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The National Infrastructure Act: How The Federal Government Can Get Infrastructure Projects Like The Trans Mountain Pipeline Done Fairly

The current Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline debacle agonizingly demonstrates that even medium scale infrastructure projects are easily stalemated in Canada.¬† This has scared away vast sums of foreign direct investment as investors look for easier, more reliable places to put their money. This is a crisis and it appears Read more…

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12 Things Alberta Can Do To Punish British Columbia For Blocking the Trans Mountain Pipeline

rachel-notley-john-horganMany people, and politicians (which are also people ūüôā ) have suggested that Alberta cut off the oil supply to British Colombia in an effort to punish the BC Premier, John Horgan.¬† While that is one possibility, there are other things that can be done.

Some options are reasonable, some are draconian and some of them are just not possible.

Here are most of the options available to Alberta:

  1. Block BC Workers – This is possible but not likely:
    • it would be very disruptive to business as the two provinces have a largely integrated work force
    • it would annoy BC workers, many of which are in the oil sector, and they are some of Alberta’s biggest boosters in BC so it would be counterproductive to send them home
      .
  2. bc-site-c-dam-mapNot Buy Electricity From BC – This is doable and in fact has already started
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Twinning the Kinder-Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Is Now Too Big To Fail

Should the Province of Alberta buy the Trans Mountain Pipeline from Kinder-Morgan if they want to walk away from the project?¬† That question was posed to Alberta Premier Rachel Notley today and she responded with an emphatic ‘Yes!’.

It has become abundantly clear, whether you are for or opposed to this particular pipeline or not, that having the relatively simple twinning of the existing Trans Mountain pipeline fail to be built would signify the end of even medium scale infrastructure projects in Canada.

kinder-morgan-trans-mountain-pipeline-mapThere will always be interest groups and affected people that have some legitimate claim against a large project.  The standard for projects should not be keeping everyone happy.  The standard for infrastructure projects MUST be if they are in the national interest.  That national interest contains a giant list important factors including:

  • environmental concerns
  • affected citizens needs and wants
  • global competitiveness concerns
  • financial concerns
  • public safety

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How Killing The Canadian Oil Industry Is a Formula For Environmental Disaster

Today Bloomberg’s¬†Michael Bellusci wrote an article explaining that Canadian oil and gas companies are in deep trouble. ¬†Here is an excerpt:

Canada‚Äôs Energy Industry Faces ‚ÄėExtinction‚Äô Without M&A, BMO Says

On the same day, Global News reported:

Feds to spend $280k to study why Canada’s oil and gas sector is falling behind

The federal government plans to spend up to $280,000 for a new study¬†on Canada‚Äôs competitiveness in the oil and gas industry as investment lags and the United States offers new incentives for companies to move south…iea-world-energy-demand-change-2016-2040
Source: globalnews.ca/news/4123026/oil-and-gas-canada-falling-behind-study/

In general terms the issue is that with low oil prices, oil companies see better places in the world to put their money than Canada. ¬†Oil & Gas “activists” will initially claim a victory here because they have had some impact on making it difficult to get Canadian Oil and Gas to both international and domestic markets.

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You Owe $60,000 – Welcome To Alberta’s Avoidable $100B Debt Crisis

Last week the NDP Alberta Government introduced yet another budget without any cuts in it.  Instead they are relying on growth to balance the budget by 2023 leaving us with colossal debt of about $96B.

Citizens, including me, do not seem to grasp numbers larger than about $10M so some context is key to understanding.  To put that debt in perspective, there are just over 4 million people in Alberta, which makes YOUR personal portion of the Provincial debt $24,000.  Statistics Canada shows that Alberta averages 2.5 people per household.  This means your household will owe $60,000.

The Canadian Tax Payers Federation calculates that the Alberta’s debt is currently increasing at a rate of $315.80 per second.

Let’s contrast that number of other Provinces.

How Much Debt Do BC Citizens Owe?

Both the previous Liberal and current NDP governments in British Columbia have been on similar spending sprees¬†and while certainly not as deep, BC has had many similar economic problems to Alberta in recent years.¬† Think about BC’s primary industries (Oil collapse, softwood lumber disutes…).¬† However, in February 2018 their NDP Finance minister announced:

‚ÄúGovernment’s direct operating debt is projected to be eliminated in 2018-19, one year earlier than forecast. This will be the first time government has been direct operating debt-free in over 40 years.‚ÄĚ

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Should Disposable Single Use Plastic Bags Be Banned?

There has been much talk in the recent decade about banning disposable plastic bags.  The basic argument is that consumer grade disposable single use plastic bags are the root cause widespread environmental damage but have ready alternatives, so why are will still using them?

As is often the case with political issues, there is no simple answer to the question “Should single use plastic bags be banned?”.¬† Below are some of the facts and you can decide for yourself if this is a crisis or not:

ARGUMENTS AGAINST SINGLE USE PLASTIC BAGS

  • Australian scientists found that 90% of seabirds had plastic in their digestive tract
    • 85% of ‘ocean garbage’ is plastic
    • In March of 2018, Canadian Environment Minister Catherine McKenna claimed that there is the equivalent of one full dump truck load of plastic materials being dumped in the ocean every minute of every day
  • Plastic bags are made from non-renewable material
  • Single use plastic bags account cost about $.04 each to buy new and it is estimated the clean up cost is about $.15 per bag, resulting in a total cost to the consumer of more than $80 per year (more…)
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Facts About “A Tale of Two Cities” A Comparison Between Lacombes & Chestermeres Approach to Hiring a New CAO

Recently it was brought to our attention that a small site took issue with the facts supplied in our article¬†“A Tale Of Two Cities: How Chestermere is Spending $100K More Than Lacombe To Find a New CAO“.¬† ¬†Given the outrageous claims in the article, we felt compelled to provide the facts.

Please note that www.PartisianIssues.com is trying to stay out of Municipal politics.¬† In Chestermere’s case specifically, we know that the new Council will make mistakes but that those mistakes will be well intentioned and not malicious.

Claim: Chestermere Is In Too Much of a Hurry To Handle Its Own CAO Search:

This is perhaps the strangest claim made in the article so we will deal with it first.  Our original article made three fundamental points;

  1. Lacombe will do their CAO search much faster than Chestermere
  2. Lacombe will do their CAO search for somewhere between $100K and $200K less than Chestermere
  3. Temporary staff, almost by their very definition, will not develop meaningful changes

The simple fact is that even though Lacombe started their CAO search after Chesteremere did,¬†Lacombe has already hired a new CAO.¬†Chestermere is still spending $27,000 on a person (who we are sure is a smart, qualified but temporary CAO) that has not made any notable changes to the city that any other CAO wouldn’t have done.

Beyond this we found it odd to imply that¬†Lacombe isn’t in a hurry to get their CAO work done.¬† Clearly this is inaccurate; Lacombe is done and Chestermere isn’t.

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The Price of Carbon in Saskatchewan

Dr David Maenz is interviewed on CBC Regina radio. The discussion is on climate change, his new book The Price of Carbon, and how the Saskatchewan Provincial government is handling the Canadian Federal Governments demand for a price on carbon.

A Rational, Fact Based Review of Global Warming & Its Practical Solutions

Below is an 11 minute interview with Dr. David Maenz about his new book The Price of Carbon.  Unlike all climate change books we have reviewed in the past, The Price Of Carbon is the first one to pull together the serious science of Global Warming from Earths formation until today, explain the three likely outcomes of Global Warming, and then detail the PRACTICAL solutions to the issue.

This book is definitely not a casual read but for the educated person that is still open to thinking about this critical issue, it will be an eye opener:

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10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Oil & Gas Industry in 2018

The Oil & Gas industry has more than its fair share of misinformation directed at it.  This site is intended to expose and explore facts and so as part of our new series on the Oil & Gas industry we thought you would like a quick run down of some interesting facts:

      1. LNG Does Not Burn: Companies compress Natural Gas into what is known as Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) it is much easier to move and store.  However, one concern that is often heard relates to how dangerous LNG (think of an LNG tanker as a floating bomb or an LNG pipeline as scary torch), but LNG is safer than nearly any other petroleum product.  It will not burn and if it spills it LNG will quickly clean itself up.  LNG is incredibly safe.  Watch this short fun video:

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Will The New Canadian National Projects Review Mechanisms, Resolve Provincial & Municipal Disputes

At the heart of the Canadian Federal Governments announcement today about fixing the process that determines if a large scale project is in the best interest of Canada or not, is a desire to limit ability Provincial, Municipal and interest groups (like ‘First Nations’) to stall approved projects.¬† The idea is to:

  1. increase consultation so everyone’s voice is heard
  2. set firm and visible rules for industry so that “goal posts” are not being moved after the fact
  3. determine what is in Canada’s best interest, when that interest is at odds with local interest

These are clearly admirable goals.  To achieve those goals there are now going to be three structures that industry must pass through to get Federal Government support:

  1. A new ‘Impact Assessment Agency of Canada‘ will do the preliminary investigation to determine the environmental effects of a project
  2. The existing ‘National Energy Board’ is demoted and renamed ‘Canadian Energy Regulator‘ but still be responsible for determining the technicalities of a project
  3. The ‘Federal Minister of the Environment‘ will have the final say¬† if a project is viable and in Canada’s interest

So now the questions are, will these changes allow:

  1. Industry to decide that spending many millions of dollars to go through an elongated approval process that will have a definitive outcome be worth while?
  2. Provincial, Municipal and interest groups (like ‘First Nations’) to be heard and listened to?

There has been much debate over the process and all agree something big had to change:

  1. When industry works on large scale projects deemed to be in the Canadian national interest after years of consultation and vetting that are still blocked by local and regional interests, there is a big problem.
  2. When interest groups (i.e. some ‘First Nations’, Municipal governments (i.e. Vancouver) local and Provincial governments (i.e. BC) feel empowered to block large scale projects that adversely affect the rest of the country, there is an even bigger problem.

Dennis McConaghy, a former senior executive at Trans Canada Pipelines thinks these changes will not achieve the desired goals:

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