Dr. Harry Swain explains in detail how BC Hydro can show a profit while losing money. He then describes the “oversight” process involving Site C.
We know the Premier vowed to get Site C dam past the “point of no return” before the May 2017 provincial election. Clark’s Liberals have their own reasons for Site C haste and these eventually will be revealed, perhaps by a postmortem report of an inquiry into the economic destruction of BC Hydro. However, we do know that incautiously pushing a project forward can be costly. Unfortunately, the cost of error will fall not on decision makers but on taxpayers not wealthy enough to hide their income elsewhere.
For eight years now, I’ve been posting words on the Internet. I was influenced in the beginning by my first two grandsons, now pushing 11 years of age. I looked at these youngsters, and the ones that followed, and concluded that I owed a duty to agitate for a better world. I want all children to have best possible opportunities for education and opportunity, to live in a society that is fair and respectful to people and values the environmental riches of our land.
I’m happy to have been involved in this commitment but I hope the May election will be a turning point. It will be a time to decide whether or not the powerful self-interests of privileged people are insurmountable.
In the real world, if a company grew its assets by $18 billion (138%) but reduced its production by 8%, heads would roll. In Premier Clark’s La La Land, party favours roll instead. Good Liberal CEO Jessica McDonald is secure in her job, at least until until May 9.
BC Hydro will lose hundreds of million of dollars per year on Site C dam output, according to a Vancouver Sun article by economist Marvin Shaffer. Facing an installation cost double that of power from utility-scale solar or gas fired turbines, additional hydro-electricity is unneeded and unaffordable. However, in the face of an election, the board of BC Hydro, loaded with Liberal patronage appointees, is not about to correct its faulty course.
BC Liberals released the 2017 Budget and Fiscal Plan. The government elected by promising a “DEBT-FREE BC” forecasts total provincial debt will grow $11 billion to a total of $78 billion in next three years. Under Christy Clark as Premier, provincial debt will have increased $33 billion, which was the total debt accumulated in the 130 years after British Columbia became Canada’s sixth province. That $78 billion does not include the debt portion of contractual obligations, which total $100 billion but are not mentioned anywhere in 149 pages of the Budget and Fiscal Plan. The PR strategy is to never admit these exist or have impact. This is egregious dishonesty.
A message to BC Hydro: “Figure out what you are supposed to be doing, then do it.
W.A.C. Bennett established this vital crown corporation to provide reliable, affordable power to British Columbians. That’s what it should be doing.
Instead, it is forcing citizens to pay much higher prices to provide financial benefits to foreign owned companies and a band of me-first IPP slicksters and a group of political contributors gaining returns on their liberal investments by sitting in the boardroom of BC Hydro.
The 10-year increase, 2006-2016, in contractual obligations was $67 billion, while the regular provincial debt rose by $31 billion. That’s almost $10 billion a year increase in financial commitments by a government that claims they are creating “debt-free BC.”
If the liabilities owing producers were recorded routinely, provincial natural gas revenue would be less than zero in two of the last four years. In current dollars, BC’s gas income, including rights sales, declined by more than $2.5 billion, comparing 2016 to 2001. Of course, the volume of production was much higher in 2016.
It cannot be taken for granted that PPPs are more efficient than public investment and government supply of services. One particular concern is that PPPs can be used mainly to bypass spending controls, and to move public investment off budget and debt off the government balance sheet, while the government still bears most of the risk involved and faces potentially large fiscal costs.
Government forecasts that four year natural gas royalties total, 2017 through 2020, may be $926 million but that doesn’t deduct any growth in production tax credits that industry is accruing but government is not recording. In the past four years, the liability to producers increased by $1,158 million. If the liability for unrecorded credits – amounts that can be deducted from future royalties – continues to grow at the rate of the past four years, BC will receive no net gas royalties, provided that a more honest government begins to record the liability. There is already $2+ billion owed to producers.
We suggest a new paint job for the Liberal campaign vehicle: In case you don’t remember the old livery, here it is: Christy “I never tell a lie, but I may use alternative facts” […]
George Orwell: Political language …is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. Although BC’s debt and obligations increased $99 billion in ten years, Liberals claim the province is “on track to be free of any operating debt by 2021.”
A guest post from Roger Bryenton P.Eng. (former), MBA, Energy Systems Consultant, Suzuki and SPEC elder.
BC residents have not been told the full truths about Site C and BC Hydro’s markets for electricity.
BC Hydro’s management are using deferral accounts and accounting trickery to conceal the company’s financial conditions and prospects and they are telling outright mistruths about demand for electricity by consumers in British Columbia.