BC Hydro being run like a Ponzi scheme, says union

Low rates and hidden costs are turning BC Hydro into a “Ponzi scheme,” says the union representing the companys office workers.In an ongoing dispute over electricity rate changes proposed by the crown corporation last November, the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union, Local 378, says that BC Hydro is using an accounting slight-of-hand to mask the real financial toll of unrealistically low electricity prices.Now COPE 378 is calling for provincial regulators to help BC Hydro out of its financial morass by raising the rate the power company will be allowed to charge British Columbians.The controversy over BC Hydro rate increases began last March when the company announced plans to increase electricity prices by nearly ten per cent for the next three years. Balking at the prospect of higher rates and unhappy voters, the provincial government assembled a panel to look into the reasons behind the higher prices. Last August, the panel issued a report calling upon the utility to reduce rate hikes and sharply cut operating costs.

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