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.

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.

Save STC – SaskParty Ending Rural Transportation System

In a shocking turn of events, it’s been left to the NDP to defend the interests of people in rural Saskatchewan. This is something that would not have been predicted ten years ago, when the NDP name was mud outside of Regina and Saskatoon for having closed hospitals and schools in many small communities. Now, the SaskParty government is selling off STC’s assets to private companies, destroying a critical transportation infrastructure that has been in place for 70 years.

About 200 people gathered over lunch hour in Regina at the new STC Bus terminal, to tell the government to stop the closure. Guest speakers include City Councillor Andrew Stevens. Andrew was on the Morning Edition to explain the ridiculous cuts to the Cities.

No Environment? No Problem. Blue Dot Doesn’t Sway #YQRcc

There are times when I get very disappointed with our City Council about their lack of leadership and failure to do the right things. Instead of passing Councillor Fraser’s motion to recognize a healthy environment and please the citizens involved with Blue Dot, the Council deferred the question to the City’s lawyers and financial planners. It’s obvious who really runs this city, isn’t it?

Councillor Hawkins dares to make this unfounded claim:

The gall to claim that, while delaying unequivocal support of the Blue Dot message, is staggering, frankly.

Apparently the legal and financial ramifications of Blue Dot are paramount, while the environmental considerations take a back seat for the majority of Regina’s Council. This isn’t the case in at least some other Canadian municipalities.

In October 2014, Richmond was the first city to adopt the Blue Dot Declaration, and since then, more than 100 other municipalities have done so.

Surrey has now joined that list and according to the group, there are more than 1,000 supporters of the Blue Dot petition in the city.

Meanwhile, south of the border…
Flint, Michigan had its water supply poisoned by decisions of municipal and state politicians to ignore and then cover up unsafe water being used in their pipes. It’s clearly a crime to poison a city with lead in their water. Society has agreed it’s a crime because it makes people sick, and suffer to deprive them of potable water. It was a crime justified by “financial considerations”.

UPDATE:

Wind and Solar To Grow in Saskatchewan

More details are set to be released by SaskPower on Monday, but it will take quite the investment. Currently, only a quarter of the province’s energy is drawn from renewables, mostly wind and hydro. Geothermal isn’t used at all, nor are there any large-scale solar operations.

Only about 400 homes and businesses in Saskatchewan use solar as a back-up energy source. One of those users is John Klein in Regina, who had panels installed in April. In the summer they produced “as much power as the home was using,” though that’s dwindled as the sun sinks lower and days shorten.

The panels were quite the investment — around $8,000 after a rebate — but Klein is confident they will have paid for themselves in a decade or so.

Renewable energy advocates have long pointed to Saskatchewan as the ideal place for wind and solar power — we’re sunny, we’re windy, and we have a whole lot of space. With a similar climate, North Dakota has managed to up its wind generation to 17.5 per cent of all in-state generated electricity.

We could build an industry in Saskatchewan that has a future after oil.

Alberta’s bound to be more ambitious than our Sask Party government when it comes to reducing air pollution.

Here are the stats for my solar array in Regina. As you can see, the lower angle of the Sun in November clips neighbours’ trees a fair bit, and a power pole shadow even gets in the way a little bit.

It would be useful if SaskPower and the Prov’ Gov’t put as much public consultation into this plan as they did for the UDP. There were people during the UDP calling for a Renewable Energy consultation that “could be just as biased” toward renwables, as the UDP was toward nuclear power. We’re going to need the province’s best minds working on this solution to the government’s objective of 50% in 15 years, and also the input of people who don’t understand the problem very well so they can learn more about it and come to understand the solutions.

Brad Wall On “Sustainably Developing Our Energy Resources”

Brad Wall says “…we need to do better in terms of more sustainably developing our energy resources…”

Unfortunately what he means is he wants to find ways of ensuring fossil fuels and uranium come out of the ground at an increasingly profitable pace, no matter the world’s demand/need for such things.
Greg Fingas views it as such, too.

He notes that oil pride goes “Before the fall”. (Although technically oil prices have already fallen.)

The government’s climate change policy works like this: extract every last drop of fossil fuel then pray to God that no one uses it.” – G. Monbiot
I’ll add that they hope no one uses it, so long as someone first buys it. Perhaps we need to consider if the economic system is capable of delivering what Wall says he wants for our society.

I wouldn’t have as big a problem with the SaskParty’s development of Wall’s favoured energy resources if they also put money and thought into doing a better job of sustainably developing our energy resources – all of our resources, like wind, solar, geothermal, and hydro.

“It (coal/oil) employs people right across Canada, indirectly and directly. And yes, we all hope that fossil fuels will one day not be needed, but in the meantime they are — 2013, 80% of the world’s energy was, came from fossil fuels, after all of the world’s projected climate change measures are done by two (zero) thirty five (2035), the number’s 57%.”

It’s 57%, if we as a species fail to avert climate change. If our political leaders make an effort to save us, then it can be less than 10%.

“Coil, coal and oil, will still be a part of, it makes a big part, more than half of the mix of generating energy.

We have a chance as a country to play a big part in that, in terms of reducing the carbon footprint of energy development. We should be a little prouder than we are of the resource, and understand that programs like equalization and all the rest are funded by a strong economy and in our country a big part of a strong economy has been energy.”

Proud that Saskatchewan is a world leader in carbon pollution per capita? Wall’s right that Saskatchewan has a chance to play a big part in reducing the carbon footprint, but he’s barely begun. Aside from the billion tax dollar giveaway to Cenovus at the SaskPower CCS power plant, he’s spent insignificant time/money on wind or solar energy resources.

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