Who gets the carbon credits for recycling wind turbine blades and other burning questions?

As a climate change “realist” this past week has been what I would term, over the top. It seemed there is total confusion about what we should do and what we should avoid to push for net-zero emissions and move to the “circular economy”.  Some examples:

Industrial Wind Turbines are not yet part of the Circular Economy          

Cement giant LafargeHolcim and GE’s renewables wind turbine unit are teaming up and the purpose is “to explore the recycling of wind turbine blades.” The main objective of the partnership is to focus on “circular economy solutions”.  The same article notes one of the largest companies producing IWTs, Vestas, in early 2020 said it was aiming to produce a “zero-waste turbine” by 2040.  If one gives some thought to the Lafarge/GE team you conclude recycling fiberglass, etc. blades should result in the handing out of “carbon credits”! Both of those team members would presumably want them as they both are facing rising costs associated with “democratic” governments punishing them with a carbon-tax due to their emissions. The proponents of renewable energy from wind turbines must now be wringing their hands in confusion as they had pushed the concept that energy produced from them was emissions free but refused to admit their manufacturing generated emissions and that the blades were not recyclable.  It should also be noted that cement if it was a country would reputedly “rank fourth in the world as a climate polluter.”  IWT, based on many research papers could, “warm the surface temperature of the continental U.S. by 0.24 degrees Celsius, with the largest changes occurring at night when surface temperatures increased by up to 1.5 degrees.”  So, will those carbon credits be shared or will they both be rewarded with the carbon tax we consumers are paying now and in the future?

Swiss CO2 law defeated at the ballot box means no carbon tax for the Swiss  

The Swiss held a vote on a CO2 law, based on the “polluter pays” principle,”. It targeted “road vehicles, air traffic, industrial emissions, and the renovation of buildings. Those who cut their CO2 emissions would have benefited from exemptions.” Presumably those who didn’t “cut emissions” would pay an emission tax. Switzerland’s government now has a problem as they have committed to the EU they would cut their emissions. 

It was interesting to note “Urban cantons including Basel, Zurich and Geneva voted in favour of the bill.  But 21 of the 26 Swiss cantons struck it down.”  One should suspect had Canadians voted on the recent move by the Trudeau led government to impose the increase to $170/tonne on emissions the outcome may well have turned out similar. Most large urban community voters seem to fail to realize the outcome will drive the cost of living up as the “carbon tax” climbs whereas the rural communities have a much better understanding of basic economics!

Interestingly the nay side “argued that Switzerland will not make a critical difference to global climate efforts since the real game-changers are China and the United States when it comes to reducing CO2 emissions” which many sane Canadian voters also understand.

So, the question is; when will Canadian voters be given the opportunity to vote yay or nay to the carbon tax?

Meteorologist Says Snow in June In Line With Historical Snowfall on Avalon                                          

The forgoing story about snow in Avalon, Newfoundland June 10, 2021 caught my eye due to having recently watched a video with Natural Resources Minister, Seamus O’Regan doing the introductory speech in a video at the launch of the Ottawa Climate Action Fund (OCAF).  As an aside, OCAF is proposing to spend $57.4 billion tax dollars to make the City of Ottawa achieve “net-zero” emissions by 2050. In the opening welcome from O’Regan he opined about last winter stating, “average temperatures of 10 degrees higher than normal in the height of winter” in parts of Labrador suggesting it was caused by climate change. What he failed to say was average winter temperatures in Newfoundland and Labrador can swing widely by as much as 30 degrees so 10 degrees hardly seems unusual. Nevertheless If you’re pushing the “net-zero” theory to justify handing out tax dollars to groups like OCAF you may only want to present information that is one-sided.

The question someone in the media should ask O’Regan is; do you think snow in June is caused by “climate change”?

Centre Block renovation to take until at least 2030 to complete, cost up to $5Billion                     

Another article that caught my eye was once again all about Ottawa and referenced how the renovation associated with the Peace Tower and Centre Block was not only going to cost taxpayers $5 billion but would also not be completed until 2030 or 2031.  One of the strange issues arising out of the renovation had nothing to do with the $57.4 billion the City of Ottawa wants to spend to make the city reach “net-zero” as the Peace Tower and Centre Block are owned by the Government of Canada. The article noted:

It’s being promised by PSPC (Public Services and Procurement Canada) that the renovation will result in transforming the “largest energy consumer and greenhouse gas emitter” within PSPC’s portfolio of federal buildings into a carbon-neutral facility with significant reductions to energy and water consumption.”

I’m sure PSPC has numerous properties emitting “greenhouse gas” but probably none of them are places where so many politicians are present so perhaps, as taxpayers, we were aware of where the largest “carbon emissions” emanate from; when parliament actually sits. 

Putting aside the fact that our parliamentarians spew “greenhouse gas” one wonders why PSPC didn’t look for alternatives to spending all those tax dollars?  Was the only choice to spend $5 billion to make it “carbon-neutral” or perhaps they should have considered buying some of those California “Global Emission Offset Credit’s” priced at US $20.32/tonne for June 2021? $5 billion would buy a lot of those “offset credits”!

PwC to add 100,000 jobs in US$12 billion strategic revamp

An article in the Financial Post last week stated “PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP is investing US$12 billion across its global business in an overhaul targeting better audits, digitization of services and greener operations.” The article went on to note: “The professional-services provider will hire 100,000 employees and develop the skills of existing staff over the next five years as it seeks to respond to the post-pandemic operating environment” and went on to state; “The firm’s spending will also focus on responding to environmental, social and governance (ESG) trends across its operations.” ESG was a creation of the World Economic Forum (WEF) which was founded by the German economist Charles Schwab.  ESG is fully supported by the big four audit firms as it will allow them to increase their audit bills and some of those funds will presumably result in hiring more staff with those (whatever they are) ESG audit skills. It will also allow the big investment firms like Bloombergs, Brookfield, etc. to make lots of money trading those carbon credits that many firms will be required to purchase due to regulations and “Acts” imposed by government bodies at all levels.

My question is related to the foregoing imposition of ESG!  ESG imposition seems destined to make the very rich even richer and those in the middle and poorer classes poorer and is that it’s objective?

A bird stands in the way of India’s green goals  

India has so far escaped the need to impose carbon taxes but they do seem concerned about “climate change” so have been handing out contracts for more coal generation as well as wind and solar generation. This article indicates they have received push-back from the Wildlife Institute of India on the latter contracts and they were successful pushing for buried transmission lines in order to save an endangered bird known as the “great Indian bustard”.  The Supreme Court ruling supported the Institute but now the developers are crying because burying the transmission lines will reputedly increase costs to them by $4 billion.

The question I would have for the Canadian judicial system is why in most cases when similar objections were raised by opponents of wind and solar generation in Ontario and elsewhere did the rulings handed out favour the developers and ignore wildlife proponents?

IESO and OEB join forces to support innovative projects to help meet province’s growing energy needs

The IESO (independent Electric System Operator) and the OEB (Ontario Energy Board) recently issued a Press Release announcing they have formed a new partnership. The partnership “would test the capabilities of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) in providing services at both the local and provincial levels.” The DER resources they want to test are identified as: Some examples include rooftop solar panels, battery storage units and demand response devices, such as smart thermostats, that help reduce or shift consumers’ electricity usage.”  While industrial wind turbines are missing from the examples one should assume they are part of the mix as approximately 600 MW (megawatts) of their capacity are already part of the DER!  Ontario’s ratepayers have already experienced those “innovative projects” (sarcasm intended) which caused electricity rates to jump over 100% creating energy poverty while driving energy dependent businesses out of the province. IESO will also subsidize those “innovative projects” via their Grid Innovation Fund (GIF) while the OEB will provide “temporary relief” from regulatory guidelines.

My question is; why is the Minister of Energy allowing this to happen when the outcome has already been clearly demonstrated?

Conclusion  

From all appearances it appears confusion reigns supreme throughout the world when itcomes to the question of “climate change”, and the myriad ways governments and their regulators are dealing with it.  It is time realism is deemed important in respect to the global movement to effectively increase energy poverty and for governments to respect scientific opinion that has been tossed aside by the super-rich out to increase their wealth while harming the rest of mankind!

The time has arrived for governments to answer our “climate realism” questions!

Ottawa spending billions to get to net zero

Marc Patrone, host of the weekday show from 9 AM to 11 AM had me on as a guest this morning (June 17, 2021) to talk about the City of Ottawa’s “Energy Evolution”. While we discussed the foregoing briefly we also touched on several other energy related subjects such as the Line 5 pipeline and what the Ford Government has done in respect to the electricity sector in Ontario and the wind projects.

You can listen to the podcast starting at 1:17.37 here:

If you are a subscriber to NEWSTALKCANADA you can listen here:

https://newstalkcanada.com/?page_id=2527

Canadian Institute for Climate Choices, Smart Prosperity Institute, Ecojustice, The Natural Step, and the University of Ottawa interdisciplinary Environment Institute all connect to Stewart Elgie and several other Eco-Warriors

The Canadian Institute for Climate Choices (CICC) is an outgrowth of a $20 million award by Catherine McKenna when she was Minister of the Environment and Climate Change (MoECC).  The award was granted to the Pan-Canadian Expert Collaboration (P-CEC) a group of 21 familiar “climate change” advocates which morphed into the CICC. The P-CEC was explored by the writer in a series of six (6) articles disclosing who they were, how they were connected and how they were funded.  The first in the series was posted November 11, 2019 and the final one December 15, 2019.

When the contract was awarded the $20 million allocated to the winning group by Minister McKenna was to be utilized over five years. The CICC’s  annual report for 2020-2021 indicates they used $4.7 million of the award and 52% went towards compensation and 21% for external research.  Beyond that, there are no specific details in the “annual report”.  Needless to say, the CICC have churned out many reports since their founding reflecting on the usual cadre of eco-warrior concerns such as; climate change, global warming, emissions and of course net-zero.

CICC reputedly has 25 Staff led by Kathy Bardswick, formerly CEO of the Co-Operators Group where, as CEO she led them to be “the first Canadian Insurance company signatory to the UN Principles of Sustainable Insurance, being a member of the UN Inquiry into a Sustainable Financial System”.  

CICC has Stewart Elgie as a “Expert” panelist along with several other recognizable climate change advocates like Blair Feltmate, Mark Jaccard, etc. Bardswick recently retired as Founding President of CICC and her post has been taken over by none other than Rick Smith, a former CEO of Environmental Defence. Smith is a close associate of Bruce Lourie whom yours truly has written extensively about due to his influence with the former Ontario Premier, Dalton McGuinty and creation of the GEA which drove up electricity prices in the province by over 100%.  If one looks at the CICC Board Members one will note Lourie is one of the chosen as is Chis Ragan.  Ragan was Chair of the Ecofiscal Commission and Stewart Elgie was a Commissioner.  Bruce Lourie sat on Ecofiscal’s Advisory Board.  The Ecofiscal Commission recommended; emissions should be priced at $210/tonne in order to achieve Canada’s commitment to the Paris Accord. One should notice Ecofiscal’s recommendation is not much higher than current Minister, Jonathon Wilkinson of the MoECC is taking us with the price to reach $170/tonne by 2030.

Elgie’s biography on CICC describes his awe-inspiring career to this point (sarcasm intended) by noting: “Prof. Elgie started his career as an environmental lawyer in Alaska, litigating over the Valdez oil spill. He returned to Canada and founded Ecojustice, now Canada’s largest non-profit environmental law organization”. The bio goes on to say Elgie “is also the founder and chair of Smart Prosperity, Canada’s major green economy think tank and policy-research network.” and “is a professor of law and economics at the University of Ottawa and director of the University’s interdisciplinary Environment Institute.”

Elgie easily made the Ontario “Sunshine list for 2020 but, it doesn’t disclose what he gets from Ecojustice or the Smart Prosperity Institute where he sits as the “Executive Chair”. Elgie, as a “professor” earned $203,528.72 according to the 2020 Sunshine list.  A quick review of Ecojustice’s Oct. 31, 2020 financials disclosed this note: “As a result of COVID-19, Ecojustice Canada Society took advantage of government assistance programs in place, resulting in the recognition of $382,225 of revenue relating to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy in the year which is included in other revenue.” What a kind gesture by Canadian taxpayers to toss almost $400K at a charity whose intentions are to shut down all fossil fuel generation and consumption in Canada which will inevitability create more energy poverty.

The Smart Prosperity Institute which Elgie founded is within the University of Ottawa and includes at least five government “Funders” so presumably receives lots of taxpayer dollars however, they don’t disclose or publish financial statements.  Reviewing the Federal government’s search websites for grants and contracts however does disclose two contracts awarded in 2020 and 2121 for approximately $86K and one grant in 2020 for $380K.

Another charitable institution; The Natural Step, Canada, (an arm of an international group) are going full bore on “climate change”.  They have Elgie listed as a Member of the Board, along with Lorne Johnson, VP, Ivey Foundation and a Board member. Coincidentally Bruce Lourie is President of the Ivey Foundation. A quick review of Federal Government contracts discloses; The Natural Step received four contracts with a value of about $110K over the past few years and four grants of about $775K. When one looks at the CRA filings for The Natural Step they fail to disclose the foregoing facts about receiving those funds from the Federal Government.  As a result, I reported the information to the CRA but I seriously doubt the CRA will actually admonish them.

Now, let’s have a quick look at the CICC’s latest report; “THE HEALTH COSTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE“! It’s a totally scary document to anyone who has not followed the tripe about fossil fuels and how CO2 emissions will cause “peoplekind” to be expunged from the face of the Earth. Funnily enough this document says nothing about those emissions! If you search for CO2 you get zero hits and if you search for “global warming” you get only 4 hits however if you search for “climate change” you get 382 hits! It begs the question is “global warming” no longer an issue. The following is one excerpt that suggests the climate activists are trying their best to alter the landscape perhaps because they are having difficulty trying to prove their cause and justify their government funding?

As ground-level ozone increases, so do deaths and healthcare costs. Unless action is taken, future healthcare costs of ozone exposure could increase to one quarter of current healthcare costs linked to cancer. The costs of death and lost quality of life are even greater—we estimate these costs will be $86 billion per year by mid-century and $250 billion per year by the end of the century.” So, the CICC “experts” think their skillsets are sufficient to make a 79-year forecast! Inflated egos are rife in the CICC!

The report rambles on about “wildfires” “floods” “heatwaves” and increased deaths from heat and “mental health” but avoids attacking carbon emissions or blaming “global warming. The report says nothing about less deaths from the cold except to state “we have not tried to estimate the effects of climate change on cold-related mortality and morbidity in this study.” 

The report also states: “Not accounting for climate change, the direct costs of mental illness in Canada are expected to grow to some $291 billion per year by 2041 (a 590 per cent increase), with cumulative costs over that 30-year period reaching more than $2.3 trillionIt goes on to state: “Even if climate change only moderately increases rates of mental illness, this could be among the costliest climate-related health impacts for Canada.”

What the foregoing extraction from the report suggests is this taxpayer funded organization with the reputed numerous “experts” presumably involved in producing it have no confidence in what they have been pushing for the past few decades. The cost of “mental health” they suggest, has been exacerbated by their flogging “peoplekinds” reputed influence on raising earth’s temperature through the use of fossil fuels.  The time has come to defund these misdirected “expertly” dominated soothsayers!  As Greta might say:  “How dare you”!

In summarizing the foregoing it’s obvious the cabal of “climate change” experts are directing politicians to do what they want, not to save the world from a future pandemic, but simply to keep the money coming to support their “the sky is falling” indulgence.  

As a taxpayer I suggest “once bitten, twice shy” so let’s turn off the tap!

Fees to finance net-zero are net-positive and rising

My latest in the Financial Post looks at how costs are rising for services from financial institutions at a rate well in excess of the cost of living. They are rising due to the actions some of them are taking to satisfy publicly funded international organizations pushing the three-decade long “climate change” forecast.

Read it here: https://financialpost.com/opinion/opinion-fees-to-finance-net-zero-are-net-positive-and-rising

The Price of Everything heads Skyward and it’s not just the Necessities of Life

It Appears we Must Save the World from Global Warming by paying more for financial services!

Having just received my home insurance renewal policy I noted the monthly premium had jumped 11.6% and I wondered why as It wasn’t due to a claim made by our household? The cover letter stated:

The increased cost of repairs and increased occurrence of severe weather and natural disasters in Ontario have affected your premium. Due to inflation, the cost of building materials has increased, meaning that the cost to repair and rebuild your home in the event of a claim has increased. Significant weather events such as ice storms, high winds and heavy rainfall, as well as the increase in frequency and severity of natural disasters such as fires and floods have affected the cost of home insurance in Ontario

Having been in the Province with almost continual lock-downs for the past year, due to the pandemic, I obviously missed all the implied “disasters” and the “occurrence of severe weather” the letter alluded to! The same insurance company owned by the TD Bank also recently renewed our automobile insurance but the rate only increased 3.2% perhaps because they recognized we weren’t allowed to travel except for “essential” goods!  The TD Bank also had sent a notice they increased some banking charges on my account so for any of the services I obtain from them the costs went up but not what they pay in interest for funds I might occasionally have on deposit.

If one had a benevolent thought about the foregoing increases it would be; perhaps the banks and insurance companies have suffered from the lockdowns so these increased costs will ensure they retain their employees while experiencing similar harm as the rest of the population.

But then Thursday May 27, 2021 arrived and the press reported: “Three of Canada’s top lenders reported better-than-expected quarterly profits on Thursday. The three were RBC, CIBC and TD.  While earnings climbed for RBC and CIBC they actually fell for TD. The article noted, at TD, earnings excluding the impact of provisions and taxes fell 16.8 per cent, compared with increases of 14 per cent and 11 per cent at CIBC and RBC respectively. In other words, had the prior provisions for loan losses at TD not resulted in a substantial recovery of $373 million of funds set aside to cover bad loans and those lower taxes, their results would not have been nearly as impressive.

TD “Quarterly Results Presentation” at 36 pages contained lots of information and there on page 9 it stated; “Insurance claims were down 34% YoY (year over year) and down 43% QoQ (quarter over quarter” yet both of our insurance premiums increased.  On page 4 of the presentation describing their “Proven Business Model” they listed six short descriptors and one of them was: “Continued strong Wealth, Insurance and Wholesale earnings”.  So, despite the “strong” earnings from their Insurance business they want more.  That explains why our premiums went up and it had nothing to do with what they tell their customers in the cover letter sent with the policy renewal.

If one ventures into TD’s CEO Bharat Masrani’s remarks about certain achievements it leads to bragging about issues that, in the past, had nothing to do with what one would consider “normal” financial institution management issues. As one example the TD is committed to ESG (environment, social, governance) and Masrani includes references to two reports where his remarks note the recovery from the pandemic: “was a core message of our 2020 ESG and TCFD* (Task Force on Climaterelated Financial Disclosures) reports, which we released this quarter.” 

Mr. Masrani went on to say; “I invite you to read them and learn more about what we are doing to build a more inclusive and sustainable future. That includes our approach to achieving the goals of our climate action plan, as the first Canadian bank to set a net-zero target by 2050. We are accelerating our efforts, have mobilized leaders and experts across the bank. And are working closely with clients in multiple sectors to support their transition plans and create positive change.”  Later in his message, Masrani said: “TD Insurance continued to take market share rising to the number three position for home and auto general insurance.” If rates keep rising as ours** did, he shouldn’t count on that continuing!

 So, one has to wonder did TD’s endorsement of ESG along with it’s push to join up with the Michael Bloomberg creation; “Task Force on Climaterelated FinancialDisclosures” play a role on TD’s less than stellar performance in the latest Quarter.

From the foregoing one should shutter at the thought that, not only will the increasing “carbon tax” and “clean fuel standards” (imposed by the Justin Trudeau Government) increase our cost of living but beyond that we will be impacted by all other institutions raising their prices for services in a similar fashion to that being exhibited by the TD Bank. 

Higher prices for everything we need in our day to day living are heading skyward!

*TCFD is a Michael Bloomberg creation and our former Governor of the Bank of Canada, Mark Carney is one of the key individuals in its founding and focus.

**Full disclosure! I was a former employee of the TD Bank and own shares in them so speak with a prejudicial bias but am upset at their endorsement of ESG and the TFCD.

Woke banks all in on ‘reset’, carbon exchange ripoff

Marc Patrone of Sauga 960 AM had me on his show today to follow up on my recent article which was related to how the Canadian banks like TD and RBC have joined in with financial institutions around the world to push the concept of ESG (environmental, social and governance) concept conceived by the WEF (World Economic Forum) and loved by all the various UN bureaucracies.

While Marc and I did talk about that we also covered other related ground such as CO2 emissions, net-zero by 2050, science (he had a great clip of Steve Koonin) and the general failure of the main stream media in putting out all the facts and actually doing some investigative reporting.

You can listen to the May 5, 2021 podcast on SAUGA 960 AM starting at 50.45 here:

https://sauga960am.ca/podcasts/

Or if you are a subscriber to NEWSTALK CANADA you can listen here:

https://newstalkcanada.com/?page_id=2527

TD Bank goes full bore with ESG

Several months ago I penned an article about the Royal Bank of Canada and their push to be seen as ESG (environmental, social and governance) compliant.  ESG is a concept pushed by the WEF (World Economic Forum) principally to get the world to halt “Runaway climate change, environmental degradation and social inequality”.  The concept has been endorsed by all the major international audit firms (Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC)!  Presumably they see the opportunity to increase auditing charges by creating math formulae much different than the basic math one would expect to be applied in a financial audit!

ESG is fully endorsed by others who will benefit financially such as Bloombergs, and some former central bank governors such as Canada’s very own, Mark Carney. Certainly, most Canadians are aware that our PM, Justin Trudeau and his Minister of the Environment, Jonathon Wilkinson are big on the E. and the S. of ESG but the Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated their complete failure on “G” ie: Governance! 

At the time I penned the above noted article I had no reason to believe other Canadian banks had jumped into the fray however I was alerted to the fact that none other than my former employer, TD Bank, was an enthusiastic supporter of the ESG concept. 

Following up; led to the discovery TD had issued their initial ESG report titled, “Adapting with Purpose 2020 Environmental, Social and Governance Report “.  The report was 112 pages whereas their 2020 Financial report was only 91 pages. It almost appears as if TD’s management ranks shareholders below “climate change” advocates!

Looking through the report is interesting if one starts with a simple word search.  When searching “ESG” you get 400 hits, searching “environmental” the hits are 216, “sustainable” garners 150 and “governance” 177.  Repetition for emphasis perhaps?  The words “climate change” generates 80 appearances but net-zero only brings 3 references.  The report devotes page 109 of the report to just “Acronyms” which number 79 and 7 (including the UNIPCC) of them are devoted to UN (United Nations) initiatives.  Naturally the WEF amongst many others are included.

The press release announcing TD’s commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050 was upsetting as they have accepted the belief; CO2 emissions are a climate control knob.  It was also upsetting because their one and only endorsement was from none other than Bruce Lourie of the IVEY Foundation a CRA charity where he has sat as President since early 2005.  Under his guidance the Ivey Foundation has been dedicated to eliminating fossil fuels as their “vision” suggests: “Ivey’s Economy and Environment program supports Canada’s transition to a sustainable economy by identifying opportunities to enhance resource efficiency, foster innovation and advance the field of sustainable finance.”  I wrote a series of articles* about Lourie many years ago pointing out his ability to influence politicians while enriching the numerous entities he created or strongly influenced, frequently with our tax dollars.

If one searches Government Grants it is surprising a charitable foundation with over $100 million in net assets would actually apply for a grant but an “Ivey Foundation” search netted two grants totaling $37,500. One for $7,500 was granted when Catherine McKenna was Minister of the Environment and Climate Change and the other $30,000 grant came from the Minister of Natural Resources when Jim Carr was in charge. It is worth remembering Bruce Lourie played a major role in Ontario under the McGuinty/Wynne Liberals as he and Gerald Butts were very influential in getting them to pass the GEA. The GEA was reputedly going to create 50,000 jobs and as then Energy Minister, George Smitherman stated; would only raise electricity rates 1%. Ontario’s ratepayers know how that turned out! 

Lourie and Butts are both members of the “Task Force for a Resilient Recovery” and the Ivey Foundation is one of its funders.  A prior article outlined their close relationship and even how they, together with our current PM, Justin Trudeau, were together for a seven day canoe trip back in 2003.

What TD Bank is doing will alienate TD’s clients in Western Canada, those dependent on fossil fuels in numerous businesses here in Ontario, etc. including petrochemicals, refining, plastic manufacturing (including health related products), mining, infrastructure projects, farming, etc. etc.

It is truly ironic TD have also released a report suggesting; “Three-quarters of oil and gas sector could be displaced in move to cut emissions“. It almost appears TD’s Chief Economist, Beata Caranci, penned the report in support of the ESG push knowing TD will be partially responsible as many of the jobs affected will be TD customers and many of the companies cutting those jobs will also be customers. One of the conclusions in the report notes: “The clean energy transition represents an enormous economic opportunity to redefine and reinvigorate the Canadian energy sector and become established as a globally competitive leader in a net zero world.” Ms. Caranci’s report suggests the science is settled and fails to cite any opposing scientific studies to those touted by the WEF or those pushing the narrative that mankind can somehow control earth’s temperature! I also fail to see how that will “reinvigorate the Canadian energy sector” in any way!  This belief that the “science is settled” so we must act does not bode well for the bank or its shareholders. 

As a former employee and current shareholder my message to TD’s executive is; “rethink your position”!  Fossil fuels are not the control knob for global warming and are essential to Canada’s needs and the rest of the world, no matter what philosopher Bruce Lourie or his ilk tell you.

*This was the last in the series but a Google search of “Bruce Lourie’s Spider web” will show others.

Ontario’s Taxpayers Help OMERS Buy Wind and Solar Projects in Indiana, huh?

The Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS), via one of their subsidiaries, OMERS Infrastructure, just acquired a 180 MW (megawatt) wind turbine project and a 400 MW solar project. They acquired these two projects via their US subsidiary; “Leeward Renewable Energy,* a growth-oriented renewable energy company that owns and operates a portfolio of approximately 2,000 MW of generating capacity.” 

Interestingly, the two projects acquired by Leeward (head office in Dallas, Texas) * are located in White County in northwestern Indiana, USA.

In case the reader was unaware, OMERS pension plan has over $100 billion in assets and receives 50% of their annual contributions from us lowly taxpayers by way of the taxes we pay to local municipalities in Ontario for public services. The OMERS pensioners annually receive a cost-of-living adjustment which was 2.29% in 2019 and 1.89% in 2020.

One should wonder why OMERS don’t use those tax dollar contributions to invest in infrastructure projects in Ontario where they might create some jobs and help the economy grow?  Are they concerned about Ontario’s future?

Those who are running OMERS must feel Ontario’s taxpayers are a bottomless pit that allows their members to retire at age 55 should they have 30 years of employment! Anyone trying to sustain themselves in the private sector would love some of the same benefits OMERS pensioners receive, but they are on their own and must use their initiatives to provide for retirement without taxpayer support.

Don’t those managing the pension plan wonder what will happen when the money runs out for their 500,000 members?  I’m pretty sure Texas’s or Indiana’s taxpayers won’t contribute their municipal taxes when the Ontario economy tanks even more than it has so far during the pandemic!

*In 2018, Leeward was acquired by OMERS Infrastructure Management, Inc., the infrastructure investment arm of OMERS. One of Canada’s largest defined benefit pension plans. Under OMERS’s ownership, we have continued our expansion by successfully repowering legacy assets, developing and constructing projects from our development portfolio, and embarking on our current growth program that includes over 5,000 MW of wind, solar, and energy storage.

**Dallas Texas was severely affected by the nasty February winter storm and the resulting power blackouts and where blame was allocated to the failure of wind generation to perform when needed. Isn’t that ironic!

Exposing the Green Charity Fraud

I was on the Marc Patrone show once again on Sauga 960 AM today (March 9th) and our chat was about a recent report from the Canada Revenue Agency and their take on how they manage Canadian charities and where the money comes from. Charities are major beneficiaries of our tax dollars and those charities come in all shapes and sizes including the “climate alarmist” ones. Marc and I cover off quite a bit in the time we spoke and you can hear what that was on the daily podcast of Marc’s show where I join him at 1:15;45. Link is here:

If you are a subscriber to NEWSTALK CANADA you can also find our interview here:

Parker Gallant: Exposing the green Charity fraud

Charities are not what they appear to be

Merriam-Webster’s first definition of the word charity* is: “generosity and helpfulness especially toward the needy or suffering”. Most Canadians have probably wondered since the “WE Charity” scandal broke, how that definition fits into the CRA’s granting of charitable status to applicants and then how they administer them from that point. 

Well, presumably to put our minds at ease, the CRA recently released a “Report on the Charities Program 2018 to 2020” and they applaud themselves.  As an example, the Director General, Tony Manconi in his overview noted the Charities Directorate: “aims to promote compliance with the charity-related income tax legislation and regulations in order to support charitable giving and development of the sector, while protecting charities and the public from abuse.”

The foregoing is to suggest we taxpayers should relax as those within the CRA are managing the charities really well, but are they? 

From all appearances the MSM totally ignored the CRA report as a search for responses to it suggests the only parties who even looked at it were a couple of law firms and a few charities.  

Should one scan the following chart which provides the sources of revenue flowing to charities over the “annual average” of the years 2016 to 2018 it is rather shocking to note 86.6% ($183.9 billion) was labelled as “Revenue from Government”. A cursory look at some of the CRA charities labeled “universities” or “hospitals” suggest this is where the bulk of that “Government Revenue” flowed. The CRA’s report notes as of the end of 2019 there were still 4975 “Public Foundations” down from 5027 in 2018.

Curiosity piqued; an examination of The Governing Council of the University of Toronto’s CRA filings followed which led to the discovery over the five years of their filed reports they had received $5.157 billion collectively from Federal, Provincial and Municipal governments.  They have 61 people on the “Governing Council” and 10 of them (probably many more) have incomes exceeding $350K per annum.  A look at the Ontario “Sunshine list” for “universities” show 10 of the top 20 names on the list were U. of T. employees with the lowest earning almost $458K in 2019.

U. of T. employees reputedly number about 15,600 operating on three campuses and the April 30, 2020 CRA filing indicates total compensation of $2.3 billion which suggests average income of $147K per employee and represented about 65% of U. of T’s gross revenue of $3.54 billion.

Some of the $1,043 million U. of T. received in their year-ended April 30, 2020 from the various governments (paid by taxpayers) flows to University of Toronto Asset Management Corporation (UTAM) established in April 2000. UTAM have responsibility to manage three U. of T. pools of funds which are; the Long Term Capital Appreciation Pool (assets from endowments) of $3.2 billion, the Expendable Funds Investment Pool (short-term working capital) of $2.5 billion and the University of Toronto Master Trust (Pension Fund) of $5.6 billion. So UTAM were managing (as of December 31, 2019) assets of $11.4 billion much of which us kindly taxpayers contributed over the years. 

Further, and as a matter of interest, UTAM have gone full blown ESG (environmental, social and governance) signing up to the UN PRI (principles for responsible investment) back in December 2016. They have obviously bought into the new economic theories pushed by the WEF and many others including our former Bank of Canada governor, Mark Carney!  They even have a picture of industrial wind turbines on the website to augment their belief in ESG. No doubt, if UTAM come up short and unable to generate sufficient revenue in their management of the pension fund the university will go hat in hand to the various government bodies and seek more of our private sector tax dollars!

Now, returning to the CRA report another interesting disclosure was the fact charities as of December 31, 2020 had filed over 91,000 applications for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and almost all of them were approved.  That resulted in another $2.4 billion of tax dollars flowing to charities (with employees such as U. of T.) and one should imagine many of those dollars flowed to the lower paid employees within the various universities, colleges, and other public sector charities as well as to many environmental groups such as WWF, Pembina Foundation, Environmental Defence, etc. etc.

Canada is in need of new legislation in respect to charities in order to meet the true definition of what a charity really is. 

The public is being abused despite the rhetoric from the Director General!

*To be clear I am a member of a charity but it is a “not for profit” so doesn’t issue tax receipts and has no paid employees but we do our best to help the needy and contribute to the community!