Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Big news day

In addition to the exciting story in the TJ quoting yours truly and focusing on New Brunswick blogs, there were a lot of stories in the NB press that caught my eye as well as one from the Globe & Mail.

1. The Telegraph-Journal and the Daily Gleaner both report that Fredericton MP and former cabinet minister Andy Scott will seek re-election to a sixth term in the next federal election. It also states that Bernard Lord will not be a candidate against Scott.

2. The TJ reports two top NB Power executives were let go this week, the announcement came from Tory appointed president David Hay, who had a rocky relationship with the Liberals when they were in opposition, and it is unclear whether this is a government-led, Hay-led or joint effort. In any event there is some hillarity in that apparently the crown corp's spokesperson is on holiday and her voicemail directs calls to one of the two who were fired. Whoops! Interestingly, other than Hay, these are the only NB Power executives who came from outside of the company.

3. Wide reportage on the new Self-Sufficiency Task Force today. In what is becoming his trademark style, opposition leader Jeannot Volpé managed to overlook substantive lines of attack to go for the nonsense line instead. Volpé screams that Francis McGuire, who isn't being paid, and Claudette Bradshaw, the former labour and homelessness minister and head of Moncton Head Start, are examples of patronage where "Mr. Graham ... giving back some money and prestige to some people who were on the bus during the last election." I roll my eyes. I guess baseless attacks of supposed patronage are better than Bernard Lord's claim during the election that New Brunswick thinking of being self-sufficient was as realistic as him thinking of joining the PGA Tour.

4. The Gleaner reports that the Tories are pouring money all over Atlantic Canada this week with announcements from all three regional ministers in all four provinces. Greg Thompson is doing announcements in Moncton and Fredericton, Peter MacKay in Charlottetown, Halifax and Antigonish and Loyola Hearn somewhere in Newfoundland and Labrador on Thursday. I smell a writ, as we say, in an election year, if it moves pave it, if it doesn't, hire it.

5. UNB has risen from 26th to 25th out of 50 in terms of research dollars in Canadian universities. When you note that 16 of the 24 schools ahead of UNB have medical schools which draw in money UNB could never hope to see for research, that is not bad. UNB is, in that vein, 9th out of 34 schools that don't have medical facilities.

6. Education Minister Kelly Lamrock muses that there may be big changes coming to immersion programs in New Brunswick schools in the wake of test results that show fewer than half of immersion students can speak French at the level they are meant to.

7. The Globe and Mail reports that Stéphane Dion is "no fan of nuclear power". His exact quote is "as long as I have not received a convincing strategy for the waste, I am not able to look Canadians in the eye and say, 'I'm comfortable with the waste,' I will not recommend it." I think that nuclear power, though not ideal is the answer. It is the cleanest, in terms of production, and the safest countless studies have shown. If the alternative is running 1000+km power lines that will lose half of their power in transmission or smog creating coal plants, I don't see why were aren't embracing nuclear. To me, nuclear power is the easiest way to reduce emission and combat climate changes, I have never been able to understand environmentalists who oppose it. The Canadian Shield - massively unpopulated solid bedrock - seems like a safe place to store the waste, at least until science finds a way to dispose of it.


Anonymous said...

Reality has a harsh way of imposing on 'theories'. The canadian shield is hardly even being proposed. Two years ago, the Globe reported that two fishermen who got stranded basically walked right up to the nuclear waste stored on the bruce peninsula. The chain link fence was already open in many areas and there weren't even signs posted.

In a terrorist world its pretty irresponsible to state that nuclear is 'ideal'. Far from it, and there's a reason nobody does it unless they have to.

With Canada being the size it is,with the population base and looking at research dollars its clear that bureaucrats have it all mapped out. PEI is up to providing 5% of its power from ten windmills that are located in one field of about ten acres. Perhaps Dion will finally get some funding that PEI has been begging for.

New Brunswick has even more wind availability, plus more solar and tidal resources, none of which are even researched in the province.

Conservation and enforcing R 2000 homes go a long way, as well as high efficiency wood stoves, none of which are even considered legislatively. As mentioned at another blog wood pellet stoves also are able to burn corn pellets, providing yet another resource, which once again isn't even discussed.

Of course the REAL environmentalists aren't wasting time debating it, they are rapidly moving 'off the grid', showing that it is not only possible, but highly desirable.

That, in a basic nutshell, is why environmentalists aren't 'on board' nuclear and aren't likely to be. If readers didn't understand before, hopefully they do now.

nbpolitico said...

The proposals that I am aware of and support involve putting the stuff one km under ground, fisherman would not be walking up to that.

Anonymous said...

"Proposals" are not reality, we might as well talk about how nuclear is the best way to go because we can load all the waste onto rocket ships and blast it into space. It's a nice 'proposal', but try getting support for nuclear power based on it and you'll be up against the wall.

Regardless, I'm simply stating WHY environmentalists deviate from nuclear power. It's fairly easy to understand-pollution: bad, radioactive pollution: worse, radioactive pollution with a 10,000 year half life: worse.

nbpolitico said...

In my view that attitude is short sighted. If we stopped doing everything that had been done erroneously in the past then there would be a lot of fine things in this world that never existed.

Anonymous said...

Actually, its the opposing view thats short sighted, and had people been looking at renewables from the get go, there are a lot more fine things that would still exist, and far MORE undesirable things that wouldn't. Like I said, virtually nobody says "lets go nuclear because ITS THE RIGHT THING TO DO"-they say "we don't have any choice". As the world becomes a more dangerous place who do you think will be paying for security? The province of course, since the feds have no jurisdiction over energy. In a province bleeding red ink even with the largest federal transfers in almost a decade that's hardly 'long sighted'. New Brunswick is a tiny province with relatively few people, those measures I mentioned above would not only supply the province's power, but provide more to sell. That doesn't even include methane, which Vermont farmers are now supplying to their grid thanks to legislation. Whenever somebody says "we have to do this NOW", then you KNOW whats short sighted.