The Blue Collar Creed

We the unwilling,
Led by the unknowing,
Are doing the impossible
For the ungrateful.
We have done so much for so long with so little
We are now qualified to do anything with nothing

by Larry Wall

Friday, December 18, 2009

My Girl Friday

With the blistering cold we've endured all week, I figured it was time to bring My Girl Friday back.
A little warmth goes a long way, eh?

Peace brothers and sisters.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

How Green Should We Be?

These days are quite interesting as we hear so much about reducing our carbon footprint. With the United Nation Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Premier Stephen Harper trying to defend the Alberta oil-sands project and the sale of NB Power to Hydro-Québec, there is lots of information swirling around. Needless to say I find it disturbing that while every other country are looking towards a coalition of New Brunswickers are basically rejecting green energy.

Last week, Yves Ganon, holder of the K.C. Irving Chair in Sustainable Development, suggests that we could replace the Hydro Quebec factor with a full scale wind-development strategy with a potential wind-generated electricity of 4,000 megawatts. Mr. Gagnon has been a longtime supporter of this vision and although I agree that this is something we could see in the future it is not, however, the solution to NB’s problem right now. Another great idea is building a turbine like generator in the Bay of Fundy. These two ideas are both good green energy substitute. However, one problem the New Brunswick government is facing now is the upcoming lack of funds. By being already so deeply in debt and more than $2 billion more lurking on the horizon in upcoming refurbishment, how could the government invest in these other green ideas and survive?

I have heard lots of comments from the NO to Sale of NB Power site about waiting 15-20 years and we can reap the benefits. But in the meantime, will the province survive? Even at a minimum of 15 years, how many industries will up and leave because of high electricity rates? How many people will up and leave because of no jobs? We need to increase our population now, not in 15 years. New Brunswick is not the first province to sell their energy sector and Shawn Graham isn’t the first premier to think of it. He is however, the first to make a stand.

What is an important aspect the Hydro-Québec-NB Power deal is the fact that it is hands down, a better green energy initiative for the province right here, right now. I honestly believe this deal is a good one for New Brunswick, now and for the future. This is the time where we should be as green as we can be.

But that’s just my two cents worth

Monday, December 14, 2009

Let’s Get Ready to Rumble...

Well like I said before, there’s always something happening at our provincial Legislature. Last Thursday, Cy LeBlanc, lost his head when the Vice-Speaker of the House Bill Fraser amended a motion to close the House before David Alward could put forth a point of motion. It all started when Min. Mike Murphy made the statement along the lines that the only thing bulls, steers and the opposition leader have in common is what they spread in the fields. Mind you, this insult has been flying back in forth in the House a lot during the last week. I actually know a few people that do work at the Legislature including reporters. Needless to say my reporter friends were absolutely salivating at the news that some “lost it” in the House. Thing is, the House is a place of utmost respect. The rules are imperative to keeping order and respect at all times. And following the Robert’s Rules of Order “provides common rules and procedures for deliberation and debate in order to place the whole membership on the same footing and speaking the same language.”
One of the first rule is stated as;
“Obtain the floor (the right to speak) by being the first to stand when the person speaking has finished; state Mr. / Madam Chairman. Raising your hand means nothing, and standing while another has the floor is out of order! One must be recognized by the Chair before speaking!”
Fact is Min. Murphy had obtained the floor first, had presented a motion to dismiss the House because it was 6 p.m. and Mr. Alward did not like this. Standing and pointing at Mr.Fraser and said; “You are going to pay for this.” He then proceeded to storm out before Mr. Fraser (another no-no) which led to Cy LeBlanc taking a few steps towards the vice-speaker before being grabbed and retained by his peers in the fashion of a hockey fighting teammate. He let loose with a few profanities that rhymes with duck and was escorted by other Tory members to their backroom.
You think they would have realized enough was already done. My sources told me, David Alward, Jeannopt Volpé (another hothead) and Margret-Ann Blaney went to the Speaker’s Chamber to confront the Vice-Speaker, the Speaker as well as two clerks. This was confirmed on Friday in a scrum featuring Stuart Jamieson.

The Tories also held a scrum the next day to which both David Alward and Cy LeBlanc denied every and all accusations. Tsk, tsk. If something could have been used as a guideline on how to handle such personal debacle, I believe it would David Lettermen’s little embarrassing episode of a few months ago. He basically came out, admitted he was wrong and slept in the bed that he made. “Point fini!” The whole thing disappeared from public view in a few weeks, unlike Tiger Wood’s total amnesia to his flings of the last 10 years.

Point is, we are all human. We all make mistakes. Admit when you make them and move on. I am not surprised by Cy LeBlanc’s antics. I described Carl Urquhart last week as the Homer Simpson of the Tories. But the man is a lovable goofball. He is real and a former hero cop. Nobody can take that away from him. LeBlanc is the court jester; he’s not funny, can’t speak either language and doesn’t respect the House and is not respected in return.

These actions were of very bad taste and I believe a very black mark on the Progressive Conservative Party of New Brunswick. It was a lack of class, of respect and of common decency. The House is organized to be civil but open and it is not a place for common self-importance and harassment.

That’s my two cents worth.
Peace brothers!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Open Mouth, Insert Foot.

My, my, never a boring day at our Legislative Assembly. Yes, I am going to comment on Tory MLA Carl Urquhart but I have a point to make, of course. First and foremost I need to say I was pleasantly surprised that the York representative was on Facebook and that he takes time to answer questions himself. But I don’t know if David Alward think thinks the same way. Yes, its true, Urquhart made the post on his Facebook page after Tuesday's budget that called for another massive deficit.
"Girls we need more babies or we will never be able to support our future," he wrote.
Here's the link;

Liberal MLA Joan MacAlpine-Stiles brought him to task and he apologized but was it an honest apology or a ultimatum by his boss? I also heard him on CBC with Terry Seguin this morning and almost pissed the bed when I heard Homer Urquhart trying to explain to Terry exactly what was going through his head at that moment. Carl, what were you thinking?

Funny thing is Margret-Ann Blaney and Madelaine Dubé, both strong women’s right supporters, had absolutely nothing to say about the whole thing. Now, to suggest to New Brunswick's young women that their only role in society and their only contribution to the New Brunswick economy is to have babies is demeaning and outdated thinking, especially since the last two governments have well promoted equality for women and rightfully so.
Well although, Urquhart did face the music. He rose and said he didn't mind apologizing, and withdrew "whatever MacAlpine-Stiles was offended by.”
But during Question Period, Urquhart's remark was brought up by Premier Shawn Graham and asked Opposition Leader David Alward to correct him on two occasions and again later by House Leader Mike Murphy on a point of order.

Now, the next thing I want to bring up is that Homer Urquhart was ranting and raving about how NB needs more people and he is absolutely right. But isn’t that what the Graham government is trying to accomplish by selling NB Power to Hydro-Quebec?
The Premier has stated over and over, that the population of New Brunswick needs to grow. That’s why the Liberals are continuing to invest in economic stimulus. Lower power rates and lower taxes for industries will bring in more businesses. More businesses means more jobs, more people and better lifestyles. At least the Liberals have looked farther than their first four year mandate and had vision enough to look towards 2026. Vision enough to understand that NB Power has grown too big, and in the wrong direction, for New Brunswick to operate. Vision enough to realize that the whole of NB Power includes its crumbling assets.

As for Homer, well he said he may not post comments on Facebook as much from now on. I think that might be a good idea for the friendly Tory MLA and I am sure David Alward agrees.

Well that's my two cents,

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The masses are enraged...but are they right?

I have visited the NO to Sale of NB Power site and joined up so I could take part in their discussion. I started off with this;
“I heard about you guys but I never thought you were that far off the map. Lol”
Two hours of back and forth conversation did little to enlighten me about their views. Most of the members are ill-informed and tend to listen to the ones who are speaking the loudest. When they run out of questions they start with the insults. They’re egging each other on, boasting each other that they are right.

Here’s a few gems from the conversation;

Richard McNamara - “We have seen this type of stuff before, ignor it.”
Peter Hanlon - It's kind of funny that the majority look at these comments and think that the ones like what Stan just made are "off the map". This should be removed as it offers no arguments or information relevant to the issue. Stan come back when you have something to offer.

In fact I was removed from the site twice. lol Well he asked, so I decided to give him some facts.
Stanislav Renkosovich (me) - You want fact Mr. Hanlon? How are we going to pay off the debt and pay for all the upcoming refurbishment needed to keep NB Power afloat? NB Power loses money every time they fire up their fossil fuel generators. Dalhousie had a cheap fuel deal at $22 a barrel which ends in July 2010. Fuel is now going at $80 a barrel. HQ has more customers in Montreal than NB Power has in all of NB....

Stanislav Renkosovich - NB needs population growth if it wants to go forward. They lowered taxes for industries and now would be offering lower rates. More jobs will attract more people.

Stanislav Renkosovich
Quebec has among the cheapest residential and corporate power rates in North America. Their fuel is water. If this deal means cheaper power for NB, then why not explore?

Stanislav Renkosovich
Fossil fuel generators are on their way out, they will be dismantled almost everywhere because of environmental issues

Stanislav Renkosovich
NB Power employees will keep their jobs, collective agreements will be honored, pension plans will remain the same, and jobs will remain here in the province. What's wrong withat?

This is what I got in response.

This guy was actually willing to engage. But again, he failed to show me anything plausible to the cause other than the status quo.

Jeremy MacDonald - "How are we going to pay off the debt and pay for all the up coming refurbishment needed to keep NB Power afloat? "
How about using the long term revenues those refurbishments represent to pay the debts?
We fix Point Lepreau. That investment represents 25-30 years of revenues. Why give it away and ignore its future potential?

Stanislav Renkosovich - Ok, 25-30 years of climbing rates, no growing, and more people leaving the province. I don't think we could survive honestly.

Stanislav Renkosovich - They are talking about rising rates at 3% a year. That's 15% rate hike in 5 years. Some people have trouble paying their rates now what are they going to do in 5 years?

Jeremy MacDonald - How many people have trouble paying rates now?

Jeremy MacDonald - I was asking you.
You make a statement of "Some people have trouble paying their rates now what are they going to do in 5 years"
My question is how many people are affected in this manner.... See More

Stanislav Renkosovich - Well I have friends in the Dalhousie area that are really to have a hard time now for sure. They already have rough winters to start with. Seniors, welfare anybody who make under $25,000 a year is having problems.
So what different solution? The government is already offering tax breaks for making houses more energy efficient. and giving out more handouts is not a solution anymore.

Here is my list of winners. Dealing with these members is utterly hopeless. These are the sheep of the flock. Give them an answer and they just don’t get it. The words go in one ear, bounces around and comes out of the other ear in Chinese.

Michel-Mickey Parent - they need to create job in Dalhousie, not to cut them back
And how do we do that Mr. Parent?

Craig O'Donnell - "Stanislav Renkosovich?"... ROFLMAO... Well, the Liberal trolls' boring message and tactics aren't changing, but at least the phoney names are getting more original..

Craig O'Donnell - Canada east, eh Jeremy?... No surprise he's posting there.... I wish he would at least post a picture of a Cossack prince (or princess, whatever) or something for his profile...
Was part of the conversation, I

LOL. Talk about bringing nothing to the table.

Al Harper - Government renovation program is great for those that can afford to renovate, however those on fixed incomes who have problems paying their power bill are also unable to afford to renovate kind of a catch 22 situation.
Seems as though stan borrowed someone elses name and has since removed it. (Like I said, I was booted off the site)
Ignore them and they go away eventually, or press them with the facts like Jeremy for example and you tend to get the same result

Facts? What facts?

Barbara Sweeney - Stansilav do not begin to speak on behalf of the people of dalhousie. I have a far greater understanding of the economic well being in that area and losing 1.6 million in tax revenues will be causing an increase in tax bills, water bills and all other associated costs. This deal will not benefit them but only harm them.

Another expert in her own mind, fact is Dalhousie’s plant was going to shut down no matter what.

Greg Cook Sj - Big is not always better. The same industries that have left NB have also left PQ. Some of us have heard just about enough about the "trickle down" theory. Some of us have been trickled down just about as far as we're willing to go.

And finally, Mr. “I want it my way and that’s it” Cook, …sad really.

Anyway, it was interesting while it lasted.