In-Sights: Corporate media works for some but not for its audience

Earlier this year, American Bernie Sanders warned us about the failures of corporate media. In How Corporate Media Threatens Democracy, he wrote: …For years, major crises like climate change, the impact of trade agreements on our economy, the role of big money in politics and youth unemployment have received scant media coverage. Trade union leaders, ...

In-Sights: Site C Twitter recap

I'd like to see a full inquiry as to how BC Hydro execs and previous BC gov't conspired to manufacture the case for #SiteC — Marc Lee (@MarcLeeCCPA) November 1, 2017 https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js I'm going out on a limb. BCUC #SiteC report is the beginning of the end for this project #bcpoli @nunwadee1899 @akurjata @Y2Y_Initiative — ...

In-Sights: The Site C choice

British Columbia Utilities Commission will release its second Site C report on November 1. I expect this will provide further information but not a definitive recommendation. But, of course, the buck stops at John Horgan’s cabinet table. In 2014, Bill Bennett provided assurance that, unlike numerous Liberal megaprojects with runaway costs, the $7.9 billion Site ...

In-Sights: Utility woes

There is an interesting note in BC Hydro’s quarterly report issued in mid October for the period ended June 30, 2017: These interim financial statements were approved on behalf of the Board of Directors on August 24, 2017. By law (Budget Transparency and Accountability Act, Section 10(3)), BC Hydro was required to make public its ...

In-Sights: It will get worse for BC Hydro ratepayers

If you are paying attention to the affairs of BC Hydro, you know the utility is in financial trouble. However, it is electricity consumers that are feeling the pain. Unfortunately, with billions of dollars in phony assets to be written off, a growing power supply that outstrips static demand, payments to private power producers at ...

In-Sights: Looking forward

I assume that logic and fact will prevail and Site C, the most expensive public project in BC history, will be cancelled. It is a costly disaster but BC Hydro ratepayers are burdened even more by payments to independent power producers (IPPs). Much of the $100 million a month or more paid IPPs leaves the ...

In-Sights: Minimum transparency

According to BC’s Budget Transparency and Accountability Act, September 15 was the final day for BC Hydro to make public its quarterly report for the period ended June 30. It was released October 16, which was the first business day following conclusion of the final technical presentation session regarding Site C before the BC Utilities ...

In-Sights: Site C – building a cesspool, not a reservoir

There are reasons why proponents of Site C, including utility executives and members of the former BC Liberal Government, continue to promote the project despite much evidence that it was the wrong choice three years ago and remains that today. Read through the linked report or just consider the following extracts and measure the possibility ...

In-Sights: Blunders, haste and waste

BC Hydro’s Chris O’Riley may be new to the CEO’s chair, but he’s not new to the management of Site C. So, it is astounding that his letter to BCUC this week included a particular statement in admitting the project’s budget and construction schedule are askew. O’Riley indicated that another $600 million has been added ...

In-Sights: The Site C money pit

According to Financial Post writer Geoffrey Morgan, BC Hydro sent an October 3 communication to the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC). The letter explained why it continues to forecast a surge in electricity demand, despite a dozen years of flat sales to BC consumers. Hydro claims it is forecasting new demand by companies that are not ...

In-Sights: BC Hydro – overdue and unimproved

Policies of British Columbia’s public sector management dictate that: Crown corporations must follow the spirit and intent of B.C. government core policies and procedures and comply with all applicable legislation, policies and guidelines… Section 32(7) of the Hydro and Power Authority Act determines the Budget Transparency and Accountability Act applies to BC Hydro. Section 10(3) ...

In-Sights: Buy high, sell low – make up losses with volume

Originally published in December 2014. Is B.C.’s Site C dam a gateway to dirty energy?, Calyn Shaw, CBC News Network, December 22, 2014 The provincial government has made it clear that Site C is about meeting future electricity demands. But the province is currently energy self-sufficient; we are a significant net exporter of power. According ...

In-Sights: Punditry rings hollow

I originally published A false notion in June 2010 and repeated it two years later. It came to mind after Postmedia’s senior west coast pundit wrote B.C. Hydro’s Site C promises ring hollow. I wrote the old article after Vaughn Palmer finally noticed the BC Rail scandal had Liberals mired in rough and unpredictable terrain. Eventually, ...

In-Sights: We are the losers, who are the winners?

Brady Yauch is an economist at the Consumer Policy Institute (CPI), which identifies itself as “an independent think-tank dedicated to achieving lower costs and greater efficiencies for Canadian consumers, particularly in sectors run by government monopolies or those receiving large subsidies.” Mr. Yauch published How Megaprojects bankrupt Power Utilities and Leave Regulators in the Dark, ...

In-Sights: Similarities

Muskrat Falls was always a done deal, and a bad one, Pam Frampton, Saint John’s Telegram: One week the project was all about clean energy, the next it was job creation, then it was all about being an affordable energy source, then it was a means of foiling Quebec, then it was a lure for ...

In-Sights: Rising prices have only just begun

During the seventies and eighties, inflation was substantial in Canada. However, BC Hydro was not a major contributor to the rising cost of living. In the 20 years to 2006, BC Hydro’s charge per kilowatt-hour to residential consumers increased at 1/3 the rate of inflation. However, when Gordon Campbell’s neoliberal friends decided BC’s iconic utility ...

In-Sights: Falsehood flies, truth comes limping after it

The following article was first published in February. It is still relevant today because, despite a change in government,  agents of Site C beneficiaries continue to spread falsehoods trying to convince citizens that spending billions on a near worthless project is “good business.” Besides, as the vilest Writer has his Readers, so the greatest Liar ...

In-Sights: From the news archives: Site C history – UPDATED

An item previously published at In-Sights but worth reviewing as the BCUC finally gets to examine BC Hydro’s latest mega-project.  Large Dams Cost Twice Original Budget, Researchers Say, Bloomberg Business, March 11, 2014: Large dams run 96 percent over budget on average, according to a University of Oxford study based on projects in 65 countries ...

In-Sights: Careless or captured?

When you read or listen to resource industry advocates, especially ones masquerading as objective political pundits, compare their concerns in 2009 about burning natural gas to generate peak-demand electricity to their recent support for burning BC natural gas elsewhere in the world in the form of LNG. The following was first published at In-Sights on ...

In-Sights: Overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks…

Hunter S. Thompson: As far as I’m concerned, it’s a damned shame that a field as potentially dynamic and vital as journalism should be overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks, hag-ridden with myopia, apathy, and complacence, and generally stuck in a bog of stagnant mediocrity. One ubiquitous messenger from the Legislative Press Gallery wrote a ...

In-Sights: When the call screener makes life difficult – Replay

A bit out of date but this item first published in January 2015 is worth repeating. It shows something about the quality of political reporting in BC. January 2, an unidentified caller chatted with CKNW Legislative reporter and talkshow host Sean Leslie, the spouse of a BC Liberal Government Communications Director, appointed by Order in ...

In-Sights: We should all have a stake in the Peace

At the Boon family farm near Fort St. John: The Yellow Stake Campaign

In-Sights: Liberal friends win, taxpayers lose

Regular readers know that BC has a surplus of electricity, created mainly by BC Hydro’s steadily increasing purchases of private power, even though domestic consumption has been flat since 2005. Export markets are unprofitable and that situation has continued for years. Proof is offered by BC selling Columbia River electricity outside the province for about ...

In-Sights: Circular flow of income

Dr. Eoin Finn, an expert in international business and a leading Woodfibre LNG opponent, spoke to the independent Coast Clarion and said, “The fight is nearly over.” This was a project that Christy Clark’s Liberals hoped to promote in the May election as proof their LNG strategy was not constructed with glitter glue and puffballs. ...

In-Sights: Costing Site C Options

Another contribution from Richard McCandless, a former senior civil servant in British Columbia and a knowledgeable analyst who comments regularly on public affairs at BC Policy Perspectives. (Republished here with permission.) On Thursday the Liberal party promised to spend hundreds of millions on new and expanded programs, signaling the abandonment of what many had believed ...