Wednesday, February 24, 2016

What's Up with Oil Prices?

Over my 30+ years in education, we always taught that non-renewable resources were not replaceable.  Once they're used up, they're gone forever.  So this battle of the oil barons has me all confused.  Oil is a non-renewable resource!

I understand that some of the world's oil producers are selling oil at fire sale prices which is lowering the price of oil globally.  More than 20,000 Albertans have lost  their jobs because the companies they worked for say that they can't keep them on and make a profit with oil prices so low.

Every day we use more and more of our world wide oil resources but there's a finite amount of oil in the ground!  One day we'll run out!  One day the Arab states will run out of oil. Venezuela will run out of oil. Indonesia will run out of oil.  Russia will run out of oil.  And even Canada will run out of oil! So, why the low prices? 

Don't give me that supply and demand crap, either!  I repeat; the supply of oil is extremely limited and the demand continues to rise.  You cannot conserve oil by selling more of it at extremely low prices!  I think some of these oil producers need to wake up and smell the coffee.   

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Volunteers Wanted + Upcoming By-Election!

The Village of Beiseker is currently looking for volunteers to join its many committees and boards.  If you're interested in helping out around the village leave your name at the Village Office - either in person, or by calling 403-947-3774 - and we'll try to find the perfect spot for you. 

And, if you're keen about village government we have a vacancy on Village Council.  Nomination Day is set for March 21st; you can get your nomination papers at the Village Office.  Election Day is April 18th!

The next municipal election is slated for fall of 2017.  This would be an ideal time for someone to get an idea how our municipal government works, without committing to four years!

A small municipality like ours is only as strong as its volunteer force!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Ears Bitten on Airdrie Health Care

An old cowboy will tell you that if you've got a green horse or one that's a bit wild and you want to get up into its saddle you get a helper to bite the horse's ear.  The theory being, that the bite on the ear will distract the horse's attention from what's really happening.  After the rider is safely in the saddle the helper will let go of the horse's ear and make a run for the fence;  the rider is on his own!

I fear that the good people of Airdrie are having their ears bitten.  All this rhetoric about creating only a "24 hour health care" facility is distracting the good people of Airdrie from what should be the goal; getting a full fledged hospital in that great little city! 

Getting a 24-hour health care facility is obvious and should start to happen within the next few months.  Getting the hospital will take much longer.

We need a regional association, created to keep pushing for that hospital!  As mentioned on this blog, before, it took Vaughan, Ontario more than thirty years to finally get the province to listen and get a real hospital built.  We can't wait that long!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Good News & Bad News

The good news is that we've hired a new Public Works Foreman for the village. 

The bad news is that we lost a valuable councilor on Village Council.

Councilor Dave McKenzie accepted the position of Public Works foreman - but unfortunately that meant he had to resign as councilor to prevent a conflict of interest.  The provincial Municipal Government Act is very clear on who can be a councilor and who can't.  Dave had been working for the village through a temporary contractual situation, but that ended as soon as we hired him as our new foreman. 

I'll miss Dave on Council.  His perceptions, thoughts and candor were appreciated  and will be greatly missed.  But we now have the opportunity to elect a new councilor in a byelection, coming in early April. 

Good luck Dave!

Monday, February 15, 2016

A Passenger Train To Banff!

Recently, it has been proposed that a passenger train be re-established between Calgary and Banff

What a super idea!  Finding parking in Banff is next to impossible in the summer, and not getting any better in the winter.  For more than half a century, taking the train to Banff was one of Calgary's premiere attractions!  Reviving that attraction seems only good sense. 

Rail transportation is the most efficient (and least expensive) ground transportation there is!  We should have more!  How about a train from Strathmore and Chestermere into the city?  How about one from Airdrie, Cochrane, High River and Okotoks and maybe even some day from Irricana and Beiseker?   This could be the start of something great. 

As far as the train to Banff goes.  Sign me up! I want to go!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Great Calgary Parking Racket

The Calgary International Airport has just announced that it is doing away with the free half hour parking zone at the airport!  That first half hour will now cost you $3!  The only place you can park free while waiting for someone to arrive is in the cell phone lot.  But you have to stay in your car and there is a time limit! 

The days of greeting someone at the arrivals door are long gone!  I remember greeting relatives from Wales and helping them retrieve their luggage from the carousel. Not anymore!

Meanwhile at Calgary hospitals, parking is getting more expensive, too!  I've heard of families from out here paying many hundreds of dollars in parking fees to visit a critically ill family member.   On the day their loved one passes, the hospital will usually give a free parking pass for that day to those present at the time of the death!  That's a small consolation for the hundreds, perhaps thousands paid before!

If you're a Calgarian, you have options.  You can take a taxi which might be equally as expensive or take the bus or LRT, but us folks out here are hooped.  We've got to pay those high parking fees to pick up someone at the airport or visit someone in a hospital.

I guess I'll just have to accept the fact that if you live outside Calgary's city limits, you're a second class citizen, at least as far as parking at hospitals and the airport is concerned!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Hospital Lessons from Vaughan, Ontario

While pushing for a real hospital in the city of Airdrie, I've been yipping on about that city being the largest city in Canada without a hospital.  I was wrong!

That dubious distinction belongs to the City of Vaughan, Ontario, located outside Toronto.  It's now a city of around 300,000 - and they still don't have a hospital!  The Ontario provincial government has been telling the good folks of Vaughan that they don't really need a hospital.  Because hospitals cost a fortune to build!  And after all, Toronto is just down the road -- and they have hospitals.  This discussion has been going on for years now.

Vaughan was a small city of less than 50,000 only 30 years ago.  It was (and is) one of the fastest-growing communities in Ontario.  But a number of Ontario governments said a hospital would be too expensive for such a small place!  Nothing happened. 

Now they're coming up on 300,000 residents, and the Ontario government is saying, "Holy crap, they need a hospital!  Why didn't anybody tell us?"

Does this whole story remind you of another small city just outside Calgary, with a similar story to tell?

The good news is that I understand  the new Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital is now under construction and will be completed in a couple of years.  But its total cost will be be much higher than it would have been had they built it a few years back, when the need for a hospital in Vaughan was first identified by people living in the city.

They say that those who do not know history are destined to repeat it.

Well Premier Notley, there's a bit of history for you.  What's the plan?

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Nenshi Gets it Right!

All of this back and forth bickering over the oil pipeline from Alberta to Eastern Canada has been interrupted by a reasonable voice. 

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said that Canadians all should group together to find solutions to the pipeline issues and get the thing built.  No truer words have been said. 

Instead of pitting East against West in this plan to provide all of Canada with Canadian oil, let's work together for the good of us all!  Good on ya, Mayor Nenshi!  Go for it!