Politically connected individuals took advantage of citizens’ desire for clean, renewable energy and the Liberals wrote contracts with “lucky firms” that bore no relationship to market prices, guaranteed massive private profits and ensured all financial risks stayed with the public. The contracts in British Columbia last as long as sixty years and allow prices that are as much as 5x market value. In addition, the contracts have annual inflation escalators, a privilege allowed no other commercial segment. All taxpayers get is more power to sell at a loss.
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.
Readers may tire of reports on BC Hydro but the more I examine this public utility, the more convinced I am that citizens of BC are victims of massive financial deception.
Access to years of BC Hydro’s financial reports provide me with an indisputable record of the utility’s financial destruction. Eleven years ago, one citizen didn’t have detailed evidence but he did have foresight…
Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics, is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.
Despite deep cynicism about journalists backing BC Liberals, I had long held respect for the writing of Vaughn Palmer. My reservoir of appreciation has now run dry. He has been bright, skilled and articulate, usually worth reading throughout 35+ years with the Vancouver Sun. Now, I don’t know. Is he distracted, overburdened, grown careless or captured by his subjects?
The first part of this article was written in November 2009 and the addendum was added April 2016 and subsequently updated. I repeat this item because it demonstrates that, while applying austerity to the province’s most needy citizens, the Clark/Campbell Liberals have treated a favoured few quite differently.
The British Columbia Liberal 2001 election platform had 37 references promising improved democracy, increased accountability or more open government. Its 2013 platform had none, because the party had lost interest in the goals, not because they had been attained. If ever any party strayed far from principles that first got it elected government, it is the one led today by Christy Clark. If you doubt my assertion, read through A New Era for British Columbia. That document was prepared by Gordon Campbell and his associates. Some will believe that it was a pack of lies from the start. Others would argue — excepting the page 9 promise to “not sell or privatize BC Rail” — that the Liberal Party started with good intentions and lost its way, corrupted by wealth and power…
Locking BC Hydro into decades-long contracts (as much as 60 years) was a colossal mistake that ignored the likelihood of technological change. The cost of utility scale solar and wind power has dropped dramatically in recent years. As a result, BC Hydro will be paying tens of billions of dollars extra to private producers enjoying inflation protected prices far higher than alternative options.
During its years in power, BC Liberals remade British Columbia. While the provincial economy grew, the fortunes of ordinary people declined, for the first extended period ever. Beneficiaries of change had demanded redistribution of wealth to the disadvantage of all but a few. The end result was not incidental or accidental.
The applicants do not need money or experience, they simply need political influence with BC Liberals. The energy purchase agreement provided by BC Hydro removes substantially all business risk and the favoured recipients take the project to money brokers who readily fund it because the creditworthiness of British Columbia stands behind each EPA. This would be like you and I buying a house we intend to rent to government through a 40 year lease at double or triple market rates, with payments escalating to protect against inflation, guaranteed by taxpayers of British Columbia….
The bulk of this item was written in 2010 and it was moved to the top a year later. I’ve done a little editing to recognize the political environment of 2014 but […]
BC Liberals selected Bruce McDonald as their candidate in Delta South, the riding held by independent Vicki Huntington. The incumbent MLA says her opponent is “an adamant and unapologetic supporter of Liberal […]
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As protests targeting Hosni Mubarak`s regime mounted, broadcaster Bill Good said it was wrong for bloggers to babble about political corruption in British Columbia because wrongdoing in Egypt was so much worse. In […]
People in the alternative media, including your modest servant at In-Sights, have taken pleasure in recent political developments here in BC. Everyone knows that the mainstream media, with near unanimity, has supported Gordon […]
Omnia causa fiunt – everything happens for a reason. When the captain who carefully plots his own course suddenly and radically alters direction, I ask why. What changed for Premier Gordon Campbell […]
Three of Gordon Campbell’s executive assistants hold cue cards during a recent speech to defend his government. Squatting on a large stool at mid-stage, one said, “I am sorry but I didn’t […]