This weeks column for 24Hrs Vancouver: What should the parties in BC do about transportation ?

I’m running behind this week – this is yesterdays column for 24Hrs!!

This week’s topic:

What should the parties do about transportation?

As we begin our election debate series on issues that matter to British Columbians, Kathryn makes a good point about TransLink being largely unaccountable to the public they purport to represent.

Transit is a hot button topic not just for the Lower Mainland, but for many communities across the province, where transit is often nearly non-existent. While the BC Liberals have been good at making large promises — about transit enhancements in the Metro Vancouver region in particular — the actuality is the enhancements have been limited, leaving suburban areas in the wilderness.

Read Kathryn Marshall’s column

When you look across the province, transit becomes more complex, so I am looking to see if any party will address three core issues — funding, equitable distribution of transit enhancements, and fiscal responsibility of TransLink…

Read the rest of this article and vote for whose column you think is best, here: http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/2013/04/14/liberals-put-too-many-restrictions-on-decision-makers

Part II : Jesus turned water to wine, but who turned hot air into $$$$$ ?

Before anyone starts screaming at me for what I am about to write, let me say that I am all about saving and preserving the world we live on for as long as we possibly can. If you read anything of what I write, you will know that I advocate for a number of environmental issues. I’m not a scientist,a climatologist, or even a meteorologist. I am, however, a devoted mother of 4 who was raised in what used to be the pristine,”true north – strong and free “.  So, by all rights that makes me an environmentalist and activist of  sorts,  through birth and motherhood.

 I used to argue with my father about forestry practices and how those in the industry needed to start looking towards other means of sustaining their livelihoods before every damn tree was cut down – and that was long before the term sustainability came into common language. I questioned the wisdom of the large plumes of emissions erupting from the pulp mill stacks, and the burner at the saw mill.  Let’s just say that since he and the rest of my family are forestry workers, we didn’t exactly see eye to eye on these issues. He saw men out of work, I saw forests without trees. I still do, and I suspect as hard as it is for him to admit it, now he does as well.

One would think it should be common sense at this point in our development as a supposedly enlightened society, to do as little damage and leave as little impact as we can while we go about the business of actually doing business, and living life. Turn off the lights. Walk when you can, take the bus, use reuseable bags, and conserve our precious water supplies. You know what I mean, I don’t need to spell it out.

All of  this is why I really have a hard time with this whole business of carbon credits, carbon offsets and the regulations that the provincial government has imposed on all of the public sector who were supposedly going to be carbon neutral by 2010. To me, it really appears to be a government mandated climate scam on another level, and I’m going to tell you why I think so.

Well, it’s 2010 now, and is the public sector in BC carbon neutral? I think not.  What’s that? You don’t have a clue what carbon neutral even is? Carbon credits and offsets are a foreign language to you ? Don’t feel so bad, because you are not alone.

The fact is that far too many  British Columbians haven’t a clue what all of this means, and I suspect that is just fine with Gordon Campbell and the Liberals, because as long as you don’t understand the theory behind it and where all the money goes, no one will ask any questions. Make it as confusing as hell and pretty soon the average Joe or Jill has a headache and goes to bed, still clueless as to how it all works.

To be honest, I’ve been in the same boat and for the most part, ignored the entire carbon credit/offset/neutral business altogether – until one company name started popping up all over the place last year : Offsetters Clean Technology.

But first, before I get into how James Tansey has turned hot air into $$$$, let’s go back… wayyy back, to 2007 or thereabouts, when” it” all started :  “it”, meaning  Gordon Campbell’s Green Dream, of course.

The world was deep in the alarmist reactionary mode to the horrific threat of global warming and as a result,politicians and environmentalists everywhere were heeding the call to action.  The provincial government, under the guidance of Gordon Campbell, was no different. Long story short, the premiers Green Dream of glory resulted in a carbon tax and the allotment of $24 million over 4 years to the creation of a new crown corporation known as the Pacific Carbon Trust. 

What does this Pacific Carbon Trust do? The website says this:

  Credible offsets. A cleaner environment. A vibrant low-carbon economy.

We need to act on many fronts to address climate change. Pacific Carbon Trust offers an important part of the solution. We are a Crown corporation of the Government of BC, created to deliver quality made-in-BC greenhouse gas offsets to help clients reduce their carbon footprint and drive the growth of BC’s low-carbon economy.

Together with our partners and clients, we are creating a cleaner environment and a modern B.C. economy.

What We Do

We offer quality carbon offsets, measured as one metric tonne of carbon dioxide or equivalent (CO2e) that is reduced or removed from the atmosphere as a result of emission-reducing (offset) activities.

For example, if a business reduces emissions by 10,000 tonnes of CO2e through a qualifying energy efficiency initiative, it can sell those emissions savings or offsets to us. We will in turn offer a portfolio of offsets to clients to counter their emissions.

What is a carbon offset?

 

A carbon offset represents a reduction or sequestration of greenhouse gas emissions generated by activities, such as improved energy efficiency, that can be used to balance the emissions from another source, such as a plane trip.

To ensure the offsets we offer provide a true additional benefit, the carbon savings must be verified by an objective third party, and our purchases must support offset projects that otherwise would not have been viable. These and other requirements are outlined in the Ministry of Environment’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets Act and Emission Offsets Regulation.

Whoooa Nellie… sounds like an entirely different language, no? Well, the good people at the Pacific Carbon Trust have been so helpful as to provide an entire section of FAQ to help us out. You can take a look at it yourself at this link: http://www.pacificcarbontrust.com/FAQs/tabid/61/Default.aspx , and I urge you to do so, because it will assist you in understanding why I question all of this, and perhaps why you should think a little more about it as well.  Especially since under the Climate Change and offsets section, it specifically refers to global warming ( they define global warming as climate change)  as the reason behind all of this.

The creation of the carbon tax and the act and ensuing regulations governing climate protocols in British Columbia meant one thing: an entirely new industry was born in British Columbia, one that centered all around the buying and selling, creation and disbursement of carbon offsets, which in turn leads to the carbon credit.

This is where James Tansey and Offsetters Clean Technology comes in. The first time I really recall hearing this company name was when it was announced that the 2010 Olympics were going to be the greenest games on the planet.  VANOC made an announcement that a deal had been reached with Offsetters to become the official carbon offsetter of the Olympic Games- to the tune of approximately $5 million. Quite the deal if you ask me.

Shortly thereafter, finance minister Colin Hansen announced that the Pacific Carbon Trust had made a deal to purchase over 300,000 emission offsets from – you guessed it – Offsetters clean technology.

And the rest is history…

Some of you might be sleeping by now, some of you might be freaking out and wondering how it is that I could question such an amazing innovation like carbon offsets. After all, what could be wrong about offsetting harmful emissions, right?

The truth is,after reading the websites of  both Pacific Carbon Trust( remember, this is a crown corporation and your tax dollars at work here)  and Offsetters- a private and profitable business, I only have more doubt as to the effectiveness of all of it.

First of all, with regards to the crown corporation, Pacific Carbon Trust,  who is in charge of monitoring all of this? Who checks if the offset projects truly are what they claim to be ? Who is verifying the numbers ? 

As it happens, there is a FAQ  section on the government site that attempts to address these questions, but look at the answer it gives  for this question:

8. Who are validation and verification bodies?

Validation bodies review project plans and issue assurance statements on the basis of their findings. The validation of a project plan includes an assessment of the project’s additionality, selection of sources, sinks, reservoirs, and the protocol selected by the proponent.

Verification bodies assess project reports and issue assurance statements on the basis of their findings. The verification of project reports include an assessment of the project’s greenhouse gas reduction, data collection, monitoring, and calculations.

Initially a team which includes a person authorized to act as an auditor of a company and at least one qualified professional (as defined in the regulation) will be able to act as a validation or verification body. As of July 1, 2010 validation and verification bodies will need to be accredited, in accordance with ISO 14065, by a member of the International Accreditation Forum to use ISO 14064-3.

Soooo… I still have no clue WHO the people are that validate and verify the projects, offsets and numbers, and according to this, prior to July 1st of this year, these independent ” bodies” did not even have to be accredited !  What?  It boggles the mind that there are ‘bodies’ out there that may or may not be qualified to even perform this function- because they have not been accredited- to make any kind of assessment. But of course, we still don’t even know who these people are,where they came from and what their qualifications are.

It gets even better. Try and give this a try:

How do I quantify my proposed offset project?

Proponents are encouraged to select a recognized protocol (for example, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) has numerous expert and publicly reviewed methodologies) and adapt, as necessary, to the B.C. context.

Over time, an optional list of approved protocols will be developed and made available to project proponents.

In addition, the Director of the Climate Change Branch of the Ministry of Environment has the authority to designate mandatory protocols. These protocols may relate to any of the following:

  • Selection of sources, sinks, or reservoirs.
  • Baseline scenarios.
  • Quantification of Greenhouse Gas Reductions.
  • Monitoring Greenhouse Gas sources, sinks, and reservoirs
  • Encouraged? Proponents are ‘encouraged’  to  select a recognized protocol? Shouldn’t a crown corporation be demanding it as a requirement? how about setting a standard so we know tax dollars aren’t being wasted here.

    I could go on, but you get the point. The science is still  relatively new, and as it turns out, highly questionable at best, in my opinion. After doing a bit more research, it appears that I am far from being the only one questioning the value of the entire carbon offset industry.

    Critics worldwide have long deemed carbon offsets as a way for the guilty to pay for their sins, rather than changing their behavior. ” Hey, I’m still going to fly 20 times a year, but I’ll by some offsets and it’s ok!! )  In BC, it seems we still have no cut and dry standard of verifying and measuring the offsets absolutely. It is often said that companies will get ” independent verification” as to appear credible and avoid the appearance of fraud, but as it clearly spelled on the BC government site,  those mysterious verification and validation bodies have been operating with accreditation for the last two years!!  Who the hell knows what has been going on over there and where this taxpayer-funded money has been going.

    There are more controversies with the entire carbon offset industry, and although I generally refrain from using Wikipedia as a source, it sums up all those controversies in one location. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_offset

    The most interesting source of information that takes a hard look at some of the key people in charge of the Pacific Carbon Trust and those that comprise the BC Green Energy  AdvisoryTask Force was located on the Save our Rivers website. I would consider it to be a damning report that shows the potential conflicts and highly questionable business relationships of those deemed with advising and overseeing the direction our government takes at this crucial juncture in our provinces history. Oddly enough, a familiar name appears even here, by the appearance of Chris Trumpy….. :)  ( that guy really gets around)

    Should those parties with an outside and vested interest that may be profit or politically motivated, be charged with advising on allegedly ‘clean’ energy issues? Read this link, and decide for yourself. http://saveourrivers.ca/action/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/TaskForce-Group2-Backgrounder-Dec16-09.pdf 

    Clearly, the premiers Green Dream and lofty goals of a carbon neutral public sector are  still just that – a dream.  Even more questionable, is the requirement for school districts to have to adhere to his protocols by purchasing – you guessed it-  carbon offsets to meet the guidelines. Don’t meet the target and the district has to pay a penalty on top of it. 

    Now again, I’m just a concerned mother and citizen of this province, but considering the school system has been underfunded and shortchanged for so long that a goof majority of students learn in cold, damp drafty old portables that cost a small fortune to even try and heat, wouldn’t it make more sense to exempt the schools from this requirement ?  Take a look at this excerpt from an article that ran in the TRicity News – and keep in mind this was written last year :

    Few British Columbians are against tackling climate change.
    But making students lab rats in an experiment to make the province a leader in the exchange of carbon credits is not the way to do it.

    Starting next year, school districts will be expected to calculate and pay for carbon emissions when there’s no money in the pot to pay for teachers.

    It’s an added financial burden for districts already caught in a cash crunch.

    The Surrey School District is already facing a $9.5-million shortfall due to a reduction in revenues and increased costs.

    The carbon emission plan imposed by the province will add nearly $2 million in expenses annually to Surrey’s bottom line – the equivalent of the annual salaries for 28 full-time teachers.

    First, districts have to buy and use an expensive, time-consuming calculator – from the province, which developed it – to figure out how many tonnes of carbon emissions they create in heating and lighting schools, then they’ll pay carbon offsets to industry through a carbon exchange called the Pacific Carbon Trust. This Crown corporation will then use the funds to reward industries that cut back on their carbon emissions.

    But should schools be subsidizing industry? And is this the right time to do it?

    True, schools that cut energy and electricity consumption will save money and reduce their carbon footprint.

    But exactly how can they afford to do that without dedicated funds? There was the annual facilities grant but that was cut and what reserves are left are being used for basic maintenance.

    You would think B.C. Education Minister Margaret MacDiarmid would be sympathetic. But, no, she’s sticking to her guns on the 2010 deadline and says no extra money is available for the program.

    I can’t say it any better than that.

    I agree, few people in this province will deny the need for industry and commercial business to cut harmful emissions. But after a closer examination of the people and the projects initiated by our premier, it’s clear things are not what they appear to be. There are no strict guidelines and far too many loose ends to ensure that this tax money it being well spent, and in the end, how much has any of it impacted how the majority of industry in BC does business?

    It might make good copy, and even better PR for the companies touting their ‘carbon neutrality’, but I’m guessing the only thing Gordon Campbell’s Green Dream has done, is lined the pockets of more than a few industrious businessmen in BC – and no one  has been the wiser. Sure, buying some carbon offsets might contribute to some great new clean energy or some amazing new industrial mechanism that isn’t firing out some black toxic smoke, but remember this. 

    Those same carbon offsets are doing nothing to stop the current and ongoing, real-life every day emissions that are happening right now as we speak. On that one point alone, I question all of it. This program is doing nothing to  stop, or even really change the way big, powerful polluters are doing business at this very second.

    But hey, at least some CEO can say: ” We manage to minimize our tremendous environmental damage by purchasing carbon offsets….”  Maybe, just maybe he or she really believes it’s doing some good, but I doubt it. More likely they  view offsets as a free pass to commit environmental treachery, sanctioned by the government.

    I say, time to call for full and comprehensive, PUBLIC review of all the entire program to see if it has come close to living up to the dream- Campbell’s Green Dream.

    My kids, and yours, depend on it.

    Campbell’s Harmonized Sales Tax and the Working Joe ( and Jill)

    Time for a blast from the past.

    I  originally wrote and posted this piece over a year ago- July 24th, 2008. Reading it tonight, I found myself shaking my head and laughing. A year later, not a lot has changed in the economic situation for thousands of British Columbians, except that the rich are getting richer and the poor? Well, they aren’t doing so well now, are they? Times are tough all over, and this HST sure as hell isn’t going to make things better for anyone.

    Thanks to our dear premier, I can save myself a world of time tonight and simply run this old blog post – substituting HST in place of Carbon Tax…..

    Really, how bad is that?

    Read on….

    In recent weeks, there has been plenty of talk about the cost of living, the inflation rate, fuel prices and foreclosures. It’s enough to drive a man to drink

    I’m tired of hearing about global warming, climate change,carbon tax, and the like. Enough is enough. Our premier doesn’t give a damn about me, or you, or any of our families. He doesn’t worry about things like missing a credit card payment or putting gas in the tank, or whether or not his kid can play football if you cant afford the registration fees. Does he even drive himself anywhere, anymore?  It is simply not his reality.

     And so, the HST really doesn’t mean anything to him other than some really bad PR right now. It wasn’t motivated by a care for the province, it was motivated by a delusional fantasy of self importance. This, from a man who spends vacations in Hawaii, living the high life, while the rest of us are forced to stick our feet in the kiddie pool with a sun lamp to get a tan. The man couldn’t buy enough carbon credits to offset his air travel in one year, and this summer so many of us couldn’t afford to fly anywhere for vacation… I think he would do the environment a much better service by  simply shutting his mouth to prevent hot gas from escaping everytime he speaks.

    I am an average Jill. I come from a forestry town up north, one that is going to be hurting badly when the beetle kill wood  being logged runs out. My dad has always worked harder than anyone I know, and he would give any of his friends the shirt off his back. His job is dangerous at times in the pulp mill. Chlorine gas leaks, black liquor tanks, complicated machinery. Many of his friends have died younger than they should have: cancer , heart attacks, strokes. All to make sure that pulp keeps being processed. Pulp has been huge for BC.

    There are thousands more men and women like him in our province, and if it wasn’t for them, Gordon Campbell wouldn’t have anything to run. The men and women building that ill-fated sky train line into Richmond. The young crane operator who died. The men who spend days and nights, long and lonely on the road to bring us our food, and clothes and whatever else is transported by semi. Men like my husband and his coworkers who take so much abuse and flack just trying to make a living. Construction workers, truck drivers, labourers, taxi cab drivers, you name it.

    These men and women work hard to provide for their families, sometimes dirty, no thanks, shitty jobs just to make ends meet and feed their kids.

    Will they be able to heat their house and feed the family this winter? The sad truth is, some will, some won’t. There will be children who are too cold, or too hungry to fall asleep this year. There will be more kids without presents at Christmas and so long to that hockey team little Billy wanted to play on.

    You think I’m kidding? This is the reality thousands are facing with this extra tax, and it is the way the current government sees fit to thank all of us for working hard to make him look good.

    This is how the province thanks them.What next, a cheque in the mail like his Carbon Tax pay-off?  A $100.00 bribe and a whole lot of worry for the future. He gave us our own $100.00 back, and then tried to say how lucky we are for getting it… go figure. And we should buy light bulbs with it, or weather stripping – as if. The only thing is, his government cronies  have messed up so badly this time, I wouldn’t count on getting any pocket change cheques in the mail anytime soon.

    I have a neighbour who works extremely hard. She has several kids that she takes care of for daycare, and she walks all over the neighbourhood several times a week delivering the local paper from a stack on top of her stroller. She does it rain or shine, and her kids help her out. I bet that rebate cheque was a nice windfall for her, but I wonder what happens when it gets really cold out in the winter? Did she save it for then ? Our houses are older, and the heat escapes everywhere. Its expensive to heat them already, and the price of natural gas is going to be rising again. Thanks Gordon.

    The premier doesn’t seem to realise how many average people there are who are living pay-cheque to pay-cheque. He doesn’t seem to realise that they can only take so much, and that people are starting to clue into the reality behind this latest tax. His narrow views and hidden agendas have lasted this long because the average Joe honestly didn’t pay much attention beyond  whining about the local  political scandals, but that is quickly coming to an end.

    The HST has woken people up, and how! More people than ever are talking, seeking information, and really delving into how he has run his administration to the point that Basi-Virk is becoming a household word…..imagine that. Everyone in BC knows about those missing emails NOW.

     In forcing thisnewest  tax upon us, Old King Gordo inadvertently opened his own can of proverbial worms. We shall see how well he manages trying to stuff  them all back in…

                                                  A reform is a correction of abuses; a revolution is a transfer of power.
                                                                                                         Edward Bulwer-Lytton

                                  I perceive that, in revolutions, the supreme power rests with the most abandoned.
                                                                                                       Georges Jacques Danton

    ( with that said, the stage is set to invite you to join me in attending this rally to voice your opposition to the HST  and your support for it’….

     

    Fight the HST Rally
     

    Saturday, September 19

    12:00noon

    Canada Place( new location)

    Guest Speakers to include:

     

    Bill Vander Zalm– former BC Premier

     

    Carole James– BC Opposition Leader

     

    Vicky Huntington– Independent MLA, Delta South

     

    Chris DelaneyDeputy Leader, BC Conservatives
    Mr. Vander Zalm believes all British Columbians opposed to this tax

    must work together to defeat it in a united effort to hold the

    government to account.

     

    Please pass this on to all your friends and contacts.

     

    More“Fight the HST” details coming soon.

    The column Enbridge responded to, but wouldn’t post on the Northern Gateway Site

    Earlier this week  I posted about the growing opposition to Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Project. In that post, I included a link to the project information site, where the company has posted their response to an opinion editorial written by Jennifer Rice (originally published in the Prince Rupert Daily News).

    Given one entire page of it’s own, their response is titled  ‘ In defense of Enbridge’, and refers to Jennifers column, but oddly enough, does not include it, or indicate who even authored it. Very curious to see what Jennifer had written to roll out the guards at Enbridge, I emailed the publisher of the Prince Rupert Daily News to request a copy of the article, but did not even receive a reply. In the way only Karma works, a reader in Kitimat saw my post, knew which article I was referring to and contacted the author ….  who  then emailed me the article in question last night.

    And what a wonderfully written and detailed bit of work  it is. I understand completely why Enbridge doesn’t have it posted on their site, and so will you once you read it.The response from Enbridge follows. Enjoy.

    All the Risk with Little Benefit

    So why are pipelines, such as the Enbridge Gateway project, springing up like fertilized weeds lately?

    Ironically, because there is public demand for a cleaner, greener, healthier future.

     Enbridge Pipelines first attempted to sell the Gatewayproject in 2006 but cancelled it after much objection primarily from First Nations. In 2008, Enbridge resurrected the project stating that they “have learned from past mistakes”. Shortly after announcing this, Enbridge was sued for 1.1 million dollars for 545 environmental infractions. These infractions caused damage to waterways and wetlands during construction of a pipeline in the State of Wisconsin. Despite having learned from past mistakes Enbridge’s pipeline leaks have actually increased from 2007 to 2008.

    With traditional oil reserves in rapid decline, we’ve turned to mining for bitumen out of Alberta which is an energy intensive way to get oil.

    The tar sands are driving Canadian economic and climate policy as Canada’s fastest growing source of GHG emissions. Awareness of tar sands destruction has increased and is now commonly known as “Dirty Oil”. It takes approximately 3 barrels of freshwater to produce 1 barrel of oil and emissions from the tar sands are going to triple [by 2020].  This is inconsistent with the world’s desire to stop global warming.

     Gateway isn’t the only pipeline project on the horizon. There are many other proposals down the pipe for the West Coast; Pacific Trails, a natural gas pipeline, Kinder Morgan, a crude oil extension of Trans Mountain pipeline, Pembina Pipelines Inc., a condensate pipeline and numerous other proposals to build pipelines from the tar sands to Eastern Canada and the U.S.

     So why have these projects been prioritized now? The answer is politics. Barack Obama has proclaimed a greener, self-sustaining energy future for Americans. A new law in the U.S bars American federal agencies such as the military and postal service from buying dirty oil from Alberta’s tar sands. Shortly after, opposition to dirty oil started receiving media attention in the U.S. Then both Enbridge & Kinder Morgan renewed their efforts to build pipelines to Northern B.C. so the threat of supplying oil to Asia (particularly China) provides leverage against the U.S.

    Right now, a sympathetic government rules in Ottawa as well as in this province. Proponents desire to seek approvals now because a future government could be less keen to advance Alberta’s oil projects, and a future government could also be more sympathetic to First Nation issues. Meaningful caps and regulations on carbon emissions may impact these projects in the future but would be grandfathered if approved now. There is a goal of securing projects now – with no intention of getting them off the ground for a decade or more.

    Will British Columbians benefit from Gateway? Enbridge says 4000 temporary construction jobs would be created in building the pipeline.

    This is for a pipeline that crosses 2 provinces and spans nearly 1200 kms with no guarantee of hiring locals. Presently, to meet rapid expansion of current pipeline and tar sands production; labour is imported from foreign counties as well as from Newfoundland. In fact, to meet the exponential growth targets for tar sands production, Canada’s foreign worker policy has been softened to accommodate the demand for imported labour in Alberta. It is estimated that about 30-40 permanent jobs would be created in Kitimat from the marine terminal. That’s less than a third the number of jobs the Casino provides.

     What do First Nations & Coastal British Columbians think of the Enbridge Gateway project? These projects benefit rich oil companies and provide little for local economies. Oils spills, often detrimental, are inevitable and considered part of doing business so local communities assume all the risks. Enbridge is hoping to obtain social and regulatory license for its project through something called a Joint Review Panel (JRP).The proposed JRP does not meet the needs of communities. The process allows important decisions to be overseen by high-priced government and industry lawyers which are inaccessible to the public. The process looks at how to best reduce the negative impacts to fish, the environment, etc. but it does not examine if these impacts should occur in the first place. It does not examine if we should assist with facilitating the world’s worst–regarded environmental project–the tar sands. It does not ask the question if coastal British Columbians want tankers travelling their coast. Enbridge is a pipeline company not a tanker company. Should a spill occur in our marine waters, guess who is liable for cleaning up? Not Enbridge but we, the tax-payers of British Columbia are. The current process doesn’t require examination of cumulative impacts of other proposed pipelines or the activities at either end of the pipe. (Tar sands and tankers) Because of these regulatory shortcomings; First Nations are calling for a separate review process in parallel to any other process because the review process in itself is inadequate. Friends of Wild Salmon (FOWS), a concerned citizens group here in the North, has asked for a comprehensive public inquiry.

     The current Canadian government, which draws its political and financial support from petroleum-producing regions in the West, is not seen as independent from oil interests. In July alone, oil sands companies held a total of 36 meetings with Canadian ministers and government officials.Meanwhile, environmental groups only held seven lobbying sessions and these were usually with low level officials. The scale and scope of this project is complex and enormous. There is little room for British Columbia’s residents’ concerns to be validated. First Nations and FOWS have asked for the project to be examined in its full scope. This means the impacts of the tar sands, all along the pipeline route to the impacts on the marine environment (including from tankers) should be included in the review process. The impacts of this project should not be assessed in a silo.

    Wild salmon, and in turn bears, whales, wolves, and other ecosystems are already stressed. Is this project worth the risk to existing marine-based industries such as commercial and sport fishing? Is it worth the risk to eco-tourism operations? Is it worth the risk for First Nations communities who depend upon the ocean for subsistence? Is the possibility of a handful of local jobs, created a decade from now worth the risk? Fully aware of the current economic situation and the need for jobs in the North and even as an  under-employed person myself, I still feel there is too much at stake to justify this project.

     What can we do? Attend a rally in protest to Enbridge’s Gateway Project organized for this Tuesday at the George Little Park, in Terrace at 12 noon. A free bus is leaving Prince Rupert at 9:30 am leaving from the Fisherman’s Hall (across from Overwaitea). Space is limited so book ASAP if you would like a seat on the bus by calling 250.624.6048.

    ©Jennifer Rice – April 27th, 2009Prince Rupert Daily News

    *********************************************************************************************************************************

    In defense of Enbridge… ( http://www.northerngateway.ca/content/defense-enbridge )

    The Daily News (Prince Rupert)

    May 7, 2009
     
    To the Editor,
     
    Re: “All the risk with little benefit; So why are pipelines, such as the Enbridge Gateway project, springing up like fertilized weeds lately?” May 4, 2009
     
    I would like to take this opportunity to clarify some of the facts regarding the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project and correct the erroneous and disparaging claims that were recently made in the paper.
     
    One of the most significant benefits of Northern Gateway will be the employment opportunities it will generate for communities in the North, both during construction and operations. We will hire as many qualified local people as possible to fill the 4,000 construction positions, because it’s simply the right business decision. In addition, Northern Gateway will also create over 200 long-term jobs, not the 30-40 jobs that are referenced by opposition groups.
     
    In order for Northern Gateway to become a reality, it will be required to go through an extensive regulatory review process that is anticipated to last at least two years. This review will be led by the National Energy Board and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. These agencies will form a Joint Review Panel (JRP) to conduct the review. And according to the draft terms of reference for the JRP, in addition to many other aspects of the project, it will also consider the “environmental effects of and public comments related to the marine transportation of petroleum and condensate.”
     
    The JRP is also a very public and transparent process that will involve open houses and public hearings along the route. There will be many opportunities for the public to put their views about the project on the record. This process is not “inaccessible to the public”. We encourage people to get involved in the process.
     
    Thank you for the opportunity to set the record straight on the facts surrounding our project. For further information, please visit www.northerngateway.ca
     
    Steven Greenaway, VP
    Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines

    Province of BC Criss-crossed by Independent Power Projects

    Where do you stand on the issue ?
    Where do you stand on the issue ?

      Click on the document to go to the original PDF link and view the enlarged version.

    ”    …I had a nice afternoon yesterday, just sitting and listening to others conversations while out and about ( I know, I know, but I’m an eavesdropper by nature ! ) but it struck me quite hard that  all I heard were two topics being discussed by everyone: Canucks hockey playoffs, and how much they hate Gordon Campbell!

     I overheard 5 separate conversations about gordo selling off BC bit by bit Mary!!

    Average people really ARE paying attention to all of this,and they are mad. Now, that being said they are a bit hesitant about Carol’s financial abilities, but they are still planning to vote for her to save our provincial assets…. And the BC rail sale came up twice. Twice!! out of the mouths of really average people in Surrey.
     
    It was nice to hear and see. People are really contemplating the future of our province right now Mary, and its about damned time...”

    This is an excerpt from an email I sent yesterday to friend and fellow writer, BC Mary of  The Legislature Raids

    I didn’t think about the relevance of it until after her hearty and smiling reply – and no wonder. Sometimes I question whether or not people really, really, get it, you know?  I write and write and I see that a heck of a lot of people are reading these posts, ( and Gee, BC Mary has been trying to get to the truth for years on her blog! Years, meticulously documenting and posting the entire debacle…) but not many speak up and leave a comment, so how do I ( we)  know what all of you are thinking? How many people on the street really know and care about what the hellfire is going on in this province of ours?

    And when I’m talking about ‘people on the street’,  I don’t mean the politically inclined, or ivy-leagued professional with the lambskins on the wall behind his desk, I’m talking about the garbage truck driver who is constantly humping his butt in the sun,wind and rain just to take your stinking refuse away. Or the  couple where dad works long days and mom is working nights, and they know the Tim Hortons drive-thru ladies better than they know each other because they are never home at the same time. And all so they don’t have to pay daycare costs.

    People like me. Maybe they rent and still can’t afford to buy, or maybe they own a home, but it’s those people who matter to me, and I think, to everyone who blogs about these issues, because it is those people’s votes who accumulate and  can make or break an election. So  this is why I’m telling you what I am hearing on the street.  It may seem like nothing to you, but to me ? Two really average, random people who were  actually talking about the likelihood of corruption in the BC Rail sale  is huge. Massive.

    Think about it. These are perhaps people who may not have ever bothered to vote before, but are stinking mad right now and have the calender marked May 12th. People who, for the first time in their lives, are thinking about what it means to have independent power projects popping up all over. People who didn’teven know this was going on, and had to admit they thought ” Run of the River” was a movie!  I’ve explained this term to quite a few people recently, hence the map above and how this all relates to the topic at hand.

    It may not be Angus Reid, but I think listening to what people are talking about in coffee shops and grocery store line-ups is  damn fine indicator of what the voting environment is likely to be. Try it.

    NOTE :  

     I located that map on the website of the Independent Power Producers Association of BC. http://www.ippbc.com/ 

    Typical corporate type site, with a lot of  PR driven links and pages  to the” REAL” information that the evil people like the NDP and environmentalists and concerned citizens won’t tell you.

    Stuff like this :

    Over the last few months, the NDP opposition, union leader and organizations formed and backed by these political groups have implemented a campaign of  public meetings and misinformation on run of the river projects…. READ MORE

    Insert some thunder and lightening there for effect. It works.

    The site contains a wealth of information, but unfortunately most of it is for members only and not accessible to the public. For example, if you were a member you could find out how to start your own independent power project!  That is , if you can locate a stream or river on the map above that hasn’t already been taken…. http://www.ippbc.com/EN/new_developers_reference_tools/ I kind of get the impression it’s not that hard to do…

    There are also links to environmental reports and certifications for several projects, a heavy but still interesting look at that side of things. http://www.ippbc.com/EN/environmental_assessment_info_for_46_ipp_projects/

    NOW….

    If you are really  in the mood for a hoot….Check out  the BC government site on electricity and IPP’s… According to them, IPP’s are the most amazing thing – from that site I learned that the projects don’t harm the fish, or the river, or the environment, they create jobs for rural communities and the owners have brought( and will continue to bring) billions of dollars in investments in BC ! ( NOT!  – while I am not opposed to alternative energy sources, this government is running roughshod over our province and the information out there)

    http://www.gov.bc.ca/yourbc/electricity/el_planet.html?src=/planet/el_planet.html

    AND FINALLY….

    To put this all in perspective for you, go back and read this post on far too many BC Liberal Insiders who have since been hired by Private Power Producers…… http://lailayuile.wordpress.com/2009/04/29/common-ground-highlights-key-bc-liberal-insiders-hired-by-private-power-developers/

    If you are interested in saving the provinces waterways for future generations , head on over to www.saveourrivers.ca for videos, columns and photos of  real and potential implications for Run of the River projects.

    AND…. may I remind you how far our Premier and his PAB will go to spread their own misinformation? Read this post of mine from last year where I dissect TV and print ads promoting the Carbon Tax(  from Campbell and his Libs, of course)  where the Libs tried to blame the Okanagan Firestorm and The Great Prince George Flood  on global warming…… http://lailayuile.wordpress.com/2008/07/13/bc-liberals-carbon-tax-adverts-1-hell-of-an-expensive-pile-of-bs/

    It’s a good read, if I may say so myself.

    ” Penner and his Liberal Colleagues are behind the worst environment policies in the history of mankind.”

    In my opinion, the most interesting and informative viewpoints are not often found in the mainstream publications available to the masses on every corner, but are waiting patiently in the vast maze of links and paths found on the net. This  article offers a completely different viewpoint to the alleged environmental guru of the Liberals, Environment Minister Barry Penner and the BC Liberals. 

    Here’s an excerpt:

    ” What is ingenuous about the blistering attacks leveled at James and her incumbent caucus is the blind-eye promotion of B.C.’s current Minister of the Environment, Barry Penner.

    Penner and his Liberal colleagues, the ones that will benefit Carole James’ defeat, are behind the worst environmental policies in the history of mankind. These include: The biggest promotion of the oil and gas industry in British Columbia, ever. Penner and the Liberals are behind the thousands of miles of pipelines from Alaska and Alberta that would criss-cross the province to provide oil and gas to China, Asia, and the United States; they support expanded oil and condensate traffic through British Columbia’s narrow coastal straits and up the treacherous fjords to maintain the biggest single carbon producing project on planet Earth, the Alberta Tar Sands; the Gateway plan they endorse would see miles of roadways built across the province, and the creation of a super port on B.C.’s coast designed specifically for truck transport to service international trade between Asia and markets primarily in the United States; the continuing policy of selling raw logs abroad, costing mill jobs in B.C.; refusing to put a moratorium on the plunder of what little is left of the province’s old growth trees, effectively destroying the primeval forests; and, the expansion of open net fish farms that threaten the survival of the ecologically essential wild salmon runs.

    This is not a complete list, but instead of excoriating Penner and his caucus pals, CVBC lauds the Liberal, saying;

    “Barry is a former park ranger, lifelong environmentalist and has been a consistent champion of climate action within the Liberal caucus and in public. He helped lead the successful fight against the Sumas Energy 2 power plant, quashed the proposals for unsequestered coal plants in BC, was co-chair of B.C.’s Alternative Energy and Power Technology Task Force, and has worked with California (as well as other provinces and US states) to negotiate BC’s cap-and-trade system to combat global warming. Barry introduced the legislation in 2007 to reduce BC’s emissions by 33% by 2020. Most recently he has been Minister of Environment and Minister responsible for Climate Action. Barry has stickhandled much of the criticism government has received for the tough choices that need to be made (such as the laudable carbon tax) and we endorse his re-election.”

    CVBC may be forgiven for taking much of the Penner’s biographical information from the Liberal member’s website, but in fairness to B.C. voters they might have provided more from the same site by way of context. For instance;

    “Barry was appointed by Premier Campbell in 2001 to lead BC’s delegation to the Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER). He served as PNWER’s vice-president before becoming President in June 2002. Barry continues to be actively involved in PNWER activities bringing BC’s perspective directly to legislative leaders in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska, as well as Alberta and Yukon.”

    More so than the Environment portfolio, PRNWR suits lawyer and trade specialist Penner much better. PNWER is the creation of those that would “harmonize” business and government operations on both sides of the border, emphasizing P3’s, or Public Private Partnerships, those entities taking profits from formerly public entities like B.C. Hydro, and delivering them to businesses that often operate a revolving door for “public servants” like the minister. They allow the public step in to carry the burden of losses, as in the case of Enron and the billions B.C. taxpayers lost in the spot energy market scandal that ultimately unwound Ken Lay’s Enron and the fleecing of the public.

    PNWER is predominantly business orientated, throwing in a few Mom and apple pie ecology crumbs for public consumption while their real work is maximizing profits for the few through environmentally destructive mega-projects. Here’s how they describe their mission;

    “With over 20 million people and over US $700 billion in gross regional product, the US Pacific Northwest and Western Canada is one of fastest growing regions of North America. We are China and East Asia’s gateway to North America, the host of the 2010 Winter Olympics and the site of several major infrastructure projects and business opportunities. Now more than ever, the Pacific Northwest needs a bi-national, regional advocate that works with both the public and private sectors.”

    That may be so, but it’s hard to see how PNWER serves the “public sectors” beyond enriching a select few of its members. ”

    Read the rest of this article by Chris Cook here : http://pacificfreepress.com/news/1-/4063-british-columbias-war-on-global-climate-change.html

    ***** Thanks to Andy, who referred me to this link : http://www.wildernesscommittee.org/campaigns/publiclands/parks/pressreleases/ ,that talks about just how far Mr. Penner was off in his count of the total number of rangers in the first place.

     They obtained this document through a freedom of information request :http://www.wildernesscommittee.org/campaigns/publiclands/parks//pressreleases/BC%20Park_Rangers_FOI.pdf 

    This document shows the number of park rangers the province has actually employed between 2000, and 2007, which is clearly no where near the numbers Barry was throwing around.

    But it’s all ok , according to Barry.

    He’s not working right now – he’s campaigning. Of course he doesn’t know what’s going on….

    Remember those Glossy BC Liberal Carbon Tax ads?

    Here’s a blast from the past that is oh so relevent  this election. Lets look back at how the Liberals tried to woo us with some spanking ads in an effort to make us fall for the CARBON TAX……all with taxpayers dollars. I blogged about that pile of crock last July and encourage you to go back and read it now :

    http://lailayuile.wordpress.com/2008/07/13/bc-liberals-carbon-tax-adverts-1-hell-of-an-expensive-pile-of-bs/

    The alternative to Campbell and his Tax- straight from Carol James

    Let me preface this post by saying I am not a member of any political party in Canada, and I don’t pander or schill for any of them. The information I post here is what I find to be important, interesting or newsworthy. Take what you like, and leave what you don’t- it is up to you.

    In an effort to find out what British Columbians, one of the things I did was fire off an email to Carol James,Leader of the opposition. A very lady, but one whom I find to be personable and down to earth in her manner. Although I did not expect a reply so soon with her current schedule, I received one last night. I think the information she sent bears a look at, as we are all bombarded with the expensive Liberal ads via TV, newspaper and radio. I apologize for the unconventional format, the flyers she emailed are not supported on the wordpress format, so the visuals are not represented here, only the text.

    As I said, take what you like from this,and discard the rest.

     

     

    Gordon Campbell’s

    climate change approach:

    Not fair, not effective,

    and secret

    But, in the fight against climate

    change, Gordon Campbell has taken

    us in the wrong direction. His plan isn’t

    fair, it won’t work, and he’s not listening

    to British Columbians’ concerns:

    1. Not Fair

    > Big polluters were supposed to be covered

    under a cap-and-trade program, but that’s

    been put on the back burner.

    > Gordon Campbell’s fuel tax doesn’t take

    into account regional differences, despite

    the fact that many people don’t have

    access to public transit, and people in the

    interior and the north often have to pay a

    lot more to heat their homes.

    > Schools, hospitals and local governments

    will shoulder the cost of the new fuel tax,

    and will likely have to cut services.

    2. Not Effective

    > Even the Campbell government admits

    the fuel tax will barely make a dent on

    greenhouse gas emissions, and at best

    would only lead to a 2.8 per cent cut by

    2020.

    > Without alternatives like funding for home

    heating upgrades and access to affordable

    public transit, people will have no choice

    but to pay the fuel tax.

    > Gordon Campbell talks tough on climate

    change, but his government has failed

    to deliver on public transit and supports

    increasing subsidies for the oil and gas

    sector, ending the moratorium on offshore

    oil exploration, and the privatization of our

    energy resources.

    3. Secret

    > Gordon Campbell hatched up his climate

    change plan behind closed doors, without

    even talking with British Columbians.

    > Gordon Campbell is too arrogant to admit

    that British Columbians have real concerns

    about his approach, let alone deal with

    those concerns.

    > Because ordinary people have been shut

    out, an increasing number of people don’t

    want to take part in Gordon Campbell’s

    climate change plan.

    Climate change is the biggest issue of our generation,

     

     

     

     

    and everyone needs to be part of the

    fight. We must make sure that we get our plan right – it needs to be fair, it needs to actually

    work, and people need to be included in the solution.

     

    O F F I C I A L O P P O S I T I O N

    “In order to effect real progress, we need to adopt an emissions

    pricing system that will actually reduce greenhouse gases, but

    Gordon Campbell’s fuel tax will barely make a dent on emissions.”

    CAROLE JAMES (June 6, 2008)

    New Democrats are committed to

    taking bold action on climate change.

    We’re building a comprehensive plan in

    consultation with British Columbians

    — a plan that enshrines the principles

    of fairness, openness and effective

    environmental stewardship.

    The New Democrat Framework for Real

    Climate Action outlines a fairer, more

    effective and more transparent alternative

    approach, and includes seven action items

    to reduce emissions:

    1. Tougher regulations for polluters

    2. Fair and effective emission pricing

    3. Real help to increase conservation and green

    energy production

    4. Transportation solutions

    5. Local planning, land use and resource

    management

    6. Creating a sustainable society and economy

    7. Leadership and accountability

    We know we don’t have a monopoly on

    good ideas. Carole James and the New

    Democrat Opposition will consult British

    Columbians about the approaches and

    ideas presented in this framework and

    about their perspectives and solutions.

    Only then can we can we say to British

    Columbians, “Here—on the basis of our

    combined efforts—is a plan that we can

    all get behind.” Only then can we make

    common cause and fight climate change

    fairly and effectively.

    FA I R , EFFECTIVE, OPEN

    The New Democrat Framework for Real

    Climate Action:

     

     

     

     

    fair, effective and open

    O F F I C I A L O P P O S I T I O N

    For more information on the

    New Democrat Framework

    for Real Climate Action, visit:

    http://www.realclimateaction.ca

    or email us at

    realclimateaction@leg.bc.ca

     

    Terasen Gas and BC Hydro kill me with their billing.

    Even though the inside postal workers are on strike, rest assured your bills will come. As did my bills yesterday, two of them: Terasen Gas and BC Hydro. One would think that one would get charged strictly for the amount of fuel or electricity used, but oh no. As most of you know, the bills contain a plethora of other charges that, in some cases, add up to more than the cost of the actual energy consumption.

    Here’s my gas bill from Teresen.

    Delivery Charges

    Basic charge:                                                    11.13

    Delivery( 4.5 GL at 2.728 per GL)                        12.28    = 23.41 ” *

    So, after calling Terasen I am told that all customers are charged for the privilege of having gas go through the pipes to our homes- this is the basic charge. Even if you don’t ever use your gas during the summer, you are still charged for delivery because the gas is actually there in the pipe. Then, you are charged again when you actually have used the gas that is in the pipe, and this delivery charge is based on the amount you used. In my case, it totals 23.41.

    What …a…joke.

    Now we go to…

    Commodity Charges

    Midstream( 4.5 GJ at 1.326 per GJ)           5.97

    Cost of Gas     ( 4.5 GJ at 7.536 per GJ)   33.91  = 39.88   ” *

    Well, I can see where my actual consumption is, so what is this midstream? Apparently, this refers to the charges Terasen pays other companies who store, transport and  otherwise help Terasen  manage the gas they deliver to us. ( ?????? most companies call this the cost of doing business, but whatever)

    Again. What…a…joke.

    Then , we get to my favorite part:

    Other Charges and Taxes

    Carbon Tax ( 4.5 GJ at 0.4966 per GJ)              2.23*

    Clean Energy Levy ( 0.49% of the ” amounts)   0.25

    GST( 5% of * amounts)                                     3.28 =  5.76

    Ah yes, that oh so wonderful Carbon Tax  of Gordon Campbells that is revenue neutral  IS in fact making money for the federal government because they are charging GST on it!!!! A tax on a tax- is that even legal?  Isn’t that like double dipping?

    Tax us once , and then tax us again and hope we don’t notice it.

    I couldn’t get an good answer as to why we are being charged the clean energy levy other than the woman I spoke to thought it goes towards developing clean energy sources. Another cash grab. Where are they?

    All in all, the cost of gas that I actually used  was $33.91. The total of other charges was $35.14.

    And they wonder why we feel like we getting gouged.

     

    So, let me share with you my BC Hydro bill charges.

    Basic charge : 2.33*

    Usage charge : 38.06*

    Rate Rider at 0.5%: 0.68*

    Innovative Clean Energy Fund Levy at 0.4%: 0.55

    Regional Transit Levy: 62 days @$0.06240/day: 3.87*

    Then, because of the rate change, I get another slew of charges pro-rated for the remainder of the billing period.

    The gist of this bill is this: we are getting taxed on top of the levies and fund and other charges we have on top of our ACTUAL consumed energy.

    And please tell me this. Why is Translink even considering imposing another levy on us to make some money if we are already paying a regional transit levy on our bills?

    If every customer in BC is paying that charge, Translink is making a killing, and we all have to pay it regardless of income level. Welfare recipients are paying it. And we are paying GST on top of that Transit levy, so the government is making moola on that as well.

    It doesn’t seem to matter where or who or why, but I think we’ve already paid enough via all the crafty little charges they stick in here and there, including the taxes in our gas for the car. When the additional charges and taxes and levies mandated by the government are larger than the actual amounts of energy/fuel used, something’s wrong.

    This year alone, we’ve seen  raises for ministers, raises for executives, fare increases, taxes and levies out the ying-yang – not to mention the horrific 2010 expenditures, and the ultimate slap in the face is that now,  we are getting charged a tax on a tax.

    I’m tired of the little guy( or gal) having to take up the slack for the governments mismanagement and decisions. When was the last time the premier relied on transit- he has a government car! An expense account, government jets! When was the last time he had to choose between paying for his heating bill and buying better food? or paying rent? That IS where many British Columbians are financially right now, and these are the people feeling the brunt of government mismanagement and their ridiculous solutions- and it will be along winter for so many.

    It’s time for the government to look at where THEY have to cut back on un-necessary spending and excess , instead of passing the buck on to the average Joe. I for one, have had enough.

    I’m Laila Yuile, and this is how I see it.

    Campbells Carbon Tax and the Working Joe (and Jill)

    In recent weeks, there has been plenty of talk about the cost of living, the inflation rate, fuel prices and foreclosures. It’s enough to drive a man to drink. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2008/07/23/bc-ferries-fare-increase-august.html

    I’m tired of hearing about global warming, climate change,carbon tax, and the like. Enough is enough. Our premier doesn’t give a damn about me, or you, or any of our families. He doesn’t worry about things like missing a credit card payment or putting gas in the tank, or whether or not his kid can play football if you cant afford the registration fees. Does he even drive himself anywhere, anymore?  It is simply not his reality.

     And so, the carbon tax really doesn’t mean anything to him other than some really bad PR right now. It wasn’t motivated by a care of the environment, it was motivated by an egomaniacs delusional fantasy about self importance. This, from a man who spends vacations in Hawaii, living the high life, while the rest of us are forced to stick our feet in the kiddie pool with a heat lamp to get a tan. He couldn’t buy enough carbon credits to offset his air travel in one year, and  this summer so many of us cant afford to fly anywhere for vacation… I think he would do the environment a much better service by  simply shutting his mouth to prevent hot gas from escaping everytime he speaks.

    I am an average Jill. I come from a forestry town up north, one that is going to be hurting badly when the beetle kill wood  being logged runs out. My dad has always worked harder than anyone I know, and he would give any of his friends the shirt off his back. His job is dangerous at times in the pulp mill. Chlorine gas leaks, black liquor tanks, complicated machinery. Many of his friends have died younger than they should have: cancer , heart attacks, strokes. All to make sure that pulp keeps being processed. Pulp is huge for BC.

    There are thousands more men and women like him in our province, and if it wasn’t for them, Gordon Campbell wouldn’t have anything to run. The men and women building that ill-fated sky train line into Richmond. The young crane operator who died. The men who spend days and nights, long and lonely on the road to bring us our food, and clothes and whatever else is transported by semi. Men like my husband and his coworkers who take so much abuse and flack just trying to make a living. Construction workers, truck drivers, labourers, taxi cab drivers, you name it.

    These men and women work hard to provide for their families, sometimes dirty, no thanks, shitty jobs just to make ends meet and feed their kids.

    Will they be able to heat their house and feed the family this winter? The sad truth is, some will, some won’t. There will be children who are too cold, or too hungry to fall asleep this year. There will be more kids without presents at Christmas and so long to that hockey team little Billy wanted to play on.

    You think I’m kidding? This is the reality thousands are facing with this extra tax, and it is the way the current government sees fit to thank all of us for working hard to make him look good.

    This is how the province thanks them. A $100.00 bribe and a whole lot of worry for the future. He gave us our own $100.00 back, and then tried to say how lucky we are for getting it… go figure. And we should buy light bulbs with it, or weather stripping – as if.

    I have a neighbour who works extremely hard. She has several kids that she takes care of for daycare, and she walks all over the neighbourhood several times a week delivering the local paper from a stack on top of her stroller. She does it rain or shine, and her kids help her out. I bet that rebate cheque was a nice windfall for her, but I wonder what happens when it gets really cold out in the winter? Did she save it for then ? Our houses are older, and the heat escapes everywhere. Its expensive to heat them already, and the price of natural gas is going to be rising again. Thanks Gordon.

    The premier doesn’t seem to realise how many average people there are who are living pay-cheque to pay-cheque. He doesn’t seem to realise that they can only take so much, and that people are starting to clue into the reality behind this tax. His narrow views and hidden agendas have lasted this long because the average Joe honestly didn’t pay much attention beyond  whining about the local  political scandals, but that is quickly coming to an end.

    The carbon tax has woken people up, and how! More people than ever are talking, seeking information, and really delving into how he has run his administration to the point that Basi-Virk is becoming a household word…..

     In forcing this tax upon us, Old King Gordo inadvertently opened his own can of proverbial worms. We shall see how he harness’s them all…

    A reform is a correction of abuses; a revolution is a transfer of power.
    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

    I perceive that, in revolutions, the supreme power rests with the most abandoned.
    Georges Jacques Danton