in forestry and support activities have declined by nearly one-half.

Politics, journalism and easy virtue

G20 country governments are providing $444 billion a year in subsidies for the production of fossil fuels. In Canada, at the federal level, this amounts to a minimum of $1.6 billion, mainly through tax expenditures. At the provincial level, tax breaks amount to a minimum of $979 million annually. In fact, the numbers are even larger. Fossil fuel companies recognize values gained when sympathetic politicians are there to determine financial policies so oil and gas producers spend extravagantly to sustain a synergetic relationship. In recent years, they’ve courted journalists and media companies whose financial comforts have been in decline. Many of those have turned out to be of easy virtue.

Premier Clark’s costly friend

The BC Liberal government pushed hard for a controversial expansion of the power grid into the northern wilderness, at a cost of more than $800 million. The Northwest Transmission Line was built to enable resource developments but Imperial Metals’ Red Chris and an AltaGas hydro project are the only major players on the power line grid. Red Chris would not be feasible without the extension of the power line and the $886-million expenditure “appears increasingly as a public subsidy for a single mine.”

große Lüge (Big Lie)

Broad masses …more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie… they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. ….For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying.

Kootenay Bill’s Casablanca moment

Found in the casino where he regularly pockets winnings, Captain Renault says, “I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!” Kootenay Bill may not have been aware of more than a billion dollars of unfunded liabilities for mine clean-up but you can bet the BC Liberal bagmen were very much aware.

What’s good for the BC Liberals may not be good for BC Hydro

Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett announced a five-year, $300 million hydro bill deferment plan for 13 mines owned by six companies.Never mind that B.C. Hydro is already grappling with its own deferral problems to the tune of $5 billion. Make no mistake, there’s a price to pay when B.C. Hydro becomes a political arm of government. The intertwining of self-interests gets complicated, while the interests of ratepayers can take a backseat to political interests. Three of the six companies in Bennett’s deal were highlighted in a December Financial Post article, “Debt risks mount as Canada’s base metal miners sink deep in the hole.”

BC Liberals’ special partners

“I think there is an atmosphere of total terror.”
It’s a story of intrigue, corruption and multiple murders, stretching from the streets of Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur, to Switzerland, France and the US as well as Hong Kong and Singapore, all the way to Australia’s doorstep. “You know I can’t talk much, he said, because my phone might be bugged”.
The money involved is astonishing…