Burn­ing is­sues.

The McLeod River Post - - Front Page - 7KH 0F/HRG 5LYHU 3RVW

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.

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