Friday, December 29, 2006

Perpetuating Lies under Stelmach!

Mike Cardinal did a large scale land sale on the east slope of the Rocky Mountains. This is where Alberta’s underground drinking water originates. The Agri-Food industry bought up most of his offer. There as been no clear answer from the Conservative Government as to who owns the water rights after these transactions.

Remember, first in line; first in time is the foundation of who owns the actual water.
Also remember Ralph’s TV rant “I will fix things so you guy’s will never be able to change them!”

There is coverage of Calgary’s outstanding thrift in water conservation. What is not said is the City of Calgary only has surface water rights which are tied to the Bow and Elbow rivers. They hold no water allotment for underground or aquifer water. Most this is held by Coca Cola or a subsidiary of Coke the Dasani Water Company and the Calgary Malting Company. Combined, they have more water allotment than does the City of Calgary.

The Calgary surface water is dependent on glacial melt and, the Glaciers are receding fast. Many creditable estimates put the actual use of these rivers for drinking water at 10 years maximum! As the glaciers recede, the run off patters change. The rivers become un-potable or unsafe As they silt there is a build up of pathogens. The water in the river becomes stagnant long before it becomes a dry bed.

Water's economic value assessed

As I have said before, Calgary will be buying its water from Dasani before too long passes. I would be very surprised if they are not already buying some water from them.

Remember the plan to move 2/3 of the water from the Peace River south to southern Alberta? It is still alive and setting a price on the water will be the go button to get it started.

Consider too, the farmer in Peace River who was told he did not own the water in his dug out and he would have to meter the use and pay for it? This came out at the Conservative election meeting in Banff.

Under this long standing plan, water wells will be metered and/or the draw from those private wells will be otherwise estimated and the property owners will be charged for the water.

Not to pass unnoticed is the squeal of the oil companies. Charging them for water on their start up under the present royalty scheme will mean only the oil companies add it to their expenses thus adding it to the tier before the 1% royalty is paid.

I can clearly see the Conservatives not charging the oil companies for water and upping the royalties to cover the water while singing their own praises that they, the Government are in control and, not the oil companies.

This is a very meaning full article which is put forward as a current bright idea not the result and introduction to plans that have been in place since the early 80s!

Do you really want these Conservatives in charge?

John Clark

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

An election agenda put out over the holidays.

The Government in power has the advantage in an election if they can set the agenda for that election. The opposition parties will try very hard to wrestle the agenda away from the Government party.

You will notice that Mr. Harper who is in trouble on a number of fronts is beating the drums trying to set the agenda on the Canadian presence in Afghanistan.

He feels he can push all his problems to the back burner at election time, far behind our action in Afghanistan. He obviously sees this as his best bet in getting elected again. As his second or backup plan for the agenda his has chosen the tired and weary elected senate debates.

It seems that Jack Layton wants to jump in to Afghanistan which is just dumb in my view. It will be curious to see what the opposition parties settle on for their best case.

You can charge off any political comment over the next months as being election posturing; of little real substance to you and I.

John Clark

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas Carols for the Distressed and the Disburbed. Happy Holidays All.

1. Schizophrenia --- Do You Hear What I Hear?

2. Multiple Personality Disorder --- We Three Kings Disoriented Are

3. Dementia --- I Think I'll be Home for Christmas

4. Narcissistic --- Hark the Herald Angels Sing About Me

5. Manic --- Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Buses and Trucks and Trees and.....

6. Paranoid --- Santa Claus is Coming to Town to Get Me

7. Borderline Personality Disorder --- Thoughts of Roasting on an Open Fire

8. Personality Disorder --- You Better Watch Out, I'm Gonna Cry, I'm Gonna Pout, Maybe I'll Tell You Why

9. Attention Deficit Disorder --- Silent night, Holy oooh look at the Froggy - can I have a chocolate, why is France so far away?

10. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder --- Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells,
Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells

Thursday, December 14, 2006

No Health Help from Harper

December 14, 2006

Conservatives Remain Silent on Wait Time Guarantee

OTTAWA – The minority Conservative Government has shown no leadership on the issue of a national wait times guarantee, and no intention to work with the provinces and territories to help reduce wait times in Canada, Liberal Health Critic Ruby Dhalla said today.

"Downloading responsibility to the provinces and territories to achieve a wait times guarantee without additional funding or resources will not fix the issue,” said Ms. Dhalla.

“It is a sign that the Conservatives care little about preserving public health care."

In the last federal election, Stephen Harper promised to meet the benchmarks, established by the provinces and territories under the 10-year Plan to Strengthen Health Care, by December 2006 – he now has only 17 days to fulfill this promise.

In addition, Harper’s government has indicated that the $41.3 billion invested by the previous Liberal Government will now have to factor in the costs of implementing his wait times guarantee.

As part of the 10-year Plan, negotiated under the previous Liberal government, provinces and territories established wait time benchmarks for five priority areas: cancer treatment, cardiac care, sight restoration, joint replacements and diagnostic imaging.

Ms. Dhalla also urged Mr. Harper’s government to act on the recommendations to reduce wait times put forward by Dr. Brian Postl, the federal wait times advisor. Health Minister Tony Clement received Dr. Postl’s report in June 2006, but has not acted or followed up.

"Minister Clement needs to step up to the plate, show some leadership, put health care back on the list of priorities, and get down to work. Canadians deserve to see some real action from this government,” said Ms. Dhalla.

Says John Clark: Harper has been told by Alberta Conservatives to "Back Off!"

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Third Way is alive and well!

The Third Way is alive and well! The Conservatives are continuing with the original plan unchanged. Remember, the Health Act was changed to accommodate it and, it was never changed back.

Services will continue to be derogated; targeted disciplines will have hours cut; their patients told to look elsewhere. Patients on the other hand will be met with a wall of “I don’t know; it’s really bad!”

As the patients line up, a new market will open for private health care to fix. Those nurses will be offered positions working for a private firm, probably in the same building.

And, there goes your public, universal health care.

Arguably Dentistry is the shining example of private health care. Take a look at it; it is often compared to Britain who has public health care and very down scale dentistry aesthetics. The argument is private is better by this comparison. If you have not bought the personal dentistry insurance you don’t get any work done unless you pay out cash.

Because most dentistry funding comes from private health insurance companies you will note that the health insurance companies only pay a fraction of the repairs, this fraction becoming smaller as days go by. Many items are down below 50% unless you are on the executive plan.

You may also take note that companies are not rushing out to pay the extra premiums demanded to give you a 90% coverage without limitations.

Accidents are a large part of dentistry expense. The Conservatives are again protecting the insurance companies, their private partners, by putting limits on personal damages. An auto accident could easily cause more than 4000 dollars in dental damage alone!

Your health care is changing now!

If you know of specific instances please contact me. Perhaps I can offer you another way? Perhaps together we can slow this thing down until we get a decent government elected.

John Clark

Health Care de listing program at work.

The Conservatives are screwing with the health care again! Remember they destabilize the system through budget and offer a cure through privatization.

In this case a Dietician working in an Edmonton hospital was rated as a .8. That means she is employed at that hospital 8/10s of a day.

With no explanation she was cut to a .4 or 4/10s of her time is paid. Patients now are forced to see a new doctor (if they can find one) and get a new referral to a new dietician if one happens to be available.

Usually the Conservatives have this planned so that the well is empty at the referral leaving you only the choice of paying for your own services at a private clinic.

Calgary health system did a large work up on programs to be de-listed from Alberta Health care. This is one example.

This is the delisting of health care program in action.

John Clark

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Massive intrusion into Canada by the US!

My friends, Canada urgently needs a Canadian Department of Energy, centered in Ottawa, to protect us from the possibility of the American Department of Energy becoming the determinant of Canadian electric energy policy.

As an result of the power failure that started on August 14, 2003 (by failure of "FIRST ENERGY", an Electric Utility Holding Company in Ohio, to trim trees along one of its right of ways), a group of electric utilities of the USA formed a "club", calling itself the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC for short). This club has persuaded all of the electric utilities of North America to join it.

Early in 2004 this NERC issued its first report:
(1) They expected that North America would need about 70 thousand megawatts of new generation by 2013
(2) They expected that North America probably would have 68.2 thousand megawatts of new generation by 2013.

Early in 2005 the US Department of Energy decided that the USA needed an Electric Reliability Organization, established the framework for this organization, and invited organizations to present proposals to become this ERO. Apparently the NERC applied to become this ERO, and was accepted so now the former NERC has become the ERO of the US Department of Energy and the US Department of Energy has powers, through the ERO, to apply heavy financial sanctions to any electric utility in North America that fails to deliver the energy needed.

I object to the US Department of Energy being able to apply economic sanctions to Canadian utilities without a formal debate having taken place in Canada's Parliament that has authorized the Canadian utilities to become entangled in American politics. The consequences of this entanglement could be the total loss of Canada's independence from the USA in all of our affairs.

To continue:

Late in 2005 this new ERO issued a revised estimate of available generation in North America. A comparison with the previous estimate follows:
Expected need in 2013 Expected available in 2013 Expected need in 2016 Expected available in 2016
thousands of meg. watt thousands of meg. watt thousands of meg. watt thousands of meg. watt
Estimates of 2004 70.0 68.2
Estimates of 2005 141.0 59

You will notice that the ERO expects more than twice as much power to be needed by 2016 than they had expected to be needed just a year earlier yet they had reduced the expected availability of power approximately 15% from their previous estimate. In simpler terms: they were being optimistic in their estimates of probably available power and being optimistic in the need for more power when they issued their estimates in 2004. Probably they were being optimistic in respect of Canada's export of electric energy as well.

I suspect that relatively few Canadians really understand the issues involved.

The Provinces of Quebec and British Columbia smelt huge amounts of aluminum. Each kilogram of aluminum represents about 15 kilowatt-hours of electrical energy.

In 1967 fully half of the aluminum which crossed an international border was ALCAN metal. (Not, by any means, is all of ALCAN's metal produced in Canada, however!)

Canadian British Aluminum also has a smelter in Quebec and I understand that there has been a huge smelter constructed near Quebec City. I succint terms, Canada's ability to smelt aluminum was huge and has grown substantially since 1967.

If the Government of Canada will not protect the livelihoods of Canadian smelter workers, who will? Don't expect the Americans to shed tears when Canadian workers become unemployed.

"Well", you say, "How does it follow that exporting electrical energy to the USA is so bad?"

When Canada declared war on Germany in 1939, Ontario Hydro wanted to curtail export of electric energy to the USA so that it could be diverted to refining aluminum which was desperately needed for airframes of fighters and bombers. American utilities protested to the International Joint Commission which ruled that Ontario Hydro could not curtail the export of electric energy to the USA. Refer to "CANADA: Peacemaker or Powder Monkey" by James M. Minniffee for these details.

The precedent has been established: once you sign on the dotted line you are committed for eternity and it does not matter if you are at war....

The next paper will provide estimates of cost to provide the 141 thousand megawatts of new generation by 2016....

Allan Dane, M.Sc.(EE)

Friday, December 08, 2006

Oil Sands off shoring under attack. Oil Hardly a new thing!

Oil sands off shoring under attack. Hardly a new thing!

Consider on top of this Encana shipping Alberta Crude to Chicago for refining. What is required is a Government who will turn the oil industry around to a point it is working for Albertans and Canadians! The Conservatives are not up to the task.

How it works:
The oil company partners up with the transportation company and may even start a new transportation company to adequately cover transactions and avoid huge amounts of taxes plus, buying the goods at rock bottom dollars out of a slave market.

Case in point the transportation company will buy a new boat and all new barges from a place like Korea who may or may not build the units. Then, they buy their component parts, oil rigs, pipe and cable from the same area.

The new parts and pipe which would have been built in Canada are then sailed across the ocean, around the North Slope into the Mackenzie Delta. Probably Tuktoyaktuk Harbor.

Gone are the boat building industries, the transporation industries, the development of our trade skills and the subsequent revenue and taxes.

In another age, a company called Yellowknife Transportation Company Ltd (YTCL) sailed the Arctic looking after Dew and Cam sites. NTCL was operating the Athabasca run with a fleet of house barges. The managers of YT company were busted when they moved a huge bunch of stolen US property off the early warning lines around the slope into Vancouver where the boats were seized by Canadian authorities.

At this point, YTCL was taken over by NTCL then, a crown corporation.

How times have changed. This was worthy of an ENRON movie!

I expect Harper will sleep through this one, its every thing he hopes for in his Globalization program. When he’s out of tax money he will be after you and I.

And, yes Frank, I'm on your case.

John Clark

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Is the proposed re supply viabile?

This front page item shows one part, one idea ofa successful transportation system. There is a greater dark side. I was the man who planned and executed the evacuation of barges and tugs from the Athabasca System into the MacKenzie system when the Athabasca was last shut down

All that portage could handle was a 400 series barge (400 metric tonne loaded to four foot of draft) The water levels would not allow a loaded barge to go through, all had to be lightered, scraped through and reloaded on the other side. Double and triple handling.

This was the biggest barge, the heaviest load that could be undertaken and only with transfer and handling. Most were in the range of 90 or 100 tons cargo. Very small!

Of interest the oil companies rejected the rail system in Canada out of hand as being undependable in every regard. They opted for Korean supply into the Prudhoe Bay area. They sited some of the reasons as being the incredible expense in shipping rail. Not only the cost of transportation and the uncertainty of arrival but the additional cost of fabrication and installation of the rigs as all the pieces had to be made to fit a rail car rather than being made in 40 meter square pieces that could simply be craned together at one-quarter the expense.

The barges used in the Dome Tarsuit rig construction in the arctic were 1500 and 1800 series barges. Those tonnages being taken at 7 foot of draft which often was not available on the river and was too deep to navigate Prudhoe Bay. Typical drafts would be 5 foot.

Of interest we could not get these large barges within 6 miles of the shore line and were often grounded due to shifting channels. And, the US has the Jones law in place designed to stop foreign vessels from going up to New Orleans and discharging directly. (They had to and still have to high us vessels and crews to do this.) This same Jones law prevented a landing at the US Alaska coast.

So, I have to ask. Is this a real possibility or sensationalism used as a threat to intimidate southern routes and trades?

With this information can you imagin what the "Canadian" arctic would be like under the rule of the US Jones law?

John Clark

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Election time: First off the mark!

December 4, 2006
For immediate release

Media Advisory:
Linda Duncan to take second run at Jaffer

EDMONTON – Environmental law consultant Linda Duncan will announce Thursday her intention to represent the NDP in the next federal election in Edmonton Strathcona.

In the last election, Duncan came closer to beating Conservative MP Rahim Jaffer than any candidate has since Jaffer was first elected.

Date: Thursday December 7th
Time: Noon
Place: 3rd floor
Strathcona Branch, Edmonton Public Library
8331 – 104 Street

Monday, December 04, 2006

The ongoing elections.

The ongoing Elections.

The political climate across North America is changing. South America has rejected out of hand the extreme approach to “Globalization” and “equal and open free trade”. In Alberta the population is struggling to find a centre.

Center under Mr. Stelmach will be far too extreme for most but, he still must be accountable to the extreme right wing of the conservative party now heading for the Alliance party. We can hope this will severely split the right vote for the next election.

Every political party will have to face and respond to this issue of Globalization. Regardless of what they want, they will not be able to simply ignore it. Most parties can find much to talk about in the political theatre thus dodging the tough issues and their direction on them.

We, on the other hand, will have the choice of picking which level of privatization we want. We will not have the choice of none. For my part, essential services such as electrical power, water transport and treatment, highways and bridges should remain under the ownership of Government. Curious how Government can legislate the Nurses as essential services and give away the power generation and transmission in this province.

Things like our Workers’ Compensation, Health care, Water treatment and Canada Pension plans, public parks are seen as artificial subsidy by US and other foreign industries who lobby to turn it all over to them. Stumpage fees and the softwood dispute is part of this war.

Harper and the Fraser Institute can be counted on to go the extreme, hard and fast. Recent changes in the CPP should be a wake up call. China is beating the US in most trade deals. I suggest this is why Harper found it necessary to blunder into China politics.

Mr. Stephen Deon, the new Liberal leader is a fresh face and an excellent track record. He has tap danced his way around Globalization issues by saying “We will do what is necessary to keep us in the world market” or, words to that effect. Mr. Paul Martin his predecessor was all for a private public health care system on it’s way to becoming totally private after an “adjustment” period. No mention of keeping universality.

Understand that Health care as we know it now is sustainable. And, many of the alarmist’s stories are being debunked.

Our Health Care system has suffered a series of manipulations designed to stress it to the point of break. Universality is the word to look for in the debate. With DNA testing now fast, cheap and easy it will follow that people with any number of hereditary ailments and immune problems will fall out of coverage unless universality is guarded. Insurance will not be available, private or public. Alberta; the Calgary Health Centre has completed it’s list of what is to be cut, moving forward with it as I pen this note.

It will be interesting to hear from Mr. Stelmach.

All of this in order to Sheppard in totally private systems, conservative style. It is now necessary for people to see lawyers after they talk to Doctors. It is no longer safe for you to deal with insurance companies yourself despite the friendly face they put forward.

The Governments are trying to bring in legislation so the they will not be responsible for failures caused.

At the base of free trade and globalization is rule by industry. The insurance companies want to take over our health insurance, Canada Pension Plan and any other social net that may exist in variance across provinces.

The Agri Food industries want to take over our crops, and our water. The Conservatives pretty much gave all the control of our water to this group already. And, on water; the dwindling resource is a huge market opportunity. Very little of the ground water rights or allotments are owned by municipalities. Under the conservative scheme they are all sold off or given away to the private sector.

Very recently the town of Devon in Alberta gave up much of its water allotment, a fact kept from the citizens of that town. There is no mention of what they got for return or, who got the allotment. My guess would be EPCOR, a private company.

With 10 years left of some glaciers our water and water quality will deteriorate rapidly so the transport of water in pipelines becomes the next great opportunity.

We will face Federal and Provincial elections very soon and, its up to use to get the correct questions to the forum.

John Clark

Friday, December 01, 2006

The choices are becoming less and less

Ignatieff's cure for energy conservation is typically Liberal. TAX IT! In his Liberal view taxing everything is a way to cure bad habits like driving. Crap! where do they get these guys?

The sales for SUV's are off the map again! Ten cents a liter was enough to turn off the economy cars.
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