Saving Canada $90,000,000/year not worth Wall’s “effort”

“The Senate is never going to run properly and it’s never going to be worth the money we put into it. So it should be scrapped.”

Wall continues
“I’m not going to actively campaign for the Senate to be abolished.”

“even in light of this latest mess, then it’s not really worth the effort to try to change [the provinces’ {opposed to abolition}] minds.”

I don’t think Premier Wall is the sort of leader who cares to be first, to be innovative, or will stick his neck out to make important changes to save taxpaying citizens hundreds of millions of dollars over a few years.

If Wall spent just a week trying to convince other provinces to campaign to change the Constitution to reform or eliminate the Senate, I’d appreciate his effort even if it didn’t bear fruit. By not trying any harder to do something about it than the average blogger/Facebooker/Tweeter, it’s not really something someone can respect out of one of Canada’s supposed top statespersons.

I didn’t like Roy Rowmanow’s government -at all-, but I can’t imagine him backing down as quickly as Wall has in regard to Senate reform.

This is Your Daily Economic Action Plan Reminder

Canada is not a Petrostate, I repeat, Canada is Not a Petrostate.

There is no evidence that Canada places more value on oil than democracy. Remember, don’t “attack the Canadian economy” by speaking against economic activity you disagree with.

This isn’t Canada right here.

Continue reading

SaskParty Avoids Clean Energy Boom

Saskatchewan leadership leaves a lot to be desired. Many people here are excited about how “strong” Saskatchewan is, thanks to SaskParty propaganda. We’ve also the strongest carbon air pollution per capita in the world, but few tend to talk about that here. Times are good, they’re good for me, and most of my friends (the ones who’ve not recently lost their jobs, that is). So why don’t I just shut up and enjoy myself? Maybe I do enjoy myself, maybe so much that I have an iota of time and money left over to care about how others are doing too?

Why is over $1.4B of public money going into burning coal, while much less is going into harnessing wind power or our world leading solar resource and wide open spaces? The rest of the world is leaving us in the windy dust.

Global Wind Power Installations Increased by 42 Percent in 2014
March 26, 2015
Growth in China, Germany, and the United States led to a record year for wind installations, report concludes

The world is instead going to regard Saskatchewan as a pollution capital, not an energy capital.

3. SASKATCHEWAN TRAPPED IN THE 19th CENTURY: Absent policy leadership, clean-energy investors are largely giving the province a pass, the Star Phoenix reported. Despite abundant wind and sun, it has “put most of its money behind so-called clean coal.”

So Brad Wall’s SaskParty will brag about low taxes and “equitable” treatment of business (even though that’s not been the case for private e-waste businesses), while the rest of the world regards us as technological laggards. Cutting funding to Saskatchewan’s top universities isn’t going to help with that image either. Maybe I’m biased, because I’m about to own a renewable energy system, and I work at a university. Maybe my expectations for Saskatchewan are too high.

I’m not the only one dreaming.

Saskatchewan Needs a Real Change of Destination

Greg is making a good point in his latest column, but I had to throw in a Green campaign slogan into the title in good fun. The bottom line really is that the Sask Party is propping up the dying fossil fuels industry, while calls to divest from it are coming from around the world. There’s no stopping this change (for the better).

While the Saskatchewan Party remains bent on thinking small, any reasonable look at the world around us suggests it’s long past time for a big change in direction. And if if this year’s budget again fails on that front, then we should seriously reconsider who’s choosing our destination.

“study finds that the main barrier to achieving those goals is a matter of politics rather than technology or economic limitations.”

“We have the tools to transition to a clean energy economy; all that’s lacking is the leadership to put them to use.”
Greg is bang on, and I’m not saying so simply because I’ve been saying the same thing for years.

Given that there are about 410,000 households in Saskatchewan, we’d need about 3 Ivanpah style solar power plants to provide electricity to every home in the province. We can do it, and we should.

That’s me last year providing a real-world example of technology we could build in Saskatchewan to give every household renewable energy at a price we can afford. We can probably not afford to fail to build such a new system.


ADDED: Prebble and others show that Saskatchewan must turn to renewable energy to succeed in reforming our economy.

When The Tories Left Office

I was too young in 1991 to put the news I was hearing into context. My family had worked for months on my Dad’s campaign for the Sask Liberals in Moose Jaw, and he’d come away in second place. Roy Romanow was the new Premier of Saskatchewan, and Grant Devine would soon fade into political obscurity as some of his cabinet and other MLAs would go to jail, and in the sad case of Jack Wolfe an early grave. Future Lieutenant Governor Linda Haverstock was the only Sask Liberal MLA in the Saskatchewan Legislature.

Soon, the new hospital in Lafleche was turned into a band-aid centre; babies no longer permitted to be born there. In the next four years, my school was closed despite it costing more to bus kids to other towns than it did to run the entire school in Wood Mountain. The railway was closed and ripped out everywhere near my hometown (but not through it, because of a clean-up bylaw imposed by the Village council). Rural Saskatchewan was both dying, and being killed. The NDP were in charge, and their eyes turned to urban Saskatchewan, as they shunned their rural roots.

In 2007, The Saskatchewan Party came to power. Brad Wall was the new Premier. The NDP faded from the scene, and wherever there was big industry, private or public, they got the support of the government. Our huge resource revenues were utterly spent. There was nothing put away into a savings account, and now that oil has come crashing down, there is nothing in the tank.

Another provincial election is coming, Wall’s 2nd as Premier. Will the oil crash of 2014/15 expose how badly the province is being managed? Is Wall’s extended honeymoon over? Probably not, but now there’s a chance of him reaping what he’s sown.

Saskatchewan’s Biggest Net Loss

How did Postmedia manage to let this Hanley column sneak into its pages? Mandryk got his shots in at Cenovus and Wall already too. SaskWind has provided a breath of fresh air to Saskatchewan political analysis also.

I expect Canadians would want to know whether their tax dollars are being used to subsidize the oil industry.

But as SaskPower says, beyond the question of costs, CCS technology provides a major benefit: It allows us to continue to use cheap and plentiful fossil fuels to provide base load power while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Carbon capture
[photo added]

Actually, that’s debatable [link added]. Remember, the net result of the project is increased recovery of oil, which emits greenhouse gases in production and combustion. One analysis, Life Cycle Inventory of CO2 in an Enhance Oil Recovery System published in Environmental Science and Technology, shows that the CCS-EOR cycle remains a substantial source of greenhouse gases.

The IPCC, the UN climate science panel, is quite clear about the need to leave the vast majority of proven fossil fuel reserves in the ground in order to mitigate extreme climate change. So why subsidize the fossil fuel industry?

This is much bigger than the smart meter fiasco.

The public deserves answers.

ADDED (waste):