Posts Tagged ‘Joe Biden’

Biden is ahead of Trudeau on climate.

Friday, February 26th, 2021

Hey Joe, what did you think of the hypocrisy you got from Trudeau during your virtual summit on Tuesday? One of the first items of business when you became U.S. president was ending that Keystone XL pipeline that was designed to take Canadian bitumen from the Alberta tar sands to the Texas gulf coast tanker ports. Did the Canadian prime minister mention to you he is still twinning the TransMountain pipeline to take bitumen to the tanker access in the Burrard Inlet at Vancouver?

If you were really congratulating each other on your being environmentalists, Trudeau is letting the side down. Many of us in Canada are annoyed with him about that. He not only spent C$4 billion buying the 67-year-old pipeline that runs from Edmonton to Vancouver but cost estimates for the twinning of the line are now running at an additional C$12.6 billion. The government is hoping that they can get 20 years at least out of the dual pipeline with revenues of C$1.5 billion per year. (The company has signed contracts for this much.)

While everyone involved is proud of the performance of this old pipeline for so long, they are really stretching the envelope. The difference when you are pushing diluted bitumen through the pipes is that you are heating the bitumen and pushing it at considerably higher pressure.

But Canadians are not just concerned about the possibility of a pipeline leak and fouling of the fresh waters for the people of British Columbia and northern Washington State. The heavy traffic of ocean tankers through the Georgia Straits is an extreme concern for the orcas and other whales that summer in the area.

All we know is that the supreme court in Ottawa does not want any more appeals to stop the twinning of the pipeline. The appeals have failed us. The construction is in process. Short of laying our bodies in front of the construction equipment, there is little we can do.


Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

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Is it cruel to fool O’Toole?

Friday, January 29th, 2021

Is finance minister Chrystia Freeland deliberately fooling conservative leader Erin O’Toole? It seems like she has more important tasks ahead of her. Maybe she is forging ahead with her plans and ignoring what O’Toole has to say. He accuses her of ideological and a reckless budgeting. She might be one of the first liberal finance ministers to ever do that.

Her problem is that she has far too many claimants wanting a piece of the finance action. First, she has to budget for ending the pandemic with foreign-made vaccines and then she has to build a better country for the survivors.

The main difference between Freeland and O’Toole is that he thinks we should rebuild the country to where it was before the pandemic. Freeland believes we should build better.

We all seem to have our own idea of what this means. I am sure many of us would put the emphasis on raising our peoples to greater heights of achievement. We need to ensure each and every one of us of sufficient funds and opportunity to learn and to work at what brings us fulfilment.

But I also believe that if we have a few billions left over in this budget, we need high-speed trains to reach from sea to sea. High-speed electric trains are an ecological solution to the heavy pollution of planes and road transport. It means building new track beds and overpasses in every province of Canada.

And finance minister Freeland should make a point of talking about this to president Biden’s treasury secretary Janet Yellen. The U.S. is currently on the brink of building more high-speed electrified train service—if Biden can stop the political interference by those who want to continue the use of fossil fuels.

It looks like the use of fossil fuels is the main challenge to both Biden and Trudeau. They have strong and well-funded opposition. Alberta remains Trudeau’s nemesis and it will take a while for the average Albertan to realize that the future is in thermal energy from the earth not in tar sands that pollute so much. Biden made a good start by cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline. All Trudeau has to do is cancel the twinning of the TransMountain pipeline.


Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

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Trudeau’s chance to kill TransMountain!

Monday, January 25th, 2021

It’s no secret. If U.S. president Joe Biden can cancel the Keystone XL pipeline, why cannot Justin Trudeau cancel twinning of the TransMountain pipeline? The single line can still be used to ship fully refined petroleum products to the U.S. west coast states and to Vancouver.

We should face the facts that TransMountain has been a serious threat to the environment since it has been proposed that it be twinned to carry diluted bitumen from Edmonton to the Burrard Inlet. It is hardly worth it for Trudeau to think it would gain him up to two parliamentary seats in Edmonton. Canceling it, might just help him to keep some seats in British Columbia.

As I see it, a topping off ceremony for the twinned TransMountain pipeline will leave Trudeau unable to win a seat west of the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border. That seems like a damn silly waste of taxpayers’ money and bad politics, to boot.

And Trudeau should hardly worry about pleasing Albertans. Those voters already have a bone to pick with their premier over wasting $1.5 billion of their money on the Keystone XL pipeline.

Cancelling the TransMountain pipeline will also go a long way to helping ensure the survival of the Orcas and Humpback whales that summer around Vancouver Island. The first bitumen spill in the Straits of Georgia could spell the political suicide of Trudeau and the liberal party.

I keep wishing that there was someone in the cabinet who could talk some sense into Trudeau. It is just that finance minister Chrystia Freeland and privy council president Dominic LeBlanc are the only two members who appear secure in their seats at the table. I do not recall any time Freeland has spoken out on the environment. And maybe LeBlanc knows his friend too well to argue out about the environment. As it is, TransMountain remains the proof of the hypocrisy of Justin Trudeau about the environment.


Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

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America, we hardly knew ya!

Monday, January 18th, 2021

While some desperate Canadians still manage to flee south to escape our bitter winters, we have not been seeing Americans breaching our locked-down borders in any large numbers. American tourists used to come in droves for the pageantry in Toronto of our Caribbean festival and our gay days and maybe just a Blue Jays game. And you can be sure they always appreciated the savings on their greenbacks.

But our festivals of summer are but a vague memory these days. We have to watch reruns of Gilligan’s Island while Americans are having insurrections in Washington. Or should we refer to it as Fortress Washington?

The question du jour though is would we recognize an American? How can we tell them from Canadian conservatives wearing ‘Make America Great Again’ (MAGA) chapeaus? And what is this we hear about some 40 per cent of Canadian conservatives being fans of Donald Trump. Do these people really believe Trump was cheated out of the U.S. presidency?

Are these conservatives prepared to go to bat for their guy if U.S. lawmen and prosecutors decide to get even with the former president? Will they want to offer him sanctuary in Canada? Would many Canadians want to support that?

What is even more concerning is the question: Have Americans changed while we have been concentrating on the pandemic? Who is this guy Joe Biden and is he just another Donald Trump wearing long pants? We had a visit from him some years ago when he was Obama’s vice president. He knew which forks to use when at dinner.

And Biden has promised us that he will stop the Keystone XL pipeline. That might piss-off the hypocrites among our politicians. Tough beans! Those of us who care about the environment will raise a small cheer if Biden does it.

I guess we can wait and see if he wants to slap tariffs on Canadian imports to support his ‘Buy America’ ideas.  Maybe Canadians will get to know Americans all over again.


Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

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The old guy won.

Friday, October 23rd, 2020

Did I miss anything? I fell asleep late in last night’s debate. The only thing I feel confident about is that the old guy won. From what I saw, it was questionable as to whether anybody cared?

What was really questionable was who was behind those cameras last night? Why was Donald Trump better lit and slightly larger in that fixed double shot? He certainly had better make-up. He always has better make-up. Does he ever go anywhere today with out full make-up and his hair colored and lacquered to his head?

But does everybody really understand just what those guys were arguing about?  Donald Trump looked slightly healthier while opponent Joe Biden looked a little washed out. He looked more amused than confused when Donald Trump was trying to talk over the moderator.

Just once I wanted to hear a moderator tell the president of the United States of America to shut-up. It did not happen.

What puzzled me the most was the arcane arguments these guys were having over something to do with money. Is it okay to suggest someone is a thief if they are running for president?

With 40 million Americans having already voted, we know few of those people will want to change their vote.

With less that two weeks to election day, there is more to come. We know that whomever loses, there will be long-winded claims of cheating, voter suppression, foreign interference and multiple voting. It would hardly be an American election without these claims.

Though this is one American election where you really wish the majority of the public opinion polls were right. And, as they used to say at the end of a Star Trek episode: “Make it so.”


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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The shaming of America.

Wednesday, September 30th, 2020

The quality of entertainment in America has gone down hill. By no stretch of the term ‘debate’ does one refer to an opponent as ‘that clown.’ Despite this egregious error, former vice-president Joe Biden came out of the first contact with Donald Trump with his game plan intact and looking like a potential winner.

The moderator won the argument with Mr. Trump about the environment. This was the unexpected subject and one wherein Mr. Trump made few interruptions. Trump came across as defensive and ill prepared. He had been thrown off his game plan.

Mr. Biden had a few good zingers in his plan but was a bit off-stride in the early going. He did not seem prepared for just how far Trump would go to try to take the debate away from him. At first, no subject was safe.

At one point it appeared as though the former vice-president was prepared to walk out on the debate. That would have been pointless and proved nothing. It would have helped Mr. Trump.

And there was no point in making the case that Mr. Trump was a rude and ignorant opponent. That was there for all to see.

It will be interesting to see the drop off in viewers of the next two debates.

But I cannot see anything helpful in beating on this event.


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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A man and his ideas.

Tuesday, April 14th, 2020

Bernie Sanders has taken himself out of the race for the democratic nomination for president. He left his legacy behind. The Vermont senator is probably tired but he can be very proud of what he achieved. He left most of the pundits, arguing about the policies on which presumptive candidate Joe Biden will have to run on this fall and the future of America’s democratic party.

All the party is focused on at this time is making sure presumptive candidate Joe Biden defeats incumbent U.S. president Donald Trump. It has little to do with any strong showing by Biden. It is more a choice of what Sanders was proposing that can carry the day. If Biden, for example, forgets a government run, universal health care system, the voters might, in turn, forget him.

It is the same with the proposed minimum wage. If there is one idea that all voters can understand, it is having a minimum wage that is also one on which people can live. Sure, the republicans can rail against this socialism all they like but voters who are motivated by the idea are more likely to vote than voters who do not care.

Biden’s greatest problem is in bringing out the younger voters. He has to motivate them with ideas not the picture of him in the White House. Much is being said about the geriatric candidates for the presidency but ideas can bridge that age gap. Besides, it is not an argument at this stage. The two major party candidates for president will both be in their 70s and it is a little late to do anything about that.

It was amusing the other day in reading some e-mail threads of conversations on the American side of my family. The writer was proposing that candidates for president should only be between 35 and 65 years of age. And here I had always considered the requirement to be at least 35 was highly discriminatory. And now they want to also discriminate against seniors?


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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