NEWS RELEASE · 29th May 2012
The B.C. Liberal government is once again putting politics ahead of the public interest by issuing a cabinet directive to the B.C. Utilities Commission to set rates at B.C. Hydro artificially low before next year’s election, says New Democrat energy critic John Horgan.
“The Liberal government’s focus is on short-term political gain. They’re making decisions based on what’s best for them in the coming election, instead of what a government is supposed to do, which is make decisions in the interests of all British Columbians,” said Horgan, calling it “crass” and “incredibly cynical.”
Horgan was responding to Tuesday’s announcement that the government is interfering with the B.C. Utilities Commission by issuing a special direction to set rates at B.C. Hydro, effectively cancelling the public hearings planned for next month where the company was to defend their rate hike application.
“There hasn’t been a comprehensive review of B.C. Hydro’s books or long-term plans for years. If the Liberals are so confident they have things under control, why are they afraid to allow the independent utilities commission to do its job and provide the transparency and accountability the public deserves?” asked Horgan.
Noting that Liberal mismanagement is responsible for the 36-per-cent increase ratepayers have already seen over the past five years, Horgan questioned whether the artificially suppressed rate increase will mean even bigger increases in future years.
Last week, Horgan revealed that Liberal energy policies will be responsible for losses of $180 million over just a three-month period this spring because B.C. Hydro is being forced to pay extraordinary prices for private power purchases while our public dams are spilling water over the top and the turbines sit idle.
“That $180 million was just the tip of the iceberg in documents submitted to the B.C. Utilities Commission in anticipation of public hearings into B.C. Hydro’s rate application,” said Horgan. "The Liberals don’t like hard questions like that. They don’t like questions about billions of dollars hiding in deferral accounts that will eventually have to be paid back. They don’t like questions about the billion-dollar smart meter program. So their answer was to shut it down and pretend there’s nothing wrong.”
Adrian Dix and B.C.’s New Democrats are committed to restoring the regulatory role of the B.C. Utilities Commission, putting a moratorium on signing any further independent power contracts, and reviewing existing contracts to determine whether they are in the public interest.
Deliberately Bankrupting BC Hydro?
Comment by Catherine on 31st May 2012
From what I can see, the Christy Clark gang is deliberately bankrupting hydro. Same old game - gut the assets, force it into bankruptcy and privatize it - remember her slogan "free enterprise"? Yah, free enterprise for her and her friends; but, poverty for the rest of us in her "family first" pitch - me thinks only HER family first!
Follow the money if you want to know who's benefitting from the IPP and Smart Meter $$. how many in the Liberal fold have shares in these programs? are the MP's who are leaving the ranks just securing their future profits???....I don't for one minute think that they have a strike of conscience - it's all pure greed...how much of California's IOU (to BC) did the Liberals forgive and for what personal or party benefit?????
This is a very corrupt bunch of gangsters that, only in BC or Canada, for that matter, we call ?? "government"!
When did our government stop working for us (the people) and turn the other cheek?
Comment by ron wilton on 29th May 2012
If the BCUC is independant of government, why don't they proceed with the hearings anyway?
With the increasing public awareness of the ineligibility and ineptness of the present government, why should anyone be bound by anything they say or do to try and prevent us from learning the depths of the havoc they have created for us?