Skip The Wishes

The Trans Pacific Partnership is a trade agreement intended to remove red tape for international trade, so if someone overseas can provide a product at a better price than a local producer, the market decides instead of national or regional pride, or even Health Canada regulations. Congrats, your milk could soon have banned hormones in it.

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It’s Saskatchewan’s Election Day

I basically stopped writing about the Saskatchewan election on my blog following the hair pulling, anti-democratic decision by CBC and its consortium of TV broadcasters to block most party leaders from debating with Wall and Broten. So we’ll go another 4 years not knowing how those two shouty leaders behave when there are adults in the room with different political views and preferred methods of governing.

The campaign will not be memorable, as the media’s skewing of coverage can be summed up this way:

You could say the conservative media got what they set out to preserve. I hope they enjoy the next 4 years of more scandals and little positive change.

Saskatchewan Politicians Excusing Drunk Driving #SKdrunks

Darcy Moen, involved in a business solution to decrease drunk driving, sent me the following criticism of Wall and Broten:

As long as politicians think DUI’s are nothing more than parking tickets…….yes, attitudes need to change, and both Brad Wall and Cam Broten need to reconsider their support of the indefensible.

Sure, people faced the music, went to court, and paid their debt to society. But, we don’t allow people who were convicted of fraud become finance minister. Should we let those who are proven and convicted of poor judgement be put into a position where they can make the rules that they chose to ignore?
Everyone deserves a second chance? Tell that to the widows, widowers, parents and orphans that are the victims of drunk drivers, where is their second chance to come back to life taken from them?

Drunk driving is a decision, a very WRONG decision.

Brad Wall’s government is attempting to make alcohol sales and distribution easier, and is profiting from the sale and increased sale and accessibility, yet he has not made any plans to offset those gains with more responsible use of alcohol, nor has he plans to reduce the already way to high incidents of drunk driving that is sure to occur with more availability (and consumption). Why not move some of those profits into reducing drunk driving?

Mr Brad Wall, and if elected, Cam Broten, both need to take a hard look at this problem, and work to find solutions. Mr Wall is currently the man at the wheel, and his administration and crowns he controls have not been fair to the companies like Zero 8 that are also working hard to provide services to take drunk drivers off the road. SGI and the Minister responsible for SGI have been making and placing the majority of public service ads promoting bus rides, friends, and taxis as a means to a safe ride home, and very few ads include designated driver companies like Zero 8. When the Minister (June) was asked why she could not include designated driver companies like Zero 8 Designated Drivers, she said a crown corporation could not promote for profit enterprises. What the heck is a taxi service? Its a FOR PROFIT Enterprise! The problem and complete misunderstanding and attitude reaches from the bottom, to the very top.

On a side note, the coverage of other registered parties with full slates in this election has been so pitiful. The revelation of how many convicted drunk drivers there are in both the Sask Party and NDP, prompted the media to attempt to be fair by asking the other parties if they too had convicted criminals in their ranks.

Saskatchewan Democracy’s Unsolved Problem Didn’t Fix Itself

Please show you support democracy in Saskatchewan.

Last Saskatchewan election, this happened instead thanks to our lackluster media ignoring the Greens who fielded a full slate of 58 candidates.

A snooze fest of a debate took place, and CBC couldn’t find anyone not involved in the broadcast who watched it. Basically it had the viewership my blog has on a Sunday morning.

I made some effort to fix the problem by showing the broadcasters there was public opposition to their method. Even newspaper columnists who usually have a rosy view of the world were disappointed in the prospects of the following four years.

Canada Falling Behind in Renewable Energy Because It’s Never The Time For Wall

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

Canada is dropping behind its major trading partners in renewable energy investment, according to a study from a clean energy advocacy group.

Merran Smith of Clean Energy Canada suggests government-set targets and goals for wind and solar power in regional energy grids is the best way to spur that investment and keep Canada in the game.

“Clean energy is taking off around the world and in the countries that we consider our markets,” she said. “This is really a wake-up call for Canada.”

Wall has set an unambitious target of only 50% renewables by 2030.

“Premier Wall said last week that Ottawa might not be allowed to impose a carbon tax on electricity-utility SaskPower, because it’s a provincial Crown corporation.”

Here’s a better effort than some I’ve seen lately* from Regina journalism:

Cenovus Energy — the oil company that most benefits from the $1.5-billion carbon capture and storage experiment at Boundary Dam — is the Sask. Party’s biggest donor. It donated $14,618 to the party in 2014, $16,852 in 2013 and $16,020 in 2012. In its previous existence as Encana, it gave the Sask. Party more than $30,000 between 2007 and 2009.

If Wall is truly appalled by the costs consumers and business might have to pay for a “carbon tax,” shouldn’t he be equally appalled at the way oil companies gouge us at the pumps with near $1-a-litre gas when oil is at $30 to $40 U.S. a barrel?

[Wall’s] Sask. Party government passed (in the spring 2010 session) environmental legislation such as the Management and Reduction of Greenhouse Gases Act.

… this Saskatchewan law would require large emitters to pay into a technology fund that would invest in technologies aimed at lower emissions. However, the Wall government hasn’t bothered to proclaim the law in regulations, largely because it said it needed to wait on Ottawa to move on its own carbon initiative.

Well, the federal government (now under the Liberals) is moving forward, so Wall owes us a bit more than that he won’t support “a carbon tax” because $30-a-barrel oil is not the right economic climate in which to discuss such laws.

And when the floods and/or forest fires hit Saskatchewan this Summer, it won’t be time to talk about the disasters in the context of climate change from our pollution contribution either. Continue reading

Wall Can’t Cut Pollution? Cut the Crap.

WEYBURN, Sask. – Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says a federal government cannot tax a provincial government and that might play a role in any potential national carbon tax.

Wall says he might be able to make the case that Ottawa can’t impose a carbon tax on SaskPower because it’s a Crown corporation.

OK, let’s play along in Wall’s fantasy and say Ottawa can’t “tax” the plant. They can limit pollution though, and since coal can’t cut its pollution, it simply has to close or pay large fines until SaskPower is out of money to convert our system to something clean like solar, wind, and geothermal. One way or another, the Conservatives’ restriction on coal plants is coming if not earlier if the Liberals revise the deadline. Lives are at stake, and Wall is making noises that he wants to drag his heels on saving them.

Wall’s Faulty Logic

“Showing leadership matters, signals matter, examples matter, but the numbers are the numbers,” Wall said.

Essentially, Wall appears to be suggesting that because no single action by itself will solve the problem, we shouldn’t take that single action.

Applying this logic to other situations reveals just how faulty it is.

When China surpasses the amount & proportion of green electricity generation of Saskatchewan, who’re we going to use as scapegoat for lagging?