Proposed 26% BC Hydro rate hikes won’t happen: premier 0
B.C. Premier Christy Clark announces she has rescinded pay scales for political staff at a press conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, Wednesday June 19, 2013. (CARMINE MARINELLI /24 HOURS)
Premier Christy Clark vowed a 26% rate hike proposed by BC Hydro is “not going to happen” after the suggestion was “leaked” in documents released by the union representing administrative workers.
Sage Aaron, spokeswoman for the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union Local 378, said the proposed hikes were in a document created by the “Rates Working Group,” which she said included Hydro CEO Charles Reid and senior government officials.
According to the document, Hydro proposes a 19.2% hike in 2015 with a 6% hike for 2016.
Aaron said the Liberal government was “artificially” keeping rates low prior to the election by deferring payments, with a plan to raise rates later, leaving ratepayers on the hook.
“It’s important people understand what’s happening at our utility,” said Aaron, whose union represents 1,900 Hydro workers.
Clark rejected the notion of massive rate hikes on Wednesday.
“When I became premier last time in 2011, BC Hydro brought forward 50% rate-increase proposals and I knocked it down. I’m not surprised they’re doing that again,” she said.
“It’s part of my job to make sure how we limit the increases that they’ve proposed. If that early working group is proposing an increase of that size, I can tell you this: that’s not going to happen.”
BC NDP energy critic John Horgan said in a statement that approved rate hikes would mean an additional $273 annually to the average resident.
“New Democrats have been saying for years that a day of reckoning would come courtesy of the Liberal government’s mismanagement of BC Hydro, but during the election the Liberal government continued to tell British Columbians they had the situation under control. Now we know they never did.”