I’m going to start off local, the plebiscite in Calgary delivered a resounding “no” for the city bidding for the 2026 Winter Olympics. I must admit I was surprised. Nearly everything I had seen or heard on the TV and radio seemed to represent a “yes.” Whether that was because only “yes” voters were willing to go on the record for the media or perhaps on a darker vein there may have been, let’s just say, possibly a less than willingness for “no” voters to get airtime in some of the media. Think of all the cash that goes with Olympics.
If I had a vote, I think I would have voted no too. I think the IOC (International Olympic Committee) is a tarnished brand with all the corruption and cheating not to mention the huge expense it’s little wonder that it’s tough to get cities to bid for games. I think the IOC must have a major rethink or risk extinction. Maybe nations bidding and sharing the games out over several cities with existing facilities?
Anyway, the people of Calgary have spoken and even though the vote is non-binding on the City Council I cannot see it reversing the decision.
Cenovus have publicly asked the Alberta government to step in and limit oil production. I really can’t see that flying. Some companies are doing very well from the Canadian price deferential and getting the provincial government to regulate, which it could, is fraught with problems, not least the trading relationship with the U.S. I’m afraid there is likely to be more pain ahead for some of our energy companies as supply exceeds demand and the price continues south. There will probably be more corporate and personal casualties as the market adjusts to a new normal not to mention a big hit on government royalties. The market may have to adjust several times.
There is an agreed Brexit divorce deal between the UK and the EU. Prime Minister Theresa May has squeaked it through cabinet amidst resignations and now faces the uphill struggle of getting Parliament to agree. I don’t think the EU are going to budge on this, taking a political/ partisan/personal stand against it, I think, is futile. I see three options, the deal goes through, which is not perfect for either side, the deal fails and there is no deal, which could mean the government falling and chaos, or another referendum, which is politically toxic. I think former Prime Minister David Cameron was ill advised to call the vote and having lost it should have remained to see it through. All that said, there are times when the good of the nation must come first. I think this is one of those times. Sadly, I think partisan and personal ambitions may be the wrecking ball, we’ll see.
The wild fires in California are appalling and the death toll seems set to rise. Is this a precursor of what we can expect? I don’t think there is a fire department in the world that can stop monster fires driven by strong winds. FireSmart is OK except it needs doing on a massive scale and no sooner have you finished one area you have to start again on one you’ve already done. Prescribed burning needs looking at right quick in my opinion. It’s all very well having regulations about the smoke and such but do wildfires take any notice? How about no. Better to have six days of smoke than six weeks and the terror that goes with it. Thinking out of the box and into the future maybe we could have robotic workers and machines out in the forests and clear-cut areas collecting the slash and the fuel around communities? Maybe for power generation. These days I don’t think that’s out of the question.