From the news archives: Site C history – UPDATED

Large dams run 96 percent over budget on average, according to a University of Oxford study based on projects in 65 countries including Brazil and China. The study, published in the journal Energy Policy, showed that large dams also took about 2.3 years longer to complete than originally planned. That was about 44 percent longer than projected at the point of approval. The research was based on a study of 245 dams…

Not-Net-zero, on steroids

If you are a member of a public service pension, you may know that retirement benefits have been cut in recent times. What has not been cut is remuneration of top executives at pension fund manager bcIMC, where it appears that compensation rises steadily, whether investment returns are good or bad.

BC dodged a bullet

Agreements between Postmedia – the country’s largest newspaper chain – and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), plus an equally disgraceful deal between the company’s Vancouver Province and the LNG industry have permanently stained the organization’s journalistic credibility… Once a newspaper is committed to a controversial view, it’s like a clock that strikes 13 – it can never be trusted again.

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.

Pembina Institute reacts

The trillion dollar charade has ended. The sparkle ponies are pissed. Not that the whole thing was anything but a big lie from the start, created to save a desperate Liberal party that worried it was headed for defeat at the 2013 polls. Sustaining the fantasy cost taxpayers a massive sum of money and put BC’s so-called free enterprise coalition in bed with private and foreign government-owned corporations, a few controlled by individuals with appalling records.

Stakes high, LNG bets unsafe

Today Pacific Northwest LNG announced what has been obvious for a considerable time. Unless the provincial government was prepared to guarantee profits and underwrite losses, the project was not proceeding. The writing was on the wall when this In-Sights article was published in 2014.

Rafe & Scotty on Denman

A preceding article contains two comments from readers who I regard highly. The contributions, from Rafe Main and Scotty on Denman, were to Overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks… Because they merit close attention, I present them here again for emphasis.

Careless or captured?

Despite deep cynicism about journalists backing BC Liberals, I had long held respect for the writing of Vaughn Palmer. My reservoir of appreciation has now run dry. He has been bright, skilled and articulate, usually worth reading throughout 35+ years with the Vancouver Sun. Now, I don’t know. Is he distracted, overburdened, grown careless or captured by his subjects?

BC’s natural gas revenues

The Auditor General’s Office has served British Columbia well but the outgoing government deprived it of resources that would have increased audit effectiveness. Politicians are inclined to inhibit the actions of authorities that might offer criticisms. Christy Clark did that but we can hope Premier Horgan will do the opposite.

We should all have a stake in the Peace

You are a stakeholder in the Peace… It’s time to take a stand and plant your stake to support the cost of the First Nations’ legal battle to STOP SITE C + SAVE THE PEACE RIVER VALLEY. $100 DONATION (tax receipted) plants A YELLOW STAKE (with your name + city name) on the third-generation Boon Farm, which BC Hydro wants to acquire/expropriate… 100% of funds raised directly support Prophet River and West Moberly First Nations legal challenge to Protect the Peace River Valley.

Hypocrisy 101

Communications sometime reveal more than planned about policy and political philosophy. That may be the case when a Liberal “digital warrior” tweeted the question, “Why should I pay for someone else’s childcare?”

History lesson

A favourite blog site for many is RossK’s The Gazetteer. RossK is a busy medical research scientist who also enriches his life performing music. Perhaps above all, he is a humanist. Scotty on Denman, an informed and articulate regular on social media sites, left a comment at The Gazetteer that I repeat here for emphasis.

Attention BC Liberals

In 1653, Oliver Cromwell spoke about you in England’s House of Commons: It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money…

Liberal friends win, taxpayers lose

Regular readers know that BC has a surplus of electricity, created mainly by BC Hydro’s steadily increasing purchases of private power, even though domestic consumption has been flat since 2005. Export markets are unprofitable and that situation has continued for years. Proof is offered by BC selling Columbia River electricity outside the province for about one-quarter of BC Hydro’s marginal cost of power. If BC Hydro doesn’t need costly Narrows Inlet power, why are 5 projects on 4 creeks proceeding?

Circular flow of income

Economists write papers on the circular flow of income but they don’t include the flow between politicians, businesses and the public treasury. In BC, it is commonplace. If you are an observer grown cynical – like the writer – you may wonder what secret benefits are to be found in the circular flow of income between Government, the governing party of British Columbia from 2001 to 2017 and the companies they purport to regulate.   

Costing Site C Options

The government’s reckless decision to proceed with the $8.8 billion Site C dam project, without a proven medium term domestic need for the additional power, will seriously weaken BC Hydro’s already poor financial outlook. Possible options to finance the dam must not preclude the fiscal capacity of BC Hydro to reform and restore its existing financial situation, within the context of future affordable rate increases…