BC is eliminating natural gas revenues

Beginning in Premier Gordon Campbell’s term as BC Premier, natural gas producers lobbied mightily for reductions in the public share of revenue derived from exploiting the natural resource. BC Liberals were receptive to the idea. Surprisingly, when the formerly centre-left New Democrats came to power, they accelerated the reductions.

Electric shock

In a few words, over a 15 year span, total annual revenues (what we have paid as customers) have increased by 100% , over the same period and with inclusion of contract obligations the total capital deployed more than doubled but customer needs ( as represented by volume of annual sales measured in gigawatt-hours) remained unchanged.

Indifferent to existential threats

While natural gas producers now pay nothing to the BC public in comparison to earlier days, production of the fossil fuel has about doubled in the last ten years. Fossil fuels may pose an existential threat to the world, but politicians in Canada are either unaware or indifferent. Evidence suggests the latter.

Why we’re voting

It is easy to conclude why Premier John Horgan ignored BC’s established pattern of general elections every four years. The BC NDP was riding high in the polls but a threat to that popularity was looming. A threat not known to the general public…

North American Megadam Resistance Alliance

Before forming the Horgan Government in 2017, BC NDP was a frequent critic of how BC Liberals managed BC Hydro, our largest and most important crown corporation. NDP promised radical improvements. Those promises were empty. The only substantive changes were the appointment of Chair Ken Peterson and multi-billion dollar increases in capital spending.

BC Government hides fossil fuel subsidies

In 2019, BC’s Auditor General concluded natural gas operators were not required by government to decommission or restore inactive well sites. Furthermore, that funds collected from operators were inadequate to cover restoration costs for wells “orphaned” by gas company bankruptcies. The Auditor General found that because of these deficiencies, the BC Government had not effectively managed the environmental and financial risks of non-operating oil and gas sites. In 2019, taxpayers were on the hook for $3 billion in cleanup costs, an amount that has grown larger in 2020…

Heads they win; tails we lose – updated

Pension managers got huge salary increases; pensioners pay a price. The fiscal year that ended March 2020 was not a rewarding one for public pension funds run by BC Investment Management Corp. The rate of return earned was less than half that of the preceding year and failed to meet client benchmarks. While current and future pension beneficiaries did poorly, the people running BCI did swimmingly well. Regardless of whether investment returns are above or below conveniently flexible benchmarks, massive salary increases are given. For pensioners, this fits the old quip, “Heads they win; tails we lose.”

Platforms are for campaigning, not for governing

I remember reading Gordon Campbell’s platform in 2001. Based on the promises, I concluded Liberals were the logical choice for government. The trouble was, Gordon Campbell and the BC Liberals barely meant a word contained in the document A New Era for British Columbia. Despite Liberals not living up to their promises, they were reelected three times. John Horgan learned a lesson. Platforms are for campaigning, not for governing…

2020 election

A close observer of BC politics recently asked if I expected John Horgan to call an election before the scheduled date 13 months from now. My quick response was yes, Horgan will soon ask for a new mandate. The reasons…