Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas everybody!

From all of us here in Hatrock's Cave, we'd like to wish you and yours a very happy merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Redford slips on banana

She's defending terrorist-funding Chiquita Banana?   Why isn't she out there defending the oil sands?

Redford said Chiquita's attempt to boycott Alberta oil is a case of "a corporation who is concerned about environmental outcomes talking about a lower emission fuel standard, saying that that's a concern to them."

"And the spin that's put on that by environmental activists is to say, 'Oh, it's a boycott.' And then to have the company have to come out and say, 'Well, no, it's not actually a boycott. We're just talking about wanting to do better.' "
She said that?  Oh dear.  This does not sound like someone who has Alberta's best interest in mind.

I don't understand.  I don't understand how she cannot be defending the ethical oil sands when it provides so much in revenue to her government coffers to spend on health care and education, is beyond me. 

What a disaster she's become in such a short period of time.

Alberta PCs, 40 years is enough.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Kerry Diotte - a shining light on Edmonton City Council

Read Edmonton City Councillor Kerry Diotte's speech on why he didn't support the 2012 Edmonton City budget which saw a 5.4% tax increase plus dozens of other fee increases.

He specfically mentions departments that went from 1 to 24 people in a short period of time and rightfully calls it "empire building".  He's right.  This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Edmontonians need to wake up and see that the ongoing left-leaning council has been rubberstamping budgets for years without actually grilling the city manager and other minions about setting cost efficiency goals, eliminating empire building within the city bureaucracy and services.

And of course, when us conservative folks want the city to cut spending, there are folks who say, "Oh no, we can't do that. You'll have more pot holes."

Hogwash.  Absolute utter hogwash.

Councillor Diotte had the guts to vote against the budget.  I hope he has the guts to run for mayor in the future and reign in spending while focusing on core services.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Boomers living good life while kids hit blockade

An excellent article by Sheila Pratt about Professor Paul Kershaw, who talks about what everyone else seems afraid to discuss--and something I've been discussing lately regarding not a divide between rich and poor, but a divide of wealth, benefits, and debt betweeen generations.

Baby boomers have not improved the lives of the next generation, in fact, for their own benefit, have actually created income/working hours/stress/health problems for their children only to have the government they lead believe they need to solve.  To do that, gov't has gone into deficit and debt, only to beg to raise taxes, further burdening lower and middle income families without knowing it.

I get the feeling that the current federal Conservative gov't is fully aware of this reality, but balancing it somehow by incrementally reducing the tax burden, providing small tax credits to young families, while continuing to provide social benefits to retirees and hoping the economy recovers to inject more tax revenue into its coffers.  Thing is, that only happens over years after taxes have been lowered. 

On the benefits side, today the federal gov't will continue to increase the provincial health transfers by 6% but over the next 5 years, not 10.  That action is obviously to cover the increase in health need by the surge of baby boomer retirees, but unload that burden to the provinces.

Unfortunately, the Alberta Redford government is toying with returning to health care taxes (+$1200 tax burden/year on individuals in families and businesses), a PST, and now more useless sin taxes.  She then thinks she can have the gov't sweep in and save you from the problems it creates.

The feds have been transferring legal, tax and social burdens to the provinces for a while and my guess is that will only increase.  What that does is create more competition between provinces to attract business and people.  Time and time again, it's been shown that low-tax, lower-cost, high income, job availability areas are where people migrate to.  And Saskatchewan and Alberta lead the pack.  My guess is that Saskatchewan will continue to outpace Alberta, primarily due to gov't policy.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Redford the Red Nosed Premier

Premier Mum now mulls increasing sin taxes.

How the hell can a Premier who doesn't even have the mandate of the people have already had her caucus consider a sales tax, reintroduce health care tax premiums, implement unconstitutional drinking and driving legislation, and now mulls over an increase in sin taxes?

Alberta already pays some of the highest sin taxes in Canada.   Stelmach raised taxes on booze then rescinded them because they didn't really bring in much.   Now Redford wants them back?  Sorry, just because she bribed the ATA to vote for her, doesn't give her the mandate from all Albertans to just do whatever she wants.  I admit voting for her, but now regret that.  She's been a terrible premier with many broken promises already, and now implementing things she didn't even mention before.

Redford anticipates the criticism but, as with other decisions like the new .05 drinking and driving law, the premier believes she has the backing of the majority of people in this province.

“Albertans are really sensible. They want to be healthy, they want to be safe and they want government to take some leadership and say: ‘You know what, we’re going to make some choices and these choices are going to be conducive to building a safer and a healthier community where we’re able to make sure we have good programs in place and everyone in society can thrive.’
Uh, Premier Mum, taxing people isn't going to change a thing in that regard.  This is a sad attempt at social engineering.  Not only that, but YOU HAVEN'T HEARD FROM ALBERTANS YET.  You never mentioned these things in your leadership run, so for you to say that Albertans back your .05 law and raising sin taxes, YOU ARE WRONG because you haven't contested an election.  Not only that, but nearly everyone I talk to thinks the .05 law that allows police to seize property is a violation of our rights.

It's obvious that this party has no clue anymore.  It spends more on health care than 8 other provinces yet has one of the highest wait times.  It gets billions in oil and gas royalty revenue yet continues to run a deficit.  Adding more money to the government coffers through sin and health care taxes isn't going to solve the mismanagement.  In fact, with more money, it'll likely make it worse.  And we've seen that.

I've never seen a government go against the core belief of liberty, something this province used to have.  Alberta's motto is "Strong and Free".

Not anymore.

40 years is enough.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Liberal dirty tricks

I'm currently in a little debate with a friend on Facebook regarding the Harper government's actions.  He specifically said that Harper's gov't was the only one to ever be found in contempt by Parliament, that Harper was the only one to ever prorogue Parliament, not once, but multiple times.

It's amazing how some folks drink the Liberal kool-aid time and time again.  During the 90's, the Chretien gov't did many tricks to exert power.  They will never have credibility on any issue regarding parliamentary ethics.

First off, the trumped-up contempt charge regarding the government not releasing secure military documents could have only occurred in a minority situation with the majority of the parties being in relative ideological agreement.  It's pretty weak.  And did this contemptiveness have any affect on voters when soon after, the Conservative were returned to government with a majority?  Apparently not.  So it's really a moot point.

Secondly, on prorogation, how amazing isn't it that so many people honestly thought Harper was the only one who ever prorogued Parliament, when it's been done dozens and dozens of times over Canada's history, even by many Liberals, including Chretien.  Shocking! 

So currently, with Heir Trudeau's recently foul-mouth "you piece of shit" comment in the House against Environment Minister Peter Kent, many Liberals and lefties are praising his outrage.  What's the outrage though?

It is based on the government not inviting opposition MPs to the Durban conference on climate change and that the government pulled out of the Kyoto protocol.

It is therefore quite rich that a Liberal MP would make such comments being that the Liberals aren't even a government in waiting, and especially that all the Liberals did to tackle global warming was sign the Kyoto Treaty and then send billions of dollars to Russia for CO2 emission off-sets.

He says it's based on tradition.  Who cares?  If I'm not mistaken, it's not a mandated Parliamentary tradition and why do opposition MPs get to represent Canada on an international level?  Last time I checked, they're not the government, they don't get to represent nor speak on behalf of Canada.  Pretty fundamental aspect to a democracy, no?

And what shouldn't be a tradition is sending billions out of the Canadian budget into la-la land so benefit countries like Russia who threaten to cut off gas lines to Ukraine and who currently run corrupt elections and who make false undersea border claims in the Arctic in conflict with Canada.  Yeah, makes a lot of sense!

The Kyoto Treaty?  Now that's a piece of shit.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Redford's first TV ad...

In the mortal words of Liberal MP Justin Trudeau, it's "a piece of shit".

(Note that Justin Trudeau's words were not actually directed at Alison Redford, the PC Party of Alberta, or the above aforementioned advertisement, but his recent words directed at Minister Peter Kent are so useful and ever poignant to be directed at so many things and people all the time, especially, and perhaps only Conservatives, because it's okay unless directed by Conservatives at Liberals or Dippers, by everyone here foreafterwith, especially and most especially in the House of Commons and fully supported by those who perhaps doth protest too much without proper research, common sense, dignity, and respect for Parliament--you know, the place where the laws of Canada are made.)

Anyway, getting back on track here, as far as style, although I'm still skeptical, I think Danielle Smith, leader of the Wildrose, in contrast to Premier Redford, presents herself well in an ad like this:

The reply ad from the PCs only tells me that they are nervous--that some "powers that be" in the old PCs perhaps want to contrast Redford's soft side.  This is, however, unprescendented from the PCs.  Odd, in fact.

Which can only be a good thing.. nevermind Redford's ad being a piece of shit.  But seriously folks, 40 years?  40!  Just vote for someone else, I don't care who.  But not the PCs anymore, please.  It's better for our democracy in Alberta.

(h/t to David Climenhaga)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

"You piece of shit" - Trudeau

A lot of bloggers will be blogging this one, and this blog is no different.

During Question Period in the House of Commons, Justin Trudeau bellowed out to Environment Minister Peter Kent, "You piece of shit!"

Trudeau later apologized.

Ah yes, the apple doesn't fall from the tree.  Some of you will recall his father from a train giving protestors in Salmon Arm, BC the middle finger as they shouted anti-French slogans.

It's one thing to do it in public and in response to insults, but this behaviour from his son is uncalled for in the House of Commons.  Courts are conducted in a very dignified manner--you'd think where the laws are actually made, that it would set a better example.

This shows bad judgment by a potential future Liberal leader.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Majority gov't checkpoint...

When the Conservatives won their majority this Spring (as one of few bloggers who predicted it), I didn't predict the speed at which they would introduce long-awaited legislation.  Without looking anything up, here's a quick checkpoint summary of such bills that I can remember.

  1. - Eliminated the long-gun registry
  2. - Eliminate the Canadian Wheat Board
  3. - Not renewing commitment to the Kyoto Protocol
  4. - Ask over 70 departments to present 5% and 10% reductions in their budgets
  5. - Not hiring replacements for retiring bureaucrats
  6. - Requiring faces to not be covered during citizenship oath
  7. - Passed the omnibus crime bill
  8. - Changed name of military back to "Royal" prefix

I'm sure there's more as these are the popular ones, but you are free to add more in the comments. Like I said, I'm amazed at what's been done and undone in just under half a year of a parliamentary session. 

Also note a recent Abacus poll which has the Conservatives at 40% and another poll showing that 65% of Canadians believe we are on the right track.  Despite Liberals and Dippers crying afoul that the gov't is stripping Canada of its identity, I would argue that we're actually getting it back from the Pearson-Trudeau-Chretien liberalism and these measures above certainly appeal to conservatives and libertarians alike.

Considering that an election is 3.5 years away, the NDP are mired in a leadership race, the Liberals have an interim leader, and the Bloc are an after-thought, the timing to bring in all this legislation early is a smart move by Harper.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Premier Mum rams through new drinking and driving legislation

Premier Mum--that's what many are starting to call Alberta Premier Alison Redford.  Last night, the controversial Bill 26 ("The 0.05") passed in the legislature 30-7.  

First off, only 37 MLAs voted?  Where were the other 50 or so?   Not only that, but it's well known that the bill was hurried through with little debate and consultation.  And now we learn that is was rammed through simply because Premier Mum wanted it in place before Christmas.

But why, when Solicitor General Jonathan Denis says although the bill passed, the law won't be in place until six months from now?

My only guess as to this "logic" is that Mum wanted to confuse Albertans into thinking that the 0.05 level is actually the law this Christmas season and not get behind the wheel after a drink or two.

What irks me is that she made no mention of this during her leadership campaign, on top with her other many flip flops.

Like the long gun registry, it's one of those unnecessary, reactionary laws used by politicians often after a tragedy to show that they're doing something constructive, but where our basic rights are taken away.

Now, I'm not advocating that it's okay to drink and drive, but in this case, the federal government mandates the limit and one's rights here, not the provinces. If provinces like BC and Alberta want to change the limit, then they should petition their federal MPs to introduce such legislation.

But I guess Premier Mum knows better.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Attawapiskat and the Indian Act

Here we go folks...

First off, I want to say that I have many friends of aboriginal descent, all of which who left the reserve to get an education and become successful.  "Best thing I did was leave the reserve when I did," they'd say.

The terrible conditions in Attawapiskat and lack of medical staff which contributed to the death of a child are the cause of one thing, and one thing only--greed and gross mismanagement by the reserve chiefs and "administrators".  There's only 1800 folks that live there yet money, millions of it, pour in from the federal government and get squandered. 

Liberal leader Bob Rae was bellowing in the House of Commons asking the Prime Minister to visit the reserve to see the conditions.  Does that mean Mr. Harper should also visit every reserve in the nation?  Some are doing well, like in Osoyoos, BC, but we know that many are not, despite the millions poured in.  And when the federal government threatens to cut back, the first whiners out of the gate are some of the band chiefs crying about the conditions of their people, like it was caused by the current federal government, when it's their own uncaring greed.

Now, the feds wanted to send in a third-party manager but the chief doesn't want him there.  Oh, gee why is that?  To show what a greedy, uncaring band council you really are?  Smarten the hell up.

Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence told CBC News that she had informed the band manager of her decision.

"I advised my band manager I don't want them in my community … doesn't work for our community … we should focus on the crisis, not on other things," she told host Evan Solomon, on CBC's Power & Politics.
Yes, you SHOULD HAVE been focusing on the crisis.  But you didn't.  
The government said earlier it had chosen Jacques Marion, from the accounting and consulting firm BDO Canada, as its third-party manager for Attawapiskat. Marion was to exercise signing authority for all department spending and would decide which band staff are required to run its program and services.
Spence said the minister responsible for First Nations "didn't listen."

"We'd like to work together but put third party away … We've demonstrated we have our deficit down. We don't need a banker to come and tell us what to do," the chief told Solomon.

Like many Canadians now learning of these autracities, I've had it with some of these whiny chiefs who think they know better when they clearly have no bloody clue.  I've had it with reserves all together.  When I drive through many of them in Alberta, I don't like what I see.  No regard for the environment.  Boarded up homes and apartment complexes.  Burnt cars.  Trash.  Is this the traditional proud lifestyle of our aboriginals?  Not at all.

And now National Chief Shawn Atleo is in the spotlight.
"We must move beyond the Indian Act and we must affirm our Crown-First Nation relationship," he said during a speech on the first day of the Special Chiefs Assembly in Ottawa. "This 19th-century relic continues to hold us back in delivering better lives for our peoples."
He's right.  The Indian Act (ignorant name to begin with) needs a complete overhawl, or you know what, maybe just scrap it all together.
Atleo said that despite the potential being reached by many young First Nations people and other areas of progress, it is still a "frustrating" time. Too many people are struggling with substance abuse and suicide, are sick from dirty drinking water, living in unsafe homes, and too many children go to school in cold, mouldy classrooms, Atleo said.
But sorry chief, despite all the money that pours in, you need to hold your band chiefs accountable.  Maybe set an example and not live a lavish lifestyle.
"Canadians saw for the first time last week what we see every day," Atleo said, referring to the situation in Attawapiskat in northern Ontario.

But if you see it every day then what are YOU doing to solve it, National Chief?  Are you actually saying that because of the Indian Act where millions of dollars are poured into reserves and essentially lining the pockets of band chiefs hasn't solved the issues and problems?

If you are, then that's pretty refreshing to hear.  But talk is cheap.  Canadians and the media are going to now pay even more close attention to see if it isn't.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Canada to not renew Kyoto commitment

Goodbye Kyoto! As rumoured, the enivironment minister has announced that Canada will not renew its commitment to the Accord, which expires next year and slated to have a new commitment for the next four years after that.

It was a bad deal from the beginning with countries such as China, India, and Brazil not having the same commitment.  Essentially, Canada spent billions in paying out carbon offsets, which Russia was a net gain.  By pulling out now, Canada won't have to pay out $6.7 billion.

So even if the Chretien Liberals didn't originally sign Kyoto, the federal government could have saved billions instead of joining the global-socialist scam.  Hopefully, the Harper Conservatives won't make the same mistake and instead, not sign anything, or at least sign on to something that's realistic.

Friday, December 02, 2011

"The oil sands' misguided critics"

Today, the National Post published a well-written and truthful editorial opinion on the Alberta oil sands.

Some highlights...

"Archbishop [Tutu] and friends might also want to look at the glass house they live in before throwing rocks at Canada. South Africa relies on coal-burning power plants to generate 85% of its power. It is also building two 4,800-megawatt power plants (each nearly double the size of the largest coal-fired power plants in North America) to meet the needs of their nation's rapidly expanding economy. Together, the emissions from just these two plants will equal more than half the output of Canada's oil sands.

"And let's not even discuss Nigeria, where the oil industry causes more environmental despoliation and corruption in a single year than the oil sands will in a century.

"China has never been obliged to cut its emissions - or even to limit their growth - by the Kyoto protocol. China has also refused to accept any emissions limits, whatever, in any successor treaty that may emerge after Kyoto expires next year. It is only pushing hard for a new Kyoto because it wants industrialized economies - including ours - hobbled by environmental regulations so that its own booming economy can take up the slack and expand faster still.

"According to a World Health Organization study, released in September, the Canadian city with the worst air quality - Sarnia, Ont. - had air 10 times cleaner than Beijing's, and Beijing is not even China's dirtiest city.

"On a per-dollar-of-GDP, China's pollution is six or seven times greater than ours.

"None of these critics have anything to teach Canada about carbon emissions."
I honestly believe that these "misguided critics" think that most of the area of Northern Alberta is a cesspool of oil sands development with pits covering a vast area larger than many countries when the opposite is true.  The area is a blip, yet it provides an immense amount of wealth, not just for Alberta, but for all of Canada.