We Wish You A Merry Christmas
We'd like to begin by expressing our sincere thanks and appreciation for the generous financial support we've received from our donors over the past week.
We know that many Calgarians are struggling to pay their bills and make ends meet, and we truly appreciate the generosity of those supporters who dug deep and contributed to keeping Save Calgary going into 2019.
We also wanted to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas, and a happy and prosperous 2019!
Calgary's City Council is finishing its last meetings of the year this week, has had a rocky and - at times - combative Fall session.
As you know, Save Calgary called for City Council to have an honest discussion about reducing the size of the City's payroll, reducing or scaling back salaries, wages, and benefits and adopting either Defined Contribution Pension Plans or RRSP matching for new City hires.
As expected, none of these things were discussed or even mentioned.
Instead, the City adopted a multi-year tax hike plan and passed even more of the burden onto the backs of taxpayers - both homeowners and businesses - who have all struggled since the energy crisis began in 2014.
They even managed to find controversy in passing a City Council motion declaring their support for Calgary's beleaguered energy sector!
While all of City Council professes support for Calgary's energy sector, their actions don't always match their words. A former City Councillor expensed his registration fee to attend a LEAP Manifesto event (for those who may not be familiar with it, the LEAP Manifesto calls for the complete and total destruction of Alberta's oil and gas sector). In 2013, City Council gave $340,000 to the radical Pembina Institute, a "think tank" that strongly advocates against Alberta's oil sands and its oil and gas sector as a whole.
When the Mayor was asked about the $340,00 payment to Pembina, and if he would be willing to sign a similar contract with the Frasier Institute (a conservative, pro-energy think thank), he responded: "as soon as they hire scientists who actually know something."
A quick read of Ward 7 Councillor Druh Farrell's Twitter feed will make it clear that while she, too, voted in favour of the motion, she is an absolute zealot on the issue of climate change and spends little time (frankly, none) defending Alberta's energy sector.
Presumably, Councillor Farrell heats her home through some combination of geothermal and solar energy, only bicycles to work, and has never been on a plane before.
A few important facts for Councillor Farrell on Alberta's energy sector and Canada's greenhouse gas emissions:
1. Alberta energy is produced to the highest ethical and environmental standards.
2. Energy companies have spent billions of dollars researching ways to reduce the environmental impacts of energy production.
3. Canada emits a tiny portion of global greenhouse gas emissions - about 1.5% - and when Canada's vast forests and cultivated lands are taken into account, we may already be carbon neutral or even carbon negative.
4. Demand for oil and gas will continue to increase until at least 2040 - it can either come from Canada, or from countries that support terrorism, subjugate and harm women, jail and execute LGBTQ+ people and produce oil with few or no environmental regulations.
5. Alberta's energy sector drives the Canadian economy, employs hundreds of thousands of people either directly or indirectly, and affords us a quality of life that is amongst the best in the world.
We believe that Calgary City Councillors should do everything they possibly can to support efforts to build new pipelines and deliver Alberta energy to international markets.
From our Save Calgary family to yours, we wish you all a very merry Christmas, a happy and prosperous New Year, and 2019 that is free from any more tax hikes!