Secret agreements lead to abuse of power

"Locally we have two irreversible boondoggle secret contracts that will cost taxpayers and ratepayers millions."

Let me start on the perimeter and slowly bring this into focus.

Ontario Hydro made secret deals with the power industry. When concerns were first raised about the costs of these secret deals the then Provincial Government said it would only cost ratepayers about $40 million.

Citizen groups used court challenges to free information from the clutches of government. The latest estimate is $500 million and Kathleen Wynne, the current premier of Ontario, has now publicly apologized for the money wasted on these secret deals. A very recent story is suggesting the secret deals could reach billions.

BC Hydro recently asked for a 40 per cent rate increase  but our provincial government has dialed that back to 30 per cent. But how much of that is to pay back money wasted on secret deals?  The provincial government and Hydro are to be commended for canceling several high cost run of river and other power purchase agreements. However, how many uneconomic contracts weren’t cancelled and how much will require massive subsidy for many years into the future?

Locally we have two irreversible boondoggle secret contracts that will cost taxpayers and ratepayers millions.

The first one of these is the secret agreement that Celgar has with BC Hydro. For reasons that only a bureaucrat can justify, the power qualifies as “green power” so Celgar receives a premium from BC Hydro.

But taxpayers and ratepayers get fleeced because Celgar fully recovered all capital expenditures related to this project. The American parent company has stated there could be a 50 per cent annual return on the grant money.

The second secret agreement relates to the Waneta expansion that is presently under way. The project increases generating capacity by around 50 per cent, but actual power generated will be largely unchanged for eight or nine months per year. A recent news story stated the expansion will only use surplus water in the spring that the present Waneta dam can not during spring freshet.

I have calculated that there is surplus water from Teck’s water license for about four month per year.  True economic payback is questionable, but was justified based on excessive power rates. Fortis, the unregulated company, has a secret agreement with Fortis, the regulated local utility, to purchase this power at these secret excessive rates.

Hello Ontario. Hello BC Hydro. We as local Fortis customers are the next group to be victimized by secret power purchase agreements.

Norman Gabana


Just Posted

Renter beware: Online rental scam happening in Trail

Don’t be giving anyone money if you can’t get keys to have a look or meet the person, realtor warns

Rossland group builds hiking trail FORR everyone

The project will allow people with mobility issues to enjoy the trails in the summer

2019 Colombo Lodge executives

The 2019 men and ladies executives were sworn in at the installation ceremonies earlier this month

Mounties warn about open liquor at Rossland Carnival

They’ll be out there watching for illegal drinking

The Trail Smoke Eaters win in a shootout over Wenatchee Wild

The Trail Smoke Eaters split its two-game series against the Wenatchee Wild on weekend

UPDATE: B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

No cash, no election sign policy pondered by B.C. city

A deposit could be required to put up election signs in 2022.

China demands US drop Huawei extradition request with Canada

China detained two Canadians on Dec. 10 in an apparent attempt to pressure Canada to release Meng

9 brains, 3 hearts: Some wild facts about octopuses

Things to know about the giant Pacific octopus, which is naturally found in the waters of the U.S. West coast, the Aleutian Islands and Japan

Hollywood announces 2019 Oscar nominations

Netflix has scored its first best picture nomination, something the streaming giant has dearly sought

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

‘Blue Monday’ isn’t real, but depression can be

CMHA encourages people to prioritize their mental health

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

Most Read