* What, no yelling, no screaming, no throwing heavy objects?
The discussion at city council about the water treatment plant turned into a big, fat nothing. There was some grumbling from Councillors Mark MacDonald, Mary Ann Hug and Denis Thibault (I’m a little surprised with Denis), but after a muted and respectful discussion council made the right decision and voted in favour of giving the contract to J.L. Richards of Kingston at a total bid price of $6,271,500 even though Genivar of Cornwall came in with a lower bid. The process for RFP’s (request for proposal) has been established and should be followed. The rules can’t be changed simply because a local company whines and complains. Exactly what would motivate out of town companies to be part of our tender and RFP process if we ignored the rules and awarded these contracts based on who complained the loudest and where they were located? Councillor Gardiner made that point last night. I’m always interested in saving taxpayers money, but we must ensure we get the best product (in this case water treatment plant) possible. If Genivar was offering the best solution, don’t you think they would have been awarded the contract? The vote went 5-3 as Councillor Denis Carr was absent last evening. Remember only 9 Councillors remain since the resignation of Kim Baird.
* Seeing two of those uncomfortable seats at council empty last night had me thinking. This council has been showing up for work. Attendance has never been an issue over the last 4 years. Perhaps schoolmaster Kilger has been good behind the scenes with the hickory stick.
* Council set new rules last night for their expense accounts. No money can be used for political fundraisers. This is good news, but it doesn’t completely solve the problem of expense accounts according to a few around the big oval table on Pitt. Look for Councillor pay and expense accounts to pop up again in 2011. I can hardly wait.
* The United Way has set their goal at $650,000. Last year they raised $624,000. A remarkable accomplishment during tough economic times. At this mornings kick-off breakfast they received donations in excess of $100,000. It’s a good start. Talk to your employer about their payroll deduction program and help out if you can.
* This is a good argument for having referenda available when needed.
- B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell says he will be bound by a referendum on the harmonized sales tax, which a legislative committee concluded today will be held one year from now.
- “If a majority of British Columbians don’t want to have an HST, there is not going to be an HST,” he told reporters on Monday after a legislative committee voted to turn the thorny political question to a non-binding plebiscite.
That $30 million is money well spent. You can hear an interview I did with Former BC Premier Bill Vander Zalm in the ‘Interview Archive’. Vander Zalm was the man who started the fight against the HST in British Columbia. He was also premier when the referendum process was created.
Dalton’s referendum will come next year… tick, tick, tick.
* Ezra Levant has a new book that will drive the enviro-whackos crazy.
In Ethical Oil, I make the case for Canada’s oilsands from a liberal point of view. Here’s why.
We’ve heard the oilsands called unethical, dirty and even nasty. One propagandist actually called it “blood oil”.
But look at the alternatives: oil from places like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Nigeria, Venezuela and Sudan. I don’t compare the oilsands against some fantasy fuel of the future that is perfect in every way. When someone invents solar-powered airplanes or wind-powered cars, let me know. Until then, let’s leave that to science fiction.
Because if the oilsands were to be shut down tomorrow, the United States would simply replace our petroleum with petroleum from somewhere else. Along with the emerging economies of India and China, they’re going to fill their gastanks with oil from somewhere.
So if the choice is not between the oilsands and perfection, but between the oilsands and OPEC, we can have a serious discussion.
Levant’s book ‘Ethical Oil: The Case for Canada’s Oil Sands’ is available today.
Related again: An ill wind blows for Denmark's green energy revolution
Unfortunately, Danish electricity bills have been almost as dramatically affected as the Danish landscape. Thanks in part to the windfarm subsidies, Danes pay some of Europe’s highest energy tariffs – on average, more than twice those in Britain. Under public pressure, Denmark’s ruling Left Party is curbing the handouts to the wind industry.
The consequences of all these related items?
Here’s and idea.
Ship the molasses people off to Denmark and start stocking up on incandescent bulbs… Daddy Dalton is banning them in Ontario in 2012. Then again that might change in next years election.
* They’ll be after your pool next.
* Your fun video of the day:
Oprah is taking her audience to Australia!
This is her final season on the air with her talk show. Unbelievable!
Oprah Bonus: Her top 20 moments
More later. Have a great day!