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There is something brewing in the environment – the disintegration of BC Hydro by this government – deliberately. This has been obvious to my partner Damien Gillis and me for 18 months. All signs point that way and the brilliant analysis by economist Erik Andersen which you can see at thecanadian.org lays it all out.

This is not rocket science, folks. Hydro is forced to pay for privately generated power at double its market value and the total bill is over $40 BILLION. This “buy high/sell low” policy can only have one result – bankruptcy. One tends to look at the immense dams and think of that as representing Hydro’s value but it doesn’t. The real value is in the water rights under the government’s control. The only way BC Hydro looks attractive – and it does do that! – is if the right to use the water, be it for power or use as a very sought after commodity, goes with the deal. The other obvious consequence is that Hydro rates will be set to get what the traffic will bear on the market or under contract – clearly, this means that rates to British Columbia industry and its citizens will skyrocket.

Gordon (Pinocchio) Campbell and his lickspittles assure us that Hydro is not for sale, But he said that about BC Rail too.

Why is Campbell doing this, if it makes no economic sense to do so?

Two reasons – it will bring in a large though short term slug of money; more importantly to him, it satisfies the ideological mindset he has developed from the “right wing” supporters of The Liberal Party not the least of which is the Fraser Institute which holds that no government operation can be as effective as a private one. This isn’t economics but political philosophy.

It’s important to remember that WAC Bennett and his two river dams (Peace and Columbia) were constructed to achieve the cheapest power for industry and citizens. To achieve that, he inflicted horrendous environmental damage but that’s done and now the power is truly green unlike Independent Power Producers who must (pardon the technical talk here) bugger up a lot of BC’s rivers to produce power that for the most part is of no use to BC Hydro because it’s produced at a time that Hydro’s reservoirs are full.

Watch for it, folks – this government is slowly strangling the life out of BC Hydro to satisfy Campbell’s dogmatic hatred for publicly owned companies.

This will be my last blog for a week, as Wendy and I are off for a short vacation to London. London is our version of Maui. Wendy tells me that I look ten years younger when the plane sets down although that still leaves me a bit long in the tooth!

6 Responses to “Is BC Hydro going to be sold?”

  1. Surreygirl says:

    Just a thought….If BC Hydro were sold, wouldn’t the BC Government have to offer it first to the shareholders of the old BC Electric (the private corporation whose assets transferred to BC Hydro under expropriation)? Eddie Electric lives 🙂

  2. Nathaniel Waren Allen says:

    That’s just great. Like we need any more problems in BC.

  3. Kootenay Belle says:

    How can B.C. Hydro be sold? – we, the B.C. Public own it – I guess we could Let them through our ignorance and apathy.
    What would happen to the Columbia Basin Trust, we shareholders own 50% of the electrical generation from the dams up here – do we share with privatisits?
    Hmmm, methinks, it’s not so much about power – but the control of water resources.
    The dam infrastructures are getting worn, and need costly upgrading.
    are we the public going to pay for their repair, then have them sold off?
    With all the excellent and efficient alternative energy means, we really don’t need mega-dam projects or ruin of the river IPPs anymore. California has so much solar potential, they coud be selling electricity to us instead! Keep in the mind that ashphalt blacktop is an enormous solar collector and the technology is already in use to generate electricity and heat from your average road.
    So we don’t NEED these horrendously enviromentally disruptive dams anymore. We do need leadership to move into the future using what we have now to pay for our sustainable alternative technologies.
    HOWEVER, we need to be vigilantly aware of the coming water shortages that are starting to experienced south of the border.
    We need to protect out watershed sources here, start an intelligent water conservation program now, so all of us North Americans will have water to drink and function.
    One of the first actions to put into reality is rain collection off of all buildings, industrial and home dwellings.
    Create neighborhood cisterns.
    There is no reason to use pure drinking water to flush toilets or water gardens. Rain water would do just fine.
    The technology is also developed to generate electricity from the smallest of water flows, such as gutters. We need to do this.
    Save and enhance our fish populations by limiting stream withdrawal, and use the water that comes as rain, preventing city floods at the same time, wisely.

  4. Jean Pierre from over dare says:

    Reply to Kootenay Belles and Surreygirl … You must be short on memory … if you remember TERASEN GAS also belong to the people of BC … Pinocchio Campbell took the time to change the name ONLY so he could sell it … Remember Bill Vandesalm made it so the company could never be sold … the profits were to be to enjoyed by the people of BC as it was built by the people for the people of BC … Pinocchio Campbell is a LYING, THIEVING, LACK OF INSITE OR FUTURE INVESTMENT, AND PLANNING … he represents one thing and one thing only his bank account and pocket book through the detrament of others (in this case the good people of BC) … Pinocchio Campbell should take a long hard look at the hardship he and his government has left for the good citizens … Terasen advertises “WE OWN THE PIPES GOING TO THE HOMES BUT DONOT OWN THE GAS INSIDE” … como=ing soon to a station near you from hydro “WE OWN THE LINES GOING TO THE HOMES BUT DONOT OWN THE ELECTRICITY INSIDE” …I could go on for pages descibing this dispicable, cheating, lying, misleading Pinocchio Campbell

  5. […] shafting British Columbians quite yet. Before he uproots and moves his lying carcass to Maui he has one final move guaranteed to leave a bad taste in the mouths of BC ratepayers. Posted by Dave at 10:13 […]

  6. Imran says:

    Add to that the fact that the main power company is Hydro One.I rmeember working in tech support a few years back. We were a third-party call centre (as most are), located in Ontario but serving large American companies who figured they were saving money contracting us out.While working on an ISP contract, I would field several calls during power outages – people wanting to know if we knew when it would be back on so they could get online again. What’s amazing is that even though there was no electricity, some of these people didn’t understand why it was they couldn’t use the computer (guess they forgot about the plug in the back).Customer: “My computer’s not working.”Me: “Well, sir, what exactly do you see when you turn it on.”Cust: “Nothing. Damn thing won’t turn on.”Me: “Hmmm … let me check … oh, I see. The grid shows the power is out in your area … do you have any electricity in the house right now?”Cust: “No. But the computer still isn’t working.”Me [eyes rolled, trying not to laugh]: “Well, sir, it should work just fine as soon as the hydro comes back on.”Cust: “Hydra? What’s hydra?”At which point I correct myself, say electricity, end the call, and roll around the floor in fits of laughter. Those were the days …

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