The MLA for Cariboo Chilcotin has returned from Victoria where Premier John Horgan delivered this week’s throne speech.
Donna Barnett said it was disappointing and that there was no mention of rural B.C. or the economy.
She adds that a report that the previous Liberal government pushed through contracts with independent power producers (IPPs) that will cost hydro customers more than $16 billion over 20 years, is another smokescreen of the NDP.
“They were done to give some of the First Nations in some communities that were on diesel,” Barnett said.
“They now have got clean energy, and it basically created thousands of jobs especially in First Nations communities and you know we still have the fifth lowest rates in North America for hydro.”
Barnett maintains the BC Liberals did not overpay for electricity, and that it’s the capital cost of developing more expensive clean energy sources.
“You take a look at what it costs to the capital for solar energy, for wind power-somebody has to pay the capital and that’s all in your electric bill; capital and operating,” she said.
“This is just another one to say they [NDP] promised to reduce rates in the election and they promptly increased them, and these IPPs were not a failure.”
The Ministry of Energy, Mines, and Petroleum announced Wednesday that an internal review of BC Hydro showed the previous government pushed through contracts beginning in the early 2000s and that the exponential growth of BC Hydro’s deferred debts was continually passed on to future generations.
“Following this review, it’s our government’s job to fix what’s broken, put BC Hydro onto a sustainable path and make sure rates stay as affordable as possible for customers,” Minister Michelle Mungall said in a news release.
“Step one in fixing this problem is to take the politics out of decisions around BC Hydro —the problems we’re seeing today are the result of 16 years of political choices by the previous government.”
Subject to the approval of the BC Utilities Commission, hydro rates are forecast to increase by 1.8% effective April 2019 and 0.7% effective April 2020.