Local 3570

Local 3570


COMMENTARY ON GOV'T ENGERY PRACTISES

Hello all,
I think that the results of the government plans to have industry run the province are becoming evident, despite their promise "not to privatise BC Hydro."  This is, in reality, all smoke and mirrors.  What is being left of BC Hydro will be a shell company that merely helps to keep prices lower for a while.  Not mentioned in my commentary below is the fact that the Liberals are pushing Hydro (and BC Ferries) to run on deficit financing, further crippling their long-term viability.
 
 
I think that the government is being two-sided when it claims that "we need the power plant even after the power cables are renewed, because of a growing energy need in B.C."  They are saying this while they are also doing three other things:
 
1) Power that belongs to the province of B.C. from the joint Canada-U.S. Columbia River project is currently being sold by the Liberals at market rates, and the money used to balance the provincial books.  (Remember them criticising the NDP for doing the same thing?)  If our province needs the power, then why is it being sold off?
 
2) The government is allowing industry to create power in B.C. and then be sold to the U.S.  This is starving our own province from getting enough power, unless we wish to pay greatly inflated "market" prices.  Two cases in point: Alcan’s plan to export power to the U.S. from Kitimat.  This means closing the Aluminium plant (displacing 1000 + workers) and using the split-off BC Transmission Corp to get the power to the U.S.  No power to us!  Second example: the green energy wind power project on northern Vancouver Island is looking for ways to get their power to the U.S. market.  So how is BC Hydro supposed to keep the lights on?  By paying full California prices.  (But don't worry, Hydro isn't being privatised!)
 
3) While BC Hydro itself isn't being privatised, wages are being repressed to such a degree that its employees are fleeing the company and then getting hired by private companies.  Then the same employees are being "contracted" back to Hydro, at exorbitant prices, to run the ship. 
 
So much for a secure "keep the lights on" energy policy!
 
I hope that we keep the Liberal's feet close to the (proverbial) fire in the next few weeks.
 
Ian.
ianshore@nisa.net
 

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