Campbell River taxpayers shouldn’t have to foot part of the bill

It is BC Hydro’s project that has hatched all these extraneous costs

Back in the good old days when BC Hydro was in charge of its own business – that is before cash strapped governments started dipping into their net revenues – things were much better organized.

I was an employee of BC Hydro that saw good proposals to communities affected by the corporation’s operations offered reasonable and well-thought-out options. BC Hydro for example, to reduce objection to their projects, would offer adjacent cities an opportunity to request associative conveniences or services they may need.

One community I lived in was offered a complete water intake, storage and transport conduit to the community which BC Hydro would fund 100 per cent. As the project got deferred, the community never got its new water supply. This community in later years had to build its own intake system, transport water over a 15-mile corridor with a vertical lift of over 400 feet – a no small cost feature that taxpayers had to cover due to lost opportunity.

Campbell River should have and could have had BC Hydro foot the total bill with a system that gave independent primary service to the community as well as a secondary backup system that is already in place. The red herring about earthquake susceptability is a load of cannon fodder.

All structures are prone to quakes not just existing infrastructures but new ones as well. A new independent supply line could be interrupted the same as any existing service that exists now.

If Campbell River had demanded BC Hydro supply an independent system as any socio/economic review would expose, Campbell River taxpayers wouldn’t be on the hook for 20 per cent of the cost of a new line.

Secondly, the three existing penstocks aren’t ideal but any one of the three are more than adequate as a backup system with minimal costs to upgrade and capital maintenance costs to be provided by BC Hydro.

It is BC Hydro’s project that has hatched all these extraneous costs and as such should be managed and rectified by the corporation without need to involve taxpayers to foot part of the bill.

Ray Fortier

Campbell River