Connect with us
[bsa_pro_ad_space id=12]


My gas guzzling, CO2 spewing car is the least penalized and taxed option, even with the carbon tax.


I am looking at last month’s bills and was surprised at a few items.
First did you know that last month the average temperature was 10 degrees cooler than the same time a year earlier?
Looking at my home heating bill, I pay different rates at different times, I used in total, 30 gigajoules of energy (29.92), 10gj (10.1)at 1.99 and 20gj(19.82) at 3.18. For a total of $83.13 in natural gas.
The carbon levy is huge, don’t get me wrong, at $45.39 or 54.6% of the cost of gas, but that is only the beginning.
Administration fees-$7.62, Rider Z-$2.55, Rate Rider-$28.98, Municipal Franchise Fee paid to Red Deer-$27.27, GST-$12.31, Delivery charge- $51.35 for a total of $175.47 in extra fees.
So my $83.13 in natural gas to heat my home during a cold period cost me $258.60 in total.
So for every dollar in natural gas I use it cost an additional $2.11 in fees.
So I pulled out my electricity bill. I used 654 kilowatt hours of electricity or $43.78 in energy.
I do not see a carbon levy on my bill and yet we still burn non-renewable resources like natural gas and coal to provide electricity, do we not?
I do see an Administration Charge- $7.24, Distribution Charge- $20.84, Transmission Charge-$26.03, Balancing Pool Allocation- $2.07, Rate Rider Credit of $3.07, Local access fee paid to Red Deer of $6.22 for a total of $103.11.
So for every dollar in electricity I use it cost an additional $1.36 in fees.
So in one cold month I used $126.91 in electricity and natural gas to run my house which I do believe is a necessity, but it cost $361.71 in total for all the hands in the pie.
My fuel bill for my vehicle, because it was cold and I was lazy came to $169.35 for the same period and of that I think $7.50 was for the carbon tax. $23.70 went to Federal taxes, $34.50 went to Provincial taxes. I am approximating because it isn’t broken down on my bills. So for every dollar in fuel I use in my vehicle it cost an extra $0.53 extra in fees. Throw in the costs of delivery and marketing fees of $0.37 and gas still comes to $1.90 which is less than $2.00.
A dollar worth of natural gas cost $3.11, a dollar worth of electricity cost $2.36 while a dollar worth of fuel cost $1.90.
So the cleaner the fuel the more expensive in fees it is. A car running on natural gas incurs the greatest cost in extra fees, an electric car, would incur less fees than natural gas but more than a car with an internal combustion engine.
So even with the Carbon Tax, my gas guzzling, CO2 spewing car is the least penalized in fees.
What is my incentive to go green? Another 5 cents on a litre of gas?


Red Deer’s population grew by 195 since 2015






In the four years since 2015 Red Deer has grown by 195 residents or less than 0.2% in 4 years.

Timberlands grew from 1834 residents in 2015 to 3038 residents in 2019 or 1204 residents, for a growth of about 66% so where did we lose all our residents? Let us look at the neighbourhoods north of the river.

Residents living north of the river in 2015=32,005, 2016=31,228 and finally 2019= 30,576 for a total decline of 1,429 residents.

Let us break it down;






Highland Green……3896.…………….3920.……………4065

Oriole Park…………5200.…………..…5244.…………….5300

Riverside Meadows..3423.…………….3686.…………….3810




So it looks like we just relocated residents from north of the river to new subdivisions like Timberlands. In an age where we are trying to limit our footprint Red Deer expanded our footprint faster than our population growth demanded. New neighbourhoods require infrastructure ($), schools ($), sewers ($), water ($), roads ($), transit ($) etc.

30,000 plus people live north of the river down from 32,000 plus 4 years ago, but still a large community. I wrote about this very topic in 2016 and was given the brush off by many in city hall. One city councillor suggested that I have more children to populate the north side.

The issue was not taken seriously in 2016 and again in 2019.

I wrote that Lethbridge would overtake us and become the 3rd largest city in Alberta, and they did.

I dove deeper to see what was happening in local neighbourhoods and found that the north side of the river is being decimated and annexing or new neighbourhoods are fuelling our growth.

People keep telling me it is the provincial economy that is preventing growth. Lacombe grew by 7% last year, Blackfalds has seen record growth, Penhold, Sylvan Lake and the county grew in the same province, so I discount that theory.

My thinking is perhaps more closer to home. The other communities invested in their residents. New recreation complexes that required per capita investments that dwarf Red Deer’s by huge margins, up to 100s of percents.

Red Deer has neglected the residents north of the river. For every dollar they spend north of the river they spend 20 south of the river. No high school north of the river with 4 current and 2 planned, south of the river.

If the city could just bring their culture from 1980 to 2020 then maybe we will not lose so many residents from north of the river. It is time to stop neglecting the residents living north of the river.

Start investing in substantial recreational facilities north of the river after years of building so many south of the river. Build the next aquatic centre north of the river, build the next school, especially high school north of the river.

For the whole city the powers that be need to wake up, and invest in it’s residents. It has been said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. It is time to wake up, what the powers that be have been doing has not worked, the census proves it, it is time to do things differently.

No I am not having more children, councillor.

Continue Reading


Politicians focus too much on the wallets of the few.



We welcome opinions from our readers like this one from Garfield Marks of Red Deer, AB.

According to the Ethics Commissioner, Trudeau broke ethical guidelines on behalf of a big corporate entity, SNC-Lavalin, and as expected, it appears, everyone is calling for his resignation. I am confused, but hasn’t almost every politician of a major political party, for the last few decades, been advocating breaks for big corporations and the top 1%.

Didn’t Alberta elect a Premier who had to pay an ethics violation fine when he was a federal cabinet minister? Does he not lead a party who had issues with electoral fraud, kamikaze candidate and members issued $75,000 in fines by the ethics commissioner, due to actions during their leadership race?

Was it not a conservative government that supposedly just gave a $4.5 billion tax break to businesses? Was it not a conservative government that was supposedly lowering taxes for the top 1%? Was it not a conservative government(s) that was cutting services to everyone else to pay for these tax breaks?

Here in Alberta was there not lots of promises of jobs to rationalize billions in tax breaks for corporations only to find out that Alberta then subsequently lost 14,000 jobs in July alone?

I am not saying that Trudeau’s actions pressuring the Attorney General to give a deal to a big company is okay, but don’t they all do special deals for big corporations? Don’t we as tax payers subsidize the oil industry, cow tail to unions, pay homage to gun manufacturers, serve the auto industry, and placate the wealthy? The average voter just pays for them.

My wallet sure feels those political fingers. My costs keep going up, while my income hasn’t kept pace.

My mind has tuned out the politicians, and their desire to woo the rich and big corporations, and my heart is focused on the future, and my family.

Scientists and engineers have made great discoveries and given me some great things like cars, computers, cell phones and medical break-throughs but these same non-partisan intellectuals have also made huge unsettling discoveries, and given me causes for concern.

Issues like climate change, reminiscent of second hand smoke, are concerns to our health and our lives but are not given the same level of regard as tax breaks for the big corporations.

Second hand smoke was a major health care cost but tax breaks for cigarette companies and tobacco growers were the demands.

There is an election this fall and here in my riding there is no contest, as the conservatives will win, then become a seat warmer no one hears about, till the next election. My concerns will be ignored, my wallet will get thinner to placate the more well to do.

I do think it is about time to move on from focusing on the wallets of the few and focus on the health of the whole community. The person or party that can convince me that their focus is on the whole, for the future and not on big corporations and the wealthiest in a realistic manner, will get my support and vote.

Will my wallet survive the next election? I hope so, but I cannot be certain. I am worried we might get a Trump-like Prime Minister out of protest and the climate crisis will be pushed back and my wallet will be front and centre for political fingers for another few decades.

Is there another option?

Continue Reading

august, 2019

tue06augAll Daysun29sepHot Mess - Erin Boake featured at Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery(All Day)

sat24augAll Daysun25Fort Normandeau Days(All Day) Fort Normandeau, 28054 Range Road 382

sat24aug10:00 am12:00 pmRed Deer River Naturalists Bird Focus Group Walk10:00 am - 12:00 pm MST Three Mile Bend Recreation Area