Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Has The Campbell/Clark Government Wrecked BC Hydro?


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...



JasonS said...

Campbell said he wouldn't sell BC Rail then he leased it for 990 years . Then he went to work on BC Hydro and Chirpy is finishing off the corpse. To all the people that have voted for the BC Neo-Liberal party since 2009 ... this is your fault for not paying attention . Please explain to your children how you allowed these business scum to pilfer all of their wealth.

RossK said...


And don't forget that little matter of hiving off all of the accounting to Accenture.


And then there was that wee matter of excusing cronies from the boardroom so that they could vote to enrich them via completely conflicty free smart meter contracts.

Because, as well now know (see, Clark, C.), as long as you declare that you have a conflict you no longer have one.

Or some such thing.


Anonymous said...

JasonS said: "Campbell said he wouldn't sell BC Rail then he leased it for 990 years..."

Please remember that BC Rail was a good money maker for the province before the BC Liberals came in. Campbell and Co. basically loaded BC Rail with unsustainable debt, then said: 'Look, it's broken... the NDP did that.'

Viewing BC Hydro through the historic lens of BC Rail really brings a new clarity to the old phrase "history repeats itself".

Who was right beside Gordon during hid flipflop on the sale of BC Rail? Jessica McDonald - who is now the President and CEO of BC Hydro (she is also a member Board of Directors of the perpetually scandal plagued Powerex).

But the story doesn't end there. Jessica McDonald is a member of the Board of Directors of ICBC. More specifically she is Vice Chair & Chair of Governance of ICBC.

The dominoes fall.

RossK said...

And the buyers....errrrr...leasers needed all that debt for the massive tax write-off that was a significant part of the gouging that is rarely factored in to the price we've paid.

(which would all be fodder for a Springsteen song if only the leasing was about burned out Chevrolets rather than the dismantling of a people's railroad which, I suppose, might be a WGuthrie song instead)


Anonymous said...

moral hazard
breach of public trust
breach of fudiciary duty
p2p pay to play aledgedly
delete delete delete
world class
our first,top priority
on time on budget
we balanced the budget
lost moral authority to govern?
trillion dollar LNG
whatever it takes to win
dont need 3.5B massey bridge -tunnel yes
10B site c not
hydro demand flat for past 10 tears at about 52 GWH

RossK said...


That's quite a list you've got there

(and it's hard to argue with it)


Unknown said...

And the real story is that all this remaind unreported in the mainstream media.

The dots are there for all to see.

Postmedia has a written mutual masturbation agreement with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers ( for a copy), the oil industry pays huge bucks to BC Liberals, their partners, the Sun, Province and National Post don't investigate Campbell/Clark and lay off stories unhelpful to it. The lying is not just what they say; even more it's what they don't say - deliberately.

It's all there leaving this question - why in hell are any of us buying their newspapers? All the news is easily available on the internet.

RossK said...

A very good question, indeed, Mr. Mair.


Anonymous said...

SH @ RossK and Rafe,

Our family will not be enriching Jackson-Triggs after reading these comments on Laila's blog ( I couldn't find Merv's source…but his word is good enough for me):

--mervadey // June 8, 2016 9:46 am at 9:46 am // Reply
Dang . I was reading too quickly. The Jackson Triggs in kind donation was for 82 decommissioned Oak Barrels, valued at $32k. Not sure what they have to do with hide tanning but presume they have a use. Also wonder at the value.

— menz // June 8, 2016 10:45 am at 10:45 am // Reply
I guess the barrels were for the sheep skin tanning at a sand pit as there was issues of using her farm.i wonder where the barrels are now. Maybe with missing (lost track) students of program. I find shutting down pebble in the pond society seems suspicious if everything was above board. Too many hmmmmmmmmmm.

As I learn about businesses who donate to the BC Private Advantage Party I will deny them my custom. Red Truck Brewery learned that public opinion matters:

Anonymous said...


In vino, veritas, Except, maybe not in bcpoli…

-The little vintner who could:

-Hmmmm, now why does Judi need to "know":

Judi Tyabji ‏@JudiTyabji Jun 15
Getting to Know the Wine Business #bcwine #okanagan #wine @bcwinetrails

Anonymous said...


Chris Walker's interview yesterday with Okanagan Similkameen MLA, Linda Larson:

CBC Kelowna ‏@CBCKelowna 24h24 hours ago
Last minute education funding not political, says MLA … via @audioBoom

Darryl R Taylor said...

With Gordon Campbell coming back from his, appointment as High Commissioner to London, is there any legal way that we could take him to task for the BC Rail sale?

It's close to being a matter of public record, and if we could pry that one open again as a welcome home present for him, we would likely find a few conflict of interest clues that would heat things up for dear Crusty.

Even if nothing came of it, it might unsettle both her and a few others and get them scurrying around making certain that they've cleaned house well enough to get away with selling BC Hydro's blood drained corpse to the highest bidder (who was probably determined by 2010, will mysteriously have some sort of unfair advantage in the placement of offers, and either directly or by proxy has been a significant donor to the BC Liberal party).