(Joe replies:-) I don't think 'inflation' figured very much in
the BC Social Credit Party's thinking at the time the power projects were
implemented, John. It was present, as it was throughout Canada at that
time in greater or lesser degree, but thought to be 'manageable'.
By the time the '60's ended, however, it was starting to be a
major problem. The BC government didn't have any control over 'banking'
whatsoever. "Interest rates" and other factors concerning banking were
all outside of BC's jurisdiction.
The BC Social Credit party government tried to incorporate a 'Bank of
British Columbia', but was rebuffed by Ottawa. There was no stated
policy for this to be anything other than a conventional chartered bank, only
headquartered in BC and attuned to BC conditions, in which the BC government
would have a proposed initial equity position of 25%, later reduced
to 10%, to help get it going. It was assumed it would be the provincial
government's banker, but in a 'conventional manner'. The Canadian Prime
Minister's Office apparently objected, and brought pressure to bear on the
appropriate Parliamentary commitee considering its incorporation to make sure
that proposal was killed . BC's Premier Bennett, for reasons known unto
himself, never pursued the matter further. Nor went the 'Treasury
Branch' route, as Alberta had done, nor pursued any alliance with the
provincially regulated 'Credit Unions', (which many here thought he should
Eventually a totally privately owned 'Bank of BC' was chartered, and made
its headquarters in Vancouver. Many branches were opened, but it
later encountered some difficulties, apparently. It was eventually
absorbed by a division of the giant Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corp., and
continues as the HK Bank of Canada today
The BC Social Credit Party paid, and still pays, lip service to many of
the concepts of 'social credit' ~ but the 'Douglas' financial proposals never
figured very prominently in their policies. Partly this is due to our
not being 'sovereign' constitutionally in areas of 'currency' and
'banking'. And after Alberta's experience, and latter day confusion over
just what 'social credit' really was, there was little 'provincial' desire
here to engage in challenging Ottawa in that area. Also, and
probably more so, due to the long period of 'export' driven prosperity
we enjoyed throughout the '50's and '60's, and the gradual attrition of those
within the BC Socred party who had a reasonable grasp of the 'monetary'
concepts. After BC Social Credit's return to office three years after
its defeat in 1972's election, the name had become simply a
nostalgic 'label-of-convenience' for an increasingly
'right-wing' coalition against socialism.