Talk to you next Sunday

Yesterday Ms Soapbox attended the Alberta Federation of Labour 2019 Convention.  It’s theme was Choosing Our Future.  She heard some terrific presentations from people like Rachel Notley, John Max Smith (Harry Leslie Smith’s son), Gil McGowen and others.

Today she attended a screening of Knock Down the House, a documentary that tracks Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and three other women who ran for Congress with the intention of changing government so it truly represents the people and not corporate interests and lobbyists.

We need to start talking about our future, folks.  Let’s start next Sunday.

Have a good week everyone.

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12 Responses to Talk to you next Sunday

  1. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Sounds like you went to see some interesting things. Hope you have a great week.

  2. Political Ranger says:

    Some items that are going to affect our near-term future, whether we talk about them or not, are a) the viability of the democratic experiment in our society, b) the viability of small & medium sized petro-corps in Alberta and what are we going to do with a surfeit of abandoned wells and infrastructure if the least profitable follow the Trident model and just walk away, and c) the viability of our current lifestyles and likelihood of bequeathing such to our children and grand-children while the natural environment and the services provided collapse all around.

    The forces of darkness and anarchy as wielded most recently by Russia and Saudi Arabia and taken up by the likes of Trump, Ford and Kenney are eroding the very basis of a democratic society. When the rule of law is displaced by personal fiat, when institutions like due process and justice are denigrated and held to be obstructionist to personal whims or when individual liberty and security are at risk it matters little what one’s ideals are; one must protect oneself, family and community, by force if necessary. Democracy is predicated on the resolution of grievances in favour of the majority. The well-being and constitution of the majority is thus of paramount importance. If every individual, or any, is free to conduct his or her affairs in spite of the impact on the majority, especially to the detriment to the majority, there will be no peace and hence, no democracy.

    That the Redwater case has proceeded largely in silence, that Trident has simply walked away with barely a peep or that the Alberta gov’t today, or in the recent past, has no idea how to handle the detritus of 50 years of petro-development speaks eloquently to what the near-term economic and regulatory environment will look like. Chernobyl comes to mind.

    Every week or month another report from local people or prepared by local scientists, or (Albertans love this phrase) world-class, Nobel prize-winning scientists comes out telling of yet another ecological harm done. If it’s not yet another new unrecorded harm then it’s that the previous levels of harm have been under-reported. This reporting has only just started to get credibility with the wider public but has been going on since at least 1978 when I became aware of it. We do not have another 40 years of business-as-usual while everyone else catches up. In the meantime where is the leadership on this?

    I’m looking forward to a fulsome discussion.

    • Dwayne says:

      Political Ranger: I saw an ad on YouTube, that said the cost of cleaning up the mess from the oil industry in Alberta is $260 billion. That’s a lot of money.

      • Carlos Beca says:

        Well my friend that is why I keep talking about it and strangely enough not only does the government totally ignores it but so do we.
        Every single time I mentioned this issue not one person has said a word about it. Now here is the reality in as few words as possible:

        By 2017 there were (reported by the Government of Alberta) 1.2 trillion liters of contaminated water in an area about 220 square kilometers.

        So for a better picture if you have a piece of land about 1 kilometer wide, it will stretch all the way from Edmonton past Red Deer. Only 1 kilometer has been recovered.

        This is our legacy to our children to clean up because the oil companies certainly will not.

        Amazing – and we keep thinking about expanding and we never ever talk about it – it is like a suicide in the family and that is exactly what this is. It is our own suicide as a province. Furthermore we fully ignore First Nations that have to live beside this dump.
        Again, as long as the big houses and big vacations and cars galore keep coming – WHO CARES – is our motto. This is somewhere in Northern Alberta so why worry.

        We should build a house for Jason Kenney and Rachel Notley with the best view and the easiest access to this wonderful lake.

        So if we are going to talk about what to do in the future – lets not ignore this issue, we have done enough of that

      • Excellent point Carlos, particularly in light of the global assessment report by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem services which said an estimated one million species of plants and animals are facing extinction, many within a few decades. This is unforgivable.

      • Dwayne, the article I read said Trident is walking away from 4,700 wells and reclamation costs of about $329 million. Trident complained bitterly of how it was treated by the provincial regulator, but in the letter it sent to landowners asking them to accept a cut in leasehold payments, it set out four reasons for its unhealthy financial condition. These were (1) the ongoing and unprecedented low price of natural gas, (2) extremely high rural municipality taxes, (3) the high cost of operations and (4) costs of surface lease rentals. Note: these were gas wells, not oil wells so all of Jason Kenney’s bluster about Notley/Trudeau mishandling the bitumen pipeline file is irrelevant and Trident listed four causes for it’s financial woes, not one of them was Notley’s carbon tax or corporate tax.
        The energy industry is made up of many moving parts, Albertans have been hoodwinked into believing Kenney has all the answers.

    • Political Ranger: it’s almost as if you were at these events with me. The challenge is to have a fulsome discussion with people who are informed about the issues. That’s where readers like you come in. I’ll try to set the stage with next Sunday’s blog and we’ll see where it goes from there.

  3. Dwayne says:

    Susan: I have a question. If you are speaking at any events in the future, could the members of the general public attend?

  4. David Grant says:

    I will be interested in hearing from your experience at this convention. The Alberta Federation of Labour is a great ally of ours. In a correspondence with Guy Smith, AUPE President, he told that he has reached out to them to work together on the issues that our of concern to myself and other workers. I would not be surprised if Susan runs into members of my union there as we do have these members attend our conventions. I would also share some of the wisdom of our president in a telephone town hall I attended. He said that he was confidence in his years of experience as a union organizer and as our current president that we have faced and survived many challenges of previous governments and we are still here. We celebrate our centennial with this perspective and for those who dislike us, we are not going anywhere. While the election didn’t go the way I would have preferred, it doesn’t mean that I will be silent and neither should any of us.

  5. Carlos Beca says:

    ‘Today, Canadian businesses face obstacles our competitors don’t. We call them the seven burdens of business: over-regulation, a complex and outdated tax system, the difficulty finding and retaining skilled workers, the need for improved technology infrastructure, lack of support for SMEs, insufficient trade tools and proposed changes that may undermine employer-provided healthcare.’

    The Canadian Camber of Commerce predicting a win for the Conservatives/extremists is already on the attach and preparing our brains and acceptance levels for another round of Neo-Liberal propaganda. Perrin Beatty is their chief puppet. A so called Liberal that somehow got too much money to continue protecting our interests. Unfortunately a very common story.

    So they have 7 points but lets take a look at the very first two
    Of course not a word on climate change or pollution – we cannot afford that kind of concern if we are to compete.

    1 – Over regulation
    2 – A better and more fair tax system

    Over regulation – well Canada protects minimally its environment and we have to compete with countries that do not even know what that word means. They do not have to worry, when the garbage hits the fan they can always immigrate to Canada.. You know countries like China where some rivers actually can be lit up on fire. So we not only forget climate change but we also open ourselves for business and allow anything and everything and living in cities with masks is ok it is the new ‘in’ thing.

    A better and more fair tax system – hmm that would be nice if the corporations paid the same taxes as we do and right at the source instead of trying to recover them from the Bahamas.
    They could stop the 3 Billion dollar subsidy to the oil industry every single year – for some reason I think they have taken enough already. Mentioning taxes is a joke. The UCP is going to lower their taxes again to 8% – the ideal is of course no taxes.

    I sincerely like the ‘Difficulty finding and retaining skilled workers’ – you have to have guts to say this – Not just Tim Hortons anymore but positions in professional fields are being occupied by foreign workers that are somehow transferred within the multinational or tied up to their working visas and accept the minimum allowed by law pushing salaries down. No wonder we have had no gains in the last 30 years. That was intentionally done.
    We have had no raises in 8 years so no wonder the retention levels are low. Companies want the skilled workers and retain them but not the ones they have here.

    I just cannot believe what is going on and the propaganda around all these issues. It is all just false and are not fact based. It is simply what they want.

    I wished Perrin Beatty would be a real man and would come out and tell us what is the real story behind all this garbage. He does not give a hoot about Canada, our interests and those of us that are the real people holding the bag for these mermaids that claim to know it all about our economy.

    Give us a break and at least stop the PROPAGANDA.

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