Thursday, October 27, 2005

What The BCUC?


So 6000 British Columbians, or thereabouts, asked the B.C. Utilities Commission to hold public hearings on the sale of Terasen gas to Kinder-BushRanger, er, Morgan*.

Even leaving aside written request multipliers used by many public monitoring groups, which are often in the low three digits, that is a heck of lot of requests.

And given the lack of transparency and the public discord over the GordCo Inc. legislation that cleared the road for the deal you might think that the BC Utilities Commission, whose job it is to protect the public interest, would want to get everything above board and make such hearings happen.

They did not.

And last night a Terasen FlackHack dismissively (and derisively) asked Michael Smyth what public hearings would add to the discourse when his company had already held a bunch of 'Open Houses' that nobody paid any attention to.

Uncharacteristically, Smyth was somewhat at a loss for words.

As someone who has been on the wrong end of many a Corporate Open House fiascos, I am not.

Specifically, these things are little more than P.R. vehicles; there is no independent monitor; there is no free and open discussion; they are always hampered by the hammer of the corporate-controlled ground rules.

In other words, Corporo-Penned-In Houses are designed to mollify, not inform, the citizenry.

That is why I believe that the absence of public hearings on this issue is an outrage, not to mention an active suppression of democracy.

* See #12


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