Posts By Justin Weaver

Sask Energy gouging taxpayers

Regina, Saskatchewan, April 12 — The Green Party of Saskatchewan (GPS) is outraged that SaskEnergy is gouging taxpayers not once, but twice. GPS Leader Victor Lau notes SaskEnergy generated a profit of $73-million last year. Lau says the profit would be acceptable if the natural gas Crown Corporation wasn’t also asking for a rate hike that will see the average natural gas bill rise by $28 per year per household. “SaskEnergy is gouging taxpayers, not once but twice. Clearly earning a huge profit is not enough for the company.” Lau points out that the profits earned should be enough for SaskEnergy to get by on. “This rate increase is absolutely ridiculous. Perhaps the provincial government should stop raiding the Crowns and let Sask Energy reinvest their enormous profit to keep our energy rates low.” Lau also says, “If SaskEnergy was a Crown Cooperative, every Saskatchewan user would have received a dividend cheque of more than $73 each.” The GPS supports the conversion of Crown Corporations into Cooperatives.

Come on out to celebrate Earth Day at Victoria Park!

Saturday, April 20, 10:00 a.m.  –  Victoria Park, Regina

Come celebrate Earth Day and hear an update about the future of the 1.6 million acres of community pastures Ottawa returned to the province. Speakers will include:

  • Trevor Herriot   Spokesperson for PPPI
  • Laura Stewart   Environmental Consultant
  • Jim Harding   Retired Professor of Environmental and Justice Studies
  • Victor Lau   Leader of the Green Party of Saskatchewan, the “Third Party”

GPS Leader challenges uranium sale as irresponsible

Regina, Saskatchewan, April 7 — The Green Party of Saskatchewan (GPS) wants to know why the Saskatchewan Party Government and NDP Opposition support exporting uranium to China. GPS Leader Victor Lau points out that China is struggling to keep North Korea under control. “If China is unwilling or unable to keep North Korea under control, how can our citizens be assured that Saskatchewan uranium exports won’t be used to build nuclear weapons?” Lau says Saskatchewan should end uranium sales, period. “We may live to regret sending uranium to a nation, any nation, that could turn around one day and use that uranium to drop bombs on Canada,” says Lau. Lau notes that it is irresponsible for Saskatchewan to potentially contribute to the expansion of nuclear weapons or nuclear power in East Asia.

Convention 2013: Ballot Packages Mailed

2013 Annual Convention (“AGM”)

Saturday, April 27, 2013   10:00AM-4:30PM

(Registration 9:00 to 10:00)

Craik Eco-Centre

A package was mailed “to everyone who is a member in good standing of the Party, or has had their membership lapse within the last year” (Bylaw 10.9), on Saturday 16 March, containing information on candidates for Executive office, information on resolutions submitted, and secret ballots for mail-in voting.

Contact info@saskgreen.ca to request a package, if yours does not arrive in a few days, or if you did not qualify at the time but have since [re-]joined the Party, or wish to do so. Completed ballots need to be received at the GPS office by April 23, unless they are turned in at Convention.

Please consider donating to help ensure we can afford to have fair voting within the party, as well as to help us with future initiatives. Donations are typically eligible for a 75% Saskatchewan tax credit, meaning that a donation of $100 only costs $25.

Saskatchewan Greens invite Ryan Meili and Trent Wotherspoon to join

Regina, Saskatchewan, Mar 11 — The Green Party of Saskatchewan (GPS) is inviting members of the Ryan Meili and Trent Wotherspoon camps to consider joining the Green Party. GPS Leader Victor Lau congratulates Cam Broten on his election victory and offers the Meili and Wotherspoon members another choice, “Much congratulations goes to Cam Broten for winning a hard fight,” says Lau. “To the Meili and Wotherspoon supporters, you are welcome to join the Green Party of Saskatchewan.”

Lau stresses that it is now time to build a progressive coalition to work towards facing the challenges and opportunities of a flourishing Saskatchewan. “The Green Party of Saskatchewan is a dynamic and growing political party that is aiming to take Saskatchewan in a more ‘caring and sharing’ direction. If the NDP supporters of Meili and Wotherspoon feel this is a vision that they can support, the GPS would love to welcome you aboard our freedom train.”

Greens Have Answer to Housing Crisis

Regina, Saskatchewan, Mar 6 — The Green Party of Saskatchewan (GPS) is demanding the Saskatchewan Party Government stop ignoring the growing rental housing crisis in this province. GPS Leader Victor Lau is appalled that elderly women and other renters at 2221 Robinson Street are effectively being thrown into the street with a 77 percent rent increase. “This kind of rent increase is unacceptable,” says Lau. “What if this encourages every landlord in Regina to raise their rent 77 percent in the coming year?”

But Lau stresses that rent control is not the solution to this crisis. “Credible research shows that rent control only results in discrimination against certain kinds of renters, and slum housing. Lau says the solution to the province’s rental housing crisis is for the provincial government to come up with an aggressive strategy for more social housing. “The only effective way to bring down rent levels is for more rental units to be built in the coming years. The fastest way to do this is for the Sask Party Government to start mass producing rental housing units now, using a common design to speed up the process.” Lau says any other solution will result in winners and losers.

Annual Convention 2013 – Call for Resolutions and Nominations

Annual Convention 2013 will be held on Saturday, April 27, from 9am to 5pm, at the Craik Eco-Centre. (Map and travel information are available online at www.craikecovillage.com/maps_other.html.) A tour of the Eco-Village will be available after the meeting.

All members in good standing are invited to submit resolutions and to nominate candidates for executive office. Please see details below regarding procedures and timeline.

All are encouraged to attend Convention in person, if possible. However, for those not able to attend, mail-in voting will be available both for resolutions and for Executive elections.

For more information on procedures for submitting and voting on resolutions, and for nominating and electing Executive officers, please refer to the information sheet at saskgreen.ca/GPS/docs/2013/GPS_2013_Nom-Res_Info.php – or select the print-friendly PDF version (GPS_2013_Nom-Res_Info.pdf).

CALL FOR RESOLUTIONS

Resolutions must be received by February 27, 2013. Bonser Ballots will be sent out by March 16. Please send resolutions to the Party Secretary, Robert Cosbey, at secretary@saskgreen.ca .  Our current policy, constitution and by-laws can be found at www.saskgreen.ca

This year, a Policy Committee has been established to review our existing body of policy, and draft a set of coordinated recommendations for bringing policies up to date. Please see the information sheet at saskgreen.ca/GPS/docs/2013/GPS_2013_Nom-Res_Info.php for suggestions on coordinating your policy or bylaws resolutions with the Policy Committee.

CALL FOR EXECUTIVE NOMINATIONS

All Executive positions except Party Leader are up for election (or re-election). Nominations must be submitted in writing, must be signed by 3 members, and must be received by February 27, 2013. Please use the nomination form available at saskgreen.ca/GPS/docs/2013/GPS_2013_Exec_Nomination_Form.pdf .  Send nominations to the Party President, Barry Dickie, at president@saskgreen.ca

Please remember that you must be a member in good standing to submit resolutions and nominate members of the executive. You can download a membership form at saskgreen.ca/join. If you have any questions, email info@saskgreen.ca

Renewables are hot; nuclear is not

Renewables are the hot ticket for future electricity production. Nuclear is not. These are lessons the Saskatchewan government needs to pay attention to. But based on its continued support for the nuclear power industry, it appears the Saskatchewan Party is not listening.

Once the rising star of global electricity generation, nuclear power is stagnant. Coal is still king, providing about 40% of the world’s electricity. In the late 1990s, natural gas surpassed hydroelectric (3rd place) and nuclear (4th place) to claim second spot. Oil has been a declining source of electrical generation since the late 1970s, and now makes up less than 5% of the global electricity supply. Renewables (which include geothermal, solar, tides, wind, biomass, and biofuels) are on the rise. Since 1995, the contribution of renewables towards global electricity production has increased by 155%, more than any other source.

Total worldwide production of nuclear power rose rapidly in the 1960s and 1970s, began to level off in the 1980s, and has been approximately constant since the 1990s. Peak global nuclear power production reached 2.8 trillion kWh in 2006, and has since declined by 3.6% to 2.7 trillion kWh in 2009. How did global production of electricity from renewables fare over this time frame? An increase of 52% from 0.40 to 0.61 trillion kWh. As a share of global electricity production, nuclear reached its peak in 1996 at 17.7% and has since declined to 13.4%. At current trends, electricity production from renewables may surpass nuclear power by 2020.

We see a similar story here in Canada. Nuclear power production peaked in 1994 at 108 billion kWh, declining to 72 billion kWh by 1998 and currently sitting at about 90 billion kWh. In other words, electrical generation from nuclear power in Canada has not increased since the early 1990s, whereas electricity production from renewables has increased by 125% in absolute terms and 112% in relative terms (contribution towards total electricity production) since 1995 – both increases larger than any other sources over this time frame.

Global cumulative installed capacity of geothermal power has increased steadily over the past several decades, while that of solar and wind has increased exponentially.

Worldwide consumption of nuclear power has not increased since the late 1990s, peaked in 2006 and has since declined. Consumption of energy from wind, geothermal, solar, biomass, and waste has increased exponentially since the mid-1990s. If current trends continue, energy consumption from renewables may surpass nuclear power by the early 2020s.

The economic and environmental risks from nuclear power are high, and global energy markets reflect these facts. The real growth potential in Canadian and global electricity markets resides in renewables. With its abundant wind and biomass resources, Saskatchewan can play a leading role in the transition to a sustainable energy system. The Green Party of Saskatchewan is committed to the development of Saskatchewan’s renewable energy sector, and our party’s platform is consistent with national and worldwide energy trends. It is time to move away from nuclear power in the 21st century.

Author:  Sierra Rayne & Kaya Forest

References:

The World Bankdata.worldbank.org
BP Statistical Reviewwww.bp.com/sectionbodycopy.do?categoryId=7500&contentId=7068481

Saskatchewan Greens call for transparency and democratic participation re: the Pinehouse “Gag Order”

Regina, Saskatchewan, Dec 20 — The Green Party of Saskatchewan is calling for transparency, consultation and democratic participation regarding the “Gag Order” in the agreement between the community of Pinehouse, and Cameco and Areva. “Why does the municipal government in Pinehouse need to be silenced in advance?” asks Party Leader Victor Lau. “Any agreement involving elected members of a municipal government in Saskatchewan should not include a ‘Gag Order’. It is very suspicious.” Lau says the “Gag Order” needs to be removed and the public should also be fully consulted. “There is no need for such secrecy and silencing unless a plan to store nuclear waste at Pinehouse is a direct result of this ridiculous agreement,” says Lau.

Saskatchewan Greens stunned at highlights of the provincial budget

Regina, Saskatchewan – Green Party of Saskatchewan Leader Victor Lau is floored by the highlights of the 2012 provincial budget. “I can’t believe the film tax credit is gone,” says Lau. “This drives a dagger through the heart of the province’s film industry. What will become of the Regina Sound Stage, after millions of taxpayer’s dollars were invested in it?” Other measures that puzzle Lau include the new Ambulance fees and the extra fees for the Saskatchewan Drug Plan for Seniors.

“And if that isn’t enough,” says Lau, “what was supposed to be an austerity budget is instead a runaway freight train of new spending.” Lau figures the budget lacks vision, and that Finance Minister Ken Krawetz should look to the Green Party’s election platform from the 2011 provincial election for future inspiration.