Sask Party Putting People Out of Work

The Sask Party has hit a new low.

Province laying off 251 custodial workers, “lowest paid government employees,” says union”

A tender for cleaning services at SGI’s head office was sent out last week.

Those being laid off work in government-owned properties, like the Legislative Building and the T.C. Douglas Building in Regina.

“Unless the public will stand up and tell the government what they’re doing is wrong, or there is backlash, they’re going to do it and that is too bad,” said Bymoen.

There is concern from SGEU that the 251 employees, who currently earn a living wage, will take lower paying positions with the company or companies who may be contracted by the province to do the work.

He said when you go into non-government buildings, it is often minimum wage employees doing the maintenance and cleaning.

“They’re working odd hours, minimum wage, and whoever is hiring them is taking a premium for hiring them and managing the contract,” he said.

A friend of mine calculated the “savings” the province is seeking in doing this privatization:

“The province says it is exploring the option to determine if there would be savings…” B.S. 251 employees at a living wage costs about $10.4M at $20 an hour. To contract it out to the private sector that cost would go down to a minimum of about $5.6M, and only if the employees got minimum wage and the contractor (read: business friend of the Sask Party) didn’t take a premium for the service. In other words, the actual savings would be less than $4.4M and people who rely on being paid a fair wage would be screwed. Take my $4 a year and treat people with respect!

A Tax on Everything Is Coming

Run for the hills!

I realize several people who I’m friends with, think Premier Wall is great for Saskatchewan. I’ve never held a high opinion of the man, I think he’s arrogant, short sighted, and nothing close to a “man of the people” that he pretends to be. When was the last time you were invited to Bilderberg as he is?

For a decade we’ve endured his constant fiscal mismanagement of our province, giving us deficit budget after deficit budget, and what do we have to show for it? Our boom/bust economy is still so fragile, that Wall admits a $10/tonne #carbontax might cripple it, even though that’s the equivalent to a 2.4 cent/L gasoline price increase by reasonable calculations.

People who live in Regina may remember the last mayor refusing to raise property taxes. Not so hard when property values were stagnant, but then 2006/7 came around, and prices doubled or tripled here. Without the benefit of incremental changes, many were caught with their pants down.

Now the same has happened with the Liberals back in Ottawa, and with 10 years of Conservative stagnation on incremental environmental pollution controls, we’re going to experience a little sticker shock when we have to buy the next generation of technology to get by in the changing world.

There will be a lot of fear and ignorance on display, but what else could we expect after the Conservatives paid (using our tax money) to deliver black and white propaganda to our mailboxes, proclaiming that a “tax on everything” was coming with Dion and Goodale.

Buying Coal Time, Burns Ours

Zimmerman seized on Reavey’s “poor/no science” line when reading the document.

“It’s maybe not an explicit denial, but it’s certainly an implicit denial,” Zimmerman said. “He’s still trying to undermine the science.”

Kert Davies, founder of the Climate Investigations Center and a former Greenpeace campaigner, read Reavey’s presentation, too.

“What he’s saying is ‘Coal, you can survive, look at tobacco,’” Davies said. “It’s a guy coming from tobacco sort of trying to teach coal,” he added. “Instructing them to go heavy on the clean coal, it buys you credibility, it buys you time.”

We cannot afford coal burning on an industrial scale anymore. If people light up at home, that could still pose a problem to our civilization’s survival.

Yet we put Ministers in charge of “Advanced Education”, like Eyre, who deny that there is even a problem with pollution.

#PremierPipeline: Good Work Premier Brad Wall

“People are advised not to consume fish caught in the river, and to avoid water activities that may result in river water being ingested,” said a news release put out Tuesday morning.

six days later.

“Good work Premier Brad Wall. No loss of life like at Lac Megantic oil tanker rail disaster. Naturally occurring biological decontamination will help clean up this oil spill in no time!” – Tim

Yes, this is the sort of deranged partisanship that makes Canada’s most popular Premier able to slither out of responsibility for an oil spill that has poisoned the major drinking water source for Saskatchewan’s 3rd largest city and other cities and towns and farms and beyond.

Great Blue Heron?
Naw, it’s just a Big Red Herring, apparently. That damn bird might cost the province future pipelines, and isn’t that the real tragedy here?

“The company responsible, Husky Energy, has been very cooperative and as soon as they were aware of the incident they notified us,” Kotyk said [Friday].

“In an email, Husky communications official Mel Duval confirmed with CBC that the report submitted to government was incorrect.

Husky now says “at approximately 8 p.m. [Wednesday] the pipeline monitoring system indicated pressure anomalies as several segments of the pipeline system were being returned to service. This is common during startup operations.””

The deputy minister for the Ministry of Economy, which regulates pipelines, said Husky has an emergency response plan in place, filed with the government.

But Laurie Pushor doesn’t know if it was followed.

Good work Premier Brad Wall. Bravo. Encore? We have a SOUTH Saskatchewan River too awaiting your next slick triumph.
Wall pocketing pollution sun news

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”

SaskPower Correcting the Record Feels Like Lying

Letter: carbon capture project doesn't double cost of electricity

Mike Marsh, president and CEO of Sask-Power, writes:
…The technology at Boundary Dam is the first of its kind and, as with other technologies, we expect the price to drop as it develops. The BD3 CCS project is on track to meet our goal of capturing 800,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2016 – equal to taking over 200,000 cars off our roads.

People are using more electricity than before and we need to expand our fleet. We also need to invest in costlier forms of generation to meet challenges presented by climate change and record growth. These types of investment will impact rates, but to suggest CCS doubles rates is simply false.

SaskPower never had commitment to sell 100 per cent of C02 to Cenovus

They were spreading misinformation about solar power just the other week. This is the organization whose VP told me solar wouldn’t be cost effective for utilities in the “northern hemisphere”, as Spain already had a utility solar plant in production, and many more have since been built all over North America.

ADDED:

SaskPower was just “required to supply a minimum volume of CO2 to Cenovus, with Cenovus having the option to buy 100 per cent of production”, Wall’s office said, adding the contract was renegotiated and that Watson’s 2013 comments “were aspirational at the time, not reflective of the contract that was signed in the end.”

In no small irony, this information came to the Leader-Post the same day the newspaper ran a letter to the editor from current SaskPower president and CEO Mike Marsh, who felt he needed to “correct the record” on “misinformation about the cost of carbon capture and storage.”

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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