B.C. Utilities Commission should be an elected body

In my opinion, B.C. Utilities Commission should be elected, by the public.

Dear Editor,

The public, depends on and pays for the electrical supply that we need. We respect those who provide this service, and they in turn, should be respectful. Unfortunately, our local service provider, Fortis, B.C., appears to consider only financial gain. They brag about a 40 year track record of raising dividends, while their customers reel under the load of every increasing electricity rates charged by this monopoly. We dutifully conserve, and still pay more for less electricity thanks to cleverly designed billing systems. Fortis revenues and profits climb to fund their voracious need for dividend increases.

When Fortis recently acquired CH Energy in upper New York state, New York Public Service Commission Chairman Garry Brown warned Fortis to avoid looking at the local utility as a profit-generating holding. “Get to know New York” he advised Fortis. “The way you may do things, business, elsewhere is not New York,” in a probable reference to Fortis’ controversial record of dam building in Belize, power line project in the south Okanagan and electricity rate increases in both areas.

We can’t afford this FortisBC. Fortis’ profit has grown 85% in the past 5 years, while sales volumes has essentially stayed flat. On top of the $105M spent to overbuild the power line that has destroyed property values and increased public safety risk along prime lake view bench lands, another $500M is being spent to build the 345MW Waneta dam for power we don’t need. Now that the CH Energy purchase did not measure up to their profit expectations are we supposed to kick in more to pay for that too?

The public interest is being steamrollered by Fortis and a compliant BCUC. Fortis has been granted a monopoly, a privilege that comes with responsibilities not a right to abuse ratepayers. The question for many families is becoming, “Shall we buy food or pay the Fortis power bill?”

The Fortis Monopoly show a profit of 85%, none of which seems to be coming back to the ratepayers. Fortis Profits. We Pay!! Unfortunately, we have no voice to protect the public. B.C.U.C. is politically appointed, by those, who think we can’t think for ourselves — and we stupidly elected them. We are led to believe that these recently elected Provincial neophytes could conduct the public’s business in an unbiased attitude, and hopefully, to understand our concerns of safety and freedom, from possible corporate persecution. Unfortunately, they appear to be part of the problem. This uncontrolled, careless spending by Fortis is promoting “Gentrification,” [the controlled squashing of the working peoples and the poor in our society]

We obviously, do not seem to have any voice for public protection from overbearing corporations. In my opinion, B.C. Utilities Commission should be elected, by the public. Perhaps, we might have responsible, transparent decisions, that are fair to both sides of utility concerns; and perhaps prevent corporate persecution.

Sincerely, Flo Winfrey

Olalla

 

Just Posted

(Black Press file photo)
EDITORIAL: Curtailing attempts at scams

The true total of losses from all scams and frauds could be much higher than the figures on file

People at the beach in front of Discovery Bay Resort on Tuesday, July 14. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Heat wave forecast for Okanagan-Shuswap

Temperatures are forecast to hit record breaking highs this week

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

The Pierre family, an Indigenous family, once lived in what is now downtown Summerland. Today, Pierre Drive is named in honour of the family. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)
Pierre family played role in Summerland’s history

Downtown Summerland was once Penticton Indian Reserve #3

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Photograph By MICHAEL POTESTIO.KTW
Former Kamloops security gaurd wants job back after kicking incident caught on video

Rick Eldridge quit when a video surfaced of him kicking a man outside a facility for homeless

People participated in a walk to honour the 215 children found at a former Kamloops residential school, as well as residential school survivors. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)
Kelowna marks National Indigenous Peoples’ Day with walk to remember Kamloops 215

“Let’s speak the truth and deal with the truth, and heal.”

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

A home on Cameo Drive sustained major damage due to an early morning fire Monday, June 21. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
UPDATE: Fire sparked during Vernon home renovation

Heavy black smoke from Cameo Drive home, no one inside

Most Read