It's something that Norm Farrell, Rafe Mair and others have talked about a lot.
And now a former insider has blown the whistle.
Interestingly, (or perhaps not if you have been paying attention), only Andrew MacLeod of the Tyee has the story so far.
Here is his lede and a couple of bits more (but go and read it all):
A former senior British Columbia civil servant says the provincial government has manipulated BC Hydro's finances for political gain.
In a June 10 presentation to a B.C. Utilities Commission panel in Victoria, Richard McCandless called on the regulator to publicly probe the Crown corporation's finances...
...After the 2008 financial crisis and the economic recession, the provincial government made returning to a balanced budget its top priority and money from Crown corporations helped achieve that goal, he said. It used BC Hydro to balance the government's budget, promote private investment in power generation and subsidize industry by suppressing rates, McCandless said.
It was able to do that largely through the "abuse" of regulatory accounts that allowed it to defer expenses for years into the future, he said...
...Since 2010, BC Hydro has in total added about $3.1 billion to its deferral accounts, McCandless told the panel. "In the same period, the government recorded approximately $2.9 billion in BC Hydro net income, [which includes] $1.2 billion in cash dividend transfers to help lower the government's direct operating debt."
Put another way, the government claims in its budget revenue from BC Hydro, part of its narrow surplus, but that money is largely borrowed, he said in an interview. The government is saving taxpayers' debt and improving how its books look, but is instead loading it onto BC Hydro ratepayers, he said.
"If you stand back, it's not that intricate to see what they're doing," he said...
And please note, Mr. McCandless knows our provincial government, from the nuts and bolts perspective inside and out.
Because he was an administrative and financial planner as well as an assistant deputy minister in that government for 35 years.
It was Uncle Rafe who called Campbell/Clark Inc., the 'Wrecking Crew' the other day over at Norm's place....With all due respect to the original musical crew it's a heckuva an apt monicker if you ask me.
SubHeader?....Bigger E and me twist up a little Phil Ochs for you all...