Saturday, December 17, 2011

Alberta Pensions at Risk!

This post is made up of 3 sections:
(1): An introduction to the financial piracy; a standard practice.

(2)(Italics): The Governments response to the knowledge of the post and their immediate defense proving beyond doubt exactly what they are up to.

(3)The summary; actual post as to the mechanics, how and why and the results.

The Alberta Conservatives are stealing your pensions just like they stole the Heritage Trust Fund. 

The Trust fund has been sacked to the tune of  120-130 billion dollars (they have admitted to only 90 billion dollars which is 10 to 15 complete provincial budgets paid for out of that account!

Monies are being transferred out of the fund into the General Operating Expense account where it is used to pay bills there-by allowing the Government to artificially reduce royalties which were to due from the resource people.  

They have successfully reduced these royalties to below 5% Canadian dollars where as both BC, Saskatchewan and the east coast are sitting at 20% US dollars!   The last election held a promise of royalty  increases.  Under the gloss of mathematical tables it actually reduced our royalty by changing the money taken from US to Canadian $ a loss of 18% at the time.   The people in this province are actually paying the companies to take the oil from the province!

The Alberta Conservatives are running and have been running this province off the good will of Churches, Food Banks, the Heritage Trust Fund and Pensions. 

It will be much worse in the future leaving Albertans the laughing stock of the Conservative world!
 I sent Alison Redford an email with an outline of what I was about to post asking if she had any comments.   This prompted a call by them  for an immediate meeting of the Treasury Board; invited guests only. 

 Liepert explained to reporters “It is a small group, but covered all sections of the province.”

All of Alberta watched that dog and pony show on TV!  Directly after that, every conservative news outlet in the country gave a less than enthused PS to their news commentary about the big increases in Alberta’s oil outputs which, is a lie.

Immediately Finance Minister Jim Flaherty rushed out to disarm the situation by telling the world he has been considering making this type of robbery legal.

The Conservatives are totally immune from investigation no matter how criminal they are!   This is a fact, not some cooked up imagination thing; take it to the bank! 

There is no fix for this unless you get rid of these guys!  With recent "expert articles" in the eastern press we may be able to involve law enforcement from other provinces in this.

The draw down is on all Government Controlled pensions including Civil and Municipal Pensions which are under their control.  These pensions will pay only a small fraction of what they promised you!

Pensions are the silent partner in Alberta’s P3 projects and are particularly hard hit!   Invested in the ridiculous CCS program;   Hendey drive; schools across the province and hospitals newly constructed.  The money is supplied at bargain rates; below market values which, is drastically shorting the pensions and is a conflict of interest in any court.
On top of this, many millions of dollars are being paid to the management of AIMCo, out of the same pension funds.

Simultaneously to this post going up  AIMCo. which had a 70 billion dollar in Alberta pension Funds reported a 7 billion (10%) loss for last year!  They have only 1 customer, the Alberta Government.  I know my own pension funds took at hit of 1%

Monies are being transferred out of the fund into the General Operating Expense account where it is used to pay bills there-by allowing the Government to artificially reduce royalties which were to be paid by the resource people.  They have successfully reduced these royalties to below 5% Canadian dollars where as both BC, Saskatchewan and the east coast are sitting at 20% US dollars!  The people in this province are actually paying the companies to take the oil from the province!

They have absolutely no intentions of paying back the Heritage Trust fund and they don't have any intentions of paying back the monies taken from the pension funds.  Indeed; these monies may well be lost and they don't have the 8 to 12 billion dollars they have heisted.

The way they did the drain on the Heritage fund was to peg growth at 4% saying that is rich enough for the Alberta population.  They took everything above 4% and put it into general revenues.  AIMCo, beyond making the process easier, keeps the pension figures away from the Government workers claiming it is separate. 

The news on the Heritage Fund didn't break until it was nearly all gone.  We have an advantage this time!  They are only 3 years into it!

It is not enough municipalities complain to this Government.  It is enough however that you get some lawyers on side and see what you can salvage.  Get the Unions involved, now!

The Alberta Teachers Pension fund is robbed regularly and the Teachers Association holds the Government's feet to the fire before each election demanding they top up their pension.  I would love to know what kind of rates the Government is paying them to keep them coming back for more.  It must be considered a royal investment return; all paid for out of public pensions.

The Wild Rose Party will not offer you any different. They are very much on side with these actions and they continue to promise you they will supply more of the same. They are made up of Conservative executives who want the golden ring for themselves.  Time is now for important decisions.

I will be supporting the Liberal Party of Alberta in the coming elections.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

R.C.M.P shackled in dealings with the Alberta Government

Why is it the Conservatives can steal 120 billion dollars from the Heritage Trust Fund without a challenge from the police force?

Why is it the Conservatives can steal more billions from insurance programs held in their trust and invite no examination from the R.C.M.P?

What was the big delay and apprehension in signing the R.C.M.P to another term as Alberta's police force and why was the Conservatives intent in putting in a provincial police force regardless of costs if the RCMP did not come into line?

These and some of the other outrages as in closed bidding and the obvious insider route to granting bids prompted my investigation which has been ongoing over years.  Here is the startling results:

The R.C.M.P, if they wanted to be Alberta's Police force had to agree there would be no investigations into the Alberta Government unless they had permission from the Alberta Attorney General first gave them permission to do so.

If they had not done so we would have had a private police force of the Conservatives' personal gangsters and enforcers to make life miserable for any that disagree with them.

We have a new R.C.M.P director in Ottawa now.  It is time to write him and see what he can do about cleaning up this obscenity. that has cost Alberta hundreds of billions of dollars!

Friday, November 04, 2011

Alberta Fianace - Heading for disaster big time!

The  Conservatives, through short sightedness and abject miss management has forced this province into a position of being at least, flat broke and at the outside near bankrupt.  

During the great, high flying times they had drawn more than 90 billion from the Heritage trust (Arms Length ? AIMCo)  Production remains flat meaning little new revenue while expenditures sky-rocket. Recent news broadcasts and releases tout more production but the fine print shows the increases are in foreign holdings.

Make work programs for the resource people costing 9 billion a year or more. Oil companies pulling a million profit or more for non producing wells while workers get 1 week in 3 employment.  Not enough for any trickle down luck to take place.   If these kids manage to get enough coin it goes for new rims for their favorite truck.

For those of you who think they will not face a heavy load of taxation after the next election; the Government is still short near a billion dollars for new power lines!   That coin will come as a new tax measure plus the coin for day to day operations and corporate subsidies.

Much of this loose gold goes to the executive professionals  who get full pay, most of whom are foreign educated because of the Conservatives  attack on the people of Alberta forcing kids into trade schools rather than leave a University choice. The Conservatives found early on it was cheaper to put their kids though trades schools and employ professions from foreign sources.

Reports of high school students still leaving school to get into the artificial, non existent Alberta boom I find very disquieting.

The Conservatives  reduced royalty to 5% Canadian before the crunch! This is not enough money to call it a break even deal!  Now, they have no place to move!

Facing an election in the near future and dwindling profits they are trying desperately at taxpayer expense to generate a picture, no matter how false or  how costly of a rollicking provincial economy and, it simply is not true. 

Probably, "Arms Length" public service pensions administered by AIMCo are being invested in CCS, P3 financing  and like programs so they don't show up as a debt. If they treat them like the Heritage fund they will be paid 4% for their "investment"  This would be one reason why this Government is pushing so hard on a CCS program rift with misdirection and lies.  They have already invested so the WRP grab for attention of saying  "stopping CCS" would bring a whole new set of problems.
 A Pension Fund was invested in Alberta Conservative projects would show on the pension side of the books as an investment  and it would not show as part of the debt on the Government side.  If it is treated like the Heritage fund there is no intention of repaying but will hold appreciation very low to push profits onto the projects.

You can see why this Government fought so hard against a Federal Securities commission!  If you or I tried anything like this we would be in court!
Strapped for cash they tried Bond funds which didn't fly; industry doesn't trust them; knows better. But it is possible AIMCo bought up a bunch of the bonds and tacked them into their portfolios. 

Arms Length with this Government means they can direct the funds which ever way they want, investing in whatever doubtful project they want and the "arms length"  comes into effect barring the public from a look at the accounts and investment strategy.

Get rid of these suckers while you still can! And, the WRP is on side with all this stuff so you won't find an improvement there.  If anything it will be much worse.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

 This is the result of the Conservatives ongoing plan to put Alberta talent into trade jobs and import the Engineers and Physicians from abroad.

A dozen years ago the Conservatives took advise they could not support "big business" in the province because of the lack of talent (volume) graduating from Alberta Universities.

They made the decision to freeze university funding at the 1986 levels (where they still are) putting enrollment out of reach of all but the wealthiest families in the province.  This plan was totally cemented when Ontario did away with their Senior Matriculation program graduating 2 years of students into 1 year.  Because of the lack of space in Ontario Universities many of the excess students found a university in Alberta and paid foreign enrollment fees.

The universities being short funded by the Province had to go after this more lucrative business and the infamous bell curve shot upwards into the high 90s and made room for the brightest from anywhere in the world and Albertans  were directed by default into trade schools.  Of these, some advertised University courses but, when completed they could not be rolled over to universities.  Another year was required at the university for the entrance.

More money was poured into the trade schools like NAIT and SAIT to teach industry designed programs for the resource industry.

The result was Albertans lost their choice as to whether they wanted a higher education or not.  They were efficiently channeled into the trade schools and Alberta embarked on a world wide program to attract foreign professions to the Alberta fold.

Much the same thing is happening now, for different reasons.  The Conservatives have pushed their Job Job glitz to anyone who would listen.  The World Crunch came and is still with us.  Make work programs were created to cover them through a new election which is imminent.

Under this program, companies are encouraged to drill wells.  They are reporting profits of a million dollars a hole whether or not the holes produce oil.  Before the profit is taken, any number of people are hired but some only get 1 week work out of every 3 weeks.   Hardly enough cash in the system to promote any trickle down effect!

The Conservatives have advertised aboard for workers to make the province appear that it is short of people.  Thousands have arrived from Texas and other oil states in the US to fill some of these positions and they too are taking short hours.  Because of loose tax collections they take home a larger pay than do the Canadian people.

The Conservative dream once again.  About 8 or 9 billion dollars a year going to the resource industry from taxpayer coffers and being taken up for a larger part by foreign workers while companies take home a million dollars for administration.

Edmonton-based Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists, and Geophysicists of Alberta (APEGGA) is  working with engineering bodies in Asian countries, Latin America and elsewhere to try to establish international mobility agreements that will smooth the way for engineers from countries there to qualify more easily to obtain certification in Alberta.

It has long had such an agreement with the United Kingdom. APEGGA is the body responsible for licensing all engineers in the province and for providing ongoing training, as well as working with government, industry and educators to promote the profession.
-APEGA LOOKS FOR FOREIGN PROFESSIONALS! -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
As the Alberta economy shifts into semi-boom mode again, thanks to accelerated oilsands development and unconventional oil and gas expansion, there will have to be more engineers to design the plants and the infrastructure needed to accommodate that growth-and that worries executives with the provincial association that represents engineers.

In that regard, APEGGA has worked with the American Engineering Association, which has an examination it requires foreign-trained engineers to take to work in the United States. APEGGA also has a mentoring program, by which it matches newly arrived foreign-trained engineers with other foreign-trained engineers who have worked in Canada for a number of years.

The association has mulch-pronged strategy for dealing with the impending shortage.

One aspect of that strategy is convincing the federal government to allow more foreign-trained engineers to emigrate to Canada. The government has a reasonably aggressive temporary foreign worker program, aimed mostly at filling unskilled worker positions and some trades positions, but APEGGA doesn´t believe its program to allow in permanent trained immigrants is adequate.

It also wants to see the Alberta government bump up funding for engineer training at the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary, the two post-secondary institutions in Alberta that train engineers.
Read the complete story here
For tips in seeking work as an internationally trained engineer, click here

Heartland Power Lines receive Go Ahead!

The city will grow in that direction at some point,  Ifthere is a power supply already in place, growth will be that much more attractive.  That is a plus but the when or whenever comes into play, the charm is gone.

People get much less exposure to radiation when the towers are above ground!  The magnitisim we speak of here cannot be insulated!   It is the distance your bottom is from the wires that you should consider when you gauge relative safety.   

It really pees me off when I see power lines across a field one year and go back the next and see apartments and houses  adjacent to them in the same field.  Give it another couple years and the new residents are saying "move the power lines".  Public ignorance on the subject is immense!

The new up graders are a farce! The power line is needed for them to export their power!  Alberta is trading royalty for up graders only because papers like the Sun made such a big deal out of them.  We get .48 cents a barrel royalty on bitumen.  All the profits from the up grader stay with the up grader the taxpayer pays for it all and the Conservatives  brag because we get some taxes on profit; the Conservative dream machine.

Finally, if the new lines are designed for DC current, they can move up to 20% more electricity than the same AC line.  That is 20% more in the pocket of producers (Edmonton) and the taxpayer picks up the bill.

Liepert reminds us Nuclear is still in the mix.  He would be speaking of 1000 MW mini nuclear generators which will export to the US on those same lines.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Canada Health Care very inexpensive when compared to the US system

The Canadian health-care system may be plagued by countless stories of lengthy wait times and crowded emergency rooms, but a new study shows the amount of time and money spent on administrative duties is a fraction of that required by the U.S. system.

The study from the University of Toronto and New York's Cornell University says U.S. doctors pay an average of nearly $83,000 each for administrative costs associated with insurance documents. In Canada, for doctors based in Ontario that cost is significantly less at just over $22,200.

In addition, nurses, medical assistants and other hospital staff in the U.S. dedicate nearly 21 hours per week to filing insurance papers and other duties required to push insurance claims through. For the same duties in Ontario, just 2.5 hours are spent each week.

The findings of the study, published in the August edition of the journal Health Affairs, show that the "single payer" health-insurance system in Canada is largely responsible for the difference between countries.
It said the need for many U.S. patients to carry coverage from multiple insurance providers leads to the more demanding time commitments to file the appropriate documents.
Dr. Dante Morra, the study's lead author, said the time savings felt in Canada go back to help the people who need it most.

"When we look at health care in Canada . . . there's a lot of areas for improvement, but at the end of the day, sometimes we have to sit back and realize there is good access to care for Canadians," said Morra, a Toronto doctor.
"There are a lot of benefits to the way we have structured our system and one of those benefits is this almost nonexistent cost associated with dealing with payment. That time is directly invested into caring for patients."

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Calgary Herald, a Conservative News paper, will not allow views or comments which offer in depth or alternate views from the published article.

Some of their Journalists have a spouse working at high stations in the petroleum industry.

Because of these policies, the Calgary Herald relegates its self into the ranks of rags and the people who subscribe to the paper as their sole source of information, leave themselves short.

For this reason the Alberta Conservatives post their "breaking news" in this paper.

With an election around the corner, they do not want their shallow optimism tarnished.  The most rampant example of this is when a release is made concerning employment and it is done in such a way to make it sound imminent where in truth the number quoted in the articles cover a 5 to 15 year window.

Also when references are made to the Governments "make work program" for the oil patch.  This is an opportunity they took at the time of the downturn and dropped our royalty to 5% Canadian dollars.  The announced it was in effect for 6 years. 

What they do not say is at the end of six years and possibly before the royalty will be dropping to zero.

It's not make work, it is a Conservative policy.


Friday, May 06, 2011

Alberta told to quit selling the farm!

The hand picked Conservative panel is setting the stage for Zero royalty!

Our present royalty on oil and gas is down to 5% and taken in Canadian Dollars.
Our tar sands revenue is about 10% now except for the builds and rebuilds which are still at 1%

The Conservatives have capped the Heritage Trust Fund appreciation at 4%.  When the fund was probably bringing in 20% at the height of the "good times" anything in excess of the 4% was drawn off and used in General Revenues. 

To date they have siphoned off more than 70 billion dollars from the fund for general operating expenses!   

That is 11 years of provincial operations have come from the Heritage Trust fund, not the oil industry!

As far as diversifying the economy goes; these guys are simply not interested in doing that.  They consciously through away the Alberta Advantage with the open market electrical scam which cost the Alberta Taxpayer 6 billion dollars for power lines.  

They curtailed a whole generation of kids opportunities by directing them to trade schools rather than University!

They have crushed other industry to provide labor for the oil industry which, is listed as only #60 in Alberta's list of employers.

Now, fully subscribed to the Conservative indirect taxation program, the cities can charge pretty much what ever they want for electricity, gas and water as the province continues to cut payments and support to communities.  The result is the highest priced power in North America!  And, its going up as more line charges are added to our bills to cover new construction of power lines.

ATCO some time ago said it was dropping pipeline constructions as they only pay10% on the Government's cost plus schemes whereas Power lines pay 15% on the same cost plus, not audited program.

Ted Morton and the Federal Conservatives are on a course to turn Canada Pension Modifications over to the provinces.  This means the province can treat your pensions the same way they treated the Heritage Trust Fund.  We  have been told in advance to curb our expectations.  Wow!

The Wild Rose Party are offering no more than the Alberta Conservative and their trained monkey  committees.

We are being totally ripped off by the Conservatives!   What will it take for Albertans to get interested in the vote on one hand and look at something other than Conservative to lead their futures.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The most important Vote in Canada's Life!

Get it right folks; there is no going back!

Layton who put forward reasonable, thinking plans that reflect what people want or Harper, who tells the world he will change Canada so that we will not recognize it?  Or perhaps Iggy who has bought into Harper's program hook line and sinker?

Harper had ample time to make adjustments to the Canada Pension Plan to"enhance" it. And he did nothing; waiting to get elected again!

Prior to this Ted Morton in Alberta wanted to pull a new version of the CPP under a provincial plan.

Both ends against the middle; stall the CPP modification until re elected then go with the Morton plan.

The Heritage Trust fund is capped at 4% profit and more than 70 billion dollars (15 years operating capital) has been pulled from the Heritage trust fund and used in general revenues.  Do you want you pension to go that route?

The Conservatives on the other hand have dredged up lying figures on the cost of health care on one hand Health Care Lies not 30% of 100% but 30% of 10%

If Harper, May and Iggy get their way the average home in Canada will face150.00 to 400.00 per month medical premiums for partial coverage from private firms.

If Harper and Iggy get their way, NAFTA will be opened and bulk water export will be put under NAFTA which will drive the price of you water bill to heights you could not dream of! We cannot charge the Americans more for water under NAFTA than we are paying.

And, if you live in Alberta you can be sure the water pipelines will go the way It is time for Canadians to look at what matters to them and put their vote in that box; do away with the superstition.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Canada Health Care- What are Legitimate Costs?

Iggy said he would Convene a First Ministers meet within 60 days of being elected.  The First Ministers is ruled by the 5 western and territorial leaders all Conservative.

I say no First Ministers meet until after provincial elections! See:PNWER

Iggy is onto if not part of the Conservative scheme of privatization as was his sidekick Martin as shown in his last election!

The Canada Health Act does not allow US citizens to come to Canada for medical or surgical repair and Physicians in Canada so want that business. (Who can blame them).  Alberta is selling our medical services to the insurers as being better and cheaper than the US. No duplicity here.

American Physicians are looking to Canada's single pay system as being a  utopia.  Why would we trash our system?

If we come to a basic debate on health care it needs to be public with public access available to the costs in a uniform fashion.

First, rules have to be set down on what can be charged to health care in Canada!

Are junkets to Sweden okay to charge to health care?  Are 600.00 plate dinners for 40 people okay to be paid by health care?

Can a Government use health care money to build new hospitals (think Grande Prairie) and turn it over to a private company for 1 cent on a dollar of value and still leave the original cost attributed to health care?

Are Multi Million dollar contract pay outs to US management companies (Capital Health) allowed to be charged to health care?  For that matter, should the management company be a health care charge?  If so, why not all charges for it be in its own account so we can actually see what health care is costing us; exclude that amount when determining the actual costs.

Is multi million dollars terminations of health care officials a legitimate charge to health care where the Government has decided to change horses?

Alberta (and BC) are driving up their health care costs to get the highest possible charges in there to make their case for privatization easier.

This being the case our overhaul of what goes into Health Care charges should contain agreement for a audit over the past 4 years of health care and take out all those things not agreed to taken out of the costs.  Then we can see what our health care charges are.

Laws governing Blue Cross and other private health care providers are needed if we go down that street.

Providers should not be able to cut us off the plan when we hit a major cost. (This is the experience of Blue Cross and others in the US)

Health care providers should have to accept our medical coverage from employer funded health care.  (Now, Blue Cross will not accept your experience in a company funded blue cross program.  You have to start new with them; less coverage and more expensive, a rip off!

A system of charges, across the board has to be Governed.  As it is, the Physicians charge what they want; The Insurers pay what they want and, you are stuck for the difference with no recourse.  Remember, universal health care can mean universal nothing is covered to a level of opulence.  Think here of  your dental coverage.  Lose your employment and you and your family don't have any.  Seniors don't have any.

I don't trust either Harper or Ignatieff in a First Minister Meeting now; nothing until provincial elections are fought.

Our health care costs us 10.6% of the all encompassing GDP and the US system costs them close to 18% of their GDP and it is leaving 60 million Americans without any coverage and as the Republicans cut Medicaid down there many more millions will be at risk.

The World Health Organization places Canada at 30th in the world and the US at 37th there is room for improvement.  The World Health Organization also  says that costs are driven up dramatically when countries try to juggle multi payer systems.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Health Care Platform by Conservatives is a lie!

Conservatives are saying our health care is going to hell in a basket; Canadian Republicans working to install a multi payer system in Canada; the same system that is bankrupting the US!

The US the republicans are trying to eradicate Medicaid!  They say " Government has no place in Health Care any place!"

The Conservatives are rushing bogus numbers onto us; scare tactics and it appears Iggy is going along with it.

76.4 % of people who go to hospital are under the age of 65!

Babies under 1 year were the most common.

The average age of hospitalized patients was 39.5 years with half of those being under the age of 36 years. These are not baby boomers!

Only 10.7% are 65 years or older and if this increases 30% , we are not talking 30% of 100%;  but 30% of 10.7% that is the scare tactic!

Some 16.4% of the elderly admitted to hospital died as compared to 3.3% of other patients.

Over half of the patients admitted to Intensive Care were younger patients who had more done to them and stayed in ICU longer, the most expensive hospital service. (Life style ailments)  I see the latter as being the place to cut health care costs if you feel you must!

Canada single health care payer costs us 10.4% of our GDP.  Accepting the Conservatives numbers of a 30% increase, this will move Canadian costs up to 13.9% of GDP while the US Costs them near 18% now and leaves 60 million souls without any coverage!

Health care is divided along party lines; it has nothing to do with cost and effect!

If you never felt you had a reason to vote before, you sure have now!  Wild Rose will not offer you any differently than the rest of the Conservatives.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Alberta Politics; Layton is looking pretty good!

At the moment, Jack Layton - in my opinion is making some sense with his proposals on putting a limit on credit card interest rates, and to provide tax relief and incentives for small business, while raising tax rates on large corporations. He says our business tax rates would always be competitive with those in the US though. Since USA has the highest corporate/business taxes in the world, I guess Canada would have the second highest under a Layton Government.

I think Iggy's proposal on student aid is neither here nor there, but having watched him extensively on TV so far, I think he comes across rather well.

Harper seems completely disinterested from what I have seen of him so far. Continuing this kind of performance I think could put the Conservatives in considerable trouble. Does he have a death wish?

With regard to the televised debates I can't see how the networks can exclude Ms May, with the Green party having more than 5% support nation wide, therefore recieving taxpayer funding, and running candidates across the` country. That's not democracy! And again, Harper is` out of step with the other leaders on this issue.

Interesting announcement from Global TV this morning regarding the leaders' debate` in the next Alberta` provincial election. To participate, a party must have at least 30 seats in the legislature. Thus, only the Conservatives will participate. As they currently have no leader, Global has decided that the debate will consist of Ron Liepert and Gene Zwodzeski debating health care.

By the way, why is it that coalition governments abound and seem to work in a large number of western democracies? to me, these kinds of governments seem to work fairly well and are certainly more inclusive and balanced. Why would a coalition government in Canada be the end of civilization as we know it?

Jack Layton is looking awfully good!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The NDP are the only party guarding water sovereignty!

Thank you for taking the time to share your concerns over Canada's water sovereignty. Happy World Water Day!

Please know that my party and myself share these concerns. In fact, our interest to protect Canada's water resources dates back to Canada's early involvement with the North American Free Trade Agreement.

First and foremost, New Democrats believe that the access to clean water is not a privilege but a human right for all Canadians and people worldwide. We are dismayed that the Conservative government decided against a recent United Nations resolution to recognize access to water and sanitation as basic human rights.

Our vision for Canada includes a commitment to protecting our supplies of fresh water by excluding it from all international trade agreements, privatization and deregulation (
Water is our most precious natural resource, but it belongs to both all of us and none of us-it is not a commercial commodity. We have been told repeatedly that our water resources would be protected in trade deals.
However, neither Conservative nor Liberal governments have added water to the list of goods to be exempt from NAFTA. This omission has left a loophole that could eventually cause us to lose control over our own water resources.

We have consistently called for the development of a robust National Water Policy. Such a policy is urgently needed to address important water-related issues facing all of us today - including the roughly 1,700 boiled water advisories affecting Canadians and the negative environmental impact of water use in the tar sands development. While the Harper government committed to a clean water strategy in the past, it has yet to produce one.

Please know that I share your concerns about the NAFTA record-setting $130 million payoff by the Harper Government to Abitibi Bowater. New Democrats have been working to hold the Harper government to account regarding its gross mishandling of this case.

As you may know, NDP International Trade Critic Peter Julian put forth a motion to the International Trade Committee to start hearings into the Abitibi Bowater deal and into the impact of this settlement on future decisions taken in the public interest.

In 2007, when Parliament voted 134 to 108 in favour of preventing bulk water exports, the motion came about from a push by the New Democrats to hold hearings on the impact of the so-called Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) because SPP negotiations have revived troubling questions over access to Canadian water. Our party worked tirelessly to stop the SPP, which, under the Liberal Martin government, removed Canadian sovereignty of many our natural resources, of which water was a hotly debated issue.

You may also be interested to learn that federal NDP councillors, representing regions and groups from across Canada, have adopted the following resolution on trade agreements:

"BE IT RESOLVED THAT the NDP continue advocating the renegotiation of NAFTA to remove Chapter 11, which enables foreign investors to directly sue governments over public policies.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the NDP advocate amending trade deals to ensure that labour rights are subject to an enforcement mechanism at least as strong as investor rights.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the NDP call for the application of countervailing import tariffs equal to the cost advantage gained by a foreign producer through violations of labour rights and/or environmental standards." (NDP Federal Council Motion-adopted Oct. 2,

Again, thank you for writing. I appreciate knowing of your interest to have effective measures in place that will preserve and protect our water for future generations. Please know that we will continue to press this important issue.

All the best,

Jack Layton, MP (Toronto-Danforth)
Leader, Canada's New Democrats

Devon, Alberta - The best place to live and raise a family!

One shot of extensive winter walking trails - no motorized allowed.

 These same trails become summer glory trails.  They change to include bikes and more walkers. There are between 8 and 16 km of beautiful trails available year around!

It is a forward link so may not work.  copy this into your browser:

Hi John,

There are 3 charges for natural gas shown on your bill.  Fees are broken down as follows:
1.       $24 per month is the basic monthly fee
2.       $1.36 per Gigajoule is the distribution fee
These first two are charged by the Town of Devon and they include everything involved in delivering natural gas through the distribution system to the home, repairs and emergency response, everything except the cost of gas itself.
3.       The third charge is the cost of natural gas itself, which varies monthly.  January's price was $4.13.   This is price the Town of Devon pays for its natural gas.  The $4.13 includes delivery to the outskirts of Devon.  Here are the rates so far this year: Jan $4.13, Feb $4.43, March $3.73, the March rate (right now) is below $4.00 per GJ.

Residential homes in Devon pay about $210 less per year for natural gas than other Towns and Cities in the region.

More information:
Devon purchases its natural gas large volumes through Gas Alberta who manage a gas portfolio and purchase gas on behalf of some 79 small gas utilities like Devon’s across the Province.  Devon is able to take advantage of purchasing gas in huge volumes.  On an average year the Town of Devon consumes some 400,000 Gigajoules (GJ) but as a shareholder Gas Alberta, Devon benefits from the purchasing power of approximately 25,000,000 GJ per year.  The result is a cost of natural gas that is typically at par or cheaper than the big utility companies like ATCO & Alta Gas. 

The Town of Devon provides the lowest cost of natural gas of the Towns and cities in the region for a typical residential home.    The average cost to heat a typical residential home in the region is $1,310 per year.  The cost to heat that same residential home for a year in Devon is $1,100.  The bottom line is that Devon’s natural gas rates overall, including all charges and fees, are the cheapest in the region by about $210 per year.

Why is the cost less in Devon?
·         Other companies charge more for their monthly fees, Devon’s is $24 per month, others are $26 or more per month.
·         Bigger companies charge more for their distribution rates, Devon’s is $1.36, others start at $1.46 or more
·         Devon benefits from the large purchasing power where the cost Devon pays for its gas is usually at par or cheaper than the big utility companies.
·         Other companies may add extra fees added to the bill like delivery costs or rate riders.

Hope I did not bore you with too much information but Devon’s utility rates are very favorable in the region and thought I would give you a more complete response in case you had other questions.  Any questions give me a call.


Public Works and Land Services
Town of Devon

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Conservative/Republican Alliance -PNWER

This organization, chartered in the US where they do not have to divulge anything under Canadian Law is the tool that Harper will use to "Change Canada so that even the Liberals will not recognize it" and by extension nor will any of us.

BC were up in arms saying no, this is not the case; we are Liberals.  Yet, Mr. Harper took the time to thank Gordon Campbell for his help in pushing the Conservative envelope forward.

The mission statement for the group is "Leverage regional influence in Ottawa and Washington D.C."

Harper's recent moves to lay off any number of Federal Employees is the setup for the total privatization of many Federal Departments and/or the licensing aspects of those same departments.

Take a look at the roster for this group and you will see at a glance just how Harper plans on changing Canada and, most of us won't like it.

If Harper gets in again we are in for a totally mean and lean Republican Government.


The articles of ratification were passed in 1991 by similar statutes in the four states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. Alaska passed these same articles by action of its legislative council. British Columbia adopted them by ministerial action, and Alberta passed them by government resolution. Amendments were passed in 1994, adding the governors and premiers, and updating other positions of the statutes.

Mission Statement and Goals:

George Groeneveld, MLA
Hon. Rob Renner
David Coutts, MLA (Ret.)

British Columbia
Hon. Barry Penner
John van Dongen, MLA

Michael Chisholm, MLA

British Columbia
Premier Gordon Campbell
John van Dongen, MLA

Premier Dennis Fentie
Glen Hart, MLA
Hon. Jim Kenyon
Steve Nordick, MLA

Northwest Territories
Premier Floyd Roland
Hon. Bob McLeod
David Ramsay, MLA


Premier Brad Wall
Michael Chisholm, MLA                       
Hon. Bill Boyd
Dustin Duncan, MLA
Lyle Stewart, MLA

Private sector Partners/Sponsors

·  Agrium
·  AltaLink
·  BC Hydro
·  BP
·  Canadian Natural (CNRL)
·  Capital Power
·  ConocoPhilips
·  Denali - The Alaska Gas Pipeline
·  Enbridge
·  Enmax
·  ExxonMobil
·  Fleishman-Hillard
·  IHS - Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA)
·  Lilly
·  Marathon
·  Meyers Norris Penny LLP (MNP)
·  Microsoft
·  Nexen
·  NOVA Chemicals
·  Premera Blue Cross blue shield of Alaska
·  Puget Sound Energy (PSE)
·  Safeway
·  SAP
·  Sea Breeze Power Corporation
·  Shell
·  Spectra Energy
·  Teck
·  TransAlta
·  TransCanada
·  United Way of King County

Other Government Partners

·  Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA)
·  Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) part of the USDA
·  Argonne National Laboratory
·  Consulate General Canada-Seattle
·  Flathead County Montana Office of Emergency Management
·  Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC)
·  Idaho National Laboratories (INL)
·  King County Office of Emergency Management
·  King County Office of Emergency Management
·  Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
·  US Department of Energy
·  US Department of Homeland Security
·  Washington Economic Development Commission
·  Washington State Department of Commerce
·  Washington State Fusion Center

Statutory Member Jurisdictions
·  Government of the Northwest Territories
·  Province of Alberta
·  Province of British Columbia
·  Province of Saskatchewan
·  State of Alaska
·  State of Idaho
·  State of Montana
·  State of Oregon
·  State of Washington
·  The Yukon Territory

Partner Non-Profit/Associations/Foundations.
·  American Chamber of Commerce in Canada - Western Chapter
·  Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of British Columbia (ASTTBC)
·  Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists Alberta (APEGGA)
·  Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan (APEGS)
·  Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers
·  Cascadia Center for Regional Development
·  Institute of Health Economics
·  Northwest & Canada Cruise Association
·  Northwest Food Processors Association (NWFPA)
·  Northwest Power and Conservation Council
·  Pacific NorthWest Border Health Alliance
·  Professional Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia (APEGBC)
·  Washington State Public Utilities Districts Association

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