Letters to the Editor

Letters: Dam mortgage is paid off

Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett tour the Ruskin Dam on Wednesday. - Colleen Flanagan/The News
Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett tour the Ruskin Dam on Wednesday.
— image credit: Colleen Flanagan/The News

Editor, The News:

Re: Ruskin Dam – why rates are rising (The News, June 13).

I continue to be dismayed by the low level of intellect when it comes to the reporting of these massive infrastructure projects.

It seems, for some strange reason, that these articles, such as the one on the re-building of the Ruskin Dam, make excuses for the rate increases we are saddled with, which, we are told, is to pay for the capital cost of these projects.

In 1981, my wife and I took a tour of the W.A.C. Bennett Dam in Hudson Hope, B.C. The tour guide explained the dam cost just short of $1 billion to construct. That construction was funded by increasing our electricity rates for some years.

The dam was paid off in just 10 years.

The problem is, once the project was finally paid for, we received no reduction in our rates, reflecting the fact the project was paid for.

If I buy a house and acquire a mortgage for that home, once I pay off the mortgage, I don’t continue to make mortgage payments.

I would suggest if we have never received any reductions in our electricity rates since 1966, for the many projects built by B.C. Hydro, then there must be plenty of money still coming in with which to cover any present and future re-builds necessary to keep up with demand. That is unless that money has been diverted to the general funds of the government, which has not been accounted for.

Good to see the minister has been cancelling the contracts with the independent power producers.

Wake up, Maple Ridge. We are being robbed by the very same slight of hand when it comes to the downtown core business centre. It should have been paid off by now, or very soon. Yet I see no reduction in my property taxes which would reflect that fact.

Mike Boileau

Maple Ridge


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