Opposed to Coalition?

Yesterday’s news:

Today’s news:
Most Canadians are opposed to a coalition government. Presently the only party with the word “coalition” in its founding documents is the Conservative Party of Canada, and yes it’s true as Trudeau said today, that most Canadians are opposed to the Conservative government.

The problem is, if you have a real conversation with Canadians, you’ll learn they aren’t really opposed to a coalition government, they are just afraid of political instability they’ve associated with coalition and proportional representation electoral systems. They’ll unfailingly mutter about Italy having so many elections, and overlook the countries with proportional systems that are not unstable, and have better social programs and democratic participation than Canada manages.

Tomorrow’s news:

Saskatchewan Needs a Real Change of Destination

Greg is making a good point in his latest column, but I had to throw in a Green campaign slogan into the title in good fun. The bottom line really is that the Sask Party is propping up the dying fossil fuels industry, while calls to divest from it are coming from around the world. There’s no stopping this change (for the better).

While the Saskatchewan Party remains bent on thinking small, any reasonable look at the world around us suggests it’s long past time for a big change in direction. And if if this year’s budget again fails on that front, then we should seriously reconsider who’s choosing our destination.

“study finds that the main barrier to achieving those goals is a matter of politics rather than technology or economic limitations.”

“We have the tools to transition to a clean energy economy; all that’s lacking is the leadership to put them to use.”
Greg is bang on, and I’m not saying so simply because I’ve been saying the same thing for years.

Given that there are about 410,000 households in Saskatchewan, we’d need about 3 Ivanpah style solar power plants to provide electricity to every home in the province. We can do it, and we should.

That’s me last year providing a real-world example of technology we could build in Saskatchewan to give every household renewable energy at a price we can afford. We can probably not afford to fail to build such a new system.


ADDED: Prebble and others show that Saskatchewan must turn to renewable energy to succeed in reforming our economy.

When The Tories Left Office

I was too young in 1991 to put the news I was hearing into context. My family had worked for months on my Dad’s campaign for the Sask Liberals in Moose Jaw, and he’d come away in second place. Roy Romanow was the new Premier of Saskatchewan, and Grant Devine would soon fade into political obscurity as some of his cabinet and other MLAs would go to jail, and in the sad case of Jack Wolfe an early grave. Future Lieutenant Governor Linda Haverstock was the only Sask Liberal MLA in the Saskatchewan Legislature.

Soon, the new hospital in Lafleche was turned into a band-aid centre; babies no longer permitted to be born there. In the next four years, my school was closed despite it costing more to bus kids to other towns than it did to run the entire school in Wood Mountain. The railway was closed and ripped out everywhere near my hometown (but not through it, because of a clean-up bylaw imposed by the Village council). Rural Saskatchewan was both dying, and being killed. The NDP were in charge, and their eyes turned to urban Saskatchewan, as they shunned their rural roots.

In 2007, The Saskatchewan Party came to power. Brad Wall was the new Premier. The NDP faded from the scene, and wherever there was big industry, private or public, they got the support of the government. Our huge resource revenues were utterly spent. There was nothing put away into a savings account, and now that oil has come crashing down, there is nothing in the tank.

Another provincial election is coming, Wall’s 2nd as Premier. Will the oil crash of 2014/15 expose how badly the province is being managed? Is Wall’s extended honeymoon over? Probably not, but now there’s a chance of him reaping what he’s sown.

Parliament Should Go Solar

Following up on my 2010 blog post on solar for the White House, it takes almost 3 years to get solar added to a historic national building.

Ottawa 2011

That’s why we should all get started with pressing Parliament Hill’s renovation to include commercially available PV solar panels to the south facing slopes of Canada’s iconic government building.

Simply put, solar panels mean less carbon pollution, and more jobs for Americans – jobs that can’t be outsourced. They’re good for our energy future, and they’re good for our economy.

Time to follow America, again.

2014 Stapleford Lecture on Senate Reform at #UofR

Part 1

I really have to disagree with Dr. Barnhart, who had the power to sign, or refuse to sign laws of Saskatchewan into effect while Lieutenant Governor, that he is a powerful person. Now his influence may be lessened, even to the point where Global TV won’t keep a promise to him, but he did get invited to to a prestigious lecture for the UofR too, didn’t he?

There’s a time to be modest, and a time to be real.

Part 2

You Can Vote, But You Can’t Travel in Canada

This situation is BS.

A Manitoba MP is crying discrimination after two aboriginal women were not allowed to board a plane with her, even though they had tickets.

Niki Ashton, who represents the Churchill riding for the NDP, said Gail and Joyce Nepinak were scheduled to fly to Ottawa from Winnipeg with her on Sunday evening.
niki-ashton

MP Niki Ashton said the Nepinaks were embarrassed when they were not allowed to board the plane. (CBC)

​ The Nepinaks had been invited by the House of Commons to speak at the special committee on missing and murdered indigenous women on Monday.

If an MP (with ID) cannot vouch for a passenger, then the whole point of security is exposed for what it is. It’s not to ensure that the people boarding are who they say they are (or who a trustworthy public figure says), it’s to demand red-tape obedience from lowly people not afforded the human dignity to travel freely. It exposes the system’s racism.

Manitoba to Ottawa is an in-Canada flight. There should be no requirement to have photo ID to travel freely within Canada (especially at the request of Parliament).

Ashton asked to speak to an Air Canada manager but one never showed up.

She said that in many ways this situation is symbolic of the systemic discrimination aboriginal people face in so many areas of their daily lives.

This doesn’t just show Air Canada’s horrible customer service, it shows our airline industry and culture around airport travel is very sick and inhuman.

Drivers From Hill: MPs Shouldn’t Drive

MPs should quickly pass legislation to encourage the widespread adoption of self-driving cars, because an increasing number of MPs can not drive themselves properly. They are Drivers From Hill.

“Conservative minister Maxime Bernier was arrested Sunday in the county [sic], while driving the vehicle of his wife without holding a valid license, which forced the immediate towing.” Maxime Bernier, PC, MP is a Canadian politician currently serving as the Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism in the cabinet of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Years ago, this was written about Bernier:

But for those seeking a revolution in government behavior that will confine Ottawa to a limited and shrinking role in their lives, well, fasten your seat belt. Mad Max is the guy you want in the driver’s seat.

National Post
dmartin@nationalpost.com

{emphasis added for additional hilarity}

Conservative MPs Poilievre, Eve Adams, and now Maxime Bernier have all run afoul of driving laws in recent history. NDP MP and leader Thomas Mulcair also did so, by running a checkpoint or a stop sign on the Hill, and Conservatives would like to point out that in doing so he ran over a family of baby ducks and bumped a child in a wheelchair. If you can watch the CTV video without dying inside as the Cons mock the STOP Harper stunt by DePape, and the super-serious voice of the reporter states that Mulcair didn’t even get a ticket, you’re hearty stuff.

Maybe we shouldn’t have got on Bev Oda’s case when she hired a limo to drive her $16 orange juice swilling butt to wherever she wanted to go? Maybe we shouldn’t have been concerned that Harper gave the PM’s jet a new paint job with his party colour, and specially imported a limo to India so that he could be driven around there instead of hopping on an ATV again?

A well-placed source on the Hill told The Hill Times earlier Tuesday Ms. Adams (Brampton South-Mississauga, Ont.) was ticketed for using a cell phone while driving through the security stop.

The source said she impatiently pointed out to an RCMP security officer that she was an MP after she was first stopped, and that she attempted to pull rank on the officer by declaring she was an MP and pointing to the official collar badge all MPs wear for security reasons and a sign of their office.
[…]
Ms. Adams emailed The Hill Times at 5:53 p.m. to say parts of the story were incorrect.

“I need to correct some misinformation being reported by the media,” her email said. “I recently received a traffic ticket outside the main precinct for not coming to a complete stop. Unlike Thomas Mulcair, I immediately stopped and did not intimidate the officer.”

Ms. Adams said she paid the ticket “immediately.” {She did NOT say, “Can I pay this ticket… immediately, officer?” as is done in countries with police forces more corrupt than the RCMP, so as to make a bribe instead.}

“At no time did I identify myself as a Member of Parliament and since I do not wear an MP pin, could not have pointed to a pin,” Ms. Adams said.

Ms. Adams would have faced a fine of $125, along with a victim fine surcharge and $5 in costs had she been cited for using a handheld device while driving.
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