Social Distancing for Covid-19 affects electricity costs

The economic effects of Covid-19 are driving up the costs of electricity for residential and small businesses in jurisdictions, like Ontario, where time-of-use pricing is the standard.  As many businesses shut down temporally, lay off their employees or get them to work from home, electricity consumption will drop.  That drop will have little effect on the generators of that power, be they crown corporations or privately contracted ones. They receive guaranteed prices for their generation and for curtailed power (wind and solar), spilled hydro or steamed-off nuclear.  To add fuel to the fire we export surplus power to our neighbours at a price of about 10% of its cost.

The “social distancing” resulting from business closures, etc. will result in a power consumption drop. Despite the drop, however, costs to ratepayers and taxpayers will climb.  The effect; resulting from that social distancing and those milder temperatures during the Spring Freshet, means, demand will fall and consumption will drop even more than it always does during April, May and June.

Ironically those three months is when the wind is blowing and the sun is shining meaning industrial wind and solar generation is high and those contracted generators have “must-take” contracts and are also paid handsomely to curtail their generation.

As an example of the foregoing Scott Luft tracks wind generation and its curtailment and in 2019 during those three months ratepayers picked up the $111 million cost of 938,244 MWh (megawatt hours) of curtailed wind.  That curtailed generation represented what 447,000 average households would consume in three months.  To make matters worse Ontario exported 5,145,700 MWh (what 2.4 million average households would consume) to our neighbours and sold it for an average of $8/MWh but the costs of that generation was north of $120/MWh. A rough estimate of the cost of selling off that surplus is $575 million. So, ratepayers in Ontario, during last Spring, paid almost $700 million for nothing!  During those same three months 2,266,700 MWh of wind generation was accepted and paid for at a cost to the ratepayers/taxpayers of approximately $330 million and solar’s 1 TWh or so of generation, added costs of over $500 million. We clearly didn’t need any of that!

As if to exacerbate the foregoing (during this pandemic) our system of control, over pricing, via the Ontario Energy Board, allows our major generators, OPG and others, the ability to generate a ROE (return on equity) in the 9% range.

Ratepayers represented by small and medium sized businesses are fighting to stay alive during this pandemic and must pay the full time-of-use rates which during high demand hours are 20.8 cents/kWh to keep the revenue flowing to those in the electricity sector.

Time to use the “State of Emergency”

Perhaps it’s time for Premier Ford to use the recently declared “State of Emergency” for the electricity sector to ease the pain for our small and medium sized businesses as well as all of those residential customers who have been temporally laid off.   Pass legislation that will get our contracted and crown owned electricity generators to reduce their generation prices during this pandemic.

It’s time for all of us to equally share the pain!

The Canadian Institute for Climate Choices should “fact check”

Back in 1989 (thirty-one years ago) Noel Brown, a senior UN environmental official told the Associated Pressentire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000.” Brown noted the Maldives would be under water as the oceans would rise by three feet. While the Maldives weren’t mentioned in the recent report from the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices (CICC), “rising sea levels” were; as one of, “the main hazards and conditions on the way to 2050.”

The year 2000 has come and gone but to the best of my knowledge no nations have disappeared due to rising sea levels. The Maldives recently announced they are opening four new airports in the current year.  The lack of them being under water however, hasn’t deterred the numerous “experts” involved with the CICC.  Higher sea level concerns for Atlantic Canada and BC were also included in the report by the Canadian Council of Academies (CCA) in their July 2019 report; the forerunner of the CICC’s report.  As pointed out in an earlier article CCA’s disclaimer under “Conclusions” saw them opting out of everything forecast in their report.  Despite the opt out position taken by the CCA the media only focused on the disastrous message.  Reuters noted the CCA report was a follow up to one from Minister McKenna’s ministry and reported:  “Canada’s unique geographic, environmental, and social identity shapes the hazards that it faces and its exposure to climate-related risks,” Eric M. Meslin, president and CEO of the CCA, said in the press release.”

Returning to the issue of “flooding” the CICC’s report on page 19 touts the Netherlands for their leading-edge ability to control flooding “even though a quarter of the country is below sea level.”  What those “experts” failed to note is “The low-lying Netherlands has been fighting back water for more than 1,000 years, when farmers built the first dykes.“  A search turned up an article confirming “flooding” in the Netherlands is not a recent event caused by the effects C0 2 on the atmosphere or melting artic ice!

The CICC’s report also highlighted severe flooding in Thailand in 2011 as if it was a one-off event.They ignored the probable cause which had nothing to do with “climate change”!  Had they looked back to 1942 they would have discovered a more severe flood and a YouTube video  highlighting the damage before “global warming”, the “climate crisis” or “increased emissions” was even a concept. Again, a simple search on the web by the CICC “experts” would have generated information as to why the 2011 flood occurred. One they may have found was a report by Richard Meehan, a civil engineer and adjunct faculty at Stanford University.  Mr. Meehan’s biography notes he “began his career designing and building irrigation and flood control works in Thailand in the 1960s”.

Mr. Meehan’s report notes: “Though monetary damages in the 2011 flood were unprecedented, the flood itself was not an extreme natural event, hydrological statistics variously suggesting a 30 to 75 year return period for a similar flood.”  The report states the reason for the monetary damages was essentially because “of poorly drained swampy lands on the lower Chao Phraya floodplain, including vast tracts of former swamps and riceland now occupied by very large industrial “estates” (or industrial parks in western terms), each the size of a city and home to hundreds of modern manufacturing plants developed in the 1970s and after.”  The message is clear: don’t build homes or industries in flood prone areas or at some point in the future the damages from a flood will be costly to you and/or your insurer!

The Charting our Course report does sprinkle in some benefits to “global warming” such as: “parts of Canada could benefit from warmer temperatures. Warmer winters could, for example, result in fewer cold-related deaths and illnesses and lower heating costs for households and businesses. Warmer temperatures in spring, summer, and fall could also open new tourism opportunities that previously did not exist.”

The following paragraph in the report however dispels those benefits by stating: “any benefits in a high-emissions scenario are likely temporary and short-lived. Benefits diminish as extreme climate events become more common and intense. Fewer deaths due to extreme cold are offset by more deaths from extreme heat*. Savings in heating bills are offset by increased use of air-conditioners in the summer.

It is interesting the word “likely” is used as it signals the 79 “experts” spending $20 million of our tax dollars are not really convinced those “high-emissions” will actually cause the damages they profess!

Despite the foregoing our senses should tell us the “experts” will ultimately recommend we need much higher carbon taxes to save the world from the likely “climate crisis”.

They might change their mind if they actually did proper research and “fact checked” their conclusions!

*Debunked in:  The Canadian Institute for Climate Choices is “Charting our Course”

The Canadian Institute for Climate Choices says it louder

Should one read a report titled; “Canada’s Top Climate Change Risks” issued July 2019 by the “Expert Panel” on “Climate Change Risks and Adaptation Potential” you would probably think the “Charting our Course” report recently issued by the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices (CICC) was an update but it wasn’t!  What a comparison of the two reports highlight is words spoken by the former Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, who said: “if you repeat it, if you say it louder, if that is your talking point, people will totally believe it,”.  The latest CICC report exemplifies her quote and us taxpayers have provided the CICC with $20 million to ensure we “totally believe it”!

How many times can you flog a dead horse?

The first report’s “Expert Panel” are part of the “Canadian Council of Academies”. The council, launched in 2002, has managed to survive on $45 million of our tax dollars for the past 18 years. They are required to produce five reports annually when directed by the Federal Government.  Their report on Canada’s climate change risks came about as a result of a direction from the Treasury Board of Canada.  Seven (7) individuals on CCA’s “expert panel” and “workshop participants” are a part of CICC’s “expert” group and another eight (8) of those experts at the CICC were also cited as references in the CCA’s report.  One of those was Blair Feltmate, Chair of the Intact Centre at Waterloo University. Needless to say, both reports lean heavily on the insurance industries information about how “climate change” has increased insurance claims.  Catastrophes are forecast in both reports and similar comparisons are made to past events blaming them on “climate change”. The latter includes the Fort McMurray wildfires with estimated insurance claims of $1.4 billion. The CBC reported on the fire stating: “Provincial wildfire investigators have established that the fire was most likely the result of “human activity.”

On page 2 of the CCA’s report they have a map of Canada and have highlighted 10 of “Canada’s Top Climate Change Risks” and one of them is: “Lower Great Lakes water levels, affecting shipping, hydropower production, and recreation”.  As noted above the CCA report was published in July 2019 two years after Ontarians were told Lake Ontario had just experienced a “100-year flood”. Even worse flooding occurred in 2019 setting new records.  Apparently the “experts” involved in preparing the report failed to absorb the well-publicized news at that time and said nothing about “Plan 2014”!

Akin to the foregoing, CCA’s report contained statements such as: “Houses located in a floodplain, for instance, face greater risk due to their heightened exposure.”  Hardly enlightening news!

As if to excuse the diatribe spewed by the CCA expert’s report, their “Conclusions” had this to say:

Assessments of the risks posed by climate change are subject to many sources of uncertainty. Climate projections and modelling results provide an envelope of possible futures associated with different GHG emissions trajectories, but the exact path of global emissions and the full implications for the climate, combined with other natural and anthropogenic processes, remain unknown.

The CCA report therefore concludes with total disclosure they have no faith in anything contained in the prior 59 pages of their report.  Perhaps this is why former Minister McKenna took the next step to create the Canadian Institute for Climate Change and handed them $20 million of our tax dollars for a report supporting her views.

She obviously wanted her minions to “say it louder”!

Stay tuned for more.

The Canadian Institute for Climate Choices is “Charting our Course”

The first in this series provided a glimpse of how the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices (CICC) came to be, via a $20 million taxpayer grant by the Federal Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change and disclosed how it had issued its first report titled, “Charting our Course”.

If one bothers to Google “Charting our Course” (the name of the first report from the CICC), you get over 24,000 hits and one of them is a Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial report from 2011 which was their Climate Change Action Plan 2011.  Included in it was a big push for the Muskrat Falls project which is in process of being built but is more than double the original $6.2 billion budget (current estimate is $12.7 billion).  As a result, recent media articles have noted the federal government is stepping up to bail Newfoundland out but no firm details have been forthcoming as yet.

One should hope the title choice of the first report by the CICC will not result in the same effect on Canada as the 2011 report had on Newfoundland but don’t count on it.

We shouldn’t try to become the Venezuela of the G7 because of recommendations that will be made by the CICC but from the rhetoric in their version of “Charting our Course” they appear determined to reduce or eliminate our oil and gas output at a high cost.

Needless to say, there is lots of scary stuff in this report but they have missed or distorted facts such as: “Canada will not be immune. Our coastal cities will be swamped by rising seas, threatening property and infrastructure. In the face of more frequent and more severe fire and floods, insurance premiums are poised to rise dramatically, making home insurance unaffordable for many Canadians.” Looks like they are setting us up for rising insurance costs from those rising seas and severe fires.

Hmm, surely its simply co-incidental the CEO of CICC, Kathy Bardswick, is the former President and CEO of The Co-operators Group Ltd., (5th largest Canadian property/casualty insurance company) and Blair Feltmate sits on the CICC “Expert Panel”.  Feltmate is Head, Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation,  University of Waterloo; funded by donations from Intact Financial Corporation, the #1. Canadian property/casualty insurance company as noted in a recent Insurance Business Canada magazine.  As another coincidence, Feltmate was called out for his remarks on CBC radio about distorted flood claims by the CBC’s Ombudsman who noted “the CBC report had “failed to comply with journalistic standards” in assessing and reporting on the industry’s claims.”

The CICC report delves into the economics of the UNIPCC forecasted temperature increase in an obtuse way presumably meant to obscure its intent on shutting down the oil and gas sector. As an example, the report notes: “Much of Canada’s economy—and the prosperity it generates—depends on sectors that export emissions intensive products and commodities, such as oil and gas and cement.”  While oil and gas are major exports (at present) it should be noted 2018 cement exports were an unimpressive $536.6 million. Total exports in 2018 were $521.5 billion so cement was 1/10th of 1% of total exports.  To put the foregoing in context, Canada’s coal exports in 2018 were $7.5 billion (97% metallurgical) and automobiles and parts exported were over $60 billion.  One would think all those “experts” signed on to the CICC could locate a better “emission” related addition to oil and gas.

As if to make the foregoing argument ironic, the report claims the cleantech sector would benefit stating; “Meanwhile, conventional sectors, such as mining and forestry, could benefit from an unprecedented increase in global demand for raw materials.”  This would suggest they believe the mining and forestry sector are “cleantech” and somehow “emissions free”.  A strange claim!

Another part of the report says: “Fewer deaths due to extreme cold are offset by more deaths from extreme heat.” A little research on the part of the authors and peer reviewers of this claim would have found a fact based study that unequivocally states the opposite:  The following chart from the Lancet Study from 2015 shows the CICC claim to be completely false!

Figure thumbnail gr2

Fraction of all-cause mortality attributable to moderate and extreme hot and cold temperature by country

The foregoing study, completed by 22 individuals with doctorates stated: “We analysed 74,225,200 deaths in various periods between 1985 and 2012.“ As the chart notes the analysis covered 13 countries and the results clearly show moderate and extreme cold are responsible for 15 to 20 times more deaths than moderate or extreme heat.

Why do the “experts” associated with the CICC distort and ignore facts unless their sole purpose is to convince us we need a higher “carbon tax”!

This “unparalleled collaboration of experts from across the country” seem unwilling to identify facts but are happy “Charting our Course” to economic disaster while utilizing our tax dollars!

Will the eventual outcome result in Canada becoming Canazuela?

NB:  Stay tuned for more on the CICC’s report.

 

Canadian Institute for Clean Growth and Climate Change got a name change

The Canadian Institute for Climate Choices (CICC) is the outgrowth of a $20 million dollar handout by the Federal Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change going back to when the Minister was Catherine McKenna, aka; she who said: “if you repeat it, if you say it louder, if that is your talking point, people will totally believe it,”.

The CICC sprung from a contract awarded to the “Pan-Canadian Expert Collaboration” a group of “carbon-tax” advocates determined to save the world from the “climate emergency” Minister McKenna declared via a motion in the House of Commons.

The original name signaled the outcome!

When conducting a search for the CICC under its original name, ie: the Canadian Institute for Clean Growth and Climate Change one discovers, even though the name was originally registered as such on July 15, 2019, it had changed to become “The Canadian Institute for Climate Choices”.

Presumably the registered name was viewed as the answer the Minister had decreed; signaling its intent before it had performed any research so, they changed it!

The number of CICC “experts” charged with the task of recommending actions to the Ministry is significant and include; 11 on the “Board of Directors”, 17 “Staff”, 37 on the “Expert Panels” and another 14 on the “Advisory Council”.  It is an expansion of the “Ecofiscal Commission” which numbered a mere 33 individuals with varying skills where funding came from a few charitable foundations. The Ecofiscal Commission finished up and recommended the “carbon tax” needed, to reduce Canada’s emissions, was $210/tonne.

Reviewing the 79 individuals involved with the CICC leads to discovering 13 of the 33 people involved with the Ecofiscal Commission are now a major part of the CICC and include notables such as Bruce Lourie, Stewart Elgie and Chris Ragan.  Our tax dollars will clearly be used to generate recommendations to increase the “carbon tax” well beyond the legislated $50/tonne.

The CICC website names the twenty-three organizations under the Environment and Climate Change Canada logo who “contributed to the development of the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices”. Needless to say, the referenced “organizations” don’t include any with a dissenting view!

Their 80 page “Charting our Course” report states: “The Canadian Institute for Climate Choices is an unparalleled collaboration of experts at the top of their fields, from regions and communities across the country.”  They have obviously gathered all of Canada’s “Einstein’s” together (sarcasm intended) to produce a report that is a foregone conclusion.  Among those “experts” with doctorates are 15 economists, 7 philosophers, 2 political science grads and 1 climatologist. They have sprinkled the one (1) climatologist amongst the other experts but chose one who believesextreme weather events are intensifying and becoming more frequent because of climate change.”

The report suggests all of the “experts” will be; “Bringing clarity to Canada’s climate policy choices on the journey to 2050”.

In the minds of the “experts”, it is obvious their sense of “clarity” will be to recommend a much higher “carbon tax” so, one wonders, why are we wasting another $20 million of our tax dollars?

NB:  More to come about the “Charting our Course” report.

Pigs can fly and “Renewable energy should be the cornerstone of Canada’s net zero strategy”

A recent article in the Globe and Mail, as noted above, makes claims that cannot be supported by facts. The article tries to suggest Canada can be saved from the cataclysmic clutches of climate change but it is obvious the reporter (term used lightly) simply took what he was told and accepted it—no questions asked!

The article uses claims made by the spokespeople of the four parties who, in 2015, founded the Canadian Council on Renewable Energy (CanCORE).  Those four parties are the trade associations for the wind, solar, tides and hydro electricity generating companies.

Some of the information was taken from what appears to be a singular report on the CanCORE website from 2016 and embellished by the spokespeople, eg: “The flexible and dependable foundation provided by Canada’s existing waterpower infrastructure, coupled with the rapidly plunging costs of our wind and solar resources, makes renewable energy the least costly option for new clean and reliable power.”

The article says 60% of Canada’s electricity generation comes from hydro, 399.1 TWh  (terawatt hours) and 68% from all four.  So, the 8% difference came from wind, solar and tides.  If one reviews the latest information available from Natural Resources Canada in 2017, total electricity generation was 652 TWh .  Wind in 2017, is credited with the provision of 28.7 TWh, solar 3.3 TWh and tides with 0.2 TWh.

Further on in the article it says: “Waterpower is so abundant in Canada that increasing capacity at existing waterpower sites by less than 2 per cent would produce enough electricity to more than power Canada’s entire light-duty vehicle fleet.”  There is nothing in the article or the CanCORE report indicating what is meant by the “entire light-duty vehicle fleet” or it’s required power.  Putting that aside, a 2% increase in hydro generation would represent 8 TWh.

Looking at Ontario (only), OPG’s 2017 financial report noted hydro spillage was 5.9 TWh due to SBG (surplus baseload generation). The spillage was likely caused by wind generation added to the grid when it wasn’t needed as it is granted “first-to-the-grid” rights. To top things off, 2017 also saw 3.3 TWh of curtailed wind and ratepayers were required to pay for it along with the spilled hydro.  As recently reported Ontario has reduced emissions in the electricity sector by 18 MT (megatonnes) from 2010 to 2019 at a cost to it’s ratepayers and taxpayers of $23.8 billion.

To make matters worse for Ontario ratepayers, surplus power generation is sold in the export market at the Hourly Ontario Energy Price which is well below the contracted costs. Over the 10 years referenced above an average of 18.2 TWh annually were sold to Ontario’s neighbours. The cost to Ontario ratepayers was $12.5 billion.

While the current government of Canada has embraced the goal of achieving “net-zero” greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, the obsession, will devastate the Canadian economy no matter what claims are made by the associations of wind, solar and tides generators!

The individuals who provided their dubious non-factual rhetoric to the author of the Globe & Mail article did so for the sole purpose of furthering the financial well-being of members of their associations.  They ignore the further damage to Canada their recommendations would cause. They should not be treated by journalists as they are and must be questioned about their claims and those writing the articles should do proper research.

Ecojustic, the ironic charity

The charity, Ecojustice Canada Society, claims, “everything starts with the law” but, certain events related to their involvement in recent court actions suggest what should be added to their statement is; “as long as it suits our views”!

Ecojustice recently noted on their website; “In about 48 hours, my colleague Harry Wruck and I will appear in the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC). We’re arguing that British Columbia has a right—and a constitutional duty—to protect communities and the environment from toxic diluted bitumen spills.”

So, in the above case they were arguing provincial jurisdiction should take precedent over Federal jurisdiction but only one month earlier their website had the following statement; “That’s why for the last year, we’ve helped the David Suzuki Foundation and the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation participate as interveners in Ontario, Saskatchewan and now Alberta’s attempts to derail national-coordinated efforts to take action on climate change, including putting a price on carbon pollution.”

The argument they plan to make in the upcoming SCC cases, by supporting the Federal jurisdiction against the provinces, is of course related to the “carbon tax” implemented by the Federal government under the “Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act”.

In the latter case, perhaps, because they received “charitable” status, their aim is to protect that status by having others pay tax so they can remain tax-free.  Others of their ilk will be pleased to support them due to their ability to receive a tax receipt!

Those oxymoronic views entice you to examine Ecojustice’s CRA filings where one notes they (over the five years of financial reports) spent $3.658 million on fundraising activities and raised $1.806 million as a result.  Logic suggests by not spending money on fundraising activities they could have saved $1.852 million of tax-free funds which may have been useful for other court actions.

Also, over those five years, Ecojustice received almost $5.4 million in donations from other CRA registered charities including; the University of Ottawa, two Tides registered charities, the McConnell Foundation, Ivey Foundation, etc. and several were (surely a coincidence) also funders of the Ecofiscal Commission and the Pan-Canadian Expert Collaboration.  Of the total revenue ($30.895 million) reportedly received by Ecojustice over five years, 58% ($17.932 million) was expensed for compensation and 52.7% ($16.278 million) was reputedly allocated for “charitable activities”-like fighting for a carbon tax!

It is also noteworthy, despite Ecojustice’s many claims, they also fight on behalf of “species at risk” yet they’ve never intervened in any actions in Ontario in support of groups fighting the intrusion of industrial wind turbines (IWT) and the harm they cause to “species at risk” (birds, bats, turtles, etc).  Various nature groups in Ontario have fought IWT intrusion in front of ERTs (environmental review tribunals) and Ontario courts and not once has Ecojustice joined them.  One should wonder why?

Ecojustice supports continued implementation of a carbon tax in support of the Liberal, Federally imposed tax by working against the province’s elected governments.  The carbon tax will have no effect on the planet’s climate!  On the other hand, Ecojustice claim they fight on behalf of species at risk, but don’t defend those “species at risk” when  harmed by industrial wind turbines.

Truly ironic!

Pan-Canadian Expert Collaboration, Phase Five

There has been a discernible decline in interest to the posts related to the P-CEC, however, as the expression goes, “there are still more tales to tell”.  This Phase will look at two more of those on the list of “collaborators” connected to Bruce Lourie and the Ivey Foundation.

It is important to understand one of the most influential “collaborators” in the P-CEC, is the self-proclaimed, “Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission,” and they have recently called for the “carbon tax” to be increased to $210 a tonne!  As this article is being written our new Environment and Climate Change Minister, Jonathon Wilkinson is in Madrid, Spain, attending the UN’s COP25 conference and it’s an unknown as to what he will promise on Canada’s behalf but be prepared for further hits to your pocketbook.

Up to this point we have connected Bruce Lourie to seven (7) collaborators, including the Ivey Foundation where he is the existing President. This will suggest there are at least two more they are connected with on the P-CEC list.  They are:

Trottier Family Foundation—a P-CEC “collaborator”                                                                                  Visiting the Trottier website one is struck by their vision to make a meaningful and positive impact on the world”. The co-founder of the Foundation is Lorne Trottier who along with Bruce Lourie sits as an “advisor” to the Ecofiscal Commission.   The Trottier Foundation is a member of the Lourie founded CEGN (relabeled as Environment Funders Canada) and provided $80K in grants from 2016-2018. They also donated to the Clean Economy Fund and as previously called; Summerhill Foundation (a Lourie creation) and granted them $225K from 2016-2018.  In 2016 The Trottier Foundation reputedly donated $315.5K to the Ivey Foundation but Ivey Foundation’s filing with the CRA and their 2016 annual report both fail to indicate they received that donation.  It appears the CRA failed to note this discrepancy!

The Trottier Foundation in their 2018 CRA filing had total revenue of just over $13 million and $7.7 million of that came from charitable donations they received and issued tax receipts for. The “Foundation” then reputedly handed out $9.7 million to “qualified donees” with one of the larger ones ($650K) made to The David Suzuki Foundation and one for $660K was handed out to McGill University, presumably to support the Ecofiscal Commission.  In 2017 the Foundation’s gross revenue was just over $90 million of which $81,5 million was donations where they issued tax receipts. It seems truly odd that a charitable foundation such at this would seek charitable donations to the extent of the two years reviewed unless there were perhaps, favourable tax benefits for the donators? Unfortunately, the CRA doesn’t seem to require any declarations on who donates to these “charitable foundations” or one might be able to reach a conclusion as to why that happened.  The Trottier Foundation has one (1) permanent staff member so it’s unclear how they will add a lot of “expert” input to whatever it is the   P-CEC researches and recommends to the new Minister of the Environment and Climate Change.

Canadian Energy Systems Analysis Research (CESAR), University of Calgary—a P-CEC “collaborator  CESAR’s report is a collaborative effort with the Institut de l’energie Trottier, Polytechnique Montreal as noted in their opening preamble:  “This report was initiated by the Ivey Foundation in December 2017 as a way to integrate the work of the authors with the discussions that occurred in a number of workshops over the past two years (see Appendix 1). The purpose of this report is to make recommendations on how to achieve the objectives laid out by Canada and the provinces in the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change [4]. The authors thank the Ivey Foundation for their support of, and assistance with, this work.  We also appreciate the critical input and advice from the following reviewers: Ralph Torrie, Robert Hoffman, Lorne Johnson, Bruce Lourie, Katherine Wynne-Edwards and the staff at CESAR.  DBL is grateful to the Edmonton Community Foundation, without whose support many of the ideas presented here would not have been developed. LB thanks the Trottier Family Foundation for supporting energy and climate change related initiatives that helped in the production of this report. While the two authors of the report David B. Layzell, PhD, FRSC of the University of Calgary and Louis Beaumier, MASc, Executive Director,  Institut de l’énergie Trottier (IET), Polytechnique Montréal thanked the Ivey Foundation, the Trottier Family Foundation and the Edmonton Community Foundation it was impossible to locate information as to the actual funds supplied by the three foundations for this summary report other than a $20K donation by the Ivey Foundation.

The odd thing about the latter’s donation is another donation Ivey Foundation reported on their website for 2017 for $100K sounded exactly what they wanted to obtain from CESAR as it said the following:

 “Engaging and Supporting the federal government’s implementation of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change to ensure meaningful actions on both carbon pricing and complementary policies.” 

The donation was for another Lourie connection where he was Chair of the Board ie:  Environmental Defence!  A search of the Ivey Foundation’s filings with the CRA for the 2017 year failed to locate that donation so one must assume either the Ivey Foundation was wrong in making the statement or they didn’t report it to the CRA!  

It should be noted the Institut de l’énergie Trottier (IET), Polytechnique Montréal is another of the P-CEC chosen “collaborators” as are the Ivey and Trottier Foundations.

The review prepared by the two “experts” pulled together various recommendations developed at several other events* focused on climate change and recommended; “the establishment of an Institute [Working title: Canadian Climate Change and Clean Growth Institute (C4G Institute)] with a mandate to build capacity across Canada for systems change modelling and analysis. It would provide governments (federal, provincial, territorial and municipal) with independent science- and evidence-based analysis, policy options and advice regarding how they could meet their Framework commitments related to climate change and clean growth.” It is obvious the P-CEC announced on April 9 2019 was predestined to happen however the title suggested by Messrs. Layzell and Beaumier wasn’t chosen!

The above brings the Ivey/Lourie related connections to nine of the chosen members of the P-CEC  including the Institut de l’énergie Trottier (IET). It highlights his impressive ability to bring together so many climate change advocates located across the country and augment that with donated funds for the research to the current government they seek to convince us of the actions they plan.

Surely the results will culminate in a higher carbon tax and other pressures resulting in the citizens of Canada suffering from a reduced standard of living but will fail to reduce global emissions.

NB: The next one in the series will be the final one!

*Many of the events were initiated and/or sponsored by the Ivey Foundation or the Trottier Family Foundation and Natural Resources Canada were a participant in a few of them.

Pan-Canadian Expert Collaboration, Phase Four

As Yogi Berra once said, “it’s déjà vu all over again”!

My somewhat relentless review of the electricity sector started about 10 years ago as Ontario embarked on the unmitigated disaster that was the Green Energy Act and its focus on acquiring unreliable wind and solar generation. I was recently reminded; many of the ENGO names and individuals associated with my research back then are still around and have become more verbose. They are imbibing in more of the panic exercised years ago and using more tax dollars in the process. That conclusion was reached by researching the “collaborators” participating in the captioned, connecting names, reviewing websites and CRA’s Charities files to see where the money comes from and where it goes.  Those ENGO and individuals have moved on from renewable energy worship to “carbon tax” endorsement!

One example was one of those chosen as an expert collaborator highlighted in Phase Three.  MaRS Discovery District, a creation of the McGuinty led, Ontario Liberal ruling party. In 2014, MaRS received $26.7 million from the province and zero from the Feds. In 2018 the province gave them $31.7 and the Feds coughed up $2.9 million.  In other words, our tax dollars to them increased $7.8 million (29.2%) in four years.  Most readers will recall Ontario’s taxpayers bailed out MaRS failed real estate deal to the tune of $308 million. MaRS also receives revenue from other charities ($2.8 million in 2018) and hands out money to other charities such as Evergreen, (somewhere between $100/$500 thousand) one of the other “collaborators” in the P-CEC group.  MaRS also handed out grants to CEGN (Canadian Environmental Grantmakers Network), a Bruce Lourie creation renamed Environment Funders Canada. Lourie is President of the Ivey Foundation another “collaborator” in the P-CEC group.

From outward appearances the chosen ones are destined to tell PM Trudeau’s government and his new “Environment Minister”, Jonathan Wilkinson, how much to UP the “carbon tax”!  MaRS, as noted in Phase Three, also received grants from the Trillium Foundation (provincially owned) and were granted money from another McGuinty creation; Friends of the Greenbelt (FOTG)–funded by taxpayers and another member of Environment Funders Canada. FOTG hand out grants to ENGO’s such as Environmental Defence where Lourie once held a vaunted position. As an aside the CEO of MaRS earns a salary north of $350,000 annually-not too shabby for a registered charity!

Now let’s look at two more of the “collaborators” connected with the Ivey Foundation:

Evergreen and Future Cities Canada—a P-CEC “collaborator”

It’s unclear what Evergreen brings to the table as a collaborator as their focus for almost 20 years has been to convert an old brickworks plant into what is an urban farmer’s and garden market.  Their CEO doesn’t appear to have a degree related to “climate” issues but according to their filing with the CRA it appears he may be paid in excess of $250K per year. Evergreen have done a remarkable job at raising charitable funds over the years, so, maybe that is the key to being chosen.  Revenue in 2008 was $5.758 million and in 2018 was $21.762 million, an increase of 277% in only 10 years.  Their 2018 annual report shows they received over $1 million from both the Provincial and Federal governments and over $500K from the Trillium Foundation (Lourie was a former Director and Trillium are members of Environment Funders Canada). The J. W. McConnell Foundation is also included in the same contributing group as Trillium and also have been a major grantor to one of the Lourie creations (more on that one in the future) and are also members of Environment Funders Canada. They donated $1.1 million in 2017 and $775 thousand in 2018 to Evergreen. In reviewing the Trillium grants listing, it shows they have granted over $1.8 million over the past few years to Evergreen.  MaRS (another collaborator) is credited with donating somewhere between $50K to $100K in 2018 and the same in earlier years. The Ivey Foundation has granted them at least $60K in the past few years.

Adaptation to Climate Change Team (ACT), Simon Fraser University—a P-CEC “collaborator”

Often when researching individuals involved in predicting the end of the world due to “climate change” one finds the parties leading the predictions have little or no affiliation with the sciences needed to logically develop that line of thought.  In the case of ACT, it is led by Deborah Harford.  Ms. Harford is the Executive Director of ACT and her formal training indicates she holds an SFU “Bachelor of Communications and English, Communication and Media Studies”.  Ms. Harford is active in posting any articles favouring the concept of “climate change” as one would expect from her degree, but she posts none on the ACT website with a differing view. SFU prides itself on its affiliation with similar institutions including Clean Energy Canada (launched by Tides Canada) as they attract donations from charitable institutions such as the IVEY Foundation* (over $1 million since 2014), $900K from the McConnell Family Foundation, $2.3 million from the Trottier Family Foundation (another P-CEC “collaborator”!   Both of the latter are members of Environment Funders Canada.

Perhaps if one augments the perceptions of those handing out the grants, the money will continue to flow, to those who produce the prejudicial and supportive reports the grantor sought!  Just an abstract thought!

While Phases one through four of this series have raised the connection concept of the Ivey Foundation’s relationship with six of the P-CEC named “collaborators” there are a few more of interest. The tale of the tangled web will continue in the next Phase!

*A few hundred thousand dollars was also granted to Tides Canada.

Pan-Canadian Expert Collaboration, Phase three

The collaboration alluded to in Phases one and two of this series are expanded on below. Those who read all three will hopefully recognize exactly what the “collaboration” seems designed to create.  Whatever unfolds in reports from the P-CEC appears certain to endorse a further burden on tax-payers in the form of increased “carbon taxes” beyond those currently envisaged.  As our former Prime Minister, Stephen Harper put it in defining “carbon taxes”: “they are attractive to governments simply because they raise revenue reliably.  In other words, they are not effective at reducing emissions.”

The two earlier articles suggested the collaborative group assembled may have been substantially influenced by Bruce Lourie, a major player in getting Ontario’s Liberal Party to pass the GEA. The GEA focused on closing two coal plants in Ontario and professed; we could cheaply replace them with industrial wind and solar energy and create 50,000 jobs.  Ontario ratepayers know how that unfolded!

Phase two in the series brought out the interests of the “insurance industry” and their support of the alleged “climate emergency” declared by an “Act of Parliament”.  The article singled out two individuals who will play a key role in orchestrating recommendations to our, soon to be announced, Environment and Climate Change Minister.

Shortly after the winning bid announcement by Minister McKenna, Insurance Business Canada had an article stating:  “According to Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), the group will generate research and advice in three specific areas – carbon pricing, clean energy development, and strategies for climate-change adaptation – as “an independent, standalone organization.” and, “According to Feltmate, (refer Phase two) insurance claims for catastrophic loss events in Canada between 1983 and 2008 were in the range of $250 million to $400 million annually. However, in nine out of the last 10 years, catastrophic losses have gone over $1 billion, adjusted for inflation.”  This sets the tone for their upcoming recommendations!  I and others I’ve spoken with wonder, why, in view of insurance losses in Ontario, in respect to “flooding”, the Insurance Industry haven’t sued the IJC (International Joint Commission) for their instigation of “Plan 2014” raising water levels in Lake Ontario in particular, and causing hundreds of millions in losses in 2017 and 2019.  The State of New York has sued!

The first of this series noted, “There among the twenty-one (21) names in the “collaboration” was the Ivey Foundation and several others Mr. Lourie either helped to create or presumably supported by providing grants via his position as President of the Ivey Foundation.”

The particular one mentioned in the earlier article was the Ecofiscal Commission.  Its address is the Department of Economics at McGill University where the Chair of the Commission, Chris Regan, is Director of the Max Bell School of Public Policy and an Associate Professor in McGill’s Department of Economics.  The Ivey Foundation in their reports to the CRA Charities files from 2015 through to the 2018 filing indicates donations to McGill/Ecofiscal were $1.122 million and reports from the “grants” information on Ivey Foundation’s report indicates from 2015 to 2018 donations totaled $806,486. Perhaps an audit by the CRA would be worth pursuing!

Needless to say, all of the recommendations from Ecofiscal where Mr. Lourie and fellow collaborators are either commissioners (Stewart Elgie of Smart Prosperity is one) or advisors (Lourie is one) who push for a “carbon tax”. The “Commission” demonstrates a strong bias in presenting “myths” about carbon taxes while presenting only facts to support the myths but not the tax.  It appears the “Commission” or Lourie used their/his influence to get other charitable foundations to fund Ecofiscal as noted in an earlier article.

Here are another two collaborators!

Smart Prosperity Institute—a P-CEC “collaborator”

Now another of those P-CEC collaborators beyond the Intact Centre and  the Ivey Foundation is (SPI) “Smart Prosperity Institute” (formerly Sustainable Prosperity) headed up by Stewart Elgie. Elgie founded Ecojustice (a charitable legal institution with 2018 revenues of $7.4 million of which $4 million was spent on compensation and almost $700 thousand on consultants).  SPI appears to be a “not for profit” institution however, as it is associated with the University of Ottawa, you can donate via them, to obtain a tax receipt. Trying to secure information via filings of their 22 funders in the CRA Charities files was almost impossible and only a couple could be directly connected to SPI.  One of those was The Green Belt Foundation (GBF got $25 million in 2005 and another $20 million in 2012 from Ontario’s Provincial taxpayers) and they granted SPI $80K.

The foregoing is ironic as the current government in Ontario is fighting the “carbon tax” but indirectly taxpayer dollars will be used to support it!  One of the SPI “funders” listed is also supplemented by Ontario taxpayers and that is the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.  All Google searches for funding from them to the SPI came up empty!  Three of the other “funders” are Federal and as one would expect include Environment and Climate Change Canada.

The only other “funder” with obtainable information was the J.W. McConnell Foundation who granted SPI  $725,000 via the University of Ottawa. The SPI did not include the Ivey Foundation in their “funders” list but they received $120,990 from them via the University of Ottawa over three years and the Ivey Foundation also provided $105,000 in grants to Elgie’s other entity—Ecojustice.  It certainly appears there is a pretty close connection between Bruce Lourie and Stewart Elgie.

MaRS Discovery District—a P-CEC “collaborator”

MaRS Discovery District was a McGuinty creation owned by the province and granted charitable status so its annual filings can be found on the CRA Charities website.  In their year ended March 31, 2018 they received $2.9 million from the Federal Government and $31.7 million from the Government of Ontario. They also received $2.8 million from other charities.  Mars in turn claim charitable expenditures of $37.7 million out of the $48.3 million in total expenditures but don’t name any recipients.  Over the past three years they have received $300,000 from the Ivey Foundation.

Ironically, the Trillium Foundation is owned by the Government of Ontario, where Bruce Lourie formerly sat as a Director.  They have granted money to MaRS, ($413,700) to (CEGN)  Canadian Environmental Grantmakers Network (now called Environment Funders Canada) ($64,600) which Lourie founded and to Environmental Defence ($661,300) where he served as director and Chair of the Board when his friend Rick Smith was Executive Director.  Lourie is well connected to Tom Rand, the former head of the MaRS, “cleantech” sector

Oh, what tangled webs we weave!

Stay tuned as Phase Four will look at a few more of the P-CEC collaborators and their connections.