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.

Double Standards

Eeeevil Lefties: ‘This is a disaster. We should aim to prevent future disasters. What went so wrong?’
Rawlco: “it will be positive and it will go a long way to mitigating Alberta’s downturn.”

He’s a story about how people survived north of the Fort Mac wildfire.

I noticed that tweet first, and it was out of context. I thought it might be referring to the 25,000 Syrian refugees that took months to bring to Canada, late.

Heather Scoffield, The Canadian Press thinks:

FLAME WARS: political parties are expected to set their rivalries aside in the face of tragedy. As wildfire pushed the population of Fort McMurray into a state of homelessness, the non-partisan reaction went a step further as politicians asked the public to set their own critiques aside as well.

“There have always been fires. There have always been floods,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“Pointing at any one incident and saying, ‘Well, this is because of that,’ is neither helpful nor entirely accurate. We need to separate a pattern over time from any one event.”

Meanwhile, Huffington Post thinks:

“Talking About Wildfires And Climate Change Isn’t Playing Politics”

“Stating that climate change is political, instead about science, is exactly the problem. It indicates our society’s grim lack of awareness over the most pressing issue now facing humanity. And May was repeating the science.”

CBC Censoring More Of My Comments

The following is blog navel gazing that you probably won’t be interested in, but I’m keeping a record of it for my amusement.

A change (probably in personnel) about 2 months ago at CBC has prompted them to start disabling (deleting) some of my comments on their news stories. A collection of them is below for amusement. The title of the story is the first line of each.

In response to someone’s amusing grammatical error:

Man dies after reportedly being hit by a meteorite
@ReaLies The dead can’t buy them.

Changes coming to Earls after allegations of sexist dress code
I try to avoid these sorts of restaurants, if I know they discriminate against their female staff members.

Spirited sparring during leaders’ debate in Regina
@rex heeler The format set by CTV, CBC, and Global was a real sham. The Liberals and Greens are both running enough candidates to form government, and the PCs enough to be opposition. They should have been there, and the format longer and less confrontational.

Fast charging stations for electric cars a priority for Ottawa
@MY MILKSHAKE Electric cars will be cheaper than gas ones in possibly 6 years. Then, only “rich” people, or the foolish poor, will own new gas vehicles.


@Bob1 http://suncountryhighway.com/ is free. If you charge a Model S at home, it uses about $6 of electricity to be fully charged, at 13¢/kwh. Equivalent required for gas to go the same distance is presently more than $25, to even $40.

I responded to a commenter listing Jim’s home address and saying it looks “dilapidated”, because he obviously doesn’t like Jim and maybe doesn’t understand what cedar siding should look like. That one wasn’t deleted. “@ iamsam You don’t seem to understand how cedar is supposed to look. There’s nothing wrong with Jim’s property.”

I also responded to another who said Jim has a small footprint “my bum”.

Regina’s Jim Elliott uses rainwater for everything but drinking
@Nicholas O’Myra (Offseason Santa) I think your comment could have just said, “my bum”, and left it at that.

Then CBC turned off the commenting section on his story, effectively removing all of my comments on that story.

Suzuki’s No Slave To The Economy

I hope we see meaningful changes in our economy, in time. There’s not a great understanding in our society that the economy is a system of resource distribution. We’ve enshrined it, even creating a phony holiday today when our retail gods go into the black.

It’s not that Canadian oil patches use slavery (don’t seem to, and they pay workers well), but an economy shouldn’t thrive on creation of injustice. An economy is supposed to create the conditions for prolonged success of people participating in it. When it’s found to be causing harm, it must change to adapt, or the harm grows and creates threats to societal success.

Yet Suzuki did offend people.

“People caught … working for the fossil-fuel industry will have to make a transition, they are not the target of my ire,” he reportedly said.

“But who would say today that the economy should’ve come before slavery?” Suzuki said.”
He could have said the same about child labour, or the factory disaster in Bhopal, India that killed tens of thousands of people. It was 50 years ago that #Nader held an industry to account for a product that was unsafe when used. Today, it’s fossil fuels.
“People dare to say it’s more important to make money?!” – Suzuki
Yes, people dare say it, just as they did when justifying child labour too.

Is seeking an analogy with which to compare an industry presently essential to our economy, yet undeniably harming our atmosphere, destined to cause offense? There are fainting couches ready all over the Saskatchewan Legislature, lest someone mention a reduction in fossil fuel output in the presence of Brad Wall. Some of those couches are staffed by the media with great big feather fans at the ready while asking if people want to “nuance” their message opposing a growing fossil industry. Does that mean we should never bring up the subject about how he’s going to meet the increase in renewable energy by 2030, if he doesn’t reduce fossil fuel dependency?

Suzuki also understands the urgent importance in reducing pollution.

About having Suzuki on his show, “Because I’m a shit disturber” – Suzuki
“The twerp in me loves it!” – Solomon
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Creating a Mob May Be Easy

…But controlling a mob isn’t something you can really predict.

What’s the Saskatchewan Premier doing releasing an open letter to the Prime Minister calling for a “pause” and “delay” to refugee settlement? He’s equating terrorism in France with Syrian refugees on their way to live in Saskatchewan. That’s a terrible, and Islamophobic position to take.

The Premier emboldened people to take out anger for the Paris Attacks against innocent Muslim people.

And talk radio’s Conservative stalwart Gormley tweeted that chanting Muslims in North America should be shot. He retracted and apologized for the ridiculously violent comment that encouraged a mob to “shoot” Muslims.

Maybe whipping up this Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt, won’t play in their favour this time?
A petition is circulating to remove Gormley from the air. I think he should just give up his newspaper column, since he’s obviously too volatile to be writing for a provincial newspaper.
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Canada’s Oily Media

There are opportunities to support journalism in Canada that doesn’t take millions from the oil industry and the oil-soaked Conservative government.

Had you heard that the Conservative Party communicated with Enbridge, in secret, through Mike Duffy? If you don’t watch independent journalism online, you might miss important news like that.

The National/Vancounver Observer and CanadaLand are two independent media outlets in our country who can tell you the real story, because their funding doesn’t come from CAPP/Enbridge, and the Conservative government.

Think also about how Mike De Souza was laid off from Postmedia, after his reporting on the oil industry was about the only reason to read the National Post.