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This Act is current to January 17, 2018
See the Tables of Legislative Changes for this Act’s legislative history, including any changes not in force.

Power for Jobs Development Act

[SBC 1997] CHAPTER 51

Assented to July 30, 1997

Contents
Part 1 — Introductory Provisions
1Definitions
2Purpose
Part 2 — Provision of Electrical Power
3Development power rates
4Considerations of Lieutenant Governor in Council
5Terms of orders
6Customers outside the area of the authority
7Effect of development power rates
8Application to the administrator
Part 3 — Power for Jobs Administrator
9Administrator's mandate
10Considerations administrator is to consider
11Confidentiality
12No testimony in civil action
13Report to Lieutenant Governor in Council
Part 4 — General Provisions
14Offence
15Power to make regulations
16Commencement

Part 1 — Introductory Provisions

Definitions

1  In this Act:

"administrator" means an officer or employee of the ministry or of a government body, within the meaning of the Financial Administration Act, designated as the Power for Jobs Administrator by the minister;

"authority" means the British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority and includes a subsidiary of the British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority;

"business" means an individual, partnership, corporation or other organization carrying on, in British Columbia, a trade, enterprise, calling or undertaking or preparing to do so;

"Canadian entitlement" means the Canadian share of downstream power benefits as determined under Article VII of the Treaty between Canada and the United States of America relating to Cooperative Development of the Water Resources of the Columbia River Basin;

"customer" means a business that, for the operation of a plant or for any other economic activity, purchases electricity in an amount that exceeds 35 kW annually;

"development power rate" means

(a) a rate that is payable to the authority or the government by a business in respect of which an order is made under section 3 for one or both of surplus electricity and the delivery of that surplus electricity, or

(b) a rate that is payable to a public utility or to a municipality or regional district by a business in respect of which an order is made under section 6 for one or both of surplus electricity and the delivery of that surplus electricity;

"Job Protection Commissioner" means the Job Protection Commissioner appointed under the Job Protection Act;

"public utility" has the same meaning as in the Utilities Commission Act;

"rate" includes

(a) a general, individual or joint rate, fare, toll, charge, rental or other compensation of a public utility or of the government,

(b) a rule, practice, measurement, classification or contract of a public utility, the government or a corporation relating to a rate, and

(c) a schedule or tariff respecting a rate;

"supply" includes wheeling by the authority of surplus electricity that is a portion of the Canadian entitlement;

"surplus electricity" means electricity that is one or both of the following:

(a) surplus to the authority's requirements to supply

(i) customers in the authority's service area, and

(ii) electricity in respect of which removal is permitted under the Utilities Commission Act and that is either

(A) produced at a hydroelectric generating facility owned by the authority, or

(B) purchased by the authority from another source;

(b) a portion of the Canadian entitlement that the Lieutenant Governor in Council determines may be made available from time to time for the purpose of this Act.

Purpose

2  The purpose of this Act is to help ensure that British Columbia's electric power resources contribute to the creation and retention of jobs in British Columbia and to regional economic development.

Part 2 — Provision of Electrical Power

Development power rates

3  On application by any business and despite the rate charged by the authority for the supply of electricity to the business, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may order that surplus electricity be supplied to, and a development power rate applies to some or all of the supply of electricity to, that business if the application is consistent with the criteria prescribed under section 15 (2) (a) and if

(a) the business proposes to construct or expand a plant or to expand operations in the authority's service area, the proposed plant or expansion will have the effect of expanding employment and the business would, after completion of the plant or expansion, fall within the definition of "customer", or

(b) the business is a customer that requires financial assistance to maintain

(i) the ongoing viability of the business's plant or operations, and

(ii) the continued employment of persons.

Considerations of Lieutenant Governor in Council

4  Before making an order under section 3 or 6 in respect of a business, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may consider any recommendations made by the administrator in relation to the business's application.

Terms of orders

5  An order in relation to a business under section 3 or 6 may contain terms that the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers advisable, including, without limitation, terms

(a) specifying the amount of surplus electricity that is to be supplied to the business and the amount of that surplus electricity that is to be supplied at a development power rate,

(b) setting the development power rate for the surplus electricity to be supplied to the business, and

(c) specifying the period or periods during which the surplus electricity is to be supplied or the development power rate is to be applicable.

Customers outside the area of the authority

6  (1) On application by a business, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by order, authorize the authority to dispose of surplus electricity to another public utility to enable the public utility to supply electricity to the business for the purpose of a plant or operations if

(a) the plant is or the operations are located in the service area of that public utility, and

(b) the business would be eligible for an order under section 3 were the plant or operations located in the service area of the authority.

(2) If electricity is supplied to a public utility under subsection (1), the Lieutenant Governor in Council may order that the public utility supply some or all of the electricity to that business at a development power rate.

(3) If a municipality or regional district supplies electricity to customers within its own boundaries, an order may be made under subsections (1) and (2) in respect of that service as though the municipality or regional district were a public utility referred to in subsection (1).

Effect of development power rates

7  (1) If there is a conflict between the rates of the authority and an order made under section 3 or 6, the order prevails.

(2) A development power rate that is payable in accordance with the terms of an order made under section 3 or 6 is applicable, despite sections 61 (3) and 63 and Part 5 of the Utilities Commission Act.

(3) The British Columbia Utilities Commission does not have jurisdiction under section 58 (1) and (2), 59 (4), 64 (1) or Part 5 of the Utilities Commission Act in respect of a development power rate.

(4) A development power rate

(a) is lawful, enforceable and collectable, and

(b) is not a rate to which section 59 (1) of the Utilities Commission Act applies.

(5) The government, the authority and any public utility are not subject to Part 3 or Part 5 of the Utilities Commission Act in relation to any matter arising out of the supply of electricity with respect to which an order has been made under section 3 or 6 of this Act, unless the Lieutenant Governor in Council orders that a provision of Part 3 or Part 5 of the Utilities Commission Act that the Lieutenant Governor in Council specifies applies with respect to that matter.

(6) If there is any conflict or inconsistency between

(a) an order made under section 6 (1) and (2) for the purposes of section 6 (3), and

(b) either

(i) section 397 [imposition of fees and charges] of the Local Government Act, or any bylaw made under that section, or

(ii) section 194 [municipal fees] or 200 [parcel tax bylaw] of the Community Charter, or any bylaw made under those sections,

the order made under section 6 (1) and (2) prevails.

(7) The wholesale transmission rates otherwise payable by those customers of the authority that transmit power under published wholesale transmission rates must not be altered to compensate for

(a) an order made under section 3 or 6, or

(b) any reduction in the wholesale transmission revenue requirement resulting from that order.

Application to the administrator

8  A business wishing to be considered for an order under section 3 or 6 must apply to the administrator for that order.

Part 3 — Power for Jobs Administrator

Administrator's mandate

9  (1) If the Lieutenant Governor in Council determines that surplus electricity may be made available under this Act, the minister may notify the administrator of

(a) the projected amount and duration of supply of that surplus electricity,

(b) any criteria, additional to the application evaluation criteria prescribed under section 15 (2) (a), that the Lieutenant Governor in Council intends to use in assessing applications for that surplus electricity, and

(c) the manner in which the assessment required under subsection (2) is to be completed.

(2) After receiving notification under subsection (1), the administrator must assess if and to which businesses the surplus electricity should be provided.

(3) In conducting an assessment under subsection (2), the administrator,

(a) if notified by the minister under subsection (1) (c) as to the manner in which the assessment is to be completed, must conduct the assessment in accordance with that manner, or

(b) in any other case, may use any method that the administrator considers advisable to effect the assessment, including, without limitation, any one or more of the following:

(i) advertising the amount of surplus electricity that may be made available by the Lieutenant Governor in Council;

(ii) preparing a request for proposals and distributing it to any businesses that the administrator considers appropriate;

(iii) using auction processes;

(iv) negotiating with businesses;

(v) conducting financial or other evaluations of solicited and unsolicited proposals.

(4) If the administrator issues a request for proposals in respect of surplus electricity, the administrator must include in the request for proposals the additional criteria, if any, referred to in subsection (1) (b) that the Lieutenant Governor in Council intends to use in assessing proposals or other applications for that surplus electricity.

(5) After receiving a proposal or other application for the provision to a business of surplus electricity under this Act, whether or not that application is provided in response to an action of the Lieutenant Governor in Council or the administrator, the administrator must make recommendations to the minister as to whether the application should be accepted and may suggest terms that the administrator considers should be imposed on the supply of that surplus electricity.

(6) If a proposal or other application in respect of which recommendations are made under subsection (5) appears to the minister to be consistent with the criteria to be applied by the Lieutenant Governor in Council in assessing the application, the minister is to provide the application and the recommendations of the administrator to the Lieutenant Governor in Council for assessment.

(7) The minister is to notify the administrator as to the disposition of the application and the administrator must notify the applicant as to that disposition.

(8) The administrator may, when invited to do so by the Job Protection Commissioner and authorized to do so by the minister, consult with the Job Protection Commissioner in respect of any economic plan made or proposed under the Job Protection Act and may, if it appears appropriate to do so, recommend to the Lieutenant Governor in Council that an order be made under section 3 or 6 of this Act in order to assist in the economic plan.

Considerations administrator is to consider

10  In carrying out the mandate under section 9, the administrator is to give due consideration to economic, environmental and societal interests including, without limitation,

(a) any new employment relationships that may be established as a result of this Act,

(b) government objectives with respect to employment equity,

(c) the economic importance of a business to British Columbia or to a region or locality within British Columbia, and

(d) the purpose of this Act.

Confidentiality

11  The administrator and every other person who has custody of or access to records or information provided by a business in a proposal or other application provided to the administrator under this Act must not disclose the records or information to any person except insofar as disclosure is

(a) necessary for the purposes of this Act,

(b) required by a court proceeding relating to this Act, or

(c) for the purposes of the compilation and publication of statistical information by the government.

No testimony in civil action

12  The administrator is not, in a civil action to which the administrator is not a party, required to testify or produce evidence about records or information obtained in the discharge of duties under this Act.

Report to Lieutenant Governor in Council

13  The administrator, in each year, must make to the Lieutenant Governor in Council a report of the activities of the administrator for the preceding calendar year.

Part 4 — General Provisions

Offence

14  (1) A person who contravenes section 11 commits an offence.

(2) Section 5 of the Offence Act does not apply in respect of this Act or the regulations.

Power to make regulations

15  (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations referred to in section 41 of the Interpretation Act.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) respecting the criteria that may be applied by the Lieutenant Governor in Council in assessing a proposal or other application for an order under section 3 or 6, including, without limitation, the tests that may be applied by the Lieutenant Governor in Council in determining if and to what extent an order may be made under those sections, and

(b) prescribing the information that must be contained in a proposal or other application under section 3 or 6.

Commencement

16  This Act comes into force by regulation of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.