Nour Kadri for Ottawa’s Mayor

The more I read about him, the more I’m liking Nour Kadri for Ottawa’s Mayor as an alternative to front runners Catherine McKenney or Mark Sutcliffe.

Voter’s Prioroties

CTV has polled voters to determine their priorities in this election. Public transit efficiency, local economy, possible tax hikes, and affordable housing for all residents top the list.

Dog parks, tourism, and millions of dollars for new bike lanes are (understandably) lower.

Catherine McKenney

From what I’ve heard so far in this mayoral race, McKenney seems financially irresponsible, non credible, almost delusional. Accounting basics and common sense dictate you should take the budget into consideration when spending.

For example, does promising free bus fare to anyone make sense when our public transit system is already millions in debt? It sure won’t increase efficiency!

Mark Sutcliffe

While I prefer Sutcliffe’s “look for inefficiencies” approach to McKenney’s “spend, spend, spend” one, he appears too complacent to me. Perhaps that’s just his personality, but he gives the impression his heart is not in the mayoral race.

I do like the fact that Sutcliffe is new to politics, so offers a credible alternative to “more of the same” rhetoric and irresponsible/frivolous spending.

Nour Kadri The Alternative Candidate?

If you haven’t yet heard of him, take a moment to learn. Nour Kadri ticks all the boxes for Ottawa’s mayor in my opinion:

  • Intelligent
  • Well and diversely educated
  • Years of relatable (but not political) experience
  • Great speaker, well versed
  • Financially literate, with budget expertise
Nour Kadri

Unfortunately, Kadri was not invited to debate the front runners. He would have blown them out of the water. This tweet confirms that!

Conclusions

These are just my opinions of course. Do your own research before you exercise your right to vote. You’ve only got 11 more days to decide until the 24th of October election date!

Imported Russian Oil Banned: Et Tu Trudeau?

imported Russian oil

U.S. President Joe Biden just announced a ban on imported Russian oil into his country. Is it the right thing to do? This latest sanction is to show support for Ukraine and disdain for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Will Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau follow suit?

Global Oil Reserves

Like it or not, crude oil is (currently) the main source of energy around the world. Until that changes (if it ever changes) oil reserves are a huge commodity. Which countries have the most oil reserves? This list from World Population Review shows the current (2022 data) facts…

Imported Russian Oil

These facts are deceiving, however. For example, Venezuela’s oil is predominantly offshore so fairly difficult to access. Saudi Arabia’s oil, on the other hand, is located inland and close to the land surface. Crude oil reserves are based not only on quantity but how readily accessible the reserves are with current technology. Regardless, you can see the general position of countries within this list of proven oil reserves. Canada is near the top, the USA is below number ten.

Oil Imports and Exports

So, from this I’m gathering Biden’s sanction banning imported Russian oil won’t have much of an impact on Russia. According to EIA the USA imports most of its oil from Canada:

Canada remained the largest exporter of total petroleum to the United States in December; exporting 4.8 million b/d. The second largest exporter of total petroleum was Mexico with 645,000 b/d.

EIA, December 2021

Canada also imports very little oil from Russia, so an imported oil sanction by Trudeau would be more symbolic (like Biden’s) than catastrophic for Putin and Russia. It might poke the bear though.

Canada sits at the top of the list of crude oil importers (predominantly from Saudi Arabia), according to the EIA:

Imported Russian Oil
EIA data, December 2021

While one of Canada’s biggest exports is, you guessed it, crude oil. This data is from Investopedia:

Are you confused yet? Canada is at the top of the list for its impressive oil reserves, something a cold-weather country should aim to be. We also sit at the top of the exporting of oil list, which economically is great. Isn’t it? But wait, we are also at the top of the imported oil list. How is that economical? Granted, I’m no economist, but I did excel in accounting 101. I am confused, not to mention annoyed and frustrated.

Using Canadian Oil Instead of Imported Oil?

This topic has come up before with Trudeau’s resistance to approving pipelines between the oil reserves in the west for use in the eastern provinces. (Most) Canadians would prefer to use the oil we have, rather than depend on foreign countries for their supply. The Russian invasion of Ukraine just emphasizes this opinion.

The National Post has a great but sad explanation:

So proud is the Trudeau government of its action on environmental stewardship and climate change that it essentially does the Saudis’ dirty work for them. By tightening the screws on domestic Canadian production while seeing an increase in Saudi-originating imports we are helping to accelerate the rate of our own energy-sector’s decline.

National Post

Canadian Pipelines: Do you Support Them?

Canadian Pipelines

The Canadian pipelines debate has been discussed from coast to coast for several years now. Rumours and speculation of who supports them and who is holding them back (and why) are rampant. Apparently, these pipelines that transport climate-changing fossil fuels are financially lucrative, job-producing investments elsewhere in the world, but not in Canada.

Pierre Poilievre takes Mark Carney to Task

I heard this exchange recently; I personally love how perseverant Poilievre is on the basic question regarding the pipelines. Do you support them or don’t you? The Canadian pipelines I mean, not the foreign ones. You could also interpret this as do you support improving the Canadian economy or is the economy of other countries more important?

Who is Mark Carney and What does he Think of Canadian Pipelines?

On his resume, Mark Carney has an impressive list of accomplishments and accolades. Governor of the Bank of Canada as well as the Bank of England, several international offices of Goldman Sachs, Canada’s department of finance, the financial stability board (FSB) of G20 countries, and most recently Brookfield Asset Management.

While Governor of the Bank of England, Carney was the chief opponent of Brexit. He tried to convince everyone that the UK economy would suffer a negative impact.

More recently (spring 2021) Carney scrambled to defend Brookfield Asset Management’s significant holdings of “carbon neutral” fossil fuels. In short, he manipulated his accounting to downplay (hide) a carbon footprint of 5,200 tons of carbon dioxide. What does carbon neutral mean to you? I admittedly don’t know that much, but I’m willing to bet that many tons of carbon dioxide are nowhere near neutral.

Hearing him dithering in this video, he (unflatteringly) sounds like his Liberal boss, our Prime Minister. Do as I say, not as I do comes to mind.

Who is Pierre Poilievre and What is his Stance?

Well, his opinion and support or loyalty are much more obvious. This video and other forms of social media display his stance on crucial issues. Considered the political opposition’s bulldog to many, Pierre Poilievre is a Conservative member of parliament (MP) representing the Carleton suburb of Ottawa. With a Bachelor of Arts and some commerce courses under his belt, his own modest description of himself says it all:

“a political junkie with a passion for public debating and a special interest in international relations”

Perhaps Poilievre is not as polished or successful (career-wise) as Mark Carney. Yet. He (Pierre) is definitely more articulate and fun to listen to. His debating skills are legendary within the house of commons. I, for one, love his doggedness. Is that a word? Maybe perseverent is better.

As Shadow Minister of Finance, it is, appropriately, his job to hold our Finance Minister (and Deputy Prime Minister) Chrystia Freeland accountable. Recently though, Poilievre announced a higher ambition, with intentions of running for the Conservative leadership, en route to the goal of becoming our next Prime Minister. If a drama teacher can do it, a self-acclaimed political junkie and well-spoken, if somewhat annoying, bulldog can too. The level of annoyance depends purely on which side of the debate you represent. He is one of those guys you want on your team instead of playing against him.

If you don’t yet know of Pierre Poilievre, you will soon.

photo credit: Wikipedia

Freedom Convoy of Truckers

freedom convoy of truckers

The freedom convoy of truckers is making its way to downtown (the nation’s capital) Ottawa right now. Momentum is snowballing (pun intended as Ottawa has lots of snow) as it rolls along. The problem is it remains to be seen if this momentum will be a good thing or a nightmare.

Regardless, history is in the making, and people are flocking to see it happen. Mind you, we are not allowed to do much else these days, so the mounting excitement may be contagious to some, but I digress.

freedom convoy spectators

Original Intent of the Freedom Convoy

The convoy was a peaceful protest, initially. The Liberal government suddenly removed the exemption on vaccinations for truckers traveling between Canada and the USA. In the middle of the highest inflation rate in years to boot. And, very close to the scheduled date for lifting pandemic restrictions. Why now?

Most Canadians agree that truckers are essential to the maintenance of our economy. Unfortunately, the pandemic tanked our economy. That being said, it made sense that truckers were exempt from vaccinations; they rarely come into contact with other citizens.

What Happened to Those Good Intentions?

Well, that depends on who or what you believe.

Many believe that citizens of any democratic society have the right to decide if they wish to be vaccinated. And, that their jobs should not be jeopardized for refusing to get vaccinated. To them, we should be free to choose without facing discrimination or restrictions. In other words, democratic governments don’t order vaccines mandates.

Freedom or Responsibility?

Right off the bat, these views are considered selfish. They erode support from many believing vaccines are not about protecting your own rights but supporting the health of others. Less selfish, they get vaccinated to protect the elderly, immunocompromised etc. If you don’t want to get vaccinated or don’t believe in them, stay home. In short, get vaccinated or suffer the consequences.

Health care workers were mandated to receive their vaccinations or face losing their jobs in several provinces. So why should truckers receive exemptions? I’m sure the exhausted nurses and doctors would love to protest their mandates. The problem is that they don’t have the time or energy to do so. Actually, some did, but not to this extent. They certainly didn’t have much support from the general public.

freedom convoy

Covid Fatigue

Then you have the group of citizens sick of the restrictions imposed by our government. Who isn’t tired of this pandemic and its rules you ask? Well, everyone pretty much is sick of them, but some are more willing than others to risk the perceived consequences.

freedom convoy

The willingness to conform to government mandates or lack thereof is what is dividing the country.

Media Attention on the Freedom Convoy

Organizers of the Freedom Convoy believe that the media is not sharing all the facts. This belief is in fact now inflammatory. The movement is being promoted within the media as an anti-vax, anarchist, potentially hazardous movement. A Go Fund Me account in their support is apparently inappropriate.

Disputing the Media

This quote, disputing this representation, is from a Toronto trucker:

The trucking convoy is NOT anti vaccination. It is anti government mandates. Many of us are vaccinated. Truckers will NOT block emergency vehicles at any point, ever, and will even assist any person in need at any point in the convoy or protest. Safety plans are in place. Drivers have been briefed and signed documents at their respective checkpoints. – The money raised (now over $4,000,000) will be distributed following a a strict procedure. Drivers must register, check in with their respective road captains and submit receipts in order to be reimbursed. All remaining funds will be donated to a Veterans Association in Canada. There is a lawyer and accountant overseeing this. – This could be the single largest protest in Canadian history. People who oppose government mandates are not the tiny group that the media has tried to make us believe.

Government Reactions

Trudeau claims only a small “fringe” minority of Canadians are involved in the freedom convoy and the movement it represents. Thousands of people contradict this claim though. The routes of the truckers are lined with cheering supporters. Not to mention the millions of dollars raised so far.

Government officials stand firm on the stance that truckers must now be vaccinated. It will be interesting to see if any of them meet with the protesters. Meanwhile, our MIA prime minister is the butt of many jokes. Apparently, he is (coincidentally) isolated at his Quebec cottage after a covid exposure. Isolating or hiding?

The Downside of Large Protests

All roads into and around Ottawa will no doubt be bottlenecked for several days. Hopefully, emergency vehicles will be able to maneuver through the chaos as needed.

In addition, large protests attract media and attention-seeking groups. Anti-vaxxers, anarchists, radicals, and the like are now on the bandwagon.

Remember the chaos at the Capital in the USA recently? It should be worrisome that violence may erupt at this demonstration.

Violence will swallow up any peaceful, honorable intentions. As a result, an “I told you so” will reverberate across the country.

This opinion belongs to Elon Musk:

What is your take?

Canada Votes: Liberal Minority Government

Canada Votes: Liberal Minority Government

What a waste of time and money. Six hundred million dollars spent to end up with the same results. Another Liberal minority government. Gunning for a majority of the votes, Trudeau called an early election. His timing was suspect (selfish) and voters were frustrated. After all, we are in the fourth wave of a pandemic and the middle of the crisis in Afghanistan to boot. Although people were ticked off at him for the timing, obviously they were not ticked off enough. Or, not enough voters were ticked off. Whatever the reason, Canada voted for another Liberal minority.

A Facebook post sums it up well:

“could this election not have been an email?”

Who Wins When Canada Votes for Another Liberal Minority Government?

I’m not sure who benefits when Canada votes again for a Liberal minority government. Justin Trudeau can pretend he won and is happy with the results, but just a short while ago he complained that he cannot successfully run the country with a minority government. That was his excuse for calling the election, the wish for a majority.

So what, he can successfully run the country now? His drama classes are serving him well, he has the ability to spin the results any way he wishes to.

I guess the one positive thing (if there is one) is that Trudeau and the Liberals did not win a majority government.

Who Loses?

That is easier to visualize. Those just starting out in the workforce stand to lose big time. They will never be able to afford a home and the luxuries we older folk were able to save for. The taxes to pay down the country’s debt and the rapidly escalating rate of inflation will mean saving will be next to impossible. Living paycheck to paycheck will become more commonplace.

As a rich man, born with a golden spoon in his mouth, Trudeau spends money like there’s no tomorrow. Budgets are foreign to him, and balance themselves in his world. A billion dollars here and there means absolutely nothing to him. That’s because it’s not his own money he is spending. As my husband used to preach to our sons when they were younger, “the government doesn’t have any money, they spend our (hard earned/saved) money!”

Although I am disappointed in the (lack of new) results, as a retiree I am at the stage in life where I have earned a pension, savings and a mortgage-free home. It’s not my generation that will lose (not as much anyway) from the massive debt already incurred (and sure to grow) by the Liberal government, but the next one and the one after that. My children and grandchildren, and yours too, will be the victims as Canada votes this Liberal minority in again.

Also disappointed and disillusioned (I’m sure) are those younger than I, perhaps with young children of their own, who had decided they want a change from the financial mess our country is in. Unfortunately, voting for one of the parties that did/do not have the numbers to win an election only splits the vote away from the Conservatives, the only party that could (mathematically) have beat Trudeau and his Liberals. That concept (always) seems to be misunderstood and is a bitter pill to swallow when your wish for change backfires.

Conclusion

We are now stuck with (at least) eighteen more months of rising federal (and personal) debt, increasing taxes and so on. The exorbitant price of gas and the steady increase in the cost of groceries will only get worse.

Canada Votes: Minority Liberal Government

Are you happy and satisfied with the results? Or frustrated, angry, or indifferent? I for one cannot wait until Canada votes again. Hopefully with different results.

Bill C269: Clean up our Waterways

Bill C269: Clean up our Waterways

The practice of dumping raw sewage into waterways is archaic and should not be acceptable in civilized countries, including Canada. Why do we continue to allow this? Learn about bill C269 and how it should help clean up the problem.

What is Bill C269?

Bill C269 was created to amend the Fisheries Act to prohibit dumping raw sewage into waterways that fish live in. That includes just about every waterway in Canada. This should be a “no brainer” in government proceedings.

Reviewed in February of this year, bill C269 was introduced by the conservative government to amend the current Fisheries Act due to the current and increasingly popular practice of dumping raw sewage into our waterways. Word of mouth is that the current Liberal government plans to vote the amendment down. Why? Most likely because it was introduced by the Conservatives.

Changes to the Fisheries Act

2019:

Bill C269: Clean up our Waterways
Bill C269: Clean up our Waterways

2021 Proposal for Bill C269

Current Wording:

deleterious substance means

  • (a) any substance that, if added to any water, would degrade or alter or form part of a process of degradation or alteration of the quality of that water so that it is rendered or is likely to be rendered deleterious to fish or fish habitat or to the use by man of fish that frequent that water, or
  • (b) any water that contains a substance in such quantity or concentration, or that has been so treated, processed or changed, by heat or other means, from a natural state that it would, if added to any other water, degrade or alter or form part of a process of degradation or alteration of the quality of that water so that it is rendered or is likely to be rendered deleterious to fish or fish habitat or to the use by man of fish that frequent that water,

and without limiting the generality of the foregoing includes

  • (c) any substance or class of substances prescribed pursuant to paragraph (2)(a),
  • (d) any water that contains any substance or class of substances in a quantity or concentration that is equal to or in excess of a quantity or concentration prescribed in respect of that substance or class of substances pursuant to paragraph (2)(b), and
  • (e) any water that has been subjected to a treatment, process or change prescribed pursuant to paragraph (2)(c); (substance nocive)

Proposed Wording: within the definition deleterious substance after paragraph (b) and before paragraph (c) should be replaced with the the following:

“and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, does not include raw sewage, but includes”

and the definition of raw sewage as follows:

raw sewage means sewage that has not yet been processed or treated to separate and remove contaminants, and includes:

(a) used water from sanitary appliances that contains human fecal matter or human urine,

(b) used water, other than the type of water described in paragraph (a), from sanitary appliances or from other appliances in a kitchen or laundry,

and (c) surface runoff and stormwater that is mixed with the type of water described in (a)

What You Can Do:

Contact your Liberal MP to tell them to vote YES on bill C269 to amend the Fisheries Act. Don’t let this critical detail slip through the bureaucratic cracks. Fix the obvious; the act should have been amended years ago to define and prohibit the dumping of raw sewage into our waterways!

photo credit

Rex Murphy: Worst Canadian Government

This is the Worst Canadian Government Ever: is a scathing (but accurate) article from Rex Murphy in the National Post. Not my words, but many of my thoughts and opinions!

Economics

The country is in an economic coma. The House of Commons is a movie set. We are shamed in the international community. And the list goes on.

It’s a mess. It’s a shambles. It’s an embarrassment. It is the worst ever by any reasonable measurement.

Judging by their performance on the most important files, the current bunch in Ottawa would need to hire a consultant to figure out how to get wet in a thunderstorm and set up a task force to study how to tie their own shoes.

Look around you. Canada is in the biggest, most persistent, and threatening crisis since — well since ever. The long-term care homes are under a blizzard of mortality. There is heartbreak in every small business in the country. The worry and anxiety level of most everyday citizens — especially those not shielded by uninterrupted cheques from provincial and federal governments, and those not serving as a member of a legislature — is at an all-time high.

On the Covid Nightmare

This government hoards any real details about what vaccines are here, how many are “secured” on paper only, and what they have promised to pay for them, as a miser hoards gold. Every press briefing on this most important of concerns is a dance of evasion, platitude, confused projection, and sometimes just pure ignorance of what is actually the case.

They are the most deliberately obfuscatory, opaque, access-of-information-allergic administration under the democratic sun.

One year into COVID our venerated House of Commons is a disemboweled, non-functioning, neglected wreck. The targeted disrespect of the absolute and central symbol and instrument of our democracy has no parallel. No “minority” government has ever operated with the smug insouciance and patented, virtue-perfumed arrogance towards the Commons as the Trudeau government. This is, when we step back, their biggest sin.

Shutdowns and Cabinet Shuffles

Since 1867 no prime minister has abandoned the House of Commons and downgraded its significance for so long a period and for such obviously self-centered and political opportunistic reasons. It is so much easier, so much safer, so much more convenient — to walk from the bedroom to the one-printer office and mail in platitudes and arias of evasion via Zoom

What other government has parted ways with a governor-general, and to top it off, a governor-general brought in by the world’s No. 1 “male feminist” as a role model for young women and girls? The same male-feminist who conveniently loses all his top-performing female ministers. Someone should do a “gender analytics” study on Justin Trudeau’s cabinet.

Not to worry. It has lost a finance minister over ethics charges during the mightiest spending binge since the Big Bang. An attorney general, the prime guardian of our rule of law, was hounded out because she would not bend the rule of law. The most qualified and respected woman, a doctor of medicine no less (in other words a real doctor) could not abide staying in so carelessly unethical a cabinet. Thus, at the very time Canada would have wished the most competent person to deal with a once-in-a-hundred years medical emergency, Dr. Jane Philpott is not even in the government.

Meantime Seamus O’Regan, the Trudeau cabinet’s favourite nomad — he takes up and puts down portfolios with the “greatest of ease,” leaving no impression behind as he goes — burbles on, during a pandemic, about planting two billion trees. Imagine, two billion. We only have about 300 billion already! Priorities I guess. Repeat after me the holy incantation: climate change, climate change, climate change. It’s better than a vaccine.

Hostages in Chinese Prisons

We have two hostages in the tyrannical torture houses of Chinese prisons. Those poor, suffering and tormented men must truly have been uplifted — if any news ever reaches them — to learn that their government, during a world pandemic, was collaborating with the Chinese government to “jointly develop a COVID-19 vaccine.” Remember the line from Casablanca — “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world …” — and Insert “countries” for gin joints. Of all the countries in all the world, why did the Trudeau government pick …. China? Incompetence can’t cover it. We need some term that speaks of dedicated and determined, merciless and staggering wrong-headedness: the purblind leading the purblind.

Budget

We have had no budget in two years. (Actually, we have one now, this article was penned pre-budget release, but unbelievably irresponsible) We have spent more than any other government, by far, in our history. We have no idea where all the money has gone. The auditor general has been denied the resources to even keep track of a portion of it. There is no coherence, or trust, between the majority of the premiers and the prime minister. We have been offered occasional delights, like the celebrated comic opera of the WE brothers and the (temporary) $43-million gift to them to administer half a billion dollars of your money.

Distractions

The Liberals have given far more time and dedicated energy to the Derek Sloan affair (whatever that was) than the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline, and the emergent threat of Alberta leaving the Confederation. (Query for a serious panel discussion: Is Canada safe from Bidenism?) Alberta groans while the Trudeau government spends over $36 million for “stay-at-home chairs” for its civil service.

Conclusions

Is our present government the worst Canadian government ever. Can there be any question?

The country is in an economic coma. The House of Commons is a movie set. We are shamed in the international community. Contracts on COVID are all Top Secret. There is zero reliability on any projection made by a minister or the prime minister on where we are on vaccines and distribution. Rideau Hall is shortly to be listed on Airbnb. Farmers have been hit by fuel and carbon taxes. Newfoundland teeters on bankruptcy. The West has never felt so far out of things. I could go on.

Is this what was meant when the rosy words were first pronounced: Canada’s back?

To calm yourself, however, there is always this: Climate change.

Climate change. Climate change. Two billion trees. Two billion trees. Home chairs. Home chairs. Derek Sloan.

worst Canadian government ever
Justin Trudeau

Photo credit: SEAN KILPATRICK/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Is Rex Murphy correct? Do we currently have the worst Canadian government ever? What do you think?

Alberta Energy Sector Shares Concerns

Alberta energy sector

I saw this on Facebook this morning and thought it was quite well written, explaining the importance of the Alberta energy sector for Canada in general.

On the eve of our Canadian Federal Election, I feel it is prudent to share with our fellow Canadians in the East how pivotal this election is for our Country. I recognize a strong disconnect between the regions and believe I have a responsibility to share our feelings, perceptions, and fears with the men and women of these provinces.  It is no secret that the election is decided before the first vote is counted in Manitoba. 199 of the 338 seats in the House of Commons are held by your two provinces. Your votes decide our election. This is why I am appealing to you. The fate of Canada and our incredible province of Alberta rests in your hands.  We’ve had a rough couple years out here. Since 2015 unemployment has soared, the price of our most valued resource has plummeted, and our access to foreign and domestic markets has been blocked by federal Liberals. While this industry thrives south of the border in the US, Canada’s energy sector has been plunged into a ‘Legislated Recession’ thanks in part to the cancellation of 2 crucial pipelines and the poorly handled expansion of a third. These projects are crucial, allowing access to foreign and domestic markets and closing the gap between the price of Canada’s oil and the oil produced elsewhere in the world. The newly passed Bill C-69 makes new interprovincial projects nearly impossible to complete, and Bill C-48 restricts domestic tanker traffic on Canada’s West coast, while US tanker traffic navigates the same waters unimpeded. We’ve been put in a box, and the lid is slowly closing. Our Federal Liberal government is the architect of this disaster.  You may ask why this should matter to you? It is simply a matter of economics. According to the Alberta government and World Bank websites, Alberta’s economy accounts for 20% of our Nation’s GDP. In this province of 4.7 million, it means that 11% of Canada’s population produces 20% of our GDP. From 2000-2014, we contributed $200 Billion to equalization, all of it travelling East. On its own, Alberta is the 7th strongest economy on the planet. We’re the core of this country’s economic engine. We’re being told our money is OK, but the oil, our largest economic driver is not. Hell, we can’t even wear our T-shirts on Parliament Hill.  Alberta’s oil is Canada’s oil, and there are a few facts I would like to share with you about it. We are at the forefront of the sector’s clean technology and everyone in this country should be proud of this industry and the highest environmental standards in the world. During this election I’m sure you’ve heard about O&G subsidies and how everyone intends on stopping them, so I feel it is important to break that down. Last year, there were $1.4 Billion dollars given to clean tech by our government. O&G received 75% of that. Rightfully so. That money has been used to increase efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint of production significantly.  A recent study showed that if every country around the world produced their resources to the same standard as Canada, the carbon intensity of production would drop 26% worldwide. Suncor, Canada’s largest producer, just announced a co-gen project that will reduce their carbon footprint by a further 30%, and we’ve championed cutting-edge carbon capture and storage technology. We would love to displace dirty foreign oil in the East, but we are told there is no social acceptability for a pipeline. We would love to know why there is social acceptability for Saudi tankers in your waters, but none for us? Last I checked, Saudi didn’t contribute to equalization.  The environment has been a big topic in this election, and there have been some strong assertions from the parties, some of which may be a little out of reach. 30% reduction in GHG, 60% reduction in GHG. The backbone of these reductions focuses on shutting Alberta’s economy down. There seems to be a huge target on Alberta’s back, and little red dots are starting to dance around the bullseye.  Canada contributes1.6% to the world’s total GHG emissions. China contributes 27.2%, US 14.6%. A 30-60% reduction in Canada equates to a 1.8-3.6% reduction in China and a 3.5-7 % reduction in the US. Al Gore once said that CO2 knows no borders, so rather than shut down the economic engine of our nation, why wouldn’t we export the clean energy and technology to the countries that need it the most, boosting our economy and helping everyone on this planet reach these targets? What we do as Canadians to reduce emissions means nothing on the grand world scale. It is these heavy emitting countries that could benefit from Canada’s LNG to replace coal, and clean tech to further drive down emissions. It’s a win-win-win for Canada, the environment, and our economy. The Conservatives have proposed this and it has been highly criticized as ‘not enough’. This is the most viable solution and environmental policy for everyone in this country, and it doesn’t include plunging the entire country into debt and recession. It is ironic that the one country (US) that pulled out of the Paris Agreement has made the most progress reaching that agreement’s targets. How? By doing exactly what the Conservatives have proposed to help us and other nations achieve: transitioning coal to significantly cleaner natural gas power generation.  -There is another sentiment out here that likely resonates with our fellow Canadians from Quebec. If you asked the average Albertan if they would support separation 2 years ago, you’d be laughed at. Today it is no laughing matter. At the time of the provincial election only a few months ago, it was estimated that 50% of Albertans were open to separation. A poll of 6000+ Albertans only a week ago yielded the same results. We’ve been beaten into submission by the federal Liberals, and we continue to get kicked. Terms like ‘Western Alienation’, ‘Republic of Alberta’ and ‘Wexit’ have become very common. All too often you see ‘Liberal on Oct 21, Separatist on Oct 22’. This movement is real. I mean, REAL. If another Liberal government is elected, even worse a Liberal minority with the Green or NDP propping it up, Alberta’s energy sector will just board up the windows and go elsewhere. It will be crippling for the entire nation. It is ALREADY crippling for Alberta. We can’t take any more of this. We are the victims of a current Legislated Recession and it will only get worse. Half of us want to leave now. More will want to leave if we continue to be exploited for our revenue and vilified for our industry.  Alberta separation would be a crushing blow to this country and its economy, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Albertans are resilient, wholesome, hard-working people that have been happy to help our fellow Canadian citizens maintain a high standard of living. We’re only asking for reciprocation. We don’t want hand-outs, tax revenue, or power. We want the right and ability to do what we’ve been doing all along, without having fellow Canadians standing in our way. We’re a part of the solution, not the problem.  Fellow Canadians, please consider this when casting your ballot. There’s a lot at stake for everyone. There is a fragility in this nation that could be fractured with stroke of a pen, and the power rests firmly in the hands of your provinces. Vote wisely. Vote Canadian. 

Signed, Alberta

I was at a dinner party this past weekend where the topic of discussion turned (unfortunately) to the bitter and controversial political battle our country is embroiled in.  The guests and hosts of this evening are all good friends, so it was especially frustrating to see the discord amongst them when discussing our political leaders, parties, and platforms, including the Alberta energy sector.  Thank heavens our campaign only lasts 40 days!

The most disturbing comment (for me) was someone defending the SNC Lavalin issue as “that’s the way business is done.  To be competitive globally, Canadian companies have to do anything they can to get contracts.  Everyone does it”   Yet, conversely, when it was pointed out (as does the letter writer above) that Canada contributes very little to the world’s carbon emissions this same person said, “well, we have to set an example to the rest of the world.”

I am all about setting a good example, but think we should be consistent.  Ethical business practices, effective climate change solutions, and compassion for our fellow Canadians.  The reason this country is so wonderful is because of its diversity, not just in the people, but the assets and resources each province contributes to the nation. The Alberta energy sector appealing to the rest of Canada is a great example of why diversity is something to be proud of.

As I said before, get out and vote, but do your research first, especially regarding the importance of the  Alberta energy sector for the rest of Canada. 

Vote responsibly!

Alberta energy sector

Political Discussions and Opinions

I have had some interesting (and very telling) post-debate political discussions with my youngest son (22 years old).  He asked me whether the federal debate changed my opinion of the political leaders we have to choose a prime minister from.

Personalities Show up in Political Discussions

My own post-debate opinion?  If you are interested in personality, I thought Singh (NDP) was the “winner” last night. He was charming, funny and an eloquent speaker (no ums or aws), but weak (sometimes even evasive) on the primary issues.  Unfortunately (for Singh) nice and charming does not necessarily make a good leader, at least not a leader of a country as diverse and large as Canada.

Scheer (Conservative) had to repeat himself often as was often talked over by either Trudeau (Liberal and current PM) or May (Green), although he did a fair share of it himself.  Not a good look for any of them.  The other two, Bernier (People’s Party) and Blanchet (Bloc Quebecois), were/are only interested in Quebec.  Their presence was distracting in my opinion for a federal election debate. I don’t think they should be included in these circumstances.

Federal Debt

My son’s opinion?  “The debt our country is faced with is not really a problem.”  This appears to be a typical response from his age group.  However, it makes me sick to my stomach. More interested in the “perks” that might be promised or taken away, this opinion was from an uninformed youngster who does not (yet) pay for his own:

  • mortgage
  • taxes
  • car loan
  • groceries
  • insurance (except for his own car)
  • expenses for children
  • education
  • etc, etc, etc

Inevitably, political discussions always end up in arguments as our generation is much more conservative or concerned about the future.

Oil and Gas Reserves

Maybe that’s why I was so impressed with a youngster the same age as this son.  Chris Kitchen’s wrote an article at Queen’s University on why Canada’s oil and gas reserves would and should be beneficial to our economy.

Political Discussion Conclusions

We (my husband and I) have tried, over and over (in many heated political discussions) to get this youngest son to acknowledge that living in growing debt is never a good thing, especially a staggering debt like the one our nation is faced with.  We feel like we are banging our heads against a brick wall.  Are we bad parents because he does not understand this concept?  I keep telling him he will understand in ten years (hopefully less), but he refuses to think that far ahead, let alone plan for it.  In our defence, this son does pay for his own cell phone and clothes as well as car insurance, gas and repairs .  Oh, and LCBO and Uber tabs.

Thankfully, our two older sons, both with mortgages, car payments, and children of their own, get it.  There is only five years difference between our second and third son, so it appears (to me) that it’s not a full generation, but just a demographic, that don’t get it.  At least this theory is apparent in my family.  I have heard from many others that their much older children have the same myopic outlook.

Did you watch the debate?  What are your post-debate conclusions, thoughts, opinions?

Political Battle in Canada

political battle

There is yet another political battle going on in Canada.  Four years ago I warned you to be careful what you wish for. Canadians hoping for a change gave Justin Trudeau a Liberal majority back then.  Many of us were skeptical that the majority of his election promises would/could never happen and those that did would cost us dearly.

Federal Budget

One (huge) example is the federal budget.  In 2015, an election promise claimed the budget would balance itself by 2019. Although many of us saw that simplistic prediction as an enormous red flag,  (the majority of) others were willing to play along, blindly.  Perhaps it’s the handsome smile and fashionable clothing blinding his voters. The problem is they are attributes of someone that has never balanced let alone lived on a budget in his life.

Fast forward to the present: not only is the budget nowhere near balanced, but our national debt is also through the roof by BILLIONS of dollars and growing by the second.  Why that does not scare more Canadians I am not sure.  I worry most about my sons’ and grandchildren’s futures as the cost of living skyrockets out of control.

Scandals

Let’s not forget about the scandals that have plagued the Liberal party these past four years.  Topping the never-ending list is the SNC-Lavalin (an engineering and construction company) fiasco where our Minister of Justice and Attorney General left the Liberal party because she felt bullied and pressured into intervening in an ongoing criminal case against the company. An investigation proved she had reason to feel pressured.

Then there are the recent black and brown-face pictures as well as the outlandish garments Trudeau wore representing Canada abroad. Our incredibly immature, shallow and inappropriate Prime Minister apparently likes to play dress-up, fitting I suppose for a (former) drama teacher craving the spotlight.  Hardly the image we (most I hope) Canadians want to represent us on the global stage. 

Use Your Vote Wisely in this Political Battle

Trudeau may be a charismatic and friendly man but he has also proven to be foolish, naïve, a liar, a bully, and a cheater, not to mention an elitist, without a clue how most of us live.  Average citizens with those characteristics would lose their jobs!

So, what’s the purpose of this rant? Not to sway your vote in this specific political battle.  To warn you to think long and hard about how you want this wonderful country of ours to move forward.  No one political party will (now or ever) tick off all the right boxes for the issues at stake.  Individual voters have to decide which party ticks off the most and the most important (to us) of these boxes, then vote accordingly.

I have not even touched on the other important issues that divide the political parties.  In addition to the budget and fiscal deficits, each party has its own stance on climate change, oil pipelines, abortion, gun control, health care, same-sex marriage, child care, education, immigration, indigenous rights, and more.  The list goes on and on, be sure to read up on these crucial issues before you vote.

Of course, there are the outrageous campaign promises flying around too in the political battle. Are reduced cell phone rates really a life necessity? Or just another calculated attempt to grab votes from the younger, phone-obsessed generation?  Just like legalizing marijuana was in the last election.  After all, most of the voters thinking cell phones and marijuana are important issues don’t yet pay the exorbitant taxes or hydro and electricity rates the rest of us are mandated to.

Political Mud Slinging and Fake News

There is so much desperate political garbage and yes, fake news, on every form of social media these days.  I am sick of it. It’s only going to get worse within the next few weeks though. Until the election is over, it will build up to a frenzied pitch.  Ignore the mudslinging on social media. Research what each party stands for yourself. Learn the issues. Peruse a few sites. Remember though, all of them have the potential to be biased!

The last one compares the platforms for each political party, sorted by specific issues.  I found it very informative.  Do your homework before you vote blindly. Please!