Hydro rate increases extravagant

What happened to Christy Clark’s ‘debt-free B.C.’ election promise?

To the editor:

A recent Vancouver Sun article (Gordon Hoekstra, Nov. 27, page 1) about BC Hydro rates warned of “about a 45 per cent increase over the next decade, when the increases are compounded.” http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Hydro+rates+jump+next+year/9214594/story.html.

It could be even more.

These increases will hurt British Columbia residents and businesses.

The increases apparently do not reflect the estimated $8 billion cost of BC Hydro’s proposed Site C project.

BC Hydro is a Crown corporation, owned by the provincial government. Its debt has gone from $7 billion in 2006 to roughly $15 billion in 2013. (See BC Fiscal Plan 2013 p. 128.) http://www.bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2013_June_Update/bfp/2013_June_Budget_Fiscal_Plan.pdf

This figure does not include the roughly $50 billion BC Hydro owes for power from private power producers (IPPs) in long-term contracts.

B.C.’s total provincial debt, which includes Crown corporations, has gone from $33 billion in 2006 to an estimated $62 billion in 2013. It is projected to go to almost $70 billion in 2015.

So much for a “debt-free BC.”

Hugh Thomas

100 Mile House

100 Mile House Free Press