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.

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

Just Posted

Chilliwack celebrates Chinese New Year at Sardis Library

Members of Vancouver’s Xinru Centre taught folks history of Chinese New Year, knot tying, calligraphy

Seven Days in Chilliwack

A list of community events happening in Chilliwack from Jan. 20 to 26

Minus two-degree weather a warm welcome following cold snap in Chilliwack

People flocked to the hills Saturday, sleds in hand, to take in some snowy fun in Chilliwack

VIDEO: Highway 1 to look like winter war zone until owners retrieve wrecked vehicles

Tow-truck driver says 30 vehicles still dot snowy landscape, including one rolled-over dairy truck

Charity Clothes2U ready to hand out free items to people in need in Chilliwack

The Clothes2U Winter Giveaway event will be in Chilliwack at Cooke’s Presbyterian Church

After cashing in on QB gambles, Chiefs and 49ers to clash in Super Bowl

KC beats Tennessee, San Francisco dispatches Green Bay to reach NFL title game

VIDEO: SPCA and RCMP remove several animals, including pig, at private animal rescue in Langley

Home at 5500 block of 216th Street has undergone multiple seizures over the past five years

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

Victoria family focuses on ‘letting go, enjoying time together’ after dad gets dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in downtown Smithers

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

Vancouver police probe second homicide in less than 24 hours

Woman was found dead in her Gastown home

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Most Read