Marijuana grow-ops may have had some form of assistance from BC Hydro employees

BC Hydro fires five workers after probe into marijuana grow-op ties

Theft of power, equipment alleged against employees

BC Hydro has fired five workers after an internal investigation into whether staff aided marijuana grow-ops that illegally tapped electricity.

Three more employees remain under investigation, the Crown corporation said Thursday in a statement.

Hydro executive vice-president Greg Reimer said the accusations against the workers include theft of BC Hydro equipment and facilitating the theft of electricity – both violations of the company’s code of conduct.

The workers fired are in Prince George, Surrey, Coquitlam and Campbell River.

Ten more employees have returned to work after being questioned.

Reimer said information gathered has been forwarded to the RCMP and they’ll determine whether any criminal investigation ensues.

He said Hydro must protect the safety and security of the electrical system.

“We hope that the activities of a very small number of individuals do not overshadow the hard work and dedication of our employees who work every day to safely keep the lights on in British Columbia,” Reimer said.

Union officials previously confirmed some members had been suspended with pay as part of the investigation into conduct related to marijuana grow-ops.

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers local 258 business manager  Doug McKay had cautioned June 20 against a company “witch hunt” against workers who may not have done anything wrong.

“It’s not a lineman’s job to knock on doors and inquire whether a grow-op is inside,” he said at that time. “That’s the job of police.”

– with files from CTV