Letter – Be wary of projects which sound too good to be true

I stumbled across an Alberta podcast or newshow or whatever it is. Always on the lookout for Alberta content I started watching it.
It is run by a fellow named Nate Pike and he seems fairly progressive – as compared to the UPC. It is called The Breakdown AB. He is a paramedic by trade and the kind of person I like to get my news from. Someone who is on the ground.
As the government plans to cut back on health services he pointed out the number of ambulance shifts that did not have adequate staffing in the last month. It got to the point that one child had to be taken to hospital by the fire department because there wasn’t an ambulance available. Sadly, there was no alternative for one person who waited three hours for an ambulance before dying.
He details the number of deals the UPC made, in what I think is an effort to show the world we do not need Ottawa. They were not in our favour.
Regarding masks, he had us paying 10 times what others were for them.
Then there was the children’s cold medicine debacle. That cost something like $137 million for pills from a Turkish factory that did not regularly produce them. The factory produced the component chemicals. They got together and came up with the pills which Albertans had paid for but the labeling was screwed. At the moment, they are restricted to hospitals because without the proper labelling dosing can be a serious problem. His guest and he agreed they would be gathering dust while the deal Ottawa made with the American manufacturer has them rolling across the border.
He pointed out the inaccuracies in a single statement Premier Danielle Smith had made about pipelines and the feds killing them. She claimed that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had not even bothered to make a phone call when Biden killed Keystone XL – in actual fact he made two. All that he could do unless you want him to bomb Washington.
The companies killed a couple more.
Half the problem here is the UPC does not think they should change with the times. Smith even suggested her Bill 1 could be used to fight laws the feds have not enacted yet. As a restaurant owner, she used paper straws as an example. She does not like them. At that point she can moan and cry all she wants. If they stop manufacturing them wherever plastic straws come from the supply will eventually dry up. Like seatbelts, we will just have to get used to them.
Also, how much government time does she propose be wasted on paper tigers?
What really appalled me was a plan she mentioned that did not seem to get too much attention. It was about small modular nuclear reactors. When former premier Jason Kenney first got elected there was mention of it and he was supposed to attend a meeting with three other premiers about them. They are the bright new thing for a lot of people.
But they just aren’t.
It is proposed as a great solution for small isolated communities. OK, what are they calling small or isloated? I picked one at random. Fox Lake, Alta. population around 1,700. A small modular reactor can produce 200-300 megawatts of energy. Enough to power 300,000 homes. A bit of overkill I would say.
The cost would be between $5-6 billion dollars. Can you imagine the power bill?
They recommend small modular reactors for the tarsands. Why would you be using nuclear power to run oilsands plants? To me, it is just putting one more expensive resource in charge of another. With all those tarsands handy and geothermal they ought to be able to come up with something.
There are projects in the works retooling old oil and gas wells for geothermal heat and it is supposed to be a reasonable easy thing to do. And it is a lot safer.
They like to say that small modular reactors are safe but that is not a good thing to learn on the job. Fukushima was safe until the tidal wave hit. No one betted on that.
But unforeseen disasters like bush fires, maybe?
There is the matter of the waste. Spent fuel rods for instance. One report said that when the rods first come out they can kill you with a minute of exposure.
That same report said that in 10 years it would take seven minutes for them to kill you.
Not just that but the companies charged with storing the spent rods kept going bankrupt. They are not a thing you can just walk away from, so someone has to pay the bills.
Why are these ideas made to sound so great? Lobbyists. Just like a woman chirping away about ‘patient choice’ in Ontario. Yeah, you have the choice if you can pay for it now, just drive across the border.
But setting up the need so you can do what the lobbyists want is not going to do the citizens of the province any good. Geothermal can be adapted to utilize what we already have, and will not make us dependant on big energy.
Happy elections, folks!

Eva Sartorius,
High Prairie

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