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Article By Richard Heathen
Article By Richard Heathen
CORRUPTION, CRONY CAPITALISM, AGENDA 21 AND THE ALBERTA GOVERNMENT'S BILL 50 EXPOSED
PUBLISHED: 11th May, 2014 | By Richard Heathen
In 2009 the Alberta government passed Bill 50 The Electric Statutes Amendment Act which awarded Alberta based company Altalink an incredibly lucrative contract to construct an extensive, costly, and some have said completely unneeded expansion to Alberta's electrical grid. Bill 50 declared these projects as "critical transmission infrastructure" which fast-tracked the construction of these projects, and allowed them to bypass the usual evaluation process. Why the deviation from usual procedure? According to a former employee of the Alberta Electrical System Operator (AESO) who, in 2004, evaluated the proposed project the estimated 16 billion dollar project is unneeded. One hint could be connections between the Alberta government and Altalink. At the time The Electric Statutes Amendment Act was passed Leigh Clarke one of Altalinks Vice Presidents was also Vice President of the Progressive Conservative Party Association of Calgary, which for those who don't know is the party that has ruled Alberta for the last forty years. Patricia Nelson, a former PC MLA in the Calgary Foothills riding from 1989 until her retirement from politics in 2004, now sits on the board of directors for Altalink. during her time in the Alberta Government she held numerous high ranking positions including Minister of Finance and Minister of Energy.
Jack Janssen a lobbyist for Altalink worked as the executive assistant from 1999 to 2006 for lifetime PC crony and interim Premier of Alberta, Dave Hannock. Hannock was chosen by PC Party insiders to replace the disgraced Alison Redford after she left office in shame. Altalink is but a subsidiary of another much larger corporation SNC Lavalin. SNC Lavalin acquired full ownership of Altalink in October in 2011 just months before construction began on the Heartland Transmission Line, one of expansions to Alberta's electrical grid mandated by Bill 50. Since SNC Lavalin's acquisition of Altalink the stock as doubled, According to the Financial Post:
AltaLink became a fully owned subsidiary of SNC-Lavalin in October 2011 at an implied value of approximately $6 per SNC-Lavalin share.
“We believe the value of AltaLink is now ~$12/SNC share,” they said. “We foresee this climbing further over the coming years as AltaLink’s rate base grows.”
SNC Lavalin has a history or working with totalitarian regimes abroad such those in Libya, and Syria, and even went so far as to organize a pro Assad rally in June of 2011. While it is true Assad is the victim of a US/NATO headed campaign to topple his regime by funding muslim radicals and Al-Queda fighters, he is still a strong man and a tyrant. SNC Lavalin's lame attempt to try and manufacture support for the Assad regime I suspect had nothing to do with wanting stability in the region and everything to do with the $13.5 million dollar contract for a feasibility study on a pipeline from Iraq. SNC Lavalins offices were raided by the RCMP following reports the massive multi-national corporation being involved with bribes and corruption surrounding a deal with the World Bank to lend the government of Bangladesh $1.2 billion US for the building of essential infrastructure to connect the country. SNC Lavalin and its affiliates have been banned from participating in any projects funded by the World Bank for a period of 10 years for its misconduct in Bangladesh deal.
Another motivation for the fast tracking of the transmission lines mandated by Bill 50 and the bypassing of usual procedure was found by leaked diplomatic cables, courtesy of Wikileaks. The leaked cables show members of the Alberta Government promising senior US officials as far back as 2003 to send excess electricity from Alberta south of the border. The North American electrical industry is a corporatist wet dream that would make the robber barons and cartelists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries go green with envy. For starter the transmission lines, payed for at the expense of taxpayers, are going to be handed over to Altalink and ATCO Electric, free of charge. The whole system is set up to explicitly promote the interests of the energy industry at consumers and taxpayers expense. The CEO of Altalink Denniss Frehlich is a member of the Canadian Electricity Association's Transmission Council. The Canadian Electricity Association is an advocacy group that works to promote the interests of electricity providers in Canada. According to their website:
"The Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) is dedicated to contributing to the success of its members through the delivery of a strong advocacy program. By providing a clear, focused and coherent voice, CEA’s Government Relations Program ensures that the interests and needs of its members have a significant impact on policy and regulatory developments in Canada and the United States"
The Canadian Electricity Association includes Altalink, ATCO Electric, and Alberta Electrical System Operator (AESO). AESO is a quasi-governmental organization that is responsible for planning and operating Alberta's electrical grid. It uses a complex pricing scheme that is easily manipulated, and while those in the industry try to pass it off as an expression of the free market, it is a corporatist rip-off that is responsible for Alberta having some of the highest electricisy prices in all of Canada. According to Keith Provost and industry expert with decades of experience in the electricity sector here in Alberta.
"This system is wide open to manipulation and can hardly be called a free-market system"
TransAlta which owns and operates power plants in Alberta, and the rest of Canada was recently found to be manipulating energy prices in Alberta by shutting down power plants at peak hours to raise prices as well as blocking of cheaper power from British Columbia.
THE ENERGY SECTOR AND NORTH AMERICAN INTEGRATION
After the blackout in August of 2003 which left millions in the US and Eastern Canada without power a joint US Canada task force was formed to investigate. Out of the task force's investigation and recommendations came the North American Electric Reliability Corporation which became the organization responsible for the reliability of the electrical grid in North America. In the US NERC became the official electric reliability organization (ERO) when the US congress passed the Energy Policy Act in 2005. In Canada this international regulatory body extends it influence by integrating and working with similar organizations in all over Canada. The Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) is working with NERC to adopt their rules and standards here in Alberta. NERC also works with a network of regional organizations to carry out its work. These regional organizations transcend national borders, such as the Western Electricity Coordinating Council, (WECC) which includes Alberta, BC and the western United States. Governance and decision making becomes ever more centralized as regulatory power is leveraged higher and higher up to the continental and global levels of power. Individual nations and their governments become less powerful and less relevant as national sovereignty slips away and nations are slowly merged into the emerging global state. While I personally have my issues with the concept of the nation-state, borders can serve as firewalls to keep certain problems such as war, civil disturbances, and financial crises, localized. It is also helpful to have different regions under different banners because it allows an escape if tyranny should ever rise in one area or another. When the whole world is under one flag and one regime, where do you go if the powers that be ever become genocidal?
We are told we are provided electricity in a free market, but any meaningful examination of the market finds that energy is provided through a crony-capitalist conjob/collaboration between the corporate interest of the energy industry, quasi-governmental organizations and the vocal lobbying groups. All of this is a highly controlled quasi market setting that benefits big business at the expense of everyone else. The state doesn't just pick the winners and losers, it picks the players! This is what we are told is a "free market"?!
The Canadian Electricity Association is using its lobbying powers to push for more "integrated" decision making which is code for more government control and restriction of the free market to benefit corporate insiders. According to their website:
"A fragmented approach by governments to dealing with environmental issues, coupled with the lack of an integrated and coordinated Federal/Provincial environmental policy framework is a barrier to building needed infrastructure and deploying commercial (BATEA) [Best Available Technology Economically Achievable- read SMART Grid] technologies… Through Sustainable Electricity, CEA is a leader in sustainability and corporate responsibility."
The Canadian Electricity Association openly advocates construction and implementation the SMART Grid. They define the SMART Grid as:
"It is the addition of two-way communications, control and automation capabilities to the existing power grid to make it more reliable, flexible, efficient, clean, safe and customer-friendly."
What the SMART Grid really is, is a two way information and control system that allows energy providers to monitor and control, in real time, the power usage in your home down to what appliances are being used and even gives them the ability to turn on and off any appliances in your home. According to a report by the Canadian Electricity Association titled 'The SMART Grid: A Pragmatic Approach.
"For example a residential hot water heater could be turned off by a utility experiencing high electrical loads on a hot day or could be programmed by its owner to only turn on at off-peak times"
- The Smart Grid, a Pragmatic Approach Page 7
The implementation of the SMART Grid, makes the idea of electricity 'rationing' a real possibility. It isn't too much of a stretch to think in a world where we are already being told we have to consume less in the name of "sustainable development" and "managing our carbon footprint" that one day this corporatist/fascistic system ran by the whims of government insiders and bureaucratic control freaks, would tell us what energy we were allowed to use, and the SMART Grid gives them the ability to implement it. It would of course be for our own good, right?
"…The smart grid provides a plausible response to a very important question: how will we, as a society, bring together the elements required to ensure that our energy use is sustainable for future generations"
-The Smart Grid, a Pragmatic Approach Page 4
Another feature of the so called SMART Grid, is the ability of electrical providers to charge a higher rate during what they call "peak hours". This on top of the already high electricity prices in Alberta, which are already going up because of the extensive overbuild to Alberta's electrical grid thanks to Bill 50.
The building of the SMART Grid is a multi-billion dollar endeavour that is being pawned off on to the backs off taxpayers, we are literally being forced to pay for the infrastructure that will used to to enslave us.
Canada is expected to invest $11 billion in infrastructure replacement in each of the next 20 years just to replace existing assets. This is a cost that must be incurred with or without the automation of the grid. Rather than replacing assets with identical assets, however, the smart grid, if planned pragmatically represents the technological upgrades that will pay a positive return on the investment"-The Smart Grid, a Pragmatic Approach Page 6 Canadian Electric Association
The end result? Bill 50 is just one big subsidy to the electrical industry, a way to get taxpayers to fund an expansion of the electrical grid that will facilitate the growth of the SMART Grid. As we go further down the road to the world envisioned by the architects of Agenda 21, we will see people driven away from the rural areas into massive urban centres because of excessive taxation and environmental fees, which also contributes to the destruction of the economy. Under this plan we will see our standard of living fall as state power is used to coerce us into consuming less and less for the so called "good of the planet". The government parasites who live off the fruits of the productive class and those who are insiders will use emerging technological advances to live a life of luxury while the rest of us are sandwiched into high density megacities where our lives are centrally planned and rationed in a collectivist nightmare.
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