BC Hydro cancels meeting over security threat

BC Hydro cancels meeting over security threat

On very short notice, BC Hydro cancelled a May 17 operations meeting in Baynes Lake citing a security threat.

Those who arrived for the meeting at the Baynes Lake Community Hall were met by a pair of security guards who informed attendees of the decision.

“Unfortunately, we received some information very late in the day regarding a security concern, and felt it was in the best interest of the public and our employees to cancel the meeting,” said Sally MacDonald, the company’s community relations representative for East Kootenay in a May 18 statement.

“We apologize we were not able to provide more notice. There are no plans to reschedule the meeting at this time,” she continued.

BC Hydro was scheduled to host the public meeting to discuss Columbia Basin reservoir levels, fish operations and its programs and local activities.

The Crown corporation had invited representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program to attend the meeting.

In the weeks leading up to the event, a number of the Elk Valley’s BC Hydro customers had taken to social media, claiming their electricity bills had dramatically increased over the winter.

One customer sent his bill to The Free Press, which revealed a 180 per cent increase for the months of December and January.

Local blogger Chris Inglis had urged residents who believed they’d been overcharged by BC Hydro to bring their bills to the Baynes Lake meeting.

MacDonald would not confirm whether or not this had anything to do with its cancellation.

“We’re unable to provide any more information at this time,” she said in a statement issued May 21.