STC Bus Service Couldn’t Survive the SaskParty

This news makes me so mad and disappointed. The future of Saskatchewan got a little more bleak today.

“What are the core services that people expect from government – and it is not necessarily a bus company,” Finance Minister Kevin Doherty said Wednesday.

“As for the short window of time before service ends, the province said new buses were on order and they would have to pay for them.

One of the worst parts of this is that the effing CTF finally gets their way. Now there’s no feasible means to exist in a small town without a car. If you’re blind, or can’t drive, you’re screwed. It’s a heartless cut that hurts seniors, environmentalists, people with disabilities who cannot drive, and makes life less likely to thrive in small town Saskatchewan.

ADDED:

“You guys don’t know what you’re doing to small communities. Think about the little people.”

One Nigerian immigrant doesn’t know how she’ll bring her daughter into Saskatoon for medical appointments. An elderly Saskatoon woman said she won’t be able to travel anymore to the Manitou Springs Resort and Mineral Spa near Watrous. Another man lamented the loss of parcel service as he headed to pick up some car parts ordered from Prince Albert.

My life is shutting down

It’s the sort of problem that cannot be solved without government support. If people could form a co-operative and offer replacement service, they would, but they simply wouldn’t make enough money to offer this vital link between communities. It cannot be overstated what a body blow this is to rural Saskatchewan, and that even includes cities like Weyburn, Humboldt, and Yorkton.

What’s Really Going On With Climate Change

There are too many people espousing their uneducated, or simply malicious views about the problem of climate change. There are enough of them in some places as to have totally halted progress against one of the greatest threats facing not only our species, but countless others. It’s equivalent to having spotted an Earth-directed asteroid with perhaps 50 years advance notice, but the urgency to solve the similar problem of climate change is no where close to what we’d expect for that pending disaster.

If you want to understand the problem, there’s this useful guide. Bill McKibben also provided this easy to understand summary of the magnitude of the problem.

[If] our goal is to keep the Earth’s temperature from rising more than two degrees Celsius—the upper limit identified by the nations of the world—how much more new digging and drilling can we do?

Here’s the answer: zero.

That’s a lot of not digging. Most people grew up with the idea of oil prospectors and the image of Jed Clampett getting sprayed with Black Gold is seared into the brains of everyone older than 35. Yet if we don’t stop digging in short years, we all might as well be at the bottom of a see-ment pool.

Continue reading

We Hear #carbontax Won’t Work But It Will Change Behaviour

Coyne has a point:

Kevin replies, “I’m planning the purchase of a wood stove…”

Would you normally buy a wood stove?

There it is. An admission that the changes behaviour (just not in the way intended for everyone).

Foreseeable Future of Oil

Cameron MacGillivray, the president and CEO of Enform, says he’s not hearing [a year and a half ago] many concerns about the job market of the future. Rather than getting questions about the oil and gas industry prospects, he says he is asked about what kinds of jobs are most in demand and how much opportunity young people have for career advancement in their respective fields. Due to the still-high demand for oil and other fossil fuels in the medium term, and the size of global reserves, he sees them playing a major role in the energy supply chain of tomorrow. “All the indicators are that hydrocarbons are an important source of energy for the foreseeable future,” he says.

Enform is the upstream oil and gas industry’s advocate and leading resource for the continuous improvement of safety performance (training, resources, COR)”

OK, let’s examine MacGillivray’s claim a bit. First, I think it’s crucial you understand to avoid melting our ice caps, and flooding our coastal cities, requires us to remain somewhere below 1.5 degrees C climate change. To avoid exceeding 1.5 degrees means we cannot pollute our atmosphere with Green House Gases (GHGs) past our permissible “carbon budget”. Our carbon budget to hit 2 degrees change is exceeded 5 times over, if we burn the “global reserves” MacGillivray cited. Clearly not “all the indicators” are that hydrocarbons are with us for the “forseeable future”, so long as we accept that we must not burn them all in order to save some of civilization’s greatest cities.

#NDEW2016

Continue reading

A Tax on Everything Is Coming

Run for the hills!

I realize several people who I’m friends with, think Premier Wall is great for Saskatchewan. I’ve never held a high opinion of the man, I think he’s arrogant, short sighted, and nothing close to a “man of the people” that he pretends to be. When was the last time you were invited to Bilderberg as he is?

For a decade we’ve endured his constant fiscal mismanagement of our province, giving us deficit budget after deficit budget, and what do we have to show for it? Our boom/bust economy is still so fragile, that Wall admits a $10/tonne #carbontax might cripple it, even though that’s the equivalent to a 2.4 cent/L gasoline price increase by reasonable calculations.

People who live in Regina may remember the last mayor refusing to raise property taxes. Not so hard when property values were stagnant, but then 2006/7 came around, and prices doubled or tripled here. Without the benefit of incremental changes, many were caught with their pants down.

Now the same has happened with the Liberals back in Ottawa, and with 10 years of Conservative stagnation on incremental environmental pollution controls, we’re going to experience a little sticker shock when we have to buy the next generation of technology to get by in the changing world.

There will be a lot of fear and ignorance on display, but what else could we expect after the Conservatives paid (using our tax money) to deliver black and white propaganda to our mailboxes, proclaiming that a “tax on everything” was coming with Dion and Goodale.

Canadian Debt

Jeremy Harrison, minister of the economy pointed to the fact the average Canadian family needs 42.8 per cent of its pre-tax income for housing while the average in Saskatchewan is 28.6 per cent.

“So I think that speaks as to the affordability of living here in this province,” said Harrison.

John Hopkins, CEO of the Regina and District Chamber of Commerce, said the survey indicates that Canadians are spending heavily on necessities like housing.

That’s created concern there could be real trouble for consumers if there’s a sudden increase in interest rates, but “we’re not seeing that anywhere on the horizon, thank goodness,” he said

Harrison’s comment could be very funny if the housing market crashes next year, and Hopkins’ too if interest rates go to 5%.

Bogus Brokerage Bull, and Other Online Obstructions

“by keeping that purchase threshold at $20 instead of giving Canadian shoppers a break and raising it to $80, Ottawa spends about $166 million to collect $39 million in additional taxes and duties.”

Here’s something the Industry Minister should fix this year. Especially in light of the Liberals’ support of the TPP, why are they dinging consumers for buying Chinese and American made goods? In the case of mid-range bicycles, there’s no Canadian manufacturer, yet they’ll easily make a beach cruiser (made in China) sold in California for $100US, cost over $350CAD in a Canadian bike shop.