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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Parksville’s French Creek Harbour experienced a diesel spill on Nov. 23 after a barge and fishing vessel collided. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Coast Guard cleans up diesel spill in Parksville’s French Creek Harbour

Barge carrying fuel truck collides with fishing vessel

Qualicum Beach Memorial Golf Course. (File photo)
Qualicum Beach golf course notified restaurant patron tests positive for COVID-19

Staff to self-monitor until Nov. 28, can continue with daily duties

Toy Drive ‘drive through’ cancelled for Nov. 25. (Courtesy of Tigh-Na-Mara)
Tigh-Na-Mara Toy Drive drive through cancelled for Nov. 25

Resort will continue to accept donations on behalf of the Society of Organized Services

Windy conditions in Nanaimo’s Lost Lake area. (News Bulletin file photo)
Wind warning issued for the east coast of Vancouver Island

Environment Canada says people ‘should be on the lookout’ for adverse weather conditions

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

BC Teachers' Federation President Teri Mooring is asking parents of school-aged children to encourage the wearing of masks when possible in schools. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
LETTER: Teachers union encourages culture of mask wearing in B.C. schools

BCTF President Teri Mooring asks parents to talk with children about wearing masks in school

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

The North Island 9-1-1 Corporation (NI911) has supported local residents for 25 years. Black Press file photo
North Island 911 looks to change how they get funding

Three options to be decided upon in early 2021

Stock photo
Senior from Gibsons caught viewing child porn sentenced to 10 months

74-year-old pleaded guilty after police seized 1,500-2,500 images

(Pixabay)
All dance studios, other indoor group fitness facilities must close amid updated COVID-19 rules

Prior announcement had said everything except spin, HIIT and hot yoga could remain open

Most Read