November 20 2019
BY DENNIS ATCHISON
Dear Rest of Canada,
Sometimes there are advantages to being a little province which few know about – except if you are already east of Quebec. British Columbia has its mountain barrier … we have Quebec.
But that may be a good thing. While the rest of you dicker about Alberta wanting to either control the national economy with their particular oil needs, or, to heck with Canada and their taking their oil and staying home … we New Brunswickers have enough of our own to fuss about.
So … the second sitting of our Legislature opened today (Nov. 20 2019) and its historic in many ways because for the first time in a hundred years we have a minority government … a four-way minority government! Of course, you don’t know about it because something like that in a place like this would never earn any national media attention.
In lots of ways today’s Throne Speech was the same old blah-blah-blah on health care and fiscal responsibility and education and such. Oh yeah, and there was some attention to floods, but it was about how to “mitigate” flood damage … nothing about how to stop the cause of the flooding. Scientists identified years back cutting down all the trees up north for wood products and agribusiness (I'm looking at you McCains) was going to mess up Fredericton and Saint John and all the smaller towns downstream on the Saint John river due to all the run-off.
Of course, there was absolutely nothing about working on equal ground with First Nations.
Meanwhile, we learned this week that our provincial power utility (NB Power) lost millions in investment to a company called Joi Scientific - $13 million to be exact. The brain trust at NB Power, headed up by a fella named Gaetan Thomas, bought the Joi sales pitch that claimed they could turn seawater into hydrogen to create “the world’s first zero-carbon grid”. Of course, as many pointed out if this were true then it is worthy of a Nobel Prize in Physics, as it breaks the law of thermodynamics energy cannot be created or destroyed … only transformed in a closed system. But Thomas bought the claim, “…the process generates "200 per cent" of the energy put into it.” (CBC NB May 13 2019).
Along with this fiasco Thomas wants to invest in Small Nuclear Reactors (SMR), and implement a smart energy grid despite having a three year history of projects “coming in over budget (on) average 41 per cent” (Daily Gleaner, Nov. 18 2019)
For all his good work, Thomas has been inducted into the New Brunswick Business Hall of Fame just last month.
Canada and Alberta … you think you have problems! Gheesh.
There is more … there is always more … but for now let’s just get ready for the snow.
Bye for now from New Brunswick … be good.