Tag Archives: fake

Counterfeit US bills going around

Press Release

File Number: 18-1042, 18-1046, 18-1056
March 6, 2018
Fake US Currency circulating around Trail

Trail RCMP have recovered counterfeit US bills from several businesses and banks around the City. $1, $10, $20 and $50 US bills have been passed at several businesses within the last week.

The bills are slightly smaller, have poor colouring and do not feel like real currency paper.

Security features such as security thread, watermarks, and colour shifting numbers are not present on these fake bills. Several Trail residents have been identified making purchases with the fake bills. Police are investigating.

Trail RCMP ask the public to be extra diligent when accepting US cash and notify the detachment at 250-364-2566 if someone tries to use this counterfeit currency.

Darren OELKE Sgt.
Trail and Greater District Detachment


Shocking Fake Dam Accusation

With the election of ‘The Donald’ to the highest post in the land down south we’ve had to learn to live in a Brand New World with odd new things. Things like Alternative Facts and Fake News.

Donald Trump, or those who speak for him, says things that conflict with the reality everyone else experiences. Then when the media report that whatever it was didn’t happen that way (or at all in some cases) The Donald doesn’t say Oops. No, he accuses them of reporting Fake News.

We expect Fake News from certain National News outlets in other countries like Russia for instance. We hear of Fake News appearing in the election campaigns of some European nations as well.

How about here in Grand Forks, B.C. ?

A year ago another Donald, a local named Donald Pharand, made a claim, by posing it as a question, that most found ludicrous: that the Premier of our province had directed the local government agent to meddle in local municipal politics.

He stated this as a question on a poster for a public meeting he organized. And repeated it again in another format, email, when he tried to drum up interest and attendance for that meeting. I’m told he CCed it to every MLA in the province in a move to ensure it didn’t get missed by anyone at the provincial level. He might have repeated it in the meeting – I don’t know because I didn’t attend. Whatever else he may have had in mind it appears that he’d like to destroy the career of our local government agent.

This was the second public event where he attacked City Hall, the second he had organized last year. The previous one was in support of Councilor Butler when the city was taking her to court. During that event he also alluded to shady dealings and other shenanigans in City Hall. (In the interests of full public disclosure he would tell you that I’m in a secret group, the COPP, that wants to somehow do something nefarious in the city. He knows I’m in it because he asked me if I was and I answered Yes. Since then this has been reported in the newspaper)

Before that he spent many days out in front of the Post Office with a petition asking the Province to take action against city hall.

And before that he held a public information meeting to scare people into rejecting the proposed water meters based on the wireless technology they employ.

Now he’s at it again.

At the Feb 14 city council meeting he posed another doozie of an idea.

He asked City Council if they were building a dam on the Granby River and then warned them that they were breaking a law if that was so because they were leading the taxpayers of town into a huge debt hole. (the video below will start at this point)

Why would Donald Pharand think this?

Well there’s a new Electrical Substation being worked on. The project will cost just over $5 million and the planning and design stage will cost over $500,000.

The city says the substation is to conform to flood plain requirements but I’m guessing Donald either didn’t hear that or doesn’t believe that. So he does some speculation on the why and remembers that the idea of rebuilding the dam on the Granby has been thrown into the rumour mill in some of the last campaigns for city council elections.

So I’m thinking his logic worked something like this:

There used to be a Dam on the Granby.
Some people have thrown the idea around at election time.
Dams can generate electricity.
The City of Grand Forks has its own Electrical Utility.
The City of Grand Forks is planning to spend more than Five Million dollars on an Electrical Substation.
OMG – the city is going to build a Dam on the Granby!!!

Except it’s not.

A project that large would require an awful lot of planning and design and work before anything happened. Stakeholders in the area would need to be notified and asked for their input. The province would need to be consulted. Maybe even the federal government.

And a dam would be much more expensive than $5 million and that would require public consultation because the city would have to finance anything that large and borrowing of those amounts requires public consultation.

Yet none of that has happened or even been hinted at as far as I know. And while I don’t work for the City of Grand Forks I have attended almost every public council meeting since 2006. And they have not, and are not, talking about a Dam on the Granby River.

And he, Donald, should know that – he claims to understand a lot about these types of projects and how government works.

So I ask: If you suggest some entity is intending to do something they aren’t and then accuse them of violating laws if they do isn’t that a Fake Accusation a fakeusation? Why would he do that?

In the same session where he said this he also asked the Mayor, and council, if they were aware of a ‘conversation between the Provincial Government and the Attorney General’s office’ regarding the petition signed by 1000 people regarding the way the city of Grand Forks is run. And the Mayor answered in the affirmative. And then said he couldn’t discuss it further.

I would suggest Donald’s purpose in bringing it up was to bring it to the public’s attention. So that he could drum up interest in the minds of the public in his next meeting; the one he held a short while later. Regarding City Hall.

I didn’t attend his public meeting because I’m sure if there’s anything of substance it will end up becoming public knowledge at some point. But I suspect that most of what was gone into was  suspicions, guesses, fakeusations and whatever else passes for alternative facts in his universe.

What I am sure of is the Real Cost to the taxpayers of Grand Forks and B.C.

He’s continuing the fight with city hall over the universal water meter program. Apparently the Ombudsperson’s report was not enough for him – it didn’t have the desired effect of hurting city council.

So he continues trying to get anyone who will listen to help him in his fight with city hall. Voters, the CBC, Victoria.

What does this cost us?

Our city’s reputation for one thing. Those who aren’t aware of the specifics hear the bad things because media outlets don’t hype ‘nothing happening here’ the way they do ‘something stinks here’. Every time he brings it to the public’s attention once again it’s a black mark on the town.

Our tax dollars for another. Whenever he or anyone causes our town to engage legal assistance it costs us money. Lawyers are not cheap and cities don’t hire from the bottom of the barrel.

Every FOI request needs to be served and the first few hours of staff time we pay for. Unless it’s the Ombudsperson in which case we swallowed the whole cost. Convince the Province to investigate and we taxpayers pay for both ends of it.

And yet another cost is the friction it adds to the operations of the city. City administration gets distracted away from running the city. Council gets distracted and the faith of the citizens in their local government is damaged.

Recently our CAO has tendered his resignation. While the reasons for his decision remain private I can’t help but speculate on the effect that our Donald and his efforts have had on Mr. Allin’s decision making. We will now have to go through the whole hiring process all over again and an effective, experienced and knowledgeable member of our management team will be replaced with a question mark. At our expense once again.

A little voice whispers paranoia in one person’s ear and we all pay for it in many ways.

One last point: Even though Mr. Pharand does not live in the city or pay taxes to it he can still attack the city (administration) and use the residents, and agents of the province, to help him. And until he stops getting support there’s no sign he will stop.

Is News about Fake things Fake News?


(Although I am present at almost every city council meeting I am an outsider and haven’t verified all this with city staff so bear that in mind as you read this)

The city has its own Electrical Utility and almost all the residents are customers. It has no means of generating electricity to satisfy all those customers – it purchases electricity from Fortis. That arrives in the city at a substation and from there goes to the city’s switch yard equipment and system.

At some point Fortis informed the City of Grand Forks that Fortis’ plans for improving facilities would necessitate the lifting of their Electrical Substation to get it above the possible water levels in the flood plain. The City would need to plan ahead to accommodate this because equipment from the City’s Electrical Utility mates with Fortis equipment and therefore would need alteration. Lifting of some Switches at a minimum.

Then Fortis gave notice that this had moved from the planning stage to the implementation stage. So the City moved forward with their plan to make plans to elevate their Switches. It’s not a drop-dead simple thing to do; engineering is involved.

This caused the city to re-evaluate their own switch yard infrastructure. It was determined that just lifting the Switches would leave the city’s own switch yard at a level that would see it compromised in flooding while the Fortis portion wouldn’t be. But the costs of elevating the city’s portion of the substation complex would also be greater than just elevating some switches.

A Federal Grant appeared on the landscape and it was determined that if that was successfully applied for it could help cover some of the costs of a new Substation for the city.

So the city planners were faced with the choice of doing a complete substation now OR just doing the switches now and waiting until some future date to take on the rest of the project.

To do the substation now would entail one project with one set of plans and expenses versus a project to do part now and another project to do part later. And doing it later would be with attendant planning costs for a second project and likely increased costs because that’s the tendency of pricing in areas of civil engineering projects: costs go up over time.

The possibility of a Grant to help out with costs now helped persuade them to decide that doing it now would be better, meaning more fiscally responsible, than waiting.

So what was Just-Lifting-Some-Switches became Building-a-Substation.

It turns out that this also makes it possible to switch from a Distribution model to a Transmission model and that realizes cost improvements in the arrangement with Fortis, our City’s provider of Electricity.

So where does the Dam on the Granby come in?

There used to be a Dam on the Granby. Years ago. But that has been gone for a while.

In the last few elections the idea has been thrown around but not in any real seriousness. Campaign talk by politicians looking for votes. The former Mayor, Brian Taylor, floated the idea during the last election.

Why would we want to switch from Distribution to Transmission if we aren’t building a Dam?

If we were to generate electricity and wanted to sell it to Fortis for use in their grid we’d have to be able to Transmit . . . and there are more ways to generate electricity than hydro-electric systems. One of the nicknames for this valley is ‘Sunshine Valley’. IF we were to follow communities like Kimberly and Nelson into a solar farm arrangement we would also want to be able to feed the larger grid with any excess that might be generated.

There you go, that’s it as far as I know and understand it.

Mentions of ‘substation’ in Council proceedings

These are all the places that the term ‘substation’ has appeared in public council meeting agendas since 2015. Not all may have to do with this specific project. Agenda Links point at the Agenda PDF documents on the city’s own web server. ‘The Meeting’ links point at videos of the meetings. Those with (YT) go to YouTube – the rest to articles on this site.

Nov 9, 2015 COTW
Monthly Highlight reports
Recloser controls for substation 30% complete
The meeting (YT)

Dec 14, 2015 COTW
Monthly Highlight reports
Recloser controls for substation 30% complete
The meeting (YT)

Jan 25, 2016 Reg Meeting
Monthly Highlight reports
Recloser controls for substation 30% complete
The meeting (YT)

Feb 15, 2016 COTW
Monthly Highlight reports
Recloser controls for substation 30% complete
The meeting (YT)

Mar 14, 2016 COTW
Monthly Highlight reports
Install new electronic controls at substation
Identify structures that need attention on replacement/repairs
The meeting

April 11, 2016 COTW
Monthly Highlight reports
Install new electronic controls at substation
Identify structures that need attention on replacement/repairs
The meeting

June 13, 2016 COTW Page 23
Engineering 1 EL Revenue Generation 1 $50,000 $50,000 substation
Transmission 2 EL Revenue Generation 2 $4,000,000 Voltage
The meeting

Sept 6, 2016 COTW
This is the meastiest information source for the substation project
Page 37 Req for Decision
Natural Resources Canada Energy Innovation Program: Clean Energy Innovation Grant
“Staff have identified a significant opportunity to utilize the EIP funding in support of the new electrical substation and grid improvements, with respect to design and engineering to facilitate connections to new renewable energy sources in the future, including micro-hydro, bio-energy, co-generation, and solar photovoltaic, as well as power storage”
Page 38 (same RFD)
The meeting

Sep 6, 2016 Reg Meeting
the same material as the COTW
The meeting

Oct 11, 2016 COTW
Page 73 – Monthly Highlight Reports
Electrical Substation Engineering
The meeting

Nov 7, 2016 COTW
For the Three Quarters Ending September 30, 2016
“24 Electrical Substation Engineering 50,000 1,291 3% General Capital Reserve”
Page 51 Monthly Highlight Reports
Electrical Substation Engineering
The meeting

Dec 12, 2016 COTW
Page 89 – Monthly Highlight Reports
Electrical Substation Engineering
The meeting

Jan 16, 2017 Reg Meeting
Page 3 – Agenda Highlights
Item F – RFD – Mgr. of Op. – Construction of an Electrical Substation (est $5.6 million)
Page 62 – Spreadsheet
Page 63 – The RFD info packet
Page 67 – RFD “That the Grand Forks Electrical Utility build a substation and change from
a distribution voltage customer to a transmission voltage customer with the
construction of the City of Grand Forks’ own substation.”
The meeting

Jan 30, 2017 COTW
Page 16 – Monthly Highlight Reports
under Projects “Electrical Substation Engineering”
The meeting

Feb 14, 2017 COTW
Page 53 – Monthly Highlight Reports
under Projects “Electrical Substation Engineering”
The meeting