November 5, 2012 Public Affairs Update

Public Affairs Update Header
Issue 38 November 5, 2012
In This Issue
2012 BC Liberal Convention
BC Hydro’s Long Term Electricity Plan Delayed
Stephen Bellringer Appointed Chair of BC Hydro
The Public Affairs Update is your weekly insight, perspective and analysis on politics in British Columbia and Canada.  This newsletter is brought to you by the largest, and most broadly-based business organization in the province, the BC Chamber of Commerce – the Voice of Business in BC.
2012 BC Liberal Convention
Last weekend, nearly 1,000 BC Liberal Party delegates gathered in Whistler to debate policy resolutions, consider 2013 campaign strategy, and attend workshops and receptions with party members from all corners of the province.The atmosphere was positive for the BC Liberals, who in the two and a half hour policy session debated the top ten policy resolutions, as voted for by delegates. Issues included: reviewing the Property Transfer Tax threshold; repealing the Carbon Tax; the Northern economic strategy; income splitting; the Aboriginal economic participation; trades training; BC’s energy commodities; reducing the Property Transfer Tax; bringing medical students back to BC; and, financial disclosure for public sector unions.

Over the course of the weekend, Premier Christy Clark painted an optimistic picture of BC’s opportunities heading into the May 2013 election that appealed to all delegates, whether left, right, or centre leaning. She talked at length about how the province is on the cusp of huge economic opportunities, the benefits of which will fuel social progress and provide jobs for BC’s young people and families. The Premier outlined a vision where BC is Canada’s economic engine, with a thriving private sector, lower taxes, and stronger communities and families.

BC Hydro’s Long Term Electricity Plan Delayed
Hon. Rich Coleman, Minister of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas Resources, has indicated that BC Hydro will submit their 20-year Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) on August 3, 2012, eight months later than originally planned.The Clean Energy Act, introduced in 2010, required that BC Hydro submit an IRP within 18 months of the act coming into force, or by Dec. 2, 2011. In May 2011, this due date was extended by one year so that BC Hydro could include any new direction from government’s review.

Government, liquefied natural gas (LNG) proponents and BC Hydro are currently negotiating electricity-supply agreements. By extending the submission date of the IRP, government, LNG proponents and BC Hydro will have time and flexibility to complete these agreements, giving greater certainty for fu-ture volume and timing of LNG electricity requirements.

The government’s BC Jobs Plan, released in 2011, calls for proposed LNG export facilities currently proposed for Kitimat to be supplied by ‘clean’ energy. Minister Coleman said the four companies considering LNG development in BC are still in-tent on moving ahead and the negotiations on how those facilities would be pow-ered are expected to be concluded in the next couple of months.

Stephen Bellringer Appointed Chair of BC Hydro
Hon. Rich Coleman, Minister for Energy, Mines and Natural Gas, also announced that Stephen Bellringer has been appointed chair of the BC Hydro board of directors.Mr. Bellringer is a current BC Hydro Board member with extensive experience in business and in the energy sector. He is the former chair of Retrocom Real Estate Investment Trust and was a director of Canadian Hotel Income Properties. Over the past 20 years, Bellringer has served as president and chief executive officer of Canadian Hotel Income Properties, Orca Bay Sports & Entertainment, BC Gas, Trans Mountain Pipeline and Union Gas Ltd.
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This weekly report produced for the BC Chamber of Commerce by Fleishman-Hillard.  While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information included in this publication as of the date of issue, events and government policies are subject to frequent change.  Therefore, the BC Chamber of Commerce and Fleishman-Hillard cannot assume any responsibility for actions taken solely or principally on the basis on the information contained herein.


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