Editor, The News:
Our government, through B.C. Hydro, is considering abandoning the Ruskin generating plant because of the cost required to bring the old green plant up to current standards.
Our grandparents built this plant more than 70 years ago and we have had the benefit of this clean power ever since.
If this plan is abandoned, the equivalent energy will ultimately be provided by private owners of run-of-river plants, or dirtier power sources, which are given guaranteed profit contracts by B.C. Hydro. That is one of the main reasons B.C. Hydro is now predicting doubling of rates in the next number of years. This is one way the B.C. Liberals have balanced their budgets, by avoiding government costs by encouraging private operators to provide the services at exorbitant prices that will increase the costs for private consumers in the future.
A more responsible government long ago put forward the cash to build the great hydro-electric system that provided us with cheap power for many long years. Now this private-enterprise-loving government has pulled the operating and maintenance money out of B.C. Hydro to the extent that great rate increases are now required and they need private operators to build our generating plants.
If our grandfathers could afford to build the Ruskin dam initially, we can afford to rehabilitate it, particularly at a time that green power is needed.