...Force BC Hydro To Borrow Money?
Yesterday, BC Liberal Government Minister Bill Bennett stated, with no equivocation, what everybody who has been paying attention (except, apparently, the local proMedia pundit gentry) already knew about why he and his force BC Hydro to give them millions of dollars every year that it doesn't have (and thus has to borrow, which increases costs for 'ratepayers' sometimes known as 'us'):
“But we couldn’t (decrease the 'dividend' from BC Hydro which is in the hundreds of millions per annum). We’re on a fiscal plan and we want to balance the budget every year and we just couldn’t afford to do it before we did.”...
Which got reader Lew wondering if, perhaps folks like the good Mr. Bennett themselves might have a personal financial incentive for 'wanting' to balance the budget every year.
More specifically Lew pointed us towards the following from a wee hangover from the GordCo Inc. years known as the "Balanced Budget and Ministerial Accountability Act":
Prohibition against deficit budgets
The main estimates for a fiscal year must not contain a forecast of a deficit for that fiscal year.
Section 3 (salary holdback)
(1) The salary otherwise payable under section 4 of the Members' Remuneration and Pensions Act to each member of the Executive Council must be reduced by 20%.
Of course, in reality, this entire thing is pure, unadulterated codswallop.
How do we know that?
Because, whenever the going got really tough in the past (i.e. before they got better at stealing MSP dollars from healthcare 'clients' sometimes known as 'us') the BC Liberal government would just suspend the act.
Which is exactly what occurred in 2009 (i.e. before they got even better at stealing MSP, ICBC and BC Hydro dollars from 'us'):
The B.C. Liberal government is taking a temporary leave from its championed balanced-budget law to clear the path for two years of deficit spending.
Finance Minister Colin Hansen introduced amended legislation Monday that allows the government to spend in the red, but he promised to return the province to balanced budgets in the near future...
So, if this thing can be suspended at will why even have it at all?
Well, in my opinion it, as is so often the case with this government, has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with real policy for 'us' and everything to do with spin, PR and the Cronification of Everything (to wit, see Norm Farrell's series on falling revenues from resource-intensive corporations as MSP, ICBC and BCHydro transfers, and more, rose).