Category: Dermod Travis

AWOL from B.C.’s opioid crisis

t’s a story all too common in British Columbia. Here’s how CTV News reported it: “Police believe a drug overdose is the cause of death for two men, apparently in their fifties, who were found lifeless in a car parked at a gas station on Friday morning.”

It didn’t happen in B.C., though. It happened in Montreal on August 25 and the real story is what happened next. In less than six weeks Montreal police had conducted six raids, arresting 13 drug dealers linked to the two deaths. They seized $19,000 in cash, along with fentanyl, about 500 grams of heroin, meth and other drugs.

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B.C. Hydro spins a yarn on infrastructure projects

There were likely more people on the floor of the legislature listening to it than watching it live on television, but there was an interesting exchange at the legislature last week.

Energy Minister Michelle Mungall was being grilled by her opposition critic, B.C. Liberal MLA Tracy Redies.

First off, it was civil, which in and of itself is noteworthy. Redies posed questions and Mungall – by and large – provided answers.

But a few of those answers lacked – how would you put it – substance, detail.

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$5.8 billion doesn’t go as far as it once did at B.C. Hydro

It started out innocently enough.
One task: how successful were the cuts at B.C. Hydro following former premier Christy Clark’s “hard look” at the Crown corporation in 2011?
Annual reports from some Crown corporations have gone the way of the dodo bird – the numbers now buried in their three-year service plans – so first step: find the utility’s 2016/17 Financial Information Act Return.
And there is was – scrolling through the 188 pages – $236,698 to Retirement Concepts Seniors Services. Everything kind of went south from there.
It was a bit of a head-scratcher.

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B.C. Hydro’s little fibs on Site C

The hissing sound you may hear is the unmistakable sound of the air coming out of Site C’s tires.
As the B.C. Utilities Commission continues its inquiry on the project, it’s becoming more and more apparent that B.C. Hydro has been playing a bit loose with telling the whole truth when it comes to Site C.
Case in point: in December 2014, when the B.C. government announced its decision to move ahead with Site C, B.C. Hydro boasted that an independent analyst had reviewed its methodologies for future demand forecasts and found them to be “state-of-the-art methods.”

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The nitty-gritty to B.C.’s campaign finance reforms

The B.C. government’s proposed public subsidies for political parties may be hogging the media spotlight, but there are some other important aspects to the government’s proposed changes on how political parties and elections are financed.

The legislation proposes a cut of 25 per cent to the province’s campaign spending limits.

For a political party running a full-slate of 87 candidates, the overall limit would drop from roughly $11.6 million to $8.7 million.

It’s a start, but at an estimated $2.75 per voter, it would still be twice that of the federal limit and higher than Québec ($1.37), Ontario ($2.08) and Alberta ($2.43).

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