TransLink, another victim of inertia

Malcolm Johnston, a private citizen, has studied and written about rail transit for years. He does not have a lucrative consulting contract to promote Sky Train, the ourdated and costly beast that has for decades been rejected by transit experts around the world. Nor is he paid to promote any competing system.

From Erik Andersen

In private emails, a number of people with expert economic knowledge exchange ideas about energy in BC. I get copies of some. This example, written by respected and retired economist Erik Andersen, refers to electricity markets in BC…

Transit

Malcolm Johnston is a near perfect example of a citizen activist (sorry Keith Baldrey) who wants to see public money spent with maximum efficiency. He is convinced that legitimate transit planners are pushed aside by spin doctors, consultants and other lobbyists working for vested interests, like the discredited briber, SNC-Lavalin, a BC Liberal favourite…

The prosecution rests

Since 2006, BC Hydro added $20 billion to its assets and paid an additional $12 billion to independent power producers (IPPs). Yet BC Hydro sold less power to BC’s residential and buiness consumers of electricity in fiscal year 2016-2017 than in fiscal year 2005-2006.

Freedom of disinformation

By any measure, BC Hydro was a success. So successful that pirates made plans to plunder. BC Hydro was a decades old operation that delivered power to British Columbia’s residential and business consumers at prices that ranked among the lowest anywhere. Additionally, a steady flow of money moved from the utility to public treasuries. Since 1989, the crown corporation contributed about $20 billion in dividends, water rentals and grants in lieu of property taxes. With assistance of 21st century Liberal governments, politically connected corporations began treating BC Hydro as a machine for dispensing cash.

Them vs us

Disputing parties in arguments about Site C belong to either of two camps. One is populated by people wanting a share of the billions of dollars to be spent; the other by people who will be forced to pay the huge sums.

Economic challenges ahead

Big money earned through illegal activities might have a greater impact than we care to admit and economic stimulus from criminal enterprises may explain why the former government hesitated to enforce certain laws. Over a long time, BC has seen a reduction of jobs in goods producing sectors, particularly in manufacturing, and a significant increase in service sector jobs. I expect we will have to rely more on innovative small and medium sized enterprises for future job growth and that our new government ought to provide increased encouragement to SMEs.

The Site C choice

British Columbia Utilities Commission will release its second Site C report on November 1. I expect this will provide further information but not a definitive recommendation. But, of course, the buck stops at John Horgan’s cabinet table. Proceeding with Site C without independent review was a major Liberal blunder. If you are trying to get out of a hole, the first act is to stop digging. The economic and cultural factors say stop Site C now.