To the editor:
I am sick and tired of watching the provincial government and mucking politicians interfere with the regulatory process in British Columbia.
The BC Utilities Commission was created to regulate BC Hydro, and then West Kootenay Power, after the Water Rights Act proved inadequate to consider all the ramifications of the Revelstoke Dam project.
The Utilities Commission worked very well for the initial application of Peace Site C. And it has worked very well for the regulation of rates and project approvals of West Kootenay and its successors, Utilitcorp and Fortis.
Since then, however, politicians and the provincial government have so drastically interfered with and distorted BC Hydro and power pricing that it would be difficult to say what the true cost of BC Hydro power is.
BC Hydro has been in and out of regulation, full or partial, since at least 1990.
During all of the NDP administration residential power rates were frozen.
The Liberal government, since first being elected, has, without BCUC oversight, ordered the purchase of independently produced power, the construction of the Northwest Transmission line, the installation of smart meters, the approval of Peace Site C second edition, rolled back the BCUC-approved residential power rates and most recently recanted on the smart meters allowing objectors to retain their analog or digital meters. There may be more that I cannot recall.
The leader had the temerity to say that we should not be loading debt onto the backs of our children. Saying this, after having done just the opposite, is why politicians of all political stripes are looked upon with disdain and cynicism.
To top it off, all politicians then sit back and let BC Hydro take all the blame for the smart meters and cost overruns, rather than manning up and saying: No, we told them to do that.
I pay for electricity from Fortis. Fortis does not have sufficient capacity to meet all its load requirement necessitating purchases from BC Hydro. Because Fortis is fully regulated by the Utilities Commission, Fortis is charging me, and I am paying, for the power that Fortis purchases. In other words, I am living up to my responsibility as a ratepayer for the cost of power to me, unlike the BC Hydro whiners and complainers.
I resent the fact that politicians have so distorted the power market that Fortis customers whine and complain that Fortis rates are to high compared to BC Hydro, when it is the opposite that is true.
I also resent the fact that all the politicians have not yet figured out that— ratepayer, taxpayer or voter—I am the same person.