Rafe: Clark Will Break Up BC Hydro


Over the years I have done blogs, editorials and the like unto the thousands.

This is the all time shortest.

Within the next four years, BC Hydro, once as good a power utility as there  was in the world, will be broken up.

It is, you see, presently bankrupt by private corporation standards, and only keeps, barely, afloat because it can and does go to us the taxpayers and consumers for more money.

This will end because the taxpayers/ratepayers will be tapped out.

Just what form the break-up takes, we’ll have to wait and see, but as sure as God made little green apples, she’s a goner.

Here is the crunch: Mike Harcourt will not be to blame and nor will Glen Clark, Dan Miller and Ujjal Dosanjh. Nor will it be because of some unforeseen world market.

This catastrophe belongs to Gordon Campbell and Christy Clark alone. They forced BC Hydro into making huge “sweetheart” deals with private producers to whom they now owe some $50-60 BILLION; the entire sordid affair happened on their watch with their blessing.

Christy Clark and the Liberals, on May 14, 2013, inherited their own tailor made dunghill, the only challenge being to clean it up without accepting responsibility. And with economists like our own, the truth will emerge every inch of the way.


About Rafe Mair

Rafe Mair, LL.B, LL.D (Hon) a B.C. MLA 1975 to 1981, was Minister of Environment from late 1978 through 1979. In 1981 he left politics for Talk Radio becoming recognized as one of B.C.'s pre-eminent journalists. An avid fly fisherman, he took a special interest in Atlantic salmon farms and private power projects as environmental calamities and became a powerful voice in opposition to them. Rafe is the co-founder of The Common Sense Canadian and writes a regular blog at rafeonline.com.

1 thought on “Rafe: Clark Will Break Up BC Hydro

  1. Tuesday, 28 May 2013 09:25 posted by Dave

    “The tragedy is that so many people won’t have a clue”
    Right on, that says it all about just how ignorant the vast majority of British Columbians are, very sad.

    Thursday, 23 May 2013 18:58 posted by David in Vancouver

    I believe Gordon Campbell would have sold off BC Hydro if he could. I am sure polling by his office revealed the Fiberals would be slaughtered by the voters and the BC Liberal party brand would be dead. So, he did the next best thing, contracting out some 30% of BCH’s functions.

    The green energy policy has put BCH in a very difficult position. Some 75 projects are on line and about another 45 projects are in the pipeline. Clark and Co. will continue to push BCH further into trouble, then claim it can’t be fixed and must be sold off. Given British Columbians reverence for Hydro, the public will require considerable softening up.

    Recall CEO Dave Cobb’s brief tenure at BCH. The government’s vague review basically wanted a 20% across the board staff reduction. BCH staff make a convenient ‘whipping boy’ as BCH, like most of the Canadian utility industry, pays very well and offers good pensions and benefits. In spite of whatever Cobb said about leaving BCH to work for Jim Pattison, I believe he was uncomfortable being pushed into the role of ‘hatchet man’. I know nothing about the new CEO.

    The big question will be how with the $60 Billion obligation over 20 years will handled.

    Wednesday, 22 May 2013 13:40 posted by Bob W

    what is particularly galling, is that in a recent interview with Chrsty Clarke, she actually compared herself to WAC Bennett, in talking about building our province!
    It makes a person get physically sick!

    Tuesday, 21 May 2013 13:14 posted by Gordie

    I, too, believe that BC Hydro will be sold off. It has been bankrupt by the Liberals so they will sell for a fraction of its value, a la BC Rail (except BC Rail was only claimed to be a money-loser, it was not really bankrupt). Furthermore, I would not be the least bit surprised if the BC Government (that is, you and me) will keep the BC Hydro debt to make BCH palatable to private buyers. Then watch rates go up to cover IPP contracts and time-of-day billing to start. This, I believe, was the plan all along.

    Sunday, 19 May 2013 08:43 posted by psosp

    More and more I realize how true the movie “Idiocracy” is, especially where the line “It’s about the economy, stupid” is uttered. So is the case of the Fiberals. While CC said absolutely nothing during her relentless campaign babbling, the only words that sunk into too many voters was “jobs” and “economy”. What good are jobs that pay too little to buy groceries or pay rent? Or pay a hydro bill? CC didn’t have a platform, She had a plank. Too bad we didn’t make her walk it overboard.
    I continue to be a smart meter holdout.

    Friday, 17 May 2013 21:24 posted by Hugh

    A company buying BC Hydro would then owe $50-60 billion to IPPs, for power not really needed.

    But as the world moves away from fossil fuels, BC Hydro becomes much more valuable, since hydro power is clean and renewable.

    Imagine a BC where there was no fossil fuel – the main energy source would be hydro power from BC Hydro.

    Friday, 17 May 2013 17:57 posted by Damien Gillis

    She didn’t mention Hydro during the campaign, let alone outline her specific policy vision on this file, so no, I don’t think she has a clear and open mandate to break-up Hydro. But she will act as though she does. Watch for another HST-style consumer revolt when she does. Majority government or not, this will be enormously unpopular across the political spectrum…

    Friday, 17 May 2013 15:11 posted by janfromthebruce

    Clark has the mandate now to sell off all public enterprises to her friends, and basically through this election, the BC people endorsed it.

    If I hear those same people whine and cry or say anything, I will only say, you voted for it.

    Friday, 17 May 2013 13:32 posted by Damien Gillis

    Sean, our proof (and it’s not presented as proof, rather reasoned opinion) lies in the significant body of work we’ve put forward through the pages over the past 3 years and prior to that through other work by Rafe, myself and other. A few pieces to get you up to speed:







    Friday, 17 May 2013 12:36 posted by Enquiring Minds Want To Know

    Sean, just curious, was the HST in the Liberal platform during the last election?

    Life will go on, vastly diminished, and most people won’t have a clue what we lost, or what we could have had. Most people won’t care. The tragedy isn’t so much what we’ll have lost, as great as that is. The tragedy is that so many people won’t have a clue. That is true about so many things.

    Friday, 17 May 2013 12:11 posted by Sean in Vancouver

    Oh well. The BC Liberals, under the Honourable Christy Clark, have the right to do this.

    The BC Liberals have a clear mandate to do anything for this province.

    So what?

    Ontario Hydro did the same, and it is okay.

    Life will go on.

    BTW, what proof do you have? It wasn’t in the platform.

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