Saturday, January 23, 2016

Resource Industries Will Always Be Canada's Primary Source of Income

We are all happy that Prime Minister Trudeau is proud of Canadians' resourcefulness, however that's not where the problem is today.

Right now, as I see it, Canada is very dependent on selling its natural resources both nationally and internationally. Canada's economy is on a downward plunge because at present we can neither sell nor deliver those resources to customers. I still very much believe that Mr. Trudeau needs to spend most of his time dealing with that crisis. Directing some of the attention to Canadians resourcefulness is not helping!  

It's been a while since Canada has been in this pickle. The federal and provincial governments need to be focusing on homegrown solutions to this problem right now! From where I stand there's a few things that governments could do to help out. Here are some of my ideas;
  • Encourage all companies to refine and process Canadian oil in Canada. I understand that much of our petroleum products are imported from the United States.
  • Give tax breaks to small oil companies based in Canada and owned by Canadians.
  • Encourage the creation of small oil companies to operate again in Canada. Sixty years ago there were dozens of small oil companies refining oil and selling those products to Canadians.
  • Encourage petroleum support companies to find other uses for their products and help them sell those products abroad. (This is where the resourcefulness could come in)
  • Develop a national Pipeline Advisory Board with some real teeth to develop very stringent guidelines as to how pipelines are to be built and maintained across the nation.
  • Facilitate the building of the Eastern pipeline to the Maritimes and the Western pipeline to the BC coast as soon as possible.   Also look into building a pipeline to Churchill,  Manitoba.
  • Develop even more stringent guidelines as to the operation of tankers within Canadian waters on all three coastlines. There is a tremendous amount of information available on the subject of tanker safety after the Exxon Valdez disaster years ago.  I truly believe that tanker traffic can be made very safe with cooperation from all those involved or potentially impacted!
The governments of Canada need to take the bull by the horns instead of blaming the Arab nations, the Chinese, or OPEC for this petroleum calamity which we are now experiencing. Misdirecting attention away from the problem will not help.

If your car has a flat tire you don't throw it away and buy a new one. You change the tire and carry on. Our economy has a flat! Mr. Trudeau and the provincial premiers, it's time for you to take out the Jack and the tire iron and help fix it!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Trudeau Misses the Boat in Davos!

When it comes to a vision of Canada's economic future I think our new Prime Minister missed the boat!  In fact, I think he went to the train station!  During his speech at an economic forum in Davos, Switzerland, Trudeau said Canada (Canadians) should be known for its (their) resourcefulness, not its (their) resources.  It is true that Canadians are very resourceful, that's no secret. But it is our resources that make our country strong!

The resourcefulness of Canadians is famous. Many world changing inventions originated here!  Everything from the IMAX movie projector to the zipper had its origins here in Canada!  However Canada's renewable and non-renewable resources are our biggest export and probably always will be!

At that same forum, Calgary's Mayor Nenshi described Canada's economy as "resource plus"!   I think our new federal government needs to wake up to that fact and support it.

Energy resource exports top the list!  Instead of touting Canada's ability to invent computer chips, Prime Minister Trudeau should be forging ways to get our resources to world-wide and other Canadian markets.  The two most obvious right now are the two pipelines; the Trans Mountain and Energy East. 

I was hoping our Prime Minister would announce a government task force to meet with all those supporting and opposed to these pipelines to hammer out an agreement to get them built as soon as possible!  The time has come to put down the placards and signs and negotiate a realistic agreement to permit these two vital resource conduits to be built safely and with the utmost concern for the environment!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Beiseker Public Works Steps Up!

The Village of Beiseker lost its Public Works Foreman just before Christmas.  That's the bad news.

The good news is that our remaining Public Works Department has stepped up to the plate and is working hard to make sure everything that needs to be done gets done!  There's been some challenges, too!  A couple of persistent water main breaks have had to be dealt with and snow removal is an ongoing challenge. 

We are advertising for applications for a new Public Works Foreman right now.  That competition ends next week.

My compliments to our Public Works staff for stepping up to keep Beiseker rolling.  Well done!  And thank you to all residents for your patience and understanding.

Friday, January 1, 2016

The Great Water Myth

Over the past while, we've heard a lot about the world running out of fresh water.  That is a myth.  Water can be neither created nor "used up".  It can be polluted or evaporated, but it can't be destroyed!

Most municipalities use water once, then "flush and forget"!  In fact, almost all municipalities in Alberta put more water back into the rivers and streams than they take out!  Unfortunately it's usually not quite as clean as it was when they took it out!  Municipalities need to have ways to purify and recycle water, instead of flushing it and sending downstream for some other municipality to worry about!

Some areas of the world are experiencing devastating drought.  Places like California have relied on yearly snowpacks to replenish their reservoirs, when they could have developed a huge sea water desalination and purification system.  The Pacific Ocean is right there!  Now the seasonal precipitation are not coming and they're in huge strife!  Our society has spent most of its efforts on refining, purifying, and transporting petroleum products and ignored the water supplies.

I think water will become the new oil.  After all, there are alternatives coming along to replace oil, but there is no replacement for water!