Price for hydro power must be reasonable

B.C. needs a fair, long-term power supply agreement with the Americans.

Editor, The News:

I have been saying for years, ever since the 25-year agreement BC Hydro had with U.S. power customers expired during the 1990s regime of the NDP, that B.C. needs a fair, long-term power supply agreement with the Americans.

At that time, Elizabeth Cull was the finance minister and she had included projected hydroelectric power sales revenue into her budget, even though the NDP had failed to either renew the original agreement or negotiate a new one. This led to the infamous “fudget” budget of the NDP.

Well, the Americans decided they no longer wanted our precious, clean hydro power and to top it off, they instituted a clause in the original agreement whereby if BC Hydro failed to renegotiate an agreement, then the Americans could force B.C. to build a new transmission line into B.C. and would have to purchase American power. Bad decision on the part of the NDP.

My solution is to build hydroelectric power generators, once B.C. has negotiated long-term purchase-and-supply agreements with the U.S. and Alberta, just as we did with the Columbia River Treaty.

The price for power must be reasonable, stable and not subject to the whims of the spot market.

If that was the policy, B.C. could have clean power for years to come and all of it paid for by the international agreements negotiated in good faith, for the benefit of all.

Mike Boileau

Maple Ridge