IT Problem At Saskatchewan Government

What’s going on?gov-sk-down

http://www.gov.sk.ca has been down a for a day.

 

Predictions That Aren’t Fun

“Asia ramping up coal use. US returning to coal. Lets focus on tech like CCS not tax harming econ w/o real GHG impact” – Premier Wall

The Premier, on down to his Twitter troll army defend Saskatchewan pollution because “China and India” do more pollution.

Well I have news for you, China and India do more of everything. They are the biggest ever in… name the category.
“I can’t get into good shape right now, because China and India”. A SaskParty/Conservative excuse generator would be a funny app.

Paved Paradise Because Parking Was Already There

July 5th, 2016, after years of a mud pit following the rip-out of the previous playground:

University of Regina CW

Now it looks like this again:

College West reno playground removed

Reasoning given:

 A project of this scale requires a large site and staging area directly adjacent to the building. The site, the courtyard immediately west of the building and south of Wascana Daycare, is a centrally located site that allows for a full and safe construction staging area which will house cranes and heavy equipment.

This area creates efficiencies for the contractor, minimizes the impact on surrounding community and safeguards all who need to access the building and surrounding area. Using this site saves us money on the overall project, even if you include the cost of removing and reinstalling the playground.

When the playground was initially constructed, approval for the College West construction program was not yet granted.

A faculty member responds:

“As Dena mentioned, there was no approval for the $38M+ project prior to building the playground. But surely it must have been on the radar – $38M+ projects don’t materialize over the course of a few months, do they?  Or perhaps they do, because in fact, the BoG approved the renovations of College West on July 5th (the same day the fences [were] installed, it seems; …

Perhaps being prudent in building the playground would have been wise.”

A parent with an impacted child thinks so too:

“when I dropped my son off on Monday, he was DEVASTATED to see a bulldozer tearing up the his new playground. While it is posed to be rebuilt, it will not be until 2018.”

This is another frustrating example of construction on the University of Regina campus. Over the years I’ve proposed and supported many projects. Some are now realities, like the park and ride at Conexus Arts Centre (used by the Health Region instead), The RPIRG Green Patch garden, and the U-Pass universal bus pass for students which drastically cut the cost of a bus pass for students and increased bus service on campus. But also many more ideas have been rejected or have yet to be built. There’s no wind-row composting system on vacant University land. There’s still no energy dashboard, but there’s one apparently in the works and behind schedule. And there’s no separated bicycle infrastructure on streets. There’s no single-stream recycling system. No composting system. Not a single on-grid solar panel array. The thousands of dollars that went into constructing a playground and fence in use for less than 4 months, could have gone a long long way into implementing any of those other ideas and wouldn’t have been bulldozed in under a year.

I usually keep these sort of writings internal and send them directly to President Timmons, since she does respond and listen to what I have to say. This example though is already done, and was already done wrong. The money is gone, wasted. What do I hope for? Better foresight in project planning, and more willingness to try ideas proposed by staff and students. I can’t help but feel that a playground was destroyed literally in front of children who loved it, because a nearby parking lot is too precious to people who need to get over their love affair with their cars.

There are places in our city that fund raise for playgrounds, and our University is creating and destroying them in an unimaginable time scale. This is not sustainable growth. Unless you can build, destroy, build, destroy, then rebuild a playground within ten years in a sustainable way.

Too Bold A Halloween Costume

The University of Regina has quite a few exchange students. They pay more than a bit to study here in Canada too. One picked a stereotype to make fun of at Halloween, and ended up with more role playing than he bargained on.

This is the sort of over-sensitive reaction that we should be concerned about in our society, not people dressed up as something scary/funny for Halloween.

Gwynne Dyer at University of Regina

I’ve been to two other Gwynne Dyer lectures at the U of R, and each time they are very interesting presentations of what has happened in the world. There is also a little predicting going on, so if you’re curious what could happen, settle in, and listen to it all.

 

Action vs. Action Plans #GivePollutionAChance

The Liberals would like to tell you that they’ve spent a year making Real Change (TM) in Canada, since being elected in October, 2015. Undeniably, Canada has some notable differences and improvements since Harper was booted. Still, there are promised changes, not hard to make, that are forever being dangled like carrots, potentially left to lead voters to the polls yet again in 2019 to return the Red Tide.

And there is plenty of low-hanging fruit growing rotten on the vine, as a result of Government and Liberal delays. We’ve no new electoral system yet. We still can’t buy pot in a store or grow it in our yard without incurring the wrath of the Nixon/Reagan Racist War on Drugs. And freshly made micro-plastics continue to pollute our waterways and lakes, despite Canadian scientists confirming about a year ago they are a toxin.

Got this email on Friday from Environment and Climate Change Canada:

[…] The proposed Regulations would phase in prohibitions for the manufacture, import, sale or offer for sale of toiletries that contain plastic microbeads including non-prescription drugs and natural health products.
On February 9, 2016, ECCC published a consultation document for a 30-day public comment on the proposed Regulations […]
Stakeholders will have until January 19, 2017 to submit written comments on the proposed Regulations. […]
For further information on the Government of Canada’s actions on microbeads, please visit www.chemicalsubstanceschimiques.gc.ca/plan/approach-approche/microb-eng.php.
Xin Gao
Acting Director, Products Division
Environment and Climate Change Canada
ec.produits-products.ec@canada.ca
This is a fine example of the Liberal government erring on the side of protecting corporate, short term economic gains, for the creation of inter-generational health and environmental pain. And they have the gall to call it “action”.
I’m more than a little pissed off about this.
I replied to them, and my MP Ralph Goodale:
Dear Xin Gao:

I’m dismayed to see that microbeads are still not yet banned from sale in Canada. They were ruled toxic by Government of Canada scientists almost a year ago, and still the Government dithers and proposes fully banning them only 2 years from now? There’s an expression about not being able to put the toothpaste back into the tube, and it applies very aptly to this dangerous problem. Stop squeezing the toxic tube, and get microbeads off our shelves now.

Please, do not delay, and protect our water from the micro-plastic toxin.

Sincerely,

John Klein

Regina, SK

The Conservatives’ Canadian Economic Action Scam, err, Plan, may have been mostly a scam, but even it managed to put some shovels into the ground and could arguably be called action. The Liberals’ Canada Climate Action department can’t even stop the steady flow of a known toxin from going into our water without consulting Canadians about it for over 2 years.

The prohibition of the manufacture and import of exfoliating or cleansing toiletries that contain plastic microbeads, excluding natural health products or non- prescription drugs, is targeted to come into effect on January 1, 2018, with the prohibition of the sale or offer for sale of these products by July 1, 2018. Prohibitions would come into effect for the manufacture and import of exfoliating or cleansing non-prescription drugs and natural health products, (see footnote 10) such as toothpaste that contains plastic microbeads, on July 1, 2018, with a prohibition on the sale or offer for sale of these products by July 1, 2019.

Liberals wouldn’t want manufacturers and retailers of toxic cosmetics to lose their evil/bad investment by having to pull unsold toxic merch’ off the shelves before Canada Day 2019. Is that so when we go to the polls in October, the memory of Liberals freshly banning a toxic product is on the minds of ecologically minded people who missed the history of them dragging their damned heels?

9 months ago I asked them to ban the microbeads now. Instead, the Liberals have opted to Give Pollution A Chance.

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