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Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: When a Tree Falls in Saskatchewan

.@SusanFelucifer @acoyne We have a deep seated fear of high places, since none exist here. Closed off top floor public observatories too.— Saskboy K. (@saskboy) July 24, 2014

While reading news page comment sections, even hopeless trolls who’d normally mock people saving trees by “hugging” them, have seen the light because of the nanny-state circumstance dooming the trees they’ve been coached to hate even more than “tree huggers”.

Saskatchewan is a province of leaders. We lead the country in smoking. We lead the world in per capita Green House Gas emissions. And we’re leading the fight against (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Solar Tour 2014

Cowessess wind turbine. 800kW at 32mi/h Has Li-ion batteries.

Solar farm and home system of 10kW Inverter anti-islanding. Prevents electrifying the grid while grid is down. Isolation ring for the meter can be installed so you can attach a generator to the house to let the inverter keep working during a grid failure.

A Canadian report of a 2008 study of cities over 200,000 people around the world, listed Regina as sixth best in the world for solar energy generation potential.

Kelln has a system for pumping cattle water, that motion detects cattle, pumps up water to a bowl, and (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Alberta P3 News #skpoli

Here’s some news hot out of Alberta. Only one of them is satirical.

The other satirical bit is that Saskatchewan’s Sask Party recently announced they’d be saving taxpayers millions of dollars by starting a P3 Bike Share like Stettler had. No wait, they said they were going to build P3 schools, after the Alberta model, to build schools faster.

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: A Plan Designed To Fail Is No Plan At All #skpoli

“While it’s not immediately clear what impact the Obama (climate change) plan will have on the province, the government of Saskatchewan has taken measures to address the greenhouse gas issue through the development of programs and policies that will reduce our CO2 emissions,’ Wall said. “We have our (GHG) emissions reduction targets and continue to work toward them.”

Wall’s government’s plan is to reduce emissions to 20% below 2006 levels by 2020. Any climatologist could tell you this is totally insufficient to arrest climate change. The Kyoto protocol to reduce GHG to below 1990 levels, is arguably insufficient also, (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Peak Oil Is Not Coming…

It’s here. This IEA report spells out peak oil as being in the past. “Days of cheap energy over, IEA figures show”

The IEA’s annual outlook on investment, released today, shows annual investment in new fuel and electricity supply has more than doubled in real terms since 2000. Costs to the oil and gas industry also have doubled in that period and the IEA warns of “gradual depletion of the most accessible reserves.”

Canada is already seeing projects cancelled because of the high costs of developing the oilsands. And its contradictory stance on climate change with rules for the (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Solar Power for all Saskatchewan households

A recent poll has shown that nuclear power doesn’t have majority support in Saskatchewan, and I think that’s fine. My own family has mixed attitudes toward it. My parents, who own 17 solar panels, wouldn’t mind seeing nuclear power in Saskatchewan, while I oppose the waste-producing nuclear technology available today.

A 2010 study by the CCPA shows “nuclear power has the potential to triple current electricity rates for Saskatchewan consumers.” If we’re going to pay more than we do for Estevan’s coal and Manitoba’s hydro, I want us to invest in solar power.

The massive Ivanpah solar power facility (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Brothers in Weyburn

Brothers restaurant owner in #Weyburn says he can't comment on TFW controversy due to employee privacy. #yqr #sask http://t.co/l6GwqSj5G5— Kim Smith (@KimSmithGlobal) April 22, 2014

Then this:

#Weyburn restaurant releases statement: 'entirely their choice to reject our offer of employment…' #sask #yqr #TFWP http://t.co/Ioh4c0C5u9— Kim Smith (@KimSmithGlobal) April 23, 2014

The so called Temporary Foreign Workers program is little better than indentured servitude. That’s a form of slavery, where the employer holds an unreasonable level of power over their workers, so the workers will not stand up for their human rights.

Ask yourself it’s a coincidence (Read more…)

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Shannon Hill Speaks Up About About ABA Autism Intervention Benefits and Autism "Services" in Saskatchewan

Shannon Hill of Saskatchewan, parent of a child on the autism spectrum,  Board Certified Assistant Behaviour Analyst, (Florida Institute of Technology ABA program), autism advocate and BA (Psychology) Following is a letter written by Shannon Hill to Linda Restau director of continuing care and rehabilitation for the Ministry of Health, Province of Saskatchewan, including comments on ABA and its benefits for autistic children. “Dear Ms. Restau, I would like to take this opportunity to comment on the article presented by Ashley Wills of 650 CKOM April 22, 2014. In the article you state with regard to Saskatchewan’s funding for ASD (Read more…) . . . → Read More: Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Shannon Hill Speaks Up About About ABA Autism Intervention Benefits and Autism "Services" in Saskatchewan

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Once Canada’s Autism Wasteland Has Saskatchewan Made Meaningful Progress?

Apparently Saskatchewan is still have difficulty providing necessary levels of early autism intervention.  I once described it in a September 2, 2007 commentary as Canada’s Autism Wasteland:  Canada’s Autism Wasteland To Take First Step Forward.   At the time of my commentary Saskatchewan was one of the few provinces with no intervention program for autistic children.   A Global News article by Amber Rockliffe, Saskatchewan Families Moving Due to Lack of Autism Funding indicates that not enough hours of intervention are being delivered to Saskatchewan’s autistic children and some families are moving out of province to find the help (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: SaskPower Carbon Capture and Storage Going Online Today, On Schedule

@tingeyd -Construction of the @SaskPowerCCS facility is complete. Currently commissioning and preparing for commercial operation Spring 2014—   (@SaskPowerCCS) January 27, 2014

“The government boasted at last week’s Boundary Dam symposium that the project will be up and running this fall and completed by next April, on time and on budget.”

Hey, today’s April Fool’s Day. Of course it’s not going online today, as planned last May September by politicians managing SaskPower.

.@saskpowerccs capture unit ready to go online this summer – essential technology for the future #ppet @ACforesight http://t.co/1b1rEk4yqK— Mihaela Carstei (@MCarstei) (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Wall Divesting From Russian Liquor #skpoli

We've contacted the fed gov't & Ukrn-Cdn groups to determine best way to support freedom & democracy in Ukraine. We will act on that advice.— Brad Wall (@PremierBradWall) February 24, 2014

Premier Brad Wall says gov't is looking at options to pull Russian liquor products from provincial stores in response to crisis in Ukraine— Marco Vigliotti (@Metro_Marco) March 20, 2014

Premier Wall, having gorged himself with other Canadian politicians on weeks of Russian Olympics propaganda, now considers Russian intoxicants to be the enemy.

What a game! Saskatchewan's @wick_22 & the Canadian Women's Hockey team are golden!!!

Congrats!! #WeAreWinter (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: 2014 Stapleford Lecture on Senate Reform at #UofR

Part 1

I really have to disagree with Dr. Barnhart, who had the power to sign, or refuse to sign laws of Saskatchewan into effect while Lieutenant Governor, that he is a powerful person. Now his influence may be lessened, even to the point where Global TV won’t keep a promise to him, but he did get invited to to a prestigious lecture for the UofR too, didn’t he?

There’s a time to be modest, and a time to be real.

Part 2

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Beyond The Book Lecture: John Gormley – #UofR 2014

I’ve been to a lot of University of Regina lectures over the years. None by a right wing radio commentator, until tonight, and it didn’t turn out how I expected. I know there are people who reeeally don’t like John Gormley and his radio show. I used to listen to it frequently while I worked in a job that had me in a car most of the day, traveling the province’s east side. I’ve not really tuned in too much the past 6 years, while I work meters from where his talk was given Tuesday night. It’s not easy to (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: The Blustery Winds of Stupidity Hit Weyburn Hard #skpoli

At least 2 Weyburn City Councillors were not duped by anti-Wind propaganda that afflicts many municipalities. There’s probably no bylaw against this family running a noisy, polluting diesel generator in their backyard, contributing to poor health of their neighbours. I’d have to reason that the neighbour(s) who complained about this windmill isn’t very bright.

The time frame given to Dustin and Vanessa Storle, owners of the turbine, was to have it removed by July 30. After this, there will be no more residential wind power in the windy city of Weyburn.

I hope they find a resident of a less (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: PotashCorp Projects Low Royalties

Today’s fourth-quarter report indicates that PotashCorp paid “provincial mining and other taxes” of $194 million on potash sales of $3 billion in 2013. In other words, Saskatchewan’s resource surcharge and potash production tax amounted to just 6.5% of the value of potash sold.

Adding the basic Crown royalty (which PotashCorp includes in “cost of goods sold”) and subtracting New Brunswick potash suggests that Saskatchewan is collecting no more than a dime per dollar of potash extracted from the province.

PotashCorp’s guidance for 2014 projects “provincial mining and other taxes” not as a percentage of potash sales, but as a (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: Dutch Disease, Prices and Wages in Saskatchewan

Jim Stanford recently pointed out that many of the conservative economists who had defended the overvalued loonie have quickly shifted to applauding its depreciation.

The Government of Saskatchewan may be making a similar conversion on the road to Damascus. When federal NDP leader Tom Mulcair expressed concern about Dutch disease, premier Brad Wall denied that the high exchange rate was hurting Canadian-based exporters.

But on Friday, the Regina Leader-Post reported:

[Provincial] deputy labour minister Mike Carr said that a lower exchange rate, through its ability to stimulate sales of Canadian-produced goods, including, significantly, agricultural and mineral products of (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Saskatoon Shiners #exploresk

Saskatoon is a beautiful city, so don’t let these photos fool you. Every city has a few shiners here and there. “There”, in this case, is downtown. This is the Holiday Inn Supermax Prison. Don’t worry, it only looks like a prison from the outside. You can leave, unlike the more picturesque Hotel California.

Here’s one of the more beautiful parkades with a cell phone tower behind it.

It’s January, and the snow has retreated into puddles due to the unseasonal temperatures, but the gang activity hasn’t retreated.

The people of Saskatoon are friendly, and will accommodate you whether you’re (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Future Proof: Ice Storms

Last year Shane vlogged about ice storms. Let’s not wait until a big storm hits Saskatchewan before we future proof our homes being built today.

You can check out Shane’s website, and buy his book.

If I had $20,000 to spend on a “depreciating liability” (a car), or $20,000 to spend on renewable energy for my home, which would be more useful during an ice storm or other time of emergency? Arguably a car could be useful to remove myself from the place of emergency, but if there’s no enough gas, or electricity to pump the gas, (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how well-planned public infrastructure and a strong community spirit have helped Saskatchewan through weather that’s caused far more problems elsewhere – and how we’re in danger of losing that advantage.

For further reading…- The obvious point of comparison is the spate of problems faced by Toronto – including widespread power outages, and flight delays and cancellations. And the provincial government is now handing out gift cards to make up for what people lost due to the power issues. – In contrast, Saskatchewan’s main cities have seen some short and scattered power issues, along with (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your Sunday reading.

- Joseph Stiglitz discusses the link between perpetually-increasing inequality and the loss of social trust: Unfortunately, however, trust is becoming yet another casualty of our country’s staggering inequality: As the gap between Americans widens, the bonds that hold society together weaken. So, too, as more and more people lose faith in a system that seems inexorably stacked against them, and the 1 percent ascend to ever more distant heights, this vital element of our institutions and our way of life is eroding.

The undervaluing of trust has its roots in our most popular economic traditions. (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: Canada-Europe Deal Not About Trade

I have the following letter to the editor in today’s Prince Albert Daily Herald:

Canada-Europe Deal Not About Trade

In their letter of Dec. 3, Darryl Hickie and other Sask. Party MLAs back away from his previous claim that the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union (EU) would be a boon to the Prince Albert Pulp Mill. Indeed, as the federal government’s Initial Strategic Environmental Assessment of these trade negotiations noted, “Pulp and paper products currently enter the EU market duty free, so a CETA is not expected to increase Canadian exports (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: First Nations Get $0.3M for Solar Research #skpoli

The Conservative government generously gave First Nations in Saskatchewan enough grant money to build one impressively sized solar array that could power a half dozen homes.

Ontario is going with $5,000M.

SaskPower gave 10 times this much to the UofR to research how to put CO2 underground so more oil can be pumped out of the Weyburn area.

Lockheed manufactures illegal weapons, and is part of the F-35 dud stealth bomber boondoggle.

Solar is not “concentrated” in SK as explained in the article, we just have more sun hitting the ground throughout the year than most of Canada. There’s (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: Weir vs. Wall on Potash Profits, Dividends and Royalties

Earlier this week, PotashCorp laid off 440 workers in Saskatchewan. Here are the closing paragraphs from today’s front-page story reporting a letter from Premier Brad Wall asking the company to consider reducing its dividend payments to shareholders in order to maintain jobs in Saskatchewan:

Regina economist and former NDP leadership candidate Erin Weir said if Wall truly wanted to transfer money from PotashCorp shareholders to Saskatchewan people, he would close loopholes in the provincial royalty and tax system.

The sternly-worded letter is “no substitute” for policy changes, Weir said.

Wall told reporters Thursday that the end result of any tax (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: A Nuclear Error: Uranium Royalty Cuts

On Thursday’s Lang & O’Leary Exchange (at 24:45 in this CBC video), I noted that while the Government of Canada just signed a deal with Kazakhstan allowing Cameco to invest more in that country’s uranium industry, the Government of Saskatchewan recently slashed its uranium royalties to encourage Cameco to invest in the province rather than in Kazakhstan.

It’s a win-win for Cameco: the federal government helps it invest abroad and the provincial government makes concessions to compete for those same investment dollars. But it’s hard to see how Canadians benefit from increased nuclear capacity in central Asia and decreased (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Canadian Uranium Subsidies to Kazakhstan

Here’s an important story for Canadians, and Saskatchewanians in particular, which doesn’t have to do with the Riders or the Senate scandal.

The Green Party of Saskatchewan (GPS) wants to know why the Wall Government is still subsidizing Cameco. The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) recently reported that Cameco owes $850-million in back taxes. And just recently Canada and Kazakhstan signed an agreement to jointly invest $200-million to develop a uranium conversion facility capable of feeding 40 nuclear reactors in Kazakhstan.

If uranium is profitable, then Kazakhstan should be able to build a uranium conversion facility without Canadian tax dollars. Why (Read more…)