While BC Liberals and ardent supporters such as the Fraser Institute claim to favour free markets, private power contracts show how false the commitment is. We can’t know the price paid for AltaGas power in BC because contracts are secret but the amount is certainly more than three times the $33 per MWh market price paid in Alberta. This demonstrates why big businesses in this province are putting up big dollars to ensure Liberals continue controlling government. British Columbia is rich in natural resources but Christy Clark and friends are determined that profits should accrue to very wealthy friends and are not to be wasted on ordinary citizens.
BC Hydro has experienced flat demand for more than a decade. Nevertheless, the value of its assets have grown 250% and purchases of private power grew 280% since 2005. Add to this, the fact it has committed to spend another $10 billion or so to build the Site C dam. It is inexplicable.
Christy Clark and her crew spent more than a billion dollars through the Ministry of Natural Gas Development, gave away billions more in gas industry subsidies and promised low or no taxes, taxpayer-paid infrastructure and subsidized electricity; all in the hope of creating an LNG industry that had a competitive disadvantage from the start. Critics like the one you’re reading knew LNG wealth promises were hollow but this Government decided to continue wasting vast sums to avoid admitting failures from incompetence and poor judgement. They will claim bad luck and unforeseeable circumstances; knowledgeable people will know differently.
The BC Liberal government pushed hard for a controversial expansion of the power grid into the northern wilderness, at a cost of more than $800 million. The Northwest Transmission Line was built to enable resource developments but Imperial Metals’ Red Chris and an AltaGas hydro project are the only major players on the power line grid. Red Chris would not be feasible without the extension of the power line and the $886-million expenditure “appears increasingly as a public subsidy for a single mine.”
An old expression says, “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.” The maxim doesn’t require rewards for scratching be equal and, often, they are not.
According to Elections BC, AltaGas Ltd. and associates contributed a little more than $70,000 to the BC Liberals. It’s been money well spent… At $110,000 per GWh, AltaGas’ revenue from BC Hydro would be worth $143 million in 2016…
As a student politician in her untenured days at SFU, Christy Clark operated with an imperfect moral compass. When final history is written, the hallmark of her premiership will be deceit and corruption. Her government regularly wages war against working people and helps contractors evade the few responsibilities owed employees. Income and disability assistance rates were last raised on June 1, 2007 but annual drilling subsidies to gas producers climbed 130% in the same time frame, from $370 million to $850 million. In addition, since 2007, natural gas royalties receipts declined from $1.2 billion to $185 million in the current fiscal year. Revenues from gas and petroleum rights sales fell from $2.4 billion in fiscal year 2009 to only $9.7 million in the first 11 months of 2015.
Make your submissions directly to Garry Alexander, Executive Project Director, Environmental Assessment Office, since they don’t seem to have reopened the project to public comments although they’ve provided additional time for the […]