Getting elected, staying elected

British Columbians who pay attention could not have missed a recent suggestion that BC Hydro rates soar by 26.4 per cent over two years.

British Columbians who pay attention could not have missed a recent suggestion that BC Hydro rates soar by 26.4 per cent over two years.

That’s the kind of news that can trigger coronaries.

The number was floated to a group of senior civil servants by BC Hydro representatives who are also on a committee struck by the B.C. government to determine how to minimize politically risky rate hikes.

According to a leaked memo, the number was presented as a worst-case scenario.

There are some very good reasons, besides smart meters, why rate increases are needed.

For starters, Hydro must pay for capital spending to upgrade its dams, generating stations and transmission lines.

Providing ammunition for opponents of the B.C. Liberals and a sobering realization for their backers, there’s also the inconvenient reality of how the government decreed that proposed rate hikes be restricted.

The order to defer the payment of bills came shortly before an election the Liberals were in real danger of losing. It sure helped them to make their case they are better stewards of the economy than the NDP.

This is not a technique that was invented by the Christy Clark Liberals, or even the B.C. Liberals for that matter.

Yet here we are with Energy Minister Bill Bennett promising to reduce the increase in what we pay for power. At the same time, he rejected any possibility that new rates would be independently reviewed by the BC Utilities Commission.

Bennett is right that British Columbians would be unhappy about such a large jump in what we pay for power.

Heaven forbid that decision would be made without political interference, resulting in rates that accurately reflect a financially untenable position for BC Hydro, one the government has helped to create.

Emasculating the BCUC is just the latest in a long, sad series of examples that illustrate nothing is more important to politicians that getting elected and staying elected.

editor@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

Comox Valley Presbyterian Church on Aspen Road. Google Maps photo
Comox Valley Presbyterian Church, Town of Comox looking at land use options

The congregation is exploring options for use of the property

Comox Valley are investigating a break and enter at a store on Denman Island. File photo
Thief steals Denman Island store’s charity jar

Comox Valley RCMP also looking for witnesses to Dove Creek injury

Former 19 Wing Commander Mike Atkins is the new CEO of the Comox Valley Airport. Photo submitted
Comox Valley Airport Commission announces new CEO

Alex Robertson is serving as acting CEO since Fred Bigelow’s departure for medical leave last year

A group gathers for a guided story walk at the Comox Valley Art Gallery plaza. Scott Stanfield photo
Comox Valley arts-based project takes honest look at overdose crisis

The Comox Valley Art Gallery, and AVI Health and Community Services are… Continue reading

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Most Read