Huge long-term care facilities owned by Crown corporation

May 30, 2020

John Paul Tasker of the CBC has a revealing report that one of the largest operators of seniors' residences and long-term care homes in Canada is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP), a federal Crown corporation charged with investing funds for the pension plans of the federal public service, the Canadian Forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Reserve Force.

The company, Revera, owns or operates dozens of properties across Canada; it also has major holdings in the United States and the U.K., with a portfolio of seniors' apartments, assisted living and long-term care homes, reports Tasker.

More than 55,000 seniors live in a property owned somewhere in the world by Revera, which also jointly owns some homes operated by Groupe Sélection in Quebec and has a majority ownership stake in Sunrise Senior Living.  

Read Tasker’s full report HERE.

      •      •     •

This revelation left me speechless with anger. I suspect many others who have their pension funds managed by the Public Sector Pension Investment Board are unaware that the Rivera Crown Corporation exists. Prudent investments in well-managed operations to maximize return on our jointly-held funds is one thing; creating a crown corporation to own and operate private businesses is not what we expect from the fund managers.

Why would our government decide to directly compete in the personal care facility marketplace? It would appear that Rivera is no better than other slum landlords in the personal care facility business.

The potential liabilities are staggering. For a view of personal care facility deaths, look here: https://ltc-covid19-tracker.ca/ (updated daily). Click on the Canada Summary at the bottom of the page to see the numbers. At this writing, 82 per cent of all COVID-19 deaths have been in personal care facilities.

It is not material that Treasury Board President Jean-Yves Duclos is “saddened”. Pension fund contributors need to know if their funds are at risk. Who is going to pay for lawyers defending claims against Rivera? Setting and maintaining standards for personal care facilities are a provincial responsibility irrespective of ownership. There are conflicts of interest to consider.

This just in: Doug Ford: Greedy investors should get out of nursing home business

The abridged excuse for a parliament occasionally in session does not help. We have no way to secure answers for our many questions. This is the tip of an exceptionally large iceberg. The fur and flack tossed about is going to be substantial.

Anyone who thinks they can be happy and prosperous by letting the government take care of them had best take a close look at our indigenous people.

Dishonourable, sleazy, unethical, undignified Parliament

Friday, May 29, 2020

Two troops of primates who occupying the House of Commons take themselves far too seriously.

There is nothing “historic” about a government abdicating its responsibility to convene parliament in accordance with constitutional conventions. Replacing parliament with a farcical made-up “committee” is dishonourable, sleazy, unethical, and undignified.

The NDP wants to bolster its fortunes with working class Canadians and proposed that every employee be give ten days of sick each year supposedly to ensure that they would be paid if they lost work due to a COVID-19 infection quarantine.

It makes sense to replace income lost to COVID-19 quarantine. If someone feels ill, gets tested with positive results or is assessed by health care authorities as COVID-19 positive, or if he or she is quarantined due to contact with a COVID-19 positive person, he or she should qualify for an immediate 14 day wage replacement. We do not need ill people out and about because they cannot afford to lose income. Disguising that as ‘sick leave’ is dishonest.    

The Liberals were willing to support the NDP initiative if the NDP would support the Liberal motion to postpone recalling parliament until fall.

Neither party seems to care that they are adding expenses to the small business owners they claim to support. Ten days of 8 hour shifts = 80 hours or two average work weeks per employee!

The employer has to pay wages for the person off sick and also pay wages for a replacement worker in many instances. The employer also has to cover payroll taxes (employer CPP, EI, and WC contributions) for both. Payroll costs are increased by at least 4-6%.

Canadians are agitated, anxious and fearful. Our governments have made sure of that. The Liberals and NDP have no excuse for hiding in the basement furnace room when people expect an open, transparent, and concerned parliament planning an effective recovery from the epidemic and reinstating our freedoms and rights. We need assurance that Ottawa is taking our personal concerns seriously.

Replacing parliament with a made-up committee is part of purely political strategy. First, create a crisis. Second, appear to solve the crisis and look good doing so. Third, call an election before the shine wears off.

We still have other important matters outstanding including indigenous reconciliation, relations with China, and Russian incursions in the north that cannot be ignored.

We have had bombshells dropped about deplorable conditions in personal care facilities, but none of us would have guessed that we have a federal crown corporation that owns and runs personal care facilities across Canada, in the USA and Europe.

But not to worry – we can ask questions about this crown corporation if parliament reconvenes in the third week of September. Considering the disrespect for democratic governance and parliamentary traditions shown so far, we cannot bet on parliament reopening without an election.

We must cast informed votes in the next election.
Political parties are not honest during an election.
If you do nothing, nothing will change

Ottawa's trust in China has left us more vulnerable

May 27, 2020

We are not paranoid when we express concerns when someone is out to get us. China is not an ally or friendly nation. China is not even a trustworthy trading partner. Canada is a target for Chinese Communist Party (CCP) espionage.

China has banned imports of various Canadian commodities on pretexts in order to exert political pressure on our government. China detained two Canadians as hostages in the Meng Wanzhou affair. In February, Chinese operatives in Canada cleaned out our entire supply of medial personal protective equipment. 

These are not the actions of a nation that respects Canada or even considers Canada to be a sovereign nation. Why would our government have concerns over stigmatizing China? If our government cannot insist on fair and respectful treatment by other world nations, it has no choice but to resign. Canada’s interests, safety, and security come first. As a nation, we are too militarily weak and too small to have geopolitical ambitions.

Pretending that we have influence at the United Nations and can alter the actions and direction of member nations is ridiculous. Billionaire investors and blocs of third world nations exert far more influence at the UN than Canada can ever dream of. Our government is playing checkers in the most intense poker game in the world.

The biggest players are China, the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom and France all of whom have been playing hot and cold war games against one another for over two centuries.

We are not going to save the world, but if we refocus on creating the best Canada we can, we might manage to salvage the nation.

We welcome your comments – editor@nanaimonet.com

It takes government to turn crisis into disaster

Several people have written to me pointing out that coronavirus numbers do not seem to make any sense. They are not intended to make sense; they are intended to scare the heck out of us.

     First, the infamous total number of cases. We watch that number climb with alarm. There is no good reason why. People infected + people recovered + people died = total cases.

 Total cases include those who have recovered? As of today, (May 22) we had a total of 33,636 active cases, 42,594 recoveries and 6,250 deaths. Total 82,480. The people who have recovered or died were active cases at some point. Add the recoveries and deaths and we have 48,844 cases where we know the outcome of infection. 87.2% recovered; 12.8% died. We should expect similar results for the 33,636 currently active cases. About 29,330 will recover and 4,306 will die.

  Those estimates are not reliable as the current death rate is heavily skewed by the extremely high death rates in personal care facilities which has peaked. It is unlikely that the current active cases include a similar mix of care facility cases, so the recovery rate is likely to be higher for the current group.

     The familiar map and numbers we see on the main government site and in media reports does not tell the full story. To get that, you need to go to https://health-infobase.canada.ca/covid-19/epidemiological-summary-covid-19-cases.html#a2

      To get more detailed information on your province, go to:   https://health-infobase.canada.ca/covid-19/epidemiological-summary-covid-19-cases.html#a6

      For a comprehensive overview, go to https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/phac-aspc/documents/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/surv-covid19-epi-update-eng.pdf

      Please review these figures with care. Some are a few days older than current publications. The stats are reconfigured from the daily format so there is a lag time. There is a lot of information available. The figures in the table on page 2 of the PDF summary are quite different from what we are fed by the media daily.

 Keep the shiny side up, stay healthy and remember that while we are human and make mistakes, it takes governments to turn a crisis into a disaster.

Seeking clarity in a sea of virus-related confusion

May 21, 2020

CBC News – Canada's chief public health officer says Canadians should wear a mask as an "added layer of protection" whenever physical distancing is not possible. 

This is an object lesson in irresponsible public communications.

Are we to assume that wearing any cloth mask can replace physical distancing? What if the other person or persons are not wearing face masks? Does that mean half the distance (3 ft) is sufficient? Are masks only important when physical distancing is not possible? The statement is unclear on many fronts.

"In addition, where COVID-19 activity is occurring, use of non-medical masks or face coverings is recommended as an added layer of protection when physical distancing is difficult to maintain. And staying home when sick is a must, always and everywhere."

What exactly is “COVID-19 activity”? My understanding is that COVID-19 is an illness resulting from coronavirus infection. Reasonable people would not consider a trip to Loblaws, a shopping mall or small retailer to be a “COVID-19 activity”. We do not go afield to infect others or to be infected. Assuming everyone we encounter is there to infect us is paranoid.

 The federal government is not responsible for health care delivery excepting for military personnel, penitentiary inmates, and indigenous people. Our health care systems are provincially run. We have heeded the advice of our provincial health care officials and they created the regulations for isolation and social distancing. Dr. Tam should not be issuing ‘advice’ to the people who have been on the coronavirus suppression effort from the outset. She has authority over quarantine which she has not used except for international travellers arriving in or returning to Canada since March 14.

We have been told that Dr. Tam has weekly conference calls with her provincial counterparts. That would be the appropriate venue in which to pass on any advice or recommendations she has to offer. We have developed a trust in our provincial health care officers and will continue to follow their guidance as rules are relaxed and we return to more normal activities.

Dr. Tam’s public recommendations are confusing and do nothing to alleviate the anxieties we face in how we will deal with increased social contact. We do not need Tam adding to existing confusion.

Our media are in on the act with pieces like this: Masks and COVID-19: When, how and why you'd wear them. We are left with a hodgepodge of ‘advice’ from a variety of sources and ‘experts’ that often contradict and conflict.

We have a right to expect better from our provincial health care professionals. We need a central web site endorsed and monitored by our provincial health officers where we can get the best current information available without concerns that we are looking at misinformation or fake information intended to mislead us. We need clarity in a sea of virus-related confusion.

Canada will support WHO despite Trump pressure

May 20, 2020

What U.S. President Trump does is not relevant to our analysis of the World Health Organization. Our support has to be based on cost balanced against value.   

Why would Canada continue to support the UN World Health Organization? The WHO has done nothing to alleviate or mitigate coronavirus spread and suffering. In late January, February and early March, the WHO was advising against banning international travel despite knowing the virus was spread by infected travellers.

In mid March, the WHO advised that coronavirus was a pandemic. Most of the civilized world was aware of that weeks earlier. Then we were advised to self-isolate and distance from others. Now the WHO wants us to test, test, test, test. Why? These fools are going on about a “second wave” of infections when the first wave fizzled. Infections came nowhere close to “best case” predictions.

Trudeau continues to believe in UN multilateral institutions, but most Canadians do not. We need to choose our friends carefully. Only about 12 per cent of the UN members are true democracies. Another 20 per cent are hybrids. The remaining 68 per cent want us to sharply increase our foreign aid.

We should be generous to those who have less, based on two conditions. First, our economy must be robust and our public debt low. Charity begins at home. We take care of our own first. Second, our foreign aid must reach the people it is intended for. Nations where foreign aid falls into the hands of government officials or bandits (who may be the same people) are off limits. Our fishes are for the people, not for the sharks who control them.

You may recall that very recently Trump tried to block the 3M company (owned by China) from filling Canadian orders for medical masks although the pulp used to make the masks comes from Canada. That, in a nutshell, is the value of multilateral institutions. They are mostly a venue for world leaders to gather and hobnob at public expense but useless in a crisis.

The current virus crisis has shown us that borders will slam shut, our freedoms will be ignored and even within Canada, different jurisdictions isolate and compete.

The spirits of collaboration and co-operation in the face of a common enemy are hanging from a lamp post, twisting in the wind. The veneer of civilization is thin, fragile, and easily shattered in the face of a threat. 

Who speaks for Canada? Not Trudeau, maybe no one at all

May 19

Regardless of their immediate public health merits, it is surprising just how easily these provincial border checkpoints went up. More worrisome is how little pushback there has been from the prime minister

Every layer of bureaucracy has leapt to the opportunity to use emergency measures legislation to make regulations for local residents. Emergency measures legislation was created to allow a jurisdiction to deal with a local emergency and is poorly suited to a national emergency.

Provinces, municipalities, and others are telling us what and where we may or may not go and do. Provinces are wrong in decreeing that anyone visiting, even from within Canada, has to quarantine for 14 days. Mayors announced that people who own cottages in their area are not welcome to use their properties. Then they all spout “we’re in this together” nonsense. Yeah, sure!

     Depending on the jurisdiction, some are employing police or by-law officers or others to enforce isolation and social distancing orders. None of them have training in interpreting virus regulations, so not only is enforcement inconsistent between jurisdictions but within jurisdictions. Nonsense.

     Worst are “snitch lines” where people call in complaints about others; a paradise for busybodies but sinister as it is a tactic tyrants use. They reward those who turn in neighbours suspected of subversion. We employ people to enforce laws and regulations. That is why we have police forces, conservation officers, by-law inspectors, and so on.

     “Snitch lines” can be useful in helping to solve crimes and in rural areas where the ratio of officers to public is low and each enforcement person has a large territory to cover. They are prone to misuse. They are not intended to allow someone to complain about a neighbour they dislike or are having a spat with. Using “snitch lines” without clear justification should carry a stiff penalty for misuse.

     There is no elected person better able to assess personal economic and health risks than the people who run the risks. Governments cannot manage our lives better than we can manage them. A few may not manage their affairs well. Governments will ensure that no one manages their affairs well.

     Read on: https://nationalpost.com/opinion/andrew-potter-who-speaks-for-canada-not-trudeau-and-maybe-no-one-at-all

Trudeau ignores warnings from security agencies

May 16, 2020

Increased foreign threat to COVID-19 research prompts extraordinary warning from Canada's spy agencies a day after the U.S. intelligence agencies cited China-backed online attacks.

Canada's spy agencies are warning that Canadian intellectual property linked to the pandemic is a "valuable target" for state-sponsored actors — just a day after U.S. intelligence agencies warned of China-backed hacking of institutions and companies researching vaccines, treatments and tests for the novel coronavirus.

"The Communications Security Establishment has assessed that it is near certain that state-sponsored actors have shifted their focus during the pandemic and that Canadian intellectual property represents a valuable target," reads a rare joint statement from the Communications Security Establishment (CSE), Canada's foreign signals intelligence agency, and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). CBC REPORT

Just two days earlier, Trudeau announced Canada was co-operating with China in development of a virus vaccine. What could possibly go wrong? CHECK THIS

China is using nationals in Canada to spy for the CCP. Family is all important to people of Chinese decent and most here to study in our universities, or who have immigrated here have family still in China and are vulnerable to a regime that will not just threaten but harm those family members for lack of “co-operation”.

We tend to forget that many people of Chinese heritage have immigrated to Canada to seek relief from the oppressive regime in China and love their adopted country. Thousands of others have been here for generations and are thoroughly Canadian. They are not our enemies.

China, or rather the Chinese Communist Party, runs sophisticated cyber-criminal and spying organizations. Its operatives routinely attack government, military and university computers seeking valuable information.

In January of this year, the CCP used operatives here in Canada to amass huge supplies of personal protective gear that was shipped to China. Our government fell into the trap, donating 16 tonnes of PPE to China. THE STAR    

Did that turn out to be wrong!
The United Front is the CCP operating arm all over the world and is active here in Canada. In just six weeks, China imported 2.5 billion pieces of epidemic safety equipment, including over two billion safety masks, Chinese government data shows.

China was evidently hiding the extent of a pandemic that endangered the world while covertly securing PPE at low prices. This “surreptitious” operation left “the world naked with no supply of PPE,” Jorge Guajardo, Mexico’s former ambassador to Beijing, told Global News.

According to a U.S. congressional report released in April, from Jan. 24 to Feb. 29, China ramped up its production of masks and slapped export restrictions on China-based foreign companies such as Canadian mask maker Medicom and U.S. mask maker 3M.

The reports say on Jan. 25, HNA “responded to the call of the state” and transferred loads of PPE to China that were donated by “foreign government departments, charities, social organizations, and overseas Chinese.” By mid-February, HNA had delivered 56 tonnes of PPE from Toronto to China.

Trudeau is still fixated on winning a seat on the UN Security Council. If he confronts China, his dreams of grandeur evaporate. He has decided that a chance to dance on the world stage is more important than the security and well-being of the nation he governs. Make no mistake. We do not have a liberal government as Trudeau rules his cabinet with an iron fist.

Trudeau’s shallow selfishness has gone too far. His foreign trips, including his trip to China have been a series of diplomatic disasters. His efforts to secure a trade treaty with China failed. Trudeau’s contention that he can sway the Security Council to act responsibly is meaningless. China enjoys veto powers at the UN. If Trudeau will not stand up for Canada when China bullies us, he will not do so at the UN.

We welcome your comments - editor@nanaimonet.com

Take a deep breath folks, this not how it's supposed to work

May 15, 2020

    A number of people have contacted me concerned about federal government spending. They wonder why the opposition parties are not holding the government accountable for ever-expanding spending to offset the loss if income for businesses and individuals.

     In March 2020, the opposition parties gave the government permission to spend whatever it deemed necessary to deal with the coronavirus crisis from then until Sept. 30. The Commons passed the legislation on Wednesday, March 25 and the Senate rushed the bill through the following day. The Bill received Royal Assent early Friday morning.

     The government originally wanted spending and taxation powers without parliamentary approval for the next 18 months. Taxation powers were dropped, and the term limited to 6 months rather than 18. The original legislation anticipated spending of $82 billion which has now tripled to somewhere over $252 billion and more spending is on the way.

    Why is anyone surprised?

   Parliament was not in session at the time, and representatives of all parties met behind closed doors to negotiate terms of an emergency session. Political parties circumvented democratic representation and there is no written record of the negotiations.

     Members of parliament have abdicated their responsibility to ensure we have open, democratic governance. When this legislation was passed, the nation was already in lockdown and they knew it would be some time before parliament could resume. That was not an acceptable excuse for giving the government a blank cheque for the next six months.

     Parliament is due to reconvene May 25 to June 23. I doubt that will happen. It is too easy to hide behind coronavirus regulations. It is a bit ironic that our elected representatives do not consider themselves essential. Since they are not, why have they not laid themselves off?

     Therein lies the problem; even if parliament was functioning, they cannot object to coronavirus spending. Opposition members neutered themselves last March so current criticisms of government are falsetto squeaking for effect – they cannot stem the flow of money or new programs to offset virus effects. They made a deal and they are stuck with it – as are those they failed to represent.   

     Parliament is not in formal session so they effectively have no work to do. That would include all liberal members who are not members of the cabinet with responsibilities to keep government machinery working. They should get along fine on $2,000 per month emergency funding like many others.

     Parliament usually recesses from the third week in June to the third week in September, but as they keep telling us, these are not normal times. Parliament should reconvene as soon as regulations are relaxed. It has many advantages as access is already restricted to prevent anther gunman from storming the building. Members have the opportunity to lead the way by implementing a virus screening program to keep the Commons members and staff safe. If airlines, hospitals, manufacturers, personal care homes, processors, shippers like Amazon and retailers like Costco can do it, so can parliament.

     The first order of business should be to require the government to get parliamentary approval of any further spending from when parliament reconvenes. The second order of business should be to require the government to table a budget within 30 days of parliament reconvening. It is time for the lads and ladies to get back to work.

     We cannot force them to act responsibly, we can only watch in horror. Currently, there is no one involved in the federal coronavirus fiasco worthy of re-election. The unending barrage of cheap shots attests to that. Political parties are still fixated on power struggles while our economy burns and the people they claim to represent are driven to bankruptcy or suicide. It is far beyond disgusting.

Ref: https://globalnews.ca/news/6728936/coronavirus-canada-emergency-legislation/

We welcome your comments - editor@nanaimonet.com

Investments have fled Canada due to Trudeau policies

Thursday, May 14, 2020

    Our Prime Minister soaks everything up but gets it backward. Investments have fled Canada because federal government policy for oil and gas resource development sector is intentionally antagonistic.

     Environmental assessments for projects are overly complex, resulting in extremely high costs and long delays in getting an approval for anything. Added to that is a policy of allowing people and organizations with no direct interest or legal authority to mount legal actions to harass developers.

     Federal aversion to pipelines makes oil sands production superfluous as extracting oils from sand is useless if there is no means of marketing the product. Instead of attracting investments in heavy oil refineries to upgrade the heavy oils extracted, and marketing product that is easier to move, less corrosive and considerably more valuable, our government is burying its head in the sand along with thousands of jobs and billions in investment. Bury the politicians and free the oil.

     We have the opportunity to become energy self-sufficient. We have the capability and technology to build the pipelines from coast to coast to coast, handle our energy needs and allow exports to Asia and Europe. Once we have the stable oil and gas prices that result from self-sufficiency, we will attract investment in other sectors where plentiful and stable energy costs matter.

     We can combine pipelines with DC power lines to develop national energy corridors where we can take power as well as fibre optic cabling across the country linking in remote communities along the corridors and providing places for adjacent communities to link in.

     We discovered ‘working from home’ as a by-product of a prolonged period of isolation. Whether home is 5 or 1000 miles from the office does not matter. That makes residency in high priced cities less attractive and promotes growth in smaller centres. It is one way to alleviate urban congestion and the need for affordable housing.

     Governments are going to have to grow smaller and more efficient. We must shift from government interventions in our economy to governments that establish a fair and realistic playing field for entrepreneurs and investors.

     We need our governments to break up the cartels and monopolies that are killing us, to block foreign ownership of our resource developments and vital supplies and equipment, to block all Chinese Communist Party purchases of any Canadian corporation, and to confiscate and resell all entities currently owned by the CCP.

     Norway need to get a stern rebuke for its efforts to interfere in our internal affairs.  It is not a world policeman for United Nations climate change insanity and has damaged relations with a NATO partner. Our federal government needs to grow a spine and protect the interests of Canada.

     We have learned bitter lessons from the coronavirus epidemic. Canada cannot control a widespread epidemic. We can only control how we deal with it. Each nation has had to deal with the virus within its borders. There is no central authority or collaboration in how to deal with an epidemic. The world has suddenly expanded, and national borders have been reconstituted as meaningful.

     Developing a vaccine and testing to ensure safety takes many months. Once we have a vaccine, eradicating coronavirus will take decades. Polio (poliomyelitis) first appeared in the early 1800s. The first outbreak in Canada occurred in 1910. The disease peaked in 1953 with nearly 9,000 cases and 500 deaths. The first vaccine was developed in 1955 but we had a further epidemic in 1959 with early 2,000 cases. Canada did not have polio under control until the early 1970s and was not declared ‘polio free’ until 1994. Our abilities to develop a vaccine has vastly improved, but immunizing an entire population takes decades. Coronavirus will be with us for some time. We have no choice but to adapt.

Climate change is similar. We cannot control our climate. We can adapt to changes and plan for future adaptations as our climate goes through its natural cycles but attempts to ‘control’ climate is pure theory with no history of success. Pecos Bill is fiction; so is CO2 driven climate change. The emperors resident in the United Nations lack common sense, logic and reason; they stand as the naked shills for their communist, dictatorship and tyrannical members they are. Wake up, darn it!

We welcome your comments - editor@nanaimonet.com

PM Trudeau: One misstep could see efforts 'go up in smoke'

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

CTV News writer Rachel Gilmore wrote May 11 that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says everything Canadians have worked for in the fight against COVID-19 could "go up in smoke" if reopening happens too quickly — or if just one jurisdiction makes the wrong decisions.

     "I think we're all feeling pressure from Canadians to get this right," Trudeau said, speaking from the front steps of Rideau Cottage on Monday.

     "We understand that the sacrifices we've all made for the past two months of staying home, of self-isolating, of keeping two metres distance, of not seeing parents and grandparents, could all go up in smoke if we move too quickly on reopening or if a given jurisdiction makes the wrong decisions." FULL REPORT

********************

     I am not optimistic that our governments will ‘get it right’. Their track record is abysmal. We are a nation; one jurisdiction cannot put us all at risk. Stop threatening and use common sense.

     We discover there were no plans in place to protect residents of personal care facilities from a virus epidemic. That led to discoveries that those facilities were understaffed, mostly by low paid, untrained personnel. Those facilities house people of all ages with physical and mental disabilities as well as seniors.

     We discover that we did not have adequate personal protective equipment to protect people who were treating and helping those who had been infected. People who showed enough symptoms of infection were advised to self-isolate at home with family members in the hope that they would heal without medical help. That is a strange way to deal with a ‘deadly’ virus.

     Medical people already knew that the recovery rate was high. As I write this (May 11) Canada has 31,994 active coronavirus cases, 32,994 have recovered and 4,993 died. Figure it out:  Out of a total of 69,981 total cases, 45.7% are active, 47.2% recovered and 7.1% died. The total cases reported are just under 1/5 of 1% of the population.  

     Reporting on the epidemic is deceptive and misleading. We keep getting the total number of cases and total number of deaths with the subliminal perception that the virus is still spreading. Scant attention is paid to the numbers who have recovered. For every person who has died, 6.6 recovered.

     We discover that over 200,000 pending surgeries and medical procedures were cancelled when the country was shut down to prepare for coronavirus. The people involved were left to twist in the wind although the surgeries are in many instances life-saving procedures recommended by medical doctors. How do we justify cancelling their treatments to deal with people not yet infected?

     The statistics we are fed do not separate personal care facility deaths. The risk factors for those facilities are not comparable to the general population. When personal care facility deaths are extracted, the general population death rate drops from 7.1% of cases to 0.74%.

     The State of Emergency declarations across the country were co-ordinated. The provinces and territories declared a state of emergency in order:

PROVINCE

DECLARATION

British Columbia

14/03/20

Ontario

17/03/20

Alberta

17/03/20

Newfoundland and Labrador

18/03/20

Saskatchewan

18/03/20

Northwest Territories

18/03/20

Nunavut

18/03/20

New Brunswick

19/03/20

Quebec

19/03/20

Manitoba

21/03/20

Nova Scotia

22/03/20

Yukon

27/03/20

Prince Edward Island

16/04/20

   The decision to shut down was driven by advice from health care professionals and did not consider economic impact. Officials did not expect that the public would obey orders, so they closed all non-essential businesses, public and social venues.  

     Our governments were ill prepared to deal with the economic impact. The federal and provincial governments have tried to offset economic impact as the full effects became obvious. Initial efforts were inadequate and since early April we have seen daily announcements of amended or new programs.

     There are no signs that governments are focused on rebuilding the economy and ensuring that we are prepared to manage the next viral epidemic. Health care systems are broken and need overhaul. We have no plan to organize business and social venues to deal safely with a viral epidemic.

     The decision to close down kept coronavirus in check so we can consider relaxed rules much earlier than first anticipated. Government need to shift gears and work with the public to ensure we use measures to prevent a surge in infections. The fright tactic is no longer appropriate.  

     We need a common sense approach to recovering our freedoms and rights. Threats to reimpose strict lockdown measures at any hint of new infections are inane. Risks are part of our daily lives. Isolation and distancing deal with one threat out of hundreds. We cannot allow coronavirus to rule us. If we do, our nation will collapse.

     Our governments did not hesitate to put over 200,000 people at risk by cancelling scheduled surgeries and medical procedures. Our response to coronavirus has been riddled with errors and misjudgments. We need to review what went wrong and why. Without that we cannot learn from our mistakes and do better.

Elitist pie-in-the-sky is not in Western Canada's best interests

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Here we have Trudeau’s grand plan for the oil patch. This is pie in the sky, uber elitist, and in opposition to Canada’s post coronavirus interests and needs. Sustainable “green” energy is not viable and is unlikely to be for several decades.

The modern petrochemical industry is about 170 years old. Large scale industrial refineries are about 110 years old. As an energy source, coal was king until 1950, only 70 years ago. World coal use was 7.769 billion tonnes (2016). Coal reserves are estimated at about 133 years at current rates of consumption with existing proven reserves.

It took four decades for oil to replace coal as the primary energy source and seven decades later, coal is still a primary or secondary energy source in many countries. Claims that renewable energy sources will replace oil as the primary energy source worldwide in a couple of decades are inane.

Those who have convinced many that “green energy” will sharply reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 or even 2050 have done a stellar marketing job. That is what con artists do; market unrealistic schemes so well that people who should be skeptical buy in and lose their shirts. From Bernie Madoff to Barrack Gold, the stories are the same.  
      
Emerging nations that have to burn cattle dung, peat, reeds or wood to heat homes and cook find coal a vast improvement. Coal fired appliances are low-tech and readily available.
Those who scoff when I suggest that Canada has the opportunity to become energy self-sufficient do not realize that the USA only recently became a net exporter of petroleum products. The US is energy self-sufficient and we can be too. Our reserves are far larger than theirs.

Trudeau and his industrialist and investor supporters do not want to see a powerful western based energy sector that challenges the false claim that central Canada is the driving force of our economy.

Western provinces are left with stark choices. If Trudeau carries on his internationalist plans, we must succeed and run our own show. Residents of western provinces and north western Ontario are fed up with federal governments ruling without respect for democracy or the people they were elected to represent.

Trudeau underestimates the capability, determination, and grit of westerners. We have a history of getting the job done often against overwhelming odds. We will not be slaves to multinational interests or be governed by unelected foreigners.

World governance will destroy democracy. Our forefathers spilled too much blood gaining freedoms and rights for us to allow that to happen.

The rule of con men and kings is dead.

John Feldsted is a political commentator, consultant & strategist from Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Tens of thousands affected by surgery cancellations

May 11, 2020

Almost 200,000 surgeries and other procedures were shelved indefinitely, as hospitals braced for a deluge that never quite materialized.

Italian doctors were working in an overwhelmed system and making decisions on who would receive care during the COVID crisis. Younger people were favoured over the old.
 

In Canada, we avoided putting our doctors in a similar position by arbitrarily cancelling all pending hospital surgeries and procedures to prepare for the coronavirus onslaught.
People awaiting transplants, cardiac procedures, cancer treatments and other life-saving medical interventions were left to twist in the wind with no idea when, if ever, they would get the attention they had been told was needed.

Consider the mental stresses these people endure. Like the rest of us, they isolate and social distance to avoid infection, but do so sitting on a ticking time bomb. Even if they miss coronavirus infection, they are likely to die prematurely from their untreated ailments.
That takes any shine off our efforts to successfully flatten the “coronavirus curve”. Deciding to withhold health care for tens of thousands left suffering in silence while praying for a miracle that will allow them to go on living should make us cringe.


Medical care in Canada has been rationed for decades which is why there are waiting lists for medical procedures. We only allow so many procedures of each type each month to keep costs down.
Our health care systems have serious flaws and need to be restructured. We have to ensure that changes are made as we recover from the current crisis.


The federal government is hinting that we need a public inquiry into our systems. That is an attempt to stall for time by the same governments that allowed us to get into this mess.
 Health care delivery, with a few constitutional exceptions, is a provincial subject and jurisdiction.

It is provinces that need to develop a better way forward in developing a superior health care system. The federal government has to back off and deal with the people it is constitutionally responsible for.
The Canada Health Act has to go. It was useful in setting up a consistent system of public health care when provinces were first creating their systems.

The CHA has been abused in recent decades as a tool to prevent provincial innovation in health care delivery.
One of the CHA pillars is to ensure that all health care delivery is administered by the provinces, no private clinics, no private hospitals. Explain then how we allowed the current state of personal care facilities that resulted in thousands of needless deaths.

Now we have thousands of seniors unable to care for themselves and afraid that if they go to a personal care facility, they risk dying afraid, alone, and unattended.
 Only a fool would think that we will not face another dangerous virus strain in the next decade.

We owe it to the nearly 5,000 people who will have died as well as those twisting in the wind with untreated ailments to make sure our governments restructure our health care systems and get it right this time.

John Feldsted is a political commentator, consultant & strategist from Winnipeg, Manitoba.

May and Blanchet declare the oilpatch 'dead'

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised financial aid for Alberta's beleaguered oil and gas industry 

John Paul Tasker wrote on CBC News on May 06:

Canada's oil and gas sector is on the ropes as COVID-19 crushes demand and a global price war pushes domestic companies to the brink of bankruptcy — but two opposition leaders say Ottawa should simply let part of the industry wither and die.

The Green Party's parliamentary leader Elizabeth May says governments around the world should use the pandemic, and the resulting economic fallout, as an opportunity to reorganize the energy mix and find other jobs for Albertans working in the sector.

Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet said Alberta's "tar sands" are "condemned" and federal funds should be directed at supporting renewable energy sources rather than projects like the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

"My heart bleeds for people who believe the sector is going to come back. It's not," May told reporters Wednesday. "Oil is dead and for people in the sector, it's very important there be just transition funds."

Gag warning:

The rest is here; https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/oil-is-dead-green-bloc-parties-1.5557725?ref=mobilerss&cmp=newsletter_CBC%20News%20Politics%20Headlines_734_26052

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Blanchard and May represent the lunatic fringe in Canada. Blanchard cares nothing for portions of Canada outside Quebec. May is totally immersed in renewable energy theology, that is, the belief that renewable energy can replace oil and gas despite ample evidence that renewable energy is not “clean”, is awfully expensive and has zero hope of meeting our energy needs by 2050.

What is far more disturbing is the shortsightedness. Resurrection of the western oil and gas sector is not aimed at export sales although those sales would add frosting on our cake. We have the opportunity to make Canada energy self-sufficient.

Energy self-sufficiency would vastly increase our ability to recover from the hit our economy has suffered due to the method we chose to combat COVID-19. Energy self-sufficiency translates into price stability. Entrepreneurs and investors, the people who build manufacturing and processing plants, mines, pipelines, refineries, smelters, warehouses, and the like are attracted by long-term stability in energy prices. An ample, stable energy supply is vital and far more important that the energy source.

We cannot afford to allow the minority who are arrogant enough to decide that energy sources that feed the needs of world nations are not appropriate in Canada. That reveals a lack of comprehension combined with an arrogant disdain for how well off we are.

Were it not for gasoline and diesel fuel, our internal supply chains would crumple instantly. Our retail outlets would quickly be bare of clothing, food, household supplies, building materials, hardware, and everything else that we consider essential to our way of life. Our cities would be come barely inhabitable ghettos, cold in the winter and stifling hot in summer. Public transportation would grind to a halt. Trains would sit idle and so would transport trucks.

The Middle East is still an unstable powder keg and with each hint of a new conflict, oil prices skyrocket, and Canadian consumers feel the pain in the costs of motive fuel and in our cost of living. We do not have to suffer that pain. If we are energy self-sufficient, we can set a reasonable domestic price for our oil and gas and export when world prices exceed our domestic price.

Canada is not alone in facing a dire economic crisis. Most western nations are facing the same problems and economic recovery cannot take place without ample and reliable energy sources. That will be oil and gas. Nations rebuilding need the energy now, not sometime in the distant future.

The current overabundance of supply is illusionary and temporary. Oil and gas are increasingly becoming geopolitical weapons used by nations who have large supplies. The recent price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia is an example. It has nothing to do with the value of oil, it is all about political positioning.

Our vast oil and gas reserves can allow us to build the strongest economy in the world in terms of stability and become a leader and stabilizing influence in the world energy field. All it takes is a bit of vision and the political will to get it done.

We must prepare to cast informed votes in the next election. Political parties are not credible or truthful during an election. Their sales pitches do not reflect their performance since the last election. That performance is what counts.

John Feldsted is a political commentator, consultant & strategist from Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Where we are today with the novel coronavirus debate

May 6, 2020

Picking through and sorting out coronavirus bones is a waste of time and energy. It makes no difference how we got here, or who made what decisions when. None of that changes where we are today.

The infection curve was hypothetical, and it appears we have managed to avoid the estimated infection rate scenario. We cannot know if that is due to enforced isolation, overestimates of virus spread rates or some of each.

There is no cure for coronavirus on the horizon. Our challenge is to find a way to cohabit with the virus while minimizing infections and maximizing recovery rates. We forget that we exist with other influenza viruses we have no cure for.

Coronavirus is an inanimate bit of parasitic protein that can infect us but cannot attack us. Infected people can infect others. We need to identify infected people early and trace contacts while we isolate and treat them to minimize fatalities. We need to have an income replacement plan for isolated people for that system to work.

We failed to learn lessons from SARS and H1N1 outbreaks and did not use our surveillance resources to identify the next virus epidemic that we knew would appear. We need to get it right:

– develop the protocols and tools necessary to manage the coronavirus risk,

– use our intelligence networks to identify the next virus threat early and act when we detect a threat – we do not need permission from anyone to protect Canada.

– curtail international travel when a threat is detected.

– make sure we have adequate medical supplies and protective equipment on hand to deal with an epidemic.

– have plans in place so that clinics, hospitals, personal care facilities, private and public workplaces have action plans to implement when an epidemic threat is detected not months later; and

– strengthen our laboratory and research facilities to ensure that we can create tests for a new virus quickly.

We are not in the virus pandemic storm 'all together'

May 5, 2020

We are in a COVID-19 virus storm, but we are not “all in this together”. For some, isolation is optional and optimal. For others, it is an imposed and desperate financial and/or family situation.

Those who live alone face endless monotony and loneliness. Others enjoy peace, rest and time with immediate family members. Some bring in more money than they did while working. Others are working more hours for less money due to pay cuts, reductions in hours or loss of sales.

Some families are receiving large sums in government support while other families see nothing. Some were concerned about getting candy for Easter while others worried that there would not be enough food to last over the weekend.

Some want to go back to work because they do not qualify for unemployment and are running out of money. Others want to kill those who won’t obey distancing regulations.

Some are at home spending 2-3 hours a day helping their children with online schooling while others spend equal time to educate their children on top of a regular work day. Some chafe at being isolated at home while those employed in essential services go to work fretting over the risks to them and their families.    

Some have experienced near death from the virus, while others have lost someone to it and others are not sure if a loved one is going to make it. Yet another group does not believe the virus is a big deal.

We are not in this together. Our perceptions and needs are as different as we are different from one another. We are each experiencing a different journey through the storm and will emerge, with different lessons learned.

Our strength as a society lays in our collective abilities, capabilities and resourcefulness, not because we are all alike. There is no universal remedy for any of the storms we face. We each react differently to a threat to us and those we hold dear.

Isolation and distancing are short term measures intended to curb initial coronavirus spread and give authorities time to develop less restrictive counter-measures. Canadian did their part and it worked. The feared spike in infections did not happen.

Distancing is not feasible or practical as a long term solution. Nation-wide solutions do not work for a sparsely populated, diverse and widespread society. Rural prairie residents have little in common with urban Ontarians.

Distancing is impractical in many settings, so we have to find safe alternatives. That can include shields and N95 face masks but there is a right way to fit, don, use, take off and dispose of face masks. That takes training which will not happen instantly.       

The key to reopening society is for those who suffer coronavirus symptoms to contact health care and get tested. That is not going to happen unless people are assured that they and their families can access income replacement for the quarantine period if they test positive. The whole family is quarantined when one member is infected. Workers and others will hide symptoms rather then subject their spouses and families to isolation and to avoid further financial hardship.

Random public testing and workplace testing in sensitive areas like long term care facilities will turn up people who test positive and require quarantine. They, along with family members will require income support. Contact tracing will result in more people in quarantine and also in need of support. They have done nothing wrong and should not have to pay a financial penalty for keeping other safe.         

Our governments are depending on the fear factor rather than looking for ways to reopen society while maintaining control over virus outbreaks. That is why income replacement for those people testing positive or people quarantined due to contact with an infected person is critical to safe reopening. The objective of wider testing is to discover unreported cases. We must be prepared to deal responsibly with the fallout, and we have seen nothing to suggest it has even been considered.

John Feldsted is a political commentator, consultant & strategist living in Winnipeg.

The amazing maze of coronavirus statistics

May 2, 2020

Our politicians and health care officials are neither honest nor transparent in how they report on coronavirus and COVID-19 cases. The exaggerations are staggering.

     According to Global News “As of Thursday morning, 3,082 people had died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, in Canada. Earlier this week, Canada’s number of coronavirus cases topped 50,000.” The actual number of confirmed cases Thursday morning was 52,046.
     The article continues: “Quebec and Ontario are the two provinces hit hardest by COVID-19. Both Ontario and Quebec represent more than 80 per cent of all confirmed cases in Canada.” Yes, together they represent 82.2% of confirmed cases.
     “The Public Health Agency of Canada said Tuesday that a majority of COVID-19-related deaths in Canada — 79 per cent — are linked to long-term care homes, while people over the age of 60 account for 95 per cent of all deaths from the virus.” What was that again? Ontario and Quebec account for 2,843 Covid-19 deaths or 92.25% of the total for Canada. The proportion of COVID-19 deaths in Ontario and Quebec is higher than the proportion of confirmed cases reported. That is not included in reporting.
     Back to basics. If 79% of the 2,843 COVID-19 deaths in Ontario and Quebec are linked to long term care facilities, the number of COVID 19 deaths in the general population is only 21% or 597. Ontario and Quebec are not the only provinces with COVID-19 deaths in personal care facilities. That number has to be reduced by the long term care factor and is about 472!
     The inclusion of “…while people over the age of 60 account for 95 per cent of all deaths from the virus.” is the sort of meaningless statistic put out when someone hiding the real picture. The number is meant to hide the horrific proportion of COVID-19 deaths in personal care facilities where residents cannot self-isolate and protect themselves, were poorly cared for and in some cases abandoned.
     We are being fed a steady diet of total cases reported and total COVID-19 deaths without the details that allow us to assess the risks we face in the general population where we can isolate ourselves and maintain social distancing. The real question is do we need to continue to social distancing? Without extracting the personal care facility numbers from the totals, we cannot know.
     The only jurisdiction providing complete and unvarnished numbers is Quebec. People there are not freaking out about reopening schools because they have the facts and know the risks for the general population.
     If governments want our continued support, they need to provide us with all information on coronavirus and COVID-19 cases that matter. We need completeness and transparency. Giving us partial figures without context is deliberately frightening but we are on to them. Their move.

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NOTE: The above figures are based on reported figures as of 11:00 AM EDT Thursday and will change by 19:00 EDT when updates are reported. In the Premier’s update today, Quebec revealed that the province had an additional 98 COVID-19 deaths and that 92 of those (93.9%) were related to personal care facilities.

Emergency powers a threat to democracy

April 30, 2020

Watching political leaders make their daily briefings on COVID-19 developments is painful. They are caught between competing forces and are trying to make safe decisions and avoid criticism. That is like looking for solid footing on a trampoline. The hard part of politics is that the political party in power does not control the agenda; external and internal events and pressures take over.

We have been deluged with negative COVID-19 news mixed with assurances that our compliance with self isolation and social distancing regulations “is working”. We are all heroes for following orders from health care officials and governments. It is a script worthy of the Grimm Brothers.

Every political leader assures us that isolation and social distancing rules will be gradually relaxed in accordance with health care advice so we will all continue to be safe. Health care people do their part by insisting that we cannot relax regulations too soon as we run the risk of a fresh outbreak of infections.

We need to be wary whenever governments tell us they are acting to keep us safe as they usually exempt themselves and put their own interests first. State of emergency powers have a time limit. Our governments cannot arbitrarily extend the state of emergency.

Either we have an emergency, or we do not. If we can relax the regulations, the emergency is over. It is dishonest for governments to claim they are going to relax regulations, but if they do not like the outcome, they will revert to emergency status. Whether they relax or do not relax regulation does not affect the risk of virus infection.

This dishonesty heightens the anxieties and fears of millions of Canadians who have had their livelihoods taken away and are in financial trouble. We cannot leave them in limbo because governments want to play it safe. They need to know when they can get back to work, regain financial stability and resume control over their lives.

Businesses cannot be left to wonder when and under what circumstances they will be allowed to reopen. They need concrete plans to be ready. Government claims that they will ensure businesses comply with public safety regulations are silly. Workplace safety regulations will adapt to include virus protection, but that takes time. The best governments can do on short notice is to issue general guidelines on best practices.

 Announcements of relaxing regulations entail difficulties. In recent weeks, governments have been pleading with health care providers not deemed essential to donate any supplies of personal protective equipment they have for front line workers. Now they want to allow those operations to reopen – if they can find personal protective equipment. Only governments would tell businesses that plan to reopen they must have personal protective equipment no one except governments can buy at present.

 Employees who can return to work have a problem – schools and day care centres are closed, so what do they do with children? Despite what we are told, there are major gaps in planning for relaxation of the regulations. That must not deter us. We can and will find solutions that elude governments.

 Isolation is taking a serious psychological toll on our society. People will not accept long term infringements on their freedoms and rights. Contending that isolation and social distancing rules will be in effect for months or more is not acceptable.     
Government suggestions that social isolation regulations will be in effect until September or later are ridiculous. Governments do not have license to rule by decree over an extended period. Limits on our civil liberties are somewhat acceptable during an emergency. Attempts to extend the emergency period under various pretexts is not.

Relaxing isolation and distancing regulations is not a scrap thrown to us; it is inevitable. We must not allow governments to override our constitutional rights for an extended period. We do not live in a dictatorship, unfettered monarchy or tyranny.

Attempts to portray public health officials as being in charge of when and how we reopen society is not acceptable. They are not a democratic government and cannot make decisions for governments or the people.

 Health care officials do not need to consider economic or social impacts of their decisions, but governments do. Decisions on when and how to reopen our economy and society must be made by elected representatives who will take the credit or suffer the blame as a result.

Parliament and some legislatures are not even sitting at present which makes their case that we are in an emergency situation highly suspect. Emergency power must be limited in duration or they become an attack on democracy. The clock is ticking. 

John Feldsted is a political commentator, consultant & strategist living in Winnipeg, Manitoba

Rising from the ashes, 2,000 dead and counting

April 29, 2020

That number is the estimated number of COVID-19 deaths related to long term care facilities. That is particularly tragic as only about 12% of the population is age 70 or older and about 16% of that number (706,000) are in long term care facilities.

We have known for years that personal care facilities are underfunded and understaffed. The virus epidemic has shown us clearly how bad the situation really is. Stating that we have failed our most vulnerable seniors is pointless. We have to come out of this with an entirely different system of personal care facilities, properly equipped, paid, staffed and trained. Nothing less is acceptable.

 Back to the Basics

If we step back and look at the COVID-19 crisis objectively, most of the problems we have encountered are due to neglect of the basics.

  1. Our intelligence agencies were not monitoring for potential virus threats.
  2. We failed to have adequate virus epidemic contingency plans in place. Our public safety planning has major gaps including adequate policing and emergency services in rural areas.
  3. We allowed stockpiles of personal protective equipment to expire, closed some warehouses and failed to replenish expired equipment when we could have.
  4. We heeded advice from the World Health Organization instead of making our own risk assessment and deciding on what action to take.
  5. In early February, we knew that we had about 20,000 international travellers from China every week and failed to stop flights from China to prevent the virus from infecting Canadians.
  6. We told ourselves that infections were linked to foreign travel and did not appreciate that once the population was infected, those people would infect others without travelling.
  7. We overestimated the number of infections that would occur and over-prepared for an onslaught that did not happen.
  8. We were woefully unprepared to deal with a virus epidemic in personal care facilities.
  9. We have no planning in place for virus related workplace safety measures.

There is no doubt that the 35 day lockdown we have endured to date helped to check the virus spread and minimize the rate of case swell. When we set aside personal care home cases and deaths, we have done remarkably well.

Our future depends on applying the lessons we have learned from COVID-19. We have to get the basics right and ensure they are maintained and updated. We need to develop workplace virus safety standards with employers and employees who do the work and know what practices are feasible and practical. We have to accept that face masks can be an alternative to social distancing. Requiring both face masks and social distancing can be overkill; the workplace and jobs die.   

The basics of improved hygiene we are employing have to be maintained. Hand washing, gloves, face masks, social distancing and disinfecting surfaces must become part of our normal routines. We can use these disciplines to combat the normal fall flu virus season and be better prepared for the next virus epidemic as there will be one; we just do not know when.      
    
We need to develop a network of federally protected infrastructure corridors to ensure that our highways, rail lines, pipelines and power transmission lines cannot be interfered with and allowing for expropriation to expand those corridors as required.
     We must make Canada energy self-sufficient. We have learned that depending on foreign suppliers for vital equipment and supplies is a road to disaster. It is in Canada’s interest to change course and revitalize our oil and gas industry. We desperately need the investments, jobs, works and cost stability that self-sufficiency will bring us.
    
We cannot return to government “business as usual” later this year on anytime in the future. Much of the panic associated with COVID-19 is due to governments trying to cover over huge holes in planning and preparedness. There is nothing worthy of photo ops in taking care of the fundamentals, but neglect of the basics has resulted in severe hardships for millions of Canadians.
    
We have neglected the maintenance required to keep Canada a safe and secure home for her people. When governments refer to multi-billion dollar “infrastructure deficits” they are admitting that they have ignored our basic infrastructure although it has a predictable life span and eventually needs to be replaced. That neglect leads to new emergencies.      
    
We have a very bright future in store if governments focus on Canada’s needs and build a diverse, robust and stable economy that will attract business, industry and investment from around the world. Governments must get out of business. Their role is to provide a business climate in which entrepreneurs, large and small, can thrive and move us ahead to an even better standard of living.

We must prepare to cast informed votes in the next election. Political parties are not credible or truthful during an election. Their sales pitches do not reflect their performance since the last election. That performance is what counts. 

John Feldsted is a political commentator, consultant & strategist living in Winnipeg, Manitoba   

Rising from the ashes of Covid-19 pandemic

April 20, 2020

Our government keeps talking about a “new normal” in the throes of the Covid-19 crisis; that is dishonest and deceptive. First the government does not want to give up its new-found powers over us. Second, the bones of its pre-crisis agenda are still intact.

The efforts to secure a seat on the UN Security Council have been carried on quietly, in the background, unabated and expensive. Dreams of world governance die hard.

The effort to destroy our petroleum sector have not changed. The recent bailout for oil producers is an effort to ensure funding is aimed at cleaning up sites no longer in production. Emphasis on the cleaning up old sites is not lost on us. There is no money for resurrecting one of our primary industrial sectors.

Canadians have to stand ready to tell our government what the “new normal” is. We are not willing to slide back into pre-epidemic dictums from on high. We will not allow our government to spend billions on supporting the economy and continue to forego hundreds of billions in investments on the ideological altar of combatting climate change. Federal environmental laws based on theory and in response to foreign funded pressure groups are an attack on the oil industry and must be rescinded without delay.

     The federal government has no constitutional authority over the environment and in particular over environmental regulation of resource development. That constitutional authority rests with the provinces and the federal government cannot lawfully enact environmental regulations that conflict with provincial regulations.

 Sections of federal environmental law that require an assessment of the carbon use of oil and gas carried by the pipeline are discriminatory and insane. They are discriminatory as the same regulations are not applied to imported oil and insane as a pipeline is a conduit, no different than the pipelines that carry fresh and waste water. It is unreasonable for the government to be more concerned over oil shipped for export than it is over untreated sewage dumped in our rivers and oceans.

It is unreasonable and unrealistic for any province to enact environmental regulations that are more stringent than those in place for resource developing provinces. We cannot allow legislative barriers that throttle economic development, exports and trade.    

Construction, maintenance and security of our national infrastructure including airlines, ferries, highways, pipelines, roads, railways, and power transmission lines connecting provinces or connecting Canada to ports of export and import is a very high priority. Ore crushers, separators, refineries and smelters vital to our economy can be included as federal infrastructure when they benefit the nation.

Legislation creating a network of federally protected infrastructure must include serious penalties for interference with any portion thereof (blockades, intentional damage, protests and strikes) and powers of expropriation to acquire any lands needed for construction or expansion.

The federal government cannot stand back and watch provinces, municipalities, various protest and indigenous groups fight over infrastructure expansion like a pack of mongrel dogs at a road kill. The fights are about money, power and self-interest without respect for Canada, its economy or its people. We have had enough of the “let’s dance off to the courts for a decision” nonsense for the rest of this century. That is an astonishing void in leadership detrimental to innovation and progress.

 Energy self-sufficiency is critical to our future. Without ample energy to operate our businesses, factories, heavy industries, households and transportation needs, we remain dependent on other nations to keep our economy strong. Moving oil and gas from the western provinces to the Atlantic coast, the Pacific coast and the Port of Churchill is not optional nor is further development of primary resources that benefit the nation.

We can’t pretend that alternate sources of power will replace oil in the near future or that solar and wind power do not have a serious environmental impact. We don’t build huge windmills or create acres of solar panels without mining and processing raw materials and neither operate without an adverse effect on our air, birds, animals, land, plants and water.

Alternate energy sources will replace oil energy over time as alternate energy sources evolve and become more efficient and reliable. Stifling petroleum energy development when we have no efficient and reliable alternate source is foolhardy.

Ample, reliable energy sources are the basic foundation of any developing nation. Removing that foundation will lead to disaster as surely as removing the foundations of a building.

Canada is not a test bed for ideological theories or the grandeur of world governance. We need to act before more damage is done. Our duty is to continue to build on the foundations laid by our forefathers and maintain the democracy, freedoms and rights they bought with blood and provided to us as their inheritance gift.

We inherited a great nation and with it the responsibility to grow it prudently and protect it from threats from any quarter in any guise. We must act as a real nation with huge potential. We need our government focused on developing that potential first and foremost. That is the new normal.

Federal approach of shedding COVID blame is irresponsible

April 8, 2020

Our federal government utterly failed to take a cautious approach to containment of Coronavirus choosing virtue signalling and political correctness rather than acting decisively to protect Canadians. 

     Trudeau and federal officials argued border controls might stigmatize some Canadians and upset China

     In February 2020, the COVID-19 spread out of Wuhan China and around the world. More and more countries brought in strict border controls, including Taiwan, but in Canada federal officials and the Trudeau government argued strenuously against such border measures.

     Feb. 1:  Justin Trudeau speaks at large Lunar New Year celebrations in Toronto and addresses COVID-19 outbreak: “There is no place in our country for discrimination driven by fear or misinformation,” Trudeau says. “This is not something Canadians will ever stand for.”

     Feb. 2: Justin Trudeau’s office issues a public statement on COVID-1: “The government remains fully engaged on the issue, and will do all that is necessary to ensure the safety of Canadians, both at home and abroad … The Prime Minister remarked on his visit yesterday to Toronto where he celebrated the Lunar New Year with Chinese Canadians and again underlined the importance of Canadians’ support for each other, and of combatting fear, stigma, and racism.”

     Feb. 3: Conservative MP Matt Jeneroux in the House of Commons: “Other countries are taking proactive measures by declaring a public health emergency. Other countries are cancelling all flights into and out of China. The United States said it is implementing these measures to increase its ability to detect and contain the coronavirus. Why has Canada not done the same?”

Health Minister Patty Hajdu replies: “Here in Canada we have very different processes in place than in the United States. For example, we do not need to call a public health emergency here because we already have the structures, the systems and the authorities to spend appropriate dollars necessary to respond, treat and maintain our public health systems.”

Hajdu also scolds opposition MPs: “One of the interesting elements of the coronavirus outbreak has been the spread of misinformation and fear across Canadian society. That was actually noted by an interviewer on the weekend. In fact, she asked me how Canadians can be assured that they are getting the right information. One way might be if the opposition does not sensationalize the risk to Canadians and allows Canadians to understand where they can find a wealth of information.”

     Feb. 3. NDP MP Don Davies at health committee, asks Dr.  Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief officer for public health: “The United States has implemented emergency measures to temporarily deny entry to foreign nationals who have visited China in the 14 days prior to their arrival. Restrictions also apply to U.S. citizens who have been in China’s Hubei province in the two weeks prior to their return to the U.S. Upon their return, those citizens will be subject to a mandatory quarantine of up to 14 days. They’ll also undergo health screenings at selected ports of entry. In light of your comment earlier that the time to contain is now — I think that was your wording — and that it’s very important that we get a good grip now, shouldn’t Canada be taking similar protective measures now, following the precautionary principle, to make sure we’re doing everything we can to contain this virus at the earliest possible opportunity? If not, why not? Why aren’t we doing that?”

Dr. Tam continues to defend Canada’s policy of screening for symptomatic passengers only from Hubei province and voluntary self-isolation for only those sick individuals: “The most effective piece of containment, of course, is at source, in China itself, where you’re seeing some of the extraordinary measures that are being taken. As you move further away from that epicentre, any other border measures are much less effective. Data on public health has shown that many of these are actually not effective at all. We are doing some of those and adding those layers, but each of those layers is not a complete barrier, if you like. We have provided travel health advice from a health perspective to indicate to travellers to avoid the province of Hubei and to limit non-essential travel to the rest of China. That advice is provided to travellers…WHO advises against any kind of travel and trade restrictions, saying that they are inappropriate and could actually cause more harm than good in terms of our global effort to contain.”

     Feb. 3. Bloc MP Luc Thériault asks: “Dr. Tam, you said earlier that enhanced controls might do more harm than good. What did you mean by that?

Tam then spells out a key rationale behind the WHO policy: “I think one of the members asked about travel bans, stopping people from actually travelling. The reason the World Health Organization doesn’t recommend something like this is that, in general, it may do more harm than good. I think someone mentioned what the United States was doing. If you stop traffic entirely, there are a number of issues. The international community must come together in solidarity to contain. Having measures that very negatively affect a certain country that’s trying very hard to do its best can impede whether this country in the future will ever share anything transparently with others. China posted the virus genome very quickly. What are they getting out of it? I think the idea is to support China. Obviously, the number of flights has already been reduced, because nobody is actually going to China, but Canada has not closed its borders. It’s using these layers of measures to screen people coming in, in order to keep movement across the border. The other thing is that if you’re going to support China’s efforts, then medical aid, such as teams or supplies such as masks, gowns or something else, must continue to flow. For all those reasons, the World Health Organization will never recommend doing that, except in very exceptional circumstances. As I said, the border measures that are most effective are at source, in China.

     Feb 3: Liberal MP Sonia Sidhu asks: “My next question is for Public Safety. Can you describe what steps your organization is taking to ensure that border measures implemented in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak do not promote stigma or discrimination?

Denis Vinette, Vice-President, Travellers Branch, Canada Border Services Agency, replies, “First and foremost, our officers, from the time they’re hired through their training … go through extensive sensitivity training with regard to cultures and how they will come into contact with people from all over the world. This particular situation, notwithstanding all the training they undertake, is really a public health situation, so all individuals entering the country now at 10 airports are questioned. It is not discriminatory in terms of nationality. It is for all travellers arriving from abroad… Right now we are concentrating on Wuhan in Hubei province and identifying those individuals so we can do the health assessment that’s expected of us at the border, and if it is deemed necessary, we can refer to the Public Health Agency of Canada. It’s something that our officers have been attuned to in practice, and it is certainly something that we have been reinforcing in light of the particular events of this day.

     Feb. 7. Doctor Li Wenliang, who was muzzled in China for first bringing attention to the virus, dies from COVID-19 infection.

     Feb. 7: In Taiwan, foreign nationals with travel to all of China, now including Hong Kong or Macau, in the past 14 days, are banned from entry. Foreigners must see an immigration officer and cannot use e-Gate (quick entry). Also, a Taiwanese couple is fined NT$300,000 (USD $10,000) for breaking the 14-day home quarantine rule.

     Feb. 9: Canada expands its COVID-19 screening requirements for travellers returning from affected areas to 10 airports across 6 provinces, putting in place the same voluntary self-isolation for symptomatic people, but for no one else.

     Feb. 11: Travellers entering Taiwan must complete an accurate health declaration form or be fined up to NT$150,000 (US$5,000), Wang reports.

     Feb. 11: The WHO issues a new statement of travel bans, opening the door for some restrictions: “Evidence on travel measures that significantly interfere with international traffic for more than 24 hours shows that such measures may have a public health rationale at the beginning of the containment phase of an outbreak, as they may allow affected countries to implement sustained response measures, and non-affected countries to gain time to initiate and implement effective preparedness measures.”

The WHO advocates for containment, “including active surveillance, early detection, isolation and case management, contact tracing and prevention of onward spread of 2019-nCoV infection.”

     Feb. 12: In Taiwan, the government declares that violators of the mandatory home isolation regulations will be fined up to NT$300,000 (US$10,000); violators of home quarantine regulations will be fined up to NT$150,000 (US$5,000), Wang reports. Cases of severe influenza that tested negative for influenza since Jan. 31 are to now be retested for COVID-19.

     Feb. 14: In Taiwan, Taipei City, the government tracks down three Hong Kong visitors who disappeared for almost a week without undergoing quarantine. Each is fined NT$70,000 (US$2,350) and transferred to specially assigned quarters for medical isolation. The Entry Quarantine System launches to fill out health declaration form electronically and allow for faster immigration clearance.

     Feb. 20: Canada confirms its first case related to travel outside mainland China.

     Feb. 20:  Patty Hajdu tweets out travel update: “While the risk to Canadians remains low, if you are returning from a region with a confirmed case of #COVID19, and you are unwell or unsure of your health, I encourage you to self isolate and notify local health officials.”

     Feb. 26: At Health Committee, Jeneroux asks about a statement Tam had made to CTV on Feb. 24: “She stated that the more countries are infected, the less effective and feasible it is to close our borders. I am curious if this is some sort of admittance that the government should have shut down the borders when China was — from what we understood at the time — the only country that was heavily infected.”

Dr. Howard Njoo, Deputy Chief Public Health Officer, Public Health Agency of Canada replies to Jeneroux: “Not at all. We certainly understand that border measures are just one layer in a multi-system approach to preventing and hopefully controlling the spread of COVID-19 in Canada. It’s never been understood or recognized that border measures alone will stop it. We know that with this disease — as with many other infectious diseases — there is something called an ‘incubation period.’ Someone could actually be harbouring the disease, virus or bacteria and come into Canada feeling totally well, having no symptoms at all, and then only declare and come forward with symptoms once.

Njoo insists Canada is doing well: “We have contained the virus. There have been 12 cases to date in Canada. That’s a relatively low number compared to other countries. All of the cases, I would say, are isolated or at least isolated to travellers coming to Canada or their very close contacts. Nine of the cases coming to Canada were all linked to travel to China. Now the three most recent ones — which is quite interesting in many ways — are linked to travel from Iran.

Njoo shoots down idea of closing borders: “Let me respond to the previous comment about the border measures. I can’t speak for Dr. Tam — I’m sure she’ll have the opportunity to maybe clarify or speak for herself in terms of border measures — but it’s not about closing the borders. From a public health perspective, closing the borders has never proven to be effective in terms of stopping the spread or the introduction of disease into any country. I think what Dr. Tam might have been thinking about with the border measures was in terms of looking at what’s happened in other countries, such as Italy now, and the spread to many other countries and regions. The supplementary border measures that we’ve had up to date include giving additional information to travellers from China, from Hubei province. You can imagine how if that list gets expanded — to Japan, South Korea, Italy and so on — obviously, there will be a trickle-down effect in terms of what provincial authorities may need to follow up on.”

Njoo also adds: “At the same time that Canada is still maintaining its containment posture, if I can put it that way, we’re also starting to prepare for a possible pandemic. We can’t do this with our eyes closed and not recognize what might happen weeks and months from now, which has nothing to do, maybe, specifically with Canada but with what’s happening internationally.
“To give you an example of the kinds of things we’re looking at — I think it’s the same for other countries around the world — should there be widespread transmission in Canada and in many other parts of the world, we would be looking at such measures as what we call “social distancing.” Do we need to start looking at cancelling mass gatherings and public events? Would there be things like looking at what we need to do with schools, and students attending schools, and people sick in the hospitals and so on?

“That’s all in the future. We’re certainly not there yet, but we are actually taking a close look and making sure we’re prepared for that.”

     Feb. 26. NDP MP Jenny Kwan brings up the case of a traveller from affected Iran arriving in British Columbia at a time when Canada has no screening of travellers from Iran: “Given that this is the case, there are now notices in schools in British Columbia about this, precisely to the point…. Their screenings could be missed. A person could be asymptomatic or have mild symptoms and be missed because they are not travelling back from Hubei province, and now that person is in an area in British Columbia potentially wider than what we anticipated to begin with.”

     Feb. 26. Liberal MPMarcus Powlowski asks Njoo if the screening measures recommending self-isolation were done only from travellers from Hubei, Province.

Njoo says: “The direction or the advice for self-isolation is for travellers coming back from Hubei province, but for mainland China up to now, there’s also been advice given that they should be monitoring for symptoms in the next 14 days — obviously, that’s if they’ve come from mainland China in the past 14 days — and that, should they be coming down with symptoms consistent with COVID-19, they should contact local public health … We will now go forward and give that same advice to travellers who come back from the other six countries that we’re now adding to what we call an ‘affected region’ list — Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Italy, Iran and South Korea.”

     Feb. 27: A group of 23 Chinese-Canadian doctors signed an open letter urging a 14-day quarantine for everyone returning to Canada from China and other COVID-19 hotspots, reports the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Dr. Stanley Zheng, who drafted the letter, said the current policy of only quarantining people who have been in Wuhan, at the epicentre of China’s outbreak, won’t go far enough to contain the virus, given large outbreaks elsewhere. “This is about containing the virus, this is about isolation of the virus, not isolation of people. It has nothing to do with discrimination whatsoever. It’s a global fight against this virus. Let’s contain it if we can,” said Dr. Stanley Zheng of Toronto told the National Post, noting he and his colleagues are on the front lines, serving patients daily who have just returned from China.

     Feb. 27. In the Council of Foreign Affairs blog at Foreign Affairs magazine, Asian studies research associate Michael Collins criticizes China’s response, digs into that countries close links to Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus of the WHO, and calls for better decision-making and guidelines from the WHO: “The WHO’s weak response to China’s mishandling of the COVID-19 outbreak has laundered China’s image at the expense of the WHO’s credibility. The rate of infection in China appears to be declining, but the risk of a global pandemic is increasing. The time is ripe for clear leadership from the WHO based on science not politics.”

     Feb. 29. The WHO issues its latest statement, continuing to advise against travel restrictions to countries experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks. It explains this measure, saying that such restrictions may help some countries early in an outbreak to prepare, but: “In general, evidence shows that restricting the movement of people and goods during public health emergencies is ineffective in most situations and may divert resources from other interventions.”
It also says such disruptions would be disruptive to countries experiencing an outbreak. “Travel bans to affected areas or denial of entry to passengers coming from affected areas are usually not effective in preventing the importation of cases but may have a significant economic and social impact.”

The WHO downplays temperature screening as an effective tool. “Temperature screening alone, at exit or entry, is not an effective way to stop international spread, since infected individuals may be in incubation period, may not express apparent symptoms early on in the course of the disease, or may dissimulate fever through the use of antipyretics; in addition, such measures require substantial investments for what may bear little benefits.”

In total, 39 countries have now reported significant travel restrictions to the WHO, ranging from denial of entry of passengers, visa restrictions or quarantine for returning travellers.
With acknowledgement to The Edmonton Journal and Spencer Fernando.

********************************************

     Our federal government failed to employ prudent risk management and is now insinuating that stopping the spread of Coronavirus is our personal responsibility. The attempt of our government to absolve itself of responsibility for employment of its constitutional quarantine obligations is unacceptable. 

What it means to be a conservative in these times

April 2, 2020

These are confusing times not solely due to concerns over whether we will become Coronavirus infected or how many people might still die. Will the world go the way of Italy, Iran and the United States where several hundred are dying daily? Will Canadian Tire or Costco be next to join other retailers in closing? Is outdoor exercise good or bad?

Our concerns go far deeper than that, down to how we feel, think about and respond to the Coronavirus “crisis” and the surrounding social, economic and political upheaval. What does it mean to be a conservative in these times? How can conservatism help guide our individual inner lives.

First, conservatives do not panic; we endure. There are several reasons for that. We believe in the validity of western civilization, as it has been around for a long time. We know that human beings are innately flawed, and that the human story has an inherent tragic element. Yet we are still here, and our era is in many respects a pinnacle of human achievement. We can be confident we will get through this. Remind yourself of that often; that alone will help quell the urge to panic.

We know history, and value it not just its lessons but its existence. We respect what our ancestors endured and achieved and continue to believe in the future. We don’t “live in the moment”. We know that humanity has been through far worse in innumerable times and ways. 

We also know that when an elected politician, sweat beading on their brow and fear in their eyes, declares this an “unprecedented” situation, they are spouting nonsense while revealing a fevered mind and low quality of their reasoning ability. This latest viral threat is unprecedented only if you were hatched from an egg, fully formed but with a mind containing no knowledge of our history.  

We are not indifferent, but we do not succumb to cynicism nor do we act recklessly. The status of our personal responsibility, our moral duty to our fellow humans and our belief in the preservation of civilization all work to prevent that. Our choices are not confined to unchecked fear or recklessness.  
There is a third approach: prudence. It is in short supply. Prudence is shaped and steered by careful thought and sound judgment. The worse things get, the stronger the need not to panic, to see clearly and to follow the truth, including findings of scientific observation and testing, wherever it may lead. Conservatives believe in the existence of objective truth and that this truth is discoverable.

We understand the importance of the human being’s ability to reason. This is also the basis of science. Reason and our moral sense are what separates us from animals. In times of uncontrolled emotion, they are more relevant than ever; they are of life and death importance.
 
The current mindset, a bizarre mixture of emotions, fear and feelings reduces science and the good it can bring to political sloganeering that currently appears to dominate. Unchecked, it seems capable of destroying our entire governing apparatus and society itself.

Conservatives through the ages have resisted two extremes of human politics and psychology: the siren songs of elitism and utopianism and the self-destructive callousness of despair. Accordingly, when times are good and seem on an unending upward flight, we appear boringly cautious. When times are bad and spiralling downward without apparent end, we appear weirdly optimistic. 

In times of intense crisis, the act of counselling reason and the refusal to share their despair drives the doomsday minded into rage. A tough but necessary task we face is the willingness to confront fear, danger and intimidation. Refusing to join the unchecked passions of the fearful takes courage. This is the time to turn to family and friends, to draw strength from one another and, insofar as you are able, to help one another.

The popular political slogan “we are in this together” is profoundly cynical. We the people are in this together and will survive the Coronavirus pandemic in spite of our governments. We know that actions have consequences that governments often overlook or ignore as we, not they, suffer the consequences.

We have cause to believe that governments will not learn to consider the adverse effects their policies have on people in our society and will revert to basing decisions on political expediency.

Using pandemic to usurp the powers of Parliament

March 25

Prime Minister Trudeau presides over a minority government. The choice of the electorate was to give the liberals a restricted second term in office. Efforts by the Trudeau government to overturn the results and act as a majority government are disgraceful.

Using the Coronavirus crisis as an excuse to give the government long-term powers (until December 31, 2022) to act without parliamentary approval is wrong. Our Westminster parliamentary system has long held that money bills, plans for spending including budgets, are a matter of confidence and a government can be defeated on issues involving spending.

After much haggling and wrangling between the government and opposition parties, a compromise to give unlimited spending powers to government until September 30th, 2020 was reached. For details, refer to Bill C-13. (Bill C-13 has been passed by the Commons and Senate, has Royal Assent and is now law.)     

Let’s be clear; the Coronavirus threat is real and must be dealt with. The best medical advice we have is that we must socially distance ourselves and, in many cases, self-isolate to protect ourselves and others and slow spread of the virus. We are inundated with “Coronavirus and COVID19 information” that engenders anxiety and fear without understanding.

Millions are uncertain of sustained incomes. Ontario has mandated a temporary shut down of all non-essential services which means tens of thousands have no workplace to attend or income to sustain them. The impact on our economy and personal finances is enormous. We are only beginning to grasp how enormous that impact will be. The general consensus is that the $82 billion package proposed by government will prove inadequate.

It is surprising that in all the material published about Coronavirus to date, there has been no mention of the federal Quarantine Act. The federal government has constitutional authority and responsibility to deal with quarantine to slow or stop the spread of communicable diseases. Terms like social distancing and self-isolation are pretty words to cover forms of quarantine.

When medical advice becomes government regulation, we are imposing quarantines.
The federal government failed to take the lead on this important aspect. While we must give our governments, federal and provincial, credit for their attempts to limit the spread of a communicable virus, we should not be looking at 11 different sets of regulations which are confusing and add to the uncertainties we are facing. Coordination between or federal and provincial governments is not as good as we have been led to believe.

Our federal government stepped out to recognize the economic impacts of quarantine required to combat Coronavirus spread and gained considerable prestige for attempting to protect businesses and people from short and long-term financial harm.

Attempt to seize powers to avoid having to govern as a minority has sullied that prestige. Politics should have been left out of Bill C-13. Much of the goodwill and apolitical unity we need from our governments has been lost as a result. What a pity.

We will endure, survive and be the wiser for it

March 17, 2020

 The current state of affairs makes some very important points.

     First, we have been given an object lesson in just how puny our geopolitical systems are. The UN (Useless Nations) dithered and pontificated and pretended that its announcement that we are dealing with a pandemic was significant. Sorry to throw cold water on the cluster of idiots at the UN but a synonym for ‘pandemic’ is ‘widespread’. As soon as we had a half-dozen nations with Coronavirus victims, we had a pandemic. The UN belatedly voiced the obvious.

     Second, a key role of the UN is to bring affected nation together to create a reasoned approach to a communicable infection that we need to pool our resources to combat. Epic fail. We did not put our best brains to work on a common problem. Like it or not, the first word nations, the industrial giants, the nations the UN despises and is desperately trying to bring to bring to heel will develop the vaccine, the antidote that will save the world (again).

     Third, we have established beyond doubt just how thin the veneer of civilization really is. As news of the spread of this new virus is updated continually, reaction ranges from disbelief to mild concern to panic. In an era of instant electronic communications, trolls have emerged to push people to the panic end.

     Our media is complicit in intensifying our concerns. Unending reports of the latest numbers from around the world are not useful in helping people to cope within realistic parameters. No person can completely protect themselves without herculean efforts and attendant social and fiscal costs.

     Some people are taking extreme actions by hoarding supplies in preparation for an apocalypse. Others are hoarding supplies with the prospect of reselling at a profit.

     We are presented with an object lesson in just how frail our governments are when faced with a simple virus. Every nation has sovereignty and not just the right, but the duty to take care of its own. It turns out that politicians are powerless and have to depend on their scientists to find solutions. All the posturing, pontification and puffery is just that.

     Governments are not leading the way. They are reacting as best as they can while science does the work needed. That is real science at work, without government interference. Laboratories are working furiously to produce a safe vaccine. Whoever succeeds first will become rich. That is one benefit of competitive free enterprise. Without that, the numbers who perish would be more devastating.

     Odds are that we will have a successful vaccine within a reasonable time. The next steps are mass production followed by mass immunization. Prospects of a medical apocalypse are offset by prospects of spring and warming temperatures, but the side effects on our economies and fiscal stability will require a re-evaluation of our priorities, personal and public, and what is truly important in our lives.

     Most of us will survive the pandemic. There will be many more casualties. Those with weakened immune systems or with existing medial ailments are most vulnerable. Older people are not more vulnerable because of age; they are more likely to have other medial issues that reduce their chances of recovery.

     The good news is that people, including business people, are listening and taking responsibility for their well-being and that of others. We are, by nature, social animals who detest isolation. Separation is a form of isolation that is contrary to our instincts. The alternative of ignoring sound medical advice to avoid gatherings that help to spread illness is irrational.

     Canadians are resilient, innovative and resourceful. That is our advantage is and what will get us through this threat with the lowest possible loss of lives. The threat is an equalizer; no one is immune regardless of their financial, professional or social status. We all have a vested interest in controlling spread of the virus.

     We face a new reality and most people ‘get it’. The best in people is emerging; those who can are helping our most vulnerable. Business leaders are shutting down or finding ways to accommodate public needs. Retired medical professionals are re-engaging to help out. Emergency service people remain on the job. Order is intact in a chaotic situation.

     The ninnies in panic will eventually calm down. Those who suspect hidden government plots will take solace in their theories. Nations who failed to take early precautions are paying a very heavy price – Italy and now Spain are suffering horrendous casualties.
 
     Temporary isolation will not defeat us. We will endure, survive and be the wiser for it.

I am taking a vacation . . .

March 6, 2020

I am taking a vacation break until March 20. I am not taking my electronics with me and am not likely to issue new material until I return. 

On my last break (2002) my daughter found a cabin in the Rockies with hydro – but no cell, TV or radio services. I recall driving into Golden, BC to pick up newspapers and they still had actual news in them. Facebook did not intrude on us for another 2 years.

Facebook is only 16 this year and showing signs of teenage angst and immaturity. We really did have lives before Facebook, Instagram and Twitter destroyed our ability to discuss and debate issues civilly. Calling these services communication platforms is a disservice to the concept.

A few million hypertensive know-it-alls screeching at one another but never listening to the other side is not communication.

That is a lesson our political parties have yet to learn.

Reconciliation – governments have capitulated

March 4, 2020

 Our government’s approach to negotiations with hereditary chiefs is perplexing, unorthodox and unclear. It appears our government has capitulated to the demands of hereditary chiefs.

The 1997 Supreme Court Delgamuukw decision, (File No. 23799) does not appear to be a landmark decision in any way shape or form. The Delgamuukw decision did not provide indigenous people or hereditary chiefs with unfettered ownership of claimed lands. The decision held that hereditary title was not absolute and could be overridden to allow for projects in the best interests of non-indigenous people.
     
The decision did not set out the extent of claimed lands. That still must be negotiated. Claims are still outstanding.

The Delgamuukw decision did not provide hereditary chiefs with ownership of claimed lands; it held that indigenous land ownership was held by the community, not by chiefs.

Indigenous people cannot enjoy land ownership rights that surpasses the rights of non-indigenous land owners. When we are faced with public works projects including natural resources developments, roads and highways, power transmission lines, telephone and cable lines, transmission towers and a host of other works, our property rights can be overridden by expropriation or easements with commensurate compensation.

The BC tentative agreement cannot be allowed to change to course of common law land ownership precedents.

Finally, the Delgamuukw decision did not address indigenous governance, sovereignty or any of the issues respecting indigenous self-governance. Those issues remain unresolved. The SCC held that such issues would require a separate trial.

Negotiating with hereditary chiefs under this backdrop is very high risk. Our prime Minister’s pleas for patience are nonsense.

The government has not shared the substance of the alleged agreements with us, so we have nothing to be patient about.

This government has made no effort to ensure that road and rail disruptions cannot recur tomorrow or on any subsequent day. We are left vulnerable without excuse. This government has to go; it is failing to maintain order and peace.

 

Indigenous reconciliation – 6

March 2, 2020

It is fair to state that Prime Minister Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland are clueless to the nuances of diplomacy. In dealing with internal affairs, one needs a couple of decades of practical experience. Neither official qualifies.

When they speak of dealing with our indigenous population on a “nation to nation” basis, they have no concept of the Pandora’s box they are opening.

History

Our indigenous populations as inhabitants of Canada deserve recognition as having a degree of land and legal rights over territories allotted to them by treaty. Origins of the “fair treatment” policy go back to the 1763 Royal Proclamation issued following the Treaty of Paris that ended the seven year war between Britain and France. In that treaty, France ceded her North American colonies to Britain.

The main thrust of the 1763 Royal Proclamation was to Anglicize the French inhabitants of the North American colonies. It also deals with relations with indigenous people:

“And whereas it is just and reasonable, and essential to our Interest and the Security of our Colonies, that the several Nations or Tribes of Indians, with whom We are connected, and who live under our Protection, should not be molested or disturbed in the Possession of such Parts of Our Dominions and Territories as, not having been ceded to, or purchased by Us, are reserved to them, or any of them, as their Hunting Grounds.” 

Treaties

Treaties between the British and French and indigenous tribes in North America date back to about 1676. The original treaties were aimed at keeping the peace and promoting trade between the indigenous population and settlers. Ref: https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/aboriginal-treaties

Nation to Nation

Talk about indigenous reconciliation on a “nation to nation” basis is deceptive. Indigenous bands are independent and territorial. The 1763 Proclamation quoted above used the term ‘several nations or tribes’ not a nation or tribe. The Proclamation uses the term ‘who live under Our protection’ but everyone in the King’s domains lived under ‘Our protection’. The term is not exclusive to Indians.

The 1982 amendments to our constitution redefined “aboriginal peoples of Canada” to include the Indian, Inuit and Métis people. Dealing with “indigenous people” is far more complex that can be encompassed by current talks with a few hereditary chiefs in northern British Columbia.

Our federal government has walked into a trap of recognizing hereditary chiefs by opening talks with them without comprehending that those talks involve far more than a few tribes in BC. It cannot ignore the Inuit and Métis peoples without creating difficulties for itself in negotiations with indigenous people throughout Canada. The government’s knee-jerk reaction to unlawful blockades is creating a whole new set of difficulties for it to deal with.

The aspirations and hopes of indigenous people are no different from those of non-indigenous people. Heritage and skin colour don’t change our desire for secure shelter, food and clothing, personal safety and security, the opportunities for employment or entrepreneurship, access to education and health care, fair treatment by government and respect of our freedoms and rights as individuals.

The major difference between us is that non-indigenous people have opportunities to lawfully rid themselves of a government that is not meeting their needs. Under the Indian Act indigenous people are locked into a governance system that excludes them from respectful treatment as peers. That is unforgivable and unsustainable.

Indian Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett was on television Saturday telling us that talks with hereditary chiefs appear to be “making progress”. Ms Bennett is dealing with a handful of self-styled monarchs with dubious claims to grandeur. Our government must never accept that any resident of Canada can be required to bend to the arbitrary will of an indigenous monarch. No citizen or permanent resident of Canada can be denied his or her constitutional freedoms and rights.  

Bennett is creating problems for Canada and indigenous people, not resolving them. Responding to the blackmail of road and rail disruptions with recognition and funding is the road to poverty, but it is working people, indigenous and non-indigenous, those who contribute to our mutual well-being and drive our economy, who will feel the pain.

 Reality Check

There are thousands of employed and self-employed indigenous people and thousands more on the road there who are even more frustrated than non-indigenous people from whom this government has stolen livelihoods.

Indigenous and non-indigenous people have a cause in common, which is to replace corrupt, inept and incompetent governance. We need a government that will recognize and champion the equality of all people in Canada and respect our dignity, freedoms and rights.
We want a government that responds to our needs and stops telling us what is good for us. We want a government that focuses on Canada first and always. We want a government that stops continually meddling in our lives and pays close attention to its constitutional responsibilities.

John Feldsted is a political commentator, consultant and strategist

 

Deceitful, deceptive, dishonest and dishonourable

Fb. 29, 2020

Representatives from the Province of British Columbia and the federal government are meeting with Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs behind closed doors. That is outrageous.

Reconciliation affects every person in Canada

Negotiations and decisions can have profound effects on provincial resource developments and our economy. The dispute between Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs and the federal government have nothing to do with pipelines. It is all about power and control of funds intended to support indigenous people. The chiefs and federal government representatives are not negotiating; they are a pack of wolves on the fringes of a flock of sheep discussing the lunch menu.

Reconciliation negotiations must be conducted in public. 

There cannot be anything hidden in reconciliation negotiations or decisions. Every person, indigenous and non-indigenous is affected by the results. We have an open and public parliament to prevent our legislators from doing as they please in governance. Reconciliation decisions can have a profound effect on how we are governed and by whom.

Indigenous claims to land and rights must be dealt with in public, not behind closed doors. The federal government has no mandate to negotiate changes to the way we are governed if those changes have any effect on the powers and responsibilities set out in our constitution, which is the primary law in Canada and cannot be amended except under terms set out therein.

Honest and honourable claims must be taken seriously and neither party should have anything to hide from us.

Costs of providing services are high

The federal government is now asking for a $3.8 billion increase in services to indigenous people. That brings the costs of services to roughly $23.8 billion per year.
Ref:  https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/indigenous-government-spending-blockades-1.5470670

Let’s put that in perspective. It is about $14,000 per indigenous person or $70,000 for a family of five. It is about $39.2 million for the 2,800 people living on land Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs claim.

That is not funding that indigenous persons receive.

Poverty levels on indigenous reserves clearly indicate otherwise. Those numbers include the costs of providing the services at the federal and local levels. The government is silent on the costs of operating its indigenous affairs departments. Indigenous chiefs are silent on the costs incurred in funding local operations.

The media are filled with misinformation about the dispute.

The media insists on referring to  lands as if Wet'suwet'en land claims have been settled when they have not been settled. The media insists the dispute is over pipelines when it is not. The media fails to report on the indigenous people frustrated by hereditary chiefs crushing their opportunities for jobs, incomes and an economy in an area where economic opportunities are scarce.

The media do not report on the power struggles within the indigenous community or that the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs cannot be allowed to control government – indigenous relations for all of the 1.7 million indigenous people across Canada

Unlawful blockades

The hereditary chiefs are not able to make threats, dictate terms or mount blockades while their land claims are unresolved. Their blockades are based on the fiction that their land claims will succeed, and our federal government is unwilling to take action to stop unlawful blockades.

Our Criminal Code is deficient in not making it clear that any person or group of persons blocking access to public infrastructure including public buildings and places, airports, roads, highways, streets, ports, railways and any other facility intended to provide services to the general public is unlawful and subject to fines of not less than $1,000 or more than $5,000 and/or jail sentences of not less than 30 days or more than 150 days per incident or occurrence.

No person or protest group, irrespective of cause, should be able to disrupt the peace and good order of our society. Giving in to blackmail through disruption is not acceptable.

The Province of British Columbia has no place at the table.

Indigenous affairs and lands set aside for indigenous people are a federal responsibility. Once negotiations are complete, the provincial regulation of resource development will be clearer. Horgan’s heroes can only muddy the waters. Reconciliation covers all indigenous people from coast to coast to coast. No premier can make a deal that ultimately affects all people in Canada.

Ignore what they say, watch what they do 

It is irritating to watch media coverage of “indigenous protestors” screaming about colonialism and the ills of free enterprise while piously claiming that they are the natural and sacred stewards of our air, land and water. These protestors leave their blockades and protests sites strewn with trash for others to clean up. Some stewards!
    
“Indigenous activists” bash corporations as the enemy of indigenous people but overlook the benefits they derive from public infrastructure and the consumer goods they have access to and use. Without free enterprise corporations they would not have access to any of that.
    
“Activists” have gone to great lengths to paint the Costal GasLink project as bad for indigenous people. They ignore the huge economic opportunities for the region. 2,000 - 2,500 construction jobs, $42 million annual in ongoing maintenance jobs, $21 million annual in property taxes and over $8 million in community investments (and growing) in northern BC. What will they replace that with?

For further information see: https://www.westernstandardonline.com/2020/02/guest-inside-the-wetsuweten-power-struggle/  I cannot verify content of the linked article, and take no responsibility for content.

It provides insights not covered by our mainstream media, and strongly reinforces the need to conduct reconciliation negotiations in public.

The system is broken and needs to be repaired without further delays that only serve the vested interests of a few at the expense of us all. Expecting the bureaucrats at indigenous affairs to diligently dismantle the department that employs them is lunacy.

John Feldsted is a political commentator, consultant and strategist

 

Failure to settle land claims responsible for current strife

Friday, Feb. 28, 2020

The term reconciliation includes the ability to create a partnership between different factions that can result in a respectful recognition of the rights of each without infringement on rights of the other. We need to find a respectful and workable partnership between indigenous and non-indigenous people that works for us all.

The sovereignty claims by British Columbia hereditary chiefs to huge tracts of “unceded lands” is historical nonsense. Indigenous tribes were engaged in years of English and French disputes all over North America. Different tribes sided with each side. There were many skirmishes between settlers and indigenous people.

The American “Indian wars” made it apparent that that indigenous people could not withstand the influx of settlers that kept coming. Indigenous people north of the US border chose not to take up arms against settlers and face inevitable losses. That does not mean that indigenous people do not have legitimate land claims and rights that have been ignored for two centuries.

The days of our federal government dictating to indigenous people are over. We must find the way forward to a respectful partnership that will resolve outstanding issues. Increasing handouts in a failed Indian Affairs department model will not resolve issues or reduce irritants. We cannot buy off a proud people who want to be equals in our society.

The "crisis" we face today is a direct result of the federal government failure to resolve land claims in British Columbia. There is no doubt that the tiny reserves granted under the Indian Act need to be revisited and reconstituted.

We are not longer dealing with huge tracts of undeveloped fields and forests. The infrastructure and improvements to lands must be considered.

Until land claims are settled, the province cannot exercise its constitutional jurisdiction. The province has control over crown lands, that is lands within its boundaries not set aside for the federal government which includes lands set aside for indigenous people. Without settlement of land claims, conflict between the province and its indigenous inhabitants is inevitable.

The federal government, its agencies and indigenous chiefs all have vested interests to protect and are in a serious conflict of interests. They cannot resolve issues. Reconciliation requires that we tackle two different major issues.

The first is land claims. We need a separate, independent land claims commission represented by an equal number of elected representatives from indigenous and non-indigenous people charged with finding accommodation for both that does not infringe on the other. The indigenous people have to be equal partners in land ownership under a partnership that allows both groups to grow and prosper. Non-indigenous people cannot stifle indigenous people from developing their aspirations and dreams and indigenous people cannot prevent non-indigenous people from growing their economy and thriving. Development projects such as resource development and pipelines must be joint ventures with the full participation of indigenous people.

The second is indigenous sovereignty. We need a separate, independent sovereignty commission represented by an equal number of elected indigenous and non-indigenous people to work out a framework for indigenous self-governance that respects indigenous rights and works within our constitutional framework.

We have stood by for far too long allowing the foxes to guard the henhouse. The solution is to put the hens to work on reconciliation. The current crisis is the result of vested interests battling over power. Both indigenous and non-indigenous people are suffering needlessly while demigods fight over the spoils. There is no evidence that either side is prepared to negotiate in good faith for the benefit of all Canadians.

 Indigenous activists do not represent the indigenous people. They have hijacked the indigenous agenda for personal gains and our government has proven incapable of isolating and dealing with the real issues confronting us.

     We must take reconciliation out of their hands and work together, people to people to develop a respectful partnership that will serve us all. This is an area where our Governor General could be of tremendous assistance by forming the commissions from people selected by the indigenous and non-indigenous communities and naming a chair for each commission who should be a judge from a provincial appeals court.

The Governor General would refer recommendations from the Commissions to the House of Commons for consideration and implementation.
Our government is rudderless, and our parliament is embroiled in squabbling over trivia. Opposition parties have not put forth any workable plan for moving forward to resolve reconciliation issues. Poring gasoline on the protestor fires is not helpful. All we can expect from the current approach is increasing disruptions and “support” from people ignorant of the real issues we face.

The role of the opposition is to present viable alternatives to government programs and proposals. At present the opposition parties are as rudderless as the government. There is no party worthy of our support on reconciliation efforts.

What a shameful disgrace for governance. With 338 elected MPs in the House of Commons, we should expect some rational adults in the crowd. Why do we not hear from them?

Governance Without Goals

Feb. 27, 2020 - We cannot continue to be governed by ideologues who draw their inspiration from unaccountable and unelected foreign bureaucracies exercising powers they are not entitled to. 

Governance frameworks structure and delineate the power and the management roles in an organization. They set rules, procedures, and other informational guidelines. Governance frameworks define, guide, and provide for enforcement of these processes. These frameworks are shaped by the goals, strategic mandates, financial incentives, power structures and processes of the organization.

We expect our government to develop a mission statement, establish strategic goals compatible with the mission and do regular reviews to ensure that work to achieving goals in on track. Thousands of public and private organizations do it as a requirement of responsible governance.

The structure of our governments and governance is set out in our constitution which includes the responsibilities and rules for both the federal and provincial governments. The political stand that governments have this or that power is misleading. Governments have responsibilities, not powers.

In a free and open democracy, the ultimate power is the individual, the citizen or permanent resident. We organize ourselves into communities and organize those communities into municipalities that are self-governed under provincial legislation. The Municipal Acts vary a bit from province to province, but essentially allow a municipality, which includes villages, towns and cities to provide local services to residents and to tax property to underwrite the costs of providing those services.

There are practical limits to the services a municipality can provide. Our constitution creates a separate level of local responsibilities for provinces. There are numerous “subjects” where provinces have clear sovereignty over responsibilities within their borders. Once again there are practical limits to the powers of a province. A province cannot afford to fund its own navy or fund armed forces.

The constitution sets out a list of responsibilities for the federal government which cannot override the separate sovereignty of provinces. Nowhere is our structure as a constitutional monarchy is there room to allow international agreements to override the responsibilities, structure, duties and powers set out in our constitution.

The various climate change agreements and accords concocted by the United Nations cannot extend or override the powers granted to the federal government under our constitution. The United Nations is not a governing body and has no authority in Canada. The Paris Agreement is a UN construct that our federal government cannot employ. It has no constitutional authority to impose the Paris agreement on Canadians. Doing so violates the principles of a representative democracy. The development of natural resources and regulations respecting environmental concerns in that development is a provincial “subject” and jurisdiction the federal government cannot override.

The idea that the federal government can seize control over multi-billion dollar investments in development of our resources based on United Nations treaties is not acceptable. There are about 30 democracies in the 194 nation UN membership.
Are we going to willingly allow these dictatorships, monarchies, theocracies and tyrannies to dictate governance to us?

We must wake up, small the coffee and tell our federal government that its responsibility to Canadians overrides its ideological dalliance with the United Nations.

Our government was not elected to superimpose UN treaties in governance of a democratic nation.

The great Canadian pipeline hoax

Feb. 26, 2020

Have you ever wondered why pipelines are considered a horrible environmental blight in Canada, but nowhere else in the world?

The answer is simple. Canada cannot market its oil and gas products without pipelines. If some people want to keep Canada out of participating in the world petroleum markets, demonizing pipelines makes it impossible to extend or build new pipelines to seaports and domestic markets and the blockade mission is accomplished.

The highly successful environmental push to block Canada’s petroleum industry growth and with it a booming economy, full employment and billions for research into more efficient and effective ways to burn petroleum products more cleanly is a successful public relations campaign that has very little basis in truth.

It is not the first time we have been hoaxed by industrialists and investors protecting their profits and influence. Consider alcohol advertising prior to our adding up the carnage on our streets when inebriated drivers take the wheel. Think about tobacco advertising before we connected smoking and lung cancer. Consider advertising for a diabetes medication that was prominent for years until it was linked to deterioration of kidney functions.

Advertising (public relations) campaigns are designed to shape our views and thinking. They are aimed at our feelings and sensibilities rather than at our logic and reason. It is incredible that adult Canadians accepted that 17 year old Greta Thunberg brought an important message respecting climate change to us. Have we become that gullible?

An instinctual hatred of pipelines is a conditioned response to the wider public relations campaign of vilifying carbon products, not because they are harmful, but because we are much more easily manipulated, regulated and taxed if we are convinced that we should be fearful for our future.

As the years pass, and the dire predictions of global warming / climate change catastrophe fails to materialize we are beginning to realize we have been deceived. That is fraught with difficulty as no one cares to admit that he or she has been hoodwinked.

During the last couple of weeks, we have seen a variety of indigenous and academic persons interviewed respecting pipeline protests. If we listen carefully, we can identify the scripts that form part of any full press public relations campaign. The people motivated by the campaign must stay “on script” for the campaign to succeed, hence activists are armed with talking points. One giveaways is that when an activist or academic is asked a question he responds with the talking points he has memorized.

If you choose to believe that a half-dozen traditional (hereditary) indigenous chiefs in northern British Columbia created the arguments they put forth respecting traditional indigenous sovereignty without spending large sums of money on research, organized a cross country media campaign to keep their message front and center and have dominated the national and international news outlets for all but the first six days of February, you are welcome to your delusions.

Maintaining a public relations campaign for more than a few days is prohibitively expensive. When something looks suspicious to us, follow the money. Where is the money coming from that drives this public relations campaign? Who stand to gain by keeping Canada out of the world petroleum market?

Claims by our government that it is committed to reducing world carbon emissions are rubbish. While our government is complicit in keeping Canada out of the world petroleum market, Canada has no control over petroleum demand and supply or more accurately energy demand and supply.

Developing nation, who outnumber developed nations need energy to grow and prosper. It takes energy to light houses, provide a water supply, pump sewage, build highways and rail networks to move raw and finished goods to market, distribute imports, run mills and factories. Much of that energy comes from coal. Burning diesel or even better, natural gas reduces carbon output.

Like most ideologues, our federal government is hoist on its own petard; Canadian oil and gas can help to reduce carbon emissions overseas by replacing coal plants and our clean technologies can even further reduce harmful industrial output. The environmental public relations effort is highly misleading in its zeal to demonize carbon while excluding and ignoring all other emissions.

Carbon dioxide is an odourless, colourless gas that does not cause or contribute to the smog that is choking many cities. Canada’s clean technologies can help to alleviate industrial and public service emissions and reduce smog. However, we need the robust economy development of our resources will produce to develop, improve and export those technologies. 

Food for Thought

When cities reach a certain critical size, heat output causes a local weather inversion effectively creating a bubble over the city that prevents emissions of noxious gases and particulate matter from escaping into the atmosphere. Residents trapped in the bubble are forced to breath “smog”.

No city or nation has come up with a plan to effectively deal with the weather inversion. The best they have done is to shut down industrial plants which reduces smog intensity but harms economic output and does not change the inversion.

Nations that are unable to deal with city weather inversions and smog have been convinced by the environmental lobby that they can manage climate change. Climate change is real and ongoing. The cataclysmic climate change of the environmentalist public relations lobby is based on fiction to induce fear in our society and make us beg our government to save us without regard to cost.

The truly frightening thing is that it very nearly worked.

Reconciliation - the perils of imprecise language

Feb. 23, 2020

When our governments use imprecise language, it does not absolve them of responsibility. One term that has gained disproportionate importance during the last decade is “reconciliation”. No one seems to understand exactly what “reconciliation” means. Different people have different interpretations and the lack of precision is detrimental to progress in resolving issues.
    
The Oxford dictionaries describe reconciliation in two ways:

  1. an end to a disagreement or conflict with somebody and the start of a good relationship again, and
  2. the process of making it possible for two different ideas, facts, etc. to exist together without being opposed to each other.

It is arguable that there has never been a good relationship between indigenous and non-indigenous people. Good intentions in some instances have been destroyed by subsequent actions.
    
The failure of our government to clearly articulate its definition of reconciliation is a guarantee of misunderstanding and consternation in talks between two sides.
    
Another phrase that has crept into our language is “the right to protest”. There is no certainty in how this alleged right came to be, or how far it can be taken. Does the right to protest include the right to trespass on private and public lands? Does the right to protest include the right to prevent others from enjoying the benefits of public infrastructure and services?
    
The lack of clarity is unreasonable. Rights include obligations. Without the obligations to keep the peace, to respect the rights of others and to obey the law, we cannot have a peaceful and orderly society. Protests as carried out today are not law-abiding, orderly or peaceful. Protests of that nature are not compatible with our society.
    
A recent and unclear phrase is “unceded territory”. The relations between indigenous people and the British government were set out in the Royal Proclamation, 1763:
    
And whereas it is just and reasonable, and essential to Our Interest and the Security of Our Colonies, that the several Nations or Tribes of Indians, with whom We are connected, and who live under Our Protection, should not be molested or disturbed in the Possession of such Parts of Our Dominions and Territories as, not having been ceded to, or purchased by Us, are reserved to them, or any of them, as their Hunting Grounds; We do therefore, with the Advice of Our Privy Council, declare it to be Our Royal Will and Pleasure, that no Governor or Commander in Chief in any of Our Colonies of Quebec, East Florida, or West Florida, do presume, upon any Pretence whatever, to grant Warrants of Survey, or pass any Patents for Lands beyond the Bounds of their respective Governments, as described in their Commissions; as also, that no Governor or Commander in Chief in any of Our other Colonies or Plantations in America, do presume, for the present, and until Our further Pleasure be known, to grant Warrants of Survey, or pass Patents for any Lands beyond the Heads or Sources of any of the Rivers which fall into the Atlantick Ocean from the West and North-West, or upon any Lands whatever, which, not having been ceded to, or purchased by Us as aforesaid, are reserved to the said Indians, or any of them

     The existence of roads, highways and infrastructure in and on the lands claimed by hereditary chiefs bring claims of unceded lands into question. It is a matter for the federal government and hereditary chiefs to work out with reference to our courts if needed.

     Another undefined phrase in use is “indigenous sovereignty”. Oxford defines sovereignty as complete power to govern a country. This is more than passingly important. Are indigenous people prepared to turn over their governance to the arbitrary rule of hereditary chiefs? Is Canada prepared to allow 1.7 million of her people live without the Charter and Human Rights provisions of our legal system?

     It seems reasonable to require that hereditary indigenous chiefs show clear evidence that the people they claim to represent support them.

     It is puzzling that protest groups can act ‘in solidarity’ with some far removed group. One of the fundamental principles of law is that an action requires an interest of the acting party. One cannot file a legal claim without proving a clear interest in the matter. Ontario indigenous people may support the claims of British Columbia hereditary chiefs but have no legal authority to act on their behalf.

     Our lack of clarity on the above issues result in widely differing interpretations of the meaning of these various phrases and a complete breakdown in communications. Hereditary chiefs are demanding that the RCMP leave the lands they claim to start negotiations and our government is demanding removal of the barricades as a precursor to negotiations. One would think they do not reside on the same planet let alone in the same nation.

     Neither side shows any sign of wanting to reach a reasonable settlement of issues that separate them. Canadians, indigenous and non-indigenous, are aghast at this display of unlawful actions and incompetent response.


     These morons are blocking the way to prosperity for all of us. It is reasonable to conclude that indigenous people should participate in the benefits of resource development and become self-reliant.

     Vested interests, including government agencies, indigenous band chiefs and councils, contractors and others who have enjoyed the spoils of the current system are fighting tooth and nail to ensure that ordinary people do not participate in prosperity.

We need to voice our disgust clearly, loudly and often. Either the parties involved in reconciliation get their act together and report meaningful progress within 30 days or face populist protests that will out the current protests as the well organized but thinly backed nonsense they are.

Environmentalists are running the public relations campaign for the indigenous chiefs and they are very good at what they do. Their aim is to destroy Canada’s economy. They are foreign funded by industrialists who also do not want to see Canada or Canadian prosper. That would infringe on their profits including access to cheap Canadian oil. We need to out these brigands and shut them down.

We must prepare to cast informed votes in the next election. Political parties are not credible or truthful during an election. Their sales pitches do not reflect their performance since the last election. That performance is what counts.

No meeting with ministers until RCMP leave

Feb. 20, 2020

The audacity of this group of hereditary chiefs is breathtaking. Five of the thirteen chiefs have made a claim for sovereignty over 22,000 sq. km. of land with a population of about 2,800 people.

The land claim has not been negotiated or settled. It is a claim which does not consist of an obligation to Canada any more than sending someone a bill puts an obligation on the recipient; there must be some validity of the claim established before an obligation can be recognized.

The notion that a band of traditional indigenous chiefs representing 2,800 people can dictate terms to a nation of 37.5 million people is ludicrous.

What we need in Canada is a version of the New Zealand Waitangi Tribunal to settle issues between indigenous and non-indigenous elements. To be functional the Tribunal must recognize and respect the right of each group to co-exist with the other.

There cannot be an all or nothing battle for control of territory. The Wet’suwet’en cannot claim control over territory without accommodation to Canada respecting infrastructure required to link distant portion of Canada and Canada must accommodate indigenous people to allow free trade and movement in and out of indigenous lands.

What we are witnessing is a clash of arrogant, egotistical, irresponsible brats lusting for power and unconcerned over the impact of their playpen spat on Canada and Canadians. There are no responsible adults involved.

No one has thought the Wet’suwet’en claims through. Refusal to recognize the Canadian legal framework and constitution carries with it removal of the human rights acts and charter of rights and freedoms for residents of the claimed territory. Are we really prepared to allow removal of human rights and freedoms from 2,800 people to satisfy the power aspirations of five hereditary chiefs?

The precedent set by giving in to Wet’suwet’en claims can affect the legal rights and protection for nearly 1.7 million indigenous people in Canada.

Another aspect of this tussle for power is that the Wet’suwet’en have no treaty with Canada but exercise of sovereignty can spill over into treaty protected indigenous people. Success of the Wet’suwet’en claims removes any and all obligation of support by Canada.

A separate, sovereign Wet’suwet’en nation in northern British Columbia cannot be part of Canada. It would be treated the same as any other foreign nation. The Wet’suwet’en nation would have to negotiate allowing highways, railroads, roads and pipelines to run through its territory in exchange for being allowed to travel and trade in and out of its territory and to arrange for education and health care services. Wet’suwet’en people would not be eligible for EI, CPP or Canada pension benefits.

No one in parliament is raising any of these issues. Our Members of Parliament seem content with the media portrayal of Wet’suwet’en claims as a David and Goliath tussle when it has potentially onerous and serious consequences for about 4.5% of our population. We can’t put the legal and personal rights of our indigenous population at risk to satisfy a handful of hereditary egomaniacs in northern British Columbia.

Sanity has fled parliament. We need an election and a reset. The issues raised by the blockades are far too important to allow our government to meet behind closed doors and refuse to tell us how they plan to deal with highly complex issues. The government has not even articulated what the issues are so it is not to be trusted.

 

Truly a case of justice denied

FEb. 19, 2020

One of the requirements of a free and open democracy is a fair, impartial and independent justice system. That no longer exists in Canada. We are governed by a lawless lot.

From the appointment of judges to the refusal to enforce the First Nations Financial Transparency Act to the SNC-Lavalin scandal to the Vice-Admiral Mark Norman scandal, to the current blockade crises, our justice system has government fingerprints all over it.

Prime Minister Trudeau gave gave a speech yesterday stating that it would be totally wrong for a government to order police to enforce the law (complete with a curled lip) which was insulting. Having the government tell police not to enforce court ordered injunctions is equally squalid. The irony escaped Mr. Trudeau and his handlers.

Our Prime Minister, Premiers and various cabinet ministers, federal and provincial must stop mucking about in justice matters. They write the laws. The justice system takes care of enforcement. The justice system is designed as a stand-alone element of our governance and must never become a tool of governments.

Our courts can overturn laws that are inconsistent with our constitution and the charter of rights embodied therein. That protects us from overly onerous laws.

  The Charter of Rights and Freedoms exists to protect us from our governments. When governments interfere in the justice system, they are violating our right to independent and impartial application of the law. Political interference in justice is the norm in totalitarian states. It has become the norm in Canada and that is not acceptable.

Parliament is the oversight body for the federal government. The opposition parties are failing us. The government is interfering with the independence of the justice system. The opposition should not be demanding that the government enforce the law; it should be demanding that the government cease interfering in the justice system.

We spend hundreds of millions employing judges, prosecutors, police chiefs, police officers and support staffs all of whom have acquired extensive experience and skills. They do not need guidance from a cabinet minister recently appointed or a Prime Minister who decries interference in the justice system while he is interfering in the justice system.

You can’t make this stuff up. A government that does not respect the law cannot enforce the law. The protestors are highly organized and include non-indigenous and foreign elements. Support for BC hereditary chiefs is a convenient excuse for disrupting governance.

The real world has caught up with our Prime Minister’s elitist ideologies and finds him unprepared to deal with the nuts and bolts of governance that matters

Ottawa committed to quick, peaceful resolution

Feb. 19, 2020

It is irrelevant what PM Trudeau and his cabinet are committed to. There is another side to the dispute and indigenous people appear to have different commitments.

The road and rail blockade “crises” have shown us a few things:

• Our economy is extremely vulnerable to civil or terrorist disruption.

• Vital transport links are both vulnerable and unprotected.

• Our governments have no plan in place to counter infrastructure disruptions.

• Our governments, federal and provincial, suffer from analysis paralysis.

The federal government just does not “get it”. Making peace with indigenous people is a priority, but expenditures of nearly $20 billion annual without considering reconciliation and consultation costs leaves us wondering what the plan is.

Much more important is protecting our infrastructure, our rail and road networks, from disruption. We need an action plan in place to deal with disruptions quickly and effectively.

Opening a dialogue with protestors is an admission that reconciliation dialogue has broken down. The alternative is that one side or the other is being untruthful. The government penchant for treating us like mushrooms (keeping us in the dark and feeding us manure) is not tolerable.

The huge effort and expense of the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Girls and Women Inquiry has fallen off the radar and we have no information on progress in implementing recommendations. Reconciliation talks seem to have mired down in some impenetrable bureaucratic swamp.

We cannot have confidence that this government can do better. Indigenous and non-indigenous people need action, not endless talk. We need honesty and openness by leaders on both sides. We need to know who speaks for indigenous people – layering competing interests is not acceptable on either side. Some indigenous people have vested interests at play, but so does the government side.

We need a fresh start with a fresh government. The current crises and mismanagement thereof cry for a non-confidence motion in parliament. The spring budget for 2020-21 will soon be tabled and this government should be defeated. Opposition parties that support this government’s spring 2020 budget cannot be trusted with future governance.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trudeau-emergency-group-pipeline-protests-1.5466213

Indigenous Reconciliation 3

Monday, Feb. 17, 2020

The current state of federal government reconciliation efforts makes two things abundantly clear:

1. The federal government has a serious and unavoidable conflict of interest. The indigenous affairs departments spend over $14 billion annual including operating costs. That is a lot of government infrastructure and jobs to protect.

2. There is no respect or trust on either side in the reconciliation process. Indigenous people are done talking. They want to see the action promised by this government and it is not taking place.

The government has squandered its credibility and cannot recover. The only rational way forward for this government is to create a neutral third party Reconciliation Panel to oversee reconciliation efforts. A panel of six provincial appellate court judges presided over by a federal appellate court judge might be able to do the job required.

The Reconciliation Panel must have the power to fund legal assistance to indigenous representatives to ensure a level playing field in reconciliation negotiations. Funding the legal representation for indigenous groups to create a lasting peace and a way forward for all people is a small price to pay.

We are currently funding those legal costs, but in an atmosphere of distrust and suspicion that cannot be allowed to continue. Indigenous and non-indigenous people have lost faith in the ability of this government to deal with reconciliation.

Mishandling of the indigenous file warrants a non-confidence vote in Parliament. We can force an election and starting a healing process. The road and rail blockades were important enough to warrant immediate return of our Prime Minister and a clear plan to deal with social anarchy.
    
Sending Cabinet Ministers off to parlay with indigenous radicals instead of taking action to restore order is a signal that this government does not take maintaining order and peace seriously. We do.

This Prime Minister and government can be replaced with representatives who care more about our future than virtue signalling and preening on the international stage. The PM’s quest for international recognition has gone too far.

Cancelling his trip to the Caribbean now to come home to call a meeting on how to deal with indigenous protests is too little and too late for anyone to believe that he is committed to action on reconciliation.

Indigenous activists have called out the Prime Minister. Perhaps he will not fold up like a cardboard suitcase in a rainstorm but early indications are that he will.

Get John's columns in your e-mail https://mailchi.mp/cfabc3018c46/feldsted-friends

Rail blockades could turn into a full-blown secession crisis

Feb 16, 2020

The government stand that it does not want to “inflame” the blockade situation is pure cowardice. The nation is being blackmailed and we must never agree to pay a ransom to appease a few bullies who are pressing dubious claims of having sovereignty that pre-dates confederation.

As Francis observes, “Such lawlessness has been emboldened since 2015, when Trudeau decided the federal government would not enforce the First Nations Financial Transparency Act.”

Having waived accountability, our government is shovelling funds to indigenous people. 2019-20 transfer spending for Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada:

Transfer payments for Negotiations of Claims and Self-Government Agreements

 
$140,082,583

Transfer payments for Specific Claims

$683,719,699

Transfer payments for Management and Implementation of Agreements and Treaties

 
$1,016,898,027

Transfer payments for Consultation and Accommodation

 
$600,000

Transfer payments for Consultation and Policy Development

 
$33,080,295

Transfer payments for Federal Interlocutor's Contribution Program

 
$79,591,830

Transfer payments for Basic Organizational Capacity

 
$25,285,531

Transfer payments for First Nation Jurisdiction Over Land and Economic Development

 
$80,397,462

Transfer payments for Northern and Arctic Governance and Partnerships

 
$108,867,172

Transfer payments for Individual Affairs

$5,455,720

Transfer payments for Residential Schools Resolution

 
$1,000,000

Transfer payments for Indigenous Entrepreneurship and Business Development

 
$43,670,000

Transfer payments for Economic Development Capacity and Readiness

 
$99,174,478

Transfer payments for Land, Natural Resources and Environmental Management

 
$139,304,896

Transfer payments for Climate Change Adaptation and Clean Energy

 
$32,550,000

Transfer payments for Northern and Arctic Environmental Sustainability

 
$8,956,499

Transfer payments for Northern Contaminated Sites

 
$86,443,610

Transfer payments for Nutrition North

$95,317,628

 

 

TOTAL

 

$2,680,395,430

     

https://www.rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca/eng/1553024114026/1553024172015#sec1 

It appears that about $2 billion of the transfers are to offset legal costs incurred by Indigenous bands. In short, taxpayers are funding Indigenous tribes to sue us. Activists blocking highways and rail lines have good reason to believe the federal government will not hold them to account. This illusion can be dealt with.

Start with arresting and detaining all protestors who engage in the disruption of or access to government or private services. Make a peace bond a condition of bail. Do not impose fines; require a few hundred hours of community service with the alternative of time in jail.
Indigenous hereditary chiefs are trying to impose 17th century rule by kings on a portion of Canada. Like their counterparts in Europe and Africa they live in obscurity dreaming of a day when they can exercise the powers of their ancestors. Royalty in a democracy has a tough road to travel.

Claims by hereditary chiefs that their sovereignty precedes confederation and “colonial law” repeals the human and charter rights of the people living on the lands claimed and negates the common law protections for order and peace.

A successful claim by hereditary chiefs would mean that residents in the area would receive no services or support from the federal and provincial governments they refuse to recognize. Imposing a royal prerogative cuts two ways.

There can be no negotiations with hereditary indigenous chiefs until they can prove conclusively that most residents living on the land that they claim accept the chiefs as their leaders.  

Land claims are one thing and can be argued in court. Claims that inherited rights include the rule of people under royal entitlement is not acceptable in any free world nation. Too much blood has been shed to break the arbitrary rule of kings for us to ever go back to those horrors.

See National Post

 

Evasive mumblespeak from our prime minister

By John Feldsted
Feb. 13, 2020

Our Prime Minister was on television tonight. He had been asked question related to the Canada wide “protests” in respect of the British Columbia pipeline under construction for Costal GasLink.

Mr. Trudeau stated that “everyone has the right to peaceful protest.” Since when? Where is that articulated in our legal system? We have the freedoms of belief and expression and can tell the world that we disagree with building a pipeline or anything else if we wish to.

We are not entitled to a public platform to express our views. If many of us want to get together and hold a parade to express our common views, we apply for permit and obey regulations to hold our parade. Holding an impromptu “protest” on busy streets during rush hour is not “peaceful protest”.

Camping on a railway track in Bellville, Ontario about 4,600 kilometres and 45 hours driving from where the pipeline is under construction and disrupting passenger and rail traffic is not “peaceful protest”, it is anarchy. The “protesters” are the essence of spoiled brats – demanding, despotic, discontent, ill mannered, unsatisfied and useless.

Our freedoms and rights have limits. We cannot exercise freedoms and rights that infringe on anyone else’s freedoms and rights. The common law expression is “A’s rights end at the tip of B’s nose.”  

If A exercises rights that infringe on B’s normal activities A is no longer protected under rights legislation. A has crossed a line and is now acting illegally. A’s freedoms of belief and expression do not give him licence to sermonize in B’s living room.
Media misrepresentation of the issues is not helpful. News anchors refer to indigenous lands which is incorrect. Lands claimed by hereditary chiefs are lands in dispute; no settlement has been made and the claim does not constitute ownership.

“Protesters” have been interviewed and come up with some pretty bizarre claims such as: “We were here long before confederation, so we do not recognize colonial laws and tribe councils.” That has not been though through. That is a claim to separate sovereignty. It is a claim to give up all current relations with Canada and operate as a foreign nation.

That means hard borders between the land claimed and Canada and no one in or put without passing through customs, loss of Canadian passports, no access to Canadian currency, and so on. The disputed territory would have to create and enforce its own laws and create its own economy. There is no evidence that the people the hereditary chiefs claim to represent would support such drastic action.

Our Prime Minister is so steeped in politically correct ‘progressiveness’ that he cannot call a spade a spade and deal with it for fear of being accused of demeaning dark skinned people - again. We are stuck living in a bad farce presentation in some obscure revue. We can be forgiven for wondering how we wound up on a different planet where everything is backward and upside down.

The root of all this is the federal departments of Indigenous Services Canada and Indian Affairs and Northern Development. It is difficult to find out what they spend, but a couple of hours sleuthing revealed expenditures of about $16 billion. That does not include operational costs of Indigenous Services which I could not find. Those are not sums spent on indigenous people because they include operational costs – offices, personnel and expenses.

That is a lot of bureaucracy and jobs to protect. Having Indigenous Services in charge of indigenous reconciliation is one of the worst cases of conflict of interest imaginable.
Indigenous people have legitimate concerns we need to address. They have been badly treated for decades and deserve better. Indian Affairs is a big part of the problem. We cannot fix problems under the Indian Act and using Indian Affairs. We must admit we have failed and reset the clock.                           

At the very least we need a Reconciliation Agency independent of government and reporting to Parliament. Agency members should represent the business and social community and be appointed by the Governor General.

We need adult to adult negotiations with indigenous people to resolve issues. Indigenous people must decide who will represent them in negotiations. The notion that a handful of hereditary chiefs in northern British Columbia speak for or represent the entire indigenous community across the nation is breathtakingly insane. Our government is allowing these chiefs to drive the reconciliation agenda and Canadians are fed up with the spineless twits in charge.

Trudeau says UN Security Council seat would up Canada’s global game

Feb. 10, 2020

Let’s get one thing straight. A temporary (two year term) seat on the Security Council is not worth much and has very little impact on United Nations affairs. The security Council has fifteen members:

Permanent members (each with veto power):
   China
   France
   Great Britain
   Russia
   United States.
Rotating Term members:
   Belgium (2020)
   Dominican Republic (2020)
   Estonia (2021)
   Germany (2020)
   Indonesia (2020)
   Niger (2021)
   Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (2021)
   South Africa (2020)
   Tunisia (2021)
   Vietnam (2021)
   
Germany and Indonesia are being replaced this year, but the rotating term members are not a “Who’s Who” of world leaders.

Any resolution raised by Security Council members or forwarded from the UN General Assembly can be quashed by any one of the five permanent members and often is.

There is a good deal of cost to holding a Security Council seat and it is not a venue where Canada can raise equality, human rights, women’s rights, worker’s rights or other issues dear to Trudeau’s heart with any hope of success.

General Assembly resolutions condemning Israel, usually sponsored by the African nations,  Trudeau is campaigning is common and regular. Does this represent a shift in Canada’s foreign policy?

The objective of the five permanent members is to protect their geopolitical aspirations first and always. The members are often clandestinely funding and supporting opposite sides in an internal skirmish or civil war.

The result is a failure to prevent or stop armed conflicts even though civilian populations pay the price in displacement from their homes, injuries or deaths. We have millions of people displaced fleeing conflicts or persecution. That is precisely what the UN was created to prevent, and the organization is a colossal failure.

Instead of being guardian of a peaceful orderly world with minimal conflict, the United Nations has evolved into a socialist paradise with the aim of wealth redistribution to ensure that we all suffer an equal share of misery and poverty while ruled by unaccountable bureaucrats in the UN system.

The United Nations was not created to preside over global warning. UN Bureaucrats saw global warming predictions as an opportunity to punish industrialized nations for their success and a means to transfer wealth to the third world. It is really a taxation scheme to fund foreign aid without the consent of the funding nation’s governments. That is what the penalties for failing to meet Paris Agreement emission reduction targets are all about. The first attempt to spell out the penalties, which are supposed to take effect this year failed as industrialized nation would not agree to the terms.
   
The UN is going to try to set penalties again at the next Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland (COP 26) November 9-19. 2020. Hang on to your wallets!

There is no prestige in supporting this exercise in communism lite; only increasing expense to us and our economy which we do not need or want. It is time to tell the United Nations farewell; we loved it for the hope it offered when it was formed but cannot abide what it has become.

Hand wringing over climate change a waste of energy

Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020

The soaring costs of the Trans Mountain pipeline project to $12.6 billion is no surprise. Some costs are due to regulations to give the impression that the government is doing something useful and others to buying peace with indigenous tribes.

It is what it is. Moaning over government blunders on the Trans-Mountain file is useless. We must learn from the errors and not repeat them.

     Our government has decided that reducing carbon emissions is the single most important issue facing Canada and Canadians. It is the ideological, impractical nonsense most recently perpetrated by the powers using Greta Thunberg as their carefully groomed “spokesperson”. No one seems to catch on that Greta’s speeches are artfully written professional public relations pieces far beyond the experience and knowledge of a teenager. Her language is not the language of a schoolgirl.

     Our approach to climate change is childish, ill-conceived, thoughtless, ‘let’s get on the band-wagon’ nonsense. Our governments, provincial and federal should be asking themselves what a logical, practical and reasonable approach to this issue is. That would be real leadership as opposed to the “us too” knee-jerk response we are employing.   

The practical and useful approach would be to recognize that the Trans-Mountain pipeline project (and other similar ventures) are required for a healthy, robust economy that can sustain our standard of living and produce funding for research into feasible methods of carbon emission reductions. The challenge is to proceed with using the best technology available to minimize environmental risk and ensure that we have the resources available to deal with any accident effectively and quickly.

There is nothing the government of Canada can do that will have the slightest effect on climate change. Environmental concerns, protection of our air, land and water, are entirely separate from climate change.

Even if we accept that carbon emission plays a role in climate change, Canada’s insignificant emissions and even less significant reduction in emission will not stop an evolution driven by forces we do not understand and have not even bothered to investigate.

Combatting climate change has a “save the world” ring to it that makes for grand public relations releases, endless photo opportunities and much preening and posturing, but we are going into combat with a broken stick while stealing the hopes and dreams of school children and our younger generations. We should be ashamed of ourselves for allowing it.

Trudeau faces tough ride campaigning in Africa

0207 - What are government ministers and our Prime Minister doing “campaigning” in Africa at our expense? There is no tangible benefit for Canada or Canadians in this endeavour.

Canada’s gross national income is about $1.679 trillion dollars. We are not spending quite 0.3% on African development or just under $5 billion annually. 

The United Nations wants Canada to hit a target of 0.7% or $11,753 billion. That is an increase of about $6.7 billion per year drawn out of our economy. This government is projecting a deficit of $19.8 billion for the current fiscal year. Someone is rowing madly with one oar in the water. This is insane.

Africa, with its 54 voting countries, is a kingmaker of sorts in the secret ballot at the UN General Assembly’s 190-plus countries.”

This is an assembly of kingdoms, theocracies, dictatorships and tyrannies that rule with iron fists and have dismal human rights records. Funds intended for development wind up in the bank accounts of the leaders and their top officials. There are only 39 true democracies in the UN, heavily  outnumbered by third world nations seeking handouts. It is one more reason to shun the Useless Nations.  

We have serious domestic issues that need our government’s undivided attention. We have pipelines to build, a multi-billion dollar oilsands project waiting for a green light, indigenous reconciliation has driven off a cliff, provinces are at odds with the federal government, domestic debt has reach all-time highs, millions of Canadians are one paycheque away from insolvency, combined federal and provincial debt has reached $1.5 trillion dollars and our government is spending lavishly seeking the prestige of a seat on the United Nations Security Council.

Prestige won’t fill bellies, create jobs, build infrastructure, or solve any of our pressing problems. Our government has lost focus on what is important to us. We need a sense of personal safety and security, knowledge that hard work will be rewarded, hope for a better future for our children, and the sanity of governments committed to make that happen.

The evidence is growing that we have lost our way and are headed for calamity. Our future, our fiscal and social security and standard of living are all at risk. The pablum and platitudes governments hand us can’t hide the cracks in the hull. Our ship of state is in distress and no one in manning the pumps.

Outrage is growing and will not be pretty when it bursts the bindings of our usual decorum, deference and politeness.

Our Prime Minister must be told to mind his own business as it is sorely in need of attention.

 

Indigenous reconcilliation is a constitutional mess

By John Feldsted

One of the cardinal rules of business and government is that the failure to act inevitably leads to unexpected consequences and a loss of control. Events take over control and the narrative.

This has never been more evident than in the Trans-Mountain (and Energy East) pipeline fiascoes. Without clear direction from the federal government, towns, provinces and indigenous tribes have all assumed jurisdiction they do not constitutionally enjoy and have mounted legal actions that have resulted in months (growing into years) of delays and tens (growing into hundreds) of millions in costs. The Courts are gradually sorting out the jurisdictional questions, but that is painfully slow.

     In the meantime, our economy takes a hit. Investors shun instability and pipeline and resource construction are neither stable nor predictable. Added to that is the expense of multiple legal battles which all comes from general revenues and leaves less for services that governments are obliged to provide.

Adding to the chaos, the government has introduced environmental law without due consideration of constitutional jurisdiction or economic impact. The provinces have constitutional jurisdiction over development of non-renewable resources including environmental regulation of that development. Federal conflict with provinces has never been greater.
    

Government failure to give more than lip service to indigenous reconciliation, treaty rights, self-governance and other promises and initiatives is appalling. The rift between the government and indigenous tribes has never been greater. The federal government has sole jurisdiction over “Indians and Indian Lands” according to the constitution, but federal efforts to decant its responsibilities for education, health care and welfare to the provinces has resulted in provinces dealing directly with indigenous bands adding to the overall mess that indigenous relations have become.

This government has no plan for maintaining the well-being and quality of life Canada and her residents enjoy. Chasing boutique issues such as climate change and dictates of world governance such as the United Nations is not in our best interests. Plans to adopt the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People without consulting with Canadians or indigenous people is not progressive. It is another failure of our government to govern; to take responsibility for the well-being of the people it is elected to serve.

We must prepare to cast informed votes in the next election. Political parties are not credible or truthful during an election. Their sales pitches do not reflect their performance since the last election. That performance is what counts.

Chasing UN prestige is the road to ruin for Canada.

John Feldsted

A group of large frogs in a small puddle are convinced that their croaking can shake and shape world affairs. They rule with the haughtiness of anointed royalty, forgetting they are elected to and serve in a constitutional monarchy with serious constitutional obligations to Canada’s people.

This cadre within our federal government has its heart set on a seat on the UN Security Council and is spending billions in its efforts. Besides a squadron of bureaucrats campaigning full time on gaining a seat, the cadre is spending billions in foreign aid to enhance its image in UN ranks.
A Security Council seat entails limited power. Any resolution that Canada puts forward or supports can be vetoed by any of the big five members of the Council; it is a prestige position of very limited practical use for Canada or Canadians.

The same government has pronounced that global warming or climate change is the most important element of governance in Canada. Our economy, social well-being, deteriorating legal system, health care and high taxation levels are elbowed aside to appeasing the UN gods of climate change.

That would be less ludicrous if the government made any effort to verify the Professor Michael Mann's “hockey stick” calculations that underpin global warming hysteria, but they have not. Numerous prestigious scientists have tested Professor Mann’s calculations and find they are not credible.

In addition, the same scientists have tested climate change projection models and found them to be manipulated to produce results that are neither credible nor reasonable.

Finally, the reductions in carbon emissions that are alleged to slow, or halt climate change is a world-wide problem. All major emitters must reduce emission in lock-step for the plan to succeed. There is no evidence that nations are cooperating to reduce emissions.

World carbon emissions are increasing, not decreasing, and expected to hit 36.8 billion metric tons (40.6 billion U.S. tons) in 2019.

https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-fossil-fuel-emissions-in-2018-increasing-at-fastest-rate-for-seven-years
https://news.stanford.edu/2019/12/03/global-carbon-emission-increase/

 Canada, with an estimated 1.6% of world emissions or about 617.6 million metric tons is not a carbon threat. Even if we reduce our emissions by 20% to 494 MMT, the decrease of 123.5 MMT would have a negligible 0.3% (3/10 of 1%) effect on world emissions while the reduction risks driving us into a deep recession or probably a depression with an enormous impact on our standard of living. We are risking economic security chasing an unachievable scheme.

 Destroying our economy is the hidden agenda behind the UN global warming scheme and our government is a willing partner in the venture rather then standing up for Canada’s best interests.

 We must return to behaving like the sovereign nation we are rather then chasing the United Nations globalist agenda. The UN is unelected and unaccountable, notable mostly for its failure to meet its mandate of keeping world peace. That was the objective of forming the organization before it was taken over by dictators and tyrants representing the warring nations who have driven over 70 million people to leave their country of origin because of conflict, war or persecution.

We must prepare to cast informed votes in the next election. Political parties are not credible or truthful during an election. Their sales pitches do not reflect their performance since the last election. That performance is what counts.

Trudeau's posturing not helpful in Ukraine investigation

Jan. 17, 2020

A "furious" Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Iran must conduct open investigation into downing of Ukrainian jet. This from a Prime Minister who stonewalled investigations into the SNC-Lavalin and Vice-Admiral Norman affairs.

The usual aircraft crash investigation is an exercise in futility. Iran has admitted to ‘mistakenly’ shooting down the aircraft with surface to air missiles. Painstakingly sorting through the debris to establish the cause of the crash is wasted time and effort.
How the ‘mistake’ was made is an Iranian affair, and the Prime Minister is dreaming if he thinks outside observers will be invited to participate in an internal military investigation.

There are treaties for compensation for crash victims of international airlines where the airline is found at fault but that would not apply in this case. The civil aviation act prohibits member nations from shooting down a civilian aircraft but does not address the compensation issue.

The families of victims have few legal recourses. Apparently the Ukraine and Iran are engaged in negotiations for compensation for victims’ families.

Canada’s posturing on the issue does not change the facts faced by victim’s families other than to raise false hopes of compensation that may take years or may not materialize.
The notion that compensation will ease the sense of loss and grief overwhelming victim’s families, friends and loved ones is cynical. Each of us processes the sudden and unexpected loss of a loved one differently.

There is no magic elixir that can deal with lives turned topsy-turvy in an instant. Grief shared is a temporary balm for those left bewildered but then come months of rebuilding lives in a new and vastly different reality.

Canada needs to tone down the rhetoric and focus on immediate needs of families such as assistance in identifying bodies and arranging for Canadian victims to be returned to their families as quickly as possible. We don’t know what forensic facilities Iran has, and we have expertise that can help. DNA matching is complex but may be the only way to identify victims of a fiery crash. Victim ID may require multi-national cooperation. Angry accusations are not helpful.

Supreme Court begins hearing Trans Mountain case today

By John Feldsted

0116 – Canada's high court will hear arguments Thursday on whether British Columbia can stop Alberta from shipping heavy oil through the Trans Mountain pipeline without a permit.

This is good news for Canada, and a good step in sorting out jurisdiction over inter-provincial infrastructure projects. There is little doubt that such works are under federal jurisdiction. One province cannot block projects that are to the benefit of other provinces or to Canada as a whole.

The federal government has the power to declare a work within a province as beneficial to Canada and take jurisdiction from a province. A petrochemical refinery and a facility producing medical radioisotopes would be two examples, irrespective of where they are located.

Premier John Horgan’s arrogance is breathtaking. He has announced that the UN Indigenous rights declaration will become law in BC. The bone-headed “progressive” thinking has the capacity to turn our constitution and rule of law in Canada on its head.

It is impossible to implement a UN declaration that provides indigenous people with the power to override federal and provincial jurisdictions, obligations and legislation. That in turn gives way the lie that indigenous self-government is possible within out legal framework.

Indigenous self-government requires recognition of indigenous people as a separate nation. There would have to be negotiations between Canada and the indigenous nation to set boundaries between the two and to implement a host of agreements on trade, passports, extradition, in short a combination of the treaties that established boundaries between Canada and the USA and all of the treaties we have with other sovereign nations.

Self-governance carries with it the obligations and responsibilities of any other sovereign nation. The notion that indigenous people can enjoy self-governance subsidized by Canadian taxpayers is not workable. Either indigenous people enjoy the protection of treaties made with the British government or the framework proposed by the UN but cannot have both.

SCC Case 38682 is scheduled for today at 9:30 a.m. Eastern time and will be live broadcast. It will be most interesting.

Saskatchewan vs Canada, Case 38863 is set for hearing March 24, and Ontario vs Canada, case 38781 is set for March 25. Both relate to carbon tax jurisdiction.

We must prepare to cast informed votes in the next election. Political parties are not credible or truthful during an election. Their sales pitches do not reflect their performance since the last election. That performance is what counts.

John Feldsted is a political commentator, consultant and strategist
from Winnipeg.

 

 

There is no climate emergency

By John Feldsted
Jan. 4, 2020

It is inconceivable that our government chooses to ignore warnings from 500 eminent scientists that the IPCC global warming climate models and the dire warnings emanating therefrom are deficient and unreliable. These scientists have challenged the United Nations to convene a meeting of scientists to address the faults of the IPCC climate change models.


I cannot add anything significant to their position. Like many others, I am fearful that our government is allowing itself to be stampeded into actions that will be harmful to our economy and standard of living without employing due diligence in examining all causes of climate change. That is the least we should expect from our governments.

Wrenching changes to the drivers of our economy cannot be done on a whim, or worse, done at the behest of an unelected and unaccountable non-government agency.  

Please see the extract below and the references. 

A global network of 500 scientists and professionals has prepared this urgent message. Climate science should be less political, while climate policies should be more scientific. Scientists should openly address the uncertainties and exaggerations in their predictions of global warming, while politicians should dispassionately count the real benefits as well as the imagined costs of adaptation to global warming, and the real costs as well as the imagined benefits of mitigation.
Natural as well as anthropogenic factors cause warming .

The geological archive reveals that Earth’s climate has varied as long as the planet has existed, with natural cold and warm phases. The Little Ice Age ended as recently as 1850. Therefore, it is no surprise that we now are experiencing a period of warming. Only very few peer-reviewed papers even go so far as to say that recent warming is chiefly anthropogenic. 
Warming is far slower than predicted.

The world has warmed at less than half the originally-predicted rate, and at less than half the rate to be expected on the basis of net anthropogenic forcing and radiative imbalance. It tells us that we are far from understanding climate change.
Climate policy relies on inadequate models.

Climate models have many shortcomings and are not remotely plausible as policy tools. Moreover, they most likely exaggerate the effect of greenhouse gases such as CO2. In addition, they ignore the fact that enriching the atmosphere with CO2 is beneficial.
CO2 is plant food, the basis of all life on Earth.

CO2 is not a pollutant. It is essential to all life on Earth. Photosynthesis is a blessing. More CO2 is beneficial for nature, greening the Earth: additional CO2 in the air has promoted growth in global plant biomass. It is also good for agriculture, increasing the yields of crops worldwide.
Global warming has not increased natural disasters

There is no statistical evidence that global warming is intensifying hurricanes, floods, droughts and suchlike natural disasters, or making them more frequent. However, CO2-mitigation measures are as damaging as they are costly. For instance, wind turbines kill birds and insects, and palm-oil plantations destroy the biodiversity of the rain forests.
Climate policy must respect scientific and economic realities.

There is no climate emergency. Therefore, there is no cause for panic and alarm. We strongly oppose the harmful and unrealistic net-zero CO2 policy proposed for 2050. If better approaches emerge, we will have ample time to reflect and adapt. The aim of international policy should be to provide reliable and affordable energy at all times, and throughout the world.


Our advice to political leaders is that science should strive for a significantly better understanding of the climate system, while politics should focus on minimizing potential climate damage by prioritizing adaptation strategies based on proven and affordable technologies.


References: https://clintel.nl/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/ED-brochureversieNWA4.pdf

https://www.aei.org/carpe-diem/there-is-no-climate-emergency-say-500-experts-in-letter-to-the-united-nations/

https://business.financialpost.com/opinion/open-climate-letter-to-un-secretary-general-current-scientific-knowledge-does-not-substantiate-ban-ki-moon-assertions-on-weather-and-climate-say-125-scientists 

We must prepare to cast informed votes in the next election. Political parties are not credible or truthful during an election. Their elections sales pitches do not reflect their performance since the last election. That performance is what counts.

John Feldsted is a political commentator, consultant and strategistfrom Winnipeg.

 

A gathering of the wounded

By John Feldsted

Nov 15, 2019

Prime Minister Trudeau has announced that the House of Commons will resume sitting December 5th. Without further changes, the House will recess for Christmas on Friday, Dec 13 and will not return until Jan 27, 2020. That is 7 working days of the first 97 following the election.

     The Liberals are hiding from the opposition instead of exercising the “mandate” Trudeau has been bragging about. They took a shellacking, losing 20 seats and were not elected on their policies or record. Trudeau ran for office based on not being Rob Ford in Ontario and not being a Canadian in Quebec (he claims to be a Quebecer!).
 

 This was an election only the Conservatives could lose, and they did. They were invisible for much of the pre-writ campaign and failed to define themselves prior to the writ drop. When Scheer was challenged on moral values, he was outraged, answered petulantly and lost the election. He could not turn the narrative back from abortion and gay rights to the dismal Liberal record. The campaign lost focus and left Scheer with a dismayed and divided post election party.
    

Post 2011 the conservatives are the worst strategists ever. Those who want to dump Scheer could not engineer a caucus revolt to do the dirty deed. Waiting until a mid-April convention to hold a vote on dumping Scheer is political suicide version 2020.  
    

The NDP survived the election, losing 15 seats in the process and sliding to 4th place in party standings. Singh put on a stellar performance during the writ period, reassured the party base that he was worthy of support and avoided party anhelation. He won on personality, not on policy; he must remember that.
    

The BQ increased its presence by 22 seats and moved from 12.8% to 41% in Quebec, but that only from 3% to 9.5% nationally. Blanchet is basking in what he interprets as a resurgence of Quebec sovereignist sentiment, but he is in for a rude shock if he demands more Quebec autonomy or threatens another referendum.
    

The Greens remain a fringe and Elizabeth May is going to be best remembered as Mighty Mouth. According to May, the Greens are the only ones who understand the science underlying climate change. We would all be eternally grateful if she would enlighten Dr. Michael Mann and sort out the fools at the IPCC.
    

The People’s Party bombed in its first outing. Maxime Bernier lost his seat. Whether the PPC will become history or not depends on the strength of the conservative party between now and the next election. If Scheer and the CPC don’t move to become a force to be reckoned with, dissidents will move to the PPC. Those who stayed with the CPC to ensure a conservative majority will not give the party a second chance without a positive Scheer makeover.
    

In place of a new parliament with strong and feisty parties greeting us in 2020, we will have a collection of the walking wounded, having bloodied one another over the summer and fall while managing to thoroughly disgust most of the electorate. The ranks of the elected reek of defeat. None of them can honestly claim to have a mandate to speak for the people. They have lost a lot of respect.
   

2020 will be a test of which political party can manage to reconnect with the public and secure support o replace derision. An enterprising sort could make a fortune selling overripe tomatoes and weeks old eggs at the MP’s entrance to parliament. If all they are going to do is hurl insults at one another, we might as well make it worth watching.

Democracy is a participatory event; every election
is decided by the people who show up to vote.

Censorship – political correctness in overdrive

By John Feldsted
Political Commentator

    In our increasingly insane world, the protectors of political correctness are in overdrive banishing any comment they find offensive.
     Readers have pointed our that Don Cherry’s full quote is "You people love … you people that come here, whatever it is, you love our way of life".
     He did aim his comments at immigrants. That does not translate into racism. Either most immigrants observe Remembrance Day, or they do not. Cherry is of the opinion that they do not. He is entitled to his opinion, honestly held beliefs and entitled to tell the truth as he sees it. 
     Some media articles claim that Cherry is racist and others that he is anti-immigrant which is silly. It seems that Cherry offended some people which is not unlawful.
     Roger’s, which owns Sportsnet went into apoplexy, apologizing profusely for Cherry’s comments and making it abundantly clear that his views did not reflect the views of Sportsnet. What are the social standards and values of Sportsnet, and more importantly, why should they matter?
     Sportsnet is part of our mainstream media and its comments are protected under the Charter Section 2 (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication; The protection is there because our media is obliged to air and publish controversial opinion to ensure issues are thoroughly discussed and debated and which some people will inevitably find offensive.
     The notion that Rogers or any other media outlet can invent standards that avoid publishing opinion that it deems to be controversial should result in withdrawal of its broadcast licenses. Mainstream media outlets are not the conscience of the nation or administrators of what the public should and should not be exposed to.
     The scope of the Rogers network is breathtaking. Rogers owns
           11 conventional TV stations;
           10 specialty and pay TV stations;
             2 community cable stations;
             1 TV production station;
           27 radio stations
           33 magazines
             3 online publications;
             4 shuttered online publications
             1 publications research service;
             8 sports teams;
             1 Arena
             Naming rights to 2 other arenas
             Cable television serving communities in Ontario, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador, and a small portion of Quebec.
             Rogers High-Speed Internet (Also known as Rogers Yahoo! High-Speed Internet)
             Rogers Video & Rogers Plus
             Rogers Home Phone; Rogers Telecom; Rogers Telecom Holdings Inc. & Futureway     Communications (FCI Broadband)
             Metro Ethernet - Blink Communications & Atria Networks
             Rogers Wireless; Fido/Microcell; Chatr; Mobilicity; Rogers Hotspots - WiFi hotspot
service installed in venues across Canada
             OutRank by Rogers
             Rogers Bank
             Rogers Smart Home Monitoring
     Rogers, as well as its major competitors, have, through their subsidiaries and co-ownerships, a huge ability to shape public opinion through editorial manipulations.
     Don Cherry has not said anything that he must apologize for. At the very worst, he upset some people. Too bad. Thin-skinned virtue signallers are not setting our social standards and values. If Cherry made unlawful comments, deal with it properly, in the correct venue. If he made no breach of law, stop pretending he did. He is not obliged to bow to political correctness.
     Sportsnet parted ways with Don Cherry for making remarks it deemed offensive to its audience. That should result in a review of the broadcast license for the outlet. The media should not be choosing what is and is not suitable commentary for broadcast. If Mr. Cherry’s comments violated the charter of rights and freedoms or the human rights act, deal with him accordingly. If his comments are not unlawful, why are people cheering his dismissal from Sportsnet?
     We are not living in an era where crowds decide by a show of thumbs whether a gladiator should live or die. Our freedoms of thought, belief, opinion and expression are valueless if they can be censored or stifled by media mavens or a minority claiming to speak for the people.
     There is more at play here than irritation at the rant of a cranky old man. Don Cherry can be a pompous, bombastic, irritating pain in the butt but if he can be censored for comments a broadcaster finds offensive, none of us are protected from similar abuse. We did not fight for rights and freedoms to see them trampled by small groups of activists and virtue signalling idiots.
     We issue licenses to publish public opinion, not to limit or shape public opinion. Publishers and broadcasters who will not entertain dissenting opinion are not fulfilling their charter protected public duty. The licensing regime must extend to wire services that are notorious for publishing biased reviews of current issues.

Democracy is a participatory event; every election
is decided by the people who show up to vote.

Student housing may be why you can’t afford rent

By John Feldsted

1008 - Housing is a provincial jurisdiction and affordability is confined mostly to our larger cities. Federal politicians can solve the problem, but they don’t have the backbone to do what is required.  

Housing for university students (including over 430,000 foreign students) drives up rents. Housing for immigrants (arriving at an average rate of about 300,000 per year) drives up rents. Each new wave of immigrants requires housing that is not being built for them.

The homeless, immigrants, modest income pensioners, students, welfare recipients and the working poor are not going to go away. They did not create the housing shortages.

 The central bank’s low interest rates are the main cause of the problem. Low interest rates allow people to carry large mortgages; raising interest rates will result in an affordability crunch and a long overdue downward adjustment in home values. Low interest rates inhibit savings. People are less likely to save when they get a negligible interest return on their savings.

A home value decrease will result in diminished property tax income and a financial crunch for cities. When home prices crashed in the US as a result of the sub-prime mortgage fiasco towns and cities were hardest hit.

Our fiscal house is in disarray. Low interest rates, intended to stimulate the economy, have the opposite effect, encouraging consumer debt while discouraging savings.

We need two separate interest rates; one for consumers and a separate rate for commercial lending.

Banks and other lenders offering mortgages will find their assets diminish with the adjustment and must not receive bailouts. Instead, governments need to provide protection for municipalities adversely affected by a reduction in home values. Cities provide the basic services that make their areas livable. Basic infrastructure and services must be maintained.

We have solutions for affordable housing. Making the needed changes will be painful for cities, politicians and many homeowners with large mortgages and little equity in expensive homes. They will be faced with mortgages larger than their devalued homes are worth. The current housing market is ridiculously overpriced and sustained by artificially low interest rates.     

Until governments raise interest rates and deal with a housing market value adjustment, affordable housing will remain an unachievable dream.                        

 
******************************

Article from HuffPost
Student Housing in Canada is Being Ignored,

and it Might be Why You Can’t Afford Rent

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/student-housing-shortage-canada_ca_5d98fe89e4b03b475f9a3431?ncid=newsletter-Canada%20Weekend%20100619&utm_campaign=canada_newsletter_Canada%20Weekend%20100619

 

The Great Debate wasn’t great

By John Feldsted

1008 - With a couple of million others, I watched the two-hour marathon of verbal mayhem and am not impressed. We were hoping to get some insight into who we can trust to lead the nation for the next four years and left disappointed. There were no knockout blows and no clear winner.

Andrew Scheer and Jagmeet Singh faired best.

Singh was at ease, comfortable, managed to make a joke or two and overall refrained from constantly attacking his opponents. He scored points by being conciliatory on important issues.

Sheer weathered a storm of attacks with aplomb and mostly provided measured and reasonable responses. He lost some points by overdoing attacks on Trudeau.

It doesn’t dawn on any of the contenders that we don’t care what they think of their opponents and their opponent’s platforms. We have minds of our own and can assess party platforms. One thing that bothered me was the continual references to the Harper government. Mr. Harper was defeated in 2015 and Trudeau has held the reigns of power for the past four years. What Harper did or didn’t do is irrelevant. He is not running for office.
 
The same holds true of continual references to conservative provincial leaders. The provinces and federal governments have separate powers and responsibilities. Childcare, education, health care and housing are all under provincial jurisdiction. The leaders do no one favours by raising these issues in a federal election campaign as if these are topics the federal government can deal with.

I did note that at one point, Trudeau stated that Harper had stopped meeting with Premiers. It was Trudeau’s father Pierre who removed the requirement for an annual first minister’s meeting from the constitution when it was amended in 1982.

Elizabeth May lost points by insisting we face a climate crisis every time she spoke. She was adamant that we must take drastic action to combat climate change and that everyone must be on board. It did not occur to her that her plan cannot be implemented in a democracy. Requiring us all to adopt her climate change ideology can only happen in a dictatorship. I will pass on that one.

Trudeau exhibited a “deer in the headlights” look when confronted and responded with his usual talking points. He is an accomplished actor and seemed to sense that he was losing his audience.  

Scheer scored points when he confronted Trudeau about his statement that the initial Globe and Mail story on SNC-Lavalin was not true and later when he accused Trudeau of “donning a different mask” when he was dealing with each of a variety of issues. Trudeau claimed to be a champion of indigenous rights but fired the first indigenous Attorney General in Canada for doing her job. He claimed to be a feminist and champion of women’s rights but fired two competent women who dared to disagree with him.

*****

 The moderators bombed. We lost about a half hour of debate when moderators allowed participants to talk over one another resulting in unintelligible gibberish. Time allotted for “free exchanges” was a waste. None of those segments were helpful in determining who to trust.

I am not sure that Scheer managed to convince viewers that he is a rational and trustworthy alternative to Trudeau. As I said above, the mayhem of the debate made it difficult to reach any clear conclusion. My conclusion at the end of the debate is that I fear for the future of our nation.
 

Climate change dishonesty

John Feldsted

1008 - Watching the “Great Debate” last evening gave me the chills. Our “leaders” are really followers. They are not interested in acting in the best interests of Canada and her people. They are blindly following IPCC warnings without critical analysis.

Few Canadians are aware that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) adopted in Rio in 1992, Article 2 states:
 

"Climate change" means a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) studies only the effects of alleged “human activity” ignoring all other factors that influence our planet and its climate. That presents a major problem as we cannot measure the influence of “human activity” without a knowledge and understanding of the non-human influences on climate. We have no knowledge of the proportion that human activity makes of overall climate change factors.
      The public has the impression that IPCC calculations and predictions are based on a study of the entire range of climate influences when that is not accurate.

Even fewer Canadians are aware that a group of 500 eminent climate scientist and professionals have written to the United Nations pointing out that there is no climate emergency and asking for an open debate on climate change in early 2020. If our political leaders are unaware of these factors and developments, they are derelict in their duties. Their failure to inform the public is unacceptable.

A copy of the letter to the United Nations is reproduced below:

*******************************
From: Professor Guus Berkhout
guus.berkhout@clintel.org

23 September 2019


Sr. António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations,
United Nations Headquarters,
New York, NY 10017,
United States of America.
 
Ms. Patricia Espinosa Cantellano, Executive Secretary,
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,
UNFCCC Secretariat, UN Campus, Platz der Vereinten Nationen 1,53113
Bonn, Germany
 
Your Excellencies,
There is no climate emergency
A global network of more than 500 knowledgeable and experienced scientists and professionals in climate and related fields have the honor to address to Your Excellencies the attached European Climate Declaration, for which the signatories to this letter are the national ambassadors.
The general-circulation models of climate on which international policy is at present founded are unfit for their purpose. Therefore, it is cruel as well as imprudent to advocate the squandering of trillions of dollars on the basis of results from such immature models. Current climate policies pointlessly and grievously undermine the economic system, putting lives at risk in countries denied access to affordable, reliable electrical energy.
We urge you to follow a climate policy based on sound science, realistic economics and genuine concern for those harmed by costly but unnecessary attempts at mitigation.
We ask you to place the Declaration on the agenda of your imminent New York session.
We also invite you to organize with us a constructive high-level meeting between world-class scientists on both sides of the climate debate early in 2020. Such a meeting would be consistent with the historically proven principles of sound science and natural justice that both sides should be fully and fairly heard. Audiatur et altera pars!
Please let us know your thoughts how we bring about such a momentous joint meeting.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Guus Berkhout The Netherlands Professor Richard Lindzen USA
Professor Reynald du Berger French Canada Professor Ingemar Nordin Sweden
Terry Dunleavy New Zealand Jim O’Brien Irish Republic
Viv Forbes Australia Professor Alberto Prestininzi Italy
Professor Jeffrey Foss English Canada Professor Benoît Rittaud France
Morten Jødal Norway Professor Fritz Vahrenholt Germany
Rob Lemeire Belgium Monckton of Brenchley UK
Ambassadors of the European Climate Declaration
*********************

There is no climate emergency
      A global network of 500 scientists and professionals has prepared this urgent message. Climate science should be less political, while climate policies should be more scientific. Scientists should openly address the uncertainties and exaggerations in their predictions of global warming, while politicians should dispassionately count the real benefits as well as the imagined costs of adaptation to global warming, and the real costs as well as the imagined benefits of mitigation.

Natural as well as anthropogenic factors cause warming.
      The geological archive reveals that Earth’s climate has varied as long as the planet has existed, with natural cold and warm phases. The Little Ice Age ended as recently as 1850. Therefore, it is no surprise that we now are experiencing a period of warming.
Warming is far slower than predicted
     

The world has warmed at less than half the originally-predicted rate, and at less than half the rate to be expected on the basis of net anthropogenic forcing and radiative imbalance. It tells us that we are far from understanding climate change.

Climate policy relies on inadequate models 
      Climate models have many shortcomings and are not remotely plausible as policy tools. Moreover, they most likely exaggerate the effect of greenhouse gases such as CO2.In addition, they ignore the fact that enriching the atmosphere with CO2 is beneficial.
CO2 is plant food, the basis of all life on Earth
      CO2 is not a pollutant. It is essential to all life on Earth. Photosynthesis is a blessing. More CO2 is beneficial for nature, greening the Earth: additional CO2in the air has promoted growth in global plant biomass. It is also good for agriculture, increasing the yields of crops worldwide.
Global warming has not increased natural disasters
      There is no statistical evidence that global warming is intensifying hurricanes, floods, droughts and such like natural disasters, or making them more frequent. However, CO2-mitigation measures are as damaging as they are costly. For instance, wind turbines kill birds and bats, and palm-oil plantations destroy the biodiversity of the rainforests.
Climate policy must respect scientific and economic realities
      There is no climate emergency. Therefore, there is no cause for panic and alarm. We strongly oppose the harmful and unrealistic net-zero CO2 policy proposed for 2050. If better approaches emerge, we will have ample time to reflect and adapt. The aim of international policy should be to provide reliable and affordable energy at all times, and throughout the world.
 

Democracy is a participatory event; every election
is decided by the people who show up to vote.

We need an honest conversation about energy

By John Feldsted

1008 - The honest conversations we need to have are about our energy use, our environment and climate change. While the three topics are interdependent, they each have separate considerations.
 
Let’s start with environment – maintaining excellent quality air, land and water are just the basics.
 
Our environment includes cityscapes, the urban jungles where an increasing proportion of our society resides. In that environment, wind tunnels, sunlight, neon lights, artificial lighting, streetlights, traffic lights, traffic noise, and many other factors play a large part in “environment”.
 
In rural areas, livestock operations, natural water drainage, maintain wetlands, weed control, use of pesticides and fertilizer and maintenance of roads and bridges, all play a part in “environment”.
 
“Climate Change” is a different topic altogether. Changes to our climate can influence our environment, but we are not certain of what drives climate change. That is not acceptable.
 
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change insists that the driving force is atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). However, its theories are suspect and under increasing pressure from the scientific community. We cannot take the chance that the IPCC theories are wrong. We need solid scientific investigation of the calculations the IPCC used in 1988 to develop its theories.
 
The climate is changing, and we need to prepare to mitigate the results of those changes. Pouring all our efforts into reducing carbon dioxide emissions is foolhardy unless there is clear evidence that the reductions will reduce climate change. After three decades, there is no evidence of a link between CO2 emissions and climate change. IPCC warming predictions have not proven to be accurate.
 
Energy is also a separate topic. Plentiful and reliable energy is a fundamental requirement for a healthy economy. Canada is growing – still a work in progress. With growth is an increased demand for energy. We cannot change to new energy sources in the foreseeable future. We can undertake conversion which will fill part of the increased demand, but we cannot replace the 90% of our energy needs that are supplied by diesel and gasoline in the next two decades.
 
Worse, the demand for so-called ‘clean energy’ is predicated on the IPCC theory which may very well be wrong. It is more likely that the amount of atmospheric CO2 increases or decreases as our climate changes rather than the other way around. Historical records show far higher concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide during warm periods long prior to the industrial revolution.
 
We owe it to ourselves and to future generations to lead the way in investigating IPCC theories and claims. If we can prove that their calculations and predictions are credible, we can move forward with some assurance that we are on the right path.
 
Canadians are a common-sense, logical and reasonable people. Many are skeptical of IPCC claims as they see no evidence of its prediction taking place. The IPCC keeps moving the goal posts with altered predictions, excuses and changes in language.
 
Our governments cannot avoid an honest debate on climate change, energy and environment. It is not relevant what the IPCC has to say. Our governments are responsible for verifying the accuracy of IPCC prediction before they take any action to follow IPCC directions.
 
In argumentation theory, an argumentum ad populum (Latin for "argument to the people") is a fallacious concept that concludes that a proposition must be true because many or most people believe it, often encapsulated as: "If many believe so, it is so."
 
Every other year or so a few thousand people gather at an IPCC climate change conference, link arms, sing Kumbaya and declare: “It is so!”
 
We need something more scientific and stable to use in navigating how to deal with climate change.

Energy – Canada risks becoming a nation of hypocrites

By John Feldsted

The honest conversations we need to have are about our energy use, our environment and climate change. While the three topics are interdependent, they each have separate considerations.
     
Let’s start with environment – maintaining excellent quality air, land and water are just the basics.
     
Our environment includes cityscapes, the urban jungles where an increasing proportion of our society resides. In that environment, wind tunnels, sunlight, neon lights, artificial lighting, streetlights, traffic lights, traffic noise, and many other factors play a large part in “environment”.
     
In rural areas, livestock operations, natural water drainage, maintain wetlands, weed control, use of pesticides and fertilizer and maintenance of roads and bridges, all play a part in “environment”.
     
“Climate Change” is a different topic altogether. Changes to our climate can influence our environment, but we are not certain of what drives climate change. That is not acceptable.
     
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change insists that the driving force is atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). However, its theories are suspect and under increasing pressure from the scientific community. We cannot take the chance that the IPCC theories are wrong. We need solid scientific investigation of the calculations the IPCC used in 1988 to develop its theories.
     
The climate is changing, and we need to prepare to mitigate the results of those changes. Pouring all our efforts into reducing carbon dioxide emissions is foolhardy unless there is clear evidence that the reductions will reduce climate change. After three decades, there is no evidence of a link between CO2 emissions and climate change. IPCC warming predictions have not proven to be accurate.
     
Energy is also a separate topic. Plentiful and reliable energy is a fundamental requirement for a healthy economy. Canada is growing – still a work in progress. With growth is an increased demand for energy. We cannot change to new energy sources in the foreseeable future. We can undertake conversion which will fill part of the increased demand, but we cannot replace the 90% of our energy needs that are supplied by diesel and gasoline in the next two decades.
     
Worse, the demand for so-called ‘clean energy’ is predicated on the IPCC theory which may very well be wrong. It is more likely that the amount of atmospheric CO2 increases or decreases as our climate changes rather than the other way around. Historical records show far higher concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide during warm periods long prior to the industrial revolution.
     
We owe it to ourselves and to future generations to lead the way in investigating IPCC theories and claims. If we can prove that their calculations and predictions are credible, we can move forward with some assurance that we are on the right path.
 
Canadians are a common-sense, logical and reasonable people. Many are skeptical of IPCC claims as they see no evidence of its prediction taking place. The IPCC keeps moving the goal posts with altered predictions, excuses and changes in language.
 
Our governments cannot avoid an honest debate on climate change, energy and environment. It is not relevant what the IPCC has to say. Our governments are responsible for verifying the accuracy of IPCC prediction before they take any action to follow IPCC directions.
     
In argumentation theory, an argumentum ad populum (Latin for "argument to the people") is a fallacious concept that concludes that a proposition must be true because many or most people believe it, often encapsulated as: "If many believe so, it is so."
     
Every other year or so a few thousand people gather at an IPCC climate change conference, link arms, sing Kumbaya and declare: “It is so!”
     
We need something more scientific and stable to use in navigating how to deal with climate change.
 

                    

When it comes to hate speech, politicians corner the market

By John Feldsted

The 2019 federal election campaign to date can be summed up as: "trivial pursuit". Our political party leaders claim to be concerned over hatred expressed by members of the public and fear for their personal safety. They need to take a deep breath and consider:
      “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 

      We have suffered a summer, early fall and over half of an official election campaign watching political party representatives hurl insults, manure, and yes, hatred at one another in an unending stream of vindictive lust for power. Now they are frightened by citizens who express similar views!!

      Tomorrow evening we will be treated to another “debate” which will quickly deteriorate into a verbal slug-fest that ignores our primary concerns. We are tired of political party manipulations. We are worried over the rising cost of living, ever increasing taxation, the costs of housing, economic instability, the possibility of a recession and our government fixation on a climate change.

     It seems that our government and party leaders are determined to spend every dollar they can beg, borrow or steal in order to live large. That results in frustration and anger, not hatred. Political parties and politicians who refuse to consider our best interests as a priority have earned our wrath.  

        Political party leaders, their campaign teams and party officials do not live in a parallel universe apart from society. We have had several candidates in this election disqualified by political parties for making remarks considered politically incorrect.

      The only people who can disqualify a candidate from representing the people are the people eligible to vote. That is how democracy works. We do not elect a political party.   
      Political parties claim to screen applicants for candidacy to find people of good character. Watch several episodes of “Question Period” and you will conclude that the screening is not working.

      Every candidate should meet three criteria:
           Financial security – not so indebted that bribes are attractive;
           No record of serious crimes; and
           No record of sexual offences.

After that, it is the people’s choice. Political parties must not decide who we get to choose from as our representative. Recently the NDP insisted that the CPC disqualify a candidate for having made anti-gay remarks. The CPC dumped the candidate claiming that no one with such views could serve in the party. What happened to the concept that a candidate for office represents the constituents in an electoral district, not a political party? Who decided to bury democracy?

The ingrained, self-centered smugness of political party officials does not allow them to recognize that “hateful online election chatter” is a signal that they are failing Canadians and we are fed up with their arrogant, snobbish refusal to heed our concerns. They are neither our betters nor superiors. They still pull on their pants one leg at a time.

 

Andrew Scheer lacks political instincts

By John Feldsted

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer's personal views on abortion are irrelevant, and quite frankly, no one’s business. As an MP his duty is to represent the people of his electoral district. As leader of the conservatives, the opposition or government his duty is to represent all Canadians.

The leftist press and political opponents are unrelenting in their efforts to force Scheer to divulge his personal views. Sheer is not astute enough to simply state: “I respect the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada and will not support any effort to diminish a woman’s right to choose.”

The reply will not satisfy his critics, but no answer will. Those who continue to badger him should be asked why they are not pursuing Trudeau for not clarifying his position on the SNC-Lavalin and Vice Admiral Norman affairs. Sheer must learn how to counter-punch effectively.

It appears that Scheer is a dual citizen of the USA and Canada. How his campaign team thought this would not be an issue is incomprehensible. Not arming Scheer with a clear statement is incompetent. Scheer should have led with a statement early in his campaign.

Canada – USA dual citizenship is nothing to be shamed of. Scheer is part of a huge family that has spouses from each nation and extended kinfolk in both nations. They number in the millions now. The intermarriages date from prior to the underground railway and influx of the United Empire Loyalists. Our nations are firmly intertwined on every level and always have been.

Scheer’s combat instincts can use honing. When Trudeau announced his campaign had purchased carbon credits to offset the carbon emitted by its aircraft and buses, Scheer missed the opportunity to point out that Trudeau is not serious about climate change. If we are on the precipice of a climate catastrophe and must reduce carbon emission, no one with an ounce of ethics and integrity can buy “carbon credits” – they are a licence for the purchaser to carry on polluting.

Nations and businesses that have exceeded emission reduction targets have a net ‘credit’ in their carbon account, but sales of the credit to other polluters negates the gain. Either the world is on board to reduce carbon emission or not. Collectively, we are way over target reductions. Pretending that we can buy credits to offset emissions while world targets are not met is lunacy and fraud. The carbon credit or trading scheme was the first indication that the IPCC was not serious about carbon emission reduction.

Trudeau cannot trade off his responsibilities when he is facing a catastrophe. Either the catastrophe is not real, or Trudeau isn’t. Pick one! 

The great non-inclusive Quebec debate

By John Feldsted

On Wednesday evening some of the leaders of our political parties vying for votes in the federal election campaign held a debate in the French language, in Montreal.

The debate was not broadcast outside of Quebec and was not translated to English. Where, oh where is our Language Commissioner? Why has the TVA network not suffered his wrath and heavy fines for failing to broadcast a debate of national interest in the English language to all of Canada?

Party leaders attending managed to insult every English-speaking citizen across the country and made it clear that (1) Quebec holds special status; and (2) Quebec’s 78 seats are far more important to them than Atlantic Canada’s 32 or Western Canada’s 104.

The double standard is unacceptable. Bernier and May were shut out of the debate as unworthy. Who gave TVA the powers to discriminate without penalty? How will Quebec voters decide on the potential merits of leaders shut out? The whole exercise is undemocratic.

Where is our Elections Commissioner? His inaction has shattered any illusion that we are going to have a fair and equitable 2019 election campaign.

This morning our media is filled with opinions of what happened last night in Montreal. That is not good enough. We are entitled to judge the leaders’ presentations for ourselves. Elections are a participatory event and we must not be shut out of participating.

Had the debate been held in Edmonton in English and not broadcast in French, Quebecois would be rioting in the streets. We are not a Quebec-centric nation. We are no longer a Toronto, Ottawa Montreal (TOM) centric nation. Canada is growing up and the outlanders are finding their voice.

Our choices for the upcoming election look even more dismal. I am looking for the first political leader to admit that participating in the TVA event was a mistake and apologizing to all those left out. I am not holding my breath.

We know with certainty that our political leaders are spineless, and worse, that our media can openly defy convention and interfere in our elections. The political – media alliance must end.    
 

There is no climate emergency

By John Feldsted

One of my readers asked if I could provide him with further information on the letter scientists wrote to the UN. I will share my reply with you:

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpVBH-HY5Ow
 
https://www.thegwpf.com/in-letter-to-un-scientists-say-there-is-no-climate-emergency/
 
https://clintel.nl/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/ecd-letter-to-un.pdf
 
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/sep/26/co2-is-plant-food-australian-group-signs-international-declaration-denying-climate-science
 
https://fcpp.org/2019/09/17/there-is-no-climate-emergency/
 
https://vancouversun.com/opinion/op-ed/ross-mckitrick-reality-check-there-is-no-climate-emergency-in-vancouver 
 
In the same e-mail I mentioned that Environment Canada had excluded 100 years of climate data from its models. I picked that up here:
 
https://torontosun.com/opinion/columnists/goldstein-feds-scrapped-100-years-of-data-on-climate-change
 
I don’t make this stuff up. I make observation on what I find in the media and through research. Very little is reported in the mainstream media. I suspect they are wary of being labelled climate deniers if they dare print anything contrary to IPCC propaganda.
 
The scientific community is increasingly skeptical of IPCC claims of impending doom. The position of the IPCC to prohibit robust debate on the causes and effects of climate change is unacceptable.
 
US President Franklin D. Roosevelt stated (March 1933): “the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance”.
 
A significant portion of our population has given in to unjustified terror of changes to our climate. There is no doubt that our climate is changing. We do not understand the causes of those changes and consequently are ill prepared to protect ourselves from its effects. We need to make preparation to minimize the effects on our society. That is not possible when we are paralyzed by fear and unwilling to consider and debate the best course forward.
 
One thing is clear. We must not undertake spending $ billions on greening Canada without all the facts and factors on the table. There is too much at stake for too many people to put all our efforts behind an unproven theory that reducing man-made carbon emissions is the only way to deal with the effects of climate change.

Student climate protests ludicrous and pathetic

By John Feldsted

  Tens of thousands of students protesting government inaction on combatting climate change is ludicrous and at the same time pathetic. This generation of spoiled brats and their parents represent an ultimate in unbridled, wasteful consumerism.
      At the core of the climate change protest are spoiled children and their parents - snivelling brats, miserable, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. They have no solutions to offer; they are upset that older generations are not caught up in unquestioning obedience to unelected and unaccountable socialists using fear as a weapon to promote highly questionable hypothesis and theories.      
       This is the generation that insists every classroom must be air conditioned, that there are TVs in every room, whose classes are computer driven, and use expensive, trendy back packs to hold their lap-top computers, tablets and smart phones. It does not occur to them that enormous resources are used to create and operate the devices they cannot live without.
      This generation and their parents toss perfectly useful items and update to stay trendy. Whenever a new smartphone is announced, blocks long lineups at retailers form to replace the device that was adequate before the new item was available. These are people who insist on expensive brand name footwear and clothing to make a statement to their peers.
      This generation gets all its entertainment and news on electronic devices and has lost the ability to write legibly and coherently and cannot manage simple arithmetic without a calculator. They cannot write a formal letter or resume without assistance.
      Most of them don’t bike or walk to school. They use school buses or are transported by their parents (or their own cars), clogging up rush hour traffic to add to the amount of unneeded vehicle exhaust.
      They march today with thousands of one-time use banners and placards. City employees will expend a few thousand hours of taxpayer funded labour to gather up and truck this trash, along with water bottles, candy wrappers, coffee containers and fast food wrappers to a landfill – a complete waste of resources that will take years to biodegrade while giving off carbon dioxide as well and noxious and obnoxious gasses and chemicals.
      This is the generation that believes in high level of immigration and sneers at our efforts to ensure that the bulk of immigrants have the language and working skills to most easily integrate into our society as “racist”. It does not occur to them that immigrants without language and working skills require a huge investment in resources to enable them to live here and increase the risks of ghettoization and enclaves of people who cannot or will not integrate and become part of our society.   
      Protest requires no critical thinking, education, research or knowledge. Climate change protest is based on the need to replace religion, basically a belief in something intangible, with a different noble cause that can make people feel good about themselves. Christian teachings contain passages that infer if we do not follow His commandments, we can expect a fiery end to life. Climate change experts are using the same theory; if we fail to obey them, we will burn in a rapidly heating climate.
      We long ago learned the dangers of government-imposed religion and do not allow it. We are not about go back to an era where believers of a different religion were ostracized, persecuted, tortured and often executed.
      Without realizing it, student protesters are advocating for a return to star chamber courts of the late 15th to the mid-17th century where those of a different belief and experience were tried and found guilty in secret without the protection of the fundamental principles of justice.
      Is that what they really want?

Democracy is a participatory event; every election
is decided by the people who show up to vote. 

Memo to United Nations climate panel: How dare you!

By John Feldsted

0925 - How dare you, with your lack of experience, lecture world leaders on climate change? Many of those world leaders are elected and answer to the people who elected them, not to you, the United Nations or the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).          

Many of us are appalled that the IPCC would choose to frighten school children with implausible predictions of pending catastrophe resulting from climate change.    

We are disgusted with the lack of critical analysis and poor judgement of schools and teachers who have chosen to regurgitate IPCC propaganda rather than using climate change as an opportunity to create real dialogue and debate on what the causes of climate change are and how can we best respond to minimize and offset the results of climate change on widely dispersed populations.     

The main proponents of climate change alarmism, Dr. Andrew Weaver (Canada) and Dr. Michael Mann (USA) have taken Dr. Tim Ball (Canada) to court for slander because he dared to contradict and question their findings. After years in court, both actions for slander were dismissed and in the latest case Dr. Mann, inventor of the infamous hockey stick warming chart was ordered to pay Dr. Ball’s entire legal expenses. Both top IPCC scientists are found to be of questionable character and ethics.  

Canada’s environmental agency neglected to include surface temperature readings from 1850 to 1949 in their calculations because they did not fit the IPCC model outcome. That is not science; that is fudging valid temperature data to meet a political objective.       

More than 500 eminent climate scientists have written to the IPCC pointing out that there is no “climate emergency”. The “emergency” has been created through unethical manipulation of computer models and temperature data.

Controlling climate is more than simply slowing the rate of global warming. If it was possible, we could control the rate of arctic ice melt, create rain in deserts, soak forests to reduce wildfires, increase the growing season in northern and southern hemispheres and modify the torrid heat of the tropics. The fly in the ointment would be deciding which is the most important change to make.  

The IPCC is fixated on an unproven theory that man-made carbon emissions are the sole contributor to warming of the earth and that we must reduce carbon emissions to save the planet.     

That is suspect and highly improbable. Atmospheric carbon dioxide promotes plant growth while reducing carbon dioxide levels restricts plant growth. Without robust plant growth, mankind will die.    

The IPCC is promoting a simplistic solution to a highly complex natural phenomena we do not understand. We have records of the effects of climate change for tens of thousands of years but little knowledge of what drives the changes.      

Following the unproven theories is not a rational way forward. Only 500 years ago, the world was flat, and the sun revolved around the earth. 350 years ago, we had no knowledge of gravity. 150 years ago, electricity, computers and radio had not been invented. 100 years ago, we did not have television. 50 years ago, we had no cell phones. Smartphones, tablets and GPS devices have been around for less than 30 years. 

Scientific theories require constant examination to support or refute their validity. The IPCC has refused to permit examination of its theories, attacking anyone who questions its conclusions. Our Environment minister dismisses critics of global warming prediction out of hand, sneering at ‘climate deniers’.

Demanding that the IPCC provide evidence of how its theories were developed and examine all the causes of climate change is not denying climate change. We recognize our climate continues to change but reject the IPCC version of the cause. The IPCC is politically, not scientifically driven.

Misdirection on violence involving guns

By John Feldsted

 0921 -  The term “gun violence” is the first misdirection employed by governments and the media. Guns don’t crawl out of their resting places to assault people. People use guns to harm others.
      Trudeau claims that conservatives “are in the pockets of the gun lobby” as opposed to his record of consorting with criminals, people accused of crimes and terrorists. 
      The Harper conservatives brought in amendments to the criminal code which added mandatory minimum sentences to criminals convicted of a violent crime who carried or employed a gun in commission of that crime. Liberal judges struck down the provisions as cruel and unusual punishment. The Liberals sat on their hands rather than challenge the lower courts or invoke the notwithstanding clause.
      Banning handguns is an exercise in futility. The handguns used in gang shooting that are plaguing Toronto and other major cities are not obtained from lawful sources or from thefts from legal owners. They are obtained in a thriving black market. Many handguns are manufactured by underground manufacturing operations who either produce complete handguns or order bulk parts and manufacture the rest to produce workable weapons. Banning handguns avoids dealing with the shooters and protecting the people they kill and injure.
      The changes needed involve amendments to the Youth Criminal Justice Act and the Criminal Code. First, any youth charged with a violent crime that includes carrying or using a prohibited weapon, which includes handguns and modified assault rifles is automatically raised to adult court and faces adult charges. Second, persons charged with violent crimes including the carrying or use of firearms automatically face multiple attempted murder charges with consecutive rather than concurrent sentences.
      Gang-bangers could face a couple of lifetimes behind bars for using guns to settle scores, protect turf or intimidate rivals.
      We need to amend our bail system to ensure that people charged with a crime involving a gun do not get bail prior to a court appearance. They are clear public danger. Legitimate, law abiding gun owners cannot get a permit to carry a weapon for self-protection in Canada. Those who do carry guns on their person or in their vehicle are violating laws prohibiting ordinary citizens from protecting themselves. They cannot be considered innocent.    
      We need to invest heavily in criminal court infrastructure. More courts, more judges, more prosecutors and more court and prosecution staff to clear the backlog of criminal cases and ensure timely prosecution of new crimes. Currently it takes about three years from when chargers are laid until a court appearance. That is ludicrous and must be addressed.
      If we want to stop street violence, we must deal with the thugs who employ guns and those who supply them with weapons. Laws aimed at controlling inanimate objects are ludicrous. We are giving criminal a free pass to go on killing and injuring innocent bystanders because we lack the spine to deal with thugs. We should be ashamed of ourselves and our governments should hang their heads in shame.
      Our society is increasingly frustrated with our apparent inability to deal with those who commit acts of violence without regard for who gets killed or injured. Handguns used by untrained people are notoriously inaccurate. Sportsmen, target shooters, police and military personnel trained in gun use must practice regularly to maintain an acceptable level of accuracy. The thug with an automatic handgun is a danger to everyone in the vicinity.
      The guns used in movies and on TV shows are not real. They cannot fire live ammunition and the scenes are for entertainment, not indicative of real life. Gun use on our streets is all too real as shown by the casualties. Deal harshly with the thugs and restore public safety and security. Our police forces do an outstanding job, but they need the tools to ensure the people they catch are convicted, sentenced and do not return for repeat performances.
      The public deserves more than band-aid solutions and evasions that don't get violent thugs off our streets and into a federal prison for an extended period.

Democracy is a participatory event; every election is decided by the people who show up.

 

The cynical despicables

By John Feldsted

190919 - The current federal election campaign has a lot to offer; mostly manure of varied consistency, aroma and flavour. There is a noticeable lack of debate and information on issues that really matter to people who will be voting.

     The NDP and Green Party are particularly nauseous. Neither has any hope of governing. Instead, one or both hope to prop up a minority government in return for acceptance of some wild policy positions they have taken. That is cynical and revolting. Neither party can attract more than a low (currently 13.6% and 7%) portion of electors, but they hope to jam their policies down our throats as part of a minority government. Their intent is to disrupt our political system in a quest for unearned power.

Jagmeet Singh shot the NDP in its foot, possibly fatally, by announced a separate party policy for Quebec. Jean Chretien was the last prime minister to employ dual party policies (one in Quebec, another for elsewhere) and that did not end well. Quebec has less than 25% of Canada’s population and its own federal political party; the Bloc Quebecois.

Resentment against federal language policy run high outside of Quebec. Declaring the NDP not on side with English speaking Canada is a strange position.

Elizabeth May’s determination to make her party more stringently “green” than Al Gore and David Suzuki combined is not comforting. Ms May is strongly opposed to any mining or petroleum development - no drilling; no exploration; no pipelines. It does not occur to her that the federal government lacks jurisdiction. Natural resource development is a provincial jurisdiction.     

Both the NDP and Greens are touting a national pharmacare program including dental care. We do not have a national health care program. We have ten separate provincial health care programs and a federal program to take care of the territories, indigenous people, federal prison inmates and military personnel.

Very few jurisdictions have pharmacare programs and those who do offset enormous costs with annual deductibles, per procedure costs and co-payments; costs of services are reimbursed in part, ranging from 50% to 80% and not just on drugs and dentistry but on all health care services.

Both parties are touting free post-secondary education. The concept is appealing, expensive and open to abuse. Does the program include the costs residency and meals for out of city students? What about residents of one city who want to be educated in a university or college in a different city? What about a student who enrolls in a program and fails to pass? Why should the public subsidize failure? Then there are the perpetual students who earn a degree, like the university atmosphere and start over in a different discipline. Do we also provide free master’s degrees and doctorates?

The Green Party election platform runs to 88 pages: https://www.greenparty.ca/sites/default/files/platform_2019_en_web_-_update_sep17.pdf

The NDP election platform runs to 109 pages: https://action.ndp.ca/page/-/2019/Q2/2019-06-19_Commitments-Doc_EN.pdf

These are not election platforms; they are somewhere between policy documents and wish lists. An elected government has real problems to deal with, including creating a fair and even climate for business investment; ensuring that business tax rates are competitive with the USA; reviewing and reducing non-essential spending; simplifying our personal tax structure; confining federal spending to matters in constitutional authority; and respecting provincial constitutional authorities amongst other things. No government can be effective without paying attention to the fundamentals first.

We cannot continue to expand federal services until we ensure that the current basic programs are funded into the future or amended to ensure they are sustainable over the long haul. We cannot continue to squander funds on support for the United Nations and foreign aid until we are certain that fundamental federal programs are funded, and the books are balanced.

We can be certain that the Trudeau liberals have minority governance with NDP support as their fall-back position.

A Conservative minority will produce chaotic parliament and a potential resurrection of the 2008 attempt to hijack parliament with a Liberal/NDP/Green/BQ coalition (not unlike the mess the UK is facing today). Nothing less than a conservative majority can protect the interests of Canadians.

The grasping interests of minority political parties are playing a key role in this election. Their willingness to prostitute themselves for political power must not be rewarded.

How the prime minister can seal - or reveal - cabinet secrets

John Feldsted

Report by Kathleen Harris, CBC News
Sep 14, 2019
     
Since the day the election campaign kicked off, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has been dogged by questions about why he won't waive cabinet confidence to assist the RCMP's probe into the SNC-Lavalin scandal.
 
Trudeau maintains he granted an unprecedented waiver — what he called "the largest and most expansive waiver of cabinet confidence in Canada's history" — to allow the parliamentary committee and the ethics commissioner to dig into the matter, unshackling former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould and others.
 
 
By John Feldsted

0914 - As an explanation, the above  article is an epic fail. First, the Queen’s Privy Council and the Government Cabinet are separate bodies with separate mandates.

The Privy Council provides apolitical advice to the Governor General on what is going on in Government. The Cabinet oversees operations of government departments and agencies. Cabinet ministers are usually members of the Privy Council and their duties vary depending on which body they are attending.

Privy council confidentiality is absolute. Members cannot disclose what is discussed during a privy council meeting. The Clerk of the Privy Council has no authority over the Government Cabinet. It is outside of his jurisdiction.
Cabinet confidentiality is less onerous than Privy Council confidentiality and can be waived by either the Prime Minister or the Courts.

In 1940, Prime Minister Mackenzie King amalgamated the Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet into one position reporting to the Prime Minister.

Reference: http://robertede.blogspot.com/2011/12/order-in-council-pc-1940-1121-allowed.html 

Prior to 1940 the roles were separate and should be separate today. Amalgamation causes confusion of the sort highlighted during the SNC-Lavalin affair. The Attorney General and Minister of Justice are separate functions with different responsibilities.     

Trudeau is fairly caught. The Clerk of the Privy Council is not independent; he or she reports to Trudeau. Privy Council confidentiality cannot be applied to Cabinet meetings and material. Trudeau and Privy Council Clerk Ian Shugart can’t hide from their responsibilities.

There is no justification for the confusion. Separate the roles of the Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet and Minister of Justice and Attorney General. The media, MPs and the public should not need an index to sort out who they are communicating with.    

In past, courts have held that Cabinet confidentiality is important to encourage Cabinet members to speak fully and frankly during meetings. That is fundamental to democracy. These men and women were elected to represent us in government and cannot be censored in what they say or the ideas they put forward.

If there is an investigation underway in respect to a breach of ethics or the Criminal Code or other federal statutes, investigators must be allowed to seek an Order for the government to produce relevant Cabinet materials. The Judge can preview material to ensure that it is relevant to the investigation before releasing it.

The Mark Norman affair is another example of where our government refused to produce documents vital to Mr. Norman's defence and when it had destroyed his career, admitted it did not have case. These who wrongfully charged Mr. Norman need to be brought to justice.

For our Prime Minister to play a game of “Simon Says” with the media, opposition parties and police during an investigation into potential criminal actions is disgusting. Trudeau must not be allowed to escape accountability. Our Prime Minister, Cabinet members and Members of Parliament are all accountable to the public.

When our representatives break the law, they must be held accountable. The litany of excuses and evasions we are offered can be expected when petty criminals appear before a court. They are not appropriate in our parliament during an investigation. None of them are above the law.                      

Identity politics

By John Feldsted

0913 - One of the most self-serving and useless concepts political parties have thrust on us is the notion that they invented diversity.

We are, first and always Canadians. Colour, ethnicity, gender, language, marital status, race and religion are not what identifies us. Single people have family, friends and acquaintances so are part of a family, a community, a province and a nation. Everyone fits in in one way or another.

The notion that we were not a diverse people during our formative years is ridiculous. Even a cursory examination of our history indicates our diversity; we are humans and follow natural instincts of forgotten millennia.

Males and females seek out one another and thousands of books have been written about lovers who were kept apart by tribal traditions. Thousand more books have been written about lovers who defied traditions and lived long lives together supporting one another.
     
We have accepted lovers of the same sex. Same sex attraction is as old as dirt. Discrimination against gays was a government initiative. It was governments that purged their ranks of gay employees as a “security threat”. Larger society followed suit. Watching politicians prance at the front of a gay pride makes me ill. If it was not for their blind discrimination the gay parades would not have been necessary.    

Some people suffer under delusions that they are better than others and that their religious and social beliefs are worthy of thrusting on others. That is where democracy and society begin to break down. Governments must never be allowed to dictate our beliefs or to censor our opinions.

Identifying minority groups in need of special recognition and support is a wrong-headed attempt to atone for decades of bigotry by the majority. Minority groups don’t want to be singled out; all they ask for is an equal opportunity.

We have decades of evidence that given equal opportunity, minority members thrive. They take their place in every part of our society and some become noteworthy leaders. They are no different from the rest of our society, ranging from the indolent and indifferent to the superior and outstanding. No tribe within the tribes has distinct advantages.

When I was a youngster, people understood the value of a tribe. Our tribe was the community we lived in. We understood that we were interdependent. The safety, security and well being of the community was far more important than our individual independence. We understood that we had an obligation and responsibility to our neighbours.

Our differences, our diversity, was not considered important. If we faced wildfires, floods or storms we worked together to face the threat and restore what we could. If a church burned, another denomination would offer its facilities so members of another faith could still worship. The differences in belief were overridden by the welfare of the community.

Over the decades I have watched the value of family and community erode and we are poorer as a society. We are still tribal people and efforts to break away from the tribe have replaced the security of community responsibility with the angst of going it alone without the family and community support that keeps us grounded and props us up when the sledding is rough.

Political parties and governments have spent billions on convincing us that they can manage our lives better than we can which is absolute rubbish. We go back to give us equality of opportunity. Governments must pay attention to their constitutional responsibilities and get out of our personal lives. Social engineering by governments is as welcome as a skunk at a backyard BBQ.
      Political parties, federal and provincial, keep telling us that they are determined to fight poverty. That is an outright lie as they would be fighting themselves. All they need to do is to stop taxing the poor. Stop charging anyone with an annual income of $20,000 or less GST, PST, EI contributions, CPP contributions and income tax. Watch welfare roles diminish, and people given the opportunity to use their meagre incomes to advantage move up the income scale and contribute to our society.

Banish Human Rights Tribunals and rewrite human rights legislation to ensure the rights of an accused meet the principles of fundamental justice.

“Human rights tribunals” have become a playground for the perpetually offended which is the opposite of our need to reinstate the family, community and national patriotism that built this country from a wilderness into a G-7 nation.

We spent a century of progress despite our governments followed by 50 years of deterioration when governments became too powerful to fear the electorate. We need to fix that.

Democracy is a participatory event; if you don't participate, you will be governed by whoever others choose. Every election is determined by the people who show up.

The real world crisis is one of management

John Feldsted

We are told, ad nauseum, that the world is facing a climate crisis. To add to the hysteria, we are told that we are quickly reaching the point of no return. We are not doing enough and not soon enough to prevent catastrophe.  

Now we are told that fires in the Amazon rain forest are an international crisis. G-7 leaders meeting in Paris have pledged aid to Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. The funding committed is about equal to one day’s cost of the G-7 meeting.  

Why didn’t the G-7 leaders insist that the Amazon rain forest be declared a world heritage site under protection from damage. All four nations who have parts of the rain forest in their territory are signators to the world heritage conventions and would have an obligation to protect the portions in their jurisdiction. Aid offered to help protect a heritage site lacks the political hazards of not doing so.           

The term “crisis” has become meaningless. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has cried “wolf” for so long that not even their most ardent supporters really believe that a global warming disaster can be averted.  

It is troubling is that governments do not believe in a climate crises either. They make a great show of building windmill and solar farms and making electric cars in the name of combatting climate change, but it is all window dressing.  

Frightening school children into thinking they are inheriting a doomed planet is hardly a civilized and rational way to deal with climate change.    

Corporate managers and competent governments faced with a crisis pull out the stops, rally available resources and vigorously fight off the crisis with everything at their disposal. No leader will waste more than a few hours deciding on a strategy before acting.  

Facing climate change requires more than dealing with a leaky roof! G-7 leaders have been exposed as the dithering group of incompetents they are rather than leaders of the seven most powerful democracies in the world.  

The real crisis is the trade war between China and the US along with Britain’s exit from the European Union. United, they have the capacity to (1) require China to use fair trade practices with other nations; (2) force the EU to make a fair deal with the British exit; and (3) plan to secure the economies of member nations and minimize the effects of a pending recession.   G-7 nations have lost the capacity to act together for their common good; each nation is convinced that it can act for itself in a highly integrated economic and financial world and succeed. They cannot accept that if one G-7 nation falters, they will all fail. It is 70 years since they faced a real crisis and the free world mobilized to defend its freedoms.  

We are facing a financial and economic crises that cannot be averted without some nations going bankrupt and millions facing financial ruin. We cannot continue to live in a fairyland of increasing debt with no rational plan for repayment over the next two generations. That is madness.  

The European Union is doomed. Member nations are still as balkanized as they were pre-union but now carry the added burden of layers of an expensive, detached and incompetent bureaucracy. It is not possible to govern responsibly without the accountability that does not exist in the EU.  

If G-7 leaders don’t set aside their pettiness and rivalries to work together to save themselves, there will not be one of them left in office by 2025.

John Feldsted is a political commentator, consultant and strategist, living in Winnipeg, Manitoba

'Hockey stick' climate theory shut out in BC Supreme Court

John Feldsted

By John Fledsted

Professor Michael Mann, the IPCC climatologist who invented the “hockey stick” model of future global warming has failed to defend his theory in B.C. Supreme Court and has been ordered to pay defendant Dr. Tim Ball's full legal costs.

During disclosure proceedings in his libel action against Ball, Professor Mann was ordered to produce the figures on which his theory is based in order that they might be checked for accuracy. He failed to do so.

Dr. Ball’s defence was based on “truth”. If Mann’s calculations were correct and not doctored Dr. Ball would have lost the case. Mann refused to reveal his calculation because he would not, or more likely could not prove he had not fiddled with the calculations to create his theory.

In 2003, the University of Guelph had already shown that Mann’s calculations were fraudulent and did not conform to standard statistical prediction calculations.

Dr. Ball’s first crucial courtroom win was against British Columbia Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver, another elite junk scientist (a UN IPCC Lead Author in climate modeling).

Dr. Ball’s alleged offence was his claim that the IPCC had diverted almost all climate research funding and scientific investigation to anthropogenic global warming (AGW). This meant that there was virtually no advance in the wider understanding of climate and climate change.

Weaver’s libel case against Dr. Ball was dismissed by the BC Supreme Court last year.

IPCC efforts to silence Dr. Ball through multi-million dollar legal actions have failed and its key scientists are unable to defend their theory on predicted climate change and global warming.
Global warming and climate change is a world-wide exercise in uncritical and unexamined group-think based on junk science. The enormity of the fraud is breathtaking.

Politicians are always eager to adopt movements they do not comprehend, particularly if it gives them some semblance of control over the masses. They are also fickle and will turn on the IPCC rather than admit they failed to exercise due diligence in adopting the IPCC fraud. Birds of a feather . . .

John Feldsted
Political commentator, consultant & strategist
Winnipeg, Manitoba
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Ball defeats ‘hockey stick’ climate lawsuit

Original report from Climate Change Dispatch, Aug. 24, 2019

The Supreme Court of British Columbia has dismissed Dr. Michael Mann’s defamation lawsuit against skeptical Canadian climatologist Dr. Tim Ball. Full legal costs were awarded to Dr. Ball, the defendant in the case.The court issued its final ruling in favor of the dismissal motion that was filed May by  Ball’s libel lawyers.

Mann’s “hockey stick” graph, first published in 1998, was featured prominently in the U.N. IPCC 2001 climate report.

The graph showed a spike in global average temperature in the 20th Century after about 500 years of stability. Skeptics have long claimed Mann’s graph was fraudulent.

Professor Mann is a climate professor at Penn State University. Mann filed his action in 2010 for Ball’s allegedly libelous statement that Mann “belongs in the state pen, not Penn State.”

The final court ruling, in effect, vindicates Ball’s criticisms.

Canada needs to change parole rules for gun offenses

John Feldsted

0811 - 326 people charged with gun-related offences are out on bail, police chief says 

The CBC reports that claims by Toronto's police chief and mayor that a too-lenient bail system for people accused of gun-related offences is one of the causes for the rash of shootings in the city "is complete and utter nonsense," the head of the Criminal Lawyers' Association says. Other Toronto-based criminal defence lawyers contacted by CBC News were also critical of the remarks made by Chief Mark Saunders and Mayor John Tory, saying there's just no evidence that gun violence occurring in the city is a result of people out on bail on gun-related charges.

Read on: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/bail-toronto-police-shootings-1.5241779?cmp=newsletter-news-digests-canada-and-world-morning

*************

Our approach to people who possess illegal handguns or who have and use guns in the commission of a crime needs a serious overhaul.

The spate of shootings in Toronto was caused by people. They were settling scores or in disputes over criminal territory.

Chief Saunders and Mayor Tory are on the right track. Section 88 of the criminal Code states:
Possession of weapon for dangerous purpose 
     88 (1) Every person commits an offence who carries or possesses a weapon, an imitation of a weapon, a prohibited device or any ammunition or prohibited ammunition for a purpose dangerous to the public peace or for the purpose of committing an offence.

Punishment
     (2) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1)
          (a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years; or
          (b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.
We need amendments to the criminal coder to repeal ss 88 (2) (b) and to make the sentence for a breach of section 88 consecutive to any sentence for other crimes committed where a weapon was carried or possessed.

Someone committing murder, manslaughter or attempted murder should have a section 88 violation considered in determining eligibility for parole.

Why is it hard to understand that criminals do not follow laws? Bail conditions are meaningless. Gang members on bail will return to their gangs and criminal activities.

“Gun violence” is a misnomer and distraction. Violent, often criminal people use handguns without regard for innocent people in the area. 

People caught with illegal guns, in particular handguns, need to sit in remand until their case can be heard in court. We need to focus on the people endangering our society not on guns. Banning handguns will not stop the flow of illegal firearms. Criminal gangs make enough money to afford to acquire illegal weapons. We have to get career criminal off the streets by any means at our disposal.   

Sitting in remand awaiting trial and long sentences on conviction make carrying and using handguns far less attractive.

Anyone carrying an illegal handgun is a danger public safety. Whether the handgun is used to commit crimes, aggression against a rival or in defence against members of another gang or drug dealer, innocent bystanders are in jeopardy. No one carries a handgun without an intent to harm.

Violent use of weapons is not confined to Toronto. Every city and town across the nation is suffering from the same perils. Rural areas are not exempt.

Until we wake up and smell the coffee, shootings will continue.
 

Other links:
 
https://www.vancourier.com/news/updated-vancouver-police-confronted-by-angry-crowd-while-arresting-armed-teen-in-downtown-eastside-1.23911301
 
https://globalnews.ca/news/5731987/toronto-shooting-statistics-august-weekend/
 
https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/85-002-x/2018001/article/54974-eng.htm
 

Checking the pulse of Canada's economy

By John Feldsted
Political Commentator

Canada loses 24,200 jobs in July, pushing unemployment rate higher
On positive side, July’s wage growth came in strong at 4.5 per cent — which was its highest level in more than a decade

By Andy Blatchford, 
The Canadian Press, Financial Post

OTTAWA — Wage growth accelerated last month to its fastest clip in more than decade, according to numbers released Friday from Statistics Canada.

The 4.5 per cent burst came in a month that also produced less-positive data: the unemployment rate moved up to 5.7 per cent as Canada shed 24,200 jobs.

The increase in wages — as measured by year-over-year average hourly wage growth for all employees — marked the indicator’s strongest month since January 2009.

The reading, one of several wage measures closely watched by the Bank of Canada, was up from 3.8 per cent in June and 2.8 per cent in May. In Quebec, wage growth sped up to nearly 6.2 per cent, while Ontario’s number was 5.1 per cent.
   
Read on: https://business.financialpost.com/news/economy/newsalert-canada-loses-24200-jobs-in-july-unemployment-rises-statcan

 
John Feldsted
The numbers are starling and indicate serious trouble with our economy. Digging a bit deeper, we discover that July’s jobs numbers shows the economy lost 69,300 private-sector employee positions last month, while the public sector gained 17,500 jobs.

Shrinking private sector employment is alarming. A healthy economy adds private sector jobs each month. Shrinking private sector employment suggests a shrinkage of investment and a pending recession.

Increased public sector employment is also alarming. We are concerned over boated bureaucracies and at least some of the increase in wage rates is attributable to replacing entry level private sector jobs with well-paid civil service employment. That is a drag on our economy. Civil service employment does nor contribute to our GDP.

“Youth employment fell by about 19,000 positions, pushing the jobless rate up 0.7 percentage points to 11.4 per cent.” Small business is our highest youth employment driver.       

The indication is that small business is pushed to an economic wall. Increasing costs are hurting small business. It cannot escape the ripple effect of carbon taxes on needed supplies.

“The number of positions for core-aged women — between 25 and 54 years old — dropped by about 18,000.”  That is disturbing in that many of those women have turned to self-employment and face lower income, security and benefits. Federal equality programs are crashing and burning.
     Our governments, federal and provincial are focussed on physical climate change which they are powerless to deal with. Our climate is changing and we do not understand the forces that are driving the changes to our climate. Global warming is a result of climate change not the driver of climate change. Increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide promote plant growth and we need healthy plant growth to feed a growing world population.

Focus on the Wrong Climate

Our governments are ignoring our economic climate. We need a healthy economic climate to promote investment, private sector growth, employment and increases in productivity (GDP). Government cannot continue to meddle in and micromanage the private sector. We need our governments to create a climate of regulatory stability, competitive taxation and cessation of programs that benefit some businesses and sectors but not others.

Governments need to develop a health, robust private sector climate and then stand back and allow entrepreneurs to do what they have done well over the past century and a half – grow Canada.

We don’t need taxpayer subsidized electric cars, solar energy or windmills. If they are too expensive to compete with conventional vehicles and power sources, subsidies are an unneeded drain on the economy. Our economy is competing with economies that are not subsidizing so-called “clean energy”. We are disadvantaging ourselves in the altar of ideology.

The same is true of government fixation on environmental protection. No one will argue against protection of our environment. Clean air, land and water is important to us all. However, we need to balance environmental protection with our economic climate. If we continue on the path government have recently taken, environmental protection becomes superfluous as our economy will collapse and we will be left with nothing to work with.

Government fixation on climate change and environmental protection is endangering the growth and prosperity of our nation. Common sense, logic and reason are not part of government planning and policies. The results are starting to show and they are not pretty.

Contact John at Jfeldsted@shaw.ca

Public figures express anger, disbelief at mass shootings

By John Feldsted, Aug 5, 2019

El Paso - 21 dead, 26 injured;
Gilroy - 3 dead, 13 injured;
Dayton – 9, dead 27 injured.

In one week and the 66 injured doesn’t count hundreds of others traumatized by presence or who lost loved ones or whose family and friends were hurt in the melees. Harm ripples out from the core.

Politicians, public figures and celebrity publicity hounds all express disbelief, horror, revulsion and ‘thoughts and prayers' for the survivors and families of victim. They like to pretend they care.

The usual suspects will demand that we ban guns to make the shootings stop. It is the wrong solution for the wrong reasons.

All of the shooters were young. We can reasonably conclude that they suffered some combination of isolation, immaturity, detachment and anger with a society they couldn’t understand or cope with.

Social media is killing our society. Electronic contact is banal and sterile. A person can put another down or insult another person without risking a well-deserved slap or punch in the mouth. It is easy to participate in the on-line ‘piranha syndrome’ and join in supporting an insult or put-down: “Yeah (he / she) is a real loser.”  

At the same time, we are losing the ability to read facial expressions and body language that warn us when we are treading on socially dangerous ground. Most profoundly, people who are in face to face contact are often not in full presence; they are listening for a beep that signals a new message has arrived, and don’t realize that picking up the cell phone or tablet is an insult to the person across the table who has been relegated to secondary or even unimportant status.

Politicians and governments love hatred; they thrive on division and pit one group against others by providing them benefits to ‘level the playing field’. It is a charade to fuel the fires of envy and hatred.

We are losing the personal responsibility core of our civilization. Loyalty and honour are rooted in the family and friendships, in the community and finally in the tribe of the nation. We learn that well-being and security of family and friendships is more important than our own. We learn that sacrifice is not something to avoid; it is sometimes a necessity to serve the greater good. We learn to appreciate and reward the sacrifices of others.

Commitments to family and community require us to ignore differences and focus on our common interests and desires. Colour and ethnic origins are interesting side issues for exploration, not causes for envy and hatred.

Inclusiveness is a mindless, synthetic goal that avoids personal responsibility. We are told we must include people who avoid personal responsibility, make poor decisions, act irresponsibly and blame their disfunctionality on outside influences. They are the perpetual victims of circumstance.

We have groups of people who are openly hostile towards those who look different or don’t act and think the same way as they do. Thet have never learrned the rules of tribal interdependence. We exist in an artificial world of self-containment and independence in a society that survives through mutual aid, respect and tolerance.

We have never before experienced the abundance of opportunities that confront us today. Boundless opportunities are meaningless unless we have learned the disciplines to turn opportunities into reality. That brings us back to the personal responsibility core of civilization. Without an understanding of commitment, honor and loyalty we lack the ability to turn opportunity into reality.

Humans are social and tribal animals. At every level, we develop a social order with leaders and a descending order of lesser beings. As leaders change, the order below shifts to accommodate. Those who cannot or will not accept the social order (outlaws) are shunned, ostracized and finally cast out

Personal independence carries with it the responsibility to do no harm. If our actions infringe on anther’s rights or security of the person, we risk a deserved demotion in rank. If our actions are a flagrant abuse, we risk a demotion to outcast and a prison cell.

Tens of thousands believe that rank or station gives them immunity from tribal rules, but they delude themselves. Inevitably, tribal rules will reassert themselves through rebellion. The disconnect between those who govern and society at large cannot survive. It is a matter of time.              

Canada tend to mirror the American experience. We are not immune, just not on the same page yet.

Contact John at Jfeldsted@shaw.ca

What environmentalists won't tell us

By John Feldsted

0802 - We rarely hear about the dark side of renewable energy sources like windmills. Governments and the media are determined to convince us that wind power is part of our future and refuse to admit that there may be problems that affect our ecosystems.

Our hysterical approach to climate change as an emergency precludes realistic assessment of the risks that wind farms entail.

Hysterical people toss common sense, critical assessment and reason out the window. That is why our government talks of climate change in terms of “an emergency”. They don’t want us poking around and finding the multitude of flaws in their policies and positions. Fortunately, we have enough cooler heads to question the government’s motives and their position is increasingly difficult to justify.

We will see many governments crash and burn long before predicted climate catastrophes.

John Feldsted is a political commentator, consultant and strategist, living in Winnipeg.
jfeldsted@shaw.ca

From The Canada Free Press
By Institute for Energy Research

Studies have found that wind turbines are a dangerous threat to bats, high-conservation value birds, and insect populations that are a major supply of food to bats and birds. Insects, birds, bats, and wind farm developers are attracted to the same thing—high wind speeds. 

Wind farms in Europe and the United States are being built in the path of migration trails that have been used by insects and birds for millions of years. Researchers found that wind turbines in Germany resulted in a loss of about 1.2 trillion insects of different species each year. 

Researchers in India found almost four times fewer buzzards, hawks, and kites in areas with wind farms—a loss of about 75 percent. They found that wind turbines are akin to adding a top predator to the ecosystem, killing off birds, but allowing small animals to increase their populations resulting in a trickle effect throughout the ecosystem.

Read it all here: https://canadafreepress.com/article/wind-turbines-against-nature

 

Political parties are undermining our democracy

By John Feldsted

From Huffington Post

 The chairman of the board of Bombardier, a scion of the Rotman family, the chairman of a major power company — these prominent Canadians all gave as much money as they’re allowed, or close to it, to both the Liberals and Conservatives in 2018.
     They are among at least 20 Canadians who gave substantially to the country’s two most fiercely opposed parties last year, according to an analysis of public Elections Canada documents by The Canadian Press. Such donations are fully legal: a person can give to all the political parties if he or she wishes. But they are unusual. FULL REPORT

 By John Feldsted

 Political parties exist to acquire and maintain political power through governance. They have no interest in serving the electorate. They have an interest in maintaining relations with people who have or have access to money. Raising funds is critical to success. Donations buy the advertising and strategic advice they need, pay for polling, pay for media advertising, cover payroll and operating expenses, and fuel more donation campaigns.

Every political party has a circle of insiders who donate $1,000 or more to the party annually. They receive special treatment from the party and access to party officials. Those party officials are a gateway to parliament and MPs – either the government or opposition side.

This happens behind the scenes and rarely makes the news. Ineptness brought two examples to the forefront this spring – the SNC-Lavalin affair and the Vice-Admiral Mark Norman affair.

The SNC-Lavalin taught us about the strong interconnections between the Liberal Party and a web of corporations they regularly deal with and who influence government policy.

In the Mark Norman affair, a competent naval officer had his career destroyed in a battle between competing shipyards wanting war ship contracts. Someone blabbed about government meddling in military procurement contracts. The government needed a distraction and Mark Norman was tagged.

Influence peddling is scary. Those $250 a plate dinners are not intended to attract the average party members. The objective is to give party operatives a chance to encourage participants to join the ‘inner circle’ and enjoy the inherent advantages.

In a couple of weeks, the current low-level mud slinging will kick into high gear. Every party will be telling us of the horrors we can expect if we elect an opponent. Based on those advertisements, we would have to vote none of the incompetent shysters.

No political party will promise to do the right thing. They will promise policies that sound good, but lack substance. They will pretend to care about the middle class and poor but will take advice from those who have paid to be heard.

We have listened to decades of promises to solve our indigenous affairs crisis but have no plan. We get promises to fix problems with military procurement but stumble from one debacle to another. We need to end corporate welfare, but political parties are actively selling influence that undermines democracy.

The cheating, lying and hypocrisy are palpable. All we want are a few honest men and women willing to suffer the slings and arrows of political correctness and do the right thing for a change.

A modicum of honesty in a political campaign would be refreshing. Who will step up to the plate? 

Contact John at Jfeldsted@shaw.ca

Take note, Canada has left the building

By John Felsted
jfelsted@shaw.ca

Avarice is an acid that ultimately destroys the avaricious. Greed overcomes common sense, logic and reason with fatal consequences. Canada as we knew her is collapsing under irresponsible political leadership that fails to understand the greatness it inherited.

Canada has always been considered a treasury of resources for men of means to exploit. The northern portion was colonized to exploit available resources, initially fish, furs and timber. Control over the colonies was initially in Paris (roughly 1608 to 1759) and London from 1763 onward.

London agreed to the British North America Act as it relieved London of and obligation to come to Canada’s aid if the USA invaded. It took anther 64 years before London relinquished full control over Canada in the Statute of Westminster 1931. Political power was now vested in Ottawa.

What has not changed since 1763 is the notion that founded the Company of One Hundred, the Hudson’s Bay Company and the North West Company; corporate friends of government should be allowed to harvest natural resources for a profit.

Political power was concentrated in Ottawa, and government friends still live in the TOM triangle (Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal). Over my lifetime, I have watched Winnipeg diminish from a railway hub, grain exchange hub, packing house giant and aircraft maintenance hub into a once-was. It is all gone; taken over by avaricious eastern investors.

Packing plants that dotted the western landscape have disappeared and we now export live cattle to the US for slaughter and import frozen carcasses from the US for processing here. The jobs in Canada have vanished along with the value added GDP of processing our own produce. Our world-class rail maintenance facilities were allowed to crumble and moved east.
Our aircraft hubs in Edmonton (once gateway to the North) and Winnipeg have been moved to Quebec, which would hurt less if Bombardier was a successful enterprise and did not require constant federal support unavailable to western Canada.

Federal failure to manage our ocean fish stocks resulted in destruction of the Atlantic fishery. Thousands of Atlantic families were left destitute with the option of starvation or relocation.
There was a mass exodus from Atlantic Canada to the west, primarily to Alberta. The Albertans and Maritimers discovered they had the same values; independence, industry, fairness, respect and responsibility.

Federal governments that allowed CNR and CPR to abandon spur lines and sell of huge tracts of lands that had been given to those railroads to build transcendental rail lines without compensation should be hung for treason. There is no valid reason why those spur lines should not carry grain, cattle and natural resources to market and deliver finished good to depots along the way.

We have effectively lost rail passenger service west of Toronto. Via Rail is a disaster except in the TOM triangle. Railroads that brought hundreds of thousands of settlers to Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta when central Canada needed settlements to stave off potential incursions from the US can’t run a reliable passenger service today?

Our intercontinental highways and rail lines are a federal responsibility. Rail and roads that connect Canada to inland ports or seaports are a federal responsibility. The spur rail line connecting the transcontinental rail lines to Churchill is a federal responsibility and should be able to handle any sort of traffic destined for a seaport.

All highways connecting the Trans-Canad to US ports of entry are a federal responsibility and should be first-class divided all weather highways protected from flooding.

The Turning Point
The turning point came when our government allowed rapacious American investors to mount a pubic relation campaign to shut down our oil and gas industry. Not only did our government fail to protect Canada’s interests but joined in the effort, claiming without justification that our oil and gas sector was contributing to global warming.

Avarice has finally eaten up the federal government and its elitist friends. Trudeau has accomplished what no other Prime Minister in Canada has done. He forced us to look at Canada as she is; fresh out of the shower, unadorned by clothing or makeup and she is not pretty.

I have served Canada in various capacities as a proud patriot and have accepted the inherent risks without a second thought. I loved my Canada including Quebec. I have travelled from coast to coast and broken bread, drunk too much wine, compared and debated all sorts of issues and ideas with people from every province. The lack of acrimony and the politeness and respect shown throughout is astonishing. It pains me to admit that that is the Canada I once knew and loved.

Our federal government, has abandoned everyone living east or north of Saguenay, Quebec and west of North Bay, Ontario.

I am not going to waste time trying to reform a government system that is beyond rehabilitation. The denizens of TOM will resist change with the storm and thunder that huge financial assets and ownership of the media can muster. To those who think differently, remember the oilsands campaign.

I am a prairie lad through and through. I know prairie people and what they are capable of. Most of our forefathers arrived here from all over the world with what they could carry after a long and arduous journey to a strange an unforgiving place.

They built crude shelters of sod, trees and whatever lumber they could afford to face blistering summer heat and unforgiving cold and wind in winter. They cleared forests and tilled some of the quarter section of land homesteaders were granted. Individually and collectively, they built, worked and prospered. They built churches, community halls, libraries, schools and hospitals.
When private enterprise failed to meet their needs or was too expensive, they created credit unions and cooperatives that provided banking, groceries, gasoline, grain elevators, hardware, insurance, lumber and other necessities. Profits went back to the member investors.

Provinces took over hospitals and health care, but in so doing lost thousands of hours of volunteer efforts in fundraising, construction, landscaping and community pride in having a superior facility.

I have no doubt that Alberta, Manitoba, Northwest Ontario and Saskatchewan can draw on their heritage and create a separate nation without the ethnic rivalries that dominate TOM and central Canada. TOM can blunder on with a diminished domain and spend a decade designing a new motto.
The prospect of the Atlantic provinces joining us, effectively land-locking TOM is intriguing. Our current constitution, requiring us to sell our energy and other resources to central Canada at local rates less transportation costs would no longer apply.

TOM cannot survive without us. It would have to compete with the West for investments and negotiate rather than dictate terms of reciprocal services and purchase of resources.

Only one woman applies for Supreme Court vacancy

By John Felsted

From Huff Post

OTTAWA — More women, Indigenous and minority judges could find themselves on the Supreme Court if the government took a longer view of filling spots instead of scrambling to fill vacancies, says former prime minister Kim Campbell.
     Campbell headed the advisory body that led to Quebec judge Nicholas Kasirer’s being nominated to succeed Justice Clement Gascon. Her group crafted a short list of Supreme Court for the government to consider.
     She and Justice Minister David Lametti talked about the nomination process before Kasirer faced MPs and senators for formal questioning on Thursday.
     Among the 12 applicants for the job opened by Gascon’s impending retirement, there was only one woman and none were Indigenous or self-identified as a minority, Campbell told the House of Commons justice committee Thursday.
     Campbell suggested that rather than opening applications whenever a vacancy pops up — even retirements that come with six months of notice, as Gascon’s has — federal officials could have ongoing talks with the judiciary and the wider legal community about the needs of the Supreme Court to encourage more people to apply, particularly women and minorities.
     Read on: https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/supreme-court-canada-seat_ca_5d3a3295e4b0c31569e8b989

     Political correctness raises its ugly head again. We want the best qualified and experienced members of the legal profession to sit as judges at any level. Experience and knowledge are more important at superior court, appellate and higher levels all the way to the Supreme Court. Gender and ethnic character are not factors. If the best qualified person is an aboriginal female she is best qualified for a promotion.
     The banality of phrases like: “all men are created equal” go unchallenged. It depends on where you were ‘created’. The cultures of Canada and Iran, Qatar and France, the USA and Myanmar are very different and the roles of men and women vary by country of birth.
     We have beaten the term ‘equality’ to a meaningless and unrecognizable pulp. People are not equal. Men and women bring different attributes, viewpoints, skills, intellect and reasoning to the table. There are outstanding examples of both and millions of others who are followers. Claiming that they are all equal is nonsense.
     Every ethnic group has outstanding achievers and criminals. Sometimes the achievers are criminals. If it were not so, elected officials could never be corrupt.
     No one should be disqualified due to gender, ethnicity or colour. We have gone overboard in allowing minority groups to claim discrimination when the real cause of their problems is a combination of bad behaviour and poor choices coupled with a sense of entitlement.
     That brings up another social ill we refuse to deal with. Why do we have minority groups? When did we decide that some of us should be set apart from others? Officially, I am ‘white’ but I am also a member of a minority group. My ethnicity should not give me any privilege and my whiteness should not engender scorn from others. I reject the concept of white guilt for contributing to a positive, progressive world with more democracies than any other group in history.
     The British empire at one time dominated the world. It did not become so by playing nice or not enforcing its will on other nations and cultures. Over time it waned and morphed into the British commonwealth of nations. It brought us the common law system, and the parliamentary system. Over time, commonwealth nations around the world became independent democracies with the same fundamental legal system. Hundreds of millions enjoy freedoms, independence and rights as a result.
     We owe out heritage to millions of immigrants who came to Canada, many while we were still a colony of Great Britain and a nation in the making. Initially, the dominant ethnic group in Canada was French. Every other immigrant was a member of some minority group. Can you imagine the chaos if we had applied current political correctness to our society at the time instead of learning to live with our neighbours?
      Political correctness is an artificial construct designed to splinter our society into factions that argue over trivia rather than focus on our common problems and successes and a censorship vehicle designed to stifle free speech and debate on government initiatives.
      Those who gain from the splintering and censorship are political parties and their candidates who are out of control and don’t serve anyone but themselves.

Report is another 'sky is falling' bunch of garbage

John Felsted

John Paul Tasker of CBC News reports on July 17, 2019 that a new report from the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) says the federal government must commit to much more ambitious targets to protect the country's land and water if it's to have a chance of staving off a "nature emergency."

The report says biodiversity is declining faster than at any other time in human history — over one million species worldwide are facing extinction, according to a recent, groundbreaking study. It argues Canada must adopt aggressive measures beyond current targets by promising to protect and restore 30 per cent of all the country's land and inland waters by 2030 — about 330 million hectares.

Read on: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/tasker-nature-emergency-triple-protected-land-1.5213650?cmp=newsletter-news-digests-canada-and-world-morning

 

This is another piece of “the sky is falling”, “we have an emergency” nonsense popular in the social and mainstream media these days.

Increasing protected areas of land and water is not a solution to anything. It is putting off needed changes to how we protect our environment. It is the equivalent of forming a committee to study a problem rather than dealing with it.

All of our air, land and water needs protection, not just some of it. We cannot continue to pollute. Declaring that an area is protected requires monitoring to keep those areas free from pollution. We cannot continue to pollute areas that are not officially protected. That is insanity.

We need tough regulations to deal with polluters – including businesses and people who dump trash anywhere and everywhere. Littering our highways, streets, parks and beaches is pollution. We don’t solve problems by banning single-use plastics. Plastic straws and spoons aren’t the problem – people who discard containers, straws and spoons on the beach, sidewalk or out the vehicle window are.

Most of our refuse winds up in waste collection bins that are picked up and trucked to a landfill site. We must, at the least, get our trash into those bins. We are failing at that.

Recycling, particularly of plastics has proven to be a disaster. There are many types of plastic that can’t be recycled. Many types of paper can’t be recycled.

We need to incinerate rather than bury our trash. Modern incinerators, operating at very high temperatures reduce waste volume by 90% and thermal by-products can be used to generate electricity. The technology has improved vastly during the past decade.

We are drowning in our waste and need to invest in efficient and effective ways of dealing with it. Our investments will do far more for our environment than questionable carbon reduction schemes. We need to develop waste management streams:

  • Paper and plastics – all types;
  • Major appliances – refrigerators, freezers, stoves, washers, dryers, furnaces, air conditioners and hot water tanks;
  • Upholstered furniture and mattresses;
  • Automotive tires;
  • Small household and workshop appliances; the whole gambit from vacuum cleaners, microwaves and blenders to power drills and shop saws;
  • Metal or wood furniture and scraps;
  • All the remainder.

We have to make it easy for a householder to get rid of expired or unwanted items. We can deal with major appliances by having monthly pickups. The system must have the flexibility to increase pickup frequency if demand is high but will pick up at least monthly. That stops frustrated householders from hiring someone to take away an appliance to have it dumped in a ravine or river edge or worse. Each stream need to have a system designed to deal with that type of waste.

The easier we make waste disposal the less tolerant society is of scofflaws who don’t follow the rules. We care about our environment and are baffled by the amount of waste found on our riverbanks, roadsides, beaches, ravines and parks. Cost of cleanup are substantial.

We can do far better than banning random items and pretending we have accomplished something. If we want to help our environment, we have to make getting rid of trash in other than plentiful containers socially unacceptable. To do that we need to make trash disposal efficient and effective instead of giving householders long lists of items they cannot put in a recycle bin.

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Trudeau needs to mind his own business

By John Felsted

How do Donald Trump’s comments on representatives in the of US Congress affect Canada and thus be unacceptable? They don’t and aren’t. Internal political warfare in our southern neighbour are none of our business. Our role is not to meddle in the internal affairs of other nations. Trudeau seems to be oblivious to the resentments his agendas on human rights and women’s rights cause in foreign lands. We don’t win friends and allies by rubbing their noses in their perceived failings.   
 
A leader with a modicum of common sense would keep his views to himself and allow the Americans to sort out their laundry without extraneous comment. Trudeau’s words carry no weight in congress or the presidency. However, he risks alienating people in the White House he has to work with on trade, NORAD and NATO partnerships, drug laws, border security and a host of other issues that arise between neighbours.
 
Trudeau’s comments will not sit well with the Republican minority in Congress when Canada needs all the internal allies she can find when dealing with the US administration.
 
During Trudeau’s tenure, we find ourselves with strained relations with China, India, Myanmar, the Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United States and our own prairie provinces and indigenous people. Diplomacy is not a strength of this government.

Discretion is a cornerstone of diplomacy. We have numerous failings and scandals we have to deal with before we can validly criticize the behaviour of foreigners. We need to correct our own failings to earn the right to comment on world affairs.  
 
John Feldsted

Ontario Court of Appeal upholds federal carbon pricing law

By John Feldsted

By John Feldsted
Political Consultant & Strategist

Colin Perkel of the Canadian Press reported on CBC News on June 28

The federal government's carbon pricing scheme is constitutionally sound and has the critical purpose of fighting climate change, Ontario's top court ruled in a split decision on Friday.

The Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, enacted in April, is within Parliament's jurisdiction to legislate in relation to matters of "national concern," Chief Justice George Strathy wrote on behalf of the court.

"Parliament has determined that atmospheric accumulation of greenhouse gases causes climate changes that pose an existential threat to human civilization and the global ecosystem," Strathy said.

"The need for a collective approach to a matter of national concern, and the risk of non-participation by one or more provinces, permits Canada to adopt minimum national standards to reduce [greenhouse gas] emissions."

READ THE FULL REPORT

READ THE DECISION 

The Ontario Court of Appeal decision makes for some hilarious reading. I do not recall reading a decision so filled with unproven conjecture. At page 5 of the decision, the court writes:

[11] This global warming is causing climate change and its associated impacts. The uncontested evidence before this court shows that climate change is causing or exacerbating:

  • increased frequency and severity of extreme weather events (including droughts, floods, wildfires, and heat waves); 
  • degradation of soil and water resources; 
  • thawing of permafrost; 
  • rising sea levels; 
  • ocean acidification; 
  • decreased agricultural productivity and famine; 
  • species loss and extinction; and 
  • expansion of the ranges of life-threatening vector-borne diseases, such as Lyme disease and West Nile virus. 

Recent manifestations of the impacts of climate change in Canada include: 

  • major wildfires in Alberta in 2016 and in British Columbia in 2017 and 2018; and 
  • major flood events in Ontario and Québec in 2017; and 
  • in British Columbia, Ontario, Québec and New Brunswick in 2018. 

The recent major flooding in Ontario, Québec and New Brunswick in 2019 was likely also fueled by climate change.

That is straight from the IPCC script and has no bearing on a legal assessment of federal powers. 

The OCA also concluded that since carbon pricing is ‘regulatory’ it is not a tax. If a government removes money from our personal earnings by force of law it is a tax on our earnings. 

Although the OAC delves into the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and notes that combatting global warming requires collaboration and action on the part of all nations, it fails to consider whether a majority of nations are engaged in carbon emission reduction and how close they are to meeting Paris Agreement targets. China and the United States, who collectively account for 60% of carbon emissions, are not Paris Agreement participants. 

Without worldwide collaboration on carbon emission reduction, the federal government has no peace, order and good government argument. Reducing Canada’s tiny contribution to world carbon emissions is an exercise in futility.

Constitution s 91 federal powers for peace, order and good government (POGG) provide for very broad powers that are decided as issues not specifically enumerated under s 91 & 92 or under other constitutional clauses but are confined to issues affecting Canada and Canadians. 

Carbon emission reduction is an international scheme of dubious origins and quality. The Paris Accord does not require the participation of all major carbon emitters and has no provisions for penalizing nations who fail to achieve Paris Accord targets. It is an exercise in make-believe that cannot be used extend federal POGG powers.

It is difficult to accept that a carbon dioxide concentration of 400 parts per million (0.04% or 1/25th of 1%) is a driving force in global warming. 

Water vapor, not carbon dioxide is the most important greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. Heat radiated from Earth's surface is absorbed by water vapor molecules in the lower atmosphere. The water vapor molecules, in turn, radiate heat in all directions. Some of the heat returns to the Earth's surface. Thus, water vapor is a second source of warmth (in addition to sunlight) at the Earth's surface.   

Solar activity has a huge effect on the earth’s hearting and cooling cycles as do gradual shifts in the earth’s rotational axis. Changes in the globe’s attitude to the sun can have profound effects.

The government’s carbon pricing plan and resistance to development of our petroleum resources have major impacts on our economic and social well-being. In order to justify carbon pricing as for the good order and good government of Canada, the federal government must show without doubt that its efforts to reduce carbon emissions warrants the loss of income resulting from its petrochemical and environmental policies. 

The Ontario courts have sanctioned federal government coercion. Carbon pricing is intended to force reductions in carbon fuel use irrespective of the resultant economic, personal and social costs that individual Canadians will suffer. The government must be able to prove that those costs are a reasonable requirement to force on the people they are obliged to govern prudently and responsibly. Good government entails responsibility for consequences of its actions.    

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Why Australia’s carbon tax bombed

By John Feldsted

By John Feldsted, 
Political Consultant and Strategist

0619 - Australians and Canadians are fighting back against silly taxes based on an unproven hypothesis that governments can control the earth’s temperature by regulating carbon dioxide emissions. There is no evidence proving that:

  • atmospheric carbon dioxide drives global warming; or
  • reductions in man-made emissions will result in reductions of atmospheric concentrations; or
  • that reductions in man-made carbon emissions will affect global warming or cooling.     

Governments cannot claim they are saving us from anything except their hysterical speculation, nor can they guarantee that the taxes they impose will have any measurable result other than ensuring less disposable income for people forced to suffer their inane carbon taxes.

Accusing the sceptics of global warming hypothesis of ignorance is proof that the warming theorists do not have a logical and reasonable case to support their hysteria. 

Trudeau, McKenna and company set the standards for emission reductions. If they aimed too high to be able to achieve their targets, that is a problem they created for themselves. There is no ‘crisis’. We are not required to atone for government failures to act reasonably responsibly.    

Catherine McKenna would have us believe that if Canada fails to reduce world carbon emissions by 0.002% the earth will rapidly warm and destroy us. We can be forgiven for doubting her. Ms McKenna can’t tell us how much atmospheric carbon is attributable to human activity. No one knows for certain how much is natural and how much we may contribute, which is ridiculous. Government claims on climate change and warming do not stand up to critical analysis.  

Carbon taxes are intended to force us to reduce our use of oil and gas products. No government can abuse its powers to infringe on our rights and freedom of choice by employing coercion. Coercion is a tactic of tyrants, not an appropriate policy of a democratic government. 

An earlier analysis by Margaret Wente in the Globe & Mail

When Australia repealed its carbon tax in 2014, environmentalists around the world rent their garments and beat their breasts. "We are taking a monumentally reckless backward leap even as other countries are stepping up to climate action," John Connor, chief executive of Australia's Climate Institute, told The New York Times. The Green Party's Elizabeth May lamented that it "sends the wrong signal to the world. "

But canny politicians know some things economists don't. They know that a lot of people don't like carbon taxes and will punish governments that try to impose them.

Popular concern for the environment reached a peak back in 2006. During the 2007 election, both major parties promised tough action on the climate. Then came the recession, and people's worries shifted elsewhere. When Julia Gillard took over as leader of the Labor Party in 2010, she solemnly swore not to impose a carbon tax. Then she formed a coalition with the Greens and promptly broke her promise. The carbon tax was introduced, and people hated it from the start. They threw the Labor Party out of office and elected Mr. Abbott, who promised to "axe the tax."

Australia's carbon-tax fiasco has been blamed on inept politics, public misunderstanding and design flaws – problems that are built into a lot of climate policy, as it happens. But the biggest problem was that the carbon tax drove up people's energy bills. The tax was billed as being revenue-neutral, but people didn't believe it. They also didn't see why they should have to pay for climate change when their country's output of greenhouse gasses is so small and inconsequential to the climate.

READ ON: HTTPS://WWW.THEGLOBEANDMAIL.COM/OPINION/WHY-AUSTRALIAS-CARBON-TAX-BOMBED/ARTICLE19704906/

NDP set to promise mental, dental, hearing coverage for all

By John Feldsted

By John Feldsted,
Political Consultant and Strategist

CBC News got an early look at what’s inside the NDP 2019 federal election platform

The NDP will be the first Canadian federal party to unveil an election platform that promises to drastically expand Canada's health care system to include, not just pharmacare, but mental, dental, eye and hearing coverage for all citizens.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh will unveil the platform in Hamilton on Sunday at 11:15 a.m. CBCNews.ca will carry the announcement live.

What else does the NDP platform promise to do?

  • Commit to fully and equitably fund health education and other services in Indigenous communities.
  • Create an action plan to prevent suicide.
  • Cap and reduce tuition fees and student loan interest, with an eventual goal of free post-secondary education.
  • Ban unpaid internships.
  • Introduce federal incentives for zero-emissions automobiles and prioritize cars made in Canada.
  • Invest $1 billion in affordable childcare in 2020.
  • Focus on revitalizing industries like forestry, fisheries and agriculture.
  • Put a price cap on cellphone and internet bills and introduce a telecommunications bill of rights.
  • Close tax loopholes and introduce a one per cent "wealth tax" on personal earnings over $20 million.
  • Increase access to public transit, including along rural routes cut off by Greyhound service discontinuation.
  • Power Canada with net carbon-free electricity by 2030.
  • Ban single-use plastics
  • End veteran homelessness
  • Launch a basic income pilot project
  • Strengthen the air passenger bill of rights
  • Create an affordable housing plan that includes construction of more low-cost and co-operative housing across the country.

Read it all: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/ndp-singh-health-policy-federal-election-1.5175899?cmp=newsletter-news-digests-canada-and-world-morning

The gap between what political parties believe we will fall for and what we need from them has never been wider. The differences between what political parties offer, what government is responsible for, what we really need and what we can afford leaves us breathless. These issues are interconnected, not isolated. We can’t spend what we don’t have and with each passing year Canadians have less money left for discretionary spending. We cannot continue to fund irresponsible government largess.

We do not need political idealism. That is daydreaming we all do – wouldn’t it be wonderful if only we could ___________ ; then we realize the dream involves doubling our income and get on with life as it is.

Politicians do not govern us. We elect people to represent us and ensure that governments provide the services they are responsible for as well as spend and tax prudently and responsibly. No government may tax us for more than is needed to carry out its responsibilities to the public. 

Personal responsibility is the basis of democracy. Unless we are prepared to accept responsibility for our actions and behaviours a civil, democratic, lawful, orderly and peaceful society and its institutions will crumble to dust. We already see evidence of rot in our institutions. 

Governance should be administered at the level closest to the people. Municipal governance is very effective for the most part. However, when municipalities grow into large towns and cities, the connection between the governing body and those they serve are diminished and finally lost. The result is decisions made for the benefit those governing rather than for those governed.  

In general, governance bodies exist to provide services communities cannot afford on their own. Our constitution sets out a list of subjects provincial governments are responsible for. They are largely of a local nature, too costly for municipalities, but needed by the people of the province.

There is a second list of subjects for which the federal government is responsible. They are different from the subjects listed for the provinces. Hospitals and health care are provincial subjects. 

Provinces cannot enact law in federal subjects and the federal government cannot enact laws in provincial subjects. The federal and provincial governments operate in separate spheres; the federal government is not ‘superior’ or above the provinces. 

Our provincial governments already provide some drug coverage and have experimented with mass drug purchases to keep costs down. The introduction of generic drugs in the 1970s reduced costs considerably.

If full drug coverage was affordable and viable, some provinces would be providing pharmacare for their residents. 

What is missing from party election platforms is sound planning to grow our economy to provide the taxable incomes to support the services Canadians need. We cannot continue unending deficit spending. We need to generate more income to sustain the basic services we receive. We cannot allow political parties to continue to ignore spending restraints based on income. 

Political party delusions that they can buy our votes by promoting unaffordable programs is good reason for not supporting them. 

The majority of Canadians are more fiscally responsible and able to set realistic spending priorities than any federal government we have endured during the past 50 years. The days of people in political parties and government serving their personal interests and helping their friends must end. We need responsible adult supervision of our federal government.

Trudeau arrogrance showing in fight with provinces

By John Feldsted

Peter Zimonjic of CBC reports Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday has said that premiers demanding the federal government accept compromises on pending legislation to regulate natural resource development are themselves threatening national unity.

"It's absolutely irresponsible for conservative premiers to be threatening our national unity if they don't get their way," Trudeau  said, according to Zimonjic. "The fundamental job of any Canadian prime minister is to hold this country together, to gather us together and move forward in the right way. And anyone who wants to be prime minister, like Andrew Scheer, needs to condemn those attacks on national unity."

Trudeau made the remarks a day after the premiers of Ontario, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the Northwest Territories wrote him to demand he make concessions on two key government bills.

The first piece of legislation is C-69, the Liberal government's attempt to rewrite the rules for approving major national resource projects in Canada. The second is C-48, the planned ban on oil tankers along B.C.'s northern coast.

"The federal government must recognize the exclusive role provinces and territories have over the management of our non-renewable natural resource development or risk creating a constitutional crisis," the letter says. FULL CBC STORY  

By John Feldsted
Political commentator

0612 - It is possible that Trudeau finally "gets it". Provinces outside of central Canada are fed up with central governance that impoverishes them. The PM’s angry demeanor and words look like an aristocrat’s reaction to news that the household staff has declared a strike.

Expressing anger at six premiers on television rather than making an attempt to negotiate an amicable resolution is a strange way to “gather us together”. The petulance is inappropriate and divisive. Provinces are not going to knuckle under to imperious decrees from Ottawa. 

Trudeau, for the first time, is frightened. Premiers are rebelling. Worse, Ontario is in the mix. Those premiers represent 21.7 million Canadians, nearly 60 per cent of the population. If one more province joins the group, it will have the power to force constitutional amendments. Seven provinces with over 50 per cent of the population can either toss or substantially change the hated equalization clause, dump the Senate or change the Senate representation to six senators per province. Trudeau may regret bypassing Ford and Ontario to deal directly with Toronto. That arrogance has put federal authority in serious jeopardy.  

When Trudeau speaks thoughtlessly

By John Feldsted
Political Consultant & Strategist

 0610 - On June 4, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau plunged Canada into international chaos.

Trudeau acknowledged on Tuesday that Canada’s historical actions resulted in a genocide of Indigenous women and girls but said Canada must move beyond debates about the term to taking steps to fix the situation.

“We recognized the need for a national public inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls and we have commissioners who came back with findings of fact and with calls to action,” he said to media at the Women Deliver conference in Vancouver.

The Prime Minister was then asked if he personally believed the harms done to Canada’s Indigenous people amounted to genocide.

“As I’ve said, we accept the finding that this was genocide. And we will move forward to end this ongoing national tragedy.”

SOURCE: Globe & Mail

 

International bodies have noted the admission and plan investigations into what is universally considered a crime against humanity with dire consequences. There is no half-measure genocide; a deliberate campaign to extinguish a race through violence is not trivial.   

Trudeau is historically and factually wrong. Origins of the Indian Act are rooted in the British 1857 Gradual Civilization Act, which aimed to force assimilation of indigenous people. Amended and renamed the Indian Act by our government in 1876, nine years after confederation, the objective was still to force assimilation of indigenous people.

Trudeau’s attempt to use the past tense to pretend that government attempts to force assimilation was or is ‘genocide’ is ridiculous. 

Numerous indigenous victims were killed by people they knew, not by strangers and that others suffered violence from persons unknown but not government agents, hired mercenaries or troops. There is no evidence to indicate that any group was or is attempting genocide of indigenous people.

The federal government spends over $19 billion annually to provide services to indigenous people but does so badly enough that indigenous people from coast to coast to coast are validly protesting unacceptable living conditions. 

The latest government excuse for inaction was to create the MMIWG Inquiry and then, after an incompetent effort, agreeing that Canada is guilty of genocide. That put the issues in need of immediate action to stop further harm and mitigate damage done on hold. Again.

Wasting time reviewing the 231 ‘calls to justice’ by the MMIWG Inquiry is unacceptable. We cannot delay efforts to improve the lot of indigenous people while indigenous activists and our government argue over what needs to be done, how and when.   

We need reform Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada with a mandate to:

  1. provide indigenous people on reserves with a workable self-governance model;
  2. provide basic infrastructure services to indigenous people on reserves;
  3. create a framework to provide indigenous people with education and health care services;
  4. create regional facilities to serve education and health needs; and 
  5. ensure equal treatment of aboriginal people irrespective of domicile; 
  6. allow Indian bands to relocate either to facilitate formation of mutual support systems or to overcome issues associated with isolation.

Item 1 above has to occur within the next 24 months, sooner if possible. The objective is to replace a failed Indigenous Services Canada with an agency that works with and for indigenous people. 

We need to scrap the ‘nation to nation’ concept. It is an attempt by some indigenous leaders to crate a separate and unneeded national indigenous governance structure. The result will be months of negotiations between Grand Chiefs and the government while indigenous people continue to suffer. 

Focus must be on alleviating the crises facing indigenous people on reserves. Decades of mismanagement by an indigenous affairs boondoggle have come home to roost and it is not pretty. Passing gas in Ottawa has to be replaced with urgent action needed in over 2,500 indigenous communities.   

Urban enrivonmental 'emergency' mantra wears thin

0609 - “Everybody wants to save the Earth. Nobody wants to help Mum do the dishes.”

That’s how U.S. humourist P.J. O’Rourke summed up the emerging green politics in his 1994 book, All the Trouble in the World.

It has been another tough week for the B.C. forest industry, as it deals with the long-expected decline in Interior log supply after widespread mountain pine beetle impact, continued punitive tariffs orchestrated by U.S. competitors, and the NDP government’s steeply increased stumpage on coastal B.C. logs. A wave of layoffs and lumber mill shutdowns is shaking rural communities across the province.

READ MORE

Canada suffers a dismal lack of leadership

By John Feldsted

By John Feldsted
Political Consultant And Strategist

0608 - In October, we will be confronted with choosing the least destructive prime minister and political party from a lackluster group.

Justin Trudeau and the Liberals are a decidedly poor choice. Everything Trudeau touches is worse for his attention and he has lost trust of the electorate. 

Andrew Scheer is possibly the least offensive, but leadership requires risk and the ability to stand on principle despite criticism. He avoids all controversy and no leader can manage that.

Jagmeet Singh leads Canada’s traditional third-ranking party. He is hampered by labour union ties and the majority of his support is government employees reviled by the non-union electoral majority. 

Elizabeth May is a gad-fly, unable to imagine balancing environment responsibility with the engines that drive our economy and develop the capital that funds our infrastructure, programs and services. 

Yves-François Blanchet heads a Quebec regional party that has no place in our parliament. 

Maxime Bernier is a bright light in the mix but is still building support. He could play a significant role in a minority government but is not ready for prime time.

The rest are strikingly bereft of original thought and leadership capacity. Trudeau, Scheer and Singh are now stage actors with scripts written by hired advertising gurus, campaign organizers, pollsters, and strategists who have no interest in the aspirations and needs of the electorate or the nation. 

We are weary of being offered political trash talk and fear mongering. We deserve to be treated respectfully as intelligent adults.  A leader must be able to ignore his party’s demands that our MPs avoid irritating donors or doing anything controversial. We need leaders who will do the right thing because it is the right thing.  

We need leaders who understand our constitution and the divisions of authority and responsibility therein. I will give you two examples. 

First, abortion is a medical and moral issue. The federal government has no authority to legislate on either; religion and morality is off the table and medical care is a provincial jurisdiction. The federal government does not have constitutional power to make abortion law. Peace, order and good government cannot save the federal government on this one. 

Second, the sale and ownership of a firearm (property) is a local matter under provincial control. Laws prohibiting trafficking in firearms or amassing them for seditious purpose or to arm a forces in a foreign nation and criminal use of a firearm are in federal jurisdiction but not the sale, ownership and storage of a firearm. (See: Prohibitory Liquor Laws (1895) 24 SCR 170).

Is there no leader who will commit to rescinding the Indian Act and replacing it with a local band self-governance act that will give indigenous people control over their lives, hope and the incentive to prosper from their efforts? 

Is there no leader who understands that government policy must originate in the commons caucuses and cabinet and not from hired gurus in the prime minister’s office?

Is there no leader who understand the Queen’s Privy Council is not an arm of the PMO?

Is there no leader who will admit that no government knows or understands the forces driving climate change? Those who claim they can influence global warming are frauds. 

Is there no leader who understands that all votes in the Commons must be free votes? We elect MPs to represent us, not a political party. We must not accept that winning a majority of the seats in an election guarantees a leader four years in power. Prime ministers must earn the right to continue to govern each day of a four year election cycle.                          

Is there no leader who will confront the United Nations, refuse to support and fund the UN without a major reorganization and corruption cleanup and withdraw membership if reforms are not made? Canada was instrumental in forming the UN and its founders would be ashamed of the undemocratic socialist circus it has become.

The October challenge signals that we lack leaders capable of sound governance. There is no debate on fundamental principles and policies. No one is paying heed to the basic responsibilities of the federal government. 

In place of an election campaign appealing to our logic and reason, we get an irresponsible circus. We are choosing the people who will govern us, not the best act in a fringe festival. 

Glacier National Park removes its ‘Gone by 2020’ signs

By Roger I. Roots, J.D., Ph.D.,
Founder, Lysander Spooner University

0530 2019 – Officials at Glacier National Park (GNP) have begun quietly removing and altering signs and government literature which told visitors that the Park’s glaciers were all expected to disappear by either 2020 or 2030.

In recent years the National Park Service prominently featured brochures, signs and films which boldly proclaimed that all glaciers at GNP were melting away rapidly. But now officials at GNP seem to be scrambling to hide or replace their previous hysterical claims while avoiding any notice to the public that the claims were inaccurate. Teams from Lysander Spooner University visiting the Park each September have noted that GNP’s most famous glaciers such as the Grinnell Glacier and the Jackson Glacier appear to have been growing—not shrinking—since about 2010. (The Jackson Glacier may have grown as much as 25% or more over the past decade.)

The centerpiece of the visitor center at St. Mary near the east boundary is a large three-dimensional diorama showing lights going out as the glaciers disappear. Visitors press a button to see the diorama lit up like a Christmas tree in 1850, then showing fewer and fewer lights until the diorama goes completely dark. As recently as September 2018 the diorama displayed a sign saying GNP’s glaciers were expected to disappear completely by 2020.

But at some point during this past winter, workers replaced the diorama’s ‘gone by 2020’ engraving with a new sign indicating the glaciers will disappear in “future generations.”

Almost everywhere, the Park’s specific claims of impending glacier disappearance have been replaced with more nuanced messaging indicating that everyone agrees that the glaciers are melting. Some signs indicate that glacial melt is “accelerating.”

A common trick used by the National Park Service at GNP is to display old black-and-white photos of glaciers from bygone years (say, “1922”) next to photos of the same glaciers taken in more recent years showing the glaciers much diminished (say, “2006”). Anyone familiar with glaciers in the northern Rockies knows that glaciers tend to grow for nine months each winter and melt for three months each summer. Thus, such photo displays without precise calendar dates may be highly deceptive.

Last year the Park Service quietly removed its two large steel trash cans at the Many Glacier Hotel which depicted “before and after” engravings of the Grinnell Glacier in 1910 and 2009. The steel carvings indicated that the Glacier had shrunk significantly between the two dates. But a viral video published on Wattsupwiththat.com showed that the Grinnell Glacier appears to be slightly larger than in 2009.

The ‘gone by 2020’ claims were repeated in the New York Times, National Geographic, and other international news sources. But no mainstream news outlet has done any meaningful reporting regarding the apparent stabilization and recovery of the glaciers in GNP over the past decade. Even local Montana news sources such as The Missoulian, Billings Gazette and Bozeman Daily Chronicle have remained utterly silent regarding this story.

(Note that since September 2015 the author has offered to bet anyone $5,000 that GNP’s glaciers will still exist in 2030, in contradiction to the reported scientific consensus. To this day no one has taken me up on my offer. –R.R.)

Vivian Krause’s testimony on the tanker moratorium
Krause will speak at the Saskatchewan Oil and Gas Show June 5

Money laundering melodrama made for TV

 

0527 - First it was $1 billion a year (maybe) being laundered through Lower Mainland casinos and real estate. Then it became $5 billion (maybe) in real estate alone for 2018.

These dramatic, expanding estimates have persuaded Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby to put aside their serious concerns about cost and a lack of actual charges against actual crooks, and reluctantly agree with a strange chorus demanding a public inquiry into B.C. money laundering.

Eby and Finance Minister Carole James finally released two thick investigation reports this month, trying to quantify the “dirty money” in B.C.’s economy. You may have heard the most shocking conclusion, that billions were (maybe) poured into Metro Vancouver real estate, pushing up housing costs by (maybe) as much as five per cent.

READ MORE

Court says B.C. can’t restrict oil shipments

By John Feldsted

By John Feldsted
Political Consultant And Strategist

From the Canadian Press

VANCOUVER — A court has ruled that British Columbia cannot restrict oil shipments through its borders in a decision that marks a win for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and Alberta’s efforts to get its resources to overseas markets.

The province filed a constitutional reference question to the B.C. Court of Appeal that asked whether it had the authority to create a permitting regime for companies that wished to increase their flow of diluted bitumen.

A five-judge panel agreed unanimously that the amendments to B.C.’s Environmental Management Act were not constitutional because they would interfere with the federal government’s exclusive jurisdiction over interprovincial pipelines.

Justice Mary Newbury wrote on behalf of the panel that the substance of the proposed amendments were to place conditions on and, if necessary, prohibit the movement of heavy oil through a federal undertaking.

Newbury also wrote that the legislation is not just an environmental law of “general application,” but is targeted at one substance, heavy oil, in one interprovincial pipeline: the Trans Mountain expansion project.

“Immediately upon coming into force, it would prohibit the operation of the expanded Trans Mountain pipeline in the province until such time as a provincially appointed official decided otherwise,” she said.

“This alone threatens to usurp the role of the (National Energy Board), which has made many rulings and imposed many conditions to be complied with by Trans Mountain for the protection of the environment.”

B.C. argued that the proposed amendments were meant to protect its environment from a hazardous substance, while the federal government and Alberta said the goal was to block Trans Mountain.

Newbury wrote that even if the legislation was not intended to single out the expansion project, it has the potential to affect — and indeed “stop in its tracks” — the entire operation of Trans Mountain as a carrier and exporter of oil.

She said the National Energy Board is the body entrusted with regulating the flow of energy resources across Canada to export markets, and it has already imposed many conditions on Trans Mountain.

She added that the expansion is not just a British Columbia project because it affects the whole country.

Read on: https://boereport.com/2019/05/24/court-says-b-c-cant-restrict-oil-shipments/

 This is why I continue to stress the importance of our constitution in considering the issues that have arisen in respect to pipeline construction in Canada. Provinces do not have jurisdiction over interprovincial works. 

The BC Court of Appeal also puts the jurisdiction and responsibility for interprovincial works squarely where it belongs – with the federal government. We have listened to months of nonsense about the federal government not being able to move forward on pipeline issues because of various appeals to provincial courts, and various laws passed by provinces and municipalities. That is a clear abdication of federal responsibilities. 

The federal government does not enjoy the luxury of deciding which of the constitutional subjects it has jurisdiction and responsibility for it will administer or which provincial constitutional subjects it can interfere with. The latter is the basis for constitutional challenges to the carbon tax. Section 92A (4):

(4) In each province, the legislature may make laws in relation to the raising of money by any mode or system of taxation in respect of

     (a) non-renewable natural resources and forestry resources in the province and the primary production therefrom, and

     (b) sites and facilities in the province for the generation of electrical energy and the production therefrom,

whether or not such production is exported in whole or in part from the province, but such laws may not authorize or provide for taxation that differentiates between production exported to another part of Canada and production not exported from the province.

The constitution is our ‘rules of the road’ for governance jurisdiction and has been ignored by our federal governments for far too long.  

Democracy is a participatory event. Every election is determined by the people who show up.

 

Climate change fraud - nothing to do with climate

By John Feldsted

By John Feldsted
Political Consultant & Strategist
Winnipeg, Mantoba

Let’s examine the Paris Climate Change Agreement that our federal government is determined to shove down our throats despite growing resistance. Canadians do not take well to ideological government decrees.    

Within the wording, you will find:

Article 2

  1. This Agreement, in enhancing the implementation of the Convention, including its objective, aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty, including by:
  1. Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change;
  2. Increasing the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions development, in a manner that does not threaten food production; and 
  3. Making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.

Ref: https://unfccc.int/sites/default/files/english_paris_agreement.pdf

This is the same theme that underlay the Kyoto Accord. Developed (industrialized) nations were to pay penalties to developing nations for alleged harm they were doing to the global environment. 

The original Paris Agreement wording tried to have industrialized nations pay penalties for alleged harm done over the last 250 years. That did not pass and was dropped from the final Agreement.

Article 9

1. Developed country Parties shall provide financial resources to assist developing country Parties with respect to both mitigation and adaptation in continuation of their existing obligations under the Convention.

The object still is to find a means to transfer wealth from developed nations to developing nations. Climate change hysteria and warnings of impending doom is the vehicle for that wealth transfer.

The Kyoto Accord had fixed penalties for (unattainable) carbon reduction targets. Canada withdrew from the Kyoto Accord in 2012. Not doing so would have cost us about $14 billion in penalties. The governments that signed on to Kyoto had done little to meet Kyoto carbon reduction targets. It was impossible to meet targets without economic ruination. Nothing has changed. We are still well short of meeting Paris Agreement targets and intensifying reduction efforts will lead to economic ruination.

There is no legal obligation for Canada to participate in the Paris Agreement.

There are no hard Paris Agreement reduction targets. Each nation sets its own targets. The IPCC uses coercion to encourage nation to set unrealistic targets to appear to be supporters of the IPCC master plan. It’s all about political gamesmanship and appearances.

Our government effectively doubled down on Kyoto carbon reduction targets. It is accountable for the targets it set. There is no connection between what Canada can reasonably achieve without destroying her economy and the carbon reduction targets set by the government. The sky is not falling; however, the Paris Climate Change Agreement is falling apart and our government refuses to admit it.  

The ‘Paris Agreement’ was doomed from the outset as it is not practical or practicable. It is designed to penalize developed nation for being successful. Why is our government committed to meeting carbon reduction targets no matter what the cost to Canada and her citizens?

The government is aware that the majority of nations are not meeting their targets, and some are ignoring the Paris Agreement (including China, India, Russia and the United States who account for 54% of world carbon emissions – (2015 figures)). Our government’s fear mongering is repulsive.

I can go on at length, but others have done an excellent job of identifying flaws in the Paris Agreement. I suggest you give it a read. It will answer many of your questions.

The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd. - Bertrand Russell

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Democracy is a participatory event. Every election is determined by the people who show up.

The Yellow Brick Road to climate change

Maurice Stong, the father of the climate scam

0519 - Climate emergency declarations are the order of the day in politics world wide and even at the local level. There's a lot of history behind the climate agenda, a lot of which we are conveniently denied hearing about. Here's the other side, so you can determine the validity of the climate scare.

Australian website Quadrant Online has published numerous articles about climate fraud over a period of years. We will publish some of them for your enlightenment as to the origins and those with their snouts at the public trough.

Canadian Maurice Strong more than any other, redefined a trace gas as the meal ticket for tens of thousands of climate functionaries — the same people whose light-fingered heirs gathered at "climate" conferences.

Writer John Izzard has long studied the history behind the climate agenda, including a profile of the man who did very nicely by costing everyone else dearly. His feature was headed "Maurice Strong – climate crook." This was first published in 2015.

https://quadrant.org.au/opinion/doomed-planet/2015/12/discovering-maurice-strong/

This is the first of a series on the climate change phenomenon.

Canada, we need to find our way again

By John Feldsted

Letter to the Editor of the Calgary Sun
Honorable Brian Giesbrecht is a retired judge from Brandon Manitoba.

While journalists in some parts of the world risk their lives (one butchered at the Saudi embassy in Turkey), ours were earnestly studying the details of new marijuana laws.  Where will we be allowed to smoke?  What will the fines be for disobeying a bewildering new sets of laws?  Switching over to BBC Radio, I find a multi-part expose of the opioid epidemic in Midwestern America — overdoses, families ripped apart due to addictions.  Sad people, lives based on cheap chemicals a punk threw together.

In need of a bathroom, looking around, instead of man-woman stick figures on two doors I found five bathrooms, each with a different combination of stick figures on their doors.  While those of different sexual orientations and gender identification are certainly entitled to respect, we have become preoccupied with such issues — neglecting the bread and butter issues essential to maintain our enviable standard of living.  Marijuana and extra bathrooms won’t do that.

In most countries, a day is not spent deciding which drug to take or which bathroom to use.  Life is more basic if you live in Yemen or Congo.  Happiness is supper to eat and a bed to sleep. Even in safer and more prosperous countries like China — our economic rivals — esoteric concerns like drugs and bathrooms are of marginal relevance.  They are more concerned about basics — helping their children get into the best schools and later succeeding in their careers.  While we ponder on marijuana and which bathroom to use, in China, parents focus on raising determined and competent offspring.

Recall our Prime Minister’s embarrassing trips to India and China?  In India he focused on his bright attire and looked silly, but his trip to China should worry us more.  In his earnest way, he shared with Chinese politicians matters dear to his heart — diversity, gender sensitivity, and “Indigenization.” After spending a few days trying to find someone who would listen to his sermon, and failing, he was hustled unceremoniously out of China.  He trotted out the same tired agenda at the first round of the NAFTA talks, and was laughed out of the room by the American negotiators.

The Chinese and Americans want to talk about steel, aluminum and cars, while our Prime Minister wants to talk about issues they consider trivial.  Now, we sell our oil at a 50% discount to the Americans while buying Saudi Arabia oil and Chinese technology.

At our universities, too many students expend their energy on a plethora of “studies” courses that have nothing to do with the real world. Once we had more important things to think about do: carve a country out of the wilderness, build a railway, fight world wars, keep from falling apart to tribalism.  Back then, Canadians had more weighty things to occupy themselves than
marijuana and bathrooms.

Canada should get back to basics: build pipelines, improve outdated tax structures, and generally — as Winnipeg’s own Randy Bachman aptly put it — “Taking Care of Business.” We should remember our forefathers’ goals and accomplishments, and consider how fortunate we are compared to most of the people on this planet.  We need to get back to concentrating on things that really
matter. We need to find our way again.

Brian Giesbrecht, a retired judge, is a senior fellow at Frontier Centre for Public Policy. 

The Frontier Centre for Public Policy (FCPP) is an independent Canadian public policy think tank. Founded in Winnipeg in 1997, the Frontier Centre received charitable status in 1999 and currently has offices in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Our research aims to analyze current affairs and public policies and develop effective and meaningful ideas for good governance and reform. We provide a platform for public debate and engage with the public through our numerous publications and events.

READ MORE

Slowly the truth is coming out about climate change

The greatest scientific fraud of the century will be laid bare, along with its corrupt enablers in government, academia, industry and the media

0509 - Whistleblowers at the U.S. government’s official keeper of the global warming stats, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), claim their agency doctored temperature data to hide the fact that global temperatures plateaued almost 20 years ago.

Can the whistleblowers be believed in this claim, originally made in 2015? And in the further claim that NOAA then rushed this doctored data into print in time for the UN’s Paris global warming summit of world leaders, to dupe any doubters that the planet was in fact overheated?

GET THE FACTS

Western frustration is deeper than just alienation

By John Feldsted

By Amanda Connolly
National Online Journalist (Politics)  
Global News

May 5, 2019

Writing off Western anger over federal energy policies as “alienation” is overly simplistic — it runs a whole lot deeper than that, one professor argues.

In an interview with the West Block‘s Mercedes Stephenson, political scientist Barry Cooper from the University of Calgary said the term minimizes the frustrations of Albertans and Western Canadians while at the same time showing that those in Ottawa are failing to grasp the underlying anger.

“There’s been a long train of abuses on Western Canada,” said Cooper, who was also thesis adviser to Stephenson.

Read on: https://globalnews.ca/news/5236705/alberta-secession-western-alienation-oil-industry/

______________________________________

The anger runs far beyond the borders of Alberta and is much deeper than the petroleum industry and pipelines. Overall, income increases have been lagging behind cost of living increases. People find that they have less disposable income with each passing year. 

We were promised that there would be tax relief for the ‘middle class’. Four years later, no one can define this ‘middle class’. Why is it an enigma? Surely the government knew what income levels it was targeting. 

Federal and provincial carbon taxes are pushing far too many Canadians nearer to insolvency. That is particularly galling when governments continue to post deficits, driving up debt while preaching to taxpayers that they have to reduce personal debt levels.

Wage earners are distressed when governments are giving their money to support corporations and major infrastructure projects in central Canada and to foreign nations. Tens of millions here, hundreds of millions there and billions in some instances. The result is $20 billions in annual debt and nothing tangible in terms of tax relief.

Where Trudeau. McKenna and company went of the rails was in telling us that the carbon tax aims at forcing us to use less fossil fuels to heat our homes, supply us with hot water, cook our meals, drive our vehicles and afford groceries and clothing that are all brought to us by fossil fueled vehicles.

We did not elect a government to control us and to regulate how we live. That has offended millions of us who value our rights, freedoms and democracy. We will not be dictated to by ideologues who don’t give a damn that the federal government is not attending to its constitutional responsibilities.

In the recent Saskatchewan case respecting carbon taxes, the government wrapped itself in the flag of “Peace, Order and Good Government”. The government cannot take credit for the peace we enjoy at present, so where is the rest of it? We see no evidence of “Order” or “Good Government”. Political parties and politicians are locked in battle while our needs lay unattended in a ditch.

Candidates for office in October had better be able to tell us how they plan to fix our government to stop corporate cronyism, fix the bleeding in spending and treat all provinces equally and fairly. The charade is over. Don’t offer us band-aids to fix the dementia gripping Ottawa. 

John Feldsted
Political Consultant & Strategist
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Climate change comes to your grocery store

Rex Murphy

Rex Murphy in The National Post

0414 - There comes a roaring alarm over the grocery loudspeakers: “Apocalypse in Aisle Three. Apocalypse in Aisle Three.”

Expect that, or a like alarm at your local food store, now that Global Warming and Big Grocery have mixed their fortunes. From here on in, they are as one. In what will surely be hailed as a masterstroke in the fight against climate change — perhaps sufficient to halt the calving of icebergs and all melt in the Himalayas — the Canadian government this week announced a $12-million grant to retrofit refrigerators for grocery chains owned by plutocratic billionaires.* (Actually, one grocery chain, one plutocratic billionaire.)

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