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Opinion

Oh For Truck’s Sake – a KinderMorgan Story

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  • By Cory G. Litzenberger, CPA, CMA, CFP, C.Mgr – President & Founder of CGL Strategic Business & Tax Advisors (CGLtax.ca)

    Say you have a 1953 F-100 pickup truck. It has a 110 horsepower V8 that still works fine. You’ve done regular maintenance and repairs, and you have fixed it repeatedly to keep it on the road, but the job it performs just isn’t enough anymore to meet the demand of your customers.

    The old truck isn’t what it used to be. You can’t accelerate as fast, can’t get to where you want to go as quickly, it costs more to run, and the towing capacity isn’t what you need to be at full efficiency.

    To most people, the truck is a classic, and many would see it as something worth saving and restoring. Now, you aren’t willing to part with it just yet either, but you know that in order to keep your business running you can’t continue with only this old truck.

    As a result, the time has come for an upgrade, so you can continue operations. The new model has an engine with over 400 horsepower, better fuel efficiency, new technology, more safety features, and can easily meet the needs of your business and the needs of your customers for many years to come.

    There is only one catch.

    You can’t easily get the truck.

    The Canadian government is requiring you to have permits, licenses, and approvals before getting the truck.

    Then once you get them, the BC government is saying that you shouldn’t have been approved to get the truck.

    While you patiently file all papers and deal with all legal proceedings, there are now protestors and politicians blocking any route you try to prevent you from getting the truck.

    Meanwhile, you keep using your old truck and see your competitors starting to get new trucks in other jurisdictions and start shipping to your customers while you still patiently wait for your own new truck.

    But now the time has come to do something.

    If you don’t get your new truck soon, you will have no choice but to go get your new truck somewhere else or you could lose a lot of business.

    You aren’t asking for money, you’re just tired of being patient. Your business depends on it, and the delays preventing you from getting the truck are threatening your business.

    All you want is for the protestors to move and the governments to stop changing their minds, so you can have the truck.

    So what does the government decide to do to help you?

    Instead of removing the protestors and sticking to the approvals already granted, they will buy your old truck and bring in their own new truck to compete against you instead.

    Say goodbye to something that has been working for you for 65 years, and say hello to your new competitor.

    So instead of helping your business, they are telling you to leave it behind and go somewhere else.

    Now at least you’ll have the money to put towards that new truck you want, except now you not only have to do it elsewhere, you now have another competitor also getting a new truck, and still has the old one that you were going to use to help pay for the new one.

    If this were you, would you ever want to come back to Canada?

    Personally, I would enjoy my new truck somewhere else and never look back.


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    Opinion

    3 wards for the city based on federal and provincial governance models.

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  • An interesting proposal has been suggested for our municipal governance that is modeled after the provincial and federal electoral system.
    Federally we have Members of Parliament (MPs) and one of them is also the Prime Minister. Provincially we have Members of the Legislature (MLAs) and one of them is also the Premier.
    Federally our fine city is divided into 2 electoral districts or ridings both federally and provincially, so we have 2 MLAs and 2 MPs, and anyone could also be our Premier or Prime Minister, or Speaker, Cabinet Member, or Opposition Leader.
    Back to our city’s governance, we elect 9 people currently, 8 councillors and 1 mayor for 1 electoral district. The idea being suggested is 3 wards, 3 councillors each with 1 also being the mayor.
    Population wise and geographically 3 wards would be fairly easy. Using the last municipal census. Approximately 1/3 the population lives east of 30th Avenue so that would make an easy boundary and approximately 1/3 live north of the river, another easy boundary. The other 1/3 would be south of the river and west of 30th Avenue. Easy and already done.
    Now, why would we consider 3 wards over governance of a single entity?
    Look at thhe history of the wards, the services offered, crime rates, return on investments and you can see the reason.
    The east of 30th Avenue ward has, 3 high schools with plans for 2 more, has the Collicutt centre with a recommended site for the next multi-use aquatic centre, 2 emergency services location, and a pickle ball court centre.
    The north of the river ward has no high schools with no plans for any, the Dawe recreation centre, YMCA, and 1 emergency services centre.
    The other ward has 1 high school, 1 college, downtown recreation centre, museum, tennis courts, Michener pool, Westerner, Kinex arenas, curling rinks, a proposed cultural centre, hospital, multiple emergency services to name but a few.
    So it is easy to see the rationale behind and the appeal for a ward system as our city grows in a manner favourable to some and not to others. 3 wards with 3 councillors each and 1 of the 9 would also act as mayor. It works provincially and federally and it would make councillors responsible and accountable for any continued disparities, right?
    It is an option. Just saying.


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    Opinion

    Will Red Deer finally get a seat at the adult table? Do we want a seat at the adult table?

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  • Opinion by Garfield Marks

    “Red Deer needs a Cabinet Minister“, says the Chamber of Commerce. Yes the fact is we need a seat at the table, but do we have a politician worthy enough to sit at the adult table?

    Yes, I believe we do, at least 2. For far too long, Red Deer has been electing invisible politicians, seat warmers, trained seals, caricatures of what we think we want as politicians. People representing in some shallow way what the population wanted, perhaps we want invisible politicians. But that is not what we need.

    The subject came up due to the recent Provincial election but it is the same in all 3 levels of government. Federally, too like Provincially there is a cabinet table that makes the decisions and sets directions and implementation but there is a somewhat cabinet like table municipally, involving a few people including city manager, mayor, downtown reps, developers and others, that kind of set the game plan, at least in my opinion.

    This came up over coffee one day, started when someone asked who decided to spend almost a million dollars of our taxes on a piece of art off 32 Street saying “Welcome to Red Deer”?

    The hypothesis is that there is an inner circle or small group, not city council, that decides what, where and when to do anything in this city. Which subdivisions to build as we seem to be opening up new subdivisions every year while we have trouble filling the ones already on the market, means there must be at least one developer at this table.

    The question remains then about whether the citizens of Red Deer want a seat at the adult table? Do we accept just paying the bills as our only role?
    We spend millions and millions of dollars every year on politicians, for what? Photo ops, ribbon cuttings, welcome speeches and to vote as they are told by the members at the adult tables.

    Will we get a Cabinet Member from Red Deer? I think we might but just 1 at the Provincial Cabinet level, because the table is small and Red Deer is not seen as a major player needing to be heard. As for federal and municipal tables that is not even on the horizon. Just saying.

    The views in the above story are the opinion of the writer’s. 


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