NDP blasts appointment of Gordon Campbell’s deputy minister as B.C. Hydro CEO

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      A former deputy minister to Gordon Campbell is set to take the helm of B.C. Hydro.

      Jessica McDonald will replace the retiring Charles Reid as president and CEO on July 14, the board of directors of the Crown corporation announced today (May 29).

      "I thank Charles for his dedication and leadership and I congratulate Jessica on her new role," Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett said in a news release. "She has the right mix of skills and public and private sector leadership experience to ensure we keep rates down while BC Hydro invests in our electricity system. I look forward to working with her as BC Hydro continues to implement the 10-year-plan."

      From 2005 to 2009, McDonald served as deputy minister to the premier, cabinet secretary, and head of the public service. Most recently, McDonald led the provincial government's review of the Industry Training Authority, which wrapped up in April. She's also a director of ICBC.

      B.C. NDP Leader John Horgan asserted the appointment shows that more "political mismanagement" is in store for B.C. Hydro. 

      “B.C. Liberal mismanagement of B.C. Hydro has already driven up rates for British Columbians. Another Liberal appointment will only make things worse,” Horgan said in a news release.

      “Jessica McDonald has no experience in the energy sector. Her only relevant experience is as a deputy to the premier who put B.C. Hydro in the mess it's in today.”



      Ex-Haney guy.

      May 29, 2014 at 4:44pm

      And I doubt that she'll stop those run-of-the-rivers privately owned and useless projects that Campbel forced Hydro to buy from.


      May 29, 2014 at 5:02pm

      IMO, the Liberal Party is intent on destroying the public benefit of a publicly owned utility in favour of private enterprise system. They are going to make privitization of BC Hydro look like a saviour. There are millions to billions of deferred debt, not to mention the years of syphoned revenue that should have been spent on the infrastructure but was put in the provincial general revenue account. And now, a dedicated Liberal Party / governing party member in charge. And rate increases to pay for the infrastructure upgrades. IPP's being paid over scale rates. Seems that financial mismanagement is a required governing skill for almost all areas in our current Provincial Government.


      May 29, 2014 at 7:22pm

      The problem here is with Crown Corporations like BC Hydro, ICBC, BC Ferries and BC PavCo.

      Almost all of the services that these corporations provide can be found in many parts of North America, and even the world, as run by private companies.

      BC Hydro - almost all power companies in North America are private.
      ICBC - car insurance companies are private in all US states, and most Canadian provinces.
      BC Ferries - ferry services are all private in Europe, and provide much better service with far fewer price increases.
      BC PavCo - all stadiums are owned either by teams or investment companies. Only in BC are we forced to pay hundreds of millions of dollars for roofs that we really don't need.

      As long as Crown Corporations exist, bureaucrats can appoint whomever they want, raise fees as much as they feel like, and raid cash reserves to patch up budgets, as it happened with ICBC.

      Stan Mortensen

      May 29, 2014 at 7:51pm

      Just how many public sector income streams does this person need. Is she still a strategic analyst (I think that's gotta be a new word for lobbyist) with Catana? Interesting how these folks just keep recycling through the system, I guess we have to keep them in the style of life they've become accustomed to.


      May 29, 2014 at 7:54pm

      another Liberal hack!