VICTORIA, B.C. — The B.C. Green Caucus responded today to the government’s phase 1 BC Hydro Review.
“This government deserves significant credit for the steps they have announced today to address the politicization of BC Hydro by the previous government,” said Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green Party. “Re-establishing the BC Utilities Commission’s oversight role will help ensure future governments base their policy decisions in evidence, rather than what is politically expedient at the time.”
“However, the number one issue that remains unaddressed with today’s announcement is how BC Hydro is planning for the future. The economic strategy CleanBC announced late last year relies heavily on the electrification of buildings, transportation and industry. We need to be having a serious conversation about what changes need to happen to BC Hydro to accomplish our goals. The future is no longer big dams; it’s time our utility evolved.”
The BC Green Caucus also express concern about the way in which the standing offer program was cancelled, especially with regards to First Nations communities. It is not yet known how much financial risk the government is exposed to with the programs cancellation.
“You have investors who were told by government to invest their time and money into a program, and then you’ve pulled the rug out from under them,” said Weaver.
First Nations in particular were told that the standing offer program was an opportunity for economic development and energy self reliance, only to have the program end without significant consultation in advance.
“This pattern of government engaging First Nations after a decision has been made must come to an end,” said Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands. “We do not build any trust when we ask First Nations to spend their money and time on partnerships with government, only to abruptly change course.”
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