LETTER: BC Hydro’s crisis fund is a violation of rights

My hydro bill comes out automatically each and every month, so I wasn’t aware of the $3 a year increase (25 cents a bill) until a family member asked me what I thought about it. According to BC Hydro – this came about because BC Pensioners and Seniors Organization approached them for a rate freeze because of people on a fixed income. What BC Hydro came up with was a crisis fund which will make a one-time payment of $600 for medical hardship. The cost for BC Hydro to set up the project will be 1.3 million leaving 4 million to disperse via a very stringent application and approval process.

This is being sold to British Columbians as their part at being charitable to fellow citizens in need. I live on a disability and every penny counts in my world, as it does for seniors, for families, and a whole host of different people. I called to ask if I could opt out because I can’t afford another $3 a year going to ever increasing mandatory necessities in Canada. The answer is there is no opt out. I asked how BC Hydro a government run utility company can set up a mandatory charity program and did they just violate my constitutional freedoms and rights to decide where I will give my disposable income to a charity of my choice.

If this is allowed, who is next to line up the at the million dollar trough, under the deception of a mandatory charity – the telecommunication companies, major banks, Fortis?

Giving money to a charity should be our choice protected under our charter. Since when does a billion dollar company have the right to set up a charity – do they now have part of their company registered as a charity and get all the tax benefits on 5.3 million dollars? If they need money for a charity go to guys across the street, called the BC Lottery Corporation – they finance charities with money Canadians choose to spend and they have lots of extra tax dollars in their coffers.

This is wrong on so many levels and needs to stop now. They say this is pilot project, but they are taking 1.3 million to set it up. This is one slippery slope.

I know I’m writing the Prime Minister and our Parliament to ask if these two arms of B.C. Government have the right to violate my constitutional rights and Freedoms to commit my money to a Charity of their making and I encourage British Columbians to do the same

Jo-Anne Berezanski

North Saanich

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