Sunday, February 26, 2006

Immigration; an open door or labor control?

Immigration has not taken the fore front of news as it should have. Immigration or the lack of it has been the fulcrum for many political debates and social catastrophes over the years. The importing of strike breakers to quell dock strikes comes to mind. Pavlov in his studies tells us that capitalism cannot survive if it has less than 10% unemployment. Take that or leave it. Seems to me industry is very happy when unemployment is at about 6%.

Some very interesting things have come about in Canada on immigration. For instance Quebec has it written into Canadian law it would be guaranteed 40% of Canada’s immigration. They have problems with falling population growth; this was a cure in part. It leaves Quebec in a position of first choice on immigrants. This leaves Quebec receiving 40% of the immigration dollars whether or not they use it! They demand control over their own immigration. Incoming people often land in Quebec and catch the first bus out west. Quebec keeps the Federal cash.

Alberta has announced multi billions of dollars of projects and not ten cents worth of plans. This is just the way this Government works. Are we in trouble on water privatization? Easy Fix! Let’s field a plan for the tired Edmonton – Calgary railroad. That will serve to keep eyes off the ball (or water).

Alberta fully realizes it has neither the educated staff, trades people nor the laborers to bring on most of their projects. Alberta targeted trucking as being one of the trades Alberta needs.

Consider that truck drivers can usually operate a range of equipment or can be taught to do so it seems a good idea at the onset. Their stated purpose of covering the long haul truck driver shortage is out to lunch. In fact, it is more resembles the strike breaking scenarios familiar to us all.

There are not enough trucks crossing the borders because Canadian Drivers refuse to cross the border because of border hassle, extended wait times and plainly inhospitable Americans at the borders. Why? Hours spent at the border count against driving times and hence, income.

When Alberta hires it’s foreign drivers Alberta's stated purpose is to cross American borders which will simply not be allowed by Homeland Security. Why then, bring in so many drivers?

A Saskatchewan based trucking company hired 80 or so English/Scottish truck drivers a year ago. They brought their families over by offering sponsor ship and asked for 3 years service from the immigrants at the going rates after which time, they were free agents. Things seem to be going very well for this marriage even though the newly immigrated cannot go into the US. Canadian born drivers are now bullied into doing that crossing.

On another front in Alberta a tanker company hired a hundred or so people out of Romania to drive truck for them. Single people I think. Anyway; after 6 months most had returned to Romania. Money was great but, look at the expenses! Things were apparently better in Romania.

Our Prime Minister to tackle immigrant job issues: McGuinty reads the headline. I’m interested to see what he plans on giving away and/or clawing back. I can only hope the regular media gives this subject the attention it deserves.

Yet another subject to follow the Gazettes for!

Friday, February 24, 2006

History of Agriculture vs Monsanto and Roundup

Please forward my comments to all Members of Parliament of Canada:

About 9000 years before the birth of Christ, people in what today is Turkey had begun to cultivate species of grasses for the seeds and used those seeds for feeding animals such as goats, sheep, and camels. This statement can be corroborated by most archaeologists.

These ancient agronomists learned to select from the seeds they had harvested those seeds which had the best nutritional value for their animals and themselves and, over the succeeding millenia, wheat, rye, oats, barley and other strains were developed from these native grasses.

There is a very powerful chemical industry that wishes to introduce into Canada a genetic variation which would make these seeds sterile. Presumably this "terminator" technology would make it possible to spray a field with glyphosate ("ROUNDUP") to kill all plants in the field in question which are not glyphosate-tolerant but leave the glyphosate-tolerant plants unharmed.

Thus, if this terminator-technology were allowed to be introduced and if, for some reason, a disaster were to destroy a race of "normal" wheat, rye, oats, flax, or barley we would probably lose all of the genetic history of the particular "normal" grass-species involved. Likely that genetic material could not be replaced.

I am particularly worried that pollen from terminator plants of one particular species might cross with non-terminator plants of the same species and result in sterile seeds. It has been well-established fact that plant pollen can be carried by insects or borne on wind significant distances. If this Government of Canada permits this terminator technology to be introduced into Canada I will never vote in favor of that political party and I will assiduously work for its defeat in all future elections.

The original purpose of granting letters patent was to grant protection, for a limited period of time, to an inventor of some potentially-useful device so that the inventor would be able to commercialize his invention but after the time had lapsed he would face competition. The operative words were "beneficial" and "competition".

It was not anticipated that the inventor would have permanent protection nor was it anticipated that a potentially harmful material could be permitted to be introduced into the country issuing a patent for the invention.

It is my opinion that the nature of Round Up Ready plants and the policy that Monsanto has been employing amounts to a permanent protection against competition. Consequently I am of the opinion that Monsanto's patent for Round Up Ready plants should be cancelled immediately.

It is my opinion that this terminator technology is potentially harmful rather than potentially beneficial to farmers and, further, that Monsanto's policies would likely be permanently anti-competitive. On both counts, I believe the best interests of Canadians would be served by an absolute refusal to allow the so-called invention into Canada.

Allan Dane

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Coal Bed Methane the Dream of Ages

Alberta has been working on this with very limited success for the last 25 years. Efforts are now more directed to how to snow the public than how to get the gas up without puncturing the water aquifers.

Coal bed methane in the news today.

Alberta is planning on using our dwindling fresh water to force the gas out of the coal bed. When you look at these two things together one has to wonder why the privatized water lines and who is going to pay!

A single coal bed methane battery can have more than 20 holes going through the water aquifer!

When the gas comes up, some of this water laden with lead mercury and other heavy metals like cyanide and it goes back into the water aquifer damaging for ever the quality of the drinking water.

Alberta Environment will be quick to tell you their disposal rules are second to none. Any of the used water or natural occurring water in the coal has to be sent down 1 km underground. They are talking of any water pockets they encounter in the coal. That’s all and well for the fluids they catch. What comes up with the gas and water and back into the aquifer is the unspoken risk! More misdiriection by this Government and the energy companies.

Montana has a different problem than Alberta. Theirs is one of saline or salt solutions embedded in the coal seam coming up with the gas that kills the vegetation for a lot of years. Alberta doesn’t seem to have a bunch of salt, yet but it does have its share of the other nasties.

When the oil seismic crews went through the County of Parkland near Edmonton all the wells went dry. The citizens said it was because the seismic perforated the water table (Aquifer) and Klein's direct respone was "Prove it!"

With events coming I would suggest you ask for water testing before they start and at an ongoing schedual of no more than 20 day intervals from an area circumference of the site !

Gas recovery sites a hundred miles away from your well water can contaminate your well. Press the Government for proper monitoring! Protect the water Aquifer.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Clean Burning Coal Dream.

Ralph’s Ode to Alberta probably cost a quarter million dollars of Conservative Coin. That has to be a feel good thing. Buy your way to popularity; works everywhere!

On his key note of turning coal into gas to achieve good, healthy burning:

Alberta Research Council was involved in this process 15 years ago and the Conservatives found it to be a worthless process and fired every one involved with it. Current views from people involved in that first program points to a public relations show with little or no substance. Possibly to lure investment or positive press.

Don’t believe any of it until you see it and keep your investment dollars in your pockets!

Missed topics in Klein's Fireside in February.

John Clark
14815 – 123 Ave
Edmonton, AB T5L 2Y7
February 21, 2006

Honorable Ralph Klein,
Room 307
Legislative Building,
Edmonton, AB T4K 2C6

Dear Premier:
In anticipation of your TV fireside tonight I offer up the following.

Alberta Research Council – Coal Research centre “There is no such thing as clean burning coal.”

Electrical debacle: EUB has approved cost plus operations. That is full cost of construction, research, transportation and entertainment plus a profit running 9% and 12%. There is no audit of expenses to speak of. This means the higher the private company forces up the expenses the more money is returned in profits!

This same plan is in effect in the Oil Sands contracts with various oil companies. Albertans are giving their resource away at fire sale prices and about to get raped on their water as they did on their electricity.

Your people claim they are going to privatize all the water in Alberta. This is thought to be less expensive than maintaining individual treatment plants. I ask you less expensive for who? The oil companies while retail consumers die?

Your determination is to put all the potable water under the control private industry one way or another. Your first project will be that of centralized water system including pipelines built and maintained by ATCO or BECHTAL.

In bringing this to bear you have systematically cut off support for infrastructure programs including maintenance and improvements over the past dozen years. In addition Alberta Environment has coerced communities into going along by threatening them with no support for their water treatment facilities unless they join the pipe lines.

How long before pictures of Alberta show up on the world media with our water credit card waiting in line with a bucket? Pictures right out of Bechtal drinking water operations in Africa!

The cost of such utility will show directly on consumer’s utility bills which will probably double. Cost plus profit added to the price of water.

Mr. Lougheed of ATCO recently said he would not build power lines as the EUB was not allowing enough profit. They were at 9% profit allowed at the time. Instead he said he would go into the pipeline business where he could see 11% profits comfortably. Profits compounded onto profits. Wow!

Are you going to bring in legislation to tell the cities they have to divest themselves of water delivery systems as you did with Electricity?

I think it is time for Edmontonians, Calgarians and all other community interested people to contact their elected official and ask them where they stand in this scheme! If they are for it, make sure they are not elected again!

John Clark

Monday, February 20, 2006

Knee and Hip replacment waiting a farce!

I will comment on an excellent article in the Edmonton Journal today’s date. Mr. Kevin Taft has chosen to be kind and gentle when dealing with Mr. Klein and company. He explains the hip and knee replacement program trials show’s there can be an advantage of working with the private sector.

What he didn’t say was the people selected for the trials were just that, selected. Those who got into the program were certain to be out of hospital in 2 days or so. If there were any of the normal complications apparent that would have people staying in hospital for a week or two they were found to be “not suitable” for the test criteria.

Because of this, the waiting list planned and managed by Iris Evans, Health Minster was allowed to get long enough to sort out easy fixes. This wasn’t about helping people or saving money it was about political grand standing.

The Private Hip and Knee replacement hospital used to be a public institution. It was given to the “private” group including our famous Mr. Dinning for 1/10th its value. Then, after this “group” had taken possession another six millions of dollars of improvements were put into the hospital by our Government.

This is undoubtably the shape of the future under Conservatives! Beware of new hospitals, they won't belong to the taxpayer long!

Here again, create the problem by short funding and a blind eye to the suffering it causes and blame it all onto a public system. Then, privatize it to the tune of a marching band.

By my estimates without putting pen to paper, these hip replacements were the most expensive on the planet and showed more than any, how privatization is about giving taxpayer equities to a closed group of friends to exploit, with the help of this Government.

Mr. Taft is a lot kinder than I.

If Mr. Dinning has any coments he wants plublished he can drop me a line.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Ralph's Master plan unveiled

It is apparent Klein and Company have deliberately shorted infrastructure support to the communties in order to blackmail them into his privitzied water scheme. The Journal article coupled with Mr. Lougheed of ATCO dog and pony show saying what a good idea it was to bring the Peace River south in pipelines prompted this letter. Mr. Klein always has a chance to reply but usually tosses the ball to Environment who ignore when they can't lie.

Time to check with your municipal elected leaders and see what kind of a deal they have in mind for you; if ATCO gets involved your utility will double!

Honorable Ralph Klein, February 17, 2006
Legislative Building,
Edmonton, AB T4K 2C6

Re:- The occupation of Alberta by Ralph Klein; The Master Plan.

Dear Premier:

The announcement and text in the Edmonton Journal article “Province has stalled over water treatment report” has brought into focus your total debilitating plan for Alberta. I have said before it is hard to distinguish between the Alberta Conservative Government and Organized Crime. This is so true!

Starting back in Mr. Dinning’s day (he probably co-authored of the plan) you slowly and surly cut down the support for Alberta’s infrastructure. Your mismanagement over the years did produce a debt for this province that you had to pay down. As well your party blew most of the Heritage trust fund. Some record! One is forced to ask why and how.

I believe you personally are driven by an adolescent extreme right wing viewpoint. As such your are condemned to moving ahead with ideals rather than plans. This however is where it stops.

I have said before you are a “one trick dog” and it was not until I read the ‘Journal article I realized how true that is. As with all of your schemes you first debilitate the service through chronic under funding then, you step up to the public and say to privatize it is the only way to save the day.

You did this in Parks and Camp grounds with millions dropped by the way side. You did this in Electricity with 60 billions of dollars apparently misplaced in the transactions. Misplaced? Certainly but remaining a total absolute loss for Albertans.

You are well on your way to doing this same number on Health Care; dam the fools who disagree.

Now you are starting it on the water however dwindling that resource is. You have left municipalities and cities with a water treatment plant the choice of going onto your pipeline, in which case they are promised financial help with the upgrade and maintenance of their water treatment plants or, do not join your pipeline scheme and suffer along on the municipal tax base for all their water needs.

There is still another 5 billion dollars needed in infrastructure because of your plan which is to privatize all of the infrastructure in the maintenance catch up.

By copy of this letter I am suggesting to the Association of Municipalities there is another alternative. Don’t party with you and your crew; wait until an honest Government comes to power and there will be fresh ideas put on the table.

Utility and services will remain in the hands of the Government and there may very well be the means to claw back that you have already taken from us!

John Clark

Friday, February 17, 2006

Dangerous Goods - The kit Developing

The Transport of Dangerous Goods training tells the owner he/she is responsible to stop or mitigate any leaks fires what not that may arise from the freight he/she is carrying. It does not tell you how to do this however.

Here is a list of things and their explanation that will be useful around the home or the shop as well as in a truck to meet or mitigate your circumstance as in spill leak fire etc.

Remember firemen work in teams and train with proper equipment including various flash gear devices. A situation may be stable until you enter into it! If you don't know and don't have a buddy then, best you stay away and call for help.

An insipient stage of a fire (starting fire) should have 2400 gallons of water available to put it out (that's 11,000 liter) of water. Phone for fire department support before you try with a garden hose!

The trick is being prepared and making a decision not to enter a circumstance because of limitation; that is very different than not knowing what to do and doing nothing!

1 soft rubber bounce ball 7 cm dia
1 ceiling lamp hook (butterfly fold down on one end and screw head on the other)
1 wing nut that fits the lamp hook screw

Take off the butterfly from the long screw, turn it around and screw it down onto the screw so its tip is next to the head of the screw.
Force the long screw through the rubber ball allowing end to protrude longer than 1/2 the span of the butterfly.
Add a 1/2" washer and a wing nut. Finished!

Make a second, smaller size.

Operation: A leak in a light container is handled best by turning the container in such a way the hole is at the top. Now, take the ball plug and push the butterfly through the container as you would through a ceiling. This leaves the ball next to the container. Turn the wing nut down onto the ball forcing it against the container. It will be effectively, temporarily patched. The softer the ball, the better the fit.

The next item of importance is:
The second important piece for your Dangerous Goods response kit is a bundle of wooden door wedges which can be picked up for a buck at most hardware stores. Also here a small, clear plastic bag. The bag can be used for a patch or to protect your hands. You must have your kit with you to do any good. In the trunk, under the seat; where-ever. Great package for a boat. If you have to go for a patch you will have lost the battle.

The trick here is:
They will not cause sparks.
They can be broken with your fingers to plug smaller holes.
One wedge can be used to tap a second, third or 5th into place.
On the marine side of things this is called soft patching. Similar tools on a larger scale as in 2 X 4s or larger along with mattresses can prevent a boat from sinking.

Your kit will not need any secondary tool to make it work.

Klein embarks on water privatization!

Klein is setting up the privatization of water the same way he ran the privatization of the electricity and that one cost us 60 billions of dollars out of pocket and the highest utility bills in the country!

He will get ATCO to build water lines and ATCO or a subsidiary will install the meters and you will be paying ATCO for the rent on your water pipelines until the end of time. Bulk water is not presently a commodity under NAFTA. However pipeline rentals are a given!

Farms will be metered up; rainfall and snowmelt metered and charged for at one level or another. You may not be paying for your well water on the farm; you will be paying for the meter rental and pipes! His fair for everybody routine will come into play.

The Edmonton Journal writes an ominous article Thursday February 16, 2006 Page B5. Province has stalled over water treatment report. (link not available)

He is running the program on water “critical issues”. The choices are understated and misrepresented. Too expensive to put money into local water treatment facilities; better a central treatment plant and pipe lines is the spin.

Alberta Environment makes no mention that their pipe line plans were mandatory. Municipalities are told to join with Ralph’s plan to take over your water and they will give the municipality financial assistance with your water treatment plant.

If your town does not join the pipe lines they get no assistance in water treatment, your civic tax base and your house taxes will take the punishment.

An unnamed study is referred to from 2004. I would guess it is done by ATCO and endorsed me Mr. Lougheed (An ATCO employee) who has been busy advocating the movement of the Peace River south, through ATCO pipelines. Keep in mind the other Alberta Study, the Weatherford Project fully engineered to do just that!

They are creating a problem in our minds so they can offer their privatization solution!

Remember the power? It started when Klein and company noted that Leduc County was getting more revenue from their power lines and pipe lines than were less fortunate districts. Many school districts did not have computers and any number of other things. So the problem was stated!

Their cure: We will put in a system where by all Albertan’s will pay the same price for their power delivery and the revenue is to be shared between all the school districts. Well, there was no revenue sharing; he took control of the lines and put in legislation so Albertans would have to pay for the power lines to move the tar sands power to commercial outlets in the US. This was his equal share plan!

After he brought in legislation on the power lines he proceed to produce power purchase option plans while telling generation facilities they had to divest themselves of the power lines he had recently taken charge of under the umbrella of helping school districts.

Any place ATCO has got involved in municipal power or water in this province the power delivery prices have doubled! Think here of LaCrete and Vermilion AB!

Time to start calling your MLA!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Public Utilitie; Electrial Power Detailed By Allan Dane

Electric utilities in North America are characterized by very large investments of money, as you know. Today the cost of large steam generation units that are fitted with steam condensers is about $1.50 per watt of generation capacity. Most units having capacity greater than 300 megawatts will be such.

Most electric utilities, if they have any options available to them, will employ a mixture of generating units because the utilities experience a varying daily load cycle. If the utility were to attempt to employ only high efficiency steam units, those units would be operating for hours each day at much less efficiency than at peak efficiency. Thus the very large increments of power required by customers, which usually occur about 11:00 AM and about 4:00 PM, are supplied from a mixture of less-efficient and maximum efficient generating units.

Prior to 1960 the less-efficient generating units were driven by diesel engines. Although some diesel engines having ratings of perhaps 6,000 kilowatts were available at that time, most of them were around 1,000 kilowatts.

The advantages of internal combustion engines were that they were relatively inexpensive compared to the cost of steam turbines fitted with condensers and they could be quickly started and stopped after the peak load had passed. The disadvantage of internal combustion engines was that they consumed fuel that was more expensive than coal.

Hydro power is extremely expensive because the individual units are very large, very heavy, and usually the dam structures are very expensive. However, once hydro units are started, there is very little cost to keep them fuel costs.

Nuclear power must be considered as extremely expensive in terms of capital costs. The thermodynamic cycle for nuclear power plants is not very efficient because the fuel rods do not return to their original state if the temperature is allowed to exceed much more than 500 degrees celsius. For that reason, very large artificial lakes and very tall hyperbolic cooling towers must be constructed to reject the waste heat from the condensers attached to the steam turbines.

There are two further difficulties associated with the American and the Russian nuclear power plants.

Firstly the American nuclear generation units cannot be refueled under load and secondly they are not intrinsically fail-safe.

As you know, both the Americans and the Russians have had nuclear power plant failures. The Americans have been forced to remove Three Mile Island from service since 1979 and it is very doubtful that it can ever be returned to service. The Russians have been forced to construct a sarcophagus around Chernobyl and it seems quite likely that it can never be returned to service or even that people can live near that power plant.

The fact that the American nuclear power plants cannot be refueled under load means that replacement power and energy must be obtained from a neighboring electric utility while refuelling...and replacement power and energy are very expensive.

I am not certain that the Russian nuclear powerplants cannot be refueled under load but I suspect that would be true. The Russian nuclear powerplants had a graphite moderator and a rapid thermal cycle is believed to have caused the disaster at Chernobyl. British scientists had known of the difficulties of this nature and decided not to use a graphite moderator in their nuclear powerplants.

The CANDU reactor can be and usually is refueled under any load.

The American, Russian, Canadian, and probably British and French nuclear reactors exhibit severe corrosion problems. Approximately 50% of the tubes in the Palisades Nuclear Steam Generation unit have been welded closed due to this problem. In simple terms: this powerplant can only generate about 50% of the megawatts it was expected to be able to generate.... The CANDU reactors leak deuterium oxide (heavy water) and replacement is very expensive.

While several American utilities have expressed interest in constructing new nuclear generation powerplants, no new nuclear generation station has been placed in service in the USA since 1979.

When President Reagan was elected in 1980, interest rates on mortgages in the USA were generally "decent", about 7%. Shortly after his inauguration, President Reagan started the USA on a wild expenditure to rebuild the US Military. By 1984 the US Federal deficit was about $350 billions each year and interest rates that electric utilities were paying for borrowed capital reached 20%. Soon it became obvious that any electric utility which had an incomplete powerplant still under construction at that time would be seeking protection from its creditors.

Late in 1984 I was one of two individuals in the corporation for which I worked assigned to determine how much money had been invested by a consortium of three utilities that were constructing a nuclear powerplant at Sandusky, Ohio. Sandusky is located about one-third of the distance between Toledo and Cleveland between Interstate 80 and Lake Erie. The consortium had invested about $6 billions and were seeking protection from their creditors.

On August 14, 2003 there was a blackout which affected most of Ontario, New York State, Ohio, and parts of Michigan. This blackout lasted several days. By placing a Google Alert on Electric Power I was able to learn that the blackout was due to failure of "FIRST ENERGY" to trim trees along one of its rights-of-way. Electrical engineers have known for at least a century that utilities must trim trees so I put a Google Alert on FIRST ENERGY. Not long after that, I learned several things:
(1) FIRST ENERGY owned the nuclear powerplant at Sandusky
(2) FIRST ENERGY had been granted permission to discharge more than 100 employees at the Sandusky powerplant
(3) FIRST ENERGY has been charging homeowners $200 per month to be connected to their system and that does not include the cost of energy....

I had known that there were "very friendly" relations between the Investor Owned Utilities of the USA and the Republican Party for many years. To give you a better picture...

One of the men who contested with FDR for President of the USA was Wendell Wilkie. Before Mr. Wilkie entered politics he had been CEO of the Commonwealth and Southern Group. One member company of that Group did the engineering and design duties for the whole Group and later was known as Commonwealth Associates, Inc. which employed me from 1971 until 1986.

Before the "crash" of November 1929, investor owned utilities had been borrowing money leaving the impression with the banks that the money would be invested in generation, distribution, and transmission facilities but invested the money in real estate.

In 1935 the US Congress passed the "Public Utilities Holding Companies Act of 1935". If the Holding Company had connected the various entities together by transmission lines, PUHCA permitted the Holding Company to continue to operate as such; otherwise the Holding Company was forced to dissolve and the individual Public Utilities were forced to operate independently under the supervision of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Commonwealth and Southern Group was one that was affected by PUHCA.

The "Southern" part of the Commonwealth and Southern Group still operates as the Southern Corporation but the "Commonwealth" part is now called Consumers Power. I doubt if I knew anyone that was employed in the Southern Corporation but I knew several who were employed by Consumers Power.

About the middle of 2005 Congress repealled PUHCA.

My point? Do not expect the Investor Owned Utilities of the USA to criticize, publicly, the economic policies of a Republican administration. Privately it may be done, however, and Kenneth Lay, former boss of Enron, apparently had a private meeting with Vice President Richard Cheney for that purpose.

Presently the annual US Federal deficit is approximately $470 billions and the final bills are not yet paid with regard to Hurricane "Katrina". Some expect that the deficit for 2005 will exceed $500 billions. If President Bush carries out his threats in regard to Iran the possibilities of American withdrawal from Central Asia before 2009 become vanishingly small and the deficit likely will accelerate well past $500 billions each year.

Back to the "fall-out" of the black-out of August 14, 2003!

As a consequence of this black-out a new organization was formed, calling itself the National Electric Reliability Council. The dominant players in this organization appear to be American Investor Owned Utilities but, supposedly, all utilities of North America are members of this organization and it appears that the NERC has no real power to enforce its decisions/recommendations.

About the middle of 2004, the NERC issued a report in which it estimated that North America would need 70 gigawatts of new generation by 2013 and that 68.2 gigawatts of new generation probably would be available....

I have continued to track electric power matters. For practical purposes there is no significant new hydro power that could be developed south of the 49th parallel except in the Bay of Fundy. For practical purposes, therefore, all new generation in the USA must be either nuclear or conventional thermal because wind power is not sufficiently reliable for large quantities of power.

It is true that there are potential sites for huge hydro powerplants on the Yukon River on its headwaters in Canada and in Alaska. Similarly a significant hydro site could be developed near Gull Island in Labrador. Both projects would require several very long transmission lines to be constructed, probably operating at 765 kilovolts or more.

On the West Coast of the USA and Canada the highest voltage is 500 kilovolts. In New York State, other than for experimental transmission lines, the greatest transmission voltage is 345 kilovolts.

It's a safe bet that any attempt to construct transmission lines in the USA to operate at 765 kilovolts or more will be met with very strong opposition.

My conclusion is that the present cost to develop 68.2 gigawatts of new generation, excluding inflationary tendencies, would be about $102 billion for high efficiency thermal generation in the USA, about $102 billion for transmission, and about $102 billion for distribution. I would not be surprised if inflation would double those costs and I wouldn't be surprised if interest rates reach 20%.

Such giant Investor Owned Utilities as SanDiego Gas and Electric and Pacific Gas and Electric are requesting tenders from "others" to supply them with bulk power which they would retail to their customers. No Investor Owned Utility would like to admit that it cannot meet the power requirements of its customers so you know that these giants have very severe financial constraints. I previously provided information concerning "FIRST ENERGY" so you know that the problem is not isolated to the West Coast of the USA.

If North America is to have 68.2 gigawatts of new generation by 2013 it cannot be nuclear because it takes 10 years from "get-go" until a nuclear powerplant produces useful energy and none have been started since 1979. There is no prospect of new hydro power in the USA within that time-frame either. In other words all new generation in the USA likely will be from fossil fuel, probably coal and/or natural gas. I'd bet on natural gas and combustion turbines with their low initial cost but poor thermodynamic efficiency and very expensive fuel costs....

Allan Dane, M.Sc.(EE)
Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 0A6

Harper goes for the Soft Sell in Health Care!

The Conservative health privatization is in deep trouble. The public are now aware! Who would have guessed Harper would be champion of the "soft sell" with BS like the limited use like up grading hip replacement and cataract surgery.

If you haven't the money you will get looked after at some level if you can survive for 9 months in pain and discomfort.

I'm waiting for him to announce his plan to change the law to include assisted suicide to further his plan of only the fit survive.

He sure has a lot of respect for seniors as does this gangster running Alberta! I have repeadly asked if we are dealing with Government in Alberta or Orginized crime?

Rather than look at the specifics he wants to talk about, look towards the vast opportunity this opens for the private health scenario!

Soon enough you will see the owner ship of your public hospitals disappear into a short list of private political friends, notably the insurance companies. They are all careful to stay away from the word "universal" or "universality"!

His game is on. I say call an election now that Canadians know the pace and scope of this savagery of the health system.

A two tier system I would put in is the Conservative vote buy their own health insurance and the rest of us stay with the public, universal health system.

You can tell I really love this crew

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Canadian Forces in Jeapoardy!

This just in:
Canadian forces facing prospect of huge resignations as their policies come head to head with the oil economy.

The untold story of the soldiers hurt in the last bombing attempt is out. The Canadian Soldiers are not allowed to carry bullets or magazines with bullets in their guns while on duty. They are under instruction not to shoot until shot at. This leaves them only with the action of avoidance as was the case in the explosion/roll over.

Our soldiers seen and identified the threat of a suicide bomber but under the "don't shoot first" order they tried to avoid by driving their vehicle through a ditch. Simultaneously the bomber exploded flipping the now vulnerable vehicle over on top of one of the occupants.

When these young men and woman are not on the building and reconstruction projects in Kandahar they are on patrol in the desert searching out "Taliban". Whether they are on the search or on the rebuild the rules are the same; no bullets or ammunition loaded in any equipment; no loaded magazines inserted. Don't shoot until shot at which is a trick for a bomber. Understand you can see your adversary loading and pointing his weapon yet, as a Canadian Soldier you are not allowed to load yours until actually fired upon! Brings a new meaning to "Cannon Fodder".

Other soldiers live in mortal fear of having to shoot a child bomber or soldier of which there are very many. Not near as many as really great young kids they are trying to help.

Sick and tired of the high risk; compounded by the "Canadian Solution" to a war people are leaving the Canadian Forces, well trained in top physical condition to join the oil patch at twice the money.

I am so very glad my kids are not in the Canadian forces.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Alberta legislates away universal health care!

This exert from the Alberta Gazette outlines the changes made to the Alberta Health Care Act. This change is dramatic and was done in the Conservatives usual back handed; back room rules agenda. The necessary papers were signed at a private meeting in Calgary during stampede week and quietly put into the Gazette making it law. No discussion or debate in the house!
Sections 3 and 5 have to do with entitlement and universality.


ProtectionActAmendments2005O.C. 343/2005
July 13, 2005
A.R. 140/2005
July 14, 2005

The Lieutenant Governor in Council makes the Health Care Protection Amendment Regulation set out in the attached Appendix.

For Information only
Recommended by: Minister of Health and Wellness
Authority: Health Care Protection Act (section 25)
Health Care Protection Act

1 The Health Care Protection Regulation (AR 208/2000) is amended by this Regulation.

2 Section 6(1)(h) is repealed and the following is substituted:
(h) the charge for each enhanced medical good or service showing how the charge was calculated, including the amount of the standard version of the enhanced medical good or service being offered, the amount of the enhanced medical good or service and the amount of any administrative allowance;

3 Section 10 is repealed.

4 Section 22 is amended by striking out, 10(3) or (4).

5 Schedule 2 is repealed.

6 This Regulation comes into force on September 1, 2005.

Sustainable of Health Care - Misinformation

The myth of un-sustainable and the Premier's privatization agenda:
The un-sustainability myth
began early in the 1970s when a group of people recognized the baby boom of the 50s was going to cause an increase in the "elderly" segment of the population in the future. Using data of the day, they projected a huge increase in health care costs for the seniors based on the experience of that era.

The only projection that came true was that the baby boomers did grow old. Because this group of people and the generation preceding them seen the light and undertook a more enlightened life style, the crisis never arrived. In fact, the figures put forward in those gone days suggested we would be burning 7 to 10 times more health care dollars in age related illness than we actually are. The Conservative movement found the means to turn this roumer into fact through a program of mis direction, quotes of dated data and innuendo. Our actual use has been projected by many as being as little as 1/20th of the amount used in thoes early years.

Premier Klein and his ministers and now Stephen Harper and company constantly try to convince us that health care costs are un-sustainable. Even in this the wealthiest of all provinces, we are told that we can no longer afford the type of health care we have had for the past 36 years.

Were that true, at least eight developed countries should be bankrupt by now because they spend more than we do on health care.

The table shows total per capita spending (US$) on both public and private health care in 14 countries in 2002 as listed by the World Bank√É’s Development Indicators.

As you can see the United States spent more than twice as much per capita on health care as Canada did in 2002.Even allowing for the different scales of the two economies, the United States allocated 50% more of its GDP to health care than did Canada.

Canada spends about 9% of its GDP on health care to cover everyone. The USA, by contrast, allocates almost 14% of its GDP to health care and leaves 45 million of its citizens without coverage.

Examining only the public portion of health care spending, Canada spent only 6.7% of GDP in 2002, significantly less than the 7.4% of GDP it spent in 1992. So where’s the crisis?

Country Per capita Amounts
United States $4,887
Switzerland $3,779
Norway $2,981
Japan $2,627
Luxembourg $2,600
Denmark $2,545
Iceland $2,441
Germany $2,412
Canada $2,163
Sweden $2,150
Netherlands $2,138
France $2,109
Belgium $1,983
Austria $1,866

Clearly, then, when the Premier Klein talks about health care costs being un-sustainable, he is not saying we cannot afford proper health care. What he is really saying is that he does not want a single-payer, publicly administered government program, as required by the Canada Health Act.

The privatization agenda
Since taking office in 1993, Premier Klein has consistently pressed for “reforms” designed to circumvent the requirements of the Canada Health Act. Now he has legislated that!

In 1994, the pressure was for private, for-profit eye clinics supported by facility fees charged to all patients. Fortunately, Federal Health Minister Diane Marleau challenged Alberta for allowing fees for required medical services and in May1996 a settlement was reached in which Alberta was penalized $3.6 million for violating the CHA and Alberta agreed to ban facility fees charged by private clinics.

The next move was a private 37-bed hospital in Calgary offering cosmetic and dental day surgery, treatments not covered under provincial Medicare. Not satisfied with that, in 1998 the Province introduced Bill 37 to allow private, for-profit, acute care hospitals.

The outcry was so great that the government shelved the bill. But in 2000 it was back with Bill 11 to allow private, for profit ‘surgical facilities’ to compete with public hospitals. Bill 11 was pushed through despite the largest public protests ever seen in Alberta.

Then, Responding to the Mazankowski Report in 2002, Premier Klein said Albertans will pay more for health care and be offered extra insurance for services de-listed from Medicare.

More recently, in February 2004, Premier Klein said that Alberta may “take measures that contravene the interpretation of the principles of the Canada Health Act and we ought to be ready for a firestorm.”

All of the foregoing are indications of our Premier’s privatization agenda. He wants to reduce the size and scope of publicly funded health care and turn as much as possible over to the private sector. He would like to see private hospitals and clinics, and private insurance to pay for many of the services now covered under Medicare,In short, he doesn’t just want two-tier health care, he wants a totally free market system such as our American cousins have.

Look here at the February 2006 announcement of Doctors opening private clinics in Calgary with a 300.00 per month fee for personal coverage. They are not taking public health care cases! That is what the Conservatives want!

While such a system provides the very best of care to the wealthy or those with jobs and good group insurance, it gives health care as charity to the elderly and the indigent and leaves millions without any coverage at all – and all of that at more than twice our current costs.

Perhaps the greatest danger of privatization is that, once established, it becomes almost irreversible because of powerful business lobbies. President Clinton found that trying to get a rational medical care proposal through congress was like trying to un-scramble an egg -- and he didn’t have to contend with NAFTA.

Premier Klein has made it clear that he wants major changes to the Canada Health Act that would leave Alberta free to go its own way. When others don’t share his views, he has no interest in attending meetings of Premiers’ and he characterizes the First Ministers’ meetings as a “gong shows”. He has undoubtedly interpreted his re-election as a mandate for whatever health care changes he wants to introduce. Election to him means he owns the province and can do what ever he likes with full protection from the Alberta courts.

Courtesty in part to Martha and Henry's site. (Url to follow)

Alberta's new cancer clinic - private?

The Honourable Ralph Klein
307 Legislature Bldg
10800 - 97 Avenue

Dear Premier:

It is clear that in the total absence of any imagination in the area of creating new industry you have centered on the Health Care as being a sustainable industry in Alberta.

Considering most of the Cancer’s can be contributed to the Oil Industry from living in the proximity of flares or because of truly shoddy work habits in the oil patch years ago, this will be a growth industry as the population ages. Good call! In addition, putting a major cancer research center in the middle of the incident area is truly a stroke of genius

On the downside which I think you should explain; one billion dollars is to be paid forout of private health care funding. This is the type of funding where people have to sell their homes, farms and any other chattel to pay the hospital bills because the private insurance will not cover them for cancer in some cases or addresses in others.

Most disturbing in your third way is the complete lack of universality in your despot
renditions of what is right.

Is every Albertan guaranteed equal access to this new facility; are they guaranteed
medical coverage for this that will not rob them of their life’s savings?

John Clark
Copy: Iris Evans
Ralph’s team are active! Protect your babies!
Perhaps you have noticed Blue Cross on your radio and televisions regularly advising you how cheap it is to pay for your own prescriptions. By my estimate they are advertising on a frequency of 10 times over the frequency of other years.

As Ralph and company brush aside coverage under Alberta Health Care, you will be encouraged to look to Blue Cross as a cheap, better alternative.

Like wise seniors multi plans will be curtailed or cut, get the kids to put out!

Ralph is going to do the same to health care as he did with your parks, campgrounds, electricity and museums. Any one who thinks differently is walking on the verge of stupidity! Go after your MLA, with an email if nothing else.On the water front Mr. Laugheed is telling the world what a great move it would be to move the Peace River South in pipelines. (As predicted on Ralph’s World)

Calgary confirms they have 100 million cubic meters of water for an allotment which will change rapidly over the next 5 to 10 years. Most notable Calgary has no well water allotments. As the Bow and the Elbow Rivers slow and go stagnant, Calgary residents will have to buy their home water from Coca Cola or one of the other Agri-Food industry who have bought up the Aquifer from which the wells are drawn.Any one wants to guess who was the Mayor of Calgary who sold off the Aquifer allotments?

Mr Dinning who is the author of this whole dam mess is campaigning hard.

The cure? Turn out the vote! The stage is set now for nationalization of our most basic resources like water. Go for it!

John Clark

Conservative supporters looking for payback!

I think we, the Liberals have some problems in the Agenda. Mr. Klein of Alberta stated he would make no moves on health care until after the Federal Election.

The Quebec Courts have made a ruling on private for profit health care which effects Quebec but, not the other provinces.

We hear continually “we will defend the Canada Health Act”
I want to hear it won’t be changed in any way that will remove universality!

Mr. Martin who is excellent in answering direct questions has failed to respond to five attempts on the question “In consideration of the Quebec Health Care situation and in consideration of Mr. Klein’s insights; is it your intention to open the Canada Health Act for the purpose of changing it to include private for profit health care without penalty?”

I would hope each one of us challenge our candidates on what Mr. Martin plans to do with health care after the election. We all know the party position but, Mr. Martin’s position and intention seems to be different.

Mr. Martin seems to be further right wing than does Mr. Harper. We have cause for great concern here. Both parties would rather discuss real estate on the moon than health care! Challenge your candidates!

Note the item on Private Health Implications.

John Clark
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