Marc Patrone podcast: COP26 attendees, PM Trudeau’s commitments, oil sands emissions, etc.

I was on the Marc Patrone show on SAUGA 960 AM today (November 23, 2021) starting at 1:26:35 of the podcast. We covered a lot of ground about COP26 and what the approximately 39,000 attendees accomplished (sarcasm intended) and a wide degree of other related topics including emissions, inflation, etc. You can listen to our conversation starting at 1:26:35 of the Marc Patrone podcast here:

Canada’s Emissions per billions of dollars of GDP and Per Person have fallen (except for Prime Minister Trudeau and his sheeple)

As the UN COP26 Conference got rolling on November 1, 2021 politicians took the stage to make their announcements about what their country would do to save the world from global disintegration caused by that dreaded “climate change”.  Canada’s Prime Minister stepped up and the highlights of his presentation were embodied in the announcement on the PM’s website which contained the following:

The Prime Minister today announced that Canada is the first major oil-producing country moving to capping and reducing pollution from the oil and gas sector to net zero by 2050. To help do this at a pace and scale needed to achieve the shared goal of net zero by 2050, the government will set 5-year targets, and will also ensure that the sector makes a meaningful contribution to meeting Canada’s 2030 climate goals. In a letter sent today from Ministers Guilbeault and Wilkinson, the government is seeking the advice of the Net-Zero Advisory Body on how best to move forward on this approach.

Trudeau’s pronouncement at COP26 was old news though as back on November 19, 2020 in Ottawa he stepped outside to announce the 2050 net-zero target while his then Minister of the Environment and Climate Change (MECC), Jonathon Wilkinson, tabled the legislation in the House of Commons.  In February 2021 Wilkinson announced the “Net-Zero Advisory Body ”. Needless to say, it is impossible to find any of those named to NZAB with a dissenting opinion to either the PM or his prior or current MECC Ministers and their overall belief in mankind’s ability to control the climate!

It is worth mentioning the current MECC Minister, Steven Guilbeault, took 29 of his current ministerial staff to COP26, suggesting he was deathly afraid of being questioned about something (related to “climate change”) out of his depth of knowledge.  It also seems strange Ministry staff are not capable of telling the Minister and his boss, Justin Trudeau, how to achieve those “net-zero” targets! Were their “skill sets” not a requirement of employment in the MECC?

Falling emissions

Finding Canada’s emission statistics is not difficult and a report from the Canadian Energy Centre from July 26, 2021 has data defining how Canada’s emissions compare to the rest of the world and how we have done since the year 2000.

Their report shows Canada’s emissions per unit of GDP have fallen by 30 per cent since 2000 and notes:Between 2000 and 2019, GHG emissions in Canada fell from 0.5 MT of CO2e per billion dollars of GDP to 0.35 MT, a decline of 30 per cent”.  The report references Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) as the data source. 

The CEC report also states Canada’s emission intensity per person has also fallen since 2000. It notes: “Between 2000 and 2019, GHG emissions in Canada fell from 23.9 tonnes of CO2e per person to 19.4 tonnes, a decline of 19 per cent”.  The report again references ECCC as the data source.

If one ventures to the ECCC website it is easy to confirm the CEC’s claims and at the same time find other interesting information on the source of emissions. The ECCC report dated April 2021 also has the following chart that clearly shows what the CEC reported but The ECCC has emissions data going back two decades; 1990 to 2019.

The ECCC report states: “Between 1990 and 2019, crude oil production more than doubled in Canada. This was mostly driven by a rapid increase in production from the oil sands, which are more GHG-intensive than conventional sources

Specifically, the ECCC report says; “Between 1990 and 2019, GHG emissions from conventional oil production have increased by 20%, while emissions from oil sands production have increased by 468%.”

What the ECCC report doesn’t tell you however is oil sands bitumen production from 1990 to 2019 increased from 123K barrels per day to 1,549K barrels per day or 1,159%! Obviously, oil sands producers have done an impressive job of curbing emissions.

By avoiding the foregoing major fact, the ECCC report intentionally obscures the contribution to the Canadian economy by the oil sands.  It appears the intent may be to negatively influence media reports from the CBC and others who receive taxpayer support!

Minister Steven Guilbeault should take the 29 staff members of his Ministry we taxpayers paid for to travel to Glasgow and start planting some of those two billion trees Trudeau once again promised to do at COP26 much as he did when he met with Greta Thunberg back in September 2019!

Let’s see the Trudeau government set “targets” to plant those trees to “ensure that the” Minister of the Environment and Climate Change “makes a meaningful contribution to meeting Canada’s 2030 climate goals”!

Quebec, Trudeau’s poster child, trying to reach net-zero by going full blast on EV

The province of Quebec is blessed with natural resources in the form of rivers and lakes that Hydro Quebec has damned to generate what is labelled as clean electricity.  As a result of their resource benefits, their 2020 annual report notes their residential rate of 7.3 cents/kWh (kilowatt hour) are the “lowest in North America”!  The report also states $3.6 billion was a “Contribution to the Quebec government’s revenue in 2020”.

Attempting to find the average rates for Ontario is almost impossible and depends on your LDC (local distribution company) and their charges for distribution, regulation etc. on top of the cost of generation.  As one example Hydro One have several residential rate categories combined with TOU (time of use) metrics varying from a low of 13 cents/kWh to over 20 cents/kWh with the average in the range of 17 cents/kWh.  Those costs naturally have an effect on per capita usage so for the 2020-year Ontarians consumed 139.5 terawatts (TW)* whereas Quebecers consumed 171.4 TW*.  On a per capita basis Quebecers consumed just over 20 MW annually whereas it was less than half that in Ontario at about 9.5 MW. 

Back in November 2020 Premier Legault announced a $6.7 billion five year plan to cut emissions. The main focus seemed to be aimed at banning all gas car sales in 2035 and electrification of 1.5 million vehicles, by 2030, including city buses (55%), taxis (40%) and school buses (65%)!

Those various EV will need those large batteries to power them and that means they will weigh more. As expected, the Ford Lightning weights 1,600 pounds more than an ICE powered Ford 150.  That will presumably have more of an impact on the deterioration of asphalt meaning more frequent road repairs but where is that money going to come from?  A large part of our gas taxes currently are slated for keeping our road and highways in reasonable shape but (to the best of my knowledge) those road repair taxes don’t apply to EV! The other issue is recycling those batteries as they “contain hazardous materials, and have an inconvenient tendency to explode if disassembled incorrectly” and “Currently, globally, it’s very hard to get detailed figures for what percentage of lithium-ion batteries are recycled, but the value everyone quotes is about 5%,” says Dr Anderson. “In some parts of the world it’s considerably less.”

As if to amplify the issues with those batteries they are much less effective in cold weather so will require more frequent charging during Quebec’s cold winters which is when their “peak demand” occurs so will Hydro Quebec need to restrict electricity use further?  They already offer customers a “dynamic pricing” break for lowering consumption during 7 hours on a winter day.  The number of EV registered in Quebec as of March 31, 2021 were 85,486 or 1.5% of over 5.8 million road vehicles (2019 stats) so if that increases to Premier Legault’s target of 1.5 million on the road by 2030 we should suspect Quebec will be severely restricting consumption and by then trying to figure out how to recycle the batteries.

It turns out some of those batteries will be manufactured in Quebec as PM Trudeau and Premier Legault in March 2021 got together and announced they would lend Lion Electric Co., a Montreal based manufacturer of electric trucks and buses $50 million each to establish a $185 million lithium-ion battery assembly plant in Quebec. Certain conditions would allow $30 million of that $100 million to be forgivable. Quebec’s Economy Minister, Pierre Fitzgibbon, stated “If we play our cards right, we could become world leaders in this market of the future,”

A Financial Post article about Lion Electric said; “The company went public this past May and has Power Corp as a major investor owning 36 per cent of Lion.” Just another epitome of the “Laurentian Elite”.

If one moves along to a week ago the news broke further about Lion Electric and how they received an order (conditional) for 1,000 electric school buses.  Needless to say, that was big news and was carried extensively in various big and small media outlets. Reviewing several of them you find Lion is expanding south as an article in the Cantech site said; “Lion said the construction of a shell building at its Joliet, Illinois, manufacturing facility was 80 per cent complete and was expected to begin production during the second half of 2022.”  One wonders will that site be supplying those “school buses”?

An article in Global News starts off with: “The Lion Electric Co. says it has received a conditional order for 1,000 electric school buses from Student Transportation of Canada, whose parent company is controlled by Quebec’s pension fund manager.” Hmm, all in the family!

So, it appears the “sainthood” sought by Legault and Trudeau by their attendance at COP 26 is being financed by the taxpayers of not only Quebec and the Federal Liberal government but also by the Alberta taxpayers. The latter provided the bulk of the equalization payments resulting in Quebec receiving $13.2 billion of the $22 billion Alberta coughed up in 2019 alone.

The Laurentian Elites love it but we should guess Albertans will hope all those 1.5 million EV charging their “made in Quebec” batteries will cause blackouts!

*Net of imports and exports.

Strathmere Group Declaration target # 4:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our dime is now worth a nickel!

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

Collaboration Amongst the US and Canadian Eco-Warrior Charities

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

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

Eco-Warriors pontificating on North American Ingenuity:

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

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

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

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

Declaration target # 1:

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

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

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

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

Declaration target # 2:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Declaration target # 3:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Declaration target # 4:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Declaration target # 5 

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

AND

Declaration target # 6

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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