To the Editor:
As most of you know, I have been yapping about our provincial government and the promised election that won’t happen until 2013. I couldn’t understand why the election was not called after the referendum last summer. They had a new leader that had the wind in her sails, and the main opposition was weak, disorganized and leaderless. A looming teachers’ strike that the public did not support seemed like the perfect atmosphere to call the voters out to choose who should run the province because the scars of the NDP’s last fiasco are still all so fresh. So why not call an election?
The answer has nothing to do with politics at all, but with the privatization of BC Hydro. No, they would never publicly admit to that. Even Adrian Dix could lead a charge against the fascist right wing block of the federal Conservative and provincial Liberals if they admitted their plans to privatize BC Hydro. Instead, it was death by a thousand cuts.
In 2002, the Liberals brought in legislation forbidding BC Hydro from building any new generating stations. With an energy boom looming, who does something stupid like that? Then, they broke the crown jewel into three companies and hired top executives with ballooned salaries from all the largest campaign contributors to run them, executives from companies like BP, Teck Cominco, TimberWest and Westcoast Energy. Secretaries are making $75,000 a year. They entered into needless and ridiculous lease agreements to house their new buddies with Bentall properties. Total bill to unnecessarily break up BC Hydro: $65 million. But this is just the tip of the iceberg that is sure to sink the Titanic.
Since their election in 2001, the Liberals have been using different debt accounting principles with BC Hydro. For those of you unfamiliar to these practices, it is where you defer payment on your debts to a later date. Basically, it’s a sub-prime mortgage. BC Hydro started showing huge profits and the Liberals started boasting. Who isn’t able to boast huge profits if you don’t pay your bills? Who does BC Hydro owe most of its money to? Foreign exchanges. Wow, really? Go figure. The company ended up with a $183 million shortfall in 2011. And it’s about to get worse.
The final blow came in 2006 when then-premier Gordon Campbell announced that BC Hydro would start to buy electricity from private sources. After all, BC Hydro wasn’t allowed to build any new generating stations and there was an energy boom going on. The tenders came in and starting in June, BC Hydro will start buying private hydro at almost double the market value. What idiot enters into this type of agreement? Take this and the fact that we still have five years left on Mike Harcourt and the NDP’s hydro gift to the United States, and we have agreed to buy hydro at double what we must sell it for.
If an election would have been called for this year, this deal to buy private electricity could have been stopped. Instead, the Liberals are going to bleed BC Hydro dry. Only a silent revolution can stop this lunacy now. Join True Democracy: Internet Government today.