B.C. paying the price of neglect


B.C.’s new Energy Minister, Rich Coleman, is reportedly taking a careful second look at BC Hydro’s plans to overhaul the province’s dams and transmission lines, as well as Hydro’s plans to implement a smart meter program. And so he should. We expect our leaders to be diligent and always watching out for the interests of taxpayers. Taking a careful second look, and getting fully up to speed, is exactly what Minister Coleman should be doing as he takes on this important new post.

However, it will be difficult for Minister Coleman or anyone else to avoid the fact that our province’s dams and transmission lines were built decades ago and are now past their “best before” date. BC Hydro clearly needs to invest a considerable amount of money at this point to overhaul and modernize these public assets to keep them functioning.

Perhaps what Minister Coleman should really be looking at is why the NDP government of the 1990s failed to look after the province’s dams and transmission lines when they were in power. By freezing hydro rates, the NDP cut BC Hydro off from the financial resources needed to keep the system in top running shape. Now we’re paying the price for the NDP’s false economy, and the lesson we should have learned is that we can either pay now or we’re going to end up paying a whole lot more later.

Matthew Enns, East Vancouver