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How $4.7Billion could have been better spent in Alberta

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The number of 4.7 billion dollars has been flying around in Alberta recently for different reasons.

The most common relevance of $4.7 billion was the often touted tax give away to large corporations which was used to beef up reserves, increase dividends, bonuses, or buy back shares but did not increase jobs as it was intended. Tens of thousands of jobs have been lost since the tax give away was announced.

If this is to be believed then each and every Albertan paid out $110 for big corporations benefit at the cost of more jobs.

The less commonality of 4.7 billion is the extreme cost of remediation and/or clean up of 77,000 abandoned wells. Not the environmental costs of abandonment, but the remediation and clean up of the abandoned well.

The costs are said to cost between $20,000 and $61,000 per well. So if we go with $61,000 times 77,000 abandoned wells it would cost $4.697 rounded off to $4.7 billion.

Premier Kenney wants the federal government to pay the costs, protect the environment and create jobs for Albertans after giving the same amount of money to some of the same companies who were profiting and abandoning the wells.

We also have on the books, 90,000 inactive wells which could become abandoned if we don’t take actions, now. That could be $5.4 billion hit in the near future at today’s estimates.

There is some resistance and resentment from Canadians and even some Albertans. That 4.7 billion that went to already deep pockets could of created jobs for Albertans and protected the environment.

Why did we not address these wells when we were in boom times? These wells did not pop up overnight, they have been around for up to half a century. Who is to blame? Who was looking out for Albertans? Apparently it wasn’t the big oil companies or the governments.

Perhaps it is time to hit the rest button?

Political editor/writer and retired oilfield supervisor

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When a $708,000 building permit is only worth $176.70.

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red deer city hall

The city reported total building permit values for November. It made many sit up and take a second look.

For example a $708,000 building permit for building a stage for Rogers Hometown Hockey really means temporarily assembling a stage with an arbitrary value of $708,000.

The city did not spend $708,000 building a stage but they did collect $100 for the permit and $76.70 for the completion report.

When you look at the $11.5 million in building permits announced by the city for November you could assume that there would be $11.5 million in construction to be done in the next year.

Not if the permits cover items like temporary assembling of structures for events.

Including such items I believe inflates the value of actual building permits. In this instance it was a double edged sword as it inflated the total value but created concern of value for money if the city had spent $708,000 to build a temporary stage.

The value of the release also gives us insight to government hypocrisy or the possibility thereof.

Another permit is for $1.2 million for Alberta Health Services to renovate their Administration Offices. This during talks of rollbacks in pay and lay-offs for front workers and nurses.

$1.2 million would pay for a lot of nursing.

Governments of all levels manipulate their reporting and sometimes it comes back to haunt them, like this one.

 

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Kipp Scott’s Top 7 Winter Car Care Tips

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Getting your winter tires put on is something we generally think about as a way to prepare our vehicle for winter weather but is that the only thing you can do to avoid being in an accident this winter?

Here are 7 tips to help you keep your vehicle in top-notch condition this winter:

1. Make sure you check your wiper blades. Wiper blades usually have a lifespan of a year; however, it is always recommended to get a new pair for the winter months.

2. Check your battery. Batteries have a harder time operating during the winter months than they do during the summer. If your battery is already weak during the summer, it could quickly could turn into a dead battery as soon as the temperature drops.

3. We put antifreeze in our cars for two reasons – one is to keep the engine from overheating and the other is to protect the engine block from cracking during extreme cold.

4. For every 10 degrees of temperature drop, tires will drop 1-2 pounds of pressure. It is important to keep your tires within the recommended PSI to maintain traction, handling and durability.

5. Wax the Headlights and the Taillights! Unnecessary little detail? Think again. Did you know that the slippery surface which results after waxing the lights makes it less likely for an icy coat to build up on them? This helps make it easier and quicker for you to clear your car after a night-long snowstorm and, also makes your vehicle more visible to other drivers.

6. Windshields get dirty very quickly on those wet wintery roads and you can go through fluid very fast. Make sure you top it up regularly and have an extra jug on hand, in case you run out.

7. Use full synthetic oil. Synthetic motor oil’s main reason for working so well in the winter is because of its abilities to withstand the extreme temperatures. The chemical makeup of synthetic oil makes it much less likely to congeal or freeze up.

Our highly qualified technicians are always happy to provide you with exceptional service in a timely manner. Allow them to demonstrate our commitment to excellence –

Call to book 403.343.6633 or book your appointment at kippscott.ca

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december, 2019

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