Time to take off the COPE 378 blinders
One of our BCCGE correspondents recently spotted an “MLA Report” in the Kimberley Daily Bulletin (May 11, 2010 edition) from Columbia River – Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald.
As our keen-eyed correspondent correctly recognized, Macdonald’s “MLA Report” isn’t really a “report” in the sense of a balanced, objective effort to convey factual information: MLA Macdonald’s “report” is really nothing more than a biased political rant against the new Clean Energy Act.
Here’s an example of the overheated rhetoric in MLA Macdonald’s, ahem, “report”…
With the passage of Bill 17, the ‘Clean Energy Act’, the BC Liberals are destroying our publicly owned energy system at the expense of ratepayers, while benefitting private power producers. This is a direction that began with the imposition of the BC Liberal Energy Plan in 2002 which opened the door for private power production.
You really have to wonder if MLA Macdonald really believes this crap or whether he’s just playing to the crowd in Columbia River – Revelstoke.
Either way, it’s clear that Macdonald is dutifully toeing the COPE 378 union line in claiming that BC Hydro is under imminent threat of destruction by the BC Liberal government. It’s an inflammatory claim concocted several years ago by the COPE 378 union that represents BC Hydro workers, and they’ve been aggressively flogging it around the province ever since as part of a well-orchestrated misinformation campaign against independent green energy producers.
As they say: same misinformation, different day.
In response to MLA Macdonald’s, ahem, “report,” our co-spokesperson Bruce Sanderson sent a rebuttal letter to the community papers in and around Macdonald’s Columbia River – Revelstoke constituency.
In Bruce’s letter, which we’ve posted below, Bruce points out that BC Hydro is “set to spend more than $15 billion over the next decade to upgrade and rebuild the province’s aging mega dams and electricity generating and transmission infrastructure.”
$15 billion is an enormous amount of money and we cannot, for the life of us, see how MLA Macdonald (or COPE 378 for that matter) can possibly consider a $15 billion public investment in a public utility like BC Hydro to be an apocalyptic signal that the crown owned utility is somehow in jeopardy.
Bruce also points out that the NDP government of the 1990s, having not yet donned COPE 378 blinders, wholeheartedly supported independent green energy producers. In the words of then NDP Energy and Mines Minister Anne Edwards, independent green energy producers are “a source of expertise and innovation to keep B.C.’s electricity sector efficient and competitive.”
Anne Edwards’s view is one that BCCGE wholeheartedly supports and we think it’s time for MLA Macdonald and others to take off their COPE 378 blinders and get real.
Below you’ll find a copy of Bruce’s letter responding to Norm Macdonald’s “MLA Report” as printed in the Golden Star:
Golden Star – Letters
Letter to the Editor re: MLA Norm Macdonald’s recent “MLA Report”
Published: May 26, 2010
In his recent “MLA Report,” NDP MLA Norm Macdonald claimed that B.C.’s publicly owned energy system (i.e., BC Hydro) is being destroyed by the provincial government. It’s the same tired, and demonstrably false, claim that BC Hydro’s COPE 378 union has been spinning for the past several years as part of a well-organized misinformation campaign against independent green energy producers.
BC Hydro is far from being destroyed. In fact, the crown utility is set to spend more than $15 billion over the next decade to upgrade and rebuild the province’s aging mega dams and electricity generating and transmission infrastructure.
As Global BC’s chief legislative correspondent Keith Baldrey recently stated, this staggering public reinvestment in BC Hydro and its infrastructure “is proof the Crown corporation is not being mothballed or even downgraded by the provincial government, as the ideologically driven opponents of private power projects insist.”
Equally incorrect is MLA Macdonald’s claim that the BC Liberal government opened the door for private power production in this province with the 2002 BC Energy Plan. Surely Macdonald is aware that independent power projects were brought in by the NDP government of the 1990s and that they predate the BC Liberal government by at least a decade.
MLA Macdonald cannot possibly be unaware that the NDP’s policy in the 1990s was to encourage “a mix of private and public sector investment and expertise [and bring] on new projects to match growth in demand….” As NDP Energy and Mines Minister Anne Edwards stated in an October 1992 press release: “Independent power producers will be a source of expertise and innovation to keep B.C.’s electricity sector efficient and competitive.”
We couldn’t agree more with the support shown for independent green energy producers by the NDP in the 1990s, and it’s a fact that about half of the operating independent green energy projects in B.C. were approved under the NDP government of the 1990s.
Space does not permit me to address the many other claims in MLA Macdonald’s recent “MLA Report,” but further information is available on our B.C. Citizens for Green Energy website at www.greenenergybc.ca and on our BCCGE Livewire blog.
Bruce Sanderson, Co-spokesperson
B.C. Citizens for Green Energy