The Provincial Animal Welfare System: Providing protection for the canary in the coal mine?


city_scope_logo-cmykWith a pair of high-profile St. Thomas court cases in the past couple of years dealing with abuse and neglect, this week’s announcement the province is proposing a new animal welfare system is encouraging news for animal advocates.
The legislation was introduced Tuesday (Oct. 29) by Solicitor General Sylvia Jones and, according to a release from MPP Jeff Yurek, “includes the strongest penalties ever in Canada for people who violate animal welfare laws and a more robust enforcement system.”
No specifics, however, are contained in the release introducing the Provincial Animal Welfare System (PAWS) Act as to what those penalties may be.
“Ontarians can be confident that the government is proposing a system that will protect animals,” assured Jones.

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Can courtesy prevail over confrontation on council?


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Launch into a debate last Monday on a proposed code of conduct for city council and those involved are poetry in motion. Best behaviour all and let courtesy prevail over controversy.
Why, anyone tuning in for the first time would swear a code of conduct would simply be superfluous.
Well, call up the track record of the past three councils – and several current members have sat on all three – and you’ll discover a litany of indiscretions.
How about a bogus address for at least two aldermen who were not residents of the city. At least two aldermen never declared a conflict of interest on numerous items of council business dealing with hockey and a local industry.
Then there’s the matter of hockey tickets as compensation for sitting as a board director and the current squabble involving aldermen Lori Baldwin-Sands and Cliff Barwick.
And speaking of the latter, the deft puck-handling that allowed the former mayor to assume the seat held by the departed Sam Yusuf a year ago will not be forgotten by many of the electorate come the October municipal election.
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Return of CAO enhanced by promotion of city clerk


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After seven years of doing without, St. Thomas will re-establish the position of chief administrative officer at city hall with the appointment of clerk Wendell Graves to the post, effective April 4.

Read full announcement here.

It’s a move this corner has endorsed for at least a couple of years, to the chagrin of former mayor Cliff Barwick and more than a few faithful readers who have questioned the move to promote Graves into the office without a full-scale search.

He is more than qualified for the CAO title, he’s proved himself a key asset to the city and the financial implications will benefit city ratepayers.
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Why the wind power industry could be the greatest scam of our age


Erie Shores Wind Farm

The most glaring dishonesty peddled by the wind industry — and echoed by gullible politicians — is vastly to exaggerate the output of turbines by deliberately talking about them only in terms of their ‘capacity’, as if this was what they actually produce. Rather, it is the total amount of power they have the capability of producing.

In Ontario, the mostly dismal daily performance of wind farms is documented here . While today, March 2, has been a productive day with output running above 80% of generation capability, March 1 figures are truly bleak, with nearby Erie Shores in Port Burwell contributing literally nothing to the power grid for much of the day and climbing to just 30% of its rated capability for a mere two hours.

Days like that are more the norm than the exception.

The second great lie about wind power is the pretence that it is not a preposterously expensive way to produce electricity. No one would dream of building wind turbines unless they were guaranteed a huge government subsidy.

What other industry gets a public subsidy equivalent to 100 or even 200 per cent of the value of what it produces?

The third great lie is that this industry is somehow making a vital contribution to ‘saving the planet’ by cutting our emissions of CO2 – it is not.

Read full story here .

McGuinty has led us all down the green energy garden path


Guest editorial from Ross McKitrick that appeared in the Stratford Beacon Herald. Original piece can be read here.

Anyone remember the Sprung Greenhouse fiasco? In 1987, Newfoundland Premier Brian Peckford attempted to boost local employment by subsidizing the building of a massive hydroponic greenhouse operation that its inventor, Philip Sprung, said would turn the province into a world leader in green produce. His plan had failed in Alberta, but in Peckford he found a gullible partner willing to abandon common sense and start signing over other people’s money.

During the construction phase the premier pointed with pride to the hundreds of jobs apparently created. Meanwhile the province kept signing cheques and promising that cucumbers and economic renewal were on the way in equal measure.
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You can thank Dalton McGuinty for feeling warm and fuzzy about your St. Thomas Energy bill


From the Toronto Star, original article can be found here

Ontario’s Liberal government is forcing utilities to tout the 10 per cent electricity discount on hydro bills every month for the next five years, the Star has learned.

Over the next few weeks, millions of households, farms, and small businesses will begin receiving the new “Ontario Clean Energy Benefit” on their monthly hydro bills.

The measure is designed to offset an expected 46 per cent increase in electricity costs in the coming five years.
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A mistake to link emissions reduction and job creation to the province’s electricity system


Ontario has so far approved thousands of green energy contracts, ranging in size from a few solar panels on the roof of a family home to industrial-scale projects, in which they agree to pay several times the going electricity rate for periods of up to 40 years. It has also signed a controversial $7-billion deal with a consortium led by South Korean giant Samsung that includes a massive investment in wind and solar electricity. The hope is that all the spending will seed a new green energy industry in Ontario (all projects must source a percentage of materials locally), creating some 50,000 new jobs in the process.

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