Advance View: Once there used to be integrity

It’s interesting how things have changed in the past few decades.

It used to be that anyone in a position of authority used to take responsibility not only for their actions, but even of their perceived actions.

Consider the quaint (by today’s standards) advertisement we happened upon in our 1955 files.

It’s an actual apology from the B.C. Electric Company (forerunner of today’s BC Hydro), to their customers throughout the community who were affected by a power outage.

It should be noted here that the outage was not the result of any negligence or malfeasance on the part of the company. It was the result of a serious storm that had blasted the region, causing trees to fall and power lines to be broken – not unlike the winds that blew through our community and up the Fraser Valley this week.

Surely, no one could have blamed the utility for the resultant interruption of electrical service.

And yet, integrity prevailed. B.C. Electric took its responsibility for providing the area with electrical power seriously – seriously enough to apologize for something that had surely been beyond the company’s control.

At least, if B.C. Electric was able to control the weather, that technology has since been lost – along with a share of the integrity that made even large corporations back then feel the need to reach out to its customers with humility and a desire to do better.

– B.G.

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