BC Hydro cuts 300 jobs, 150 to come

BC Hydro is moving ahead with its cost-cutting program, eliminating 300 positions this week and announcing 150 more will be gone in the next two years.

BC Hydro CEO Dave Cobb

BC Hydro CEO Dave Cobb

BC Hydro is moving ahead with its cost-cutting program, eliminating 300 positions this week and announcing 150 more will be gone in the next two years.

BC Hydro CEO Dave Cobb gave few specifics about the type of positions being eliminated. He said the reductions were identified starting in January as the Crown utility prepared for a review of its operations ordered by incoming Premier Christy Clark. About 250 positions were phased out before this week, for a total reduction of 700.

Cobb said most of the reductions are through attrition, but there will be “some layoffs” to reach the number needed to limit rate increases as directed by the government review.

Three deputy ministers reviewed BC Hydro operations and reported to Energy Minister Rich Coleman in August. Cobb and Coleman agreed to roll back the general rate increase to eight per cent this year and 3.9 per cent in each of the next two years. BC Hydro’s previous application to regulators was for a 9.73 increase in each of the three years.

The Canadian Office and Professional Employees, one of BC Hydro’s two unions, says it is losing 400 meter reader positions as a result of BC Hydro’s installation of wireless smart meters that automatically report consumption and power outages.

The review endorsed BC Hydro’s business case for upgrading to smart grid technology. It focused on BC Hydro’s 650 staff engineers, and Coleman said the utility should be contracting out more engineering work. The review found overall staff grew by 41 per cent between 2006 and 2010.

Speaking on CKNW radio Thursday, Cobb said he is examining procedures for engineering projects, but he’s not convinced of the need for reductions given the utility’s current array of major construction projects. Hydro Quebec has 1,700 engineers on staff, he said.

Just Posted

The end of an Echo
The end of an Echo

Invermere Valley Echo shuts down operations in Columbia Valley

Creating a new narrative for Canal Flats

Economic development consultant hired, lists vision for next 90 days

Princeton wildfire phots courtesy of Debbie Lyon.
UPDATE: Crews battle as wildfires rage in B.C. Interior

Crews brace for another day on B.C. firelines as no let up is likely

VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers
VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers

Wildfires continue to engulf regions of B.C.’s forests and communities.

Aerial view south of Williams Lake Friday afternoon shows dry lightning storm passing over, leaving fire starts behind. Lightning sparked more than 100 new fires Friday. (Black Press)
VIDEO: More than 180 wildfires burning across B.C.

Firefighters from other provinces called in to assist

DTSS Grad March 2017
DTSS Grad March 2017

DTSS Grad March 2017

59 cats seized in Chase
59 cats seized in Chase

59 neglected and injured cats were seized from a property in Chase

(Flickr/Andreas Eldh)
Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell dead at age 52

The singer/songwriter passed away early Thursday morning in Detroit

Paying tribute to a primeval passage
Paying tribute to a primeval passage

Uninterrupted celebrates the Adams River sockeye run in an extraordinary way.

UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds
UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds

In the past, the music festival located in Pemberton drew large crowds last year of 180,000 fans

Photo by: WeissPaarz.com
Medical wait times cost B.C. patients $2,300 each

New Fraser Institute report places B.C. at second worst in costs associated with long wait times

UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert
UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert

Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m.

A university study finds that about nine per cent of Canada’s Grade 11 and 12 students – roughly 66,000 teens – have driven within an hour of drinking and 9.4 per cent drove after using marijuana.                                 Photo: Now-
Leader file
One in three Canadian high school students have rode with drinking drivers, study reveals

Nearly one in five rode with a driver who’d been smoking pot

Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records
Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records

A lower court judge ruled to destroy the stories after 15 years unless consent is given to preserve

Most Read