Minister of SaskPower, Duncan, Should Resign

I don’t think I’ve ever called for a Minister to resign before, while on the radio, but Duncan should definitely quit screwing up Saskatchewan, SaskPower, and our environment.

Gone John Himpe

John Himpe was a radio and blogging wizard. Now he’s gone, at a young 38 years of age.

Here’s his account of first getting on the Internet:

Because there were only so many hours of Internet for the year, I was always mindful of the clock.  Many days, spending an entire hour online seemed like an eternity.  Today, that can pass in the blink of an eye.

The Internet of 1994 was a distinctly different experience from today.  Web pages were primarily coded by hand – not generated by databases.  Dropping an e-mail to whoever was responsible for a website usually ended up netting you a new friend in the process.  And, admiration – not SEO – was the motive for linking to another’s online creation.  It was a very different time, and the content reflected that.

In my circle of friends, I was that kid – one of the first on the block to get Internet access.  When people would come over to hang out, the Internet was a mild distraction – but one that wouldn’t last for long before we’d head off to watch TV or otherwise get in trouble.

UPDATE: He passed away from a brain aneurysm. Unfun fact: a young woman died of that only meters from my desk at work, less than 2 years ago.

Cross Country Checkup Climate Change

A show once hosted by climate change denier Rex Murphy, was asking some okay questions of callers, while other questionable questions were called out by callers.

The last caller said rightly people shouldn’t be asked any more if they think climate change is happening, since scientists have long determined that it is. We don’t ask people if they think Lawn Darts are dangerous or if we should wear seat belts, anymore.

3 callers stood up to the host Duncan when he pressed them for personal changes they’ve made to reduce emissions. Their point was that collective action is more important since they’ve done their part and it has still led to this crisis the IPCC has determined we are in.
One ignorant rancher from MB was the most blatant denier to phone in, unable to explain what has convinced him that scientists are supposedly wrong. He kept repeating that the climate has always changed and doesn’t think we are changing it now. A scientist from Environment and Climate Change Canada on the show later explained that we’re adding to the naturally variable warming happening now. Our carbon pollution today will stay in the atmosphere for up to ~400 years. The denier’s point was that Canadians will enjoy being a couple degrees warmer. He doesn’t get that means flooding Halifax, St. John’s, Vancouver and Victoria, etc. Will those Canadians enjoy losing their homes?

A 28 year old caller was enraged that older generations have stolen our future through greed and mismanagement of our atmosphere.

A woman from Winnipeg mentioned that pests destroying entire urban forests are surviving thanks to warmer Winters. The rancher/farmer calling should care about destroyed orchards.

If this was 5 years ago, Cross Country Checkup would have had a geriatric fart hosting who takes money from oil companies to spread climate change inaction. Hosting scientists and callers who are asking politicians and companies to act where individuals don’t have the means, is a step up.

Joyce Murray’s rapping son, and the person building efficient homes, were especially interesting.

CBC Interviewed a Gunman?

This is a wee bit outrageous.

On March 21, 1977, Robert McLagan held 11 employees at Toronto’s Banque Canadienne Nationale hostage for nearly 12 hours.

Frum and her producers were able to get McLagan, one of his hostages and a police officer on the line as the situation was unfolding — even giving CBC Radio listeners the chance to hear the beginning of a negotiation that would eventually end in a peaceful surrender.

“I’ll maybe release them a little bit later,” he says. “But I see your boys out here getting a little bit psyched up, but the front door’s unlocked and I’ve got a damned good vantage point where I can see the door and I can see the stairwell. So outside of a gung-ho charge or anything, there’s not really a hell of a lot you can do.”

The interview ends there, but according to the Toronto Star archives, the suspect eventually surrendered quietly and nobody was harmed.

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.

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.