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

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.

Laugh or Cry

What’s that saying again?  If you don’t laugh, you will cry….something like that.  With the exception of the true introverts that are enjoying these social distancing, quarantine or self-isolation times, the rest of us feel often feel like crying. Or pulling our hair out.

But then we find something to laugh about and it does cheer us up, if only for a short time.  These are a few of the laughter inducing pictures circulating on Facebook that  I have saved over the past few months. I hope they make you laugh too, as laughter is indeed the best medicine …

 

This one refers to our Canadian Prime Minister. When he sticks to his scripted notes, he sounds quite reasonable.  Otherwise, maybe because of the fact that he was a drama teacher before he became PM, this happens…

93890223_1596624613844905_7943015871868305408_n

 

And, I would be remiss if I didn’t add a few about the POTUS, as there have been lots…

 

I hope I provided a chuckle or two.  If you have other sources of laugher, please share them!

 

Feature picture (top) credit to Pexels

Do as I Say, not as I do

Is anyone else annoyed that Justin Trudeau is spending Easter weekend at his cottage in Quebec with his wife, children, mother and staff?

The rest of us, however, have been implored to practice social distancing. To stay away from anyone that does not live with us, especially those over the age of 70,  restrict travel to essential trips, stay away from our cottages, avoid congregating in groups of more than five, and limit trips across the Ontario/Quebec border to essential ones.

With his weekend jaunt, Trudeau has broken all the rules he has imposed on us.  He crossed the Ontario/Quebec border, went to his cottage, and is spending time with those not in his immediate family, including his 71 year old mother.

In the meantime, most of us are complying to the social distancing rules. You can see it in the deserted roadways, parking lots, and parks, as well as the direction arrows and other limitations in the grocery stores.  Chats with neighbours are from the ends of our respective driveways.  Socializing with friends and family is achieved through Zoom “meetings” or Facebook video chats.  Our evening walks are eerie, like walking through a ghost town.  Not that I have experienced a ghost town, but I can imagine.

Our three sons and 4 grandchildren do not live with us so we have only seen them on videos or from a distance of 6 feet for almost a month now. This has been very confusing for the grandchildren as they don’t understand why they cannot visit, play with, snuggle and hug this Grandma or their other grandparents. We have resisted taking trips to our cottage, located in a remote area of Ontario.  We have limited our exposure to others by reducing grocery shopping to once a week and forgoing other shopping altogether.  Even my 60th birthday was regulated by social distancing rules.

Like most other residents of Canada, we have been following these recommendations AS  REQUESTED BY OUR GOVERNMENT, yet our leader is not practicing social distancing. Instead he is playing “Do as I Say and not as I do.”

This is not a good way to lead a country through turbulent times, especially if you expect us to follow the rules.

 

JT
Credit to the Toronto Sun

 

Photo credit from feature image (top of page) to Markus Spiske and Pexels

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!

Upcoming Election Scares Me

I do not usually get into discussions about politics as I believe everyone is entitled to their opinions; after all, we do live in a free country.  With the upcoming election here in Canada, I worry that people have voted and will vote on candidates for the wrong reasons.  It scares me that people are willing to lose everything we, even the unpopular Stephen Harper, have all worked hard for.

I was not raised with a silver spoon in my mouth.  I was taught to work hard for my success, earn my living accordingly and save for my retirement.  I was also taught not to live beyond my means.  In other words, if I can’t afford something, I do without and certainly don’t use credit to buy it.  If I do use credit, it is used sparingly and paid off each month so that no interest is accumulated.  It scares me that people think that the 27 million dollars of taxpayers’ money paid daily for interest on the Ontario deficit is acceptable.  It scares me that the Liberal and NDP candidates think a similar approach for Canada is acceptable and necessary to grow the economy.

It scares me that our once envied health care system is going down the tubes.  The eHealth scandal created by the Liberal government has created massive job losses and salary cutbacks to our health professionals and funding cutbacks for the operation of our Ontario hospitals.  These highly trained professionals will not have much choice but to take their expertise elsewhere. I worry that as I get older and need increased healthcare, it will not be available.  This Liberal approach scares me. Their costly scandals will ruin the country as they are ruining Ontario. The promises made to ensure a win in this upcoming election are dangerous. 

I was taught too that you should be able to afford to raise children if you choose to have them.  I think Canadians should choose and pay for their own children’s daycare, sporting activities etc.  I think welfare should be for those temporarily out of work through no fault of their own.  Welfare was not meant to increase the number of children in a family, increase the social status of a family or stretch over several generations. It was developed to help people in a crisis situation, temporarily.

I was also taught that “good looks will get you the first 5 minutes, after that you are on your own”  What this meant to me is that if you are qualified for a job and good at what you do, it should not matter what you look like.  If your appearance or your last name gets you an interview (or party nomination) it’s what you do afterward that counts.  Who really cares, or who should care that Harper buttons and unbuttons his suit coat over and over?  Who cares, or who should care which politician has the nicest hair?  Who really cares if Trudeau wins he will be one of the youngest to do so?  Who wants the life of the party or a smooth-talking, pot-smoking, pretty boy running our country?

This upcoming election (or any election for that matter) is not a beauty or popularity contest.  It should be about who can best run this great country we live in so that we continue to prosper.  I want to enjoy my retirement without worrying that Canada is in trouble.  I hope I have taught my children the above lessons I learned from my parents.  I want them to work hard for their achievements, but I want them to have a fighting chance that their hard work will pay off for them.

I have voted for Stephen Harper in the past and will vote for him again.  Is he perfect?  Absolutely not.  Does he come across as arrogant and smug?  Sometimes.  Do I always agree with or like his actions and decisions? No, not always.  Does his resume say he has the necessary experience for the job?  Yes, it does.  Does he make tough decisions based on what is best for Canadians and Canada?  I believe he does; that’s why he gets my vote.

upcoming election