The (Right) News Rundown
- “On our most recent bill, the NDP’s provincial-sales-tax-masquerading-as-a-“green”-tax was equal to 34.7 per cent of the cost of the natural gas we consumed. Gas last month cost an average of $2.90 a gigajoule. The New Dem’s tax is $1.01 a gigajoule."
- If a similar tax was applied to other products:
- "Your $4.49 box of breakfast cereal would cost $6.05. Your monthly rent of $1,150 would rise to $1,550. And your next compact car — the fuel-efficient, subcompact the NDP want you to buy (call it a “Rachelmobile”) — would jump from $22,000 to $29,600."
- The carbon tax on gas goes up by 50% next year bringing it to over $1.50/giga joule. This is just the beginning.
- The British Columbia Liberal Party has filed a complaint with the province's privacy commissioner, alleging the New Democratic Party breached protection laws by sharing its supporter list with "politically friendly" groups.
- The request for investigation states "We [The BC Liberals] have obtained documentation concerning the activities of the B.C. NDP, Strategic Communications, the municipal political parties, Vision Vancouver, Coalition of Progressive Electors and the Surrey Civic Coalition, and B.C. NDP officials in Saanich, B.C., which show serious and ongoing breaches of the Personal Information Protection Act"
- The local parties mentioned in the Liberal's letter represent the centre-left on the political spectrum. Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, a former New Democrat member of the legislature, ran under the Vision banner in the last municipal election.
- The complaint to the privacy commissioner includes documents of three agreements dated Oct. 5, 2005 between the NDP and Vision Vancouver, COPE and Surrey Civic Coalition. The letter also says the breaches are as recent as November 2014 when the list was used during municipal elections in Saanich, B.C.
- "These agreements set out a secret arrangement whereby the BC NDP would share lists regarding its supporters with these politically friendly municipal parties to help them identify supporters and assist them to elect their candidates in municipal elections," stated the letter.
- The Personal Information Protection Act describes how private-sector organizations must handle the personal information of their employees and the public and includes rules about collecting, using and disclosing personal information. The Act balances two principles, an individual's right to protect his or her personal information and an organization's need to collect, use or disclose personal information for reasonable purposes.
- "It's time for the Conservative Party to confront its identity crisis."
- "I hate my party. It’s time to build a new one that genuinely believes in liberty, equality and facts over ideology."
- Scott Gillmore has started off on a listening session called "the new Conservative Dinners"
- “The intention is to have a conversation about, ‘does the party reflect our values?’ And if it doesn’t, what do we do to change that,” Gilmore explained.
- His own discomfort began during the last election campaign, he said, when the Tories floated the notion of a “barbaric cultural practices” tip-line.
- So why not just vote Liberal, instead of breaking the Conservatives into far-right and more moderate factions?
- “Because I don’t believe in big government. I believe in fiscal conservationism, I don’t believe in identity politics, I believe we need a strong defence,” Gilmore explained."
The Firing Line
- Justin Trudeau wishes to "modernize" the National Energy Board. Proposals include transferring powers from the NEB to the federal government, and moving the National Energy Board headquarters from Calgary to Ottawa.
- For those not in the know, the NEB is an independent regulatory agency created by the Canadian government in 1959 "to oversee international and inter-provincial aspects of the oil, gas and electric utility industries". It mainly regulates the construction and operation of pipelines connected between multiple provinces or international pipelines.
- The headquarters of the NEB has been in Calgary since 1992 when it was moved there from Ottawa by former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney to help oversee the growing energy industry in Alberta.
- The "power grab" style move would certainly make investors uneasy and reduce independent oversight on the federal government's role in the energy industry.
- Imperial Oil Ltd, one of the biggest investors in Alberta's energy industry, released a statement on the proposed changes: “It is Imperial’s view that the NEB and its staff should be geographically located where it makes the most sense based on workload and the practicalities of hearings and the day-to-day logistics of regulatory oversight. We disagree that having the NEB located in Calgary taints the NEB’s objectivity. Rather, having the board’s head office in Calgary, away from Ottawa from where it was moved in 1992, physically puts the board and its staff at arm’s length from policy-makers and closer to the operators they oversee.”
- The move to Calgary put a great cost on the industry, but was ultimately a good idea, but the move back to Ottawa would be less than useless, forcing the industry to pay levees through the cost recovery program a second time.
- The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, which represents Canada’s 11 major pipeline companies, argues the NEB needs to be based in Calgary because it’s the centre of Canada’s pipeline business.
- “The NEB is located in Calgary because there are literally thousands of transactions and obligations at every stage of the life-cycle of a pipeline that require daily interaction between experts at the NEB and technical experts at pipeline companies,” CEPA says. “There is no evidence to suggest that the NEB shows bias in favour of the industry that it regulates, nor in the decisions that it makes.”
- In its submission, the Canada West Foundation said the charge that the NEB has been “captured” by the energy sector is serious and needs to be proven. It should be fixed by picking board members with more diverse backgrounds rather than by moving its headquarters: "There are better ways to enhance the NEB’s legitimacy, such as adopting a two-part review process, with the first part involving a political decision up front about whether a major project should go ahead, and before proponents make major investments. The second would be led by the NEB and deal with the more technical aspects."
- Having promised to restore confidence in the NEB during his election campaign, Trudeau will find himself in a no-win situation. If he makes major changes to the regulator — which is actually widely admired internationally — he’ll contribute to the regulatory uncertainty that is promoting the exodus of international companies from the oil patch, at a time the Trump administration in the U.S. is lightening the regulatory load, and as concern about a national carbon price and federal intrusion in the energy business feed Western alienation. If he doesn’t, he would have made another promise he won’t be able to keep."
Word of the Week
Energy - usable power (as heat or electricity); also : the resources for producing such power (M-W)
How to Find Us
Episode Title: The Importance of Energy and Privacy
Teaser: A report on the impact of the Alberta carbon tax. Meanwhile, possible privacy violations by the BC NDP. The usual actors are talking about splitting the Conservative Party. And, will Trudeau’s meddling with the National Energy Board alienate the west?
Recorded Date: April 8, 2017
Release Date: April 8, 2017
Edit Notes: None