Christy Clark Turns BC Hydro Rates Into a Ticking Time Bomb



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 22, 2012

Christy Clark Turns BC Hydro Rates Into a Ticking Time Bomb
BC Liberals Halt BCUC Hearings, Ducking Independent Oversight of BC Hydro Rates

BURNABY – The Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union Local 378 (MoveUP) responded with shock and deep concern today to the BC Liberal government’s unprecedented announcement that they are suspending BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) oversight of BC Hydro in order to hide the government’s mismanagement and to delay rate increases until after the next election.

“This is just astounding,” said MoveUP President David Black, “They cut off the BCUC hearings just as BC Hydro was about to put evidence on the record about their finances. The only way to view it is as a cynical attempt to obscure a decade of their mismanagement of our public utility.”

Black continued, “They should let the BCUC weigh the evidence and share their findings with the public and suggest a financially responsible course for BC Hydro free from political manipulation. Additionally, it’s galling the BC Liberals are taking credit for paying down deferral costs when they fought that direction from the BCUC.”

Black pointed out the BC Liberals had previously removed the $ 1 billion Smart Meter Initiative from BCUC oversight and that BC Hydro continues to face significant costs as a result of paying more for power from private power projects across BC.

“We believe the Commission was going to come out and tell the public that the government has mismanaged BC Hydro for over ten years and that they can no longer hide or delay those costs,” Black added.

Black called the new rate package “a political ticking time bomb,” noting: “They’re trying to buy our votes right before the election. But they are compounding the rate problem by pushing it into the future. What this really means is we will be facing unaffordable BC Hydro rates after the next election.”

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Media Contact: Sage Aaron, saaron@moveuptogether.ca