Tag Archives: Climate Change

Another hometown dopey declaration to solve the global climate change crisis

By Gerry Barker

March 25 2019

Opinion

I don’t know about you, well, some of you, but the majority group of councillors that has controlled the civic agenda for more than 12 years. It has becom tiresome and costly. They echoing the New Democratic party’s national policies dominating Guelph’s governance of its responsibilities.

There have been a number of attempts to make our city as a “World Class city” and damn the expense. That’s one aspect that is clear and historical or often hysterical.

Except that it’s our money they are playing with. I estimate that more than $150 million has been spent and wasted on projects that are beyond the support and power of our municipality.

How about this? In 13 budgets crafted and approved by the dominant left, there have been only two where the annual property tax rate has slightly been set under three per cent. When compounded exponentially, it’s more than 50 per cent. I won’t even go into the increases in user fees during those 13 years of budgets from 2007 to 2019.

When the new dominated council came into power in 2007, there were some 1,508 full-time (FTE’S) and part time employees. Today, with the approved addition of some 23 employees, the staff has grown to more than 2,350. It was reported that these additions would cost $9.2 million.

Now here is where it gets tricky, and in my opinion, deceptive

First, the police employee costs are filed separately to the province. From the city employee’s submission both payrolls are required under the Salary Disclosure Act. This Act requires every public servant in Ontario earning more than $100,000 must be included in the Sunshine List. The 2018 report is about to be published this month.

The city published a report wjich stated that 339 city employees were on the 2018 city list earning more than $100K

The question arises, were the police employees’ earning more than $100K included in the city list? Answer, no.

Second, why aren’t they? They are public employees whose remuneration is paid by the residents.

Third, we have the statement that the increase in property taxes for 2019 is 2.63 per cent. Apparently it is to be adjusted next month to reflect additional costs including property assessments and a catchall of undisclosed charges.

We interrupt this column to ask: Ever receive a city financial report?

The word ‘deception’ comes to mind that the budget announcement has become a political action document to assuage any negative public reaction. It also explains the reason why we cannot pay our property taxes in four equal installments.

Budgeting begins with examining performance of the 2018 budget. Knowing that, the staff prepares recommendations to complete the 2019 budget. You will recall this year the staff recommended a 3.99 per cent increase in property taxes, by far the greatest source of operating income of the city.

Miraculously, city council approved an increase of 2.63 per cent. I’d like to congratulate council for holding the line. But they still approved funding the Well-being grant program to non-profit groups totaling more than $300,000. Two years ago, that budget item was some $150,000. Has this been turned into a political support program?

Fourth, the craziness continues.

So far, there are four long-term plans announced in the past two years:

Starting with the Downtown Library that has had the longed gestation period of any project in 20 years. Next comes the South End Recreation development in which the city has already invested more than $3 million with a predicted price tag of $63 million.

Now for the two biggies contracts that will not be completed in ten years:

First, the Guelph Innovation District lands (GID). The city has already invested untold funding by city staff who are busy planning a satellite city on 250 acres on land they don’t own. While the PC government has announced it will dispose of surplus properties, they will not be pushovers. Predictably it will cost millions to secure the property. Why is the administration even considering this? It’s nothing but speculation and land flipping to potential developers.

Second, the Baker Street Parking lot project.

This proposed development has been pegged costing more than $350 million with a private partner described as Windmill Properties located in Ottawa, and specialist in Public Private Participation projects experts or Three P’s.

Shovels will apparently not go into the ground until 2023. Can you hear the sound of the price estimates going up? You have to ask, is what is the cost to the city and terms of the contract, particularly the liability to citizens if it is not completed

Another blunders by council to resolve downtown parking

In the first 2015 Guthrie budget, council agreed to set aside $700,000 to restore updated parking meters on downtown streets. In the 2016 budget those funds were relocated to commence paying for preplanning of the South End Recreation Centre.

It appears, that politics entered the arena (bad pun), with a solution to help solve the downtown-parking problem. Next came awarding a $22 Million contract to build a five-storey Parkade next to city hall on Wilson Street.

Theses two decisions did nothing to alleviate downtown parking.

All this inaction has caused many businesses to close because customers cannot park. Check the empty stores. Perception is more dangerous politically than the threat of defeat to those making decisions.

It has been inferred that the growth in city staff is dominating the parking problems as most employees receive a benefit of free parking. Today try and find a place to park near city hall or the provincial court in old city hall.

During the workday you have to depend on good luck to find a parking space on the city hall area on Carden Street.

Aren’t Parking, potholes, infrastructure and taxes more important than dealing with Global Climate Change?

There are two councillors anxious to convince council to declare a Climate Change Emergency by the City of Guelph.

Coun. Leanne Piper, believes that controlling rising costs is by plucking the low hanging fruit for cost reductions. This means saving money by defunding budget items she believes could be chopped without political consequence.

Her co-sponsor of having city council declare a climate change emergency is Coun. James Gordon, a troubadour and former NDP candidate to the Ontario Legislature.

Now, we all know that the majority of councillors are part of the left side of the political sphere

There seems to be opposition of the proposal that fails to explain exactly what does a Climate Change Emergency do? How much is it going to cost citizens. Which projects get shelved to pay for whatever the emergency is and how can a city of 131,000 residents impact a global climate crisis?

Ms. Piper says that while the city has done much in installing environmental advances it is not enough without explaining any of the above and where the money is coming from.

James Gordon takes a slightly different tack, stating that money spent on projects to reduce the city’s climate footprint is an investment. James, first tell us about what a climate change emergency is and details of the costs.

Does it mean setting up a new bureaucracy to run the Climate Change emergency? Or does it mean banning fossil fueled vehicles, plastic straws, bottles and other plastic products?

For every action, there is a reaction. This is it.

**** a

Note, Guelph Speaks Editor, Gerry Barker: Today, March 25, was to be an important step to end the defamation lawsuit.

A Superior Court Judge, January 21, 2019, was to hear my motion to dismiss the claim, to be conducted March 25 and it has been deferred. The claim by a former employees’ laws auit claiming that I defamed him in 2016 is now in its third year.

However, justice moves in mysterious ways. My counsel was notified that our Superior Court Justice could not hear the motion March 25 due to a conflict of assignments.

Less than 24 hours later, my counsel was notified that a new date has been set, U.S. July 4, Independence Day. Is this an omen?

 

 

 

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The day Donald Trump declared war on Canada and our Allies around the world

By Gerry Barker

June 5, 2017

Last Thursday afternoon in the White House Rose Garden, President Donald Trump denied global warming and dropped out of the Paris Accord to protect the planet.

The United States became the third county in the World to exit the non-binding treaty joining Nicaragua and Syria out of 187 countries. What Trump did not know is that the U.S. is locked into the Accord until 2020. He may not be in office when that happens.

His mealy-mouthed explanation, loaded with lies, hall-truths and pandering to the Trump core of some 120 million Americans who still believe that he is their man in Washington.

Trump told the audience that he represented all Americans and was acting in their interests. He claimed the Paris Accord would cost millions of lost jobs and his duty was to protect those jobs. Another Pinocchio moment for the Donald.

The assembled trained seals attending the long-winded speech applauded at the specific applause lines.

Friday, the reaction by world leaders was devastating and America lost its soul from a leader who was described as a “malignant narcissist” by a group of psychiatrists. He is one who fails to recognize right from wrong because he believes he knows better than anyone else. In the world of expert mental examination, that could be labelled as sociopathic behavious.

So, first he attacked the North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA, stating he would abolish it because it was taking jobs from Americans. Then switched gears and said he would negotiate the 37-year-old treaty,

The president snuggled up to the 55,000 coal miners in West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee, stating there is a great market for coal in America. This is a deluded explanation to give false hope to those individuals who have no other experience but to work in unsafe and dangerous mines. Where is Trump going to send the coal? The market is rapidly declining as power plants and industry convert to a cheaper and less polluting fuel, natural gas and other rebewable energy sources.

Why doe he keep claiming that the coal mined in those states is clean and will not affect the environment? And, who cleans the coal and how?

I guess when you spend a life in Trump Tower in downtown Manhattan you wouldn’t know climate change from a Volkswagen … further why should you care?

Just latch on to those deposed people married to a dying demand for their product. Then exploit them by promising to wipe out all the environmental protections regulations to meet their needs.

It is a monumental exploitation of people who have no advocate except this misinformed Manhattan elitist who believes he is some political Messiah.

He is a hardcore denier of climate change as is his new Secretary of Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruit. This man is from Oklahoma and one would believe that he would understand the effect of climate change on his state that endures tornados and wild weather. Yet, has he travelled to other parts of the world where the effects of climate change are disturbingly apparent? The Arctic and Antarctic are points of the beginning of Mr. Pruitt’s re-education.

Following the President’s repudiation of the Paris Accord, Mr. Pruitt was so elated that he dined Thursday night at one of the most exclusive and famous French restaurants in Washington to celebrate his ignorance of the planet’s exploding climate problem.

You can take the man out of Oklahoma, but you cannot take Oklahoma out of the man.

So how does this affect Canada?

This past week, despite Trump’s promise to re-negotiate NAFTA, his trade negotiators slapped a border tariff on Canadian softwood lumber shipments to the U.S. For 15 years the American softwood lumber manufacturers have attempted to prevent Canadian competition. Their efforts have been dismissed by the arbitration panel composed of officials on both sides of the border as a mechanism of the treaty.

This didn’t stop the Trump administration. So much for renegotiation as promised by the President.

Next week that process will begin. We now know that the Canadian supply side management system of dairy, poultry, beef, pork, and eggs will be attacked by the U.S. trade reprentatives. The President blamed the Canadian system for 50 employees getting laid off in Wisconsin as his decision to renegotiate NAFTA. The truth is that American dairy farmers are over-producing and the president blamed the Canaian supply side management of dairy production as the cause pf the Wisconsin workers being fired.

It is in this atmosphere of ignoring facts and failure to understand how government works that has led to global condemnation of the Trump Administration. He is a core isolationist and ignorant of how the U.S. government is composed of three branches: The Executive, the Congressonal and the Judiciary. There are ongoing chaotic operations in the White House where even the chief butler left.

Trump’s penchant for tweeting his errant thoughts places staff members in awkward and impossible positions when the media questions the operations. Now the press secretary, Sean Spicer, is holding only audio briefings with TV camera’s not allowed.

We Canadians must be very afraid of this man whose sociopathic ego has no bounds and, make no mistake his actions will spill all over our country as both Canada and Mexico attempt to re-negotiate NAFTA.

It’ll be tough dealing with a president who fails to understand that Canada is American’s biggest trading partner and visa-versa. Nor does he understand the impact of his border tariffs and its predictable increased costs to American consumers.

When it comes to telling whoppers, he is indeed the king.

 

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AMERICAS VIEW -How the greenies corrupt the message

Posted April 9, 2013

The talented and provocative MSNBC host Alex Wagner, of the noon hour talk event, made the fatal mistake of giving her platform to the environmental lobby who denigrate the Canadian Oil Sands development and proposed XL pipe line.

Alex, let’s make a deal. Canadians will stop yapping about American gun controls and the illegal smuggling of guns into our country, if the U.S talking heads will stop yapping about how awful the Oil Sands’ development is ruining the atmosphere.

It’s a crock.

As a journalist, you have a responsibility to report and comment in a balanced fashion. When you bring in the head of the Sierra Club to address his group’s protest, you should also have invited the premiers of Alberta and or Saskatchewan. Both these provinces are the second largest suppliers of crude to America … after Saudi Arabia.

Yeah, I know, time constraints and availability of guests is a bind in live television. It is also easier to lard up the guest list with people sharing the same point of view. Also those folks receive an appearance fee. This epitomizes MSNBC’s slogan of “Leaning Forward”?

Here are some facts for your producer to consider:

There is already several pipelines transporting Alberta crude to the Gulf refineries.

More than 500,000 barrels of crude a day, some from the Oil Sands, are exported to the U.S.

A like amount of natural gas is also shipped south.

U.S. oil giant Conoco Phillips uses imported Oil Sands crude in its Texas refinery.

The U.S. is still reliant on Middle East and South American crude to supply 40 per cent of its needs.

The OPEC crude comes at a much higher price that Canadian crude.

Most of that imported oil comes from countries that are not friendly to the U.S.

The sustainability of Gulf of Mexico oilrigs to supply feedstock to Texas area refineries is rapidly declining.

Due to the sheer size of our countries, Canada and the U.S. are dependent on vehicles with internal combustion engines, well into the foreseeable future, to drive our economies. Pardon the pun.

There is a gradual increase in vehicle and power plant fuel efficiency.

No amount of renewable sources of power will supplant petroleum-based fuels.

Why does the environmental movement keep referring to “Climate Change” instead of “Global Warming”? Because science has determined the plant has cooled by .7 degrees in the past decade.

The real protest in the state of Nebraska is not about the TransCanada XL pipeline but its attempt to shut down the Oil Sands and its crude production.

The charge that the Oil Sands is the major North American producer of carbon dioxide, is an environmental myth. Besides, basic science states that Co2 is necessary for plant and animal life to create oxygen.

One volcanic eruption, such as the recent Icelandic explosion blanketing Europe for five days, wiped out any human attempt to curtail Co2 emissions by five years.

There are 200 active volcanoes in the world. At any given moment they can increase the amount of Co2 in such massive quantities that it destroys man’s attempts to protect the ozone layer by forcing people to adopt lifestyle measures that will protect the planet.

Unfortunately, we cannot control nature. To those who label the Oil Sands product as the dirtiest in the world, should look out the window in Iceland or the Philippines to witness the world drenched with real toxic materials. The volcano Pinatubo, in the Philippines, spewed out more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere in one year than the entire human race emitted in all its years on earth.

This argument has nothing to do with the XL Pipeline, it’s all about a coalition of environmentalists trying to shut down the Canadian Oil Sands using misrepresentation of the facts as well as scare tactics.

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Are advocates of global warming creating a big lie?

Posted April 4, 2013

You would think that Professor Ian Plimer, an Australian geologist, earth sciences and mining geology, may know more than a little about so-called “Global Warming” and its successor “Climate Change.”

Basically he says that the environmental movement is irrational. He points to the vast bulk of the scientific community, including most major scientific academies is prejudiced by the prospect of receiving research funding.

He calls the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as being related to environmental activism, politics and opportunism.

It appears that the greening of our society has morphed into huge business with tentacles influencing the food we eat, the resources we use and the air we breathe.

Now the professor is seen as the uber skeptic of climate change. He challenges the reasons for weather changes that have been blamed on global warming, caused by excessive human-generated carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Plimer says the recent eruption of the Iceland volcano in just four days, totally erased every human effort to reduce carbon in the past five years.

Plimer writes: “Of course you know this evil carbon dioxide that we are trying to suppress, is that vital chemical compound that every plant requires to live and grow and synthesize into oxygen for us humans and animal life.

“I know it’s very disheartening to realize that all of the carbon emission savings you have accomplished while suffering the inconvenience and expense of: driving a Prius hybrid, buying fabric grocery bags, sitting up till midnight to finish your kid’s “The Green Revolution” science project, throwing out all your non-green cleaning supplies, using only two squares of toilet paper, putting a brick into your toilet tank, selling your SUV and speedboat, vacationing at home instead of abroad, nearly getting hit every day on your bicycle, replacing your 50 cents light bulbs with ones costing $10.”

He did not mention the dandelion effect in Ontario that banned chemistry on our lawns and gardens. It was another cave-in by former premier Dalton McGuinty. It’s right up there with the cancelling of the natural gas power generation plants in Oakville and Mississauga to win an election.

Plimer’s argument is the earth is going through a normal cycle that occurs over 800 years. In fact the planet has cooled by .7 degrees in the past century.

He warned that emissions trading schemes are a new tax imposed on everyone. It will not stop 200 active volcanoes from erupting around the world.

What if he right?

This scenario feeds directly into the proposed XL pipeline sending oil sands crude in Alberta to southern Texas to be refined. U.S. President Barack Obama stopped the project in January 2012. Protests by highly financed Nebraska environmentalists forced TransCanada Pipelines to redesign the route to accommodate concerns of the political action group.

The U.S. state department says it has no objection to the pipeline’s new route and sees no environmental concerns. The buck now stops with Obama. It’s really a no brainer.

The president’s policy is to make America self-sufficient producing petroleum products and reducing its reliance on foreign oil. Why would he not consider that more than 50 years of supply lies in the backyard of his best friend, major trading partner and closest ally? Why should Canada and America import costly foreign oil from the states not friendly when the resources lie in North America?

There is no financial cost. The refining plants in Texas and elsewhere are pleading for the oil because the supply of crude from the Gulf is dwindling. The environmental movement is determined to shut down the oil sands on the grounds it is a major producer of greenhouse gas, aka carbon dioxide.

This has become an embarrassing political mess in which the environmental movement in the U.S. is attempting to interfere with a sovereign state by forcing the closing of the oil sands.

Obama does not have to face re-election. There is no reason why he cannot approve this important development that will benefit both Americans and Canadians.

Make no mistake the environmental movement is powerful and has changed the way we live although often based on false science and premise.

Right here in Guelph, our city is governed by a majority of environmentalists on council. They are determined to change the city to their model regardless of whether the citizens go along or not.

The majority of this council has voted to spend more than $120 million to foster its beliefs that the city must change and become environmentally sound. But at what cost? Failure to replace the downtown library, provide adequate parking downtown, neglect recreation areas and needed community centres, are some examples of how priorities were shanghaied. It was to satisfy the minority among us who are radical about greening the city.

The time has arrived to push back and restore the city offering opportunity to all citizens not just the chosen few.

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