Thursday, December 27, 2012

Ontario Green Energy Failure

(Reposted from BlueLikeYou - Nov. 5, 2012)

The problem with so-call Green Energy is that it is often more of a feel-good solution than a practical one when it comes to solving environmental and grid problems. This issue (among others) is highlighted in Scott Stinson's column, McGuinty Liberals’ dream of renewable energy has not come to pass:
Of greater concern is the problem of when the wind blows and the sun shines. On Oct. 28, for example, one of the windiest days of the year, Ontario’s wind energy farms were humming along in the early evening and producing more than 1,450 megawatts — about 85% of wind capacity. This is highly unusual; in the high-demand summer months, wind routinely produces at less than 10% of capacity. But here was a rare day when the wind facilities were doing what they were intended to do — and the province was dumping the electricity on the market at a tiny fraction of what it was paying for it. In fact, at various points of the day, according to data published by Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator, the province was exporting to neighbouring jurisdictions almost the exact same amount it was generating from wind farms. At 3 p.m., it was generating 1,432 megawatts of wind — at the mandated rate of ¢13.5 per kw/h — and exporting 1,507 MW at less than ¢3 per kw/h. At 4 p.m., it was producing 1,450 MW from wind and exporting 1,425 MW, at the same 80% discount. You get the idea: Renewables producing excess energy at the time it is least needed...
Wind turbines sound like a good idea until you realize that the power can't be stored and is unpredictable at best. So at least one of Dalton McGuinty's legacy projects is an abject failure. And a costly one at that - not even factoring in the scandals.
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This comment by 'gregorypspeers' on the same National Post page made me chuckle:
I used to vote conservative, then I changed to liberal, even voted for Jack the one time. I guess I am wishy-washy. Dalton and the Liberals however topped the list of my biggest disappointment when it comes to political parties. yes even more than Harper. I bought into the green energy fiasco, watched in horror as they squandered billions on E-heath and gas plants. With Harper I knew what to expect and nothing he does surprises me. I can at the least respect that. Dalton on the other hand cut to the bone like the feeling you get when you find your best friend in bed with your wife.
Oh the betrayal! Another lemming wakes up and smells the gas stink. And this is a good read by Lorrie Goldstein - An ill wind for McGuinty:
...In many ways, the social disaster caused by McGuinty’s reckless and uninformed blunder into green energy rivals the financial disaster he inflicted on all Ontarians in pursuit of it, as revealed by Ontario Auditor General Jim McCarter’s findings last year. McCarter found McGuinty added billions to the cost of electricity generation — to be paid for by Ontario consumers — by failing to do proper business planning, ignoring the advice of the government’s own experts on how to reduce costs and committing Ontario to paying hundreds of millions of dollars for green energy it doesn’t need and may never use. The problem with the McGuinty Liberals, of course, is that they are now so committed to green energy they’re incapable of admitting error, much less reversing course, something unlikely to change with a new leader...
We'll have to put pressure on him or her.  And any McGuinty successor who was part of the Cabinet is going to have to answer for this disaster.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Premier McGuinty: Open Those Doors!

Reposted from Blue Like You Nov. 2, 2012


Tom Adams has been doing a yeoman's job trying to shed some light on the recently-released Gas Plant disclosure documents.  You can read all about it at his website Tom Adams Energy and specifically the section labelled Gas Busters. Many in the media are picking up on his fine work including Terence Corcoran. Adams has been hitting the talk-radio circuit too. I had a chance to listen to Gary Doyle interview him yesterday on 570 News. Please take the time to check it out online. Whereas his website can be a bit heavy to wade through, Adam's passion shines through in the interview. At one point Adams talks about the bureaucrats trying to understand the deal and how they expressed concern about the impact on ratepayers (around the 4 minute mark). They get "overruled by the Premier's Office" says Adams. After the interview Gary Doyle invited listeners to call in. I was so outraged I tweeted Tom Adams, When do we call in the police? His response was:
First steps: Recall the Legislature, put the Auditor General to work, and give the bureaucrats freedom to tell the whole truth.
I sent this info to Gary (who seemed as if he was in denial about the whole thing) and he read it on air. So the question now is: How do we convince Dalton McGuinty to reopen the legislature? Public pressure would help. I bet that Liberal MPPs would start getting concerned if they were overwhelmed by emails and phone calls from their constituents threatening to vote them out in the next election. Let's help Tom Adams get to the bottom of this scandal! It's your money and your Legislature. Let the sunshine in!!
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Update Of course McGuinty disagrees with all of this: McGuinty rejects report estimating $1.3B price tag for scrapping gas plants - Windsor Star Dodging a $1.2-billion bullet - Terence Corcoran. Ontario’s Power Trip: Dalton McGuinty, power puppeteer - Parker Gallant:
The 56,000 pages of documents associated with the Ontario government’s decision to kill two gas plants originally planned for Mississauga and Oakville show clearly the top-down role of politicians, both in the decisions made and in the attempts to hide the costs. They show, in numerous instances, how Premier Dalton McGuinty was in absolute control through his cabinet ministers to the officials he had appointed to the agencies involved. As I read the documents so far, including board briefings and emails among the many players, it’s the Liberal strategists attached to the Premier’s Office and Ministry offices who are invested in hiding the mess the gas plants created. As energy consultant Tom Adams suggests in his review of the documents, the evidence suggests the total cost of plant cancellations is likely greater than $1.3-billion, the burden to be borne by electricity consumers. The documents show that McGuinty strategists managed the gas files to benefit the Liberal party rather than taxpayers and ratepayers. Once the plants were cancelled, in October 2010 and September 2011, the top-down political influence is very noticeable. Post-cancellation negotiations to cover the costs of breaking contracts fell to Liberal party officials who tried to cover up the mess, not to energy experts...
Please read the whole thing - if your blood pressure will take it. McGuinty should reverse prorogation action - Globe (!) Ontario Liberals were stumped over how to kill power plant - Karen Howlett and Paul Waldie (Globe):
...The documents shed light on why it took nine weeks to stop construction on the Mississauga power plant and why the tab kept growing for taxpayers during the 10 months it took to settle the matter. Project Vapour Lock, as it was known inside government, consumed the attention of Mr. McGuinty himself, as well as officials in cabinet office and in the ministries of the Attorney General and Energy. This is not to be confused with Project Vapour, the code name for the cancelled Oakville plant, where construction had not yet started...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Gender Selection Hypocrisy in Canada

Reposted from Blue Like You - April 29, 2012:

Canada's Minister for Status of Women Rona Ambrose was outraged about a Canadian cultural publication carrying an ad for gender selection in the U.S. (Globe):
Rona Ambrose called on the Indo-Canadian Voice and other publishers to reject such ads, noting that the practice of pre-conception gender selection is illegal in Canada and perpetuates discrimination against girls that is prevalent in some cultural communities. “At the end of the day, we are fighting sexism here,” Ms. Ambrose said in an interview Monday. “We’re fighting this perception that girls are not equal to boys.”
Canada prohibits sex selection of an in-vitro embryo, except in rare cases, via the 2004 Assisted Human Reproduction Act. And yet gender selection post-conception [aka abortion] is perfectly legal; albeit not necessarily socially acceptable. But of course that would involve a moral judgement, and who has the right to inflict their moral values on others? But how can we logically ignore the obvious? It still sexism when females are deliberately eliminated due to a preference for males. And so in Canada we have a situation where the mere thought of pre-conception gender selection is abhorrent, but post-conception termination of a female fetus is a woman's right! How does anyone square that circle? And please don't tell me we need a law to ban the medical community from revealing the gender of a fetus. The Courts would challenge that in a heartbeat [see end of article], and the U.S. Medical Tourism industry would be only too happy to fill in the gaps.
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Related Forced into abortion 6 times, woman turns whistleblower - Times of India.  Ah I know what you're thinking - that could never happen here. Just like Honour Killing. Is a Fertility Clinic’s ‘Gender Selection’ Ad Really So Bad if the Result is Fewer Abortions? - Babble
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Tuesday Update A Debate Worth Having - SNN (Ezra & Stephen Woodworth)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

No one is smelling like roses

Reposted from BLY March 10, 2012

I'm very grateful that we have at least a handful of ethical, objective journalists in Canada, and John Ivison is certainly among that chosen few. Last night Ivison broke the story of the Liberal robocalls in Guelph complete with audio file - New Guelph robocall attacks Tories, listen to the phone message here. He makes the point at the end that "no one in politics is going to emerge from this dung-storm smelling of roses." The RoboFembot did not identify herself as being funded by the Liberal party, which caused Liberal MP Frank Valeriote to hastily explain that it was an 'oversight'. Granted there does not appear to be anything criminal here - unethical or mean-spirited perhaps considering the nature of the call.  But it does allow some perspective on a story that most media prefer to skew against the Conservatives -  instead of waiting for Elections Canada to finish the investigation. A Liberal MP admits his campaign made a mistake by not identifying as the party behind the call. He has 'apologized'.  Is that good enough? As Preston Manning stated yesterday, voter suppression is 'deplorable'. However he also pointed out, “If you try to link these things to any one party, it’s a mistake.” But most media outlets seem to be reporting by Confirmation Bias which is deplorable in itself. Facts are facts but some seem to be selectively depressed, while others are torqued up to promote a certain agenda. (Of course here we also need to make a distinction from 'news' coverage vs. editorials or opinion articles.) In any case, let's encourage the few credible journalists we have left - and make sure they know their efforts are appreciated. For the sake of democracy we need fair reporting.
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Related I would also like to mention some of my fellow Blogging Tories who have done some amazing work on this file. Please check out: A CAW Worker's Voice Of Reason (Paulsstuff is on fire!) BC Blue Spin Assassin The Iceman And Stephen Taylor is documenting the apologies. I know there are more and I invite you to leave links to your posts in the comment section. Thanks. We have a terrific team!!
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Update Andrew MacDougall sets the record straight regarding Elections Canada rules on Guelph Liberal robocalls.

About those 'American Style Dirty Tricks'

(Reposted from BLY March 8, 2012)

Glenn Beck has a warning for Canada regarding the Robosmear - Watch out for the influence of George Soros and his minions especially now that there is a Conservative Majority in Canada (H/T Soccermom).: Spin Assassin has more. Certainly some of the allegations (especially in Guelph) needed to be thoroughly investigated, but the massive pile-on from the left to push for a public inquiry seems rather suspect. JR has a novel approach - He is using Leadnow's own form to fight back! Since the previous post has passed the 300 comment mark, perhaps we can continue the discussion here.
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More at The Blaze.
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But Glenn Beck is the Crazy One - SDA John Ivison: Closing in on Pierre Poutine - National Post (H/T Fh) Can A Person Living In Nipissing Get A Robocall In Quebec - Great investigative journalism by Paulsstuff! Radical budget in the wings - Michael Den Tandt:
...Each piece of the puzzle is intriguing. Taken in its entirety, it is breathtaking. It marks a big change in direction, both for the Harper government and for Canada. Will the ensuing debate prove important enough to push the opposition, and the government, past the daily cut-and-thrust of charge and counter-charge, over robocalls? My guess is yes. Small wonder the anticipation, on the government side, is building.
John Ivison: New Guelph robocall attacks Tories, listen to the phone message here - National Post (with intriguing update). Yeah nobody is smelling like roses here. Thank heavens for John Ivison.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Let's all take a breath

Reposted from March 3, 2012

As Michael Taube opines in today's Ottawa Citizen, it just doesn't make any kind of sense that the Robo-Call 'scandal' was directed from the upper echelon of the Conservative Party (Top Tories would never risk all to steal an election). At this point it seems that there is little doubt that something went horribly wrong in Guelph. Many Conservative spokespersons have conceded that and hope that Elections Canada can ferret out the guilty people as quickly as possible. But to seriously think that Stephen Harper would condone such nefarious tactics as voter suppression just defies logic:
While some party tactics have been the subject of serious debate, especially the "in-and-out" election spending debacle, stealing an election is a completely different matter. The Tories have worked too hard, and struggled for too long, to simply throw away their good name and reputation in one swift, selfish grab for the prize of a majority government.
In fact Guy Giorno was tasked with the mission of maintaining a squeaky-clean campaign according to a recent column by John Ivison:
Another Tory operative said he couldn’t understand the motivation for electoral fraud. “Why take a risk in a risk-averse environment? You’d only do it where the risk has a high return, which it doesn’t here. The culture of the party is not one conducive to freelancing. If you do, you get frog-marched out of the door and dispatched for life.” Both said Guy Giorno, the Prime Minister’s former chief of staff, who acted as campaign manager last year, would not have tolerated such tactics. Mr. Giorno is said to have employed a full-time compliance officer to ensure the party didn’t break any electoral rules.
Unfortunately the opposition, media party and many left-wing advocacy groups are using this as a golden opportunity to tarnish the image of the CPC (and likely increase donations.) Some are already planning for the next election with the notion of 'co-operation' among the opps and then instituting electoral reform. For now let's allow Elections Canada to do their work, but let us also keep an eye on those who would most benefit from this type of smear campaign.
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Retraction and apology - National Post:
An article published in the National Post on March 2, 2012, referred to Responsive Marketing Group Inc. and stated that former employees of RMG have alleged that they were asked by RMG to direct voters to the wrong polling stations. That report was incorrect. No allegation has been made that RMG asked its employees to direct voters to the wrong polling stations. The National Post apologizes to Responsive Marketing Group Inc. for the error.
RackNine files $5M lawsuit against NDP and MP Pat Martin - Jack's Newswatch (with link to Deb Simms' conspiracy theory which merits a look.) Racknine says Pat Martin defamed company - Stephen Taylor (with docs) National Post forced to issue apology over robocall story - BC Blue Media Thinks Online Petition Is A Complaint Filed With Elections Canada - Paulsstuff 31,000 contacts to Election's Canada on Robo Calls. I think I, and the NDP, might know why. - Alberta Ardvark Something to keep in mind here (as tweeted by Stephen Taylor):
  Dear Media Party - Please take note! The language is not interchangeable. ROBOCALL WAKE-UP CALL - Ezra Levant

Another Wafer Chase

(Reposted from BLY - Feb. 24,/12)

  John Gormley's column in today's Leader Post (Harper's critics need to chill) takes a look on the consistently over-the-top attack on the Conservative Government (H/T NNW): This tendency by opposition parties and the Bandwagon Media to resort to spurious allegations and hyperbole has been dubbed Wafer-chasing by reader Wilson. Pat Martin suggested that the latest scandal du jour is our Watergate moment. He is sure that the crank calls were orchestrated from the top rather than the actions of some rogue campaign workers. (And FWIW I agree that anyone found guilty of trying to obstruct the voting process should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.)
The NDP's Martin said the Tories are "laying the foundation for throwing some kid under the bus" when it's clear there's been "a massive conspiracy to defraud the electoral system."
A massive conspiracy... At least John McCallum has the sense to point out that there is no proof of that, but then he goes on to weave his conspiracy theory anyway (from the WFP link above):
"We don't have a smoking gun pointing to Stephen Harper and the Conservative party, but we do know that these actions benefited the Conservative party and we do know this strategy has been in their tool kit for some time. So there are definitely suspicions."
  Tonda Maccharles includes a response from Elections Canada in her somewhat-more-balanced report in the Spectator:
All Elections Canada spokesman John Enright would say is that federal elections commissioner William Corbett reported to Parliament that his office “is looking into several complaints surrounding crank calls designed to discourage voting, discourage voting for a particular party, or incorrectly advise electors of changed polling locations.” However, in the initial two weeks after the election, long before November when investigators apparently linked RackNine to the calls, Commissioner William Corbett appeared unworried that massive electoral mischief had occurred...
  The problem with resorting to these kinds of histrionics is that eventually people tend to tune out - especially those outside the Ottawa bubble. But for now let's allow the proper authorities examine the evidence and proceed accordingly. We're still living in a country where innocence is presumed until proven otherwise - at least in the real world.
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Update Conservative government aide loses job over fraudulent ‘robo-calls’ - Toronto Star Michael Sona Fired: Conservative Staffer With Ties To Guelph Riding Let Go - HuffPo Stephen Harper and the Scandalettes - Adrian MacNair

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Don Drummond's Bad Cop Report

Reposted from Blue Like You (Feb. 16, 2012)

Back in November of last year I alluded to the possiblity that we were all being set up for a Good Cop Bad Cop scenario with Don Drummond. Reader Jon has fleshed out that theory in light of yesterday's release of Drummond's report:
...The economist gives his advice on how much needs to be cut knowing that the premier is not going to adopt all of those recommendations and, as a result, instead of having McLiar’s 7 or 10 or even 12% compared to the 3.9% spending cuts brought in by Harris, whom he so viciously attacked from the opposition benches, he will compare his cuts to the 16% recommended by Drummond. This will also establish a narrative for the Consensus Media to run with. Instead of emphasizing how the cuts are double or even tripple that of Harris’, they too will compare it to Drummond’s recommendations, joining with McLiar in saying “things could be worse, the cuts could’ve been deeper, you know!”
Jon has much more available at the link. Please check it out and discuss here. Have we all been 'had'?
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Update Brutally frank column by Kelly McParland - Don Drummond catalogues the McGuinty mess in meticulous detail. (H/T Newsbeat 1) Was Don Drummond merely a pawn? Read this Star column by Robert Benzie:
...But Liberal insiders told the Star the report presents a “worst-case scenario” that could give the government political cover when less dramatic cuts are made later this year. That is not what Drummond wanted to hear. “This is not a smorgasbord from which the government can choose only the tastiest morsels and ignore the less palatable,” he said.
Terence Corcoran has a must-read column in the FP - The Big McGuinty switch. Did Don Drummond know he would be part of a shell-game?

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Those cold, heartless Conservatives

(Reposted from BLY - Dec. 27/11) Who knew Social Justice was part of the Harper 'hidden agenda'?