SaskPower Misinforming The Public About Solar Power

In honour of the solar eclipse on Monday, SaskPower shared what it’s been saying about solar power for many years. The problem with reusing years-old information about technology, is that sometimes you get things wrong due to advances in the technology. There should not be so many factual errors in SaskPower’s communications with the public. It’s a sore point for me, because it’s so critical that people understand the capabilities (and true limitations) of renewable energy technologies. Only by changing how we power our electrical grid and daily lives, can we quickly leave fossil fuels in the past to reduce damaging climate changes, and health problems from emissions.

I’m one of those 400 #solar energy providers to the SaskPower grid. It’s known as Net Metering, because the net electricity used, at the end of a year is billed to me, but any generated above equality is kept in SaskPower’s favour.

Photons, not IR/heat is collected from light, & is converted into electrons (electricity). Heat causes additional resistance / lower output. Telling people otherwise could convince them that seasonally cold Regina isn’t a great place for solar, when it’s actually a top location in the world!

As you can see from my examples, SaskPower has some explaining to do, about the [mis]information they’re sharing on their Twitter feed. I worry what else they’re telling people, that’s as inaccurate.

ADDED: Sent this to SaskPower. I’ll let you know what they do to correct the record.

“SaskPower shared some inaccurate information on its series of tweets during the solar eclipse. Will SaskPower correct the record, and tweet correct information about solar power from this point forward?
https://johnkleinregina.wordpress.com/2017/08/22/saskpower-misinforming-the-public-about-solar-power/

Please let me know when SaskPower issues corrections, and I’ll update my article.

Thank-you,
John Klein”

“Thank you, your inquiry has been submitted.

A SaskPower representative will respond to your inquiry shortly.”

Council Fears Access Without Fear 

This is an excellent summation of the inexplicable vote at Council on Monday night.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Council Derails “Access Without Fear” Motion Despite Widespread Support

After little debate, Regina city councillors derailed discussion on the “Access Without Fear” motion at Monday night’s council meeting by passing a motion referring it to other levels of government. The Access Without Fear Motion, submitted by Councillor Stevens, would have committed the city to ensuring that all of its services could be accessed without fear by newcomers and longtime residents alike, regardless of their immigration status.

Members of Access Without Fear Regina, a grassroots group that campaigned to support the motion, are surprised that councillors failed to approve the policy given its overwhelming support among Regina residents. Over 30 organizations, ranging from the Regina Professional Fire Fighters Association to the Regina and District Labour Council and University of Regina Students Union, had endorsed the motion, with a collective membership representing over 60,000 Regina residents. Thirteen delegations, including representatives of organizations and immigrants themselves, spoke to the urgent need for the policy. There was no delegation that registered to speak against the motion. Seven letter of support from community organizations were also submitted as part of the agenda; no letters opposed to the motion were received by council.

The brief debate over the motion ended when a motion by Councillor Bryce to refer it to higher levels of government was approved. According to Emily Eaton, one of the organizers of the campaign, “Clearly councillors failed to understand the motion, which dealt exclusively with municipal services. It’s difficult to make sense of why they would refer a motion about municipal services in our city to other levels of government.”

“By sending the motion and our testimony up the chain to the federal immigration minister, they are betraying the spirit of the motion, which is to protect the privacy of newcomers,” said Mirtha Rivera, who spoke in support of the motion and came to Regina as a political refugee from Chile following a military coup in 1973. Rivera was also frustrated by how councillors responded to the stories of torture, sexual violence, and political persecution shared by delegates. “Following presentations by 13 speakers, Findura likened our fear of deportation and abuse to his fear of snakes,” she said.

Eaton said “it was shocking to see the extent to which councillors seemed to willfully ignore or neglect the evidence presented, despite months of research, consultations, and policy development. Councillors had direct input in the language and intent of the motion before it was submitted, but at the meeting misconstrued its substance.”

The reality of fear facing community members with precarious status will persist while council bides its time with last night’s decision. Access Without Fear Regina intends to continue advocating for a safe, healthy, and inclusive Regina where all residents are entitled to dignity and security. /

Regina’s Forgotten Mode of Transportation

Dear Editor,

Last year’s Leader-Post article “New stadium to encourage move away from cars”, on July 28, 2016 indicated the City of Regina’s plan to build a Multi-Use Pathway (MUP) from Downtown, to Confederation Park.
“Those without wheels (or only two) aren’t being forgotten.”
Turns out, people on bikes were forgotten, and the reporter was misled. The MUP was never built. I asked the City about it a couple weeks ago. The administrator didn’t know what I was talking about, and they took 2 weeks to confirm they’ve shelved the idea, without giving a reason. It remains advertised on the Regina Revitalization Initiative (RRI) website as I write this. In what appears a cruel irony, the City was just awarded a Federation of Canadian Municipalities grant for sustainable infrastructure related to the RRI.

I’ve never been very pleased with the RRI Stadium or Railyard projects. I suffered through the megaproject bluster for years to give the City a chance to deliver on its promise of revitalizing the area and improving it as they advertised. For them to shelve, rather than build, the safe bike route promised, is the last straw. It was a bait-and-switch swindle.

Imagine the City got you interested in a mega-project with the promises of a new stadium to be built Downtown, with a dome, and food and drink services for the advertised price, but then didn’t deliver on a word of those promises. You don’t even have to imagine, to know how I feel. I feel cheated.

Comparing Regina Transit to STC

This article from less than a year ago is jarring, in relation to what the SaskParty actually did to privatize STC quickly without an election held to obtain a mandate to do so.

STC Safe from Privatization

STC saw revenue — from passenger and express parcel business — rise to $18.5 million in 2015-16. That compares with $16.6 million in the 12 months of 2014.

The annual subsidy, or grant, given to STC was $13.25 million in the 2015-16 operating year. That compares with $10.3 million in the 12 months of 2014.

Still, that means STC covers about 62 per cent of its operating expenses, and “in the public transportation industry, these numbers are very favourable,” Grice wrote in STC’s annual report.

By comparison, Regina Transit’s fares bring in about $10.8 million — or 28 per cent — of the system’s $35.66-million operating cost, the city’s 2016 budget says.

STC’s “public policy role” is cited several times in its annual report, released Thursday.

“Maybe it should be labelled as a utility,” mused Campeau

Wow, these numbers and comments expose the lies and incompetence of the Wall government’s “Meeting the Challenge” austerity budget of 2017.

Start our own Bus Service?

Stop The Cuts held a press conference yesterday to highlight the SaskParty Government turned down federal money for STC.

In response, the incompetent and callous SaskParty Government said, “[I]f Stop the Cuts is interested in starting its own passenger service, we would encourage them to make the appropriate application to the Highway Traffic Board.”

We had our own service, it was called STC.

There’s a good economic reason why a co-operative or private bus company isn’t going to operate a successful bus service in Saskatchewan. The geography is too vast, and it requires the resources of a government to operate, much how free healthcare cannot be provided by private healthcare offices. To have a higher standard of living, we cannot depend solely on the private sector to deliver services that lose private owners money when they offer equitable service to rural Saskatchewan.

Regina has its own bus service called Regina Transit. However, it’s limited by a bylaw [provincial law instead perhaps?] preventing it from operating beyond 25km of the city limits. It would also need to obtain STC coach buses to operate a successful and profitable service to Saskatoon and Moose Jaw.

From Regina Transit’s Route and Scheduling Analyst:

Regina Transit is a municipal system for use by the residents of Regina. Under the Highway traffic bylaw we are not allowed to travel outside the city limits more than 25 KM. Our buses also aren’t geared for highway travel but rather geared for lower city speeds.

Regina Wins Award For Mediocrity

City completes planned project in under a decade. Wins award from local board that was less inspired by literally everything else (not) happening.

In a province where the SaskParty leads, this is what can happen:

It’s not a bad project, just not award-worthy. And I’m concerned RCE will give Councillor Hawkins another chance to justify calling Regina enviro-friendly. To give an example of how not friendly Regina is toward our environment, some of our latest bike parking infrastructure was installed in the 1990s (and is removed each Winter to inconvenience Winter cyclists). More recently a small rack showed up in front of Vic’s Tavern.

Continue reading

Regina Budget Re-do

Check out Jim’s presentation, he asks important questions and City Council dodged every single one of them.

And if you haven’t had enough input from the ecological perspective, check out my presentation with a long list of ideas to save money, and reduce pollution. I even include a new revenue stream for the City to start up.

Tomorrow night City Council votes on raising your taxes, and if they don’t listen to people, they’ll end our Lawn Bowling history, put fees up at the Airport, make it more difficult for people to depend upon the bus, and pave more of Wascana Park for cars.