Archive for August, 2011

The purpose of this particular blog post is to create some discussion and perhaps have some new ideas thrown out. Nothing in here is guaranteed to work and is just my own personal ideas I have come up with in an attempt to discover how to best protect the people of this province if fracking does go ahead.

I have been doing some research on fracking. My personal research has not been aimed at how safe is fracking but instead on how to best alleviate the common issues.

Taking the common scenarios that are discussed i have been looking to see what options can be done to create the safest possible option.

For one there has been some discussion that there are safer ways then fracking that will still allow the gas to be collected. This is something that I have not found information on but would like to research further, however the main issue I am looking at here is how to safely contain most spill type issues.

First I look at stand flow back overflow. My suggestion to fix this has apparently already been used by one company. The idea is to build a tub to catch the overflow so it can be safely disposed of.  Build a floor 1 foot thick 200 feet on each side of the well head with a 3 foot high concrete wall whose only entry point is over the top (no doors or low spots in the wall) this will basically form a container to hold overflow (at least up to 480 000 cubic feet of overflow.

Second issue and this is major is the H2S blow back (sour gas) which can be deadly at very low concentrations.  Now some research has shown that H2S can be disposed of through a process called the “Claus process” to create elemental sulphur and water and I would expect this process could be harnessed as well to produce electricity.

There are definitely other issues that as of yet I have not managed to determine ways of improving such as disposal of fracking fluid and maintaining the integrity of the concrete casing to guarantee no contamination. Neither of them have i seen or heard a plan that makes me completely comfortable at this time.

These techniques would also need to be regulated into place as it is unlikely that a fracking company would be willing to spend the additional funds to make these major safety and environmental adjustments.

The single most vital thing when trying to improve an economy is to attract solid viable businesses that will take advantage of your skilled labour and bring value to your region.

So tell me why does this province insist on hyping ourselves to call centers. Why does the province insist on touting our low employment costs, instead of marketing our skills. Why when it markets our areas of expertise does it ignore the biggest region with that expertise and instead pull the businesses to areas that are not as solid (example: we tout ourselves for our bilingualism, however instead of drawing companies to the Miramichi region which has a large francophone and bilingual population and low employment, we target these companies to the big cities where the francophone and bilingual populations are less and employment is higher)

Now we start with a return to the old plan. Allow only the rich elite to attend post secondary institutes. Oh, they don’t say that is what they are doing but they are, this parental contribution decision forces many who would otherwise attend a university or college to pass up this opportunity due to the inability of their family (regardless of what Alward thinks) to actually meet the mandated parental contribution.

This amounts to what I see repeatedly out of various conservative governments, a serious attempt by the government to dumb down the population. Why this would continually happen is beyond me, why the government insists on making it more and more difficult to achieve serious educational opportunities is truly bizarre but history definitely does repeat itself.

Whether the Cons hope that by dumbing down the population the electorate will continue to keep voting themselves into power is a good question. There is a basis for this belief when you look at the believed voting trends on university campuses across the country during the last federal election, where it was believed that a significant portion of the student voters cast their ballots, either with the NDP or the Green party moving to leave the traditional parties behind.

And this trend may be what is causing fear in the minds of the Cons. Younger, educated individuals are starting to turn in large numbers to the alternative parties perhaps leading those in power to fear that if the size of the group grows it could damage their entitlement to the halls of power. And, since the government can not do anything about the numbers in the younger generations, it is instead trying to curtail the educated portion, hoping that by doing this it will help them maintain their vice grip hold on their entitlements.

By reducing the numbers of students seeking higher education Alward and company are showing the companies that would look to higher these educated students that this is not a province that is interested in doing business with them. This means these companies are instead setting up shop in other provinces and drawing the lower number of educated students that are here to leave in the hopes of finding good employment (i.e. not call centers).

Our efforts at attracting educated students is so poor that as a province we are bringing in foreign trained doctors, and we have to almost kidnap them to make them stay in this province.

We as a province should be encouraging more post secondary education. We should be working to try to find ways to get adults without a post secondary education, an opportunity to get one.  And most importantly we should be doing everything in our power to make the brains of our province our most valuable asset.

This government, and the preceding liberal one, has been doing everything in it’s power to make sure that instead of making our province the best and brightest, it is chasing our best and brightest away.

I know when I was younger I was seriously disadvantaged by the parental contribution laws that existed back then, as my parent’s did not have near the funds required to provide their parental contributions, regardless of what the government said should have existed. And no we did not live beyond our means, we got by and were comfortable, but one car, small house, no major frills, no Disney vacations. It was not waste that made it unavailable it was unattainable expectations by the province and a serious attempt even back then to dumb down the population.

Rising Food Prices Are a Created Problem

This problem is universal to most agriculture however I will focus on Milk because it is the latest and most common issue.

Milk prices are too high there is no question. When such a high price is placed on such a dietary necessity people tend to stop using it, and therefore open themselves up to illness.

This problem is artificially created by a group which controls the amount of milk a farmer can sell. This means that a farmer can get say 10 liters of milk from one cow but if the board says he can only sell 1 then he needs to cover all of his expenses from that one liter instead of spreading it across 10 litres.

Now there are two reasons why these boards like to maintain these quota systems.

  1. Control. These boards want absolute control over the farmers that are required by law to sell their products through them
  2. Greed. These boards by limiting the amounts of milk that each farmer is allowed to sell, then charge a huge fee for selling it for them.

While the boards in charge of Milk and other agriculture may actually be designed with the intent of helping the farmer properly market their product, what happens is that by placing these artificially low quotas in place it means that it limits who can make money and as well forces the price of milk up when in fact a looser quota system would make it easier to recoup costs at a lower price then we presently pay.

This type of quota system also makes it difficult for those who are considering farming in one fashion or another to actually accomplish this.

We need to abolish the quota system in this province to allow every one the opportunity to get all of their product to market and as well to allow prices to drop because the costs of production can be spread across a larger quantity of product. Also as an addition if the price does drop, people who have given up or reduced their consumption of these products will return to using them and so increase the demand.

The Quota system that is presently in place in this province is driving producers out of work and forcing prices artificially high. It reduces the interest of people in farming, it reduces the possibilities of making a living while farming and it is damaging to the health of consumers as it prices it out of reach for those who do not have larger pay checks

The Hidden Truths About the Minimum Wage Hike

All sorts of small businesses are complaining that they will be put out of business by a 50 cent increase to minimum wage. The problem is that while this is partly fear mongering to start with it also accounts for only some of the minimum wage earners in this province.

There is a good number of employees of larger companies that are making minimum wage or extremely close to it. Factory work, large retail stores, big box stores and various other companies that under no circumstances could be considered “small business” are taking advantage of a low minimum wage to maximize their profits while often looking for handouts and lobbying government to keep costs low.

This minimum wage hike is not about making life difficult for small business. It is about making sure people have a chance to make a living at the best job available to them and in many cases that is a minimum wage job.

We keep talking employment numbers and there is a simple truth that jobs keep going away. There is a big lie going on though and that lie was made by both the liberals and the conservatives. They both subtract the number of jobs lost by the number of jobs gained and toss out one quick number. This is wrong.

What they are not telling us is that the jobs that we are losing are generally higher paid, long term jobs that are being replaced by minimum wage, short term part time jobs.  What they are doing is saying we lost 1 full time job paying 25$ an hour that was held by the same person for the last 20 years and replaced it with a 10$ an hour 10 hour/month job which is normally held by one person for a maximum of a year before they quit or are fired. They are telling us that these two jobs are equal. They are lying. These may be the extremities of the situation but they are also the general reality of what is going on in this province and yet the liberals and the conservatives both see fit to tell us that one job is equal to any other job and we are supposed to buy this deceit.

We need this guaranteed minimum wage hike because this person who was making 25$ an hour for the last 20 years has skills in one field only and is no longer hireable because he is over forty and is no longer a viable long term employee. Therefore he is now going to be stuck at a minimum wage job  for an extended period of time to make ends meet until something else comes up (or an out of town job offer takes him away). If you doubt this an issue ask any of the ex-CN rail shop workers from Moncton that took years to get back anywhere close to where they were before the shop closed (unless of course they followed the company to the western province shops).

It is time for Alward to get off the pot and actually fulfill ONE of his commitments, I know and understand that this will be something new for him and I understand that perhaps the completely foreign territory of meeting his commitments may seem to be completely unparalleled for the conservative party however it is time he did the right thing for the underprivileged in this province.

I know it is a dream, I even understand that putting this dream into words may make people interested in finding the dealer that sells me what ever makes me think this is possible.

But the truth is the people in this province deserve a government and a leader who actually has the integrity to keep his promises when he makes them. It is time to start now. It is time for the people of this province and the people that supported him in this last election to demand that Alward starts to meet his commitments or step down.

Blog Changes

Over the last while I have been posting along three different political levels (provincial, Federal, and municipal) and I have been doing this all from a single blog.

I have found this to be confusing and extremely difficult to follow and so I have chosen to split my blog into three parts.

The links can be found along the sidebar however in general the links are as follows:

  1. Carl Bainbridge (New Brunswick Provincial Politics Blog) or this blog.
  2. Carl Bainbridge (Canadian Federal Politics Blog)
  3. Carl Bainbridge (Moncton Municipal Politics Blog)

 

I am also creating new feeds for each of the blogs as well to allow them to be followed in feed readers. There is also a separate Network Blogs link for each to enable them to be separated by people who are only looking to follow on part of my political interests and discussions.