Dec. 31, 2021

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Oct. 17, 2021

The City of Halifax did some estimates of the costs of sending delegates as observers to the Glasgow IPCC gabfest.

HRM could potentially participate in the COP26 conference provided the application for observer status was submitted prior to December 31, 2020 and HRM’s application is accepted and approved.
 
It is difficult to determine the associated costs given the unpredictable state of international air travel post-COVID-19.
 
However, the Chief Economist for the International Air Transport Association (IATA) speculates that for industry to reach a break even point, there could be an expected fare increase of 43 to 54% based on 62% occupancy for social distancing depending on the region and its baseline average achieved load factor.13 As reported by IATA, the demand for flights has decreased by 66% and the total of global flights in September 2020 have decreased by 51% compared to September 2019.14 
 
With this uncertainty in mind, current cost estimates for travel are highly unpredictable and subject to change. For example, current costs for air travel from Halifax to Glasgow priced in November 2020 for return flights range from CA $800 to $4,000 round trip. With a conservative estimate for an increase of 54%, a flight could range in cost from $1,200 to $6,000 per passenger. Similarly, costs of accommodations, meals, and local transportation are unpredictable at this time. In terms of registration fees, COP26 has confirmed that UNFCC conferences are free of charge for participation as observers.15 
 
The conference is scheduled from November 1 to 12, 2021 which would require a minimum of 11 nights accommodation for attendance of the full duration. In terms of accommodation, current prices for Glasgow suggest a range of CA $1,300 to $2,150 for 11 nights duration priced in November 2020. However, these prices could be low and may be underpriced due to COVID-19 restrictions and lack of travel. It would be prudent to consider a higher cost for accommodations in the event that accommodation prices increase post-pandemic. On average, visitors will spend approximately $43/day on meals and $27/day on local transportation in Glasgow.16 

Considering air fare ($800 to $4,000), accommodations ($1,300 to $2,150), meals ($473), and local transportation ($297), the minimum cost for one individual to attend 11 days at the COP26 conference in Glasgow in 2021 ranges from about $2,870 to $6,920. If air fare expense increases by 54% and prices of accommodations increase due to increased demand, the cost per individual could be significantly higher (upwards of $9,000).
(Halifax recommended it not send observers due to costs.)

Bear in mind that costs above do not include delegate registration fees and that airfares for cities west of Halifax will be higher.

Using a median of $4,895 all in (with a possibility of costs up to $4,000 higher) plus registration fees, if any, this is not a cheap trip.

Canada is reportedly sending as many as 150 delegates, so we are looking at minimal costs of $734,000 and, more likely, over $1 million.

That is not reasonable even if the Glasgow gabfest came up with concrete plans for dealing with the effects of climate change that are already here.

We are dealing with increased weather incidents ranging from droughts, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires. While the IPCC has clung stubbornly to outdated and discredited efforts to reduce carbon emissions, solar (and other) effects have changed our climate.

We need to invest in infrastructure to mitigate changed climate effects on our population rather than fighting a fictional carbon terror that will take decades to take effect. The effects are here, now, not in 2030 or 2050.

Demands that we wreck our economy to satisfy a dud UN IPCC hypothesis are insane.

We are sitting on the verge of a worldwide energy crisis. We are not positioned to meet the demands for oil and gas energy, which is criminal considering that Canada has the potential to be energy self-sufficient and can export products we do not need for decades into the future.

As I have written before, developing nations need affordable energy to build roads, railroads, and ports to move their products to market and establish an economy. They cannot create the infrastructure to build electric plants, water, and sewer systems without affordable energy.  

The headlong rush to develop electrified vehicles is about to hit a brick wall as we don’t have the resources to build the batteries needed or the components for onboard computers.

Mining the minerals needed will take the diesel-powered heavy equipment governments are trying to eliminate.

Instead of building electrical infrastructure to charge electric cars, we need to look at dikes and levees to control flooding, wide rights-of-way and forest management to contain wildfires and protect communities and the reclamation of wetlands and creation of water reservoirs to offset drought conditions.

The UN IPCC has led us up the garden path for decades and must be told, politely but firmly, to take the first left to Hades.

It has done enough damage for several lifetimes with nothing tangible to show for it. 

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Oct. 11, 2021
Summarizing the Trudeau era of governance, shortly reaching its sixth anniversary, is difficult. It was evident from the outset that Trudeau intended to reshape Canada and our society into his vision and version of our nation.


Trudeau’s handicap is a lack of life experience. He has led a sheltered life with people of influence, money and power. He has never had to concern himself about the affordability of education or seeking employment to afford necessities. Consequently, he has no idea how the middle class breathes, lives and survives.

Trudeau is in love with ideology and concepts of how the world could be better run. He aspires to the idea of absolute centralized control of a nation and, in turn, the world. He is an unabashed globalist.

Leftists ignore the lifespan of dictatorships. The USSR collapsed after 69 years in power. The Communist Party of China has wielded power for 72 years and is showing signs of severe distress. Cuba has been communist for 56 years and is facing internal rebellion. Chili went from an American rival for economic power in the early 1900s to an economic basket case today, thanks to government programs such as free full medical coverage and minimum incomes that far outstripped revenues. We are on the same path.     

Mr. Trudeau is unfamiliar with action and consequences. We have learned that bad decisions lead to dire consequences. Trudeau is focused on world issues and lacks the discipline required to carry out the government’s constitutional responsibilities.

His approach to the COVID pandemic highlights his disdain for domestic issues. The regulations for isolation and lockdowns of non-essential businesses replaced the carefully-laid plans to deal with a pandemic. The plans went in the trash bin as his government had not maintained the infrastructure required to implement its strategies.

Locking up the population while allowing essential operations and their employees exception from the regulations is the equivalent of creating a peeing section in a swimming pool, as our governments belatedly discovered. Essential services employ hourly workers who cannot afford unpaid time off. Many of them are in frequent contact with members of the public. Those who came to work with symptoms of COVID infected others.

The shocks have come at a dizzying pace.

The shut-down of the oil and gas sector created waves of unemployment from coast to coast. Every other industry in our economy was affected. The oil and gas sector is usually portrayed as a drilling rig or a pipeline under construction which is misleading. The sector requires enormous support from every other sector, from steel foundries to pump and valve manufacturers to the restaurants and food trucks that provide meals for employees. Workers in all support and supply lines lost jobs.

The instability caused by the oil and gas sector caused investment in Canadian operations and start-ups to flee. Much more than the oil and gas business is involved. Investors asked themselves what sector was next and decided the guesswork was too risky.

People arbitrarily tossed on the unemployment scrap heap wondered if it could get worse. It did.

Back to the COVID crisis. Our government was unprepared for the consequences of its lockdown approach. Wails of people suddenly without income due to government decree would have gone unheeded, except that too many lived in vote-rich Ontario and Quebec.

The government began responding. First, it tried broad-brush approaches, but too many people fell through the cracks, so it made a series of amendments. Its efforts to contain virus spread continued to fail, so income replacement programs were extended.

This increased anxiety and fear in society. People were dependent on government subsidies to cover necessities and had no guarantee they would continue until COVID was conquered. The on-again, off-again business closures added to insecurity.

Business owners complain that they cannot engage replacement staff now that COVID regulations have been partially relaxed. They tend to blame income replacement policies for the lack of response to their ‘help wanted’ efforts.

Workers are wary of re-employment. They were dumped due to closures and had to scramble to find alternative incomes. Wages disappeared, but costs of living did not. They cannot guarantee that a business will not be shut down again if they return to their former trade.

The federal government orchestrates this whole charade. All of the income replacement policies are co-ordinated with the provinces. You can bet that the feds tell provinces to go along with their policies or face closure of the income support programs. That is coercion that has become central to federal government operations.

The latest Trudeau decree to mandate vaccinations is a natural next step in ratcheting up control over our society. Parliament is not in session, so it cannot be a government decree. It turns out to be less than billed. It only applies to core departments and not agencies and other entities such as Canada Post. The swimming pool effect is still in play.

Trudeau’s demand that all members of Parliament be vaccinated is a severe overreach. Trudeau does not own Parliament; he is a sworn servant. Decreeing on parliamentary operations is not his decision. His statement that all LPC candidates were fully vaccinated as a condition of LPC support violates our constitution.

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Section 3: “Every citizen of Canada has the right to vote in an election of members of the House of Commons or of a legislative assembly and to be qualified for membership therein.”

We will continue to live in chaos as long as the village idiot the LPC chose as its leader remains in place.

Sep. 27, 2021

Recent demonstrations at hospitals have highlighted a long-ignored dilemma within our health care systems. Nurses are forbidden to offer opinions or commentary on health care issues without risking disciplinary action. Considering that nurses provide all health care once a patient is admitted, that is clearly unreasonable. They are not deemed competent to prescribe patient care, but they administer all day-to-day care. 

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It is time we had a hard look at our most unappreciated health care workers; the nurses who help us recover from illnesses and injuries. Depending on the hour of the day, they do everything from monitoring severely ill patients in an intensive care unit to providing reassurance to someone recovering from minor surgery.

Nurses are trapped between two powerful political entities.

We have politicians and bureaucrats trying to keep a lid on rapidly increasing health care costs.

We have physicians and surgeons, fretting about inadequate funding for health care needs.

For the most part, nurses who provide primary care 24/7 are left out of health care planning and policies. That is irrational. Nurses know what changes are required for the system to work more effectively and efficiently. They have to know the drugs they administer and how to ensure we get the right medications at the proper levels to heal.

Nurses are not automated robot, moving from patient to patient between doctor’s rounds. They are an army of highly skilled professionals who are ignored by the system unless there is a failure, when they become potential scapegoats.

We don’t have enough nurses to keep health care systems running at peak capacity. I use the plural as we have thirteen different systems operating with interference from the federal government.

We need to sort out the nurse’s role in health care. We need many more nurses, and we need to pay them better than we do. The under-staffing in our systems is killing us. We cannot expect professionals working 12-hour shifts and coerced overtime to perform at their best.

We need a new relationship between doctors and nurses. I recognize the years of study required and the onerous responsibilities of doctors, but without nurses carrying out their orders, doctors cannot function. Nurses deserve and warrant respect for the continually upgrades professionalism and practical experience they bring to the table.

Doctors come and go. They visit the patients they care for, adjust orders as necessary and leave. They do not get to see the whole picture of a hospital filled with patients under the care of a dozen different doctors, all putting a strain on the services required.

Nurses live with this conglomeration every hour they are on shift and thus have a unique perspective of our health care systems. We need their advice and perspective to help heal systems in distress.

When nurses express concerns over new medications, such as COVID-19 vaccines, they speak from a wealth of practical and professional experience. When they express concerns over how COVID patients are triaged, they are commenting on real situations they have to deal with day after day.

These are dedicated professionals who have committed themselves to an exacting and often exhausting effort to serve everyone in their communities. They hold the keys to improvements that will provide for our future health care needs. Let’s bring them fully into health care planning and policy decisions before it is too late.

Different provinces have undertaken expensive studies to improve their systems, but nurses are usually left out, regarded as a necessary component of health care but not at the planning level.

I submit that it is like trying to improve a huge industrial plant without consulting with the professionals and supervisors who make the plant functional.

Health care as a science has made enormous strides over the past four decades.

Our health care systems, designed in the 1970s, are archaic, creaking relics.

We have a 900 HP 2021 computer-controlled engine stuffed in a 1970 family sedan and expect it to work. The brakes are burned out and the driveshaft has snapped. Haul it to the scrapyard and do  complete rebuild.

Your medical file and mine should be immediately transferrable from doctor to doctor and available to any doctor treating us in an emergency.

Our health care systems are a half-century out of date. Band aids and baling wire won’t keep the systems going. We need 21st Century electronics to replace the ball-point pens and paper records and interconnections between all provinces.        

A rethink is in order.

Sep. 27, 2021

I suspect the two Michaels (Kovrig and Spavor) were terrified when they were abruptly removed from their cells for the journey home. They had been deprived of information regarding their detention and a good reason to fear the worst.  

Once aboard an outbound aircraft with our ambassador, they were not thinking about receiving a warm embrace from Prime Minister Trudeau. He was not on the list of people they longed to hug.

The whole saga about the arrest and detention of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on a US extradition warrant and the subsequent arrests of Kovrig and Spavor in retaliation speak clearly to Canada’s actual role on the international front.

Legally, Canada was required to honour the American warrant. That put us in the unenviable position of being caught in a battle between international superpowers. Whether the American case against Wanzhou was justified is irrelevant. The action and counter-action had been taken.

Diplomatic wars have a life of their own. Once actions have commenced and positions are taken, it becomes a matter of resolving the opening positions without losing reputation and status.

Canada, on its own, lacks the power to persuade either China or the US to settle their dispute.

Fortunately, the international community is against hostage diplomacy, putting their citizens at risk of arbitrary imprisonment. There is much more at play here than the arrests of two Canadian citizens.

Numerous nations spoke out about the horrors of hostage diplomacy and made it clear that China’s action repulsed them. That brought in a new factor in the diplomatic war. China faced international condemnation for the arrests, and that is not in China’s interests.

Roughly three years had elapsed, and the US had not moved to convince a Canadian court to execute the extradition warrant. That weakened the American position.

Without a deal, there was no reasonable end in sight for the Wanzhou affair. Court proceedings could have dragged on for another decade or two.

International diplomats acted as third-party arbitrators in creating a compromise acceptable to the US and China. Third parties could achieve a resolution that direct communication could not.

Notably, the United Nations played no part in finding a resolution in a fight between two of its Security Council members, confirming it is a useless shell of an international organization. 

Trudeau’s photo opportunity at the Calgary airport was embarrassing. He failed to acknowledge the hard work of diplomats from other nations who resolved the US-China standoff. That is disgusting. Trudeau’s habit of seizing every opportunity to take the spotlight has a price; he takes accountability for all failures and errors of his minions.

A thoughtful Prime Minister would have allowed Kovrig and Spavor to go to their homes and loved ones as speedily as possible, catch up on sleep and decompress from their ordeal. Instead, he added an unneeded layer of stress to their release.

A later meeting to acknowledge their fortitude in dealing with a horrific intrusion on their lives and thanking the nations that helped resolve the dispute would have had a significant impact.

We are fortunate to have allies that follow principle and overlook Trudeau’s lack of compassion, decency and diplomatic skills.