The wacky and weird

I heard a really strange thing on CBC Information Morning in Freddy this morning. Terry Seguin (sp?) was reading an email from a listener about NB Power and large industrial power rates. It was clear that this was likely an ex-civil servant or someone who has absolutely no idea about the correlation between power rates and economic development.

Anyway, this guy recommended that New Brunswick sell NB Power and put the money into a ‘heritage’ fund for future generations of New Brunswickers.

Now, here’s the point. If I wrote to Terry and said “the best way to reduce greenhouse gases would be to put water in our gas tanks” would he read this out? What is the screening process for listener comments?

The government would have to pay someone to take NB Power. The utilities debt is so high the government would need to assume some of the debt in order to make it attractive to a potential buyer.

Heritage fund? Amazing what gets said. And all those Freddy swivel servants nodding in agreement while sipping their Tims. Nutbar.

The CBC is right to have a debate and discussion about electricity and energy policy in New Brunswick and I hope they show both sides of the issue so the public can have a balance on which to make a decision.

But reading this wacko commentary from a listener doesn’t make any sense.

This is not about NB Power. That’s a cop out. The government decides energy policy. The government writes legislation on what it wants to do with NB Power. Simple.

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0 Responses to The wacky and weird

  1. Anonymous says:

    I would expect,that many companies would think that they could trim down NB Power quite easily and save enormous amount of money,with a ,now,200,000,000 dollar wage bill a year,
    after having hired all of the acadians and their dogs.A Greed?

  2. Anonymous says:

    The scary part of this is that it makes perfect sense to the individual(s) involved. Even scarier is the fact that these people hold the power to see this kind of nonsense implemented by governments and to hold things up until they are.

  3. Anonymous says:

    You have just experienced the typical (scary) Fredericton media.

    This is representative of the daily news. Every minority whinner makes it to the front page (read the DG if you want a real laugh).

    Now, we can have a good laugh about this except the politcians listen to this stuff. This is why we have provincial elections over insurance rates or highway tolls. This is why the SOTP address talks about limiting or subsidizing power rates. Most people are too naive to think how taxpayers will pay for that expensive promise and the media is too shallow to ask the questions.

  4. mikel says:

    That’s not exactly true, energy is under intense pressure to be privatized, they aren’t doing this out of a belief that ‘maybe’ companies can make money. Having debt is not a big deal, virtually every corporation in the world has some debt-what matters is how much money it is making. Debt is what makes the world go round. We wouldn’t have a house except for debt.

    Most of the nuclear stations in ontario have been sold, even though they need work. The devil is in the OTHER details, the ones we never hear about. That Alberta company that got the go ahead for building windmills definetely would have gotten some assurance on how much NB Power will pay for their product. If they just went by the ‘open market’ they’d never make a dime, there are too many other sources cheaper than wind.

    So its not really fair to say that CBC should be in the market of not allowing certain ideas to be mentioned because you don’t like them. As we’ve seen, there are some who don’t like many of your ideas, that doesn’t mean the CBC shouldn’t air them. In fact, if that is common practise then I’d encourage you to do up some letters of your own and get them to the CBC and maybe get some more wider coverage for your views.

    But the argument is hardly the same as putting water in a gas tank-privatization hasn’t occurred all over north america on a whim, and most of them had debt. The idea may not pan out in the long term, but who knows? I doubt lots of people are ‘nodding their heads in agreement’-privatization hasn’t occurred for one simple reason-most people don’t want it, and are usually pretty vocal about it.

  5. Anonymous says:

    There is a big difference between privatizing stations (as per OPG in Ontario) and privitizing all of NB Power. There could be benefits to privitizing certin NB Power sites, such as Lepreau.

    The difficulty with NB Power as a crown corporation is not with them as so much as with how the government uses them. They make patronage appointments to NBP or buy votes by subsizing rates or building facilities in politically strategic areas.

    If they were challenged, and allowed, to run as a business, they could be a great economic asset. Unfortunately, government, and the public, has not allowed this to happen.

  6. richard says:

    The comment may have been one based on ignorance, but there is plenty of that OUTSIDE government as well as inside. I doubt that Seguin gets that many comments and there is no reason for him to omit one from broadcast just because it seems stupid.

    This is really a policy issue for the NB govt; not really a decision for NB Power. Given Graham’s recent cave-in to the little saint-johners re UNBSJ, I doubt that he has the guts to do this.

  7. mikel says:

    There isn’t really that big a difference-privatizing is privatizing. Of course there are benefits, private industry isn’t looking to take over government utilities because there is no benefit-there are HUGE benefits. The question is always WHO benefits.

    As for the other, Graham shouldn’t be expected to have the balls to go against the status quo. As we saw, there was virtually no plan in place to make the school into anything other than an Irving tech school. So the people were RIGHT to oppose.

    If you are a group that wants a different strategy, then its up to you to present it as loudly. In politics, its all about who is loudest. But that IS funny, imagine getting applause just for saying you aren’t going to adopt one policy that a focus group presented.

    That should be an interesting precedent, I suspect there’ll be lots more really scary ‘suggestions’ that the government will then go on to get votes by rejecting them.

    But what was missing from the whole issue is the whole insanity of governing by paying two consultants to do a report. Nobody ever comments on that, again except for the ‘status quo’ that just keeps laughing at every new ‘committee to study a committee’. Even the bloggers have given up taken them seriously, they just released one of the most important documents of their tenure, to show the benchmarks, and hardly anybody even takes it seriously enough to comment.