Questions Regarding the Hundreds of Prospect Lake Trees Slated for Removal, BC Hydro and the UDI Development/Real Estate Lobby

November 1, 2023

BC Hydro is planning to remove several hundred trees near Prospect Lake in Saanich in order to upgrade their power transmission lines.

The organization appears to have shown almost no interest in attempting to prevent, mitigate, or lower the number of trees to be eliminated.  Given the state of the environmental crisis, this flagrant attitude by the organization towards trees, deserves serious questioning.

Among a number of questions that come to mind, what is Hydro’s relation to the development/real estate lobby?

Why for example, is BC Hydro a paying member if the Urban Development Institute (UDI), a real estate/development lobby (the UDI):

Source: BC Hydro | Vancouver Region - Membership Application - Urban Development Institute (

Why did BC Hydro give the UDI over $19,000 this year?

Why does B.C. Hydro use a UDI member real estate appraisal company to value right-of-way expropriations for new transmission lines?

To quote a 2013 article from the Times Colonist:

"B.C. Hydro uses D.R. Coell to value right-of-way expropriations for new transmission lines and the forestry ministry uses the firm to value its vast land base as does Environment Canada for parkland. Local and provincial governments also need appraisals for their land, as well as water lots around the region.

Major real estate investment trusts, or REITs, use appraisers when they make major purchases of shopping malls, seniors housing and condo projects, said Humphreys.The work involves intimate knowledge of local zoning, allowances and all economic aspects of properties, said Humphreys."

According to the BC Lobbyists Registrar, the UDI has lobbied its paying member the British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority and the province by among other things "Advocating to create a better, more collaborative working relationship with BC Hydro, builders, and municipalities to alleviate the challenges in design and positioning of infrastructure through timely communication, and the creation of adequate infrastructure capacity to support new growth."

"Seeking BC hydro engagement with municipalities on development of building electrification."

"Seeking support for BC Hydro’s work to proactively identify and address delivery capacity gaps in infrastructure, particularly for high-growth areas."

Given the partnership that BC hydro has with the development lobby and the funding of it through its membership and activities, I think that BC Hydro owes the public an answer, given the serious repercussions to the environment that removing hundreds of trees on the Saanich Peninsula will have.



“Saanich residents upset hydro planning to cut down hundreds of trees”
“As many as 362 trees could be removed to upgrade power lines”

Austin Westphal Saanich News Mar 30, 2023

Web link:

Entry under ‘D’: "D.R. Coell & Associates Inc."

Web link:


“Fresh eyes for D.R. Coell property appraisal firm”

“Greater Victoria’s largest real estate appraisal company has a new owner. Scott Humphreys has acquired D.R Coell & Associates from its long-time partnership group in a succession plan with a twist.

Darron Kloster Jul 26, 2013 7:57 PM”

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