Hydro Union Responds to Changes in BC Energy Policy

February 7, 2012

MoveUP welcomes move away from “self-sufficiency”; suggests additional steps for government

February 7, 2012

BURNABY – Today the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union Local 378, who represents workers at BC Hydro, responded publicly to recent changes to provincial energy policy.

The changes occurred over the past few days and involve at least a cursory move away from the province’s misguided “self-sufficiency” policy, which forced BC Hydro to buy expensive power from private producers regardless of the province’s need.

“We’ve been drawing attention to this irresponsible policy since the Liberals introduced it in 2007,” said MoveUP President David Black.

“It’s been a significant factor in Hydro’s current financial problems, so it’s encouraging to see the government at least partly admit they were wrong on this, though it remains to be seen how far away their new policy will actually move,” Black added.

MoveUP is calling on the BC Liberal government to cancel the proposed private, run-of-the-river power projects that have not yet been built, including the Kokish, Upper Lillooet, Harrison, and Upper Toba projects, in order to show they are taking real action on the issue.

In addition to announcing a move away from “self-sufficiency”, the BC Liberals also declared they would be prioritizing the development of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) production.

“MoveUP is urging the government and BC Hydro to ensure that LNG companies pay their fair share of the costs they generate,” continued Black, “We don’t want more issues with Hydro’s finances as we’ve seen in the past with their massive subsidies to corporate customers.”

“What we’re asking is for the government to demonstrate responsibility by showing that BC residents won’t be subsidizing large LNG corporations,” Black stated.