NEWS RELEASE · 6th July 2010
BC NDP Caucus
The B.C. Transmission Corporation moved back under B.C. Hydro control Monday, seven years after the B.C. Liberals tore apart the Crown corporation. The move marks the end of an expensive failed experiment and proves that the B.C. Liberals should not be making important energy decisions without public scrutiny, say New Democrats.
“Under new energy legislation, the B.C. Liberals have taken away virtually all independent oversight around energy issues from the B.C. Utilities Commission and brought it under the direct control of cabinet,” said John Horgan, New Democrat energy critic. “The same piece of legislation reverses one of their first failures: splitting off the B.C. Transmission Corporation from B.C. Hydro.”
Horgan noted the enormous cost to taxpayers to first separate, and then re-unite B.C. Hydro. Some reports say it cost $65 million to split up the Crown corporation and operate separate boards of directors and management structures since 2003.
“What is the added cost of winding down the BCTC? What happens to all those board members and duplicated senior managers? The B.C. Liberals must tell the public exactly how much this failed experiment cost taxpayers, and how much we’re paying to put the pieces back together again,” said Horgan.
“The energy policy we’ve seen from the B.C. Liberals in the past decade has resulted in skyrocketing hydro rates; ratepayers in British Columbia are already facing a proposed increase of 29 per cent on their hydro bills over the next three years. The Clean Energy Act promises to push rates higher still,” said Horgan.
“The B.C. Liberals brought forward these damaging changes without debate at the height of their botched implementation of the HST, resulting in very little public attention. But the implications will be as profound as the implications of the HST.
“Whether it’s tax policy or energy policy, this B.C. Liberal crew cannot be trusted,” said Horgan.
Carole James and New Democrats have been holding the B.C. Liberals accountable for breaking their word on the HST, and for backtracking on their election promises to protect health care, education, and other vital services.