Tag: Bennett. Kootenay Bill

The Site C money pit

According to Financial Post writer Geoffrey Morgan, BC Hydro sent an October 3 communication to the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC). The letter explained why it continues to forecast a surge in electricity demand, despite a dozen years of flat sales to BC consumers…

Certainty of Site C massive cost overrun is 86%

BC’s Minister of Energy said in mid October that the $7.9 billion budget for Site C had been examined by top international experts and was assuredly “reliable.” Two months later, Premier Clark revealed the dam budget had jumped to $8.5 billion. Days passed and when project approval was announced, the budget had jumped to $8.775 billion. Once again, the British Columbia Liberals demonstrate practiced mendacity. They are consistent though since mega-projects of the past five years typically doubled between first announcement and completion but were invariably pronounced to be on-time and on-budget. The mantra will be used again…

NFOI – no freedom of information

We’ve seen that organizations make political contributions directly and through lobbyists. We know they use subsidiaries, affiliates and nominees but EBC makes little effort to report connections. In a report by Corporate Mapping Project, Teck Resources seems to have contributed $1.5 million to BC Liberals. However, a more complete listing provides a much larger number: $2.8 million. Even that is incomplete. It is important to know the benefits flowing from Teck to the Liberal Party but we must keep in mind the benefits flowing to Teck. That company was reportedly responsible for $743 million of a $1.2 billion unfunded liability for mine cleanups.

Liberal estimates and guesstimates

A brisk building boom of hydropower mega-dams is underway from China to Brazil. Whether benefits of new dams will outweigh costs remains unresolved despite contentious debates. …We find overwhelming evidence that budgets are systematically biased below actual costs of large hydropower dams — excluding inflation, substantial debt servicing, environmental, and social costs. …The outside view suggests that in most countries large hydropower dams will be too costly in absolute terms and take too long to build to deliver a positive risk-adjusted return

Conflict, was ist das?

Conflict of Interest Commissioner has been unable to answer questions posed by journalist Bob Mackin. Of course, Fraser has only a handful of staff members to assist him so communicating with inquiring reporters is nigh impossible. When one man has only a single Executive Co-ordinator, one Executive Administrative Assistant, one Legal Officer and a single research assistant and faces one, two, even three formal opinions to be issued each year, some time saving moves are required.

Damien Gillis wrote…

The mainstream media, as is to be expected, is largely parroting the government’s cover story and ignoring the real problem: BC Hydro and its ratepayers are in a world of hurt because of 12 years of very deliberate and disastrous BC Liberal Government policies, pushed on the public utility.

Half-prepared for battles of wits

Another publication, Natural Gas Intelligence (NGI), provides detail of the marketplace for LNG. It is now an international exchange much different than the one that first excited the ex-policeman and small town lawyer who thought, with equally ill-equipped assistants, they could negotiate for British Columbia at boardroom tables of giant multinational energy corporations.

What’s good for the BC Liberals may not be good for BC Hydro

Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett announced a five-year, $300 million hydro bill deferment plan for 13 mines owned by six companies.Never mind that B.C. Hydro is already grappling with its own deferral problems to the tune of $5 billion. Make no mistake, there’s a price to pay when B.C. Hydro becomes a political arm of government. The intertwining of self-interests gets complicated, while the interests of ratepayers can take a backseat to political interests. Three of the six companies in Bennett’s deal were highlighted in a December Financial Post article, “Debt risks mount as Canada’s base metal miners sink deep in the hole.”

Time for action

A reader comment in a preceding article: We all have to be ‘shovel ready’ for the upcoming election and ‘Turf the Liberals’.There will be massive 1%er sponsored support and corporate funded advertorials […]

Pants on fire

Before the last election, Premier Clark justified BC Hydro rate increases as a “common sense decision” that would enable the private/public utility to pay off the billions in its deferred accounts. “People […]

“…A lot more electricity being needed”

Bill Bennett, a man particularly qualified to make decisions on how the public ought to spend tens of billions of dollars. Bennett gained expertise and honed business acumen as an entrepreneur involved in fishing camps and a goose-hunting lodge on Hudson Bay. Despite potential conflicts, he maintained a financial connection to wilderness tourism even after beginning a career in politics.