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 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

WIND WARNING: Metro Vancouver expecting 100 km/h gusts Saturday night

Environment Canada issues warns of possibly dangerous conditions

Agassiz tech training to connect generations

Upcoming event will have youth teaching technology to older residents

UPDATE: 24-year-old Lovepreet Dhaliwal ID’d as victim in targeted Abbotsford shooting

Location of shooting the same as where innocent bystander Ping Shun Ao killed in 2015

Fraser Health asking taxpayers for millions more in health care capital funding

Health authority wants Fraser Valley taxpayers to triple annual contribution to $5.75 million

Harrison continues push for local doctor

Mayor has requested Fraser Health provide primary care services

Week in Review – January 19

Movie filming, water upgrades and more

VIDEO: Remember the Voyageurs at Fort Langley

Two-day historical festival underway

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

B.C. woman who forged husband’s will gets house arrest

Princeton Judge says Odelle Simmons did not benefit from her crime

Snow warning in effect for the Coquihalla

A snowfall warning is in effect from Hope to Merritt as slush and snow is expected on highways this weekend

Vancouver hoping free public Wi-Fi expansion will drive tourism dollars

Mayor Gregor Robertson says expansion bolsters its “leading Smart City” status

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

Liberals’ 2-year infrastructure plan set to take 5: documents

Government says 793 projects totalling $1.8 billion in federal funds have been granted extensions

Most Read