Some things change:

May 2020

Once upon a time, I used to enjoy reading Rex Murphy and his articles which to a certain extent I thought were well-measured pieces. I can’t say that anymore.

 Look at this piece:

https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/rex-murphy-only-the-greens-and-separatists-could-find-opportunity-in-a-pandemic/ar-BB13NSBw

The reason Alberta is in such a pickle does not lie with the rest of Canada but with them and the conservative governments both federal and provincial which have loaded the entire economy into the basket called “oil” and more recently bitumen (ethical oil? Or as Kenney calls it now “democratic oil”).

I have said this before and I at least think it worth repeating. Peter Lougheed saw the writing on the wall way back and created the Alberta Heritage Fund to provide for a day when “oil” and “bitumen” would not be the primary source of income for Alberta.  Following his retiring, conservative morons depleted this fund instead of using it to find other ways for Alberta to grow. If you do not believe me then just look at little Norway with a budget surplus of over $1 trillion.  Did their output exceed that of Alberta – do not know but the way they handled their heritage fund shows a remarkably different result.

 Yes, back in the 70s and 80s I worked in the Albertan oil patch in the transportation field – ie a truck driver for a company which catered largely to the Alberta oil patch and BC lumber – and even back then after visiting the Alberta tar sands far too many times I could tell that such a development would eventually come to an end. 

 It was also abundantly clear to me even back then that Alberta had a huge problem which would need cooperation to fix.  They are landlocked.  In order to export to anywhere their product had to travel through neighbouring provinces or territories or directly to the USA via Montana. This requires goodwill and co-operation neither of which have been Alberta’s strong suite for decades now, and indeed Kenney has been known to muse about Alberta leaving Canada; really? That would leave him only one exit to his only market for that dirty bitumen – through Montana.  By the same token the condensate required to move the bitumen through pipelines would have to come from Montana; standby for the price of that.!

Drew Anderson · CBC News · Posted: Oct 10, 2019 12:13 PM MT | Last Updated: October 10, 2019

He (Kenney)  admits it will be a challenge to work with the Trudeau Liberals, particularly if the party leads a coalition backstopped by the NDP.

“We certainly hope it doesn’t come to that, we think that will create enormous tension in the federation,” said Kenney, adding he hopes to find common ground with whoever wins power on Oct. 21.

Open threats to BC along with passing a provincial law that permits the shipping of oil to BC to cease regardless of the harm it might cause does not create goodwill in this direction, and anyway we have enough problems of our own here with the various pipelines coming our way if we want them or not.   

From your piece:

Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet wishes to separate from Canada; and May wants to separate from reality.”

Really?  I was under the impression that Blanchet’s objective was to look after Quebec’s interest within the framework of Canada so I have to assume that you know better than I about his separatist aspirations and how much that would benefit Quebec.

As for Ms. May being separated from reality well look in the mirror Rex and see how far you have come.

Hey Rex, how about being real again instead of showing your biases?

Perhaps with your expertise you could find out where these mythical refineries are that will buy that Albertan bitumen – I mean the ones outside the USA.  I have asked almost everyone from Trudeau, Freeland, Notley, Scheer, Kenney and many more who have been involved in promoting this lie about exporting to other countries.  Naturally no response from any of them.   Think you can do better with your connections Rex?

Also Rex, NAFTA article 605 clearly states that we can increase the “percentage of our production” exported to the USA but we cannot reduce that percentage.  Notley claimed that 100% of Alberta’s bitumen went to the USA, so maybe you with your resources can tell me how we get around that article to be able to export even one barrel to those mythical refineries.  By the way, I have tried without success to find in this new robbery treaty – USMCA or whatever you want to call it – where this Article 605 is repealed or even changed and frankly I cannot see the current person in charge down there agreeing to anything which would disadvantage America.

Sure could use your abilities to answer these questions.

Happy days Rex and good health to you.

Jeremy

Some random thoughts about this 2020 pandemic

Covid19

I have been watching what is happening and has been happening all round the globe and particularly in North America – well Canada and the USA anyway….

 A nasty form of “flu” pandemic named the covid19 by the WHO has been circulating everywhere. Resulting specially here in Canada and the USA in a suspension of a normal life of unstainable economic growth based on credit.

There will be some who will argue that it is not the usual flu and of course the same could be said for all of the so called “pandemic” outbreaks since the Spanish flu back in the early 1900s .

There will be some, and have been many, who claim a lot of it is due to the advent of radio and the microwave effect, since that invention, upon the basic electric beings known as humans. Cell phones have accelerated that particular problem although generally is it not acknowledged by those who profit greatly from them.  Is it not indisputable that there are humans who are sensitive to those microwaves and now with the impending 5G that sensitivity will be accelerated immensely?

There will be those who claim that poisonous foods such as Coca Cole, and the proliferation of fast food outlets which provide very little, if any, nutritious value in their offerings but do cause excessive obesity along with diabetes; the vaste increase in the consumption of a treated bovine growth hormone (milk); the poisoning of our land, food etc., by very toxic pesticides previously used to deforest vast swathes in Vietnam, causing, amongst other things, the reduction of the very insects we need to pollinate our food plants;  this naturally all helps to diminish immune systems leaving us in a weakened state to fight of even the ordinary colds and flu, never mind this covid19.   Vitamin D, essential to the immune system comes free with the sun and yet we are asked to slather ourselves in ointments that stop that happening every time the sun shines to give us that help.  

What a mess!

So now here we are – covid 19, the latest and current pandemic, is upon us and we are not prepared or able to fight it.  The wonderful people who have bought us all this corporate nonsense by allowing all this to happen over the years are saying don’t work, don’t earn money, stay away from those who support your mental health and we will look after you if your governments will look after us!!!

Yes, that has happened in the form of handouts to those instructed to move into isolation, poverty and perhaps quite a bit of panic.  Yes, it must be great to have government support you a bit after they have made sure that the “big boys” are taken care of.   Small mom and pop businesses are being ruined and may never recover, entrepreneurs are in a bind and need help to start entrepreneuring again as they have been.  Yes there was and has been and will be inventive ways to keep doors open and some money coming in  –ie: sidewalk pickups and home deliveries,  a semblance of postal services, and an increase in the use of the internet (not much help to the seniors who don’t have an internet connection never mind a computer) and yet there is a general non-governmental rally around those who need help because that is the way most of us are.

I was happy to see that after 46 years of basic inactivity the Bank of Canada finally came to the assistance of a province and agreed to purchase their bonds, but this was completely offset by the fact that they are also going to buy corporate bonds.  The mandate for the Bank of Canada was established in 1939 and that was to look after Canada and the Canadian peoples’ needs at a vastly better rate of interest which, after deduction of operating expenses, resulted in a yearly dividend to the Minister of Finance to use to pay some of the Canadian government bills.  It was not created to give handouts to big business at the taxpayers’ expense, with lower rates of interest that were and are commercially available to them (“for private profit” supplying “for private profit”).   Commerce feeds on itself and supports itself.  The poor, elderly, sick and war wounded tax payers were supposed to be the recipients of the Bank of Canada’s ability to finance Canada’s needs not wealthy “for huge profit” corporations.

So in amongst all this I found myself wondering about the very simple question we should all be asking ourselves and that is:

 WHO BENFITS FROM THIS MESS?

Is it you and I?

No, I think not.

Is it the big boys like Gates whose wet dream of euthanizing the whole world with toxic vaccinations and micro ships may well come true along with his big pharma and global elitists friends who want to be very well paid to vaccinate us and implant in us a chip to track our every move and maybe even gauge our moods?

I watched a pastor Rev Danny Jones of Northlake Baptist Church in the USA speak from the pulpit about his parishioners being told to stay away from his church, and I was somewhat amazed and delighted by his talk:

https://www.brasscheck.com/video/sanity-from-the-pulpit/

Compare what he said with the utterings of one fired reality show host who doesn’t social distance, refuses to wear a mask (although I am actually OK with that) and will not go into a 14 day self-isolation even though his valet has the covid19.  In fact the White House seems to be developing its own hot spot…..and I am not referring to remarks made to journalists attending his never ending self-congratulatory lies and excuses while blaming others for his own short comings. As a direct result many journalists just trying to do their jobs are being harassed and sworn at and called unpatriotic traitors by gun toting republican pea heads.  A new civil war brewing down there maybe?

But I still come back to the question “Who benefits?”

Clearly here in Canada we have gone much further into debt amidst conflicting remarks from the official opposition who want more help (mostly for Alberta and corporations known as the free market) and yet less debt!  And, the fact remains that we the Canadian taxpayers will have to foot the bill as there are not only tax breaks for those wealthy ones who can afford offshore tax havens, but the pipers in the form of the IMF and BIS and other international investors whose sole aim is to make a profit from our situation and will indeed be merciless in collecting their pound of flesh.

Here in BC we have been treated with a calm provincial health officer who was, I suspect, just doing what she was told, but in a way that appealed to us all to do what she asked, and we did until the sun came out and the beaches got busy again. At the time of writing this I understand there are only 3 cases on Vancouver Island, in spite of the fact we are served by enclosed ferries from the mainland.  Amazing.

Time and again I hear talking heads saying” we will never go back to normal again”, and that is a good thing.  We live in a world where modern day “lynchings”  are praised as conducted by heroes and very fine people, where bazookas are carried into a sandwich store, and wartime weapons are openly displayed at “peaceful” demonstrations by people with pea brains, and political partisan showmanship is rampant by all who will feed at the public trough for the next four years.  So far that is to the south of us but who knows as we have our share of bigotry and racial hatred up here in the frozen north too.

Is that to be our new normal?

Meanwhile the finger pointing goes on and it’s just the flu season folks.

Just my meandering thoughts and I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, but at the very least it is an open invitation to think outside the closing box again…….

Who does benefit?

Jeremy.

Is Justice tied to the rule of law?

The state of justice in the USA

And a little now in Canada

Well, Friday 31st January 2020 confirmed what most of us think about the state of justice in the USA.

If you are black person specially or for that matter any person of colour (other than orange that is) and you are lucky enough not to be shot by the police simply because you are black and they feel it their duty to gun you down, you cannot expect a fair trial.  Your colour will always be a prejudice against you and you will most likely go to jail whether or not you are guilty of even a simple perceived traffic violation.

If on the other hand you are what comedian talk show host Bill Maher described as an angry orangutan you will not even receive a proper trial; because in your case there will be no witnesses called at your trial and your obedient republican members of the senate – minus one  (in spite of their oaths which clearly meant nothing) will render a partisan verdict of not guilty.  The interest and support of the US constitution has been abandoned in favour of a man of prejudice, bigotry and white supremacist beliefs who delighted in ordering and boasted about the killing of a man on a peace mission bringing us to the very brink of WW3. Peace in the middle east is not in the interest of either the USA (money) or Israel (lust for power and land), and so any real peace maker had to be gunned down.

Justice demands a fair trial because no man/woman should be above the law, and a fair trial must include witnesses from both sides. Since this was refused then one has to assume that the president of the USA is above the law (so much for their vaunted constitution), or that a fair trial could not and would not be held in this case to prevent impeachment of someone whose desire for personal success is paramount and everyone else is just a utensil.

The not guilty verdict unleashed a barrage of ugly tweets from a somewhat deranged person, followed last week with the presidential pardon of some serious criminals just like him.  I think it is a fairly safe bet that Roger Stone will only serve a few days in jail if at all.

The home of “the brave and free” is now blessed by a devilish reality show host for a president, not some form of mythical god and unless the good people of the USA do something about it they will suffer for many years of agony.

Albert Einstein:

“The world is a dangerous place not because of evil people, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”

Now regretfully there is an unhealthy discussion here in Canada too, what else can you expect from Canada’s version of the republican party, concerning “whiteman’s law” and the original peoples’ law long preceding the Magna Carta.  Somehow we are arrogant enough to think our modern version is better.

What will it take to get us all to accept that we are all human beings regardless of our skin colour, religious beliefs, orientation, or desire to just live in peace; just let our national pride out when we play games against each other.  Would that be too much to ask?

 

 

Jeremy

Teck Mining and their Northern Alberta Pullout.

Much to my relief I heard that The CEO of Teck Mining had come to his senses and decided not to invest any more money in a huge proposed mine in Northern Alberta.

Never mind the environmental impact of such a mine two questions I have to ask of Jason Kenney if he would listen, but he will not as he is too angry with the Federal Government to be coherent.

  1. How long would it take for this mine to make a profit when the current price for bitumen is less than $20 per barrel and that does not take into consideration the cost of shipping to the USA.

“Condensate, a type of light oil often used to dilute bitumen, was selling for about US$63 per barrel in Edmonton on Thursday, which means the bitumen part of a WCS barrel composed of 30 to 40 per cent diluent was actually fetching between negative 11 cents US and negative 28 cents US per barrel”  .Jason Franson/The Canadian Press2

2 How will Teck get that DILBIT to market if the current and future pipelines will be plugged with the existing production? 

The upshot to me is that bitumen is already overpriced because of the cost of transportation and refining into a product that could loosely be called oil, and thus any company investing in such production really must be desparate to find tax write-offs or for federal and provincial handouts in order to profit.

In today’s climate of concern about the environment one has to wonder what goes on in the mind of anyone seriously considering such a venture and more importantly the mind of a political leader who banks on that craziness for his own success. Kenney has clearly shown that the laws do not apply to him as open blackmail of BC is in his pocket ready to be used, and it is everyone else’s fault that Alberta finds itself in the current financial predicament. It was not the NDP as much as the conservative governments since Peter Lougheed that have failed the people of Alberta, and blustering as Kenney does will not solve the problem.  Look at the people of Alberta; a resilient bunch of people who have been conned into thinking that oil and bitumen is all they have. 

 Really?

Not the Alberta I lived and worked in in the 70s And 80s.

Scheer’s statements in the House of Commons on the radical activists shutting down investment in Canada is of course typical Conservative smoke screen to hide the fact that Harper hamstrung Alberta and probably Saskatchewan as well with his “all eggs in one basket” approach to the economy for Canada. The fall in real oil prices did not help bitumen either and now there is so much interchange in our media calling bitumen oil (such a fictitious an untrue thing to do)

 

Jeremy

The state of justice in the USA

And a little now in Canada

Well, Friday 31st January 2020 confirmed what most of us think about the state of justice in the USA.

If you are black person specially or for that matter any person of colour (other than orange that is) and you are lucky enough not to be shot by the police simply because you are black and they feel it their duty to gun you down, you cannot expect a fair trial.  Your colour will always be a prejudice against you and you will most likely go to jail whether or not you are guilty of even a simple perceived traffic violation.

If on the other hand you are what Bill Maher described as an angry orangutan you will not even receive a proper trial; because in your case there will be no witnesses called at your trial and your obedient republican members of the senate – minus one –  (in spite of their oaths, which clearly meant nothing, to conduct a fair trial) will render a partisan verdict of not guilty.  The interest and support of the US constitution has been abandoned in favour of a man of prejudice, bigotry and white supremist beliefs who delighted in ordering and boasted about the killing of a man on a peace mission bringing us to the very brink of WW3. Peace in the middle east is not in the interest of either the USA (money) or Israel (lust for power and land), and so any real peace maker had to be gunned down.

Justice demands a fair trial because no man/woman should be above the law, and a fair trial must include witnesses from both sides. Since this was refused then one has to assume that this president of the USA is above the law (so much for their vaunted constitution), or that a fair trial could not and would not be held in this case to prevent impeachment of someone whose desire for personal success is paramount and everyone else is just a utensil.

The not guilty verdict unleashed a barrage of ugly tweets from a somewhat deranged person, followed last week with the presidential pardon of some serious criminals just like him.  I think it is a fairly safe bet that Roger Stone will only serve a few days in jail if at all.

The home of “the brave and free” is now blessed by a devilish reality show host, not some form of mythical god and unless the good people of the USA do something about it they will suffer for many years of agony.

Albert Einstein:

“The world is a dangerous place not because of evil people, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”

Now regretfully there is an unhealthy discussion here in Canada too, what else can you expect from Canada’s version of the republican party, concerning “whiteman’s law” and the original peoples’ law long preceding the Magna Carta.  Some how we are arrogant enough to think our modern version is better.

What will it take to get us all to accept that we are all human beings regardless of our skin colour, religious beliefs, orientation, or desire to just live in peace; just let our national pride out when we play games against each other.  Would that be too much to ask?

Jeremy

Wet’suwet’en

February 2020

We now have our own version of Standing Rock here in Canada, involving real people who live as they have for millennia on unceded territory in British Columbia.

Under the Indian Act, it was decreed that there would be elections on reservations etc., to run those reserves and those who won the brass goose would be called elected chiefs.  Problem is that like almost every politician in North America, they are subject to the bribes or threats of the corporate powers whose only interest is money.  These elected chiefs in Wet’suwet’en,  for whichever of the above reasons, fell in line with the power structure (read corporate right and profit versus peoples’ rights) and here is where the whole problem arises. 

The elected chiefs are there to run their reserves as businesses and in accordance to the scraps given them by federal and provincial money, and even smaller scraps by corporate powers plundering their lands.

The Hereditary Chiefs are there to ensure that the way of life, the land, the waters and the air are not irreparably damaged for those yet to come. They too are the keepers of history and tradition and that includes sacred lands where their ancestors are buried.

The Hereditary Chiefs are not bound by threats of less money or the promise of more money as that is not their way.  Their way is the way of the land as it has been for thousands of years.  Because of their stewardship of the land, air and water it is all still there for their people and they are trying to make sure that it will be next year, next decade and next century.  Don’t try and tell them they can’t get by without money, for money is only a new imposition upon them since the foreigners attacked and stole some of this land a few centuries ago and introduced them to European ways of treachery.

Under the leadership of the Hereditary Chiefs, there are still animals to trap, water to drink and clean air to breathe and life experiences to be taught to the young people; that is all under attack by corporate greed with elected people from Canada and BC in full agreement.  

 Only when the last tree has died
and the last river has been poisoned
and the last fish has been caught
will we realize that we can’t eat money  (Native American Proverb)

So what is happening in the unceded territory of the Wet’suwet’en is an affront to all those who agree with and have signed on to the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  Can you imagine the outcry if the Algonquin territory upon which our capital is built, was to be taken back and turned into a massive amusement park? Oh, actually I suppose it has already if you have a twisted sense of humour, for it is becoming more and more difficult to differentiate between politicians and willful children pretending to have fun.

 If this is what it means when the PM reiterates over and over again that the most important relationship the government has is with our First Nations, Inuit and Metis, then we are in a period of time travelling with Alice through her looking glass.

 What have we become Canada?

Election 2019 musings

Written in early November and I forgot to post it…..

 

We are told over and over by those who should know better that Canada is a democracy. And yet we have just been shown again that democracy is a word that does not apply to Canada, and indeed the way Canada was formed did not have democracy in mind at all.

The Magna Carta, signed by King John on 15th June 1215, was the start of and the basis for Westminster styled parliaments since that day.  It laid out among other things, rights and privileges designed to curb the Royal power of a king, corrupt or not, and to give power to some of the people – Lords, Dukes Earls etc., and indeed the first parliament was made up of just those people. Rich and influential. But it was a start.

Canada, being a colony of England, was designated a Westminster style parliamentary system as were all the colonies of the old “Empire” now known as the Commonwealth of Nations.  Based as it was on the English system there were but two parties, neither of which had the ability to be democratic as the very nature of this system falls apart under the dictates of party lines.  Ideally, the purpose of our parliament would be to the betterment of all the people of Canada and Canada itself, however, today that concept is as alien as love thy neighbour.

That being said this just past election was as uninspiring as it was dirty. Fearmongering and smears outnumbered even the wildest promises and unsubstantiated claims were flowing freely. The outcome, a minority government, was predicted amid wild accusations of coalitions and one suggestion by Scheer that the looser of the minority race should immediately resign as party leader. How did that work out for you Andrew?

What we got was three parties showing an increase in seats and two showing losses. The Greens increased to 3 members, the Bloq (a party which puts Quebec first within Canada) regained party status; why did the conservatives describe them as separatists when their base in Alberta and Saskatchewan are openly calling for Wexit and the conservatives completely took over that belligerent western section of the country.  The NDP and Liberals both lost seats, but the saving grace for the liberals was probably the inherent distrust of Andrew Scheer who finally owned up to American citizenship (and all that would entail in dealing with half of himself!)  the threat of austerity and an increase in belligerence and bigotry as seen in both Ontario and Alberta. By the way, how did a party which was so critical of Mulcair having dual citizenship with France manage to have a US citizen as its head?

A split and dissatisfied country. A country which made climate change an issue; a country struggling with dissatisfaction with the way politics is conducted and yet not willing to go backwards; a country with a general population scared of adventurous voting, wanting change but not willing to bring it about; a country divided into haters and bigots and religious extremists, and those who want a better world; a country with an indigenous population still suffering genocidal conditions in spite of many words claiming otherwise; a country of huge potential being held back by red tape and bureaucracy, jealousies and fear of the different.

In other words, a paradise in the making if we do this right, or a hell just around the corner if we do not.

 

Jeremy

Halifax International Security Forum 2019

I tuned into part of this conference almost by mistake and if what I saw and heard was a reflection of the rest of the conference then I have to question why it took place.

 What I saw was a one on one chat with Richard O’Brien, and undersecretary to another secretary of something or another from the US administration. As it appears, he is as really a propaganda humanoid whose grasp of reality seems tenuous at best.

 Let me give an example or two.

According to O’Brien, Chavez and his socialism completely destroyed Venezuela, and socialism is to blame wherever it is practised for the collapse of countries economics.   Clearly, the US administrations do not believe that people should in any way benefit from the tax dollars they contribute to their governments as that should all go to make the wealthy individuals and corporations more wealthy.  Corporate welfare is alive and well in the USA and all is well in the land of the brave and free in spite of the crushing poverty amongst its citizens.   The truth about Venezuela is that Chavez wanted to free his country from the yoke of using the Petrodollar for the Venezuelan oil and instead use the Euro.  That was simply not acceptable to the US which believes it has the “god-given” right to control the world for their own benefit, and sanction after sanction was levied against that country, causing great hardship naturally. However just as they have done in the past and are still doing now meddling in the affairs of other countries causing leadership changes so friendly puppets can be installed who will bow low to the District of Columbia and give what they are told to give, mostly oil of course.   Now after they have crippled the economy of Venezuela they are saying that socialism is to blame and a rightfully and duly elected president must give way to an unelected CIA backed upstart.   Question for O’Brien – if this unlawful change takes place will the US sanctions be lifted the same day?

 So then it becomes ironic that O’Brien claims the USA is the country which answers the international 911 calls when in fact almost all those calls are made as a result of US actions.  Meddling in Ukraine, causing a coup and installing a friendly president on Russia’s border, creating the ability for the Crimea to vote for and then rejoin Russia, and making support subject to Trump’s personal political gain is hardly answering a 911 call. The list of countries destroyed by US political interference carried out by the CIA in the name of democracy rather than personal and corporate profit is a trait that Columbus must have brought with him when his boat eventually landed on the east coast. It has not changed and will not as long as the American people allow themselves to be herded like cattle to pay their taxes and do what they are told.  O’Brien talked about the generosity of the US abroad through their cost of defence which is really the cost of constant wars without which the military-industrial complex would go broke, and that would mean the end of the American economy. He also mentioned how he valued the young people who fought and died for the protection of their country, somehow ignoring the fact that most of them signed up for a paycheque as they couldn’t find work with their BAs and MAs etc. and if they survived they might even get lucky and get a pension. Survival, not nationalism O’Brien.

 Then there was a question about Africa, earnestly answered by saying that the US stands with Africans, wants to help them get free of despicable conditions, despots, civil wars and such, yet the president of the USA calls these countries “shit holes” and asks why he should help them at all.

 Am I alone in wondering how many sides of how many mouths were speaking for the US at this Forum?

 PS.  Naturally I saw and heard Peter MacKay there – perhaps getting ready to make a bid for the Conservative movement his lies and treachery helped to create for one Stephen Harper and certainly not for the people of Canada.

 

A new bigger cabinet for Canada or is it?

 

 

I watched the swearing of the 2019 Liberal Cabinet with some interest and some great disappointment.

First and most important the same old oaths of allegiance were made to the Queen of the Commonwealth rather than to the people of Canada. Two things on this. First, she doesn’t pay one single solitary penny (or now obsolete cent) towards those who are swearing allegiance to her or to her representative here in Canada who is also paid and a home is provided for by the people of Canada to whom she owes absolutely no allegiance. She is simply a figurehead.   Second, if these MPs are elected and paid for by the people of Canada why do they not consider us allegiance worthy?

As to the cabinet itself it was a huge relief to se that Freeland was removed from the Foreign Office which might indicate that Canada will once again have relationships with all countries, Clearly, Freeland has some very strong views about which countries were and are acceptable to Canadians and I would venture to say that she was wrong in asserting her own prejudices upon us all.  It was and is and should be very important to have some relationship with all countries, especially those with whom we have disagreements.  How will differences be solved if we have to use countries such as Italy for example to communicate our views?   Perhaps if Ms. Freeland had spent more time on diplomatic relationships with those countries instead of taking over trade agreements (really disguised investment agreements) when we had a Trade Minister perfectly capable of doing that job then we would have more friends and fewer enemy states. Our relationships to Russia, Iran, China and Venezuela to mention just a few depended entirely on her whims and prejudices and not necessarily the desires of the Canadian people.  Since we are trying for a seat on the Security Council again then we should have been making friends not exacerbating her enemies.  Her position as deputy PM fills me with concern.

Searching for ministers who had any ties to the west – Alberta and Saskatchewan really – is I suppose a political future reality, but in my view, those two provinces clearly banked on Scheer being elected and lost.  Too bad.  They will be looked after as they are still part of Canada but to pander to their needs when they are so clearly out of step with reality is nonsense.   Oil is different from bitumen, and bitumen is what is extracted from the tar sands not oil. CBC pundits such as Alison Redford and the ultra-conservative Christy Clark seemed to think that oil and gas is still the number one priority for Canada rather than developing clean alternatives asap.  I still have no word from any bitumen export promoters as to where these “new” markets are located.

When CN and CP were sold to private interests any clout with them disappears into corporate profit which is separate from the needs of the Canadian people.   Has everyone forgotten what happened after the Wheat Board was closed (against the grain farmers wishes) and then sold to the Saudis and so no-one ordered rail cars for the grain?  Now there is a strike based on personnel safety – which could end up with another Lac Megantic disaster if not taken care of – and those provinces are screaming for back to work legislation. Oh boy.

Another disappointment is that there will be no return to the use of our own public  bank – the Bank of Canada – to finance what we need as both the Minister of Finance and the PM are both puppets to the big banks, both domestic and international and their profits must be assured no matter how much it costs the people of Canada.

Then there is O’Regan who mishandled how many portfolios (3) s in the last parliament being given even more powers as Minister of Natural Resources of all things.  Must be nice to be a buddy to the PM what?   How he will deal with the likes of Kenny whose redneck, bigoted,white supremacist roots are plain to see will be interesting to watch. I expect him to retreat in tears very quickly.

Overall not a particularly impressing cabinet but I will wait to see what happens.

 

Jeremy

Alberta and Saskatchewan unhappy again

“Wexit”  !

 

Alberta and Saskatchewan are talking about leaving confederation because they do not agree with social governments, preferring instead austerity for the people and handouts for the corporations which are destroying our earth. Ok, that is their choice as it was the choice of Canadians outside those two provinces to reject that notion.  They seem to feel a sense of alienation when could it be that what they are mad about is that Canadians as a whole don’t think like them; that is to say Alberta and Saskatchewan are the breadbaskets and lubrication provinces that hold the country together financially and should be bowed down to and given everything they desire. Really? Would that have happened under a Scheer government? Yeah, right!  His American side would be clearly in lockstep with Trumpian non-values.

What on the face of it seems like a spoiled brat or two crying and stamping their feet in order to get mommy’s attention actually shows how little Alberta and Saskatchewan have really thought this through.  Alberta is mad because that province has squandered what it had that was created by Peter Lougheed many years ago which was a model for Norway’s fantastic financial situation; and now after years of terrible conservative manipulation in that province, they are in essence broke and landlocked. Instead of reaping the rewards of careful husbandry of their main resource they are now “sans” the Heritage Fund advantage and stuck with a one market product they call oil, which is in fact bitumen.  As long as they call it oil their heads are stuck in the sand from which the bitumen is taken.  One market you ask? Well yes according to the FTA and then NAFTA we can increase our percentage of production of any petroleum export to the USA to 100% but we cannot reduce it at all. Article 605 of NAFTA.

We hear from media and politicians that there are new markets waiting for the bitumen but never are they described.  Notley, Kenney, Freeland, Trudeau, Carr to mention just a few have not been able to give me the name of even one refinery in any new destination country that is wanting this Alberta goop.  So naturally, the question arises: why the TMX expansion if not just another way to ship to the USA?  Meanwhile, Jay Inslee, the Governor of Washington State, is as concerned about the possibility of an accident in Georgie or Juan da Fuca straights and the resulting toxic gases release into the local winds as are we on southern Vancouver Island.

Incidentally in this as yet un-ratified USMCA investment deal there is a segment ( Article 32.10) on other investment (trade deals) entered into by one country without including the other two will make USMCA null and void.   How does the US talking a new trade deal with China fit with this? Yet our weak-kneed corporate government will ratify it anyway.

Is the assumption that BC will automatically leave Canada with an arch-enemy? After all, we are under legislated threat of having Alberta cut us off from oil and gas supply.  They want to destroy our interior with clumps of bitumen and toxic gases when the TMX  pipe ruptures and of course the Stampeders always beat up on the Lions, so are we really expected to roll over and join them in their foolishness.   BC, on the other hand, could leave Canada and be completely self-sustaining.  Actually, though, the problem is more complex when you consider the First Nations treaties with Canada, and BC having signed on to the UNDRIP makes it even more complicated.  For some reason, Alberta and Canada have not so signed, presumably because such a signature would hamper the ability to trample on First Nations’ rights.

But what would leaving Canada actually achieve? Both provinces would still be landlocked, and while they could still export grain, wheat, beef, pork etc., it would be through foreign ports, probably charging more with maybe even import/export duties charged, and what would happen to the people of those two provinces about the OAS and CPP, not to mention healthcare? The rest of Canada being the generous people they are would graciously honour the current recipients, but for the rest of you?  The youth of both provinces would not be happy about that now would they?

So back to the discontent within Alberta and Saskatchewan.  Granny used to say “put all your eggs in one basket and if you fall you most likely will not have any eggs”. Well you two, it seems you have fallen and now have not one representative in the federal government between you.  IF this country was a democracy that would not really matter much as your representatives (MPs) would have a voice, but much to the chagrin of many, many Canadians we are not a democracy and there is virtually no representation on behalf of the people in our House of Commons anyway.

The Alberta in which I lived and worked for many years was a relatively happy, friendly and welcoming place. Now after years of conservative rule both provincially and federally the whole picture has changed to where redneck, bigoted, anti-immigration, and yellow-vested supremacists are well represented by the likes of Kenney whose intended austerity measures (anticipated by me anyway) were held back in a budget not delivered until after the federal election. Anyone really surprised by that?

What Canada sorely lacks is love and compassion for each other no matter who or what.  Yes, there are some who have an abundance of both but ……

 

Jeremy