Fortis move doesn’t add up

Local resident questions Fortis BC's decisions on location of their new project.

According to FortisBC’s website, the company provides “electrical service to approximately 111,500 customers in the south central part of the province including Kelowna, Osoyoos, Trail, Castlegar, Princeton and Rossland”.  It also services “approximately 48,500 customers through the wholesale supply of power to municipal distributors in the communities of Summerland, Penticton, Kelowna, Grand Forks and Nelson.”

For this operation, Fortis BC spokesperson reported in the Trail Daily Times (FortisBC breaks ground on $1.7 million facility, September 7) that, the Ooteschenia location is a must because it is geographically “central”.

So, the capital of BC should be located in Prince George, that’s central.  The capital of Canada should be located in Winnipeg, along with Toronto’s Bay Street.  New York’s Wall Street should be located in Kansas City, along with the White House and Pentagon.  Remarkably these areas have thrived without being in someone’s perception as geographically central.

Where is Fortis’ head office located?  Some place central?  Try Newfoundland.  Well, maybe it will move its HQ to Winnipeg, that’s kind of central between BC and Newfoundland.

Fortis claims to have contacted the City of Trail two years ago about its plans to relocate.  The public has yet to hear what level of detail Fortis provided.  To my knowledge, the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary wasn’t informed either.

Yet, up until at least April 2012, the Mayor of Castlegar was trying to get the BC Health Minister to relocate the regional hospital to the Ooteschenia site.

So how does a company like Fortis develop a 16 million dollar project without a location in mind?

What happened between two years ago and this past August?

This move still doesn’t pass the smell test.  Something just doesn’t add up.

Maybe Fortis will consider saving us some money by reducing new expenditures as well as the expense associated with brochures telling us how to reduce consumption.

Most seniors I know are very careful with their use of both electricity and gas.  Does Fortis want us to cook over an open fire pit or do laundry down by the river?

Does Fortis really need smart meters to tell them when families cook their meals, take their baths, do their laundry or heat their homes?

Ask any six year old what the household routine is.  It’ll save Fortis a ton of costly, prying smart meters.

Lastly, maybe Fortis could also design utility statements that a “six year old” can understand.

Rose Calderon

Trail