THE USA OWES CANADA CONSIDERATION FOR KEYSTONE DECISION
I do not agree with Alberta’s Premier Kenney in supporting the Keystone Pipeline and I am not a fan of his policies. He does however have a point regarding compensation to Alberta for acting on a legal contract which was cancelled by the newly elected President Biden.
Biden has a right to cancel the agreement and it is probably the right thing to do for environmental reasons. Even if the world needs to continue to use oils as a source of energy util green sources are perfected, why is the pipeline, which has potential for environmental leaks and spills, necessary. What have they been doing up until now and why can’t that continue while developing alternative sources? Why do they have to go under rivers on native land when they do not want it there?
Alberta made choices to channel the money into the province’s general fund and giving tax breaks to corporations and Albertans, giving them an advantage over other provinces. . Whereas Alaska gave each resident a dividend cheque that would vary depending on the revenue.
Norway put 100% profit in a pension fund and had a 78 tax. As a result, Norway’s oil savings are $1 trillion while Alberta’s is only $17 billion.” In 2015, the Calgary Chamber of Commerce calculated that Alberta’s sovereign wealth fund would be worth $40.9 billion if it followed Alaska’s model of taxation and $163.7 billion in the case of Norway.” 
Of all places, Texas has had the forward thinking to start shifting from oil based energy to renewable energy. Shell and Exon are developing green policies. Texas is poised to become a leader in renewable energy and jobs. Why isn’t Alberta pushing the oil companies to do the same?
Trump signed a permit for the Keystone project in March 2019. Based on that contract Alberta went ahead and spent over $1 billion dollars. Was Trump going to honour the agreement? I don’t think so, but it was a legal agreement. The US has a right to pull out of the contract and it is the best decision when considering the consequences to the environment. Just as Canada paid out over $2 million under the NAFTA agreement because companies had the right to sue if government laws hurt their profits. Most cases Canada’s environmental protection. For example, Canada banned chemicals containing neurotoxins. A US company challenged that it hurt their business and Canada had to pay $13 million. While Canada had to pay out in over 11 cases, Canada never won a case against the US. The arbiters were American.
There is international distrust with the United States as so many international agreements have been broken. Biden is restoring them. I accept that he has the right to withdraw from the Keystone Pipeline but as in Alberta deserves consideration.
Hines, Pamela. 2018. The Trumping of America: A Wake Up Call to the Free World.
Wit, James. 2017. “Norway’s Oil Savings Just Hit $1 Trillion. Alberta Has $17 Billion. What Gives?” September 24. https://thenarwhal.ca/norway-s-oil-savings-just-hit-1-trillion-alberta-has-17-billion-what-s-gives/
 Wit, James. 2017. “Norway’s Oil Savings Just Hit $1 Trillion. Alberta Has $17 Billion. What Gives?” September 24. https://thenarwhal.ca/norway-s-oil-savings-just-hit-1-trillion-alberta-has-17-billion-what-s-gives/
Is the US Friend or Foe to Canada?
On February 23, 2021 Biden declared that "human beings are not bargainng chips" and vowed to work with Canada to gain release of two Canadians that are imprisoned in China in retaliation for Canada holding the Huawei executive that Trump wanted extradited. The allegation is that she breached tthe sanction Trump imposed on Iran.
Trump had promised to talk to President Xi but I never saw evidence of that. The two Cnaadians are undergoing a trial without presence of the consullate or journalists because China is claiming it is a national security issue as they were charged with espionage.
I have not seen or heard American coverage of this issue. I did not see any significant coverage in American nerwspapers. One might conclude that this is because most Americans simply do not care.
Half of my relatives are American. Growing up on the border between Windsor and Detroit we frequently went stateside to visit family, shop and for entertainment. As young kids we walked across the bridge to attend Tiger baseball games, went shopping, went to Hudson's to see all the decorated windows and to see Santa Claus. We even celebrate the Freedom Festival together for Canada Day and Independence Day
In 1961 John F. Kennedy made the following statement in the Canadian Parliament about the relationship between Canada and the USA: “Geography has made us neighbors. History has made us friends. Economics has made us partners, and necessity has made us allies. Those whom God has so joined together, let no man put asunder.” Then Donald J. Trump became president and put us asunder.
I never would have imagined that in March of 2020 the President of the United States would be announcing that he had troops along the border of Canada. Ottawa was unaware of these plans and conveyed that an attempt to deploy military would be a mistake and pushed back that doing so "would damage our relationship." Trump was trying to justify this measure by referencing cheap steel from China coming in through Canada. Well the US did not move ahead with their plan to militarize the border but, it was under serious consideration.
On April 3rd, 2020 Prime Minister Trudeau responded to a report that 3M received a request from President Trump to stop exporting n95 and respirators to Canada and Latin America.
3M explained that limitations on exports could lead to a decrease of masks and respirators available in the US as a result of possible retaliation.
Trudeau made the argument that essential supplies and medical professionals move in both directions across the border and it would be a mistake to block exports to Canada. He also pointed out that thousands of health professionals from Windsor provide much needed medical services in Michigan. In fact, one third of the April 2020 Coronavirus cases in Windsor are Canadian medical staff who work in Detroit .
During the NAFTA Trade talks, Trump boasted that he deliberately misled Trudeau by stating on several occasions that the US had a trade deficit with Canada. Trump later claimed that Canada was a national security risk to justify trade tariffs on steel and aluminum. This negatively impacted one third of Canadian exporters and even though the tariffs have been lifted, there is uncertainty and lack of trust.
In December 2018 the United States requested the extradition of Meng Wanzhou, the Chief Financial Officer for Huawei alleging Huawei conducted thousands of dollars worth of financial transactions in violation of the American international sanctions against Iran.
The United States alleges that in violation of the international sanctions against Iran, Huawei process thousands of dollars worth of financial transactions.
The trial began on Monday March 30th 2020 and Manning has been in custody since December 2018.
Shortly after her arrest two Canadians were detained by China for suspected espionage and this has been regarded as retaliation. Another Canadian who had asked for their sentence to be revisited for drug smuggling, received a death sentence instead.
Since Canada does not have sanctions against Iran can Meng be extradited?
If the Canadian courts do not uphold the extradition to the United States, what if any retaliation will trump exert.
The most egregious sentiment was when Trump threatened not to honour NATO's Article 5 which states that an attack on one ally is considered as an attack against all allies.
What makes this so offensive is that the only time NATO has invoked Article 5 was on “Sept. 12, 2001,after the terrorist attacks in the United States the day before”.
Contrary to his assertions that NATO countries only started to increase their contribution was because of his intervention, in 2014 all NATO countries had agreed to increase NATO funding to 2% of their respective GDP by 2024. That agreement was 2 years prior to Trump becoming president and the countries had already started increasing their contribution.
Contrary to the understanding of many Americans, the money is not retroactive nor is it owing to NATO or the USA. It is the amount of money each country targets to spend on their own military.
The USA has only had 17 years of peace since July 4, 1776 which means the country has been at war 93% of its existence. While Canada has been a staunch ally in many of the conflicts, Viet Nam and Iraq were two memorable exceptions. In fact in the latter, Canada was about as popular as the Dixie Chicks.
The USA has tried to invade Canada four times.
Let’s face it, if the USA decided to invade Canada no matter how robust a military we had for our the size of our country would it be mighty enough to fend off the largest military in the world.
More importantly, what has Canada failed to do with respect deployment to NATO and the United States as a result of the level of funding for Canada’s military?
And less we forget, Tom Brokaw produced a video which explains Canada to the USA. In it he highlights a few contributions from Canada.
These are just a few examples. I could not find any examples where the USA has rescued Canada from an international security situation, though there could be one. The point is Canada has been a good neighbour to the USA.
As I watched the news in amazement, I could not believe how American politicians were making decisions that were putting Americans at risk or how Americans were exhibiting behaviour that was self-destructive. Then it dawned on me, they are not against Canada or Canadians. We are simply collateral damage. They don’t know how to take care of one another, and they do not understand, we are in this together. They live in a world of America first, America alone. Me first, me alone.
The motive does not matter because the outcome is the same, Canadians are paying consequences for America’s need to deflect blame and responsibility for their own decisions. We cannot count on the USA to be a trusted ally. It is not just Trump. Even if another administration takes over in November 2020, we will still know that a large number of Americans, almost double our population, would be willing to sacrifice us to support their narrative, even if it is untrue.
So what happens to the two Michaels? The two Canadians being held by China. What about the Canadian sentenced to death allegedly for drug smuggling. At least three Canadians and their families are paying a very heavy price for Trump’s whims to strike out at Iran and their government and the people do not seem to be objecting.
Pamela Hines is a retired CEO of a community mental health and primary care organization and author of The Trumping of America: A Wake Up Call to the Free World
This was verified by Snopes and Maxine Waters sent out the following tweet:
Trump, you incompetent idiot! You sent 18 tons of PPE to China early but ignored warnings & called COVID19 concerns a hoax. You've endangered doctors, nurses, aids, orderlies, & janitors - all risking their lives to save ours. Pray 4 forgiveness for the harm that you're causing!
5:05 PM - Mar 30, 2020
I cannot believe the press has not asked Trump about it at press conferences.
“About 200,000 N95 masks were diverted to the US as they were being transferred between planes in Thailand, according to the Berlin authorities who said they had ordered the masks for the police force.”
Using the Defence Production Act April 3 2020 it is disclosed that Trump told 3M not to sell n95 masks and respirators to Canada, cancelling a recent order. Global News N95 Masks and Respirators
Turns out Canada is the only country in the world that makes the pulp for medical grade masks and gowns. Without Canada 3M couldn’t make them. You can’t fix stupid. One American said the US would just make their own pulp. How long do you think that will take? How is America First and only America working for you now? Globe and Mail Pulp
His son in law, Jarrod Kushner is working with the private sector to move things along in defeating the coronavirus. I am not sure but I think I saw or heard that the Trump administration procured millions of masks and only a small portion went to hospitals and the federal reserve while the remainder went to private companies to sell for profit. That may be why the wealthy are able to get testing when the rest of America cannot. If you have evidence to substantiate or debunk this please forward and I will update my blog.
Pamela Hines is a retired CEO of a community health organization and author of The Trumping of America: A Wake Up Call to the Free World
I am Canadian so Bernie’s proposals regarding healthcare are not alarming to me, I wish that what he is proposing was the universal health care we had in Canada. But it isn’t.
He implies that we have a one payer system. The federal government flows money to the provinces and territories who are responsible for the provision of health care. Our health care does not include pharmacare except for children, the indigent and seniors. Public-sector dental expenditures are targeted primarily to children, seniors, eligible Indigenous individuals and the disabled.
The fact is that private insurances paid by workplaces or individuals provide supplemental health services not covered in universal health care. This includes but is not limited to, prescription drugs, dental care, eye glasses out of province travel, chiropractor, massage therapy, psychological services, in home care, etc.
Meaning that Canada’s system is more akin to what Joe Biden is proposing rather than Bernie’s vision.
In my book I identified my preference for Bernie at the beginning of the primaries in 2015 and that I was not a fan of Hillary’s. It was not long before that shifted and I did a 180, supporting Hillary. I admire his vision and his consistency in supporting it. I was troubled by his inflexibility and questioned his leadership in being able to implement his vision.
As a leader, it is your responsibility to persuade people to support your vision. It does not matter how right you are about something, you cannot simply declare you are implementing in absence of support. Sometimes you have to implement in stages to demonstrate to people that it will be a success. I wanted to implement a primary care service in a community mental health agency. I knew I was right but there was resistance. I started with the role of a nurse practitioner who clearly demonstrated the effectiveness and value. I have been retire for ten years and it is still a viable service and has expanded.
With Bernie it seems all or nothing.
A good leader will develop loyalty to the cause or mission, not themselves. If the primary concern is to further the movement, then Bernie’s supporters would have migrated to support Hillary who had incorporated many of the movement’s goals in the Democratic platform. There seems to be a forgiveness in this for the last election on the basis of dislike for Hillary. That is a red herring. It is now happening with Joe Biden.
I think we may see the same trend in Bernie supporters migrating to Trump or not voting.
This is contraindicated in Bernie’s declaration that the most important goal is to replace Donald Trump. He still refuses to accept responsibility for this.
It is those who did not vote that got Trump into power.
Pamela Hines is a retired CEO of a community health organization and author of The Trumping of America: A Wake Up Call to the Free World.
In this time of uncertainty, I want to thank our Canadian politicians at all levels of government for their leadership and cooperation in working for the best interest of Canadians and not using this crisis to promote a political agenda. Thank you for listening to the health experts as to how to respond to this challenging issue. I have been very critical of some politicians in the past but in this case, you are all applauded for working cooperatively and supporting each other for what is in the best interest of the Canadian people. You have not bragged about what you have done, you simply did it because it is your job.
You are keeping us informed without giving us contradictory information. You are being clear about what is expected of us and doing what you can to provide remedies for those situations causing us the most fear, how to get home from abroad, a fiscal plan to help people over this difficult time.
Special thanks to our health care providers and those services that support them during this scary time. Having been in the hospital this past week I witnessed the special effort and inconvenience that the protective gear and protocols require over and above the already demanding jobs that they perform.
Many thanks to all of those providing essential services in our communities, often at risk to themselves.
All we are being asked to do is shelter in place. While there have been a few exceptions, for the most part I am proud as to how Canadians are responding and as one who is in isolation because of travel out of country, I have benefited from numerous volunteers who are keeping us in groceries and providing assistance.
We are not being given false hope and promises. We know it will get worse before it gets better and we know there are uncertainties. Yet, I have a confidence that we have leadership that will help us to manage this crisis while mitigating our risks to the best of their ability.
Now is the time to support our leaders and those who are taking care of us. Once is not enough. We can show our appreciation every day just by being kind to one another.
Pamela Hines is a retired CEO of a community health organization and author of The Trumping of America: A Wake Up Call to the Free World.
When my husband and I left for Puerto Vallarta in January there was no talk about coronavirus. Our plans were to winter there and return March 28.
Late February we were hearing about the virus and considering our options. I had confirmed with health professionals that there were no cases in PV and they had curtailed allowing cruise passengers to disembark.
Mar. 10, we learned about Trump’s ban on planes from Europe except for Americans and Great Britain. Since he had threatened to close the southern border weeks before, we decided it would be prudent to get home while we could.
we tried unsuccessfully to deal with the issue by phone. After a few days of total frustration, we decided to go to the airport where we had excellent support from Delta. For us they exchange our Aeromexico flight with a stop over in Mexico City, on March 28 to a Delta flight on Mar 16 which was direct to Detroit.
Even though we were way ahead of most in taking this action, we worried the flight could get cancelled. When we got to the boarding area I heard someone call my name. It was friends we had lunch with a week earlier at the marina and they had made the same decision. They were on the same flight, so they joined us for lunch. Hence the picture in this post.
As we were waiting, just before boarding, we heard that the Canadian border was being closed. We did not know details and were uncertain if our service to take us home from the airport would be able to pick us up. My phone was not working.
Just a heads up, you all know how much I love getting hugs. This will be very hard for me but in future, even when the pandemic is over, I think I have to be very careful and will be doing elbow bumps. And would appreciate it if you do not come to our home if you have any symptoms or colds. If I am going someplace where you are aware somebody may be ill or have a cold, let me know so that I do not attend. Appreciate your understanding.
One of the reasons that I am so calm is that our politicians, federal, provincial and municipal are working together in the best interest of Canadians by following the expertise of health professionals instead of using it for partisan politics. I think you all know that I am no fan of Doug Ford but in this case I think they all, including him, are doing an excellent job of working cooperatively.
It has only been a week since we returned and the world is a totally different place. I was hospitalized for a few days and grateful for our health care providers. I am grateful for all of those who are providing essential services.
In 1939 our parents and grandparents were conscripted to go overseas and risk their lives for our freedom. The globe is at war wit a virus and our soldiers are asking us to help them by practicing social isolation, sitting on a couch for a month or two. |Is that asking so much?
I was astounded at the number of people who thought we were crazy for leaving and even more astounded at those who were still coming in for spring break after a travel advisory. I was even more concerned because now there was an influx of people, millennials, adults, children, Americans and Canadians alike. who could be spreading the virus.
I recently heard a CTV host express that the government did not do enough to warn people. If I knew enough and I had been in Mexico for two months, then so did they. It was selfish and irresponsible and they put people at risk, especially those coworkers who stayed home and cancelled their plans. Now they have to continue to cover for those selfish individuals who now have to go into isolation for two weeks. Some of them have expressed that they think this is funny on social media. To rub the slat in the wound, they think it is funny that they are going to be paid. This is rewarding bad behaviour and punishing those who did the right thing.
If people travelled after the advisory, then I di not think they should be paid for the 14 day isolation. If you agree with me please post this to your workplace, union, municipality etc.
Price gouging of essential items.
Since I got home I could not get bleach, disinfectant wipes or toilet paper. Somebody finally got us the latter. I think price gouging and hoarding should be illegal. One country has solved the problem of limits by charging the usual price for one, but then if you try and by two the cost could be ten times higher!
Pamela Hines is a retired CEO of a community health organization and author of The Trumping of America A Wake Up Call to the Free World.
Team to argue that the articles in the impeachment for Donald Trump are not constitutional are not constitutional.
I am not a lawyer so I am unable to comment from a legal perspective but according to Jeffry Toobin on CNN they are and many lawyers hold his view. It will be interesting to see how this debate plays out. In my book The Trumping of America: A Wake Up Call to the Free World, I expressed concerns about impeaching Trump because I do believe that his supporters have been primed for civil war based on their perception that it would be cause to take up arms—perhaps a civil war.
What kind of democracy is it when a President can defy Congressional approval of aid to a county and hold that aid hostage until the country agrees to announcing an investigation on the family member of his political opponent for personal gain in an upcoming election. When the majority Senate refuses time and again to hold the President accountable? When the President refuses any accountability and obstructs justice. These according to Dershowitz are not impeachable offences.
Alan Dershowitz quotes H.L. Mencken’s warning that in dealing with tyranny warned that “[t]he trouble about fighting for human freedom is that you have to spend much of your life defending sons of b[#]tches: for oppressive laws are always aimed at them originally, and oppression must be stopped in the beginning if it is to be stopped at all. History demonstrates that the first casualty of hyper-partisan politics is often civil liberties.” Alan Dershowitz. 2017. Dershowitz: Mueller’s Special Counsel Appointment Begs the Question -- Are Our Civil Liberties Now at Risk? May 20
There is a renewed cry for gun control in the United States following recent domestic terrorism in El Paso Texas and Dayton Ohio, resulting in the death of 22 and 9 people respectively. These shootings are being considered hate crimes. Despite this, Mitch McConnel has refused to put forward to the Senate a bill that was passed by the house for background checks for gun purchases.
While Trump and McConnell are now making noises that they may consider legislation for background checks, Trump is focusing on mental illness as the cause for these mass shooting. The prevalence of violence for those having a mental illness, in general, is no greater than that of the general population. They are more likely to be the victim of violence. The criteria for background checks should be the propensity for violence and hate, not mental illness alone.
While a step forward, it is a very small step. The prevalence for mental illness in the US is no greater than that in Canada, yet the firearm related deaths in the US is 12.21 per 100,000 in the US per population while in comparison it is 2.00 in Canada. Ranking Firearm Related Deaths in Wikipedia
PBS reported on a study that six countries were responsible for half the world’s gun related deaths, the United States ranking second after Brazil, having the highest. PBS Report on Global Gun Deaths
If the pleading of students following the mass shooting at Parkwood School and the creation of the “Never Again” movement did not strike the chord of decency and concern to address the situation, I have no confidence that Trump and the GOP will be responsive. The NRA is already saying that back ground checks will not be well received by Trump’s base.
It is true that gun control alone will not solve the problem. Mental health services to address mental illness, social isolation and depression that results in suicide is part of the solution as well. However, domestic terrorism in the US is a far greater threat to Americans than ISIS. As long as the powers that be refuse to acknowledge white supremacists as a serious threat and hate crime, allowing those groups to operate legally in the US, it will proliferate.
Lack of gun control is also a major contributor. How else does one explain the difference in prevalence of firearm deaths in the US and Canada when the prevalence of mental illness is the same.
Why do I care about lack of gun control in United States when I am a Canadian. Because many of the guns used illegally in Canada are smuggled from the US where they are more accessible and cheaper. Most of them via the border between Detroit and Windsor, the latter being my home. CBC Article on Gun Trafficking
Even though Canada has a significantly lower rate of deaths by gunshot, recent shooting in Canada, particularly Toronto, have two-thirds of Canadians wanting more gun control. The recent rash of shootings are being attributed to gangs. While gun control may be a factor, addressing the root cause and reason for the gangs and violence would have longer term positive outcomes.
For the rural people in Canada and the United States who fear losing their way of life and hunting, we don’t care about hunting rifles, we care about handguns and automatic weapons.
Children should not be afraid to go to school and have armed guards, as well as drill in the event of a mass shooting. People should not be so frightened that the sound of a motorcycle backfiring has them rushing for their lives.
Prayers are not going to assuage those who have been victims, only definitive action to address the issue, including gun control will give them some measure of satisfaction but it will not take away the nightmares of those having witnessed or been injured, or .the profound sense grief for those having lost a loved one.
As soon as politicians start to implement measures that will address it, we vote them out and vote in someone who will save the jobs in the coal industry, who will not implement a carbon tax. Who allow companies to bottle water and distribute in plastic bottles?
We do not want the inconvenience and we do not want to pay the price. But we are. I think it is going to be even more costly than we imagined. We are experiencing the consequences already. What used to be considered extreme weather patterns, is now the norm and it is escalating at a rapid pace. Million are paying the price, losing their homes to extreme flooding, wildfires, hurricanes, earthquakes and tornados. Many are also losing their lives.
Well, some American students have had enough, claiming that the failure to act on climate change is risking their future, they have initiated a lawsuit against the US government. It started under the Obama administration and continues under Trump’s administration. While Obama signed the Paris accord, Trump pulled out and is rolled back most if not all previous environmental protections. The US releases 25% of carbon emission, second in the world with China being first.
The government is trying to stop the case from going forward but so far, the courts have decided in favour of the students. Ultimately, the students want a moratorium on fossil fuels.
Gas and coal companies are in the energy business. Why aren’t they shifting their products to environmentally safer alternatives and raining the employees in the new technology?
Featured on 60 minutes, an 81-year-old man, not even a chemist has developed a way to create plant based fuel. This fuel can be used just like gasoline with the same distribution at the gas pumps, with cars having gas tanks, and no CO 2 emissions. He also developed a sweetener that does not rot teeth. They have now developed a material that can make plastic like utensil that are biodegradable.
In Mexico last winter I was served a drink with a straw. It was made with avocado pits. Why don’t we have those here?
Thailand has developed a product for make take out containers from bamboo.
If governments told companies, no more fossil fuel or plastics, I bet they would come up with alternatives. Some of them may even be more economical like the plant-based fuel that can be used in existing cars with existing gas stations.
But they need our support…
I have mentioned only a few of the environmentally safe alternatives. We can go to the moon, develop nuclear weapons to destroy the world and we can’t find alternatives to fossil fuels and plastics. We have them already.
NYT Climate Change Lawsuit
CBSNews The Unlikely Eccentric
CNN Money: Thailand Bamboo