Letter to the editor: Response to Hanson

Steelworker President Hanson conveniently left out important facts in his letter to The Free Press.

Steelworker President Hanson conveniently left out important facts in his letter to The Free Press.

For example, he didn’t mention that even with rate increases, our electricity prices are amongst the lowest in North America (third lowest residential rates). He also failed to mention that we managed to reduce the increase from 26.4 per cent over two years, down to 15 per cent over two years, by reducing BC Hydro’s operating costs. And he did not tell your readers that our plan that is now law, includes government taking $3 billion less from BC Hydro over the life of the plan.

Finally, Mr. Hanson left out the most important point. Rate increases are there to pay the costs of investing in BC Hydro infrastructure. Many of the dams, generating facilities and transmission lines were built decades ago and need upgrades or replacements due to neglect to maintain them under the NDP tenure. We also need new generation and transmission to meet economic growth. The most important factor in the rate increase is the $1.7 billion per year in new and old generating facilities and new and old transmission to meet the needs of our growing economy.

Mr. Hanson’s view is partisan and inaccurate, nothing new for him.

Bill Bennett

MLA Kootenay East