Posts Tagged ‘Alberta’

Jason Kenney would rather fight.

Tuesday, January 8th, 2019

The last thing Canada needs is another provincial leader spoiling for a fight. Alberta opposition leader Jason Kenney was on Global Television’s West Block last Sunday laying out his battle plan and various lies for his anti-Trudeau, Anti-Quebec and anti-British Columbia campaign. This is, of course, provided his reconstructed conservatives win the Alberta election, expected in May.

Kenny wants to join Doug Ford of Ontario, Scott Moe of Saskatchewan and Andrew Scheer leader of the federal conservatives in tearing into the Trudeau liberals in the federal election expected in October. If Mr. Moe, Mr. Ford and Mr. Kenney were honest about it, you would expect the gentlemen to be resigning their provincial jobs and finding an electoral district that might have them as the conservative candidate. There is no doubt but that Mr. Scheer will need all the help he can get.

But for the three provincial gentlemen to interfere in the federal game with slander, false news and hyperbole from the sidelines is bad politics and a betrayal of the people they purport to represent.

First of all, the liberal government has made it clear that the carbon pricing to be charged on major polluters selling fossil fuels in their many forms, will be refunded to Canadian taxpayers in their taxes. The objective is to show people the real price of these fuels and the need to fight global warming. Mr. Scheer and his chorus can keep denying global warming and the increasing danger to our planet and they might eventually join the fight, but by then, hell will likely be frozen over.

But that nasty bastard Kenney has been lying to people since he was in college in San Francisco telling Catholic co-eds that they could not learn about abortion. He certainly does not admit to the highly polluting problems with the products of the Alberta tar sands. He resents that the prime minister bought the Trans-Mountain pipeline to help solve the problems for Alberta and says that the PM is now blocking the pipeline.

The problems with the Trans-Mountain pipeline are far more serious than the whims of the prime minister. The problems have far more to do with the sloppy job the Calgary-based National Energy Board (NEB) used to do on pipelines for Alberta. The NEB is no longer a lap dog for the oil industry.

And what is particularly outrageous is Kenney blaming Quebec for blocking the Energy East pipeline through that province. The proposal was nothing but a tissue of lies for the tar sands people and it was legitimately stopped. Kenney wants Albertans to hate Quebec.

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Copyright 2019 ? Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to? peter@lowry.me

The entitlement of being Alberta.

Friday, January 4th, 2019

Have you ever felt the cold of Calgary in the loneliness of two AM walking about six city blocks from the Calgary Herald offices to your hotel? They said it was minus 35 Fahrenheit. I was wearing a Toronto top coat and low-cut shoes and was determined to step in front of the first taxi I saw. There were none.

Why I was walking that night is irrelevant to the fact that the experience did little to undermine my love for Alberta. I had been stationed at Cold Lake in the Air Force, I have friends in Calgary and Edmonton and have been there on business and to visit hundreds of times. Alberta is a vital part of our Canada.

And I really get annoyed with those jerks who whine about taking Alberta out of Confederation. You will get as much sympathy for that dumb idea as I give the péquiste in Quebec, none. All you prove is that the people of Newfoundland and Labrador are a lot smarter than you.

There is a lot wrong today with our constitution that was conceived over 150 years ago. It is a difficult plan to change but not impossible.

The important thing to remember is that Canada owes you nothing. You owe Canada. This is a land of opportunity. It is a land of great beauty. It is a peaceful land where you can raise and educate your children. Where the kids can play street hockey and have the best of medical care.

Nothing is more churlish than complaining because the federal government does not jump to meet unreasonable demands. And why bitch at the rest of Canada because the bottom has fallen out of the price of bitumen. If you want all the benefits of the country’s natural resources, you have to accept the risks.

You have known all along that bitumen is a desperation solution for when the world runs out of crude oil. Fracking scares me but I lack the geological training to understand its impacts. It has made the U.S. self sufficient in oil but it will probably run dry at some stage and maybe there will still be a role for some bitumen.

“Maybe” is the operative word. The Alberta government needs to stop running those ridiculous television commercials calling bitumen “oil” and saying that a pipeline for bitumen benefits Canada. They need to talk seriously with the environmentalists about the risks, and who really benefits.

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Copyright 2019 ? Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to? peter@lowry.me

All we got from Trudeau was a Ho-Ho-Ho.

Friday, December 21st, 2018

How do you like that bunch of ingrates in Alberta? Prime minister Trudeau comes up with a $1.6 billion Christmas present for them and all they do is complain.

Bet you just love the mental picture of premier Rachel Notley sitting on Justin Trudeau’s lap last time she was in Ottawa. She says she was only telling him what she wanted for Christmas.

But now she tells us that Trudeau is deaf and only offered the tar sands exploiters more opportunities to go into debt. He is not getting that girl onto a bicycle built for two. She knows what she wants and if she cannot have her pipeline over the Rockies, she wants more tanker cars to get that damn bitumen to markets that do not care about all the pollution.

There is a lot of speculation that premier Rachel will need a new job next year. It seems obvious now that she will never make it as a lap dancer. Nor will Trudeau make it as a department store Santa.

Maybe we should teach our eastern premiers to whine and carry-on like they do from Alberta. Could you just see Messrs. Ford and Legault carrying on about giving their free enterprise environment destroyers the store? It is bad enough that Dougie wants to sue Justin over some possible carbon tax. It is even worse that our genius premier in Ontario wants to pave over the aquifer that provides drinking water for about five million people in and around the City of Toronto.

What puzzles most easterners is that there are less than five million Albertans. They do not want to pay provincial taxes. They are horrified at the thought of paying more federal taxes. And these are the same people that scream and yell that the rest of Canada has to pay for their damn polluting pipeline. And if they cannot have that pony, they want millions of dollars worth of rail tanker cars.

What puzzles most Canadians is why these huge successful companies who are exploiting the tar sands do not plan ahead? If you are going to have a million barrels of diluted bitumen to export each month, would it not be best to plan ahead and make sure you can deliver it to your customer?

Well, surprise, surprise, reindeer cannot fly either.

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Copyright 2018 ? Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to? peter@lowry.me

The conflicts of Kenney’s UCP.

Monday, December 17th, 2018

How any openly lesbian, gay, bi-sexual or transgender (LGBT) person can have anything to do with the united conservative party of Alberta would come as a surprise. Mind you, I am also surprised that there are women involved with that party run, as it is, by misogynists.

And Alberta is no better for it.

The UCP is a party of conflicts. And in its destructive condition, it is of little use to anyone.

The only reason for the party, as structured, is to be against—in this case, against the new democrats of premier Rachel Notley.

It seems that almost everything the Notley government does, the UCP is opposed. It seems wind farms are a no-no. Coal is good for friends of the UCP. Notley hates coal. The NDP passed a carbon tax. The UCP is against taxes.

It seems that the two parties both want the Trans Mountain pipeline doubled. Notley is not fast enough. Notley costs too much. Notley is friends with that wussy Justin Trudeau. And we all know that many in Alberta dislike the name ‘Trudeau.’

So, they are sitting back in the Petroleum Club in Calgary, firing up their stogies, sipping their single malts and counting on their good friend Jason to do the job.

It shows you that they do not know their good friend Jason.

It is not just in his youth when he wanted to show what a good catholic boy he could be. He was imbued with the teachings of his church and he showed those gays and abortionists that the church had power.

He is all grown now and he is a life-long politician. He was Stephen Harper’s go-to guy to get the job done in Ottawa. He compromised ethnic groups to do his bidding. He did the boss’ bidding.

So, who are his bosses now? It certainly is not the people of Alberta. Why should he care about them? He is out for himself. As a bachelor, he is looking forward to a wealthy retirement, to a lifestyle of freedom and luxury. Jason Kenney only cares about himself.

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Copyright 2018 ? Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to? peter@lowry.me

 

Finance ministers can also lie.

Sunday, December 16th, 2018

Canada’s provincial finance ministers met last weekend for a play date with their federal counterpart. This was a follow-up to the first ministers meeting on the Friday. When Alberta finance minister Joe Ceci found that Quebec premier Fran?ois Legault had left him a lump of coal, he got a bit huffy. It seems the new Quebec premier had made the point that Alberta pushing for an Energy East pipeline had no ‘socially acceptability’ in Quebec.

Mr. Ceci brushed it off as he said that the Quebec premier did not know much abut the energy industry in his province. He claimed (as do the Alberta commercials on television) that the companies have reduced the carbon in bitumen. That is easy enough to do if you have the refinery processes available. The only problem is that nobody has yet to know how to handle the problem of all the bitumen slag (carbon) that is left behind.

Frankly, Mr. Ceci has not got a leg to stand on. Until somebody at one of the universities finds a way to transmogrify carbon into something such as H2O, bitumen remains a very serious pollution problem. It is the polluter that just keeps on polluting.

It starts with the hot water that is pumped down to layers of bitumen to liquify it and bring it to the surface. The greasy water from this process is pumped into settling ponds that can attract and kill wildlife.

Then bitumen needs to be diluted to enable it to be shipped by truck, rail or pipeline. Whichever way it is shipped, it constitutes a hazard as it is flammable and can be extremely difficult to keep from doing long-term damage to the environment and wildlife.

No matter where it is refined, it presents a bitumen slag that just continues to pollute.

And it is only after the refining processes are complete that the synthetic oil products can be used and continue their cycle of pollution. We ignore all this pollution at our peril.

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Copyright 2018 ? Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to? chơi đánh bạc onlinepeter@lowry.me

chơi đánh bạc onlinePremier Notley comes to Ottawa.

Saturday, December 1st, 2018

She rode out of the west to plead her case in Ottawa this past week. Strangely, it is the same case as her arch rival, Jason Kenney, would have made. He would have been more strident and threatening. Let us say that Alberta has many hopes for Ottawa—mainly money.

The practical lady that she is, Ms. Notley asked first for some money to buy tanker cars to send Alberta’s tar sands products by rail. What she really wants is pipelines. She knows they take longer. And she wants them all sooner than later.

But she also wants serious cutbacks in Bill C-69 that will soon be sent to the senate. C-69 is an environmental bill that causes Albertans to be worried. It seems to hold the producers of the raw materials responsible for the downstream green-house gas emissions of the ultimate products. It sounds like the tar sands producers would be responsible for the emissions caused by heating the water and pumping it down to bring the layers of bitumen to the surface. They would then be responsible for the thousands of hectares of Alberta land destroyed to create settling ponds for all that dirty, greasy water that can kill wildlife.

Whether shipped by train or pipeline or ocean tanker, the tar sands exploiters would also be responsible for any spills that mar our environment. And it also needs to be noted that when the tar sands bitumen is processed into synthetic crude oil, it will create three times the pollution of normal processing of crude oil. Much of this pollution is in the form of bitumen slag that is almost pure carbon. And only then does it join the crude oil processes that put the oil products to use.

But Premier Rachel Notley was spreading false news last week. Never once did she mention tar sands, or bitumen. She calls bitumen “Western Canada Select.” It is nothing more than a highly polluting bitumen, fit for nothing more than paving roads.

There is a growing demand in Alberta for the bitumen to be processed there and it would no longer be discounted to prices under $20 per barrel. If the people in Alberta allowed that, they would destroy the environment of their province for many generations to come.

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Copyright 2018 ? Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to? peter@lowry.me

Perchance, a prophet’s pipeline pays profits?

Saturday, September 29th, 2018

If there is bad news among the brochures delivered in the post this day, is the bad news to be blamed on Canada Post? And should a government encourage the building of a pipeline for the transmission of natural gas to replace more seriously polluting coal-fired plants to produce electricity? Do the politicians get plaudits? Or are we, as a caring society, conflicted by these moves?

Listening to Ontario environmental commissioner Dianne Saxe the other day, did not help. It was, without direct accusation, a serious indictment of Ontario’s current conservative government.

But was it, at the same time, an indictment of the Trudeau government in Ottawa? Was it an indirect challenge to the climate change potential of the government’s recently purchased Kinder Morgan pipeline across the Canadian Rockies? Could it be that the expanded pipeline is to be just a blameless delivery mechanism such as Canada Post? Or is it political one-upmanship?

The conservatives and liberals in Ottawa these days are arguing about who is the biggest friend of the pipeline business. Conservative leader Andrew ‘Chuckles’ Scheer and liberal leader Justin Trudeau are arguing about who has created the most pipelines to take the pollution of Canada’s tar sands to tidewater. These are not just pipelines for crude oil but pipelines for diluted bitumen—that creates more than three times the carbon pollution in being processed to synthetic crude oil products.

And besides, Trudeau must be a prophet—as he can so easily brush aside all the concerns about a high-pressure, dual pipeline spilling bitumen into the ecosystem of the Rockies and the fragile fisheries of the west coast.

Does the liberal government in Ottawa have the right to say “We won” because of the use of taxpayer billions to buy the Kinder Morgan pipeline? Does it make Justin Trudeau the prophet, loved of Alberta admirers? Or does it make him the dupe of Albertan greed? And is Alberta premier Rachel Notely but a stalking horse for the greed and ambitions of united conservative party leader Jason Kenney?

And can the prophetic Justin Trudeau profit not from his perfidy? Is there not a federal election in 2019?

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Copyright 2018 ? Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to? peter@lowry.me

Harper’s henchmen halted.

Tuesday, September 4th, 2018

The earth is still shaking in Alberta from the Federal Court of Appeal finally corralling the Calgary-based National Energy Board (NEB). The court was asking the logical questions about the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion project. The industry is angry and the politicians all a-twitter. It was high time that someone questioned that industry’s dominance of its regulator and their cozy relations at the Calgary Petroleum Club.

But it was Trudeau coming to power three years ago and allowing the relationship to continue that was worrisome. When Brian Mulroney’s conservative government moved the NEB to Calgary in 1991, the idea was to have the board more directly involved with the energy sector based there. It was under the Harper government that it appeared obvious that only the industry was the beneficiary. Many liberals considered the NEB to be just another squadron of prime minister Harper’s henchmen.

The lack of depth and concern over environmental issues has been obvious to many. During the examination of the Line 9 Enbridge pipeline reversal and increase in capacity was my worst experience in trying to meet with NEB board members. The staff in Calgary are polite and interested but the chances of getting any hearing from the board were slim.

The fact that Line 9 crosses the top of the Yonge Street subway line in Toronto was a safety concern, the NEB chose to ignore. Considering the cavern of condos running downhill from that location with tens of thousands of residents, the willingness to ignore concerns was cavalier and worrying.

But luckily the judges at the federal appeal court disagreed with their laissez-faire attitude about the environment with the Kinder Morgan expansion. The judges considered the consultation with the first nations to be flawed and the lack of environmental concern for the ocean tankers coming into the Burrard Inlet terminus to be an unjustified failure.

The guy with the egg on his face from this fiasco is Canada’s environmental poster boy, Justin Trudeau. His government is now the proud owner of a $4.7 billion pipeline, along with plans and equipment to twin the line and no credibility.

The prime minister might have the power to overrule the court and simply say the pipeline is in the national interest—or even just in Alberta’s interest—but it would hardly help him get re-elected next year.

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Copyright 2018 ? Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to? peter@lowry.me

Lesson for today: Silk purses, sows’ ears.

Tuesday, May 8th, 2018

Listen up children; Our lesson for today is that you still cannot make silk purses out of sows’ ears. Excellent examples of this aphorism are the conservative leaders in both Ontario and Alberta. Having observed both gentlemen over their time in Canadian politics, I can assure you that the description of them as sows’ ears is about as polite a description as possible.

Mind you, there is a distinct difference between them. Jason Kenney of Alberta is a highly experienced politician and you can expect every sleazy political manipulation in the book. Doug Ford in Ontario is a neophyte and he will keep on blundering his way through the Ontario election.

A case in point: the handling of abortion questions. Jason Kenney has developed strategies over the years to avoid dialogues that will expose his extreme ‘right to life’ position. He even had his entire opposition caucus walk out of the legislature recently rather than allow them to debate the distance protestors must stay from legal abortion clinics. He did not want his views exposed to the public.

But for Doug Ford, extremism on this issue is just another blunder. Here he was encouraging Tanya Granic Allen, whom he knew was an anti-abortion extremist, as the conservative candidate in Mississauga Centre. It was when the liberals exposed her extremist homophobic views that he finally had to dump her as a conservative candidate. Yet he welcomes her continuing involvement in the conservative campaign. He can be forced to correct his mistakes but never seems to learn from them.

What is interesting about their campaigns in their respective provinces is that they are both running hard against strong female premiers. Jason Kenney is counting on his united right wing to swamp the one-term New Democrats in Alberta. It is not as though Rachel Notley has not been working hard to sell Alberta’s tar sands production and fighting for the Trans Mountain pipeline. She is just not a conservative.

Doug Ford has even less to commend him. He actually seems afraid of premier Kathleen Wynne. In a debate in Toronto last night, Ford was wooden and awkward. He was out of his element. (More on the debate tomorrow.)

The only solution we can come to about both leaders is that they would be disasters for both provinces. There will obviously be a lot of assessment of that possibility over the coming weeks.

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Copyright 2018 ? Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to? peter@lowry.me

Standing with BC’s John Horgan.

Saturday, April 14th, 2018

It is a memory from many years ago that sticks with you. It is this time of year. After being awakened by the sweeps rowers training on the harbour, you walk to downtown Vancouver from the Bayshore Inn, along streets lined with cherry blossoms in full bloom.

You drink in the wonderful freshness of the air off the Straits of Georgia. There is the warming sun on your face. You can still see the snow high atop the North Shore Mountains. Is this not a city to love?

British Columbia premier John Horgan would agree with that. We easterners might laughingly refer to it as Canada’s left coast but B.C. is a province of great beauty, industrious people and makes us proud.

And, somehow, there must be an answer to the current argument with Alberta. I suggested recently that we really need someone without a horse in the race to adjudicate between the premiers of Alberta and B.C. My suggestion was that it was about time for recently elected NDP leader Jagmeet Singh to show us what he can do.

Instead, we are expected to get prime minister Trudeau. He is cutting short his meetings in Lima, Peru to get back to Canada and meet with the two warring premiers.

The problem is that this is just two ganging up on one. Premier Sharon Notley of Alberta and the prime minister are equally committed to getting the pipeline expansion completed. There is nobody at the table capable of determining if there is a middle ground. There is no way to equalize. There is no way to compensate any party.

Advantage is obviously to the prime minister and Ms. Notley. And what does B.C. get but the thrills of the spills? And with three times the giant tankers in Burrard Inlet, you ask when, not if.

This is one problem that Justin Trudeau cannot solve with some selfies. There is nobody to charm.

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Copyright 2018 ? Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to? peter@lowry.me