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