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Christy Clark's got some 'splainin' to do
While Christy Clark is touring about China for six days on the public dime, we had some interesting news.
First, we are facing a 25-per-cent increase in B.C. Hydro electricity rates over five years.
Second, B.C. has once again the highest rate of child poverty in Canada, 18.5 per cent. That works out to one in five children in B.C. living below the poverty line. This does not bode well for B.C.'s future.
The provincial government has decided to make things even more difficult for these children by increasing electricity rates by 25 per cent. There will be no corresponding increase in wages, pensions or welfare.
Where will the money come from? People will spend less of food, clothing, charitable giving, live in less-expensive housing, etc. This does not bode well for the children of B.C.
Many will try to economize by cutting back on the use of electricity. Unfortunately, if this has a major impact on BC Hydro's income, they will simply increase the electricity rates again.
Their object is to increase the amount of money they take in. They have huge debts to pay.
Former premier Gordon Campbell signed run-of-the-river projects with private corporations, some for up to 30 years. He then forced BC Hydro to purchase this electricity at ten times what they could sell it for.
This does not make economic sense. However, it does make a lot of money for the private corporations.
Campbell then decided we should all have the new not-so-smart meters. There went close to another billion dollars.
BC Hydro is a Crown corporation, which must now pay for all of this along with the high salaries of their executives and board of directors.
While Ms. Clark is in China she was interviewed by an English reporter from the Chinese media. It's a very interesting clip.
She explained the government was selling B.C. bonds in China in Chinese currency to "make money in a lucrative market." She invited China to come to B.C. to learn how to frack.
What Ms. Clark needs to do is come back to B.C., unlock the doors to the legislature and have the legislature sit. She and her ministers need to explain in detail, to the citizens and taxpayers of this province, why BC Hydro is raising the electricity rates by 25 per cent.
Ms. Clark and her ministers need to explain to the children of this province why one in five of them is living in poverty. They need to explain to the voters/taxpaying citizens of this province how they plan to raise these children out of poverty.
Not a repetition of the campaign slogans but an actual plan, with steps to be taken, and how it will all be achieved.
China has a very large supply of natural gas as does Malaysia. They don't need LNG from B.C., unless we sell it to them for less than they can produce it themselves.
There will be no "trillion dollars" in royalties. There are no impending 100,000 jobs.
Ms. Clark had the nerve to tell the Chinese reporter B.C.'s natural gas will have a larger impact on the Canadian economy than Alberta's oil does.
For those of us who still have some disposable income, please remember to donate to the Christmas charities that will be asking for help during the coming season. One in five children will need it.
E. A. Foster,