You will, I hope, forgive my absence from these pages. Treating a note for the teacher, I have two excuses.
The most annoying problem has been a week long bout with stomach flu which I got in Victoria, one week from last Sunday. It’s pretty much gone now, the saints be praised!
The other problem was simply over-work. Damien and I have been hard pressed in our quest to get The Common Sense Canadian (www.thecanadian.org) up to where we want it and I think it’s there. I invite you all to visit us and let us know what you think.
On the “business” side, we’ve been spending a lot of time reading and discussing the work of economist Erik Andersen who has established what we long suspected – the Campbell government is deliberately bankrupting BC Hydro, something Damien Gillis and I have been speculating for 3 years. It just seems such a preposterous notion it’s hard to get one’s mind around it.
The evidence is very strong that Campbell has a death wish for our grand public corporation starting with his turning over the operation of Hydro to Accenture, the ugly grandchild of Enron and by privatizing the transmission lines – which have now been brought back. But the compelling evidence comes form the privatizing if the creation of power. What thus has done is force BC Hydro into buying private power whether they need it or not and since virtually all private power is made during the run-off, BC Hydro doesn’t need it. This leaves Hydro with two basic options – it can export the power at ½ what they paid for it or use it at about 12 times what it costs Hydro to make their own. Either way, clearly BC Hydro has to go broke.
Why would the government do this? As Mr Andersen points out, there is no way Hydro can avoid it being forced to make deals with Private Power Producers (IPPs)
There is only one possible reason – ideology.
It must always be remembered that Gordon Campbell is an ideologue who subscribes to the Fraser Institute dedication to all governments works being privatized. They even had one “Fellow”, Dr Walter Bloch, who believed in “consensual slavery” giving as an example a mother who couldn’t who couldn’t support her children voluntarily being a slave in exchange for not having to worry about paying normal family bills! They also devoutly believe in private ownership of all water.
One would have to infer from his actions that Campbell has the same attitude they do and wants BC Hydro to be privatized. The fact that this will quadruple, at least, electricity rates doesn’t faze him.
Why, then, doesn’t Campbell simply sell it, or give someone a 990 year lease as he gave CN for BC Rail?
The answer is political; Campbell knows that if he did that the Liberals would face a wipe-out as the NDP did in 2001. Besides that, and this is likely the main point, Hydro isn’t all that saleable. Of course it brings in big bucks but it also has big time debts – the IPP contracts are now over $50 billion. The answer then is to let it go broke, they with tears down the face, saying “alas, BC Hydro just can’t handle its own affairs and lamentably (sob, sob) it’s gone broke.” Campbell’s ideological commitment is met as BC Hydro slips quietly into private hands.
It is mad but so was getting rid of BC Rail.
By all means give me another, plausible reason but until one comes along, I’ll stick with this logical extension of Campbell’s record.