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.
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