My writings in the past have decried BC Hydro directors and executives surrendering to corporate inertia. Inappropriate rigidity has led to failure in many badly run corporations and it now threatens our giant public utility. But, I now conclude that explanation is too generous to BC policy makers, past and present. We have evidence that shifting energy industry dynamics were anticipated but consciously ignored. Groups with special interests were favoured and fleecing of the public began.
BC Government webpages pay little or no attention to climate change as a driver of wildfire. Public servants have sound advice for homeowners and recreationalists but government provides few comments about the elephant in the room, which is fossil fuel production, something BC is working to increase.
A person shilling for the pension funds management business complained about my recent article revealing extravagant salaries at the BC Investment Management Corporation (BMI). He wrote that I was a bitter old man…
BC Investment Management Corporation (BCI), the public pension fund manager in this province increased compensation costs by 30% per dollar of funds managed in fiscal year 2017-2018. It already paid extravagant salaries before this latest fiscal year…
The NDP promoted its PowerBC program in the 2017 election. Had they been sincere, government would be keeping a promise to voters and they would now be preserving Peace River farmlands. Instead, they are destroying a valuable agricultural area. Government would be respecting rights of First Nations and protecting BC Hydro ratepayers. In addition, the province would be stimulating growth of construction, maintenance, manufacturing and technology jobs for permanent residents in every region of the province. Instead of good jobs in BC communities, Site C provides work of questionable quality to a mostly transient workforce employed by conglomerates from Spain (Acciona) and Korea (Samsung).
In Norway, with 5.3 million people, upstream petroleum companies are subject to a 27% petro tax plus a special tax of 51%. Alberta petroleum tax is less than 4%. BC’s is near zero.
Citizens of British Columbia are facilitating and subsidizing production of bitumen from Alberta tar sands. How’s that for an example of hypocrisy by a Government that claims it object to expanded shipments of dilbit through Vancouver’s inner harbour?
Today I announced my candidacy in the District of North Vancouver for election to SD44. The website normfarrell.ca provides details. Thanks to the many people who’ve already expressed support.
The province won’t now admit that solar power potential is huge and economical. If they did, voters would wonder why BC Hydro is borrowing $11 billion, destroying valuable farmlands and breaking promises to indigenous people, just to reward political friends. If BC had a Press Gallery or an Official Opposition that cared a damn about the public interest, Site C would be a giant issue. Sadly, wildfires and property taxes on multi-million dollar mansions are more important.
Even if evidence of global warming was not overwhelming, the precautionary principle dictates a radical change in the way we conduct ourselves. Yet, our governments, banks that fear stranded assets, the fossil fuel industry and their many agents, deny the science.
When Justice Kenneth Affleck jailed a senior who was honestly motivated to improve the world, the judge was following a long-established Canadian legal tradition. It dictates: Punishment need not fit the crime when the perpetrator is a white-collar criminal or a senior officer of a wealthy corporation.
BC Hydro suffers a lack of managerial competence, contempt for fiduciary responsibilities, a disregard for present day energy realities and, perhaps most important, a failure of vision. The first exists because Government turned the company into a politicized utility, with senior managers and board members selected for Liberal Party loyalty, not for competence. As a result, BC Hydro dares not plot a new course with even a hint that recent energy policies have been a grand mistake.
Thanks to readers who already provide financial support. Assistance defrays costs for research, computer equipment, internet and website maintenance. Readers enable me to deliver fact-based analyses of public issues. My entire work is funded by private citizens. If you can help, choose any amount, large or small.
Despite the Moore case, which began in the nineties and was finally resolved after 15 years, in 2017, another family was forced to move their their son to a private school offering specialized instruction and supervision. The family is financially crippled by the $2,400 monthly tuition but they know it’s a necessity if their boy is to have a chance at future success.
The proliferation of plug-in stations breeds a mindset that electric vehicles are completely “green” …and they aren’t using “horsepower”. Though the overall impact of all electric vehicles is calculated to be less… it is only slightly less.
Perhaps that “fantastically large broom” that BC Hydro’s boss Chris O’Riley carries around, will come in handy for these upcoming new NDP-BC Hydro reviews. It should come in handy for sweeping old — or new — problems under the rug.
Oh, Billy. We don’t actually practice these things. We only preach them.
Compare the passage of 4 years without a charge against Mount Polley operators to the quick response when a rude 19-year-old released an adult-sized blow-up doll over West Vancouver’s Ambleside beach. He was arrested within two weeks and faces a charge of mischief under Canada’s Criminal Code.
Bloated management of BC Ferries is addicted to empire-building like BC Hydro. With the exception of the Denman Island cable ferry, the company chooses not to build boats for specific needs of its minor runs. The result is oversized and overstaffed boats running substantially below capacity. That situation causes the ferry corporation to reduce trip frequency, a measure that serves residents badly on almost every day of the year.
There is an “extremely high probability” that Site C will be delayed by at least one year according to a comprehensive report prepared by international dam construction expert, E. Harvey Elwin, who reviewed a number of confidential documents obtained by West Moberly First Nations in the leadup to their court application for an injunction to halt work on the project. Mr. Elwin’s report contradicts recent assurances by Energy Minister Michelle Mungall praising BC Hydro for doing “a fantastic job” and claiming the project is on track with its current schedule and budget.