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August 25, 2014

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The BC Hydro Northwest Transmission line is now powered up and operating, delivering under-priced bulk electricity to mining companies and under-priced delivery services for private power generators.  Not only did they over-run the capital cost of building the line, but BC Hydro goofed in its design of the rate structure to recoup construction cost from […]

Another ominous note for Christy Clark’s LNG promise

August 1, 2014

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The only energy company that has made any money out of LNG export development in British Columbia is Pacific Northern Gas – by selling out their stake in a project 3 years ago to Apache and Chevron for a measly $50 million. Now Apache has thrown in the towel, casting even more doubt on the most […]

Pipe Dreams – BC’s LNG Future?

May 25, 2014

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Only a few years ago, the world was running out of natural gas.  Then the industry adopted hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”). This technology extracts gas from low-grade reserves dispersed in shale beds, which previously could not be exploited economically.   Now North America has a huge glut of gas.  Prices plunged from historic levels gyrating around $9 […]

BC’s Elusive LNG Tax

May 11, 2014

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The BC government has one devil of a problem on its hands. Last year, it won re-election largely on the basis of promises of enormous wealth and revenues flowing from the birth of a massive Liquefied Natural Gas export industry. Billions of dollars would flow into the treasury, the provincial debt would vaporize, and we […]

“Fair” Elections Act – Government Backing Down on Disenfranchising Canadians?

April 2, 2014

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I was legal counsel in a challenge to the introduction of mandatory Voter ID in Canadian federal elections.  We argued that the government needed to provide a fail-safe mechanism to protect people’s right to vote.  We said that people without the necessary ID should be able to swear a declaration confirming their identity and residence.  […]

Posted in: Law, Politics, Uncategorized

Supreme Court confirms union’s right to employee contact information

February 22, 2014

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A few days ago, the Supreme Court of Canada handed down a decision confirming a union’s right to personal contact information about the people it represents, in Bernard v. AG of Canada and PIPSC Under federal legislation, Elizabeth Bernard was able to opt out of membership in the union representing her government service bargaining unit, […]

Posted in: Law

Disclipline Investigation – when the police are also involved

February 9, 2014

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Some of the trickiest situations unions face when representing members facing disciplinary investigations by their employers arise where the same activity has attracted the attention of the police.  That is because the rules surrounding police investigations and workplace investigations are incompatible. One of our most fundamental democratic rights, enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights […]

Posted in: Law