Alternative Visions for a Community-Based Power in British Columbia

In a report released in June by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, John Calvert and Marc Lee warn that households and small businesses face steep rate increases for their hydro power as a result of the increasing demands of the province’s natural resource extraction industries. The authors argue that these industries create very few jobs (only 1% of BC’s employment) and a great deal of pollution. Their alternative vision is based on seven recommendations, starting with a change in energy planning to a balanced supply and demand frame­work, anchored in public power, and refocused on meeting the province’s GHG reduction targets. “Aggressively pursing the energy efficiency and conservation potential in BC, combined with support for small- and community-scale renewable technologies, can significantly reduce the need for new electricity supply. However, this will only happen if the govern­ment’s energy-intensive resource extraction policies are dramatically scaled back”.


Powering our Province seeks to assess the job creation potential for rural B.C. of independent power producers (IPP) and community-owned clean energy projects. The report identifies 5 immediate opportunities in: skilled trades and construction; community and First Nations engagement; scientific and environmental monitoring; plant operations and maintenance; and indirect business support. Key barriers faced include the lack of built infrastructure, difficulties accessing advanced education and skills training, and a shortage in capacity for skilled workers, due in part to competition and labour demand from out-of-province and urban centers. The report was published in August by Globe Advisors, and commissioned by the Southern Interior Beetle Action Coalition (SIBAC) and its project partners.



Clean Electricity, Conservation and Climate Justice in BC: Meeting Our Energy Needs in a Zero-Carbon Future is at:


Powering our Province is available at:

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