Some of you seem far to eager to believe whatever the government tells you about this topic. Then again some of you seem overly paranoid so its a nice mix.
I've worked on two seperate IPP projects in the electrical design and installation phases. I am by know means an expert but I have seen first hand how these stations go together. Like everyone I have an opinion on the state of our electrical system.
Truth is we need more power. You can not argue that. Do I care if they build a road in a park, not really. A power line requires a road to build and even if you don't use a road (ie helicopters), you still need a right of way which depending on the voltage of the line will be a wide swath of cut down trees (think the woodlot). I for one could care less as I like to turn on my light switch and have the lights actually come on.
Call me a commie, but I tend to agree with SOME of the things the original poster said. I do not support the IPP process. I am not against free market, but some things should remain regulated and electricity is one of them. Say what you will about free market, but we need power, you can't live without it anymore, not in our soceity anyway.
I would rather have a regulated market instead of ending up like California when all these IPP contracts expire in 20 years and they start selling to the highest bidder. We have excellent clean power possibilities here in our province so why let others develop them and sell back to us at massive profits? We can obviously afford to do it on our own, seeing as BC Hydro makes a nice profit and on top of that pays sizeable payments to the government each year.
One thing I'm suprised no one has mentioned here is our downstream benefits from the Columbia River development. If we are in such an energy crisis why are we selling 1200MW of downstream benefit power to the USA for approx $50 per MWH and at the same time awarding contracts to IPP's for approx $90 per MWH? I guess I'm missing the logic on why we sell large amounts of our power for cheap and buy small amounts back from IPP's at inflated prices.