Eyeing economic efficiency

Energy systems consultant Roger Bryenton sees better ways for the Province to spend it energy.

The election “results” are not yet final, but there is a lot to learn from the process. Strong Liberal support in the past has weakened. “Green” has expanded substantially. Not a lot of change with the NDP, but significant. Issues of housing affordability, infrastructure (hospitals, schools), climate change and fossil fuel use, First Nations rights, jobs and the economy were clearly answered by electors and the “new government,” whoever that turns out to be.

Implicit is the need to seek economic efficiency in B.C.’s spending. The provincial debt is high, and revenues are not what the Liberals had hoped. The LNG “dream” has not materialized and is highly unlikely to, oil prices are lacklustre, forest revenues have dropped and mill closures continue, mining revenues are suffering: the period of “resource extraction” has probably peaked and B.C. needs a new “future.” We simply cannot afford to waste money on luxury projects or unnecessary projects, like BC Hydro’s Site C dam and powerplant. Firstly, we do not need the power and will not 10 years from now if it is completed. Conservation, wasting less, is far cheaper and creates three times the number of jobs. If we were to need it, we could follow Alberta which recently built a gas-fired plant for $1.4 Billion, one-sixth the cost of Site C at $10 Billion.

Some of that extra $8.6 Billion invested in essential infrastructure, education, research, and business incubation can become B.C.’s future, based upon intellectual property instead of environmentally damaging resource extraction. Governments don’t seem to realize this yet, but the voters have. And some of the unions, with Iron and Earth, and Working Forest already moving into leadership roles in renewable and sustainable energy systems.

Next? Stop wasting money on Site C. Re-direct it into an International Centre of Excellence for Low-Energy Buildings and Innovative Energy Development, a Centre for Advanced Concrete Structural Design, and a High-Latitude Agricultural Research facility, jointly located at the “temporary workers camp,” the $470 million luxury lodge for Site C workers. Save and develop the Peace River Valley’s unique agricultural potential; don’t flood and destroy it.

Move further from antiquated “resource extraction” into climate imperative, “sustainability” frameworks. Reduce fossil fuel use individually and collectively, do not permit new fossil fuel infrastructure projects, reduce or stop fracking, no subsidies for LNG or other extraction industries, ensure meaningful engagement and approval by First Nations, build the needed hospitals and schools across B.C., public housing and public transit, create long-term skilled jobs and a workforce by investing in education and research, today!

These are the imperatives, whether NDP, Liberal or Greens hold the power. Forward, not backward.

Roger Bryenton, P. Eng. (former), MBA

Suzuki and SPEC Elder

Energy Systems Consultant, Vancouver

Just Posted

Bulkley Valley sends 13 athletes to BC Games

The Bulkley Valley will be well represented at the BC Winter Games in Kamloops Feb. 22-25.

Over 100 at another Classic day at BV Nordic Centre

Bulkley Valley Cross Country Ski Club welcomed 109 athletes to Chris Dahlie Open/Teck Northern Cup 2

Record snow on ground three times average

Environment Canada says there’s 94 cm of snow at the airport. Average for this time of year is 29 cm.

Recycle BC trashing contract with Bulkley Valley Bottle Depot

Depot will explore other options to be able to remain a one-stop shop for recycling

Carter Harris charity basketball game

VIDEO from the Carter Harris charity basketball game. Find out how you can help.

Carter Harris charity basketball game

VIDEO from the Carter Harris charity basketball game. Find out how you can help.

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

#Metoo movement causing confusion in many men, fear of missteps with women: experts

Being painted by the same sweeping brush as those alleged to have mistreated women has angered men

Liberals to dig deeper, aim higher on gender equality in 2018 federal budget

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the budget would include measures to boost women in the workforce

Body of missing skier found

Man’s truck found in Revelstoke Mountain Resort’s parking lot covered in ‘several days’ snow’

Thrilling finish to 59th All Native Tournament

Kitamaat, Hydaburg, Port Simpson and Kitkatla win championships in 2018 All Native Tournament

B.C. VIEWS: Subsidy supercluster settles in B.C.

Ottawa, Victoria add to their overlapping ‘innovation’ budgets

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Canada’s first ever men’s ski slopestyle medal

Men’s hockey team beats South Korea and women’s curling reverses losing streak

Most Read