Amazing show

March 19, 2019

 My husband and I attended the opening night performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat performed by the cast of About Time Productions. This group, under the direction of Cathie Johnson, has put together a production par excellence. The talent of these young singers is beyond amazing.
 Les Clampitt,
Sherwood Park,
formerly of Camrose

Lavalin justice

March 19, 2019

 It is inappropriate for anyone including the Prime Minister, or his officials, to attempt to interfere with the administration of justice.
The director of public prosecutions, Kathleen Roussel, decided on a course of action against Lavalin based on a comprehensive investigation by the RCMP. This decision was supported by the Attorney General of Canada, Jody Wilson-Raybould.
Officials of Lavelin lobbied the Prime Minister for the less aggressive approach referred to as “remediation agreement” which would have resulted in a slap on the wrists for serious acts of bribery and fraud. The Prime Minister and his officials took Lavalin’s case to the attorney general. Not once, according to the attorney general, but a number of times, citing the loss of jobs and the fact that the Prime Minister was an MP from Quebec. The attorney general remained firm in her decision to proceed against Lavalin as originally determined.
The Prime Minister later removed Wilson-Raybould from the office of attorney general with no justifiable reason. This appears to be an attempt by the Prime Minister and others to interfere with the course of justice and must be fully investigated, as their actions may very well bring the administration of justice into disrepute.
 Jack Ramsay,
Camrose

Won’t vanish

March 19, 2019

It goes without sayin’ that the “so-called SNC scandal” won’t just vanish. Pundits suggest it may go on for months.
Despite SNC’s excessive lobbying and the repeated efforts of 11 officials from the PMO, privy council, and the finance minister’s offices, Wilson-Raybould firmly supported Roussel’s (Oct 9/18) decision. Prime Minister Trudeau, Gerald Butts, finance minister Morneau, and others obsessed about the “possible (9,000) SNC job losses” if SNC doesn’t get its requested DPA. Analysts, however, question that number because: 1. SNC’s employees in Ontario nuclear facilities, Vancouver’s Sky Train, a major rail-line and two bridges in Quebec, a $660 million Ottawa light-rail contract, and a 27-year maintenance Airport connection contract as part of a $4.7 Billion transit project. 2. SNC’s admin staff for provincial and international projects will keep their positions. 3. Other companies will hire trained SNC personnel.
SNC-Lavalin’s murky world-wide corrupt past (e.g. Feb. 1 a $1.3 billion Montreal hospital court case; a pending court case for $48/$130 million Libya bribes and fraud; a suspended $1.2 billion (2012) World Bank loan in Bangladesh, etc.) is serious enough to ban SNC from doing business with the World Bank (April 2013). Yet SNC carries-on “business as usual” in Canada, with its Ontario, Vancouver, and Quebec contracts, Ottawa’s $660 million light-rail contract and a Trillium Line Project. The worst-case scenario job-loss would be fewer SNC CEOs/top-brass, due to a bidding-ban on federal projects.
Wilson-Raybould’s testimony before the justice committee provided verifiable facts, dates, actions, emails, text-messages, phone calls, and documented meetings, naming 11 officials from the PMO, the privy council and finance minister Moreau’s offices, who applied pressure on her. (Globe and Mail, March 1; “A Closer Look…”).
This DPP denial is corroborated by federal court justice Catharine Kane’s (March 8) striking down of SNC’s appeal for a judicial review. She stated, “The law is clear that prosecutorial discretion is not subject to judicial review, except for abuse of process.”
What a significant achievement for these strong women, on International Women’s Day. Canadians are fortunate that, regardless of the personal cost, Wilson-Raybould “went to bat” for us.
Marion Leithead,
Bawlf

Repeat history

March 5, 2019

We often hear the mantra that those who don’t learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it.
One of today’s major problems is the well-known gap between the rich and the poor. This has happened over and over in human history, and is always accompanied by dire consequences. It appears to me that we are in one of those periods. Our privileged classes show no signs of trying to redress the balance.  Most of our citizens have accepted the propaganda that the rich somehow benefit us all, and if we were worthy and hardworking we too could become wealthy.
We are bombarded by the lie that taxing the rich more would harm our economy. History shows this is not true. For example, take the period from the crash of 1929 to the 1960s.  The ‘20s were booming, but this led to ridiculous speculation, like the period 2000 to  2008, when the economy crashed again. The governments of the time brought in severe austerity leading to  an unemployment rate of 25 per cent or more. Governments refused to borrow to help their citizens because that would unbalance the budget.  Yet just a few years later the US government borrowed over $3 trillion to fund Second World War and then had money to fund the Marshall Plan that rebuilt Europe and Japan. After the war we had about a 25 year period of general prosperity before the wealthy, claiming danger from Communism and Socialism, started their attacks on the middle and lower classes by getting control of our governments. Our governments passed laws enabling the rich to get even richer by allowing them to create the world we now live in. A polluted world, a world facing the existential threat from global warming, and a world where the middle classes are being gutted.  This could not have happened if our democratic governments (so called) really represented the whole people. They have been able to pretend to govern in the best interests of the people, convincing many to vote against their own interest by raising the boogyman of socialism and communism. Look at the facts.  Russian communism was defeated (although it was a tyranny not communist). Look at the Scandinavian countries who many call socialists. They are among the happiest, wealthiest, highest taxed countries in the world. Think.
Harry Gaede,
Camrose

SNC Lavalin

March 5, 2019

I am very tired of hearing and reading about the so called scandal of the SNC Lavalin affair.
The former Minister of Justice and Attorney General says she was pressured. The opposition and media keep harping on this subject without stating the truth.
Officials in the Prime Ministers’s office the Privy Council office and the Minister of Finance’s office all did their duty to bring to the attention of the AG the economic effects of her decision. She apparently feels that when she made a decision based not on fact, but her whims and prejudices, any bringing up facts was improper pressure. Since when is saying jobs and the possible loss of jobs is important, improper?
Yapping about political considerations being involved is a joke. Of course all decisions of the government are political. Is this yapping of the opposition not political? In a democracy how the people judge a situation is important. Hence all decisions of the government are political.
The Cabinet, as the centre of government, must be a team not 30 individuals each acting on his/her own.
The other Cabinet ministers must have greeted the resignation of Jody Wilson Raybough with cheers. Dealing with the self centred, self righteous individual must have been a constant pain.
The mistake the Prime Minister made was to appoint her to the Cabinet in 2015. Now she is out of Cabinet, lets move on and deal with real issues.
Ron Williams,
Camrose

Election

March 5, 2019

This spring, we as Albertans, are soon headed back to the election booth. The NDP government has been in power since 2015 and I do agree with many Albertans that the old Progressive Conservatives in 2015 were out of touch with Albertans.
This had happened many times before. In 1935, the United Farmers received the largest defeat when they went from full government to no seats when the Alberta Social Credit did the impossible and formed the government.  This reminded me of a repeat of what happened in 2015.
So, what has happened differently now than what happened back in 1943?  The Alberta Social Credit Party were in a lot of trouble.  They still won the 1939 election under Aberhart. Aberhart died in May of 1943 then Earnest Manning took over. He dumped a lot of the Social Credit ideas and concentrated on winning elections.
So, what should we take from the past? At first, the Social Credit were voted in a lot of false promises. Every Albertan was promised a $25 credit. Alberta, at that time was bankrupt. Aberhart did not have the funds to make our loan payments to the federal government not counting this $25 credit, which Albertans were counting on. Later, Aberhart did try to pay the government pay roll with Alberta money certificates. Most people refused to be paid in that currency. Later Manning used some of the oil royalties to pay each Albertan a $25 cheque.  Later Ralph paid Albertans an even higher cheque based on the Alberta Social Credit’s concept. It won him the next election. 
When Manning came to power as our premier, he was the one who helped create our oil sands. So, call our oil whatever you want, dirty or anything else you want, just know that this oil pulled Alberta out of bankruptcy.
So no matter who you vote for or refuse to vote over, remember those people in our past who fought hard to make this province what it is today.  
Lorne Vanderwoude,
Camrose

Climate change

March 5, 2019

I’m getting very tired of people making excuses for not acting on climate change. The sad thing is that by not acting, we are only hurting ourselves. In 2018, the average Canadian was responsible for 22.2 tonnes of carbon emissions.  The average Chinese was responsible for eight tonnes of carbon emissions, but its China that is making great efforts against climate change. Last year half of the world’s electric vehicles sold were sold in China because China has a stiff carbon tax that discourages gas vehicles. China is not doing this because it cares about the Earth; it is doing it because it is in its own economic interest. Its own interest. That’s why in Canada, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the banks, even the oil companies say that for Canada’s future prosperity, we require a carbon tax. The evidence is clear from BC, California and some European countries that a carbon tax makes the economy healthier by stimulating innovation and diversity at the same time that it reduces carbon emissions.  The American Paul Romer was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in October for his work showing that a country can benefit by adapting its economy for climate change, but a carbon tax is a necessary first step.
In a previous letter, it stated that we are “paying through the nose,” but that isn’t the carbon tax, which is a tiny part of the tax we pay. It is the one tax that is shown to do a lot of good for a very small price. Whether you like it or not, people are going to continue to press our governments to act on climate change because someone has to stand up for Canada, not to mention for the younger generation whose future we put at risk by refusing to act. The world economy is changing because of climate change and Canada can choose to change with it or get run over as the world passes us by.  I’ll continue to stand up for Canada.
Rob Hill,
Camrose

Editor’s note: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation said it is a fact: despite having the highest carbon tax in Canada, CO2 emissions in British Columbia are rising for the second straight year, not falling.

Depressing tone

February 26, 2019

It has been discouraging to read the letters to the editor in the last while because the tone has certainly been depressing with all blame pointed at the present government. Mr. Prentice’s budget for 2015 was based on an oil price of $82 per barrel. That price has not been reached and has mostly been at half that amount. It wouldn’t matter who is in government, that is the price of oil and a pipeline might not even be the cure.
The reason for the low price of oil is because there is a glut on the global market. As any farmer knows, even the perception of a glut lowers the price of grain and we are in a global market driven economy.
This is happening even while OPEC is cutting production and Iran and Venezuela are not producing at anywhere near capacity; the former because of sanctions and the latter because of a dysfunctional government.
To top this off there is a decline in demand for various reasons and the future looks like more of the same. A company in the US, Rivian, is in the process of building electric half tons that sound very exciting and will perform better than anything available now.
Tesla is finally catching up with demand and is also in the planning stages of building an electric pickup while building another factory in China. All of this points to less demand for oil and a declining oil industry. It will be painful for those involved, but it will happen. Blaming the government for the problem is like blaming the mountain for the skiing  accident.
With regard to abandoned and marginal wells, it should be a comfort to Alberta taxpayers that they may not have to bear the full cost of reclamation, thanks to the recent Supreme Court ruling. It is to be hoped this will encourage the reclamation process. If we wait until a casing rusts out and ruins the groundwater, we may find out which liquid is more necessary to life. If Mr. Leeson can reclaim a well site for $100,000, I suggest he will be busy.
In conclusion, I would further suggest that civil discussion of these matters might be more helpful than hot rhetoric.

Horst Schreiber,
Ohaton

Uplifted spirits

February 26, 2019

What a cold month it’s been. But I wouldn’t have been anywhere else.
February was a month full of outstanding entertainment opportunities in Camrose. Churchmice Players brought us Mamma Mia!, and uplifted our spirits with their incredible show. The Nordlys Film Festival celebrated its 10th season with beautiful and thought provoking films. The Bailey Theatre and the Jeanne and Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre had a great selection of live artists to enjoy.
We plan to stay home in February, so we won’t miss any of these great opportunities. Thank you to the organizations that make this possible for us. The stage really is set.

Colleen Nelson,
Camrose

Weather vs. Climate

February 19, 2019

It was with disappointment that I read a Camrose Now! alert from Feb. 4 that declared “Global warming postponed” as we experienced a period of extreme cold temperatures. Although the headline may be written in jest, it contributes to confusion and misinformation on the important difference between weather and climate. Weather is the state of the atmosphere at a given place and moment. In comparison, climate represents the average conditions (or norms) experienced over a longer period of time. This is internationally recognized as a period of at least 30 years, although longer periods can also be used. Both climate and weather change, but they are not the same thing.
In fact, extreme weather patterns including both cold snaps and drought conditions that stay in place for many days or weeks at a time, including both last week’s frigid temperatures and summer 2018’s tinder-box conditions, have been directly linked to global warming. As we lose sea ice and northern latitudes rapidly warm there is less difference in upper atmospheric air temperatures between the Arctic and mid-latitudes. This leads to the jet stream becoming weaker and allowing air masses to meander more north to south than the normal west to east and staying in place for longer periods of time.
It is not just Camrose NOW! that makes this error. When asked during cold snaps, people are less likely to support statements about global warming than during extended warm periods. I think this simply reveals that we have very short memories and are much more influenced by recent weather than we often like to admit, often not seeing connections and differences between the two.
The fact remains that even with global warming Canada will continue to experience seasons, one them of will be winter and sometimes it will be really cold (although not nearly as often). As the Norwegians like to say, “There is no bad weather, only bad clothing.”
Greg King, assistant professor of environmental science, U of A Augustana Campus

Editor’s note: We live in a sensitive world at present.

Yellow Vest

February 19, 2019

I was born in Alberta and my mother was born in Daysland, but a few of my grandparents and great-grandparents were immigrants, of which their culture still thrives to this day.
It was incorrect for a past letter to say that the Yellow Vests in France were about wages–it began with too high taxes on fuel, but now covers a range of issues within a corrupt government. If the author would have joined the protest on Saturday (11 a.m. to  1 p.m.) before writing to the editor, she would have known the love from not only the yellow vest protestors, but also would have seen the wonderful support of thousands of people in Camrose driving by us on Highway 13.
Yellow Vests protest: the NDP and Liberal government destroying Alberta’s oil and economy; 40,000 or more illegal migrants in 2018 entering through Canada’s border with the USA; the out-of-control Trudeau government spending–after paying $40 million or more to terrorists, we now have an illegal-migrant suing Canada for $34 million because we rejected his claim for citizenship due to his links to terrorism (see Rebel Media).
Regarding violence, this is almost always coming from the people who must either live in a confused state or they just enjoy lying, but then again I have never seen a joyful liar–usually they are horrified or sickening and ill-informed.
I also encountered a Syrian refugee at one of those events hosted by the church, and this so-called-refugee not only told me that she supported Islamic “sharia law” but also said, “We are allowing you to live on our land.”
These so-called-refugees should be deported;  Yellow Vests want our borders secured, bringing in people who are not military-like, demanding sharia law. We have freedom of religion here, not freedom of law. The Saudi princess escaping persecution from sharia law was welcomed into Canada (she is costing the tax-payers, millions for 24 hour security). Yet, here is dual stupidity of the government: in Ontario they allowed Islamic sharia law to become a party that is running in the next election–this is a barbaric religion that still practices in curses and ruled the Ottoman period in history.  Its practices, in Canada, include the partial removal of the woman’s sex organ (FGM) so she has no pleasure in that act.
The Yellow Vests are here to remind Canadians to get informed.
Tina Kawalilak,
Edmonton

Tax grab

February 12, 2019

I’m reading article after article that point to the fact Canada’s NET contribution to the worlds’ carbon footprint is half of one per cent. If you do the math, it becomes very apparent even if Canadians could “totally” clean up their act, we would only make a .5 per cent difference to the global carbon pollution problem. Yet here we are, paying through the nose to our elected government and for what? This accrued wealth is not going toward a carbon problem at all.  Why do I say that?  Because we don’t have a carbon problem. Canada is in essence a carbon sponge.  Our elected officials are dinging us stupid amounts of money to address an issue that, in our country, is a shred as important as most any other issues and programs that could be addressed with these funds (veterans, social security, our armed forces, immigration etc.). Call it what it is…a tax grab, because that is exactly what it is.  There is little or no logic in having Canadians paying through the teeth for a program that will make no difference whatsoever to the published bottom line of said program.
 
Bobbie Norman,
Camrose

Orphan wells

February 12, 2019

Orphan (i.e. abandoned by owner, not plugged and reclaimed) well solution–give me a break.
Estimates indicate more than 70,000 wells in Alberta’s orphan category.
So much attention recently (must be an election on the horizon) by the Alberta NDP Government to beat on the oil patch to pay for plugging, abandonment and reclamation of shut-in/suspended wells (estimated average of more than $100,000 per well).
Many, not all, orphan wells are the result of oil and gas companies going bankrupt and simply do not have the funds. Any reader who has been involved with bank debt is surely aware of how ruthless this experience is when money is owed to a bank. Much orphan well reconciliation is on the back burner of priorities, due to the urgency for financial survival in this extraordinary perfect storm of weak made-in-Canada energy prices and intransigent government policy and lack of leadership.
Is it possible oil patch bankruptcy could have anything to do with having to sell products at prices up to one-fifth (in the case of oil) and one-10th (in the case of natural gas) of the global market supply and demand price that most countries on this planet benefit from, except Canada?
Could the federal and provincial governments’ failure to approve pipelines for exporting Alberta’s energy resources bear any responsibility (just a few months ago the premier’s own estimated loss to the economy was $80 million daily)?
Could Quebec, as the most prominent benefactor of Alberta’s equalization payments, estimated by experts (not me) to total more than $200 billion in the past 50 years, not bear any conscience to contribute their liability share– just like they are all too keen to extend their hands out for their unearned wealth share?
This government should be ashamed for kicking the oil patch when it is down. Where was all this condemnation when energy royalties were filling your coffers? Enough. Go away, just go away.
 
Neil Leeson,
Camrose

Hunting fines

February 5, 2019

I saw in a past Camrose Booster an article describing a court case in Canmore about how two Camrosians paid a hefty fine.
They were charged for transporting guns and Bighorn sheep carcasses through a national park, also the forfeiture of the two Bighorn rams.
They obviously had licenses for what they shot and they were using a public road, what are people to do?
Hire a helicopter to take them out or go the long way around through Jasper to come home? I do not see the justification of these fines.
Bernie von Tettenborn,
Round Hill

Editor’s note: The hunters broke the law and were fined accordingly by the court system.

 

Racism

February 5, 2019

A past letter (Jan. 22) claims to have been horrified to see  protestors (wearing yellow vests) who do not buy into her socialist globalism (communism by other names).
Horror of horrors, there are those who want pipelines built, who want to scrap useless carbon taxes, who don’t want open borders for anyone and everyone to just wander in, and in general desire and work for a prosperous economy with low taxes. How awful such ideas are to those who essentially want to destroy our state and indeed all nation states: surely any citizens wanting to defend our borders must be attacked.
So we get the usual leftist “arguments,” her gratuitous and false name-calling, thrown at those who don’t buy the UN agenda, including its latest rules to facilitate world migration. Falsely characterizing the protestors as haters, racists, bigots, misogynic, and horror of horrors, anti-immigration.
How awful it is that many people do not want the open-borders agenda, do not want foreigners with, in some cases, very different customs (that they sometimes even want to establish in our laws) over-running our well established and formerly well-run country. How awful. But consider the hypocrisy, when those of her ideology and their Indian pals are first to criticize and attack the original migrants who discovered our country, denouncing them and their descendants as “settlers.”
Of course they are “ill-informed,” those yellow vests, those not buying her message. She tells us we in Camrose have a “large faith community whose values include ‘brotherly love’ and tolerance,” even welcoming Syrian refugees. And that there are lots of immigrants employed around and about including students at our local university, as though all that is somehow automatically a good thing.
In the end she smears with the spurious, “Make racism wrong again” (Surely it was never right). As though those opposing her throw-away view of the country were somehow racists. There is nothing racist in opposing an increasingly thick and sick piling people into our country, especially the big cities, with criminals and all the needs that the millions include. It is nothing about race when all immigration is opposed, including a call for less not more. What is truly sick is her labeling messages opposing her one-world view as “ugly” and “sickening.”
Douglas Hendrickson, 
Bittern Lake

Carbon tax

February 5, 2019

In response to a previous letter. The Yellow Vest are not against legal, vetted immigrations, we are against, illegal, unvetted migration.
We are not racists or white supremacists. We have people of all races and ethnicities as well as all religions in our group.
A large number of our members are recent immigrants who came to Canada through the proper channels.
We are against the UN Compact. We are against the carbon tax. We are for pipelines and for lower taxes. We are for taking care of our veterans, elderly and homeless.
I’m sorry that people are believing all the lies that the liberal media is and has told about us.
We rally every Saturday and we collect food donations and warm winter items for our local homeless.
We are a God fearing, loving group of people who have been vilified by the media who have been paid $600,000 by the government to tell lies about us.
The government knows we are telling the truth and they don’t want the Canadian people to know the truth.
I’m a 61-year-old woman. I am a mom and grandmother. I am fighting for my children and grandchildren so they will never be ruled by the UN.
We are fighting for Canada to stay Canada. A country built by immigrants. A country that enjoys freedom of speech. A country that enjoys freedom of religion. A country that believes every Canadian citizen has a right to live in peace.
We are fighting for Canada, we are fighting for every Canadian citizen, no matter your race, religious beliefs or age.
Carol Vance,
Camrose

Separate this

January 29, 2019

With the election in Canada looming and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau doing everything in his power to bring Canada to her knees, the talk of separation has moved west. Yes, that’s right. Instead of Quebec throwing that word around, it’s now coming from the mouths of Alberta and Saskatchewan citizens. Toward that, I decided to delve into the “logistics” of separation even being a possibility.  Turns out, it is possible. But there’s a problem.
The clarity act (initiated and passed into law before the turn of the century) basically states the province(s) seeking separation would have to achieve a majority vote “in favor of separation” through a referendum. Now comes the good part. The government (house) has the power to determine exactly what percentage of the vote would constitute said majority vote. In other words, they’ve concocted a law that, unless every citizen of the province(s) applying for separation voted yes, the government could rule against it. Would the Canadian government allow a province(s) to leave confederation. Probably not. The only way to “get ‘er done” is a total yes vote. You can’t argue when the majority figure is a resounding 100 per cent yes.
There you have it people.  There’s only one surefire way to fix the predicament we’re in and that is to vote your way out of “said predicament” in the upcoming election. I used the term earlier…get er’ done.
Bobbie Norman,
Camrose

Hydrocarbons

January 29, 2019

I have read several letters proclaiming the supposed “economic benefits” of a carbon tax.  Let me make one thing perfectly clear; no tax confers an “economic benefit.”  Every tax, and every regulation, is a burden on the economy.  The only question is whether the burden on the economy is justified by services provided.
For example, building better roads will bring benefits in transportation, safety, and convenience.  The economic burden of extra taxes is offset by the benefits of road-building.  Building a theatre or sports arena provides more recreational options but it is debatable whether such spending is worth the cost of lost income or employment.
So, what is the carbon tax intended to provide? Quite frankly, the carbon tax is not intended to provide any services, it is intended to reduce our use of carbon-based energy (hydrocarbons) by raising the price of hydrocarbons.
However, everything we grow, harvest, make, and transport, relies on carbon-based energy. A carbon tax will, necessarily raise the cost of everything we make, grow, import, and export; and it will raise costs at every step of the process, like compound interest. Even the so-called ‘green’ technologies would not exist if we did not have hydrocarbons for their manufacture, transportation, and installation.
Hydrocarbons are the most plentiful, cost-effective, efficient, portable, and reliable energy source known to man. Without them we would still be living in shacks, without electricity, running water, transportation, or communications. The prosperity brought by hydrocarbons benefits everyone.  Even so-called ‘underdeveloped’ countries enjoy more and better food, clothing, housing, and health than they did a mere 50 years ago because hydrocarbons fuel cheap production and transportation.
Raising the price of hydrocarbons will raise the price of everything and leave us with less surplus to share with those in need. It will benefit no one.
 Dave Gosse,
Camrose

Carbon tax

January 29, 2019

Once again our Prime Minister just doesn’t get it, or does he?  His recent imposition of the carbon tax on four provinces (after refusing to accept the plans they were proposing) seems to be designed solely to make himself look good to world-wide, anti-carbon crusaders, while doing little to actually reduce carbon pollution.
Both the tax and the proposed “incentive refunds” look highly suspect, and are extremely inequitable. Consider four member families for example. In one, the main income earner(s) may live close enough to their place of work to walk or take rapid transit. In the second family, their income employment may require hundreds of miles of travel each month resulting in a significant carbon tax expense–they have no choice. And yet, each family will be eligible for the same refund. Is it just a coincidence that rural residents and those in remote areas will be hardest hit?
And, in Ontario, the family of the PM will apparently also be eligible for the refund, even though he doesn’t pay for his excessive polluting, as he (and his family) strive to visit as many corners of the planet earth as possible during his reign as PM. And we, the tax payers, assume his expenses.  As he so eloquently stated, “Pollution, in Canada, is no longer free,” unless of course you are the Prime Minister.
Bill Mattinson,
Camrose

Informed voters

January 22, 2019

Lorne Vanderwoude, I want to commend you for encouraging citizens to vote in the upcoming elections, but I’ll add something.  Not only do we have a responsibility to vote–we also have a responsibility to be informed voters.  Most of us are not informed enough.
Unfortunately, in our system, a politician’s first priority is to do and say what will get them elected, not necessarily what is good for citizens.  For example, Jason Kenney and the UCP continue to say that the carbon tax is bad for the economy and jobs when the evidence is just the opposite. Perrin Beatty, head of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and former Conservative cabinet minister, has told the Conservatives to stop opposing the carbon tax because it is good for our economy. Mark Cameron, former advisor to Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, has said the Trudeau carbon tax will be good for our economy, actually put money in the pockets of low and middle income Canadians and is essential for Canada to meet its international obligations. Still, Mr. Kenney says he will scrap the NDP carbon tax. But wait, he said on CBC’s Power and Politics that he will replace it with a Large Emitters Carbon Levy–in other words, the Kenney carbon tax. We need some answers, Lorne. We need to make the UCP tell us, for example, if the Kenney carbon tax will have a rebate for low and middle income Albertans and an exemption for farmers like the Notley carbon tax. Because Kenny is not saying.
Yes, we must vote, Lorne, but we also must educate ourselves. We must ask the tough questions and we must fact-check, because sadly, we cannot assume our politicians will be honest.  Because, Lorne, only the informed voter has the power to make the correct choice.
Rob Hill,
Camrose

Yellow Vests

January 22, 2019

I was horrified to see a “yellow vest” gathering in Camrose the other day.
The yellow vest Canada movement has nothing to do with the Yellow Vest protests against low wages and high taxes in France.
Yellow Vest Canada has now been widely documented as a group that represents hatred, racism, bigotry, misogyny, white supremacism and yes, anti-immigration.
Camrose is a city established on Treaty 6 land by immigrants, mostly from Scandinavia and Camrose celebrates it’s Scandinavian heritage. There is a large faith community whose values include “brotherly love” and tolerance. Not so long ago, some of these people went out of their way to welcome Syrian refugee families.
We have an exceptional university campus that welcomes a large number of international students, and is building a strong, collaborative relationship with Indigenous neighbours. There are hundreds of recent immigrants employed in every avenue of our society–doctors, servers, business owners, students, teachers, maintenance workers, caregivers and so much more.
To see this ill-informed yellow vest group–all descendants of immigrants–and their spokesperson  who, unless she has an Indigenous background, is also of immigrant descent, start to rear their ugly message in our community is  sickening.
Make racism wrong again.
Midge Lambert,
Camrose

Editor’s note: Every Canadian was an immigrant at some point.

Losing animals

January 15, 2019

I highly concur with our former MP Arnold Malone’s thoughts in his guest editorial, The Animals, published on Christmas.
Humans have a unique capacity amongst creation to nurture and to restore, yet also to take and destroy. The Earth is currently going through the sixth largest mass extinction on the planet. This is at a rate a thousand times higher than the previous extinctions (the last one killed the dinosaurs) and this one is being caused by humans.
Collectively, we are to blame. To correct a statistic, the WWF’s Living Planet report has declared that 60 per cent of vertebrates have been wiped out from 1970 to 2014. Sixty per cent. This has dramatically increased from a loss of 50 per cent from 1970 to 2010. In less than half a century, humanity has killed more than half of vertebrate animals on the planet. If this is not a wake-up call then I do not know what is.
I am appalled at this organization called the Century Project to increase Canada’s population to 100 million people by the end of the century. I am disturbed that finance minister Bill Morneau’s chief advisers are pushing this idea. Will a future Canada triple our current population have the same consumption levels? With the same carbon footprint?
Certainly our population will grow, yet to insist on intentionally tripling it is ludicrous. Two key elements of our national identity are: wilderness and a low population density. We do not need to triple our population. We need to conserve our current wild spaces and wildlife. Arnold’s thoughts show how conservation of wildlife and recognition of our interdependence with nature need not be a partisan issue.
Adlai Stevenson made a speech to the UN in 1965: “We travel together, passengers on a little space ship, dependent on its vulnerable reserves of air and soil; all committed for our safety to its security and peace; preserved from annihilation only by the care, the work, and, I will say, the love we give our fragile craft.” On this spaceship we have called Earth we have everything we need to live. And we share it with the rest of creation. And we need them more than they need us.
Geordie Nelson,
Camrose

 

Change coming

January 15, 2019

It  has now changed over to 2019. I am not sure if anyone else seems to really care, but I do as a citizen of this province called Alberta. The United Conservatives have raised over $1.18 million in the third quarter of 2018, which is nearly 75 per cent more than what the NDP government brought in the same time period. This does point to a coming change.
The last time when Albertans booted a party out of power was back in 1935 when the Social Credit came into power. The United Farmers were all shown the door by the voter. In 2015, the voters were a little more kinder by giving the party a few seats and a chance to redeem themselves. They are now called the United Conservatives. Now they are now ahead in the polls.
Now what does this mean?  Absolutely nothing.  The only poll which counts only happens on election day. In 1971, the one thing the PC Party did right was that they took nothing for granted. The Social Credit did take the voter for granted. In 2015, the NDP did one thing right. They took nothing for granted.  The PC Party did take the voter for granted last time.
Am I the only one who sees this repeat of the past?  Like I have said before, your one vote alone will not do much, but together it can change the world.  The voter has more power than what they know that they have.
Lorne Vanderwoude,
Camrose

Election time

January 1, 2019

There is talk of an early spring election here in Alberta. Time sure has gone so very fast since the Alberta New Democratic Party was elected as our government.
There are many excuses which people give me for not voting. Some say that they do not know enough to pick a party. In the late summer 1935, a lack of knowledge did not stop the 80 plus per cent who showed up to vote the United Farmers out of office. I would say it is a lack of interest, which stop most people from voting.
Others say there is not a lot of choice. We have at least 10 parties which are registered here in Alberta. We have the Alberta Advantage Party, Alberta Liberal Party, Alberta New Democratic Party, Alberta Party, Communist Party-Alberta, Freedom Conservative Party of Alberta, Green Party of Alberta, Pro-Life Alberta Political Association, Reform Party of Alberta and The United Conservative Party. There is no excuse not to vote.
When our next election arrives, take the time to vote for someone in your area. Even if you decide to vote for a party who might not have a chance to get in.  You will be surprised how much your vote does count in any election. By yourself, your vote means nothing.  Together all your votes can change the world.

Lorne Vanderwoude,
Camrose