Brian Cochrane’s byline is on an article about Site C published March 28 by The Tyee. The author is described as business manager of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 115, one of the unions whose members will be working on construction of BC Hydro’s Site C dam. I was appalled by misinformation Cochrane presented — and by the publication’s fact-checking failure — and left a lengthy comment. My contribution drew approval from a some readers and a response by one diligent Site C proponent, one of 15 he left on Cochrane’s article. However, after a few hours, The Tyee removed my comment. After my inquiry, it was restored a day later…
Considering the near endless ink and airtime dedicated to what Liberals called “Glen Clark’s folly,” people should compare the attention paid to a Campbell/Clark program that may have cost the province 15 or 20 times as much.
BC residents who read comments here and like places in social media will be familiar with the very articulate Lew Edwardson (@valtamtech on Twitter). Lew has had a particular interest in general matters of public integrity and in particular, the mouldering case of BC Rail. Lew has tried to interest corporate media members in examining facts he’s assembled but they’ve ignored this scandal for years and are determined to continue in states of purposeful ignorance. I invited Lew to make a contribution here. It follows
A letter republished with permission of the BC Hydro Ratepayers Association.
Dear Premier Horgan…
Before John Horgan was sworn in as Premier, BC NDP promoted a wise alternative to construction of Site C, a dam that would cost many billions of dollars and had no certain customers for electricity generated. “Clean energy and energy conservation technology will increasingly power our economy and drive the jobs of the future. A major energy efficiency retrofit program for B.C. just makes sense. And retrofits will create meaningful skilled employment and apprenticeship opportunities for British Columbians across the province, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
The Horgan Government indicated it will conduct a review of private power purchases but lifting contract secrecy is the one thing that could be done immediately. It is inconceivable that IPPs could prove damages from publication of contracts since the business terms are widely known throughout the industry. Secrecy only exists to protect politicians and utility executives from being accountable for massive financial mistakes.
Because many traditional news sources have been sidetracked by political, commercial and personal interests, acquiring accurate information is now more time-consuming. People with other priorities are vulnerable to lies of commission and lies of omission. Postmedia’s obfuscating political reporters are experienced practitioners of new style journalism.
This is a video of an interview conducted in England with a consultant who worked for British Columbia when the Campbell government was awarding information technology contracts. His work was much admired by BC Liberals because it fit their style of conducting public business.
Does Justin Trudeau identify with the thousands of people who demonstrated in opposition to Kinder Morgan’s pipeline expansion or the handful of people who showed up to an industry sponsored counter protest?
I made reference to BC Legislative Press Gallery members producing commissioned articles. These are public relations pieces intended to serve particular needs of government or entities doing business with government. It is the kind of output that will ultimately be replaced by automated journalism. Mike Smyth’s recent Province column provides an example… Were Smyth not shilling for private producers, he could be a champion of reducing power consumption through increased energy efficiency. However, there are no industry or environmental groups in BC with sufficient funds to push conservation as a serious alternative to generating more power, whether by hydro, wind, solar, tidal, geothermal or any other technology.
History Professor Alfred McCoy produced The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia in 1972. The CIA interfered with the book’s publication but its condemnation of American complicity in the drug trade is accepted as accurate and reliable. Dr. McCoy appeared with Jeremy Scahill on the March 7 edition of Intercepted Podcast. I found their wide ranging discussion informative, shocking and alarming…
Flat demand by BC’s residential and business consumers has not stopped BC Hydro from doling out increasing sums to independent power producers and spending lavishly on new assets. Because of flat sales and excess supply, it appears BC Hydro has had to reduce production from its own power generators.
If one looks at economic disasters of the past, one thing is certain. Warning signs were obvious to people who paid close attention but were ignored by the rest. You can be sure that Erik Andersen’s concern arises from paying attention to rising debt levels and how the ordinary public will ultimately be left with an unaffordable burden.
Readers may tire of reports on BC Hydro but the more I examine this public utility, the more convinced I am that citizens of BC are victims of massive financial deception.
Most people are unlikely to remember the following.. from J. Wellington Wimpy. “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.” I’m old, so I remember. Again, sensing the usefulness of predicting disaster (cue organist) … unless … Royal Dutch Shell’s “I-See-The-Future!” tea leaves gambit continues… with help from (cue organist) a Globe and Mail puff piece…
While BC consumers of carbon pay an ever increasing tax — $10 billion since 2009 — carbon producers are enjoying billions of dollars in subsidies. In the fiscal years 2007 through 2017, natural gas companies quietly received benefit of tax expenditures worth almost $8 billion dollars…
A two-year look at the monthly travel expenses of one of BC’s senior public servants.
NDP Cabinet Minister David Eby admitted Site C is “…this terrible situation of a massive public infrastructure investment without any apparent customer for the electricity it will produce.”
After Canada’s federal government asked its energy regulator to examine broader environmental effects of the Energy East pipeline project by TransCanada Corp, including upstream and downstream emissions, the proponent, a company with substantial […]
In a report issued today, Auditor General Carol Bellringer says the BC government is not adequately managing risks posed by climate change.