So much for government transparency. I have had to submit a FOIP request to get the report of the “Fair Deal” panel which was released to government days ago and which Jason Kenney refuses to share with the Albertans who own it.
It is not hard to tell that the government understands that they are doing something shameful when they put the release out on the Saturday of a long weekend.
The Kenney government wants Albertans to forget the time they took to attend winter meetings throughout the province to share their thoughts on Alberta’s role within confederation. The government doesn’t feel that Albertans have the right to see what was concluded after 40,000 people submitted their thoughts online.
It is pretty sad that I have to go to this trouble to see a document which I already bought as a taxpayer but I will not let this go nor will other Albertans.
I have also linked to an online petition. Albertans need to stand up and demand the information which is rightfully theirs.
Is the timing inconvenient for the Premier?
Too damn bad.
We can walk and chew gum at the same time.
There is no reason to delay the release of the “Fair Deal” panel any longer.
It isn’t Jason Kenney’s report. It is Albertans.
Please click though, sign and share the petition below.
Just as Obama used the Keystone pipeline as a punching bag to pacify the extreme environmental movement while moving into an election, Joe Biden is doing the same. With a current world oil glut and plenty of American shale oil supplies on hand, Creepy Uncle Joe won’t be taking too much flack for blocking Canadian supplies of oil even if it will likely cost the American people billions once the lawsuits are settled. Electoral victory is far more important than economic reality in the world of federal American politics.
The efforts to shut in one of the most ethical oil providers on the planet have been incredibly successful. Justin Trudeau regulated Energy East to death and shut down the Northern Gateway pipeline and was richly rewarded for doing so by voters in Eastern Canada. They are happy enough to buy Saudi Arabian blood oil while virtue signalling through blocking Canadian oil.
Trudeau made such a mess of the Trans Mountain pipeline that he was forced to buy the project with Canadian tax dollars before yet another company could bail out of Canada. So far it remains questionable whether that pipeline will ever be built. Canada managed to let itself become held hostage by criminal blockaders for months over a legal and low impact gas line in BC. I really don’t see this nation having the balls to stand up to illegal protesters on the Trans Mountain.
Through efforts from Trudeau and Obama, the price differential of Albertan oil has been brutal. Due to our really only having one major customer, we are at the whim of that purchaser. They can cut the price we get for our oil as they know that we haven’t anywhere else to sell it in volume and we idiotically appear to be trying to keep it that way.
While the price of oil today is low, world demand for oil is still projected to grow for decades. We would be fools to shut in our resources at the demand of environmental extremists.
Not only will global oil demand be rising for decades, demand will be coming predominantly from India and China. The USA is a fading customer.
With increased pipeline capacity to the West coast, Alberta could wipe out that price differential for our oil within a few years as hungry, growing nations bid for our product and our deposits remain vast.
Anti-energy folks love to squack about how Alberta should be diversifying its economy away from oil and gas. Well, the best way to do so ironically would be to further develop and sell our oil and gas products. This is how we keep our taxes low and maintain a business friendly environment. That in turn is how we draw, develop and retain new and diverse enterprises. The millions of square feet of office space that Calgary is sitting on thanks to Nenshi’s taxation policies are a draw as well. We just need to get our economy rolling enough to look attractive again. In sitting on billions of barrels of oil, we can do that. We just need to get it to the damn customers.
Even if Trump wins and supports the Keystone line to its completion, we still will remain at the whim of the American government when it comes to our energy exports. No business can do well when they only have one client.
We will have to fight tooth and nail against Ottawa and anybody else who may stand in our way, but it must be done. We need to make pipelines to tidewater priority one and can’t accept any more delays.
Otherwise, we will remain economically enslaved to folks like the man pictured below.
Slowly but surely I had been getting less confident in Kenney’s UCP as they seemed to stumble from one inept mess such as the energy war room to starting a war with Alberta’s doctors. They barely showed the courage to touch the deficit and have been all talk with no action when it comes to dealing with Ottawa.
Their lurching and cowardly approach to the non-pandemic has been brutal. Constant wretched projections from “experts” which proved to be utter pap. Our hospitals languish empty while our businesses have been driven to their knees.
This disgusting bait and switch on opening businesses today was the final straw.
How fucking stupid can these guys be?
Do they any idea what they just did to hundreds of small businesses in Calgary who believed them when they were told that an opening was coming tomorrow?
I owned a pub for five years. You don’t simply turn on a light switch and open the doors after having been closed for months.
What few business owners remained, just took what few dollars they may have left in order to deep clean their places, put up new barriers, pay staff for meetings in order to bring in new policies, buy and prep thousands in perishable stock and likely advertise their partial reopenings.
With less than 12 hours to go, Kenney just ripped the fucking rug out from under them.
Yes, Calgary is leading the province in infections. So damn what? We have less than 120 people in the hospital for COVID and less than 16 in ICU in the entire damn province of 4.3 million people! It is squat! We do not have a rampaging plague killing people.
We do have an economic crisis looming like we have never seen before though and this latest move has doubtless just killed countless businesses who were on their last legs.
What is the point in hanging in there now? Borrow more? Wait more? Put off your staff longer?
Why believe this government and prep for any re-opening now? An owner will have no idea until the last damn second if the re-opening is actually allowed or not. They can’t prep for that! They have already learned the price they will pay for believing the government on this.
Many are saying to hell with it today and they didn’t need to.
I am not sure who I will be supporting in the next election but right now the UCP is a hard no. They have three years to win back my support but I will be spending my time now looking for and developing an alternative.
If they can’t get something as straightforward as this right and they truly lack this much courage, I just can’t see a future with the United Conservative Party.
I don’t take party loyalties lightly and don’t give them up easily.
Naheed Nenshi and his crew of supportive slugs on Calgary’s city council are feeling vulnerable and as usual they are taking it out on the lone, dissenting voice of Jeromy Farkas.
Under the terrible guidance of Nenshi, the gormless gang has been taxing and spending Calgarians into oblivion for over a decade as they pursue pet vanity projects at the expense of citizens. While Alberta has been under terrible financial stress, Nenshi and council have ignored fiscal reality and continued with a campaign of fiscal bloat.
Jeromy Farkas (and often Sean Chu) were the lone voices speaking out against the spending sprees and they were regularly chastised and shouted down for their having dared to speak up.
Nenshi and his tax lapping council cartel were mortified when Farkas exposed their support for yet another pay raise for themselves back in 2018. While Albertans were taking pay cuts or being laid off, the highest paid Mayor (with two tax funded pensions no less) and council in the country were sidling up to the trough to gorge even more tax dollars for themselves.
Farkas was called every name in the book by the Mayor and council. They accused him of lying, grandstanding and breaking the code of conduct. Farkas was proven correct however.
Now, 510 days after the Mayor and Council failed to gag Jeromy Farkas for his daring to tell the truth about council compensation, Nenshi and gang are actually holding a secret meeting to try and have Farkas expelled from council meetings again.
Farkas has sought counsel on this move from the Mayor and council and the conclusion is below in Jeromy’s words:
“510 days have passed since the information I provided was proven to be correct. The Code of Conduct states that a ruling should have been made within 90 days. Since no decision was made within the time limit, I sought the respected ethical and legal perspective of the Honourable John (Jack) Major, C.C., Q.C., a retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.
Justice Major states that, in his view, I did not violate the Code of Conduct, and that the Mayor and City Council cannot legally expel me from meetings.”
Jeromy Farkas was popularly elected by his constituents and it should be criminal for anybody to try and gag him or prevent him from doing his duties as a councilor.
The Mayor and his council goons surely know that they have nothing to legally stand on in trying to shut Farkas down over something that he was cleared for nearly two years ago. Why are they trying to do this now then?
The answer is simple and it is ugly.
The city of Calgary is broke and with the pandemic shutdown their books are in tatters.
The mushrooms on council have long been driven by their personal legacy projects rather than the interests or needs of Calgarians. Shane Keating’s pursuit of the green line boondoggle has become outright obsessive as he sees his tax funded trophy at risk of being shelved due to fiscal reality. Farrel sees her blesses East Village collapsing as Calgarians reject urban living en-masse. Nenshi sees his public art program approaching the chopping block.
It is repugnant when one can see that the Mayor and Council know fully well that the city can’t afford to continue with their pet projects but instead of responding by putting the brakes on spending, they are putting their efforts into gagging voices of dissent.
Nenshi and gang want to lock the spending in now before Calgarians can stop them. They know that they will probably finally be fired in the next general election but they don’t care. They have grossly inflated tax funded pensions to fall back on and they want to be able to point at their personal legacy projects as they go into a rich retirement on the backs of taxpayers.
Farkas is a fly in the ointment. He dares to break ranks and speak up. For this, we see Nenshi and company circling the wagons and trying to gag him rather than make their case to Calgarians for their tax and spending increases while we head into a deep recession.
Surely their effort to gag Farkas will fail in the long run as it is so counter to open democratic principles that only North Korea would applaud it. They unfortunately may gag him long enough to ram through their spending plans before he can get back though.
With a captive audience locked in their homes and with an excuse to do it, Justin Trudeau (surely under the guidance of his handlers) has allowed his daily news conferences to morph from genuine pandemic response communication sessions into an election campaign.
I am not naive to the ways of partisan politics and do expect some degree of party self-interest to creep into the pandemic response. It is only natural and a principled party can do this while still maintaining the goal of keeping Canadian interests paramount in their actions. Unfortunately the Liberal Party led by Justin Trudeau is anything but principled.
In an election campaign, a party’s campaign team will build a platform and a plan well before the writ drops. No party will release their entire plan in the first week of the campaign. It would leave them with nothing to announce daily during the rest of the news cycle. They need something new and shiny to dangle before prospective voters every day and to feed the reporters at daily conferences. That is a wise strategy in an election but it is a disgusting one in an ongoing crisis response.
Every morning Justin Trudeau goes to the microphone and announces a new federal aid program in response to the pandemic. Are we expected to believe that the Liberals are simply only formulating one program per day and are releasing them as soon as they come up with them?
Of course not.
Trudeau and his handlers came up with the bulk of the federal government programs weeks ago. They are holding back on releasing them in order to score daily political points and it is nothing less than disgusting.
This morning Trudeau announced a financing package to aid medium sized businesses. How long have they known that they would be putting out such a package? How many medium sized businesses have folded in the weeks that the Liberals have been sitting on this package in order to announce it on a Monday in hopes of dominating the news cycle?
I understand that things change and some policy is made on the fly but lets get serious here. It is hardly a revelation that medium sized businesses are struggling right now. They all are! This damn package should have been announced weeks ago but that wouldn’t have been politically expedient for the Liberals would it?
As we observe Trudeau’s bizarre overtures to Canadian children in his conferences we see more of an electoral dog and pony show forming. The Liberals and Trudeau are trying to capture that camera lens as much as possible and the goal is not to aid Canadians. It is only to build the Liberal image under Trudeau.
The Liberals are standing with a basket of programs and packages designed to help Canadians economically survive the pandemic lockdown but they will only reach in and pull out one treat per day. They are purposely letting sectors of the public suffer while they model their response based on political needs rather than citizen’s needs.
This crisis and the political benefits associated with it also motivates the Liberals to drag it out as long as possible. They are in a minority situation and this could be just the thing which will aid them in winning back a majority if only they play the response right. When it is clear that the Liberals will withhold aid in order to pad their political capital, it is hardly beyond belief that they will want to keep this lockdown going as long as possible. It gags all of the competing parties while they get a campaign microphone to promote themselves from every morning.
The barking seals in the press gallery won’t call this out of course. They may lose the privilege of tossing Trudeau softball questions so he can respond with platitude laden word salads. Lets just hope that the public sees through this vile show and sends the Trudeau Liberals into electoral oblivion at the first possible opportunity.
It isn’t a guessing game anymore. We no longer have to project. We know where the pandemic is going.
Models created by supposed medical experts have proven themselves to be hopelessly wrong. We aren’t talking about a little bit. The models were grossly incorrect.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been incredibly overblown and the lockdown cure is becoming far worse than the disease.
Don’t just take my word for it though.
Lets look at the real numbers versus the “expert” projections only two weeks ago.
We were told in March that the pandemic would surely overwhelm our hospitals and mortuaries. We were going to run out of ICU spaces and respirators. Health workers would be run off their feet and the world would nearly end.
In mid April none of this had happened so what did the government do?
They put out a whole new and updated series of fear mongering projections and models as a justification for continuing to destroy our economy.
How did the new and improved modeling do?
It was utter shit. They predicted the best case scenario as having 300 people in the hospital. There are 74 today.
But what of those ICU beds?
The “experts” predicted under our best case scenario that we would have 100 people in ICU beds today. Currently there are 15!!
The pandemic is not a hoax. The virus is real and it is not harmless by any means. It has killed 116 people in Alberta in the last few months. While that is indeed tragic for the 116, it is a drop in the bucket in reality in a province with 4.3 million people.
How badly do the “experts” have to miss the mark before the government quits acting as if the projections will be accurate? How much more damage has to be done for a plague that clearly isn’t materializing?
How long will it take before we realize just how damn stupid it is to try and quarantine millions of people who have a tiny fraction of a percent chance of dying from this virus while their odds of dying from lockdown associated causes such as undiagnosed cancer rise?
This has grown into sheer idiocy.
The projections should all be tossed in the garbage right now and the “experts” sidelined.
Lets work with the real numbers here.
Of the few people who have had to be hospitalized due to COVID-19, the average age has been 60. Those younger than 60 almost all had pre-existing conditions.
Of those few people who have died, of COVID-19, the average age has been 80!
The risk of a healthy young person dying of COVID-19 in Canada is miniscule. Quit wasting time quarantining them! If we do want to pursue herd immunity, we may actually be making things worse with our efforts.
Most of our serious cases have been in care homes and with elderly and sick people. We need to focus on protecting the vulnerable while letting the low risk people out to get on with their lives and participate in the economy.
It is already clear that history will look back at this as having been one of the worst examples of mass panic and overreaction in human history. How bloody bad will it have to get before we face reality here?
The lockdown is not harmless. Far from it.
By the actual numbers though, COVID-19 is damn near harmless to the vast majority of the population.
We need to start working with the real numbers that we have now rather than the projections which are clearly pure bunk.
Elizabeth May may have resigned as the Harridan in Chief of the Canadian Green Party but clearly she still speaks for them and the Ottawa media eagerly gives a national platform to her vapid rantings.
This week it has been May’s bold declaration that “oil is dead” as a product and that the government should simply let the industry die in order to usher in a green new world of renewable energy generation.
Governments literally would have to kill the fossil fuel industry in order to force the world to move on to expensive, destructive and inefficient “green” renewable energy sources. Despite decades of subsidies, free land and lapse regulation from governments trying desperately to get renewable energy to take hold, it simply hasn’t happened.
Over 80 percent of the energy on earth is still coming from fossil fuels. Oil, gas and coal are still the most cost effective means of generating energy on the planet.
As we enter what will be a protracted period of world economic recession or possibly depression, only an abject imbecile would propose raising the cost of living for the entire planet by shutting down our main forms of energy generation. Elizabeth May stepped up to that plate however.
May and her ideological brethren are still reeling from the evisceration of their blessed renewable energies in Michael Moore’s film, “Planet of the Humans”.
Moore didn’t really expose anything new with his documentary. Energy experts and economists have long been pointing out the folly of wind, solar and biofuel projects. Moore however has long been a staunch ally of the hard left and his piece exposed the renewable energy scam to a whole new audience.
Renewable energy was a tough sell at the best of times. Between the record low prices of conventional energy sources and the revelations in Moore’s film, it is going to be nearly impossible to get the public onside with heavily subsidized wind and solar projects while governments go broke.
Here in Alberta we saw a stark example of this. Medicine Hat has some of the most abundant and cheap natural gas reserves on the planet. In light of this, somebody decided to pump $13 million into a solar project in the area.
It didn’t even make it four years before going broke.
Elizabeth May and her following had wrapped their world around promoting renewable energy sources as the solution to their perceived problems with the world. Their raison d’être has been obliterated and rather than changing their views, the “green” set has instead decided to go out kicking and screaming.
We have few bright lights to look forward to in coming years. While low prices for oil and gas are brutal on fossil fuel producers, they are great for the economic recovery of the world.
Energy impacts the price of everything in the modern world. Keeping the cost of consumer products low will be integral and having low energy costs will greatly aid in that. Other oil products such as fertilizer and plastics will maintain low prices as well and the struggling world will benefit.
Nobody reasonable is going to be switching to expensive Teslas with environmentally catastrophic batteries. No farmer is going to move to pure manure as a fertilizer product and no homeowner is going to invest in solar panels which will have to be replaced before they even come close to paying off their investment. The reason for all of that is simply that oil and gas are more efficient and cheaper than all the other alternatives at this time.
I am not big on the concept of government bailing out oil and gas industries. Canada just needs to get the hell out of the way. The ridiculous and pointless regulations make it nearly impossible to produce in Canada. Endless delays in major projects along with state cowardice allowing criminal protesters to block work has made Canada an awful place to do business. If the government would simply support the industry through getting rid of the absurd hurdles it currently has, the industry wouldn’t need a bailout. A smaller industry would remain and it would be ready for if and when fossil fuel prices inevitably recover.
Oil and gas are not going away. They are more important than ever and they will be for decades to come.
The only thing truly going obsolete is the past “green” movement and it’s outgoing leadership personified in folks like Elizabeth May.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed some serious flaws in our food supply chains. People are horrified to learn of just how miserable working conditions are in meat packing plants. Citizens are shocked to find out that while unemployment numbers are high, farmers are still bringing temporary foreign workers into the country to work the fields. Folks are shocked to see what kind of razor thin margins food service businesses had been running on as it looks like upwards of 50 percent of our restaurants and pubs may not be able to re-open once they are allowed to.
None of this information is new. The pandemic response has simply brought these issues into focus for a public that never really wanted to think about it.
How did we get into this precarious position?
People may not want to admit it but we asked for it.
Despite what many people like to claim, most do not want to spend any more than they have to on food whether with groceries or when it has been prepared in a restaurant. Local butchers have fallen by the wayside while large meat packing plants filled the void. Restaurants have worked in an incredibly competitive market as they have to shave every nickle imaginable in order to retain a frugal and often fickle client base.
When it comes to restaurants, price elasticity is exceedingly high at an average measure of 2.27. This means that for every 10 percent that a restaurant raises its prices, sales quantities will drop by 22.7 percent. People will go elsewhere when prices rise even modestly which forces restaurants to cut every corner possible in order to compete. The average restaurant or bar is working on a 5 percent margin. There is not a lot of room to move here.
Produce and meat have the same issue. Big box stores have taken over the market as they can take advantage of economies of scale and keep the prices down. Loyalty to the local grocer or butcher fell to the wayside as Costco and Walmart undercut them.
Large retailers demand large suppliers as they work with narrow margins. That pressures food producers and processors to keep costs as low as possible. This means importing labor as our domestic workers simply don’t want to do those types of jobs for the money being offered.
This demand also encourages nations who import food products to us to keep prices as low as possible as well. The working conditions in many of those nations are utterly abhorrent.
So what can be done?
Some people are calling for heavy tariffs in order to force more domestic food production. That will work but it will of course make the cost of many foods rise dramatically.
Some people are calling for higher minimum wages and standards in domestic food production. Again, this will bring about a large increase in the cost of goods.
Folks are calling for a “living wage” for restaurant staff. That is fine but as demonstrated, it would lead to large price increases and then an associated drop in sales. We will have far fewer restaurants and far fewer people working.
All of the above suggestions are not necessarily bad things but they all rely on one key element. Consumers have to be ready to spend a great deal more on food. That elasticity has to change dramatically and it will take a sea change in consumer attitude in order for that to happen.
We have been spoiled. We demand fresh avocados for toast in January while cursing if a burger with a side in a pub costs $16. I know this. I just sold a pub which I owned for five years. It is a fickle crowd and they will respond harshly to even the slightest of price increases.
Has this attitude among consumers changed?
I wish it had but I don’t think so.
We are heading into a period of general austerity due to an economic depression caused by the world pandemic response. People are going to be watching their budgets more closely than ever while dollars become scarce and unemployment explodes. Are families going to be receptive to suddenly paying 10, 20 or 50 percent more in order to feed themselves in this environment? Many will be struggling simply to make ends meet. Whether we like it or not, they will be comparison shopping at Walmart rather than hitting the local farmer’s markets.
I could be wrong here. Perhaps most consumers are ready to spend more on the necessities in order to address the food supply chain issues we have.
If people really want to change the status quo here, they will have to begin by honestly answering a simple question.
Never being one to let a good crisis go to waste, Trudeau has piggybacked on the tragic circumstances in Nova Scotia in order to drop a massive, arbitrary gun-grab upon Canadians.
With apparently 1,500 types of firearms immediately being declared illegal yet no list of what these types actually are being released, possibly hundreds of thousands of Canadians have been immediately turned into criminals but with no way to know if and how they are.
Trudeau spat out how “assault style” weapons are only made to kill large numbers of people and how there is no reason that any citizen should need one. He then made a sweeping, racist exemption of native people from the ban as apparently they need these firearms in order to hunt?
I thought that the banned guns could only be used to kill people. How are natives using them to hunt then? How is it impossible to conceive that a non-native person may use them to hunt then?
Outside of military and police in Canada, the only people who I have consistently seen displaying “assault style” weapons in a threatening manner have been natives.
On top of that, native bands along the USA/Canada border have been the main smugglers of firearms into Canada for decades.
Justin Trudeau’s gun grab has immediately exempted the most egregious group of people on a racial basis.
I don’t want to see the gun grab extended to native people. I want to see the grab dropped altogether.
That said, if a legislation doesn’t apply to all races it is inherently racist and wrong. We have far too much race based policy as it is in Canada and adding more sure as hell does us no favors.
If Justin Trudeau truly wanted to ban “assault style” firearms in Canada, he would make the law apply to all races. Law enforcement would then have to target native bands because that is where most of these types of firearms come from and where they are residing.
Trudeau doesn’t have the courage to do that of course.
The reasons for dumping this gun grab are myriad not the least of which includes property rights.
It is the racist element of this new law which is most odious though and it makes the law useless right out of the gates.
Guess its time for firearm property owners to head to the courts.
Oh I know you wouldn’t know it with the way the Mayor and most of city council are acting. They continue to spend like drunken sailors and just rammed a 7.5% tax increase through on citizens a few months ago. Apparently they think that some magical money fairy is going to appear and save the city from the economic devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic and that collapse of the Alberta energy sector.
The “Green Line” is an ambitious pie-in-the-sky transit project which came into being back in the days when Calgary’s downtown was still nearly full of active businesses and city hall was still spoiled with an excess of riches due to taxing the hell out of oil company head offices. It would build a new train line from the deep reaches of North Calgary and Southeast Calgary to bring commuters in and out of downtown.
The project has been a gong show since day one. Projections and numbers bounce all over the map as plans are constantly revised. The city blew the planned budget for the line right out of the water years ago. In response to that embarrassment, they simply drastically cut the size of the proposal to a fraction of what it had been and then pretended that they had stayed within budget.
The Green Line was supposed to cost $4.5 billion for 46 kilometres of line but it was suddenly cut to a 20 kilometre route with a $4.6 billion dollar price tag.
Aside from the clearly inept planning and budgeting for this line, one has to look at the need.
Calgary’s downtown was already sitting at a 30 percent commercial vacancy rate due to the energy slump and massive tax rates from the city. With oil at record lows along with fallout from the pandemic lockdown, that vacancy will likely swell into the range of 50 percent.
Why the hell should the city spend nearly $5 billion dollars to provide increased transit service to a dead downtown????
The whole world is moving into a period of austerity due to pandemic reactions. Governments on all levels need to curb spending and prioritize where they will spend their scarce tax dollars. Spending billions on a train line to nowhere is about as dumb as it gets. Unfortunately, many on Calgary’s city council see the Green Line as a personal vanity project and don’t want to let it go no matter how unviable it clearly is.
They would rather bankrupt the next generation than curb a project that they wanted to be able to brag to their grandchildren about.
Right now the city is looking at a $250 million budget shortfall. $89 million of that is coming from city transit because they are running well below capacity. Why the hell should we be looking at spending billions to increase that capacity? I know it will be going up post pandemic but clearly the city doesn’t need to be expanding it at this time.
There are many areas where the city needs trimming from the Mayor’s twin pension plans to the giant corporate welfare slush fund that they are sitting upon. All of these areas need spending cuts and possible eliminations.
A giant white elephant in the room though is the Green Line.
The city of Calgary will barely be able to maintain police and fire services while keeping our roads operational. It is nothing less than foolhardy to carry on with such a giant and unnecessary project as the Green Line at this time.
Unfortunately, Calgary’s city council is dominated by fools at this time.