Cabinet minister responds to Horgan

Hydro rate hikes comments forces Minister of Energy and Mines to respond

I am responding to the July 10, 2013, op-ed ‘Hydro rate hikes, tip of the iceberg’ by John Horgan. Stable and secure power is fundamental to growing a strong economy which is why we are investing in new and existing hydro infrastructure.

While Mr. Horgan asserts there is no business case for a nation building project like the Northwest Transmission Line, a line that will bring power to a huge part of the province currently running off diesel generators, our government believes investments such as this are exactly what BC Hydro should be doing. This project will open up world class mineral deposits and support new mines, like Red Chris, one of the top 10 copper gold deposits in the world. In fact, the Mining Association of BC estimates the line could attract more than $15 billion in mining investment, creating up to 10,000 jobs and generating $300 million in annual tax revenues. None of this happens unless we build the line to provide the power these mines need.

We need to ensure we have a diverse grid that can provide reliable power today, and into the future. That’s why we continue to support new, cleaner sources of power such as wind and run of river. Do these sources produce power at a higher cost than what our heritage assets do? Of course they do. Like most other things, it costs more today to produce power than it did decades ago. But these sources are cleaner than alternatives such as coal or gas and less expensive than building brand new hydroelectric dams.

In the nineties the NDP government made virtually no investments in Hydro infrastructure and did little to maintain BC Hydro’s assets. Their idea of a sound investment was a power plant in Pakistan. We have taken a different approach. We are investing in projects that are powering our needs today and ensuring we will have the power we need for our future. The unprecedented opportunity in Liquefied Natural Gas and other growing sectors such as mining must be supported with stable, secure power. This is what we are building.

You can’t make these kinds of legacy investments that will benefit all British Colombians without putting pressure on rates. Contrary to some reports, BC Hydro is managing their capital projects within their planned budget. There are a couple of projects over budget but most are under budget.

I have been very clear that my mandate, as given to me by the Premier, is to minimize rate increases while continuing to make historic investments in Hydro’s infrastructure to grow our economy. I am committed to accomplishing this goal.

 

Honourable Bill Bennett

Minister of Energy and Mines, Responsible for Core Review

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sandy Carmichael is a Goldstream Gazette 2021 Local Hero as Seniors’ Champion. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Worker bee returns to volunteer: Sandy Carmichael a fixture at Langford Royal Canadian Legion

Sandy Carmichael is the 2021 recipient of the Seniors’ Champion Award

West Shore Parks and Recreation facilities face a challenging future in terms of funding, due to reduced operations throughout the pandemic. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore Parks and Recreation faces challenging future

West Shore Parks and Recreation Society submits 2021 budget request to owner municipalities

The It’s Critical campaign has raised $5.89 million towards its $7 million goal to expand critical care capacity at Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital. (Black Press Media file photo)
Critical care improvements make the list with Greater Victoria shoppers

Save-On-Foods pledges $300,000 to Victoria Hospitals Foundation’s It’s Critical campaign

Approximately 100 people gathered in Centennial Square Saturday afternoon to listen to speakers decry COVID-19 restrictions. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Victoria residents protest masks, COVID-19 restrictions

Approximately 100 people gathered in Centennial Square Saturday afternoon

Saskatoon resident liajah Pidskalny poses with his bike near the University of Victoria after putting on thousands of kilometres to raise awareness of the overdose and mental health crisis. (Courtesy Iliajah Pidskalny)
Saskatoon cyclist winds up mental health and overdose awareness ride in Victoria

Iliajah Pidskalny braves prairie winter conditions to get word out to communities

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

Most Read