Jack Gibbons, Chair & CEO of OCAARI, a Registered Charity, Advocates to Create More Energy Poverty

United Way on December 16, 2020, posted an article about energy poverty and what causes it.  The article stated: “Canada’s most populace province, Ontario, has the highest numbers of households struggling with energy poverty (1.1 M households).”

To put some context on the foregoing; those 1.1 million households would represent 22.9% of all residential electricity customers and 29.4% of all natural gas residential customers according to the OEB’s (Ontario Energy Board) 2020 yearbook of each customer group.

For some unknown reason the OCAA (Ontario Clean Air Alliance) who have three (3) employees, and five (5) directors one of whom is Jack Gibbons in each category, have been making presentations to numerous and gullible municipal politicians across the province. Those presentations were meant to convince the municipalities they should push the Provincial Government to close all of Ontario’s gas plants. At last count 32 municipalities have bought into the OCAA’s diatribe. The IESO reported closing those gas plants would drive up average residential electricity bills by $1,200 per annum and also cause blackouts.

It is interesting to note; Gibbons, back in May 2006, was a big fan of gas plants speaking out in support of the Portlands Energy Centre (PEC) a proposed 550 MW gas plant and was quoted as follows:  “Some people are opposed to a power plant (of any kind) in Toronto — period,” said Jack Gibbons, chair of the Ontario Clean Air Alliance. However, “some people are not fully aware how clean the Portlands Energy Centre will be.”

Should one go seeking for Gibbons biography you find little about him but what yours truly found was a list of speaker biographies in a website called “cleanairhamilton.ca” and what it stated was: “The Ontario Clean Air Alliance is a coalition of 80 organizations including the City of Hamilton, the Regions of Peel and Waterloo and the City of Toronto. Our member organizations represent over 6 million Ontarians.” These days the OCAA don’t make the foregoing claim but that doesn’t seem to have diminished Gibbon’s ability to dazzle the elected politicians in those municipalities.

The OCAA and the registered charity OCAA Research Institute (OCAARI) report they generated gross revenue (combined) of only $92,133.89 for the year ended September 30, 2020.  The OCAARI filing with the CRA indicates, for 2020, their gross revenue was $92,136.00.  Not sure where the difference of $2.11 went but perhaps Gibbons purchased a coffee! Curiosity piqued, a look back at the oldest (posted) CRA results for the year ended September 30, 2016 indicates total revenue of $63,042.00. That year the OCAARI reported charitable expenditures of $107,245 whereas in the 2020 report to the CRA those charitable expenditures were shown as $79,690.

 Recognizing the limited revenue being generated by this seemingly powerful organization, I reached out to Gibbons with the following question related to their 2020 CRA filing which indicated $6,645 as the amount spent on “management and administration”: 

I was looking at the OCAA’s September 30, 2020 filing with the CRA and found the following info kind of shocking so was wondering how you and Angela manage to survive on so little compensation?

 Can you explain please as you can’t possibly survive on so little, particularly all three of you listed on your website? Curious if you are being paid by others like Hydro Quebec or TAF or perhaps the IVEY Foundation?  Wondering and would sure appreciate an explanation.” 

What I got back in response was:

Hi Parker, We have two organizations: a) Ontario Clean Air Alliance Research Inc (OCAARI) which is a registered charity; and b) Ontario Clean Air Alliance (OCAA) which is a non-profit.

As of September 30, 2021, OCAARI has never had any employees.  But on October 1, 2021 Angela became an employee of OCAARI.

OCAA has had employees in the past. I have been a volunteer for many years. We have not received funding from TAF or Ivey for many years. We have never received funding from Hydro Quebec.

Jack

As noted above the posting on their website indicates “combined revenue” for both organizations for their 2020 yearend, was $92,133.89 and charitable donations were $79,690 which doesn’t leave much available to pay his two staff members particularly if they continue to spend money on “political activities”.  

For the 2020 year they reported expenses of $43,698 on political activities meaning they blew past their gross revenues for the year.

From all appearances the CRA with in excess of 45,000 employees as of March 30, 2020 has no problems with the OCAARI operating as a charity and can presumably find nothing wrong with their activities or filings with them.

The above demonstrates a sad state of affairs for those of us who pay taxes to supplement the activities of this particular organization (and presumably many others) whose aim under their CEO and Chair, Jack Gibbons, seems dedicated to driving more households in Ontario into energy poverty.

We need the bureaucrats to do their job!

ECO-Warriors in Shock as Last Week’s Events Unfolded

A few news stories over the past week caught my eye due to their rational views overturning claims from ENGO pushing for success at COP 26 to achieve the “net-zero” target. Here are three of the best.

Shutting Ontario’s Gas Plants Would lead to Blackouts and Cost Households $1,200 More Annually

On October 7, 2021 Ontario’s IESO (Independent Electricity System Operator) issued a press release announcing they had reviewed requests from thirty (30) Ontario municipalities associated with their demand gas plants should be shut down.  The press release highlighted the findings of the report titled: “Decarbonization and Ontario’s Electricity Systemwhich were:

Completely phasing out natural gas generation by 2030 would lead to blackouts and the system changes that would be required would increase residential electricity bills by 60 per cent.

Ontario’s electricity grid is only responsible for roughly three per cent of the province’s total GHG emissions and is well positioned to support the electrification of other sectors.

Ontario’s electricity system is constantly evolving and the IESO is actively integrating emerging technologies that have the potential to meet Ontario’s long-term needs.”

The 60% increase in the first highlight noted above would increase residential bills by $100/month along with generating blackouts. The second highlight notes Ontario’s electric grid is one of the cleanest in the world yet eco-warriors such as the CRA registered charity; the OCAA (Ontario Clean Air Alliance) want to make it 100% emissions free but are seemingly OK if we experience “blackouts!

Followers of my blog will no doubt recall a prior article about the OCAA and their Chair, Jack Gibbons who wowed those 30 municipal councils convincing them to push the Ford led government to close the gas plants. It is interesting to look at the IESO data on the day of their press release as it easily demonstrates the inability of wind and solar generation to provide a reliable supply of energy.  Hour 17 (5PM) ended with those two generating sources providing a miserly 0.93% (157 MW) of that hour’s demand which was approximately 16,860 MW.  On the other hand, flexible and reliable gas generation provided 22.6% (3,807 MW) for that hour ensuring supply was sufficient for ratepayer needs.

Ontario ratepayers should be thankful IESO provided a report with facts to dispel the lies of the eco-warriors such as those spewed by Jack Gibbons!

You’re kidding when you say: UK’s Biggest Source of Greenhouse Gas is an ‘Eco’ Power Station

A very recent article in the UK’s Daily Mail cited the European Academies Science Advisory Council and stated; “using woody biomass for power is not effective in mitigating climate change and may even increase the risk of dangerous climate change”.  It is always gratifying to have others confirm what you, as an individual, noted in the past and this was one such occasion. An article I wrote and posted on Energy Probe basically reached the same conclusion as the EASAC over seven years ago in March 2014. The article noted wood pellets produced in North and South America for DRAX were shipped to England for transportation by rail to Yorkshire where DRAX’s generation station is located.

The Daily Mail’s article went on to note: “Drax in Yorkshire burns wood pellets, which are treated as a ‘renewable’ fuel and the site has attracted more than £800million of taxpayer subsidies. But analysis shows that the burning of wood for power – known as biomass – has been the cause of more carbon dioxide emissions than coal since 2019.” The article goes on to state: “Drax is Europe’s third largest CO2 emitter, exceeded only by Belchatow in Poland and Neurath in Germany. In the UK, Drax leads CO2 emissions, with RWE’s Pembroke gas power station coming in second with 4.3Mt of CO2.“ It does seem rather strange the  accounting rules allow Drax to be treated as “carbon neutral”!

Nice to see the truth for a change when it comes to the push to decarbonize the world by the eco-warriors but one should wonder why it took EASAC and the MSM so long to recognize those lies?

Greenpeace Loses Supreme Court Case Against BP

BP (British Petroleum) had been granted a permit by the UK government to drill for oil in the Vorlich Field in the North Sea but before they could activate the permit Greenpeace decided to challenge them in the courts.  The article, in the Rigzone Energy Network October 8, 2021 stated  “Environmentalist group Greenpeace has lost its court case which challenged the UK government’s decision to grant a permit to BP to drill the Vorlich Field”. Greenpeace’s principal claim was “the government gave no consideration to the climate impact of burning the fossil fuels extracted”.

The written ruling stated: “Although the appellants’ aspiration is for such extraction to cease, it does not appear to be contended that the UK economy is not still reliant in a number of different ways on the consumption of oil and gas. At present, a shortage of oil and gas supplies is a matter of public concern,” the Lord President, Carloway, added, referencing recent political developments around the gas price crisis. The ruling went on to state: “It would not be practicable, in an assessment of the environmental effects of a project for the extraction of fossil fuels, for the decision maker to conduct a wide-ranging examination into the effects, local or global, of the use of that fuel by the final consumer,”

The court however did push the decision up the line to elected politicians noting: “The Secretary of State’s submission that these are matters for decision at a relatively high level of Government, rather than either by the court or in relation to one oilfield project, is correct. The issue is essentially a political and not a legal one,” Lord Carloway concluded.

What the ruling suggests is Greenpeace and other ENGO should confine their activities to lobbying politicians and their bureaucrats as the legal system will only deal with laws passed by parliament.

The article also made mention that back in 2019 Greenpeace tried “to stop BP from drilling on the Vorlich field by intercepting its chartered drilling rig Paul B. Loyd, Jr. some 80 miles off Scotland, forcing the rig to turn back. Several arrests were made as a result.”

The three events noted above give us hope there are people still left on the planet with rational thought processes.  Perhaps some of them will infiltrate the MSM and the political parties!  We can only hope!  

As an aside the “net-zero” concept and electrification of everything in our lives was pushed via TV ads back in 1961 and the ads are still available on YouTube!  “Live Better Electrically”  No mention of either climate change or emissions back then however!

Canada Missed the Boat Thanks to Our Prime Minister and “The Sky is Falling” Environmentalists

Someone needs to tell Canadian taxpayers:

 1.Why we taxpayers paid for over 300 politicians and bureaucrats to attend the Paris COP21 Conference

 and

2.Why we committed at that time to reduce our GHG emissions by 30% by 2030 below 2005 levels (since revised to 40/45% by 2030) without a cost/benefit analysis or a little foresight?

Had the politicians and bureaucrats done either (without just listening to the “climate change” eco-warriors) they may have possibly seen future events we are now experiencing around the world! 

To wit:

European Energy Prices are Breaking Records

A colder and longer winter depleted gas supplies which have not recovered so prices have climbed as availability from Europe’s gas fields have fallen and Russia’s Gazprom is focused on restoring their own gas storage as winter approaches.  Other events such as much less generation from industrial wind turbines have affected demand to the point that even coal plants had to be fired up.  Both of those commodities are either at record highs or closing in on them.  As a recent article in Aljazeera noted; “Europe has the world’s most ambitious climate plan, but political will is being tested by soaring energy costs. As countries take steps to ease the blow on consumers, Spain warned the European Union that measures to reduce emissions “may not stand a sustained period of abusive electricity prices,”. To make matters worse, Norway, famous for its hydro power said they are “pressed” due to low water inflows so interconnections with the UK, Germany and Denmark means those countries cannot count on any supply from them during the high demand winter.

India sees Petrol, Diesel and Coal Prices at Record Highs

A article on October 2, 2021 stated both diesel and petrol prices in India reached record levels.  It should be noted India is dependent on imports to meet 85% of its oil needs so the effects on the economy will be significant. India is also dependent on coal for electricity generation with about 70% of it’s generation provided from that source and a Reuters article from October 1, 2021 noted “Over half of India’s 135 coal-fired power plants have fuel stocks of less than three days, government data shows, far short of federal guidelines recommending supplies of at least two weeks.“ Interestingly enough India competes with China for coal imports and they are the world’s largest coal consumer. The Reuters article goes on to note: “Coal prices from major exporters have scaled all-time highs recently, with Australia’s Newcastle prices rising roughly 50% and Indonesian export prices up 30% in the last three months.

China Experiences a Myriad of Blackouts

Recently a very observant contact sent me a seventeen-minute video dated September 30, 2021 and it was fascinating to watch as it contained numerous blackout scenes from Chinese homes and businesses mainly in North-East China where many of the larger manufacturers are located. Those companies have been told to either reduce energy usage during peak demand periods or cut the number of days they operate. One of the reasons for the blackouts is that approximately 57% of electricity in China is generated from coal which has increased in price. Those coal-fired plants are unable to increase prices due to government price controls of electricity so they have reduced their output in an effort to reduce losses. The shutdown of factories will affect the global supply chain and as one example, that has been noted in the press as both Apple and TESLA have been affected.  The latter is interesting as the push is on in Canada and around the world to limit sales of ICE vehicles and eventually banish them in order to reduce emissions. China has been a major supplier of batteries and other materials for EV manufacturers and additionally about 50% (4.7 million) of all EV in the world are owned by Chinese citizens.  Needless to say EV charging stations have been shut down by the blackouts so the enthusiasm to purchase EV by China’s citizens will surely diminish as they will in other parts of the world!

Energy Lawsuits may make COP 26 to be a Breakup of the Paris Accord

What looms ahead for Boris Johnson, the UK’s Prime Minister as host of COP 26 in Glasgow later this month is unknown but he should be concerned.  Beyond the recent events affecting so many countries around the world including the UK, in respect to fuel shortages and their negative effects on inflation and the global supply chain there is yet another one looming! A Reuters article published just a couple of days ago may cause the Paris agreement on climate change to be (appropriately) tossed in the garbage.  Specifically, what the article references is: “The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) was originally drawn up to protect energy firms as the Soviet Union crumbled, but new analysis suggests it could allow coal plants in 54 signatory states to keep belching carbon dioxide for more than a decade.“ The article went on to say: “What they never thought about is that the treaty could be used against the EU countries themselves,” added Saheb who is now working as the lead author of a U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change working group on climate mitigation.“  Saheb went on to suggest the suits could reach 1.3 trillion euros.  There are apparently a number of lawsuits that have already started totaling $18 billion with the largest being TC Energy’s $15 billion suit against the US under NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) for cancellation of the Keystone Pipeline. Canada is also being sued under NAFTA by oil and gas company Lone Pine over a fracking moratorium by Quebec.

We are Not Back

Terry Glavin in an article in the National Post on March 15, 2017 noted PM Justin Trudeau went to the Paris Climate Summit in 2015 weeks after winning a majority and said: “Canada is back, my friends”. Trudeau and the other 299 plus politicians and bureaucrats he took with him simply gave away Canada’s prosperity which the Liberal Party inherited. He committed to reduce emissions and to basically shut down the fossil fuel sector.  His commitments are now biting us negatively.  If he had not been totally swayed by his buddy and puppet master, Gerald Butts, Canada might now be the best performing developed county in the world but instead we are scraping the bottom of the G7 and G20 barrels in terms of our GDP and our employment and inflation rates.

Had he reduced regulations, allowed pipelines to be built, mines (coal and others) to expand, etc. Canada would be prospering instead of contracting.  Our natural resources would be in demand around the world and Canadians would be reaping the financial benefits of foresight but alas the unelected eco-warriors won and now we are paying for the consequences! Should Trudeau decide to attend COP 26 let’s suggest he travel alone and when speaking in public he declares: 

Canada is at the back of the pack!

Strathmere Group Declarations # 5 and # 6

Declaration target # 5 

Declare a moratorium on industrial fishing and development in the Arctic Ocean until there is a comprehensive scientific analysis incorporating the newest information on climate change impacts and until there is a system for integrated, precautionary ecosystem-based management of industrial activities.

AND

Declaration target # 6

Work cooperatively with all Arctic countries and Peoples to curb all sources of pollution of the Arctic, including from land-based sources

Both of those “Declarations” committed to by the “Strathmere Group” and their 21 US cousins back in June 2009 were focused on the Arctic; ocean and  lands so, we will look at them together.

Back in June 2019 when Jonathon Wilkinson was Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard he tabled Bill C-68 declared as the “modernized Fisheries Act and it passed Parliament June 20, 2019.  Needless to say, he was pleased and made the statement: “Our government is working hard to protect fish and fish habitat from coast-to-coast-to-coast, and the modernized Fisheries Act will do just that.” Wilkinson was also quoted stating: “It raises the bar in making sure that decision-making is based on science and evidence.”

Co-incidentally Bill C-48 sponsored by Marc Garneau, MP for Westmount Quebec and, Minister of Transport, also received 3rd reading the following day on June 21, 2019. The latter Bill was an Act regulating vessels transporting crude oil from ports or marine installations located along British Columbia’s north coast. The Bill killed any hopes of either the Northern Gateway Pipeline or the “Eagle Spirit Energy Corridor, which would run from the oil sands across Indigenous lands to BC’s northern coast, along with Indigenous peoples’ hopes for a better economic future” from proceeding!

It seems odd while these two Liberal Ministers are so concerned about the fossil fuel sector and its potential damage to the eco-system, they basically ignored the continued dumping of raw sewage by cities along the St. Lawrence River like LongueuilMontreal and Quebec City!  Collectively those three cities reported dumping about 8 billion litres of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River! 

Apparently marine life in the St. Lawrence River is not important but “potential” oil spills off of BC’s north coast will protect marine life as will no commercial fishing in part of the Arctic Ocean!

Many of us recall the happenstance related to the Newfoundland cod stock collapse and it is interesting to know one of the causes was “foreign overfishing”!  An extensive report from 2002 noted: “Canadian media and government public relations people often cite foreign overfishing as the primary cause of the “fishing out” of the north Atlantic cod stocks. Many nations took fish off the coast of Newfoundland, including Spain, Portugal, other countries of the European Community (EC), the former Soviet Union, Japan, and Korea.”  The report also noted: “There can be little doubt that foreign overfishing was a contributing factor in the cod stock collapse, and that the capitalist dynamics that were at work in Canada were all too similar for the foreign vessels and companies. But all of the blame cannot be put there, no matter how easy it is to do.”  Bad management by the Ministry is also cited as a cause in the report reflecting the moratorium placed on them on July 2, 1992 by the Honourable John Crosbie that has never been lifted since being imposed!

From all appearances commercial fishing to any great extent has never occurred in the Arctic Ocean and Bill C-68 will presumably preserve that observation for Canada’s commercial fishing fleet.

Along with the passing of Bill C-68 back on October 3, 2018 a legally binding international agreement was signed by Canada, Norway, Russia, the United States, China, Iceland, Japan, Korea, the European Union and Denmark.  The agreement will reputedly protect the Central Arctic Ocean from “unregulated fishing”. The agreement was reported as becoming law on June 18, 2021 so that particular section of the Arctic Ocean (three million square kilometres) will presumably be regulated.

Should one wonder why China was included it’s not because they fish, commercially, in the Arctic Ocean but perhaps because according to an article penned in August 2020 noted: “Estimates of the total size of China’s global fishing fleet vary widely. By some calculations, China has anywhere from 200,000 to 800,000 fishing boats, accounting for nearly half of the world’s fishing activity.“  The article went on to state: “China is not only the world’s biggest seafood exporter, the country’s population also accounts for more than a third of all fish consumption worldwide.

One should wonder, why would China agree to sign the agreement? 

In response to the foregoing question, one should note Canada has been extremely slow in building infrastructure to support our northern territories so without roads, railways or ports any developments of new mines, etc. are extremely costly so little development has taken place.  Suddenly back on August 13, 2019 Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport announced a project: “$21.5 million to complete preparatory work necessary for the first phase of construction of the Grays Bay Road and Port Project. The proposed 230 kilometre all-season road would be the first road to connect Nunavut to the rest of Canada.“  That particular project, co-incidentally, was seen as the means to cash in on opening of the Arctic which was something China had attempted to accomplish back in 2011 via a Chinese company (MMG Limited) whose principal shareholder was the Chinese government.  At that time MMG backed away as the cost of the roads and port made it too costly! As noted in an article in the Walrus on January 4, 2021, “The vast mineral deposits of zinc and copper near Izok Lake, in the Northwest Territories, lay glittering but ultimately untouchable“ until Garneau’s pledge. Shortly after than pledge by Garneau, Mr. G. Gao, CEO of MMG in a press release said;  “On behalf of MMG, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the Canadian government for their support and funding,”.

The Walrus article goes on to note “CHINA’S GROWING INTEREST in the Canadian Arctic, one of the least defended regions on earth, has been a calculated move. In 2013, de­spite not being one of the eight Arctic nations, China gained official observer status at the Arctic Council, an intergov­ernmental forum, and later declared it­self a “near­-Arctic state”—a phrase that seems to ignore the 5,000 kilometres between its northern­most point and the Arc­tic Circle.

It seems ironic Garneau’s Bill C-48 designed to halt Canadian fossil fuel exports was passed just two months earlier before he turned around and catered to Chinese interests. 

It seems apparent the Strathmere Group partially attained their aim for Declaration # 5 but not in its entirety so it is only a “passing grade”.

Based on the foregoing happenings (so well reported by the Walrus), the current Liberal government, by catering to the whims of the CCP looks likely to allow the creation of mining projects for those minerals desired by China. That being the case one should expect, at the least, a modicum of pollution to occur in the Arctic meaning Declaration # 6 will be destined to fall into the Strathmere Groups first fail category.

Strathmere Group Declaration target # 4:

Strengthen investments in renewable energy and in energy efficiency and conservation through creating new clean energy jobs and increasing prosperity through new technologies.

This “declaration” went on to state: “energy security is best achieved through investment in the cleanest available energy and through ending our dependence on fossil fuels.”

Needless to say, Ontario ratepayers are well aware this particular “declaration” had already started to unfold prior to the signing of the joint letter in Washington on June 2, 2009.  Gerald Butts, one of the signatures on the joint declaration as the CEO of the WWF-Canada (World Wildlife Fund) was instrumental in the creation of the GEGEA (Green Energy and Green Economy Act) in Ontario.  The Act received third reading and royal ascent on May 14, 2009 almost a month before the “joint declaration” was signed. An excellent article by Terence Corcoran of the Financial Post from five years ago noted: “Prior to the 2007 election, Butts was a McGuinty insider. After the election, he became McGuinty’s principal adviser. As one of his biographical notes describes it, Butts “was intimately involved in all of the government’s significant environmental initiatives, from the Greenbelt and Boreal Conservation plan to the coal phase-out and toxic reduction strategy.”

What followed was spelled out in the Ontario Auditor General’s press release of December 2015 disclosing the cost of renewable contracts under the GEGEA was $37 billion to the end of 2014 and would cost another $133 billion up to the end of the contracts. To add fuel to the fire Ontario’s Liberal Party, under Kathleen Wynne, on January 1, 2017 launched their “cap & trade” program joining Quebec and BC.  The foregoing may have occurred because PM Justin Trudeau had announced in early October 2016, he would impose a price on carbon beginning in 2018 if any provinces didn’t have one.  At that time Gerald Butts was his Principal Secretary and his puppet master.  Again, as we in Ontario know, when the Ford government was elected, he cancelled Wynne’s “cap & trade” program! 

In early 2017 the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change was issued and recommended a carbon tax starting at $10/ton on January 1, 2018 increasing by $10 each year to a maximum of $50 per ton. The Framework only loosely focused on achieving “net-zero” targeting only “new buildings”.  Suddenly on December 11, 2020 with the country in a Covid-19 lockdown Trudeau and his new Environment Minister, Jonathon Wilkinson announced the carbon tax would be expanded to $170 ton to wean us all off of “fossil fuels”. The pretext was it was being done so Canada could meet its Paris Agreement targets.

The impact of raising the tax to that level was spelled out in a Fraser Institute report which noted: “In this study, we present an analysis using a large empirical model of the Canadian economy that indicates that the tax will have substantial negative impacts, including a 1.8% decline in Gross Domestic Product and the net loss of about 184,000 jobs, even after taking account of jobs created by new government spending and household rebates of the carbon charges. The drop in GDP works out to about $1,540 in current dollars per employed person.” The report forecasted the carbon tax of $170/ton would create additional debt of $22 billion and noted almost 50% of the job losses (78.000) would be in Ontario.

To top things off when Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland tabled her budget on April 19, 2021 it was full of spending plans aimed at supporting renewable energy and ending fossil fuel use. The budget contained $17 billion in spending plans and tax relief measures including $5 billion for the “Net Zero Accelerator” additional to the $3 billion previously committed! The $8 billion seems aimed at large emitting companies like those in the steel and cement business.  Another $4.4 billion was earmarked to “retrofit” residential buildings.  Also included were generous tax breaks (50% for 10 years) for companies manufacturing electric vehicles, (NB: They and the Ontario government handed Ford $590 million of our tax dollars a year ago for EV manufacturing at their Oakville plant), solar panels and presumably the world’s largest wind turbine blades at 107 metres long to a Quebec company who just received $25 million! 

The Trudeau led government also on June 29, 2021 announced they were speeding up the goal to have every light duty vehicle sold by 2035 to be “zero emissions” vehicles rather than 2040.  The Minister of Transport, Alghabra has already handed out $600 million of our tax dollars as rebates to those purchasing EV and now wants more!

It seems pretty clear the Strathmere Group, with the leadership of Gerald Butts in respect to this particular declaration, will brag they have been successful at achieving it. It was done with great pain to taxpayers, ratepayers, Canadian families and our business community with an emphasis on small and medium sized companies who due to the financial effects of escalating costs lost their competitiveness or moved to a more welcoming community.  

What they actually accomplished was neither the creation of “clean energy jobs” or increased “prosperity”!

Why should China’s Emissions GO UP while PM Trudeau Insists Canada’s will GO DOWN

An article in TIME dated August 21, 2021 stated “China is planning to build 43 new coal-fired power plants and 18 new blast furnaces — equivalent to adding about 1.5% to its current annual emissions“.  To put that in context, China’s emissions in 2020 are estimated at 14,400 million metric tons which is about triple what the US emits annually and 20 times what Canada emits. The 1.5% China’s emissions will increase; is 216 million metric tons and equivalent to about 29% of Canada’s 2005 emissions. Trudeau has committed to reduce Canada’s emissions by 40-45% by 2030; (299/336 million metric tons) or about 138% of what China’s emissions will increase from the point when those power plants and blast furnaces are operating and increase employment in China while the developed world continues its self-flagellation!

Even the foregoing commitment by Trudeau et al wasn’t enough in the eyes of some of the environmental groups such as Greenpeace (a Strathmere Group member) who suggested it should be at least a 60% reduction (448 million metric tons).  Greenpeace’s article goes on to state: “We must start with eliminating fossil fuel subsidies immediately” and criticizes Trudeau claiming; “After more than five years in office, the Trudeau government is still incapable of proposing a target as ambitious as that of Joe Biden who took office just three months ago.”  What Greenpeace fails to mention is Biden’s cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline from its neighbour, Canada, and his ironic recent call-out to OPEC countries and its allies to pump out more oil to help reduce “prices to consumers”! 

The Trudeau Government has apparently listened to the cry from the eco-warriors such as Greenpeace however as one example is they recently banned future thermal coal mines because of their reputed contribution to climate change!

Apparently as U.S. President Biden noted, a shortage of fossil fuels causes inflation which is clearly what Canada is now experiencing.  Canada’s inflation rate hit 3.7% recently principally due to the myriad of taxes and regulations associated with our generation of fossil fuels. To top things off our GDP (gross domestic product) fell in the latest quarter by 1.1% despite most economists forecasting a growth of 2.5%, expecting a bounce back from the Covid-19 pandemic!         

It certainly appears Trudeau’s admiration of Communist China uttered by him in 2013 is still top of mind but working in reverse.  What he said at that time was: “There’s a level of admiration I actually have for China. Their basic dictatorship is actually allowing them to turn their economy around on a dime.

What he fails to see is his inane leadership punishes all Canadians while supporting China by increasing our inflation rates and reducing our GDP!

Our dime is now worth a nickel!

Another Peak Demand Hour and Wind is Missing

As we have come to expect in Ontario, “peak demand” generally occurs on hot summer days and the hour ending at hour 17 on August 20th was the most recent occurrence coming in at # 8 of “peak demand hours” so far this year.

Demand at the above hour reached 21,569 MW and the bulk of that needed demand was supplied by Nuclear, Hydro and Natural Gas generators. At that hour gas plants supplied 25.9% (5,587 MW) of demand while wind generators managed to produce only 0.45% (98 MW) of demand and the bulk (53 MW) of that came from the Greenwich Renewable Energy Project a 99 MW station located Northeast of Thunder Bay so none of their generation was useful in the well populated areas of the province. The other 40 plus wind turbine generating stations scattered throughout the province produced only 45 MW which probably didn’t even cover their consumption during that hour.

The foregoing fact is something you will not hear from the OCAA (Ontario Clean Air Alliance) whose push is to close out gas plants. The OCAA’s push to close gas plants has reputedly been endorsed by 30 Ontario Municipalities representing over 50% of the province’s population. 

In an effort to push the alarm button further the OCAA has called for all their followers to: “Please contact Ontario’s new Minister of Energy, Todd Smith, and ask him to direct the IESO to develop and implement a plan to achieve a complete phase-out of our gas-fired power plants by 2030.”

What Jack Gibbons the Chair and CEO of OCAA doesn’t seem to understand is that the events of hour 17 are frequent during the very hot days of summer and the very cold days during the winter.  If Minister of Energy, Todd Smith, followed through with the OCAA’s recommendations Ontario’s ratepayers would be faced with numerous brownouts and even full blackouts during the dead of winter and the heat of summer.

I would suggest the ratepayers of Ontario should write a letter to the councils of the 30 municipalities informing them of the above facts and recommending they rescind their endorsement to shut down Ontario’s gas plants by 2030 as proposed by the OCAA.

You can find the full list of the municipalities that have endorsed the closure by simply clicking on the following.

Ontario Municipalities that have endorsed gas power phase-out

Strathmere Group Part 5 (A) the Final Chapter and Declarations 1,2,3,4,5 and 6

Collaboration Amongst the US and Canadian Eco-Warrior Charities

The time has come to have a hard look at the joint “Declaration” and the seven (7) objectives of the 12 Canadian and 21 U.S. “Environmental and Conservation Leadersto determine their success in meeting their objectives when they signed it back on June 2, 2009.  We will examine each of the goals in order of their appearance in the original letter.   Those will be done one at a time and added to this article every few days in order to keep each review down to a two- or three-minute read.

Before reviewing the goals, here is a quick look at the lead-in of the letter.

Eco-Warriors pontificating on North American Ingenuity:

North American ingenuity can protect our deteriorating atmosphere, grow manufacturing jobs in harnessing wind and solar energy, improve our security by reducing our dependence on oil, minimize climate change’s drastic impact on human and natural communities, and protect our fragile natural areas such as the Arctic and the Boreal Forest.”

Ontarians were told by Premier McGuinty and his Energy Minister, the GEA (Green Energy Act) would focus on “harnessing wind and solar energy” and would create 50,000 jobs while only increasing electricity rates 1%.  Coincidently the GEA was introduced in the Legislature February 23, 2009 and received third reading later that year.  We know how that turned out as electricity rates climbed by over 100%!  As the Fraser Institute pointed out: “Alas, those benefits also proved illusory: the government now admits the 50,000 jobs claim was not based on any formal analysis; that most of these green jobs would be temporary, and the estimate didn’t account for the jobs that would be killed by escalating electricity costs under the GEA.”

Now on the issue of reducing our dependence on oil it is worth noting that since the signing of the “Declaration”, Canadian domestic sale of petroleum was 1.66 million barrels per day in 2009 and in 2019 was 1.8 million barrels per day for an increase of 8.4%. 

The two objectives to “grow manufacturing jobs” and “reducing our dependence on oil” fell flat so how did they do on their 7 objectives as posted in: Strathmere Group Part 5 of this series?

Declaration target # 1:

Show bold leadership on the world stage, especially leading up to the Copenhagen climate meeting, and within each country through addressing climate change head-on.

Well recent history disclosed the Copenhagen Summit failed to produce a binding agreement when it occurred in 2009. The conference produced the Copenhagen Accord agreed to by a few of the big players; China, the US, India, Brazil and South Africa but the accord was not binding, didn’t set emissions reduction targets so in effect was a failure although the 21 U.S. ENGO no doubt saw it as a win. 

Now if one fast forwards to the Paris Accord occurring shortly after the Trudeau led Liberal Party received their majority in Parliament in late 2015, Canada sent 383 people to the conference.  That was more than the U.S., Australia and the UK together sent! PM Trudeau was amongst the 383 and at the Accord declared: “Canada is back, my good friends”. One should suspect some of those travelling to Paris on the taxpayer’s dime (Gerald Butts was one) were associated with the 12 Canadian ENGO who signed the declaration. No doubt they had spent time since 2009 lobbying various government bureaucrats and politicians since the Harper led government had backed off of any commitments at the Copenhagen Summit. 

Needless to say, the 12 ENGO achieved their first “Declaration” albeit, later than planned!

Declaration target # 2:

Incorporate climate science into policy and permitting decisions affecting natural resource management in order to best ensure that wildlife and natural systems can survive in a warming world.

It is fundamental to ENGO they allude to; a desire to, “Incorporate climate science” in the never-ending diatribe they push in the “reports” and “studies” they churn out to spur politicians to adopt their beliefs. Examining the authors of the reports to seek their credentials on “climate science” is often a futile time-consumer and most reports fail to actually identify “authors”. Two reports caught my eye! The first is titled “Green Stimulus” by unknown authors at the Pembina Institute (founder of the Strathmere Group) dated March 30, 2020 at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. It pushes a “Green Transformation Program” to “decarbonize” the oil and gas sector and hand out money to retrain the workers. The report pushes “renewables” as the answer to our electricity needs and suggests we improve our transmission system to the U.S. as they will reputedly want to buy that renewable energy.  Had the author(s) bothered to research Ontario they would have discovered the generation of electricity from renewables is most often surplus to demand and exported at a cost to Ontarians of almost $2 billion annually. 

The second report was prepared by six ENGO and five are Strathmere Group members including: Ecojustice, CAN/RAC, Equiterre, Environmental Defence and Pembina.  It was issued May 2020 and titled, “A New Canadian Climate Accountability Act”.  As its title implies; a new “Act” should be created to deal with GHG ie; emissions!  The bulk of the contributors to the “report” were “expert” lawyers and nowhere in the report are hints of the costs. They want the legislation to set targets for 2030 and 2050 with five-year reviews aligned with the Paris Accord.  The report mentions “carbon budget” 200 times but provides no estimate of costs.  The only mention of “jobs” in the report suggests they will be created by “adaptation”!  

The proposed “Act” has happened with the introduction and passage of the “Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act”  in the House of Commons by Johnathon Wilkinson, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change.  From all appearances the Act presented is almost a carbon copy (pun intended) of the one suggested by those ENGO in the aforementioned “report”! Interestingly a quote from the report stated: “The alternate path — which limits the global average temperature rise to “well below 2°C” – would transform the health of a child born today for the better, all the way through its life.” Wilkinson’s related quote on his ACT starts with how “science” says we must achieve “net-zero emissions” and goes on to say: “This achievement is necessary to ensure our kids and grandkids can live in a world with cleaner air and water and to ensure our businesses maintain and gain a competitive edge by producing the low-carbon products the world wants to buy, well into the future.”

Based on the foregoing it is apparent the Strathmere Group have been successful in the creation of the proposed Act.  The Trudeau governments time in office running the country also saw them pass other acts such as Bill C-69 and Bill C-48.  Those Acts are also aimed at containing and reducing Canada’s oil and gas sector along with the extraction of minerals in mining operations.

Once again, we should recognize the 12 Strathmere Group ENGO delivered on their second declaration!

Declaration target # 3:

Declare a moratorium on expansion of tar sands development and halt further approval of infrastructure that would lock us into using dirty liquid fuels from sources such as tar sands, oil shale and liquid coal.

As pointed out in “Declaration target # 2”, the Liberal government under Justin Trudeau didn’t pass a full moratorium on expansion of the oil sands (a deviation of “tar” per the Strathmere Group) development, however, what the Liberal Party did was pass two Acts to create a tsunami of difficulties for any company attempting an expansion!  The “Acts” and their outcomes are defined as follows:

Bill C-69 is an Act: “to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.”

Critics of Bill C-69 argued; it would create more red tape in efforts to bring Canadian oil to market and Alberta’s Premier dubbed it the “No More Pipelines Bill.” Several Conservative premiers, provincial energy ministers, senators and MPs warned the legislation would repel energy investors and rob oil-rich regions like Alberta of the ability to benefit from their resources. The results emanating from Bill C-69 as noted by EnergyNow, had the effect of seeing capital expenditures in the oil and gas extraction sector in Canada fall from $76.1 billion in 2014 to $33.3 billion (a drop of 56.2%) in 2019.  StatCan also reported in December 2020 noting: “Following a 52% drop in the second quarter, capital expenditures in the oil and gas extraction industries increased 11% to $4.5 billion in the third quarter. Year-to-date spending totaled $17.1 billion, a 34% decline over the first three quarters of 2019.” Bill C-69 was passed in June 2019. “

The second Act, Bill C-48 received Royal Assent June 21, 2019 and is defined as; “An Act respecting the regulation of vessels that transport crude oil or persistent oil to or from ports or marine installations located along British Columbia’s north coast”. 

The Bill C-48 Act appears responsible for a couple of major events including Kinder Morgan’s abrupt exit from Canada at the taxpayer’s expense as they faced many illegal blockades (seemingly allowed by the RCMP, who are federally controlled) and were forced to cease construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline on numerous occasions. The Trudeau Liberals wound up purchasing Kinder Morgan’s Canadian assets for $4.5 billion.  The cost to complete the pipeline expansion has (as of February 2020) increased from $7.4 billion to $12.6 billion meaning taxpayers are stuck with added taxpayer debt of $17.1 billion.

The second event that occurred was related to Enbridge’s plan for the Northern Gateway pipeline which the Trudeau led Liberals halted, prior to passage of Bill C-48!  The Northern Gateway pipeline was on the radar screen of ENGO as they pushed the plan to ban tanker traffic on the northwest Pacific coast. The mandate letter dated November 12, 2015 from Trudeau to the Minister of Transport stated: “Formalize a moratorium on crude oil tanker traffic on British Columbia’s North Coast, working in collaboration with the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Minister of Natural Resources and the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to develop an approach.” 

Needless to say, the WWF, a Strathmere Group member where Gerald Butts previously resided as President and CEO were delighted!  David Miller (former Mayor of Toronto), who succeeded Butts as President, published an article on November 23, 2015 shouting out: “The moratorium is something to celebrate, and puts a major hurdle in front of Enbridge’s plans for the region.”  Miller also went on to state: “It’s now crucial that we push towards the next stage: a legislated ban on all oil tanker traffic in the region.

Bill C-48 followed and even though the Senate’s transport committee voted in May 2019 to recommend the bill not move forward and presented a report to the Senate as a whole that asked them to endorse the recommendation that the bill be defeated”, it passed.

One should surmise the passage of Bill C-69 and Bill C-48 were successful at the goal of halting any significant expansion of the “tar sands” so, the Strathmere Group once again can brag about their success in meeting their third “declaration”!

Declaration target # 4:

Strengthen investments in renewable energy and in energy efficiency and conservation through creating new clean energy jobs and increasing prosperity through new technologies.

This “declaration” went on to state: “energy security is best achieved through investment in the cleanest available energy and through ending our dependence on fossil fuels.”

Needless to say, Ontario ratepayers are well aware this particular “declaration” had already started to unfold prior to the signing of the joint letter in Washington on June 2, 2009.  Gerald Butts, one of the signatures on the joint declaration as the CEO of the WWF-Canada (World Wildlife Fund) was instrumental in the creation of the GEGEA (Green Energy and Green Economy Act) in Ontario.  The Act received third reading and royal ascent on May 14, 2009 almost a month before the “joint declaration” was signed. An excellent article by Terence Corcoran of the Financial Post from five years ago noted: “Prior to the 2007 election, Butts was a McGuinty insider. After the election, he became McGuinty’s principal adviser. As one of his biographical notes describes it, Butts “was intimately involved in all of the government’s significant environmental initiatives, from the Greenbelt and Boreal Conservation plan to the coal phase-out and toxic reduction strategy.”

What followed was spelled out in the Ontario Auditor General’s press release of December 2015 disclosing the cost of renewable contracts under the GEGEA was $37 billion to the end of 2014 and would cost another $133 billion up to the end of the contracts. To add fuel to the fire Ontario’s Liberal Party, under Kathleen Wynne, on January 1, 2017 launched their “cap & trade” program joining Quebec and BC.  The foregoing may have occurred because PM Justin Trudeau had announced in early October 2016, he would impose a price on carbon beginning in 2018 if any provinces didn’t have one.  At that time Gerald Butts was his Principal Secretary and viewed as his puppet master.  Again, as we in Ontario know, when the Ford government was elected, he cancelled Wynne’s “cap & trade” program! 

In early 2017 the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change was issued and recommended a carbon tax starting at $10/ton on January 1, 2018 increasing by $10 each year to a maximum of $50 per ton. The Framework only loosely focused on achieving “net-zero” targeting only “new buildings”.  Suddenly on December 11, 2020 with the country in a Covid-19 lockdown Trudeau and his new Environment Minister, Jonathon Wilkinson announced the carbon tax would be expanded to $170 ton to wean us all off of “fossil fuels”. The pretext was it was being done so Canada could meet its Paris Agreement targets.

The impact of raising the tax to that level was spelled out in a Fraser Institute report which noted: “In this study, we present an analysis using a large empirical model of the Canadian economy that indicates that the tax will have substantial negative impacts, including a 1.8% decline in Gross Domestic Product and the net loss of about 184,000 jobs, even after taking account of jobs created by new government spending and household rebates of the carbon charges. The drop in GDP works out to about $1,540 in current dollars per employed person.” The report forecasted the carbon tax of $170/ton would create additional debt of $22 billion and noted almost 50% of the job losses (78.000) would be in Ontario.

To top things off when Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland tabled her budget on April 19, 2021 it was full of spending plans aimed at supporting renewable energy and ending fossil fuel use. The budget contained $17 billion in spending plans and tax relief measures including $5 billion for the “Net Zero Accelerator” additional to the $3 billion previously committed! The $8 billion seems aimed at large emitting companies like those in the steel and cement business.  Another $4.4 billion was earmarked to “retrofit” residential buildings.  Also included were generous tax breaks (50% for 10 years) for companies manufacturing electric vehicles, (NB: They and the Ontario government handed Ford $590 million of our tax dollars a year ago for EV manufacturing at their Oakville plant), solar panels and presumably the world’s largest wind turbine blades at 107 metres long to a Quebec company who just received $25 million! 

The Trudeau led government also on June 29, 2021 announced they were speeding up the goal to have every light duty vehicle sold by 2035 to be “zero emissions” vehicles rather than 2040.  The Minister of Transport, Alghabra has already handed out $600 million of our tax dollars as rebates to those purchasing EV and now wants more!

It seems pretty clear the Strathmere Group, with the leadership of Gerald Butts in respect to this particular declaration, will brag they have been successful at achieving it. It was done with great pain to taxpayers, ratepayers, Canadian families and our business community with an emphasis on small and medium sized companies who due to the financial effects of escalating costs lost their competitiveness or moved to a more welcoming community.  

What they actually accomplished was neither the creation of “clean energy jobs” or increased “prosperity”!

Declaration target # 5 

Declare a moratorium on industrial fishing and development in the Arctic Ocean until there is a comprehensive scientific analysis incorporating the newest information on climate change impacts and until there is a system for integrated, precautionary ecosystem-based management of industrial activities.

AND

Declaration target # 6

Work cooperatively with all Arctic countries and Peoples to curb all sources of pollution of the Arctic, including from land-based sources

Both of those “Declarations” committed to by the “Strathmere Group” and their 21 US cousins back in June 2009 were focused on the Arctic; ocean and  lands so, we will look at them together.

Back in June 2019 when Jonathon Wilkinson was Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard he tabled Bill C-68 declared as the “modernized Fisheries Act and it passed Parliament June 20, 2019.  Needless to say, he was pleased and made the statement: “Our government is working hard to protect fish and fish habitat from coast-to-coast-to-coast, and the modernized Fisheries Act will do just that.” Wilkinson was also quoted stating: “It raises the bar in making sure that decision-making is based on science and evidence.”

Co-incidentally Bill C-48 sponsored by Marc Garneau, MP for Westmount Quebec and, Minister of Transport, also received 3rd reading the following day on June 21, 2019. The latter Bill was an Act regulating vessels transporting crude oil from ports or marine installations located along British Columbia’s north coast. The Bill killed any hopes of either the Northern Gateway Pipeline or the “Eagle Spirit Energy Corridor, which would run from the oil sands across Indigenous lands to BC’s northern coast, along with Indigenous peoples’ hopes for a better economic future” from proceeding!

It seems odd while these two Liberal Ministers are so concerned about the fossil fuel sector and its potential damage to the eco-system, they basically ignored the continued dumping of raw sewage by cities along the St. Lawrence River like LongueuilMontreal and Quebec City!  Collectively those three cities reported dumping about 8 billion litres of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River! 

Apparently marine life in the St. Lawrence River is not important but “potential” oil spills off of BC’s north coast will protect marine life as will no commercial fishing in part of the Arctic Ocean!

Many of us recall the happenstance related to the Newfoundland cod stock collapse and it is interesting to know one of the causes was “foreign overfishing”!  An extensive report from 2002 noted: “Canadian media and government public relations people often cite foreign overfishing as the primary cause of the “fishing out” of the north Atlantic cod stocks. Many nations took fish off the coast of Newfoundland, including Spain, Portugal, other countries of the European Community (EC), the former Soviet Union, Japan, and Korea.”  The report also noted: “There can be little doubt that foreign overfishing was a contributing factor in the cod stock collapse, and that the capitalist dynamics that were at work in Canada were all too similar for the foreign vessels and companies. But all of the blame cannot be put there, no matter how easy it is to do.”  Bad management by the Ministry is also cited as a cause in the report reflecting the moratorium placed on them on July 2, 1992 by the Honourable John Crosbie that has never been lifted since being imposed!

From all appearances commercial fishing to any great extent has never occurred in the Arctic Ocean and Bill C-68 will presumably preserve that observation for Canada’s commercial fishing fleet.

Along with the passing of Bill C-68 back on October 3, 2018 a legally binding international agreement was signed by Canada, Norway, Russia, the United States, China, Iceland, Japan, Korea, the European Union and Denmark.  The agreement will reputedly protect the Central Arctic Ocean from “unregulated fishing”. The agreement was reported as becoming law on June 18, 2021 so that particular section of the Arctic Ocean (three million square kilometres) will presumably be regulated.

Should one wonder why China was included it’s not because they fish, commercially, in the Arctic Ocean but perhaps because according to an article penned in August 2020 noted: “Estimates of the total size of China’s global fishing fleet vary widely. By some calculations, China has anywhere from 200,000 to 800,000 fishing boats, accounting for nearly half of the world’s fishing activity.“  The article went on to state: “China is not only the world’s biggest seafood exporter, the country’s population also accounts for more than a third of all fish consumption worldwide.

One should wonder, why would China agree to sign the agreement? 

In response to the foregoing question, one should note Canada has been extremely slow in building infrastructure to support our northern territories so without roads, railways or ports any developments of new mines, etc. are extremely costly so little development has taken place.  Suddenly back on August 13, 2019 Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport announced a project: “$21.5 million to complete preparatory work necessary for the first phase of construction of the Grays Bay Road and Port Project. The proposed 230 kilometre all-season road would be the first road to connect Nunavut to the rest of Canada.“  That particular project, co-incidentally, was seen as the means to cash in on opening of the Arctic which was something China had attempted to accomplish back in 2011 via a Chinese company (MMG Limited) whose principal shareholder was the Chinese government.  At that time MMG backed away as the cost of the roads and port made it too costly! As noted in an article in the Walrus on January 4, 2021, “The vast mineral deposits of zinc and copper near Izok Lake, in the Northwest Territories, lay glittering but ultimately untouchable“ until Garneau’s pledge. Shortly after than pledge by Garneau, Mr. G. Gao, CEO of MMG in a press release said;  “On behalf of MMG, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the Canadian government for their support and funding,”.

The Walrus article goes on to note “CHINA’S GROWING INTEREST in the Canadian Arctic, one of the least defended regions on earth, has been a calculated move. In 2013, de­spite not being one of the eight Arctic nations, China gained official observer status at the Arctic Council, an intergov­ernmental forum, and later declared it­self a “near­-Arctic state”—a phrase that seems to ignore the 5,000 kilometres between its northern­most point and the Arc­tic Circle.

It seems ironic Garneau’s Bill C-48 designed to halt Canadian fossil fuel exports was passed just two months earlier before he turned around and catered to Chinese interests. 

It seems apparent the Strathmere Group partially attained their aim for Declaration # 5 but not in its entirety so it is only a “passing grade”.

Based on the foregoing happenings (so well reported by the Walrus), the current Liberal government, by catering to the whims of the CCP looks likely to allow the creation of mining projects for those minerals desired by China. That being the case one should expect, at the least, a modicum of pollution to occur in the Arctic meaning Declaration # 6 will be destined to fall into the Strathmere Groups first fail category.

NB:  The final Declaration # 7 and the associated appraisal of it will be posted in the next few days.

Strange Things that Caught My Eye Over the Recent Week

Should you, as I do, consider recent events to be off the scale of normal, it is worth pondering the cause!  Is it related to the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, the “woke” generation, government bureaucrats or those in political power or perhaps a combination of some or all of them?  Some recent examples:

Planting Trees in Brampton as Part of Two Billion Trees                                                                             

I’m sure most will recall just before the last Federal election in 2019 our PM Trudeau met with Greta Thunberg and promised her we would plant 2 billion trees.  Well, it appears the process, under the Minister of Natural Resources, Seamus O’Regan has finally started according to a press release on August 4, 2021 which contained the following:

Today, Maninder Sidhu, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development and Member of Parliament for Brampton East, on behalf of the Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources, announced $1,280,000 to the City of Brampton in support of the Government of Canada’s plan to plant two billion trees over 10 years. This project will see 8,000 trees planted across the region this year and contribute to the rehabilitation of the city’s urban tree canopy.”

Quick math on the cost per tree being planted comes to $160.00 each meaning if Minister O’Regan Jr. continues at this level the total cost to Canada’s taxpayers will be $320 billion for the 2 billion trees. Those 8,000 trees will, eventually, absorb about 174 tons of CO2 meaning the cost per ton of emissions removal is about $7,400. Pretty sure O’Regan could have purchased “carbon offsets” for a few dollars each from former Governor of the Bank of Canada, Mark Carney and saved the taxpayers money!

CONFIDENCE IN CHARITY LEADERS HAS FALLEN SHARPLY OVER THE LAST TWO DECADES – WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR THE SECTOR?

In late June Charity Village released a report that tracked “four research streams that asked about perceptions of charity leaders over time, representing 27 distinct surveys.” The surveys cited go back as far as 2000.  One of the comments in their report stated: “In 2000, 27% of Canadians reported a lot of trust or confidence in charity leaders, but in the Environics Institute’s research, only 8% reported having a lot of confidence in 2020,”. Another finding was, “between 2009 and 2020, confidence in charity leaders dropped by 22 percentage points, compared to only eight percentage points for business leaders, six for union leaders, and three for government leaders.” The preceding findings may (in my mind) be a reflection of the growth in eco-charities who provide no real charitable benefits to those in need and are well funded by domestic and foreign charitable foundations. The former includes many of Canada’s colleges and universities with departments focused on “climate change”! Needless to say, the drop in confidence has resulted in fewer Canadian tax filers donating: “In 2000, 25.5% of Canadian tax filers reported charitable donations, but by 2018 it was only 19.4%.” 

Toyota CEO Agrees With Elon Musk: We Don’t Have Enough Electricity to Electrify All the Cars

Toyota’s CEO at the company’s year-end press conference in mid-December 2020 said; “The current business model of the car industry is going to collapse. The more EVs we build, the worse carbon dioxide gets…When politicians are out there saying, ‘Let’s get rid of all cars using gasoline; do they understand this?” 

Interestingly enough, Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla just a couple of weeks earlier noted “Increasing the availability of sustainable energy is a major challenge as cars move from combustion engines to battery-driven electric motors, a shift which will take two decades, Musk said in a talk hosted by Berlin-based publisher Axel Springer.”  Musk also said; “electricity consumption will double if the world’s car fleets are electrified, increasing the need to expand nuclear, solar, geothermal and wind energy generating sources.” In respect to “wind energy” it is interesting to note the Global Wind Energy Council in an article claimed, at the end of 2020 there were “743 GW of wind power capacity worldwide”.  To put that in perspective the Federal Government’s “Canadian Centre for Energy Information” tells us at the end of 2017 Canada’s total electricity capacity was 145,214 MW which is only 145.2 GW! 

As industrial wind turbine’s (IWT) life span is around 20 years we should expect about 50% of those in operation globally will reach their end-of-life in the next 10 years and the rest by the time Musk forecasts capacity must double.   Approximately the same life-span applies to solar panel and batteries for storage. Those politicians and Musk should also understand the USA in 2020 generated 60.3% of it’s electricity consumption from fossil fuels!  I would therefore suggest the “politicians” cited by Toyota’s CEO along with Musk himself have no understanding of what EV will do to the electricity system globally and why both are way off base and have no bearing on getting us to “net-zero” emissions by 2050!

Hydro One submits five-year Investment Plan to the Ontario Energy Board to energize life for communities

Just a few days ago Hydro One issued a press release announcing they had submitted a 5 year plan to the OEB (Ontario Energy Board) seeking approval to spend $17 billion over that time to reputedly: “reduce the impacts of power outages for its distribution customers by approximately 25 per centand “enable economic growth and prepare for the impacts of climate change.” The proposed capital expenditures are about double what they have been over the past several years (eg: 2019 was $1.667 billion and 2020 was $1.878 billion).  The press release claims “If approved, the five-year Investment Plan will have bill impacts below the expected rate of inflation, with the monthly bill for a typical year-round residential customer increasing by an average of $1.68 each year from 2023 to 2027.” Reviewing the OEB’s Yearbook of Distributors to get a sense of how those “power outages” compare due to “defective equipment” the 2015 report states the hours interrupted due to “defective equipment” were over 4.6 million hours and in 2019 (2020 report is not yet published) they had dropped to just under 4.4 million hours.  Since 2015 Hydro One’s residential customer base also increased by 60,000 so hours per customer have dropped.

As a former banker I don’t believe the approximately $2 million the 1,2 million residential customers will cough up at the suggested $1.68 annual increase will be sufficient to pay the interest on the $1.9 billion of new debt (the foregoing additional debt assumes Hydro One will maintain is debt to equity ratio at 2020 year-end levels) they will incur annually.  By 2027 it will be a pipe dream!

Let us all hope the OEB does its job for the benefit of Hydro One’s customer base of which I am one.

Let’s thank our lucky stars Hydro One was not allowed to buy Avista

While on the subject of Hydro One it should remind all that back a few years ago they were intent on purchasing Avista Corporation via an all-cash purchase at $53 (US) per share.  The total cost for the all-cash offer was estimated at Cdn$6.7 billion.  The closing price on Avista’s stock on Friday July 7, 2021 and over three years after the purchase offer was $42.67 (US).  At the time the purchase offer was made Glen Thibeault was the Ontario Minister of Energy and was keen on the takeover saying: “One of the benefits of broadening the ownership of Hydro One was to unlock the potential for precisely this sort of transaction,”.  Thibeault went on to say; “As the single largest shareholder in Hydro One, the Ontario government would benefit from the company’s receipt of additional regulated returns expected to begin in 2019. Those benefits will be above and beyond the proceeds already attributed to the Ontario Trillium Trust as a result of the IPO and subsequent secondary offerings.”

Needless to say, those of us who felt Hydro One should focus on Ontario’s ratepayers were delighted US regulators in the states where Avista operated refused the takeover. Hydro One had planned to borrow $3.4 billion and issue another $1.4 billion of debentures convertible into Hydro One shares which would have, in all probability, detrimentally impacted all of their existing Ontario ratepayers.

Conclusion

Unfortunately, it appears those we elect as our representative politicians often are more influenced by those lobbying them continually such as the “climate change” advocates or they bow to the bureaucrats who are the beneficiaries of our tax dollars for their pay. Combine the foregoing with the “woke” generation screaming and their mainstream media support along with the push for globalization and we should unfortunately recognize what is continuing to happen appears to be the “new normal”!  

California power grid teeters as EV demand strains supply

I was a guest this morning on 960 AM SAUGA radio on the Marc Patrone show. We talked about California and the problems they are experiencing due to a heat wave which has caused the ISO (Independent System Operator) to issue warnings about potential brownouts and asked people to avoid charging their EVs during certain hours.

We also discussed solar panel trash, the promise of hundreds of thousands of jobs if we tackle climate change according to a report out of Simon Fraser University and what the carbon tax is doing to our Cost of Living in Canada.

You can listen to the podcast here starting at 1:08:48.

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