Articles

BC Auditor General Finds BC Hydro's 'Prescribed' Accounting Unacceptable. October 26, 2017.

The Auditor General has added a new reason to qualify her opinion of the government's 2016/17 financial statements; the fact that the 'prescribed' accounting standards do not conform to the public sector accounting standards. Read more in Occasional Paper No. 44.

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Will NDP End BC Hydro's 'Wild West' Accounting--The Tyee October 24 and 25, 2017.

The Tyee published my piece which describes the Ontario Auditor General's special report on a government scheme to subsidize electricity rates, and how electricity rates are subsidized in British Columbia; https://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2017/10/24/Will-NDPEnd-BC-Hydro-Wild-West-Accounting/?utm_source=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=241017 also Andrew MacLeod's comments from Carole James https://thetyee.ca/News/2017/10/25/Fixing-BC-Hydro-Accounting/?utm_source=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=251017

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What Would Ontario's Auditor General Make Of BC Hydro's 'Prescribed' Accounting Standard? October 22, 2017.

In a special report the Ontario Auditor General severely criticised that government's new regulatory deferal scheme; what would she make of the accounting practiced at BC Hydro to surpress the true cost of electricity?

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Email to Auditor General Bellringer re BC Hydro Accounting, December 2, 2016.

This email informs Auditor General Bellringer of recent developments respecting BC Hydro's accounting for future unbilled and uncollected revenue.

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Ontario Auditor General Says Deferring Hydro Rate Subsidy Contrary to Accounting Principles. October 18. 2017.

The use of deferral accounting allows debt to be transformed into and asset, a practice that the BC Lberal government abused with respect to BC Hydro's books. There are there lessons for the new NDP government in the Ontario Auditor General's recent report; http://www.auditor.on.ca/en/content/specialreports/specialreports/FairHydroPlan_en.pdf See media reaction; http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/reevely-hiding-billions-in-hydro-debt-unacceptable-ontarios-auditor-general-says and http://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/canada-news-pmn/auditor-general-set-to-report-on-ontarios-25-per-cent-hydro-bill-cuts.

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Ernst Young Options to Increase Auto Insurance Affordability. August 6, 2017.

This paper reviews the Ernst Young report's options to increase the affordability of auto insurance. It questions some of the proposed cost savings and recoomends the adoption of Saskatchewan's dual Basic model.

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The Ernst Young Report on ICBC and Early Reaction. July 25, 2017.

After being leaked to Postmedia, the government released the July 1o, 2017 Ernst Young report on ICBC; http://www.icbc.com/about-icbc/company-info/Documents/Affordable-and-Effective-AutoInsurance-Report.pdf CKNW interviews with Minister Eby, Liberal MLA Wilkinson and Richard McCandless;http://globalnews.ca/news/3620885/icbc-considering-raising-car-insurance-premiums-by-30-per-cent/ and Vaughn Palmer's comments  http://vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/vaughn-palmer-eby-considers-safer-technology-versus-hiking-icbc-rates. Chuck Byrne's (Insurance Brokers Association) comments; http://www.insurancebusinessmag.com/ca/news/auto/report-is-great-opportunity-for-icbc-to-bring-in-reforms-74363.aspx

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Geenhouse Gas Emission Report Needs Context. July 12, 2017.

This report provides some context about the absolute change in GHG emissions from 2005 to 2015; suggesting that a more in-depth review is required.

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Impact of Massive Hydroelectric Infrastructure Projects on Rates. July 5, 2017.

Occasional paper No. 34 reviews the likely impact of three major hydroelectric infrastructure projects on electricity rates.

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Options for Financing Site C. June 24, 2017

What impact will the Site C project, whether it proceeds or is cancelled, have on BC Hydro's operating budget, and what are the options to pay for it? Occasional Paper No. 33 provides a high-level look at these questions.

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Ontario Electricity Rate Suppression Plan. May 27, 2017.

This paper reviews the recent report of the Ontario Financial Accountability Office on that government's plan to use a deferral account to surpress electricity rates. A comparison to the revenue deferral practiced by BC Hydro is also provided.

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Fact Check - Government Admits Major Rate Increases Coming for BC Hydro and ICBC. April 20, 2017.

On April 19th finance minister de Jong stated that the coming four-year rate increase requirement for BC Hydro is 28%, and close to 70% for ICBC's Basic program. The government's rate suppression policy has postponed the financial reckoning.

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Party Platforms Impact on BC Hydro and ICBC. April 14, 2016.

This paper attempts to summarize the election platforms of the three main parties, and what they say or imply about BC Hydro and ICBC.

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ICBC's Worsening Finances Require Government Action. March 24, 2017.

The new provincial government must make the restoration of ICBC's financial health a priority, as capital reserves are now below the regulatory minimums,and rake shock looms.

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ICBC Deficits-Question Period February 22, 2017. February 26, 2017.

Minister Stone attempts to defend ICBC's deficit forecasts during Question Period on February 22, 2017.

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Government Uses BC Hydro and ICBC to Lower Direct Debt. February 19, 2017.

In the last five years, the government has taken some $1.95 billion in dividends from BC Hydro, or "excess' capital from ICBC, to reduce its direct operating debt requirement. Occasional Paper No. 22 explains how this happened.

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Government Creates Unique Accounting System for BC Hydro. January 30, 2017.

This paper describes how an obscure 2011 cabinet directive allows BC Hydro to apply regulatory accounting without the fundamental componet -- an independent regulator.

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Understanding Regulation in the United Kingdom 2016. December 18, 2016.

Martin Stanley's compendium of issues relating to regulation of public utilities in the UK; http://www.regulation.org.uk/

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How Ontario and BC Subsidize Electricity Rates. 13 September 2016.

A comparison of how the governments of Ontario and BC subsidize electricity rates.

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Is The BC Utilities Commission Independent? (Revised) September 15, 2017.

A summary of how the BC government has stripped the BC Utilities Commission of its authority to set rates for BC Hydro and compulsory auto insurance.

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Responsible Vehicle Owners Press-Ganged to Keep Good Ship British Columbia Fiscally Afloat. 3 June 2014

How the government relies on ICBC's Optional insurance to generate excess profits. 3 June 2014.

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Accounting Rules Over-state Government Revenue on Actual Cash Basis 21 September 2016

Canadian public sector accounting rules treat the net income of self-supporting Crown corporations provincial revenue, even though the actual cash transferred can be significantly less, or zero. 21 September 2016

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Government Financial Benefit from ICBC 30 March 2016

A short survey of the financial benefits the goverment receives from ICBC. 30 March 2016.

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"Politics and Public Automobile Insurance in BC 1970-2010." BC Studies, Summer 2013.

This article, published by BC Studies in 2013, focuses on the political and financial relationship between the publicly-owned ICBC and the provincial government from 1970 to 2010.

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