Bad politics

Former broadcaster George Orr created TALK!, an excellent documentary that will appeal to every person who valued radio for being unique in each community it served. TALK! explores broadcasting and how the functions of commercial operations are driven by self-interest, not by communities needs. While fishing for the story of radio, George lands by-catch. It’s a politician we all know.

IPP losses about $800 million in 2016

Despite the flat demand for power, BC Hydro is not only buying more private power, its capital spending program is out of control. As a result, despite a reduction in sales to BC customers since 2005, the utility’s assets in 2016 are 256% of the total eleven years ago. With Site C and other major capital projects, we can expect assets to grow by another 15-20 billion dollars in the near future. BC Hydro’s politicized management, under directions from Victoria, are hiding bad news with accounting trickery and, while they’ve increased the average price to residential and business consumers by 74% since 2005, the rates must rise significantly or the province must reverse the flow of cash from the public treasury to the accounts of BC Hydro.

Who funds BC politics

Annual reports of the parties filed with Elections BC reveal that BC Liberals have consistently taken in substantially more political contributions than BC NDP. This is a seven year summary to 2015 (2016 reports are not yet posted).

Do as I say, not as I do

In 2014, BC’s government claimed public sector organizations would operate under principles that strengthen accountability, promote cost control, and ensure the corporations operate in the best interest of taxpayers. If you’ve read my work on BC Hydro, examined Bob Mackin’s frustrations with FOI or generally followed provincial politics, you would have known the claims were hollow from the start.

Now, three years later, the Auditor General confirms that assertion

We don’t see nothin’ wrong

In a May 2009 article, The Economist describes Vancouver as a distribution hub in a global drugs trade. It says gangs ship out cannabis, amphetamines and ecstasy made in BC, importing cocaine, heroin and guns, fighting over a business worth an estimated C$7 billion a year. “That they do so in broad daylight demonstrates the feckless response of the provincial government and police, despite reports dating back more than 30 years giving warning of the growth in organized crime. According to SFU criminologist Rob Gordon, the current effort at collaboration, led by the Mounties, is “riven with conflict.”

NFOI – no freedom of information

We’ve seen that organizations make political contributions directly and through lobbyists. We know they use subsidiaries, affiliates and nominees but EBC makes little effort to report connections. In a report by Corporate Mapping Project, Teck Resources seems to have contributed $1.5 million to BC Liberals. However, a more complete listing provides a much larger number: $2.8 million. Even that is incomplete. It is important to know the benefits flowing from Teck to the Liberal Party but we must keep in mind the benefits flowing to Teck. That company was reportedly responsible for $743 million of a $1.2 billion unfunded liability for mine cleanups.

Liberal estimates and guesstimates

A brisk building boom of hydropower mega-dams is underway from China to Brazil. Whether benefits of new dams will outweigh costs remains unresolved despite contentious debates. …We find overwhelming evidence that budgets are systematically biased below actual costs of large hydropower dams — excluding inflation, substantial debt servicing, environmental, and social costs. …The outside view suggests that in most countries large hydropower dams will be too costly in absolute terms and take too long to build to deliver a positive risk-adjusted return

Surprise is surprising – UPDATED

$101 billion in contractual obligations is breathtaking? What is really surprising is that Toronto Globe and Mail’s BC political reporter didn’t notice before February of 2017. On one hand, I applaud Ms. Hunter for daring to mention the subject now. On the other hand, I wonder why she previously avoided this huge issue and did not report it fully in her newspaper?

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