John Horgan, the NDP energy critic, is currently campaigning for funds to fight the upcoming increase in the power rates in BC Hydro country.
Where was he when I e-mailed him concerning the proposed rate hikes in Fortis country?
I received no answer, so I am forced to recognize the fact that he only speaks for his constituents on the Island and not for the rest of B.C. Do we have a real energy critic or a finance critic amongst the opposition parties?
If so where are they and why are they so silent when any rate hike, in these depressed economic times, severely affects every citizen of this province.
The present Liberal government is always complaining of the hard times that they face, but they are the first to approve further financial burdens placed on the very people that they were elected to protect.
But is there an answer to this problem?
It is easy to complain but, to do so honestly there has to be a solution. The present hydro problem did not appear overnight and a solution will not come overnight.
Once there was the BC Electric Co, a privately owned power company that was nationalized by the government at the time, to become BC Hydro, and there was the West Kootenay Power and Light that was also a private company which was sold to an Idaho company and eventually this became Fortis BC.
So now we have two companies that control our electric power and own the dams that provide that power.
These companies are not accountable to the citizens of B.C., but only are accountable to their investors, and this is where the problem lies.
The answer: make them accountable and any increase must be proven absolutely necessary in order for them to supply safe, dependable and affordable power to the public.
Private companies must show a profit to lure new investors and keep the old ones happy but any new money should be used to improve service and not just used to offer lucrative dividends to the investors.
Taxpayers’ hard earned cash should not be used to subsidize these power corporations, nor should there be substantial increases in hydro rates that are just another way of subsidizing.
We need a watchdog and our politicians, especially John Horgan and the B.C. Utilities Commission are not filling that bill. If they are not doing their jobs, then fire them just like any other organization would.
Donald E Thorsteinson