Fort McMurray Wildfire-Special Posting

May 5, 2016

**Donate to Canadian Red Cross  The Alberta and Canadian governments are matching dollar for dollar all donations.

A city of almost 100,000 is evacuated. Over 1600 residences and many businesses have been destroyed and the wildfire is still burning. The evacuees have lost everything, not only possessions but personal mementos and treasures. Fortunately no one has been injured or killed by the fires. This is thanks to the brave fire fighters, police and other emergency works who are risking life and limb to ensure the safety of the men, women and children of the city.

McMurray is more than and oil and gas city, it is home to many other businesses associated with the industry and not associated with the industry. This is a tragedy beyond measure. The citizens of McMurray come from all provinces of Canada and there are also many Americans living and working there.

Northern Alberta where this city is located is a forested area. In fact Northern Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia are in the same category. Forest fires have been a fact of life in the West and elsewhere for recorded history and before. Some are large and some are small, all are dangerous and damaging.

Climate change is not the reason for these fires, careless smoking is the biggest cause. Dryness yes but it’s dry every year. Wildfires have raged throughout the Western USA and Canada every year since recorded history.

The oil and gas being produced from the massive oil sands deposits in this area supports the lifestyle of Americans and Canadians and others around the world. It is mined under the strictest regulatory and environment requirements in the world bar none. Reclamation of the mine sites is a  requirement and is carried on as the mining progresses.

I have been viewing “Aerial American” on the Smithsonian Channel for some time now and have seen shocking environmental damage caused by open pit mining in Kentucky, West Virginian and Nevada just to name a few American States. Little or no reclamation work is required in these cases. Yet here’s the puzzler I never hear protests against these developments. Why is that I wonder? Seems like another agenda at work.

Canadians take the protection of the environment seriously does your jurisdiction? 

Finally our thoughts should be for the families of Fort McMurray. Albertans and Canadians are with you. We will rebuild. Stay strong.

Further reading,
Canada’s Energy Citizens
http://www.energycitizens.ca/learn_more

Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers
http://www.capp.ca

Alberta Government Department of Energy
http://www.energy.gov.ab.ca
http://www.energy.gov.ab.ca/OilSands/oilsands.asp (site specific to Oil Sands)

Alberta Energy Regulator (regulates all energy development in the Province of Alberta)
http://www.aer.gov
http://www.aer.ca/about-aer/spotlight-on/oil-sands (site specific to Oil Sands)

 

 

 


Big bad corporations? Wait not so fast.

October 3, 2015

Business logo pic-PublicDomainHow many of you are employed by a big corporation? Millions of Canadians and Americans are employees of corporations. This means the salary you earn feeds your family and pays your taxes among other things. The taxes the corporations and you the individual pay to governments goes toward education, health services, infrastructure and other essential services.

The taxes collected by local, provincial (or State) and Federal governments comes from individuals and corporations. These monies pay for health care, education, infrastructure and many other services most of us take for granted. Government in and of itself has no income except taxes.

This is the reason I can’t understand why big corporations are always being bad mouthed. They’re the first to be blamed when things aren’t going well, not governments, but corporations. There is no doubt corporations aren’t perfect. Under the law they are basically like individuals, well individuals aren’t perfect. There are good and bad in all things.

Corporations are accused of:
– Being unregulated and therefore running wild.
– Being a drain on society.
– Not being good citizens.
– Being polluters.
– Having no empathy.
– Being uncaring of the world they operate in.
– Making excessive profits.

Facts About Corporations society often fails to recognize:,
– They are in fact over-regulated in most cases.
– Taxed to the maximum.
– Employ millions of people.
– Give millions of dollars to charities.
– Support the arts.
– Support cities and towns wherever they operate.
– Work with governments and others to reduce their footprint.
– Actively work to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions and have been for many years     now.
– Their operations comply with and in most cases exceed government environmental and safety regulations.
– A large percentage of their profits are re-invested in research and development and expansion which benefits society and employees.
– Are governed and held accountable by shareholders, governments, and society for their behavior.

Corporations deserve a little more respect. Before you condemn them make sure you have the facts. Sure they aren’t perfect, but they are a key part of our sustainable society.


Boomers: Retirement impacts

April 3, 2011

Pumpjack on Prairies

Stats Canada projects in the next decade about 30% of the Canadian workforce will retire. In my industry alone, oil and gas, it will leave about 40,000 job vacancies. This is without the impact of oil prices and activity levels.

Virtually ever other industry including small business will be impacted by the boomers leaving the workforce. Now it will give younger persons starting out great opportunities, but most of the rookies in the workforce need about ten years to build experience to the levels of those workers leaving. This results in a knowledge gap.

Some of this knowledge gap can be filled by hiring the boomers back as consultants on short term basis. Most boomers don’t want to quite cold-turkey anyway it seems. Many of my friends who have retired out the door ahead of me are back working part time. Great opportunities for all generations it seems.

Suggested Reading:

“Severe labour crunch forecast for oilpatch as workers retire”, by Dino O’Meara, Calgary Herald, March 29, 2011.

“The Decade Ahead 2010-2020”, report by Petroleum Human Resources Council of Canada, 2009.


Avalanche

March 15, 2010
Avalanche results. Photo Jeff Bassett/CP/Pool

This past weekend in Revelstoke, British Columbia the “Stupids” were at it again.

A mob of snowmobilers were out on a snowpacked mountain in the Rockies “extreme high marking” . This involves running a high-powered machine up a steep hill turning on the top, or as high as they make it. Then they rocket down the hill to the bottom. This is a prime way to set off an avalance.

In this case a 30 foot wall of snow and ice came barrelling down the hill sweeping away 150 machines and riders.

The final toll of two killed and over 30 injured, some critically, in the end appears fortunate. Fortunate that many more weren’t killed as a result of this foolishness.

The two men killed were in their thirties and left behind wives and young children. All this for an adrenaline rush. These men were intelligent, hard-working individuals. Why would they risk it all for a short-lived thrill. Now their families have to cope without them. Wives have no husbands and children have no father. I rest my case.


Canada 7, Russia 3 – Olympic Hockey

February 25, 2010

Canada goal on the way in

Hockey in Canada is a religion. Last night one of the heated rivalries Canada vs Russia played out, with Canada winning 7-3 to advance to the semi-finals. 

“They came out like gorillas out of a cage,” Russian backup goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov said.

Prior to 1998 pros were not allowed to compete in the Olympics, unless you were Soviet. They fielded a team consisting of their best. The players were all members of the military and paid to train and compete 24/7. This is how they circumvented the rules. 

In 1998 the NHL allowed its players to compete for their respective countries. This leveled the playing field and the Russian monopoly on the Gold Medal ended. 

The top two teams in Vancouver are Canada and the USA. It appears likely they will meet in the Gold Medal game later this week. The USA defeated Canada in the preliminary round, but lately Canada have found their game and are playing much better. It should be a classic game with all the ingredients for the best game to date. Stay tuned. Go Canada Go.


1968: It Was the Worst of Times, It Was the Best of Times

April 1, 2008

April 4, 2008 is the 40th anniversary of the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. He was shot at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. As this sad commemoration approaches I was thinking back on how in retrospect I now viewed this pivotal year.

Here are some of the key events that depressed me,
– The Vietnam War intensified, both the war and the protests
– Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated
– Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated
– Hubert Humphry got the Democratic presidential nomination without even entering a primary
– Richard Nixon got the Republican presidential nomination
– Richard Nixon won the presidential election
– Pierre Elliot Trudeau became prime minister of Canada

Ironically in the mountain town of Golden, British Columbia on a November day, the future love-of-my life arrived to brighten up the world. Fate or luck brought her to me in the future, so the year in fact turned out to be the best for me. It eclipses all other events for me. Life is so strange sometimes.
 


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