BC Liberals collected $3 million in campaign donations from independent power industry to make deals hurting British Columbians

Michelle Mungall

A report on BC’s independent power industry released Wednesday reveals that sweetheart deals made by the BC Liberals will cost British Columbians a staggering $16.2 billion over 20 years. That’s an extra $200 on every residential ratepayer’s bill, every year for 20 years.

As the BC Liberals signed these deals, the independent power industry filled BC Liberal campaign coffers to the tune of $3 million between 2005 and 2017.

The contracts signed with independent power producers required BC Hydro to purchase power BC consumers didn’t need, often at two or three times the market rate. The report calculates that this overbuy cost the public $16.2 billion more than if the BC Liberals hadn’t intervened at BC Hydro.

The report also shows that even as the problems with IPP contracts became clear, the BC Liberal government continued to direct Hydro – often against warnings from BC Hydro and Ministry staff – to pursue these contracts:

“In interviews, both the Ministry and BC Hydro advise that Government was made aware of the risks inherent in its directives… Government was purposeful when the only option it left BC Hydro was to buy that energy from IPPs.” (Davidson Report, Page 48) 

The report also found that “most of the money has left and continues to leave the province,” with 81% of the money flowing to companies not headquartered in BC. (Pages 63-65)
“This is a 16 billion dollar boondoggle with profits going to friends of the BC Liberals. It’s outrageous that these deals are costing BC families, including seniors on fixed incomes, $200 a year. Yet again, the BC Liberals gave billions to their rich friends and stuck British Columbians with the bill. People will be paying for that choice on every Hydro bill they get for the next two decades,” said Michelle Mungall, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum

New Democrat MLAs say they have raised concerns about the BC Liberals’ IPP contracts for more than a decade.