BOX 25, BALDONNEL, B.C. VOC 1CO
February 3, 2016
Ms. Carole Taylor
Financial Advisor to Premier of BC
C/O Parliament Buildings
Congratulations on your recent appointment. I can only hope that your deliberations and conclusions are
open and transparent to the taxpayers of British Columbia.
This is an appeal to you on behalf of the ratepayers of our public utility BC Hydro and Power Authority
[BCHPA] to investigate and better understand the negative impacts and onerous financial commitment of
the unnecessary proposed Site C in the sedimentary basin of the Peace River.
At the very least, this project must be reviewed by an independent BC Utilities Commission and at the
most by a Royal Commission.
1. Escalating Debt load on the backs of BC Hydro Power Authority rate payers. The total BCHPA
debt in 2003 was $30 Billion, while in 2013 BC Hydro CEO Charles Reid admitted an accumulated
debt obligation of $70 Billion. (See Newspaper for details)
2. Escalating cost of construction of proposed Site C. Current cost estimate is $9 Billion. We know
that the WAC Bennett Dam doubled in cost in a 6 year time frame. This means potentially
another $16 Billion to $18 Billion added to the existing $70 Billion Debt. Note that there has
been no business plan in place to retire this accumulating rate payer burden.
3. There were 7 purposes provided for the use for proposed Site C beginning in 2010 with export to
California to energizing 450,000 homes in BC, ending with export to California (on the last day of
the Hearing). This demonstrates no purpose for proposed Site C.
4. Provincial Credit Rating is deteriorating and will likely be downgraded. It is noted that the base
debt of BC is $65 Billion compared to Alberta’s $16 Billion. Total Citizen Debt Commitment is
estimated at $181 Billion. Compare our failed Provincial Resource Development Policies with
Norway who is parallel in population, geography, and resources now has a wealth pool of
$700+Billion, second only to Dubai! The question is: Why can we not do as good as or better
5. Much more affordable alternates: The Shepherd co-generative gas plant on 60 acres in Calgary
is equivalent to proposed Site C. It has been constructed on budget for $1.3 Billion and has a
guaranteed 5 year rate of .08/Kw hour. This is a fraction of the cost of proposed Site C. The
current contract of $1.75 Billion would have built a co-gen plant using our stranded resource
(natural gas) adjacent to the load. This only makes good business sense.
6. Existing infrastructure: The Burrard Thermal Plant at Port Moody is paid for, has been
upgraded and is capable of energizing 700,000 homes at the flick of a switch and it is next
to the main load. The policy to dismantle a facility equal to Site C needs to be reversed.
7. Safety Uncertainty –”The uncertainties in predicting both the extent and rate of the
shoreline impacts lead to the proposal to adopt an observational approach for
periodically reviewing and updating the reservoir impact lines after the reservoir has
been filled.” Statement in the September 2009 Klohn Crippen Berger and SNC Lavelin
report produced for BC Hydro.
This is supported by the report made by the Geological Survey Branch of British Columbia
prepared for the Honorable Jack Weisgerber, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum
Resources in 1991. (Quaternary Geology and Land forms of Eastern Peace River Region,
British Columbia, by N.R. Catto 1991) Other cautionary examples such as the Mount Polley
Disaster, Teton Dam Failure and the Vajont Dam Collapse demonstrate that clay
sedimentary basins are the absolute worst places to construct dam reservoirs.
8. Cost escalations caused by missed expenses: i.e. PST costs were missed by estimates, TOTAL
costs rose from $ 7.9 Billion to $9 Billion in one month. Are there others?? How about the
mounting disparity of Canadian Dollars versus American Dollars?
9. Most importantly, BCHPA DOES NOT have a social license to interact with the Peace Region .
This glaring corporate deficiency continues after 57 years of impact on the Valley growth and
two major hydro-electric dams. For example the District of Hudson’s Hope has a decreasing
population. [1400 in 1978, 970 in 2014] The community revenues should be $25 Million for
industrial taxes, instead an arbitrary $1.2 M goes to the community coffers.
This list goes on: the loss of First Nations (FN) historical sites, the Rocky Mountain Fort (1794)
and Rocky Mountain Portage Fort (1806).
10. Where is the $400 Million Peace Basin Trust Fund? There is an existing Columbia Basin Trust
recognizing past impacts. Why not one for the Peace?
11. Former BCHPA CEO Reid, at a Chamber of Commerce meeting in June 2013, stated that the
$1/2 Billion ‘dividend’ BCHPA pays to the Provincial Budget is borrowed money!!!
As a business man this tells me that our public utility is Bankrupt!
12. Demand for electricity has flat-lined at 53-56,000 Gwhr. since 2008. North America is awash in
electrical energy. BCHPA forecasters have consistently got it wrong.
As a business Leader who understands that the bottom line is essential to running a successful
business, how would you rate your public utility with the financial facts authored in this letter?
The retirement of the existing $70 Billion debt load is not addressed. The huge debt burden will be
on the backs of all British Columbians forever.
DEBT IS NOT O.K. Expect exponential rises in consumer electrical rates!
The litany of poor economic performance and failed energy policies can lead one to speculate there
must be a hidden agenda for forcing proposed C on the backs of British Columbians!!!
Could it be a future sale of our Public Utility’s assets to General Electric, as was proposed in 2005
but was rejected due to immediate public back-lash?
Site C would become BC’s economic and environmental disaster of this Century.
To quote Harry Swain, Chairman of the Joint Review Panel: the Province’s failure to investigate
alternatives to the dam was a “dereliction of duty.”
We as householders and ratepayers DEMAND a sober review by the BC Utilities Commission of the
unnecessary proposed Site C Dam.
Arthur A Hadland, P.Ag, AACI(retired)
Citizen of the Peace,
Past Peace River Regional District Area C Director
Agrologist of the Year 2001
Food producer and Land Use Consultant
cc Auditor General, Moody’s
Dear Ms. Taylor
I have enclosed a copy of the Prophecy of the Swan in hopes that you may read it. This describes
the significance of the Rocky Mountain Fort Protestors’ Camp.
Also enclosed is a piece called Opinion from the Peace.
Thank you for your consideration.
Arthur A. Hadland