Friday, April 27, 2012


Working in the environment that I do I've certainly become more safety conscious over that past few months.  Every day you come home safe is a good day.  I've had a couple close calls in the past year but you stand back, assess, learn from it and carry on.  Given how much I work around moving vehicles, sometimes in tight spaces I have respect for what a 4-wheeled moving object can do.  So I find myself saddened and also frustrated coming home and reading about a tragedy on the highway south of the city.

This didn't have to happen.  Unfortunately, Highway 63 gets a lot of media attention and seldom if ever is it good.  I'm saddened because one person's mistake had such an unfortunate ripple effect, affecting the lives and families of 9 individuals.  I'm frustrated too because if ever there was a wake up call for the powers that be to take action on improving safety on this road this must surely be it.  While an announcement was made in 2006 that a 240 km section would be twinned a pathetic 16 km was completed by 2009.   At this rate, it will take 45 years to complete this project.

Safer drivers are obviously part of the solution but twinning the highway and improving  its driveability certainly wouldn't hurt either.  45 years?  Let's hope not.


sassy said...

Sincere condolences to their loved ones and to their extended community in Fort McMurray.

tonyguitar said...

Tips & Help

Alberta and Big Oil Nasty?

Oil giants, pipelines and Alberta seem so Nasty. Why?

I voted conservative. Was that a mistake? This free for all for business is
going too far. Rather than refine oil in Canada, the conservative are
allowing Big Oil to proceed with pipelines to ship more oil sands crude to
China. That’s like our bad habit of shipping raw logs and jobs out of British
Columbia. Irresponsible really, because due to a recent fire at the Cherry
point refinery in Blaine Washington, we had to scramble for enough jet fuel
for domestic flights. In a time of war or conflict that lack of backup
supply would be fatal.

A refinery is a costly investment for Big Oil and slows the profit flow to
the bottom line for a limited time and the toxic wastes must be stored and
delt with carefully in Alberta. Shipping raw crude to China does yield quick
profits and the toxics are ‘out of sight, out of mind.’ We all know that
waste contractors in China have dumped toxics into the Ocean. As a loyal and
invested Albertan, Peter Lougheed has been saying, “There is no rush, let us
go forward carefully.” Why do Albertan’s and Big Oil not consider ex-premier
Lougheed’s advice?

Canada looks pretty bad as an enviro pirate these days, yet that will look
mild if an Albertan crude oil tanker spill were to happen on the China
coastline. Their marine fishery has employed millions for centuries. The
devastation would be horrendous to everyone there and the backlash would be
severe to say the least.

So this rush to ship off Alberta Oil sands crude looks very selfish and
reckless on the part of Big Oil, Alberta and our ‘free for all’ conservative
governments. Add to that the failure of Big Oil and Alberta to invest in
making the Edmonton to McMurray highway safe in spite of the loss of life
and huge industrial trucking volume increases. How mean and penny pinching does
this seem to be?

Of course we Canadians have all quietly accepted that we must stand in gas
fumes at the pump while we fill our vehicles with fuel. More recently, we
have all quietly agreed to pay one dollar to keep a safe air pressure in
our tires. I always thought that free air for our tires was a thank you for
using their brand of fuel. Big Oil makes the most profits of any
corporation. How is it that they can eliminate the need for the gas jockey
with the windshield cleaning and engine fluids check across Canada and the

Big Oil has also fouled many fresh water reserves with hundreds of pipeline
spills. Shipping refined products makes spills easier to correct with less
environmental damage. I don’t want to ramble on longer. Suffice to finish with
a recall of the Gulf Oil spill due to the ‘pusher’ forcing workers to push
onward regardless of broken rubber sealing parts showing up in the drill

As a bird photographer, I notice a pronounced reduction in bird variety this

Thank you Big Oil, for all you have done. TG

PS: Conservative government freedom for all business extends to payday loan
sharks as well. See..

TonyGuitar Courtenay/Comox BC