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

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Harper moves to curtail free speach and reduce criticism

The CBC is the most popular public forum available to Canadians.  It has been an outlet for much information not otherwise available to the public.

Harper's crew recently claimed the CBC continually lies which, is simply a lie in itself.   The CBC has maintained the highest standards, unlike the Conservative Governments.

Graph showing decreasing funding to CBC despite PMO claims
Stephen Harper is planning to cut CBC funding.
Only a massive outcry can stop him.
Earlier this week, the government tabled its spending plan for the coming year in Parliament. Included in the fine print is a reduction to the CBC’s grant. Unless we convince Stephen Harper to change his plan, the CBC will lose $16 million ($42 million in purchasing power after inflation is taken into account) starting next month! 

For our public broadcaster, a reduction of this magnitude might seem manageable, but it is yet another cut in a series that, taken together, is having devastating consequences obvious to every listener and viewer. 

Thankfully, there is an opportunity in the next two weeks to stop this cut.
Just a few weeks from now - on March 22nd - the Harper government will table its Budget. It’s his chance to change course. We’ve got only a matter of days to persuade Harper that it is not in his political interest to cut CBC funding.

Please send a message to Stephen Harper right now and share this campaign with your friends.

Harper’s plan to cut CBC funding is entirely consistent with recent comments from senior members of Harper’s government that betray their hostile agenda for public broadcasting in Canada. You will recall that Harper’s confidante, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney recently proclaimed that “the CBC lies all the time”. 

While his senior Minister was trashing the CBC, Harper’s office developed talking points that take sinister doublespeak to new levels, claiming that his government has invested record amounts in the CBC, more than any previous government. 

This statement is false! Here are the facts.

The spending plan that would cut CBC’s funding can be changed by the federal Budget on March 22nd.

It’s our opportunity and we must seize it to protect public broadcasting. 

While we cannot hope to make Harper love the CBC, we must make sure he understands that every time he tries to trash our public broadcaster, voters will strongly object and punish his party at the first opportunity. 

Please send your message now and share the campaign with your friends. If we act together we can succeed! 

We have prepared a short message, but it will be much more effective if you take a few moments to personalize it, adding your own comments.

Make an effort to protect your futures, sign in and sign up!

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