Taking a shower at midnight?
Laundry at 2 a.m.?
Pot roast in the oven at 3 a.m.?
Dishes at 5 a.m.?
These might seem like the actions of a shiftworker or someone with nocturnal habits.
But it could become the norm for more and more people as the government reaches into the homes of otherwise unsuspecting citizens and controls yet more behaviour.
At issue here is BC Hydro’s so-called “smart meters” which are meant to tell homeowners how much electricity they use at any time of the day.
Eventually, when the crown corporation has installed meters in every residence, it will put in place a new rate structure so that you will pay more to use electricity during peak hours of the day.
The idea is to even out demand so that there is less strain during certain times of the day and less chance of having to import power from outside the province.
It’s going to cost $1 billion to put in smart meters with the expectation of a net savings of $500 million over the next 20 years. Of course, these are just numbers. The reality is often quite different as anyone on the receiving end of a government program gone rogue can tell you.
It’s something to think about as we get used to the idea of huddling in darkened living rooms waiting for the “smart meter” to tell us when we can turn the lights on.
None of the provincial Liberal leadership candidates are focusing on the one big problem facing society today. And that’s pensions or rather, when it comes to the private-sector employee at least, the lack of pensions.
Simply put, not enough people are saving enough to see themselves right in retirement. More to the point is that too many people are unable to save enough money in the first place because of other pressures. Canada Pension Plan deductions did go up dramatically in the last decade but the growing fear is that the plan alone will not be able to support senior Canadians in the years ahead.
A specific challenge within the larger pension problem is the gap between plans for the public sector and those of everyone else. No one begrudges anyone a happy retirement but someone somewhere someday needs to address the inequity of a private-sector employee paying to support a pension plan they themselves can only dream of enjoying.
Although pension provision is viewed as more of a federal government responsibility it would be a foolish new Liberal party leader and, by definition, premier of the province that does not put this on top of his or her governing agenda.
Addressing the pension gap is about good governing.