Month: September 2017


By: Terry Hand
Written: June 01, 2014

To build, or not to build the site C dam, that is the question!

For most of us embarking on a major and expensive project usually means we have a good reason for doing so, which brings me to the question, WHY build a dam at all? According to BC Hydro Site C dam will: “provide key benefits for B.C., including energy, dependable capacity and flexibility, regional economic development, job creation, and benefits for communities and Aboriginal groups”. This in itself sounds like a good project and has all the right ‘buzz’ words to keep the average voter happy, but it doesn’t really answer the question of why are we building this dam in the first place?

According to BC Hydro: “our forecasts show demand for electricity will increase by approximately 40 percent during the next 20 years”. Forecast (fore-cast) verb to predict, or estimate (a future event or trend). This sounds to me very similar to gambling, 1) Gamble (gam-ble) verb take risky action in the hope of a desired result. 2) noun an act of gambling; an enterprise undertaken or attempted with a risk of loss and a chance of profit or success.

For about fifteen years retired economist Erik Andersen has been monitoring Hydro’s accounting practices, their financial health and more importantly the cost of electricity to British Columbians. Recently Erik wrote an  article which rebukes Hydro’s claim of a 40 percent increased demand for electricity over the next 20 years. Continue reading

Right/Left “Divide and Conquer” Is NOT Democracy

by Terry Hand
Written: 26, Feb 2015

Right/Left “Divide and Conquer” Is NOT Democracy

The right/left “divide and conquer” political system is the basis of all of the troubles, issues, poverty and grief that citizens of most countries face today.

Providing two parties which APPEAR to be diametrically opposed is the method used to ensure that eligible voters are divided to the point that they will completely miss, and many times completely ignore, the very cause of the issues that affect our daily lives. Case in point:

The recent financial crises involving sub-prime mortgages, which many people now know was a deliberately created scheme that western banks, mostly New York and London, used to package or bundle junk mortgage debt instruments to sell on the derivatives market. The success (on the banking side) of this hugely profitable (for the creators) scheme was embarked upon by the largest banking institutions with reliance on the premise of “too big to fail” mentality.

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Fiscal Prudence vs Privileged Recklessness

Fiscal Prudence vs Privileged Recklessness

March 31, 2014

By: Terry Hand

It isn’t a sign of the times. It’s a practice that has existed for a very long time. The problem is that voters have extremely short memories helped of course by the sheer volume of information they must digest. I am referring to the practice of politicians putting their sticky fingers into the public pockets and severely exceeding their privileges.

Two years ago In July of 2012 the CBC reported on comments by BC Auditor General (at the time) John Doyle after he released a scathing review of the state of accounting in the BC Speaker’s office. “John Doyle says his audit of the past three fiscal years found the Speaker’s office, which controls the legislative assembly budget, does not produce financial statements, does not demand receipts for MLAs’ expense accounts and does not properly reconcile its bank balances.”

Here we are two years later, and in the past month we have been bombarded with media articles revealing MLAs’ and opposition members’ overspending habits, fancy hotels, expensive meals, extremely overpriced computers, and trips abroad, including tickets for accompanying spouses. At least one opposition member actually defended the idea of a spouse being able to accompany politicians at taxpayer expense. I have many friends with young families, who fly to Fort McMurray to work because there are no jobs available in BC, this in spite of the BC Jobs Plan. These young workers fly out for two weeks of 12 hour shifts plus overtime in some cases, then they fly home for one week, two days of which are spent traveling. Will these men and women workers qualify to have their spouse accompany them? Of course not!

Make no mistake politicians are very well paid for what they do, and the privileges, and perks they enjoy are not deserved. If they were in the private sector many of them would be fired based on their performance. In the past week we have had MLAs and opposition members writing personal cheques to repay the public, repayments I add which would never have been made if it wasn’t for the fact they got caught. What happens if a waitress pockets $20.00 from the cash register, or the representative who pads his meal and hotel expense? They would be fired, no excuses; MLAs, they get re-elected!

Although, I don’t want to dwell on the problem which we all know. Solutions is what BC Refed is about. We know that no other party will rectify any of this, why would they? It’s a sweet deal for all concerned no matter which side of the house you sit. Solutions is what BC Refed has, and the last bulletin earlier this month was the beginning of a scheduled release of active solutions. BC Refed’s Proposed Rules for Government was the first release, and that is a solution that no other party in Canada will offer voters.

BC Refed is also working on Fiscal Management reforms for government (all governments) which will reduce the cost of government to taxpayers. We aim to stop this frivolous regard for public trust, and we will begin with our own candidates by setting the example. We don’t simply blow this out as hot air; indeed we challenge other parties to implement the same.

There’s Trouble on the Horizon

The Bank of Canada raised its interest rate for the second time in less than two months. Financial institutions of all types will increase their rates to their customers – you and me – before the sun rises tomorrow morning.

Why does this move by the bank signal trouble?

Consider this: In British Columbia, real estate prices have been rising at a much faster pace than income. This increases the level of debt compared to income. This has created an illusion of affordability.

People have used the low interest rates to buy bigger, better, and newer homes than they could have qualified for at a higher interest rate. Looking forward, we will see that as interest rates go up, people who may have qualified for mortgages at the lower rates, no longer qualify for the same amount of money. This slows the economy. The number and amounts of  transactions begin to dwindle, which also interferes with the earnings of all participants down the line – realtors, inspectors, lawyers, moving companies, utility companies, perhaps even furniture stores, and the list goes on.

Warnings of trouble don’t end with the exponential increase in real estate prices. Shopping with credit has also escalated over time.

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