When a Gazillion Means Less Than One

I’ll update this blog post if an example is forthcoming. It’s been a day’s wait, but to the CTF the PM having a nanny is a bigger story than trying to shut down my province’s bus service.

STC’s parcel service makes a profit, and the passenger service doesn’t. There was once STC service to North Dakota, today there is not. There’s no means to get to the United States via bus without going a province over, so obviously improvements could be made. The best addition in recent years has been newer buses and Wi-Fi (although Wi-Fi’s worked only half of the two times I’ve tried it).

Yet even with those shortcomings, there would be no coming and going from many Saskatchewan towns without a public transportation bus service. Until passenger rail returns, we have to maintain a bus network, and can’t depend upon individuals to make a profit on our transportation network. My memorable experience with a private bus operator in Newfoundland was trying to get a ticket, and finding their phone number was out of service. Saskatchewan doesn’t need to step down to that level of service by dispensing of STC.


Hong Kong reminds me so much of Saskatchewan.

If You Don’t Like Canada…

Comments from CBC story, discussing the U-Pass at the University of Regina:

Corruptable writes:

forcing someone to pay for a bus pass they will not use is ludicrous. she would force everyone to pay for a parking spot that only some will use…

blue cheese responds:

getting taxed for schools when we have no children,
paying more on our power bills to provide cenovus with liquid co2
getting taxed for city recycling whether we want to or not
paying for the football stadium whether we use it or not
paying for healthcare whether sick or not
etc etc.
in canada we look out for everyone, if you don’t like canada, vote for a conservative. you will pay for all your services out of your own pocket and still pay taxes.

Saskatoon Shiners #exploresk

Saskatoon is a beautiful city, so don’t let these photos fool you. Every city has a few shiners here and there. “There”, in this case, is downtown.
Holiday Inn Supermax Prison
This is the Holiday Inn Supermax Prison. Don’t worry, it only looks like a prison from the outside. You can leave, unlike the more picturesque Hotel California.

Here’s one of the more beautiful parkades with a cell phone tower behind it.

It’s January, and the snow has retreated into puddles due to the unseasonal temperatures, but the gang activity hasn’t retreated.

The people of Saskatoon are friendly, and will accommodate you whether you’re addicted to tobacco or real estate.

The Sturdy Stone isn’t going to see you, so you should go see it.

The HMCS Unicorn will be grinning at you when you walk by.

Continue reading

Bus-Taker’s Guide To The Galaxy

I helped invent and host a city bus tour to a movie theatre from the Riddell Centre on Tuesday evening. It went very well, even though our bus was 20 minutes late when first leaving. The weather was astoundingly perfect, and the ten people who went all seemed to enjoy the evening very much. I think UR Sustainability Club will organize another tour like this one, later this semester.

Half of the group saw “Elysium” [7/10] a futuristic movie about a man dying to get to a satellite habitat where magical medical technology can heal nearly anything. The other went to the World’s End, or something like that. They seemed shocked by what they saw. The movie I saw was alright, but probably won’t watch it again.

Groceries Gone

Lakeshore Sobeys map
The people in the green circle are entering a Food Desert in September, as Sobeys is opting to close the Lakeshore store on 23rd Ave. There will be no grocery store within walking distance for thousands of people. Bus service, limited as it is, is highlighted for the region.

I’ve heard that a developer involved in creating a large down town tower recently now wants to develop the Lakeshore site, and my hunch is a grocery store on the lot doesn’t fit into their plans so they priced a willing Sobeys out of it. Sobeys wants big stores, not small old IGA sites, I’m certain. I’d like to see a tower go up, but the main floor should be a grocery store. I was in such a mall in waterfront Toronto not too many years ago. It was probably a Loblaws, but I can’t remember. Somewhere near Queens Quay if I recall.

If a grocery store isn’t opened quickly on campus, or on the existing site, it will be a disaster for the Hillsdale neighbourhood people who need to walk or bike to get their food. Many may be comfortable with the change because they are driving right now, but what happens to them if they are no longer able to afford to drive? Walking down Hillsdale St. got even harder as bus service was removed for most of it, and one side lacks a sidewalk as it’s a pedestrian wasteland of solid fences on both sides of the street for half a kilometer. Neighbourhoods on either side are walled in by houses and fences.

Regina Transit Petition

Regina Transit is planning to rearrange existing service to provide a few efficiencies. I see that more investment is needed to make significant improvements that transit riders have been requesting for well over a decade already. As Regina is growing, we’re reaching the limit our streets and parking lots can take, and it’s showing up in the frustrating rush hours that Reginans were not subjected to until a few years ago. Both drivers and transit riders alike stand to benefit greatly from additional money spent on adding buses to the fleet. It’s one of those all-win scenarios that City Council can leap upon and raise the city esteem.

Please get the petition, print it, sign it, and get your voting age friends and family in Regina to sign it too.

Solar Tour

3rd Solar Tour

On the weekend I had a fantastic tour of the Regina area, along with my parents, seeing the sights highlighted by conversions to solar energy. Solar PV, and active and passive solar heating were demonstrated in locations adjacent to the General Hospital, Shannon Road in south Regina (part of where I’m running to be a city Councillor), and as far away as Craven and Katepwa were explored too.
3rd Solar Tour 3rd Solar Tour 3rd Solar Tour 3rd Solar Tour
-Solar oven and solar cooker
A garter snake enjoying a pond aerated by a direct solar pump.
3rd Solar Tour

3rd Solar Tour
-A sponsor who has installed some of the systems seen on the tour.

Wind systems were on display sometimes too. This one was at Jim Harding’s place.
Wind power

3rd Solar Tour
3rd Solar Tour

I missed them all posing, but this is an interesting shot, with so many angles in it.
3rd Solar Tour
James is facing the camera, Greg is profile, and I’m not sure who is facing away.

3rd Solar Tour
-A ‘simple’ battery charge controller, used with one panel on Shannon Rd.

Take a look at inverter statistics from a Net Metered, ground mounted, 15 PV panel array installed in southern Saskatchewan for over a year. It’s using Enlighten micro-inverters.

Tonight, on the Rick Mercer Report, he installs solar panels with Mike Holmes.

Here’s a featured Enphase array.