BC HYDRO AND THE MISALLOCATION OF POLITICAL POWER WITHIN BRITISH COLUMBIA
Peter Dimitrov, email@example.com; October 20, 2006
Presently the Crown owns it all, and grants most of the coal, timber, minerals, oil, gas, hydro licenses to major Corporations whose Boards of Directors really don't give two cents worth for local workers, families, and communities. Their focus is the bottom financial line and value to shareholders - especially majority shareholders. This is not new "news", this is the colonial way it has always been in BC., the municipalities and cities, and the people that reside within them, have little political power within the province vis a vis the Premier and the elite class of big business powers. This dysfunctional allocation of political power is the root cause of why the problem of BC Hydro’s sale, restructuring, and the privatizing of our river’s water to independent power producers exists.
- Is it equitable and democratic that the Crown should own it all?
- Is it right that the Executive Branch, primarily the Premier's office, should have all the power to say what goes down, and sold in BC?
- Is it equitable that cities and municipalities be ‘creatures’ of the province?
- Do we not as people residing within them, have an inalienable right to demand that ‘political power and wealth’ within the provincial political system be re-allocated in an equitable way, with checks and balances, with competing rights and jurisdictional competencies – instead of the Premier and Victoria deciding it all?
- Is it equitable that the Provincial Crown should have virtually all the power and municipalities & cities have zip power except what petty amount is granted to them by the province?
- Is it equitable that First Nations are cut out, as they watch their traditional lands being ravaged, while others take the jobs and benefits, and they reap the social, environmental, economic costs?
- Why could there not be an internal constitution within BC that allocates rights and responsibilities between the capital region and other regions/cities, and First Nations?
- Is it equitable that all resource rents, taxes, fees, etc. flow directly to a central provincial treasury with minimal flow-back to the region from whence the resource was extracted?
Then rural BC would not be a colony, more monies and jobs would stay in those regions, and rather than a huge settlement & transportation problem on the coast, urban migration might slow down, perhaps reverse itself over decades.
But such alternatives are not to be under the BC Liberals or the NDP. They both want to carry on within the same dysfunctional system, change the actors, but keep the dysfunctional, inequitable framework of power in place- of that I am 100% certain.
What a Kafkaesque joke this political set-up is, but who will join me in speaking for these other possibilities?
It is my firm belief that only by changing the allocation of political power and wealth in this province by the formation of an internal people’s constitution, can democracy, which is seriously off the rails, be hoped to be revitalized and re-tracked in this province.