This post has been re-edited. I had earlier made an assumption and was wrong in not editing some of the initial commentary. That has been done. Lesson learned; read all mail very closely. Do not assume anything. Some of the edited information will appear in another form shortly.
Following are excerpts from the Public Service Alliance of Canada BC http://www.psacbc.com/ website .
The Long and Winding Road: The Privatization of BC Hydro
The long and winding road that leads to your door will never disappear I've seen that road before… (The Beatles- ‘Let it Be’ album)
Vander Zalm saw the light—Will Gordon Campbell?
If you boycotted EXPO 86 and rallied against Bill Vander Zalm (long before his “I love public power” road-to-Damascus conversion), then you may be old enough to remember the Socred government’s massive privatization program with public utilities and crown corporations at the top of the list.
But for the younger set among us, a bit of history.
In 1987, a how-to of sorts on privatizing BC Hydro was developed by the up-and-coming private sector champion, David Emerson. Emerson’s report identified likely “candidates” for privatization. Included in the list were the now-sold Rail and Gas Divisions (BC Rail and Terasen Gas), and Crown assets pegged as “extremely controversial”, such as the Hydro-electrical Group.
In the end, the Zalm’s zealot-like approach did little to win public support.
At the dawn of the new millennium the BC Liberals came to power armed with a militant view of “private is good” and a more subtle, yet devious, privatization plan. The plan, as recent news indicates, was a big win for Liberal “bag-man” and Accenture-hired lobbyist, Pat Kinsella.
Couching public private partnerships as a way of minimizing costs to government and spreading the risk to the private sector, less than six-months into their mandate the Campbell government issued its formal intention to privatize one-third of BC Hydro.
By early 2004, one-third of BC Hydro was given to outsourcing giant Accenture—of Enron fame—and the legislation was introduced to make it easier to sell off Hydro’s assets.
Today, the once proud public utility has lost responsibility for transmission, and is forbidden by government policy from adding any new publically owned domestic resources to generate electricity.
BC Hydro or GE - What's your choice?
Private power companies financed by the likes of GE, are the new sources of electricity in BC and the sweetheart deals are enough to make even hard-core business interests blush.
As the union representing workers at BC Hydro and its privatized arm, Accenture, we have worked hard to put up roadblocks on the long and winding road to privatization, and are determined to Take Back the Power.
We oppose the privatization of BC Hydro resources (our power, water and jobs) for many of the same reasons all of you do:
It does damage to those members and their families who are directly affected
It does damage to BC Hydro—in which we are stakeholders along with all other taxpayers
And as everyone can plainly see, privatization is doing severe damage to the environment of BC, our common heritage
We support a new legacy for BC Hydro—a Sustainable Energy Plan that puts an end to back room deals and puts the public back in the drivers seat, in charge of our future and our resources.
The BC Liberal government is selling BC’s rivers and our legacy to private power interests.
That’s power we don’t need at a price we can’t afford
and then I came across a letter written in 2005 by Corky Evans which is published in part in a separate posting above.