Did Jack Gibbons of the OCAA and Bruce Lourie Hijack the IESO via the Rural Ontario Municipal Association?

The IESO (Independent Electricity System of Ontario) on a weekly basis issue a Thursday afternoon bulletin and the latest came with a five (5) minute video executed by Carla Nell, VP of Corporate Relations.  It referenced the ROMA conference held on January 24th and 25th! Curious I wondered over to the ROMA site to view the agenda and postings related to the conference.  I found no postings and the agenda said nothing about what the video inferred.  I was able to find a January 17. 2022 post about plenary sessions and it specifically mentioned “timely issues such as climate change.“ as part of the upcoming conference. Reading further led to the discovery that: “Dr. Bruce Lourie, a best-selling author and environmental policy expert, will address delegates on Tuesday about mitigating climate risk and transitioning to a net-zero economy.”  Alarm bells rang!

Connecting the above mentioned video by Carla Nell of IESO with Bruce Lourie’s reputed “expert” policies immediately had me wondering; was Lourie’s address to the “delegates” related to the OCAA’s (Gibbons) success in getting approval from those 32 municipalities (including most of the largest ones) that Ontario should shut down all of the gas plants?  Those plants have been invaluable in keeping our lights on during the recent cold spells and 60% of Ontario households with natural gas furnaces warm?                      

Lourie and Gibbons go back a long, long way in their actions related to the energy sector. A hearing at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in respect to the Power Corporation Amendment Act in 1992, has Gibbons delivering a preamble to his remarks saying: “I am Jack Gibbons, an economist with the Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy, before I joined the Canadian institute, I was a staff member of the Ontario Energy Board. I have with me Mr Bruce Lourie

Back in 1992 Gibbons was in favor of natural gas stating to a question asked of him; Natural gas is so much cheaper than electricity. Look at space heating. If we just look at the financial costs — forget the environmental costs — the incremental cost of electricity for space heating is about six times that of natural gas.“ 

At some point Gibbons reversed his beliefs even though both he and Lourie were at that hearing!

So, was Lourie a substitute for Gibbons at the ROMA conference?  Unfortunately, ROMA’s website doesn’t seem to have posted what Lourie’s address was so we can’t really know what he said but with the “net-zero” mention we should be rightly concerned. The video, mentions several scary aspects including eliminating gas fired power plants mere months after IESO’s study clearly reported: 

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.

Has IESO and the Provincial Government under Ford suddenly conceded control of the electricity sector to the 32 municipalities who bought into Gibbons sales pitch?

We voters need immediate clarification from all parties running in the Provincial election in June as to exactly what their position is in respect to what the video suggests!

We should not let the eco-warriors hijack the energy sector once again!

ESG is Fully Endorsed by Public Sector Pension Plans

The Beatles song “Revolution” lyrics should be required reading for all the “woke” generation pushing the “net-zero” concept. When discovering something recently it brought to mind the words of that classic!  Pre-chorus 3 even had the following words: “But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow“!  

The ESG Revolution

We often discover, after it happens and behind the scenes; bureaucrats (federal, provincial and municipal) support politicians advocating for what they perceive as beneficial to them and do so, without regard for taxpayers obligated to pay the price for their indulgence.

Such was the case when unbeknown to most of us taxpayers those bureaucrats got together via eight publicly supported pension plans  (PPP) and in a press release dated November 25, 2020 united for a cause advocated by the Federal Liberal Party. The cause was their undated agreement to push for ESG (environmental, social and governance) factors when investing our taxpayer dollars (federal and provincial) in any future investments for the benefit of their member’s pensions.

What the foregoing meant was; those “PPP” agreed to impose ESG standards on publicly traded and private companies.  The impact would be on those companies ability to attract PPP as either shareholders or lenders for debt raising via bond issues, etc.  Those public sector pension plans at the time of the signing of the agreement held $1.6 trillion in assets which was close to what Canada’s GDP (gross domestic product) was in 2020 at US $1.57 trillion. A reflection on the power they hold over us lowly taxpayers!  The agreement is not only undated and mind boggling but also not in tune with most taxpayers as to how they should allocate our tax dollars that created their $1.6 trillion value.

The full text of the short but “undated” and compelling agreement follows:

Companies and investors must put sustainability and inclusive growth at the centre of economic recovery

COVID-19 continues to impose a huge toll on our daily lives, impacting families, businesses, public institutions and civil society worldwide. The pandemic and other tragic events of 2020 have revealed pre-existing business strengths and shortcomings with respect to social inequity, including systemic racism and environmental threats.

It is imperative we rebuild our economies in ways that create greater systemic resiliency and inclusive growth. The time to act is now, and each of us has a role to play. We call on companies and investment partners to help drive lasting change by placing sustainability at the centre of their planning, operations and reporting.

As CEOs of Canada’s eight largest pension plan investment managers, representing $1.6 trillion in assets under management, we are committed to creating more sustainable and inclusive growth by integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into our strategies and investment decisions. It is not only the right thing to do, it is an integral part of our duty to contributors and beneficiaries. Doing this will unlock opportunities and mitigate risks, supporting our mandates to deliver long-term risk-adjusted returns.

To deliver on our mandates, we require increased transparency from companies. How companies identify and address issues such as diversity and inclusion, human capital, board effectiveness and climate change can significantly contribute to value creation or erosion. Companies have an obligation to disclose their material business risks and opportunities to financial markets and should provide financially relevant, comparable and decision-useful information. While we recognize companies face a myriad of disclosure frameworks and requests, it is vital that they report relevant ESG data in a standardized way.

We ask that companies measure and disclose their performance on material, industry-relevant ESG factors by leveraging the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) standards and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework to further standardize ESG-related reporting. While the SASB standards focus broadly on industry-relevant sustainability reporting, the TCFD framework calls for climate-specific disclosures across several reporting pillars (governance, strategy, risk, and metrics and targets). Both are useful to investors and informative to companies working to frame their ESG reporting.

We are confident the ability to successfully address and adapt to these 21st-century business risks and opportunities is a distinguishing feature of great companies. While for many this will require greater ambition than in the past, we believe companies demonstrating ESG-astute practices and disclosure will outperform over the long-term.

For our part, we continue to strengthen our own ESG disclosure and integration practices, and allocate capital to investments best placed to deliver long-term sustainable value creation.

Inspired by this historic opportunity to help confront the most urgent challenges facing our global community, we ask others committed to our vision to join us on this journey towards a more sustainable future.“   

The eight CEOs who signed the agreement represented the following public pension plans:

Alberta Investment Management Corporation, British Columbia Investment Management Corporation, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan, Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, Ontario Teachers Pension Plan and the Public Sector Pension Investment Board!

The reference to SASB and TCFD in the agreement suggests these two UN inspired creations from a 2004 letter sent by Secretary General Koffi Annan to 50 CEOs of major financial institutions have completely revised the way we have been measuring financial performance over the centuries. It suggests 2 + 2 no longer equals 4!  To pretend companies will become “great” by adopting ESG factors flies in the face of all logic. The “E” (environmental) in ESG is what the Mark Carney, Michael Bloomberg political fans and eco-warriors have focused on and if the punishment of the middle and lower classes continues under their direction and the politicians they have influenced, we should expect:

As the Beatles opined “You say you want a revolution”!

NB: The Washington based “Institute for Pension Fund Integrity” in a report concluded: “Although there are over $20 trillion in ESG assets under management, it lacks a standardized definition under which all firms can unite and under which regulators can address legitimate concerns.“  

Wind Turbine Collapse in New Brunswick will create “Green Jobs”

Just over a year ago our PM, Justin Trudeau was caught talking about a “reset” during a UN virtual conference stating: “This pandemic has provided an opportunity for a reset,“ and went on to say; “ This is our chance to accelerate our pre-pandemic efforts to reimagine economic systems that actually address global challenges like extreme poverty, inequality and climate change.” Trudeau was pilloried by Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre for the remark as it seemingly connected with; “The Great Reset” propagated by the WEF (World Economic Forum) where the rich elites of the world gather annually to plot the global transition to a “great reset” with “climate change” as their main focus!

The calls from the WEF and others pushing the “net-zero” transition have overcome the Federal Liberal Party and they have proffered different titles such as “Building Back Better” the “Just Transition” etc. and in all those scenarios they claim; executing them will create a million jobs! 

Needless to say, those calls, now spanning six years, are failing to create those jobs but continued support of the concept by the MSM (main stream media) has convinced many citizens and corporations to jump on board. The latter have done this by doing what they believe they can to reduce their emissions (based on what they are told) by transitioning their business in different ways in order to, presumably, avoid the increasing “carbon taxes” they would face. 

One such company is Alberta based, TransAlta Corporation via their 60.09% ownership in TransAlta Renewables (as of December 31, 2020) and the Federal Regulations imposing “coal-to-gas” regulations sped up by Catherine McKenna, when Minister of the Environment and Climate Change.  TransAlta, as of December 31, 2021 reported they had completed the latter task well ahead of the 2030 deadline.  TransAlta is pushing hard to achieve the “net zero” pinnacle and based on their annual 2020 ESG report their “greenhouse gas emissions are now down to just over 16 tonnes from 42 million tonnes in 2005.

Those green jobs are shrinking

The other thing that’s fallen as well as emissions, is the number of people TransAlta employ. The oldest annual report posted on their website is for 2017 and at that time they reported having 2,341 employees in 2016 but their 2020 annual report indicates employment fell to 1,476 at December 31, 2020, a drop of 865 jobs or almost 37%!  Gross revenues also fell from $2,397 million in 2016 to $2,101 million in 2020 for a drop of $296 million or 12.3%.

The foregoing push by TransAlta to reduce emissions appears to be having the opposite effect Trudeau promised us in his “build back better” speeches as both revenue and staff levels fell!   

TransAlta’s majority-controlled subsidiary; “TransAlta Renewables” near the end of 2021 got some bad news too, as an industrial wind turbine at their Kent Hills 167 MW (megawatt) IWT (industrial wind turbines) complex in New Brunswick collapsed. An investigation determined all 50 of the 3 MW turbines bases would need to be replaced whereas the remaining five (5) were OK! The estimated cost to replace the bases could be as high as $100 million and take until the end of 2023.  They estimate their revenue base will decline $3.4 million per month until the turbines are back up and running.

Here come those “green jobs”

One assumes the $75 to $100 million estimate to replace the bases will require lots of cement (close to 2,000 tons per turbine) and rebar and a crew plus equipment to first disassemble the 50 turbines and later to reassemble them.  It’s unclear as to whether they will remove the cement from the flawed bases but if they do it will require a crew plus equipment and quite a bit of dynamite.

All of the foregoing activities will play a hand in creating jobs over the two years of the rebuild but will, no doubt, create emissions.

When the workers have completed the reassembly, it will be seen as a perfect opportunity for Prime Minister Trudeau and his Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault, to have a media appearance to tell us how the great “reset” is proceeding and the myriad of jobs* it created!

Any questions about the full carbon footprint of those rebuilt IWT and the jobs temporarily created at the media event will be tossed aside as will the intermittent and unreliable nature of wind generation which always requires dependable power (frequently fossil fueled) to back it up. Trudeau and his “climate change” Minister, Guilbeault, will insist the “transition to net-zero” and “building back better” is working to the benefit of all Canadians!

Canada’s taxpayers need to initiate a “political reset” and dump those Liberal politicians who seem intent on creating Venezuela north!  We voters in Ontario did it by recreating the Ontario Liberal Party as the “minivan party” so the time has come to do it again at the next election!

*Ontarians will remember the same promises from the McGuinty/Wynne Liberal years!

 

Ontarians Paid Up Big for Wind Generation while Swedes Paid Up Big for Less Wind Generation

Transmission connected IWT (industrial wind turbines) were busy throughout the province on Sunday, January 9, 2022 and generated 83,086 MWh (megawatt hours) and also had another 9,000 MWh curtailed as there wasn’t enough demand.  What the foregoing means is IWT could have operated at a level of 80.2% of their capacity versus their average generation over a full year of about 30%.

Before completing the foregoing calculation, I had read a short article from December 20, 2021 about Sweden’s recent experience which claimed their electricity prices had soared to an all time high.  The article started with what was obviously the cause stating: “Less wind power than normal, as well as the cost of gas and electricity being on an upward curve in Europe this winter, has had a knock-on effect”.  The article went on; “On Tuesday, the average daily spot price of electricity south of Mälardalen (the region around Stockholm) is set to hit 4.25 kronor ($0.46) per kilowatt hour.” Doing the calculation in Canadian dollars brings the cost to almost $0.59 cents/kWh! That suggests without natural gas plants and the fuel itself available to back up IWT the price of electricity will soar above almost everyone’s ability to pay for it. This results in “energy poverty” increasing in most European countries.

We have seen the same outcome in Ontario although not to the same extent and we should be thankful for our relatively cheap electricity generated by our natural gas plants for the many times our IWT fail!

January 9, 2022 wasn’t one of the times IWT were absent in Ontario as noted in the opening paragraph.  The wind was blowing briskly throughout the province meaning we wound up having to export 61,089 MW to our Michigan, New York and Quebec neighbours.  Presumably they were happy to take it as the average sale price over those 24 hours was $8.82/MWh or less than one cent a kWh (kilowatt hour) meaning we were paid a grand total of $538,800 for those MWh.

To put the foregoing into context the 83,086 MWh were more than sufficient to have supplied the exported MWs and we Ontario ratepayers and taxpayers were forced to pay the contracted price of $135/MWh meaning the cost was $11,216,600.  Adding the approximate 9,000 MWh curtailed at a cost of $120/MWh ($1,080,000) brings the full cost of wind generation to about $12,296,600.  If we rightly assume all of the surplus generation exported at those cheap prices was IWT generation it means the net cost of wind generation was $11,757,800 ($12,296,600 minus $538,800 = $11,757,800).  If we logically deduct the MWh exported (61,089 MWh) from IWT full generation of 83,086 MWh the IWT generation utilized by Ontarians was only 21,997 MWh. 

At a total cost to Ontarians of $11,757,800 those 21,997 MWh providing power to Ontario’s businesses and households cost $534.51/MWh ($11.757,800/21,997MW = $534.51/MWh) or 53.4 cents/kWh. The 53.4 cents/kWh it cost Ontarians is very close to what many Swedish businesses and households are now paying for “Less wind power”. 

Conclusion                        

Industrial Wind Turbines cost the Swedes and many other Europeans a lot of money when they don’t produce power and cost Ontarians a lot of money when they produce too much power. In other words, IWT are detrimental to our economic well-being due to their intermittent and unreliable behaviour!  

Scrap them all!

Multi-billionaires and their Mind-blowing Hypocrisy

It is somewhat amusing and disheartening to realize the super-rich such as; Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Larry Fink frequently preach to us earthlings about “climate change” and the path to net-zero.  They do this as they fly off in private jets to Davros to attend the WEF (World Economic Forum) annual event or to Glasgow for COP26 thereby creating tons of emissions.

Both Gates and Bezos however, tell those who ask, that they buy “carbon offsets” to eliminate their carbon footprint.  Gates reported he spends US$5 million annually on those offsets.  To put that in perspective Gates is reputedly worth $137 billion so $5 million represents 0.000036% of his net worth or to us in the real world, the purchasing of a “timmies” coffee for a friend!

Bezos (until very recently the richest man in the world) reputedly also buys those carbon offsets but hasn’t disclosed how much he spends annually.  Bezos did announce in February 2020 he would launch a US $10 billion fund (slightly less than 5% of his reported net worth) titled the “Bezos Earth Fund“ to fight “climate change”.  Pretty sure Bezos is totally delighted with the lock-downs imposed on much of the developed world due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Amazon; which he founded, has benefited tremendously as they import goods from developing countries like China, India, etc. and deliver them to your front door by truck.  Now try, as hard as you possibly can to determine how Amazon can become “carbon neutral” by 2040.  Oh, yes, Bezos has pledgedto get the company carbon-neutral by 2040, 100% renewable energy by 2030, and 100,000 electric delivery vehicles by 2030.“ 

Now if you want to watch how Larry Fink and Bill Gates speak with each other on the “Path to Net Zero” they jointly participated in a short YouTube video posted April 23, 2021.  Fink opens by saying “this will not be an easy task” and goes on to state “every hydro-carbon company in the United States is now focused on this” and suggests “it’s because of Bill and other people”!  Fink’s reputed net worth is somewhere around US$1 billion so it pales when compared to Gates or Bezos. As the CEO of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset management company with almost US $9.5 trillion (approximately 11% of Global GDP) of assets, however, Fink is a huge influence on that “Path”!  Fink annually sends a letter to the world’s 200 largest company’s CEOs and his last one (issued in early 2021) had much to say about “climate change” including this unambiguous sentence: “No issue ranks higher than climate change on our clients’ lists of priorities.“  His letter goes on saying;  “From January through November 2020, investors in mutual funds and ETFs invested $288 billion globally in sustainable assets, a 96% increase over the whole of 2019.“  This years letter will be interesting to see how those assets performed in light of the energy crisis in European and Asian countries which affected share prices of renewable energy companies in a negative fashion as the wind stopped blowing and Russia was unable to deliver fossil fuels during their absence. 

Based on more recent news it appears Fink may have had an awakening as an article from just over a month ago quoted him saying: it’s a “bad answerfor investors to abandon oil and gas, and it won’t help solve climate change.“ As if to support the latter view from Fink and to contradict his above noted chat with Gates and the “path to net-zero” it’s interesting to discover a BlackRock-led group recently won a $15.5 billion bid for a Saudi gas pipeline.  One should assume a gas pipeline will indeed by used to transport “fossil fuels” which intimates BlackRock and Fink understand the importance of fossil fuels to many of the companies they have investments in!

Could Fink’s somewhat mild “about-face” trigger politicians to also understand the importance of fossil fuels in a world dependent on them for 80% of our energy needs.  Let’s all hope so in an effort to end the hypocrisy that seems intent on driving people around the world into energy poverty except for those who can afford to purchase those “carbon offsets”.

Full List of Justin Trudeau’s Accomplishments

Got this book for Christmas and was intrigued to read the list!

Then I decided to read it and this is what I saw!

I suspected as much, and was unable to find even one accomplishment. The author obviously wrote this before the economists in the country discovered how our inflation rate had climbed so spectacularly and had labeled it as “Justinflation”.

Perhaps the second edition when it is released will at least have the foregoing one noted as Trudeau’s only accomplishment so far!

Mandate Letters from PM Justin Trudeau has Canada Targeted for a “Net-Zero” Economy”

Back in June 2020 an article posted on Canadians for Affordable Energy titled,How best to shut down the Canadian Economy? It’s Complicated!” highlighted emissions reductions via the push for high carbon taxes versus government funding (grants) for building retrofits, purchase of EVs (electric vehicles), transit system electrification, etc. etc. along with regulations to achieve the objectives. My view was to oppose those suggestions as either would cause irreparable harm to Canada’s economy.

Fast forward to the recent election which gave the Trudeau led government a minority, but he acts as if he had received a majority. It is therefore no surprise, both of the above methods of going “green”; with the net-zero” emission target, is now firmly entrenched!  Trudeau and his large contingent went to COP26 in Glasgow and committed Canada to reduce emissions by 45% by 2030 and 100% by 2050. That suggests he may have cut a deal for support from the NDP before he left or his puppeteers wrote his script.  He sits as Canada’s Prime Minister and recently issued “mandate letters” to his newly appointed cabinet ministers in addition to: President of the Treasury Board, President of the Queen’s Privy Council and Leader of the Government House of Commons.

Each of the thirty-eight (38) letters he issued contained the following paragraph indicating he, or his puppeteers, are confident we will build that “cleaner, greener future”:

The science is clear. Canadians have been clear. We must not only continue taking real climate action, we must also move faster and go further. As Canadians are increasingly experiencing across the country, climate change is an existential threat. Building a cleaner, greener future will require a sustained and collaborative effort from all of us. As Minister, I expect you to seek opportunities within your portfolio to support our whole-of-government effort to reduce emissions, create clean jobs and address the climate-related challenges communities are already facing.

There are many smart people around the world who clearly enunciate; the science is not clear and conclude there is much more that affects climate change than mankind’s emissions.

PM Trudeau believes reducing emissions, as he promised at COP26, will create clean jobs at little cost. Those were the promises made to us in Ontario!  Dalton McGuinty and his right-hand man, George Smitherman, promised Ontarians those same things and the puppet masters behind that Provincial Liberal Party (Gerald Butts, Ben Chin, etc.) are now pulling the Trudeau strings.  An example follows:

Mandate Letter to Stephen Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Trudeau’s mandate letter to Stephen Guilbeault, Minister, Environment and Climate Change is but one example of the mandate letters! It contains thirty-nine (39) commitments most ofwhich require Guilbeault to deal with other Federal ministries as well as the provinces and territories!

The following is one (1) of the 39 commitments in the Guilbeault mandate letter;

To achieve Zero Plastic Waste by 2030:

  • Continue to implement the national ban on harmful single-use plastics;
  • Require that all plastic packaging in Canada contain at least 50 per cent recycled content by 2030;
  • Accelerate the implementation of the zero plastic waste action plan, in partnership with provinces and territories;
  • Continue to work with provinces and territories to ensure that producers, not taxpayers, are responsible for the cost of managing their plastic waste;
  • Work with provinces and territories to implement and enforce an ambitious recycling target of 90 per cent – aligned with Quebec and the European Union – for plastic beverage containers; 
  • Introduce labelling rules that prohibit the use of the chasing-arrows symbol unless 80 per cent of Canada’s recycling facilities accept, and have reliable end markets for, these products; and
  • Support provincial and territorial producer responsibility efforts by establishing a federal public registry and requiring producers to report annually on plastics in the Canadian economy.”

As a presumed follow-up to the Mandate letter, Guilbeault’s Ministry issued a “News Release” on December 21, 2021 which presumably starts the response to his boss’s (Trudeau) instructions: 

The Government of Canada’s approach to banning harmful single-use plastics is based on evidence, facts and rigorous science. The proposed Regulations brought forward today are grounded in the findings of the Science Assessment of Plastic Pollution,* which the Government finalized in October 2020 after examining hundreds of scientific studies and other sources of evidence, which confirmed that plastic pollution is everywhere in the environment and that it has harmful environmental impacts.”

The quote in the press release from Minister Guilbeault indicates the “plastics ban” is a reflection of their plan for the plastic “circular economy”!  The upcoming bans on plastic products include the following presumably as stage one of the transition: checkout bags, cutlery, foodservice ware made from or containing problematic plastics, ring carriers, stir sticks and straws.

Reflecting on Trudeau’s mandate letter and Guilbeault’s plans one should wonder:

1.Did Guilbeault use a polyester rope to illegally climb the CN Tower?

2.When Guilbeault climbed the CN Tower was he wearing a polyester work suit?                                      

3.Are the glass frames around his glasses made of hemp?

4.Does the bicycle he has hanging on his wall have any fossil fuel components like say the tires?     

5.Is Guilbeault aware the solar panels he installed on Ralph Kleins house cannot be recycled?                       

6.Will Guilbeault impose tariffs on imported goods and “single-use” plastic packaging material protecting those goods? 

7.Will he insist China does what he is telling Canadians to do?

 *From the report:“In Canada, it is estimated that 1% of plastic waste enters the environment.“                                                                                                                                                                                        

                                                                                                                                                                                                       

More Carbon Taxes in the New Year Brought to us by the Justinflation Government

The monthly natural gas bill arrived and intrigued by the upcoming (April 1, 2022) increase in the carbon tax jumping to $50/tonne I thought it would be interesting to compare the taxes levied to the cost of the gas supply.  A quick evaluation indicated that the “Federal Carbon Charge” coupled with the “HST” was 80.3% of the “Gas Supply Charge”. The increase arriving April 1, 2022 will increase that tax from 7.83 cents per cubic meter (m3) to 9.79 cents/m3 (+1.96 cents or 25%).  Assuming the price of natural gas is the same; as of that date it would mean taxes (note that the HST is charged on it also) will then represent 93.2% of fuel costs.

As if to keep that “Justinflation” target moving the OEB (Ontario Energy Board) just announced natural gas rates would increase effective January 1, 2022.  The OEB doesn’t bother to tell us the percentage increase and instead only tell us the price will increase by 1.2333 cents/m3.  A “penny and a bit” doesn’t sound like much but it amounts to a 9.3% increase in the fuel price meaning your monthly gas bill will be about $5.00 higher. If one couples that $5.00 with the upcoming increase in the “Federal Carbon Charge” ($6/7.00 per month) the combined monthly additional cost will be $11/12.00. That increased cost will suck another $130/$140,00 annually from your after-tax income should you wish to stay warm, cook your meals and have a shower. The percentage of households using natural gas for heating purposes is just over 67% in Ontario so those increased taxes and gas costs will affect most families.

If you are a household dependent on natural gas and one of the 53% of Canadian households just $200 away from being able to pay your bills and debt payments the monthly increase could be the breaking point!  It may come down to the decision to; “heat or eat” for many.

It doesn’t seem right, during this period of high inflation, our Federal Government should be imposing tax increases having already impacted the price of natural gas by both blocking pipelines and scaring away capital that would have invested in finding and delivering increased supplies!

If this is the concept described by Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister of Finance Freeland in their “Building Back Better Plan” as “inclusive, sustainable and creates good jobs”, I and most of my fellow Canadians don’t believe it will produce those results!  

We are quickly seeing the foregoing plan, preceded by The Great Reset, coming out of the WEF (World Economic Forum) where Canada’s Finance Minister, Chrystia Freeland sits as a trustee can be seen as nothing more than a socialist agenda.  The resulting activities displayed by her as Finance Minister with PM Justin Trudeau’s support have gone a long way in creating “Justinflation” as Pierre Poilievre was able to get him to admit in parliament!

At a time when Canadian households are suffering from increased prices on everything is not the time to increase taxes to bring us even more of that “Justinflation”!

The Ministry of Silly Wokeism should be the Mandated Name for the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change

Anyone who was a fan of British comedy in the last century will no doubt recall “Monty Python and the Flying Circus” which aired from 1969 to 1974 and they may even recall one of the funny sketches, called; “Ministry of Silly Walks”.

The memory associated with the foregoing sketch came roaring back after reading the Toronto Sun’s editorial titled: “Electric car sales quotas are a bad idea”. “The federal government wants half of all new passenger cars sold in Canada to be zero-emission vehicles by 2030, and reach 100% by 2035“. The article also claimed: “Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault is now saying the country needs a national mandate to force auto dealers to sell a certain number of electric vehicles.“

A visit to the Natural Resources Canada website reveals; “The transportation sector is responsible for 27 percent of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Canada. Light-duty vehicles – the cars, vans and light-duty trucks we drive – are responsible for almost half of that total.”  If Minister Guilbeault had math skills and bothered to work out Canada’s emissions from ICE vehicles he would discover they represent 0.056% of global emissions which is less then China emits in one day! 

It is also humourous to find out Guilbeault doesn’t ride his bicycle back and forth from his Montreal riding to Ottawa and instead is apparently chauffeured in an EV.  This was disclosed when he was granting $9.5 million to Quebec to add fast-charging stations on a summer day when he was Heritage Minister. The short video in which he appears has him saying: “My ministerial vehicle is 100% electrical and I can tell you we need to charge when were between Montreal and Ottawa.“ The distance between Montreal and Ottawa is only 198.2 km.  The foregoing is an indication of what is worrying about replacing ICE vehicles with EVs particularly with Canada’s cold winters when EVs loose much of their range.  The winter’s effect on EVs was highlighted in a consumer report recommending, when purchasing an EV you should “Double Down on Range”! The article went on to say; “EV buyers who drive in colder climates should strongly consider getting a car with a range about double what their daily driving needs are, so they’re not left stranded in a cold snap.”

Guilbeault should note: “The record for coldest day in Ottawa history is minus 33.1C, set back in 1996“ so, perhaps he should consider dumping the EV and get chauffeured in a reliable ICE for those trips back and forth between Montreal and Ottawa or at some point he may find himself stranded.

Minister Guilbeault should also realize the costs associated with how much more will need to be spent on the charging infrastructure for EVs. A U.S. based study indicated what Canada’s expected costs would be noting: “this country’s equivalent required total investment in charging infrastructure works out to about $10.5 billion.“  The present budget for Canada’s “Zero Emissions Vehicle Infrastructure Program” is a miserly $280 million spread over 5 years so represents only 2.7% of the requirement. 

The facts noted above will hopefully spur Minister Guilbeault to drop his concept to mandate the push for EV sales!

Should he refuse to drop the proposed mandate we should all sincerely hope the Ministry be retitled as The Ministry of Silly Wokeism!

Norway’s Virtue Signal is Shallow Whereas Canada’s is Harmful

A press release from the Ontario Ministry of Energy, Todd Smith on December 1, 2021 bragged about the province’s support for the “Ivy Charging Network” (a joint venture between OPG and Hydro One).  The press release stated: “The deployment of charging infrastructure will see ONroute locations along highways 401 and 400 equipped with at least two EV chargers at each site, with busier sites equipped with more.“ The press release went on to quote Minister Smith saying; “This deployment will reduce barriers to EV ownership, supporting Ontario’s growing EV manufacturing market.“ Hopefully, the message was simply meant to augment the agreement by the Ford and Trudeau led governments to provide Ford Automotive with $295 million each to save the 5,000 jobs at their Oakville plant by converting it to manufacture EV!

The announcement brought to mind a recent article, with a related video, about Norway and their claim to be “the world’s top market for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles by market share“!  The article was about testing 20 different models of EVs and hybrid vehicles to determine their loss of “performance” in cold weather (defined as from a high of 3°Cto -6°C). The short video in the article indicated the average loss of performance in that “cold weather” was in the order of about 20%.  Most Canadians would consider that to be classified as; mild winter weather! We should expect our colder winter temperatures would result in a much higher loss of performance should we push for more EVs to replace our dependable and winter reliable ICE automobiles.

Presently about 15% of all registered vehicles in Norway are EVs or hybrids and recent monthly sales of those are now over 80% of all vehicles.  That is seemingly causing some concern as EV and hybrid buyers receive lots of generous tax breaks (ie; the VAT of 25%, free parking, no toll road charges, etc. etc.) which led to a study which “estimated that the popularity of EVs was creating a 19.2 billion Norwegian krone ($2.32 billion) hole in the country’s annual revenue.“  They are suddenly noticing their tax revenues are falling.

Curiosity piqued, if one looks at Norway’s electricity generation one finds it is emissions free with 98% from hydro and 1.7% from other renewables and slightly better than Ontario’s. Annual consumption is 123 TWh (terawatt hours).  On a per capita basis (population of 5.4 million) that means each Norwegian consumes about 23 MWh (megawatt hours).  If one looks at Ontario with a population of 14.6 million, per capita consumption is only 9 MWh for the 132.2 TWh we consumed in 2020 which means the average Ontarian consumes only 39% of the average Norwegian!

I point out the foregoing merely to show if EV sales in Ontario achieve what they are in Norway, Ontario may need a lot more electricity generation at a time when the Pickering Nuclear Station is slated to be shutdown. The Energy Minister’s press release noted as of October 2021 “there are 66,757 EVs registered in Ontario. By 2030, one out of every three automobiles sold will be electric.“ Those current EV registrations are less than 1% of vehicle registrations in Ontario so let us all hope his forecast is wrong!

If we look at Norway and compare it to Canada, we should note they are a major generator of oil and gas with the bulk of it sold to other European countries. In respect to oil and gas production the similarities are striking but while Norway increases their generation of oil and gas to sell to other countries Canada’s current government hamstrings our fossil fuel sector in a variety of ways. Norway’s exports of oil and gas represent about one third of all exports and in Canada’s case it was just north of 14% in 2019.

Interestingly, Canada was among 20 countries that signed on to the COP26 agreement to no longer finance fossil fuel projects abroad but it’s not clear if Norway was one of those countries.  Another article does however note; Norway has lobbied the World Bank to “stop all financing of natural gas projects in Africa and elsewhere as soon as 2025 — and until then only in “exceptional circumstances “ The article’s summary highlights the hypocrisy of Norway by summing up with the closing sentence: “It is antithetical to say you support energy development abroad — but only when it is green — while admitting green energy cannot be the only source. Norway can’t have its cake and eat it too, not when it comes to energy development.”

While Norway’s position is shallow it protects their economic wellbeing as a benefit to their citizens whereas, Canada under PM Justin Trudeau, seems determined to destroy our economy to the detriment of all Canadians!