Saskatchewan Democracy’s Unsolved Problem Didn’t Fix Itself

Please show you support democracy in Saskatchewan.

Last Saskatchewan election, this happened instead thanks to our lackluster media ignoring the Greens who fielded a full slate of 58 candidates.

A snooze fest of a debate took place, and CBC couldn’t find anyone not involved in the broadcast who watched it. Basically it had the viewership my blog has on a Sunday morning.

I made some effort to fix the problem by showing the broadcasters there was public opposition to their method. Even newspaper columnists who usually have a rosy view of the world were disappointed in the prospects of the following four years.

Canada Falling Behind in Renewable Energy Because It’s Never The Time For Wall

Wall said. “Our principle here … is that we do no further harm to an economy that already has its hands full.”

Canada is dropping behind its major trading partners in renewable energy investment, according to a study from a clean energy advocacy group.

Merran Smith of Clean Energy Canada suggests government-set targets and goals for wind and solar power in regional energy grids is the best way to spur that investment and keep Canada in the game.

“Clean energy is taking off around the world and in the countries that we consider our markets,” she said. “This is really a wake-up call for Canada.”

Wall has set an unambitious target of only 50% renewables by 2030.

“Premier Wall said last week that Ottawa might not be allowed to impose a carbon tax on electricity-utility SaskPower, because it’s a provincial Crown corporation.”

Here’s a better effort than some I’ve seen lately* from Regina journalism:

Cenovus Energy — the oil company that most benefits from the $1.5-billion carbon capture and storage experiment at Boundary Dam — is the Sask. Party’s biggest donor. It donated $14,618 to the party in 2014, $16,852 in 2013 and $16,020 in 2012. In its previous existence as Encana, it gave the Sask. Party more than $30,000 between 2007 and 2009.

If Wall is truly appalled by the costs consumers and business might have to pay for a “carbon tax,” shouldn’t he be equally appalled at the way oil companies gouge us at the pumps with near $1-a-litre gas when oil is at $30 to $40 U.S. a barrel?

[Wall’s] Sask. Party government passed (in the spring 2010 session) environmental legislation such as the Management and Reduction of Greenhouse Gases Act.

… this Saskatchewan law would require large emitters to pay into a technology fund that would invest in technologies aimed at lower emissions. However, the Wall government hasn’t bothered to proclaim the law in regulations, largely because it said it needed to wait on Ottawa to move on its own carbon initiative.

Well, the federal government (now under the Liberals) is moving forward, so Wall owes us a bit more than that he won’t support “a carbon tax” because $30-a-barrel oil is not the right economic climate in which to discuss such laws.

And when the floods and/or forest fires hit Saskatchewan this Summer, it won’t be time to talk about the disasters in the context of climate change from our pollution contribution either. Continue reading

#CBCbehindthestory at UofR

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CBC talking about how they cover stories.
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Shutting out CTF would help Saskatchewan people tackle moral deficit

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation may not seem to consume many resources, but that’s an illusion. They occupy our newspapers. They occupy our newscasts. The amount of public time put into debating their hair brained theories has been significant over the decades.

“Governments routinely increase spending by a percentage point or two. Shouldn’t they be able to trim a little when necessary?”

Government funded media should trim coverage of the CTF, as it has become necessary to talk about positive social changes available to us. Instead the media is focusing on bad ideas that benefit only the oligarchy that operates the CTF.

“If we act now, we can trim the budget with a scalpel rather than a chainsaw. Reducing spending by about 1.8 per cent would eliminate Saskatchewan’s operational deficit.”

So trim the Regina bypass a little, or the football stadium, or the CCS plant in Estevan. Stop paying millions in fines to Big Oil because of a bad contract that was a bad deal for taxpayers.

Here’s an even better idea [I say with as much modesty as the CTF ever uses]. Each media organization promoting the CTF’s whining about the cost of STC should buy a bus ticket and a motel room for a traveling journalist, and send them out into rural Saskatchewan to talk to people on buses, and in small towns. Do that once a week. Make it a regular feature if it’s popular. Imagine a journalist surviving in Saskatchewan without a car, and only their camera, notebook, phone, and wits [and a reasonable expense account, and perhaps a folding bicycle].

Heck, I’d consider breaking my Postmedia boycott even if they used this idea to gather real Saskatchewan news and stories. It makes a hell of a lot of more sense than depending upon media releases and crappy oligarchy op-eds from the seven member CTF, for news content filler.

End Energy East

This is also how I feel about Energy East and similar pipeline projects. In the national discussion about our energy and transportation network future, if you don’t put chemistry before a constructed economy, the economy will fail.