As official spokesman for The Common Sense Canadian, I’ve spoken throughout the province and found one constant obstacle: people find it difficult to believe that any sane government could come up with such a policy. They’re starting to realize that they’re right – no sane government would:
BC Hydro from developing any new public power projects (Site C,
exempted, is not a "new" project - it's been on the books for decades)
- Give all development to private companies with secret sweetheart deals
- All but give them licenses to use our rivers (the original price for a private power water license was around $170)
BC Hydro to buy this private power at almost 3 times what they pay for
it or some 9-12 more than they can make it themselves, thus placing BC
Hydro in a position that if they were in the private sector, they would
be headed for bankruptcy.
That’s right folks - these private power projects can't store much energy, meaning it must be used when it's created. Because they can’t generate much power when their rivers are low, which they generally are except during the annual spring run-off - when we need their power the least - BC Hydro gets stuck with power it must use or sell at a huge loss.One cannot blame people for not believing this. It is indeed incomprehensible. But it’s true.
It’s so hard to believe that the NDP in the ’09 election didn’t make this into the big issue of the campaign.
The worm has turned – not implying that the NDP are worms! – and the leading candidates for their leadership have clearly stated that there will be no more of this sweetheart cronyism and that the secret contracts must be opened up to the public's scrutiny.
You will recall that during the Liberal Party’s leadership process this environment/energy issue wasn’t debated at all. It was if it simply didn’t exist! Assuming that the NDP select either Mr. Farnworth or Mr. Horgan, this issue is automatically in the forefront of the debate and must be dealt with – as long as the NDP keeps its nerve.
On a related matter, John Cummins, leader of the Conservative Party, has long been an ardent foe of the Liberals' Energy Policy and even if, which I don’t believe, the NDP were to lose their nerve, the Conservatives won’t. With no seats going into the race, and with Mr. Cummins' reputation for fighting for what he believes in, the Liberals will finally be forced to face the music.
Finally, what will Mr. Campbell do now?
On the Liberal leader election night, Mr. Campbell was said to be in Washington, DC. This is not the time of year he normally takes a vacation there and it would be interesting to know what his itinerary was.
My guess is that some plumy directorships will be coming his way from grateful titans of industry.