Site C did not proceed through ignorance and stupidity. It was a mean spirited and carefully designed choice to favour special economic and political interests above all others. Residential and small business ratepayers were viewed as powerless consumers who, with sufficient advertising and mistruths, could be convinced to believe Site C was appropriate and inevitable, even a wise choice. The net effect is to remove money from many pockets and deposit it into the pockets of a few.
Following Liberal defeat in the Nanaimo byelection, Global TV reporter Sarah MacDonald talked to Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson for the 11pm newscast. Breathlessly, she asked what is probably the worst question in the history of BC political reporting…
Ms. Bellringer is another highly paid failure. She did not protect taxpayers by examining for fraud when warning signals had been issued. Auditors have access that citizen watchdogs do not. She had a responsibility to thoroughly investigate deceptive practices. Having failed, she complains that Darryl Plecas didn’t ask her to redo her work with more diligence.
If the Horgan Government and the LAMC allows Auditor General Bellringer to direct a re-examination of the Legislative Assembly’s financial records, that is a clear sign, they’ve made a choice to sweep yet more scandalous behaviour under the carpet.
Integrity and putting interests of the public and the public service above personal interest seem to have been forgotten. Yet, it was not only James, Lenz and Speakers Linda Reid and Bill Barisoff who dismissed those promises. In fiscal year 2018, Deputy Clerk Kate Ryan-Lloyd was paid $251,925 (up 121% since 2009) and Executive Finance Officer Hilary Woodward received $198,380 (up 74% since 2014). Yet neither sounded an alarm of financial mismanagement.
This years-long financial scandal at the Legislature would have been impossible if BC had sunshine laws ensuring full transparency of government spending.
Fossil fuel promoters had either not read the FCA judgment, or reject it for their own reasons. Many of these people applauded when a court jailed opponents of Trans Mountain expansion but judge the courts wrong when they disagree with a decision.
The BC Government has no business case for Site C. Unfortunately, they also don’t have the courage to terminate this expensive white elephant.
The reported number of BC’s overdose deaths in 2015 was 44 per month. That number seemed appalling but now, with the death rate almost three times higher, the situation in BC has deteriorated.
Wasting money on destructive energy projects makes zero sense when there are better alternatives. British Columbia is spending billions on Site C. It could suspend the project today and have less harmful and cheaper sources of clean power operational by the time more electricity is needed.
One might think British Columbia’s Auditor General would favour maximum information in financial disclosure. Apparently, not in this province.
As is typical of resource management, the regulating ministry sees its prime purpose is to enhance growth and profitability of companies extracting resources. the public share of produced values is no longer material. This cozy relationship costs taxpayers billions of dollars, money that could be spent on renewable energy, transit, daycare, education or many other responsibilities of government.
Canada’s Conservatives are committed to the Republican Party value of opposing voter fraud, if someone else is doing it. Like their American mentors, HarperCons protest electoral manipulations even more strongly when no one is doing it. Bill C-76 amends the Canada Elections Act to establish spending limits for third parties and political parties before of a general election. It also establishes measures to increase transparency regarding the participation of third parties in the electoral process. Conservatives opposed Bill C-76 from the start. They preferred the Harper Government’s C-23 legislation, which some call the unfair elections act.
Despite indulgent remuneration provided the BC Legislature’s senior executives — including sums paid secretly — financial problems at the institution have continued for more than a decade.
Freelance reporter Bob Mackin wrote that BC’s Legislature was a scandal waiting to happen and he quoted journalism professor and former Legislative reporter Sean Holman about the significant potential for abuse. Mackin blames excessive secrecy and lack of transparency…
BC Hydro’s quarterly report for the period ended September 30, 2018 shows the utility is very good at some things. Specifically, borrowing and spending money. In the thirteen years from 2005, assets employed to service BC consumers have almost tripled in value. Trouble is, actual sales to residential, commercial and industrial consumers are less in 2018 than in 2005.
The case is clear. British Columbia’s Government decided to reduce the public share of natural gas revenues to almost nothing. This is despite substantial growth in the quantities of natural gas being extracted.
Perhaps an even more vile set of falsehoods is BC Hydro’s continuing claims that demand for electricity by its BC consumers has been growing steadily. That has led to excessive capital spending that measures in the billions.
Check out the fine work on electoral reform by Merv Adey 2018 fellowship recipient Andrew Seal. It’s a fabulous five part series published by The Tyee. We’d like to raise additional funds to initiate the next fellowship. You can be sure it will support a comprehensive examination of a subject important to all British Columbians.
British Columbia sees itself in competition with Alberta to attract gas exploration and production companies. As a result, both provinces have been in a race to the bottom. By giving away its natural gas resource, BC has reached bottom and through its plan to provide below cost electricity, the Horgan Government policy is to pay producers to remove this natural resource. Quite a change from the NDP’s promises before the 2017 election.