On Time and On Budget

There’s a cliche around the City of Regina the last while. Politicians will say a project is “on time and on budget”, but fail to point out that the initial estimates for the budget and time it’s expected to be completed, are amended as the project goes along. Get support for the project by low-balling the cost estimate, then when the public is committed, up it by including all of the reasonable maintenance costs.

“McMorris says the entire project will likely cost upwards of $300 million.”

Why did the project costs change?

The Government’s total investment of $1.88 billion includes the full cost of the Bypass over the next 30 years and construction.

The previous estimates were based only on the construction-related costs. The cost of construction alone is in line with the $1.2 billion estimate.

Apr 08, 2016:

The Saskatchewan government says the asphalt on most of the ramps on the new interchange at the intersection of the Trans-Canada Highway and Pinkie Road will have to be ripped up in order to prepare for a complex new series of ramps and overpasses.

The Pinkie Road Interchange was officially opened in the fall of 2013. ”

“When it began constructing this interchange back in September 2011 the government was thinking that the South Bypass would reconnect with the Trans-Canada Highway east of Albert Street “on the curves between Wascana Parkway and Albert Street.”

However, in September 2012, a consultant recommended that the bypass connect with the Pinkie Road interchange, which was already under construction.

Did a different part of the government see they needed to make a different interchange?

March 13, 2013:

Initially only eight to 10 acres were meant to be given up by each neighbour. Now, on average, each of those impacted were made to give up 88 acres.

Siller gave up a portion of his land – as required by law – for the new interchange. The bureaucrats took more than he feels was needed with a vision to one day create a cloverleaf where the interchange is now being constructed.

“Highways bureaucrats literally admitted they are proud of the fact they took extra land so they didn’t have to deal with future development,” Denton said.

Clinton Lied But No Consequence. It’s Like It’s the 1990s Still

“Here, for the record, is Clinton saying, on March 10, 2015, “I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email.””

I’m particularly offended by this oligarchy-outcome because Clinton is guilty of doing what she persecutes American hero Ed Snowden for doing – “mishandling classified information”. Yet he lives in exile in Russia, and she’ll run the whole darn United States of America. Snowden tried to do the right thing and tell Americans of secret crimes against them, and Clinton tried to do the wrong thing (hide her emails from public scrutiny while she was supposed to be a transparent public servant). She’s rich and powerful, and he was with no influence; The Rule of Law is not well in the USA.

By ignoring the damning information uncovered by the FBI — that Clinton’s elaborate system for avoiding the requirement that public servants should make their official correspondence available in public archives had exposed dozens of messages containing secret information to potential interception — the candidate clearly hoped to put the matter behind her.

While that satisfied many of her supporters — and predictably angered most of her detractors — treating the FBI director’s conclusion of “not criminal” as a seal of approval seemed to leave many Americans feeling queasy, and others wondering if the laws on mishandling classified information just do not apply to those in power.

Clinton = #FBImWithHer
Does that mean Trump is better? Heck no. I don’t envy American voters who can’t fight their corrupt media/government/justice systems. They are desperate, with good reason, to stop Trump. Sanders so far hasn’t made a big deal of Clinton’s email scandal, he dismissed it during a debate, in an apparent effort to prevent it from becoming a sideshow that could hurt the Democrats he at that time hoped still to lead.

Sask Party Not Getting the Best Rate For You

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

“We’ve always been in competition,” said Boyd about Saskatchewan and Alberta competing for oil and gas investment. “Certainly we’ve had productive conversations here in Calgary.”

Why would we want to compete with Alberta? Competition drives the price of extracting our non-renewable resource down and means lower royalty payments upon which much of our economy is based.

Obviously Wall and Boyd in the Sask Party are working from the perspective that they have to get the best, lowest rate for Big Oil companies. They’re supposed to be considering what is best for Saskatchewan’s people, however. I’m sure they are not influenced by their former Minister McMillian who is now head spokesperson for the oil and gas industry in Canada.

“Today, there continues an existential threat to this industry, this industry that is so important in my province,” Wall told an appreciative luncheon crowd.

The Saskatchewan government didn’t do a good job acquiring land for the Global Transportation Hub near Regina and as a result paid too much, the provincial auditor says.

SaskPower renegotiated contract to avoid $91.8M penalty

It seems routine for this Sask Party government to never be found technically corrupt while they continually deliver poor deals for tax/rate payers, and great deals for their friends in the Oil and Gas industry.


Another example of the Saskatchewan government giving up in favour of corporations over citizens.
“Province abandons low-income housing project after cost overruns
48-unit apartment building reverts to private developer – renting at market rates”

Leave Or Remain In? The Former UK Chooses Out And About Does Itself In

Brexit: It’s a term I first heard months ago on Twitter in relation to people mostly angry with immigration in the UK. It means “British Exit from the European Union”. The country narrowly voted to leave the EU, and the economy/currency Pound Sterling soon crashed from the uncertainty of the Prime Minister resigning, the opposition leader being turfed by MPs, and the Brexit Leave leaders having no effing plan. One of the Brexit leaders is the former mayor of London, and the other is the leader of the UK Independence Party, a sort of extreme Reform Party hell bent on blocking Muslim immigrants much how Trump has envisioned for the United States.

A great British comic in the US, John Oliver, says there are no do-overs for the Brexit referendum vote. I tend to disagree on this point, even though the rest of his analysis is fine and funny.

There are do-overs, because we have elections every few years or if the loss of confidence in the ruling government takes place. It’s pretty obvious Britons have no confidence in the current government or the choice to Leave. Therefore it’s not anti-democratic to take another vote to determine public opinion following the initial consequences of their earlier vote last week. After all, if people are still satisfied with all of the Brexit results, they’ll again vote for it, correct? It might keep the UK united, otherwise Scotland is set to leave so they’ll stay with the EU, as is Ireland which may unite with Northern Ireland.

Keep in mind I’m no expert on British politics, so if you’ve a correction to make to this summary, please leave it in the comments.

ADDED:

Take Your Mind Off Things

Sometimes The Beaverton really understands me.

This morning on CBC Morning Edition, Sheila Coles had Mark Jacobson as a guest. He’s a Stanford professor who I mentioned in my letter to the editor a couple weeks ago. Anyway, I learned a lot of great points about transitioning to a Wind, Water, Solar (WWS) electrical system for Canada. It was a report basically making the point I brought up last week here about Brad Wall. The contrast between the informative and interesting interviews CBC provides compared to the hit music of other stations, is really stark.

Gas Production, not Power Byproduct

This clip makes it seem as if CCS is more about producing gas to enhance oil recovery, and not so much about trapping a dangerous byproduct of dirty electricity production.

As a result of the renegotiation though, Cenovus is not required to take 100 per cent of the CO2 output, meaning less revenue coming into SaskPower.

Marsh said Cenovus is buying “more than 50 per cent of the production, but I’m not going to give you an exact figure.”

He said specifics of the new deal won’t be disclosed, citing a confidentiality agreement.

Marsh said Boundary Dam is capturing about 2,700 to 2,800 tonnes of CO2 each day, or a little less than 90 per cent of the output of which it’s supposed to be capable.

Production has been slowed, he said, because Cenovus “does not need the full amount, so we don’t need to produce the full amount.”

Why would production of gas be slowed? Wouldn’t it depend entirely upon how much electrical demand there is, not demand for the waste carbon dioxide? After all, BD3 has been sold to the public as a means of offsetting greenhouse gas production of coal electricity. If gas is produced, just store it, right?

I hope the geniuses at SaskPower and the Sask Government calculated the lost revenue from selling less gas to Cenovus, and we’re not going to lose more than $91Million from the renegotiation. Because they won’t give us the figure roughly between 50-90%, calculation may be harder for the public to confirm they didn’t screw up again to the tune of millions.

Is the Premier still planning on selling this technology if it depends upon a hidden sale value the public can’t even see now?

UPDATE: And important update is now available to this story

 

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