Energy Corridor

Someone asked me why I haven’t commented yet on the Irving feasibility study for an energy corridor connecting New Brunswick with Maine.  So here goes.

I think it seems like a great idea.  It should create good paying jobs and it is a fairly green energy project (natural gas co-gen and wind energy).  It is only at the feasibility stage – it is not an announcment of $2 billion in spending so let’s see where it goes.

I also wonder why NB Power is not around.  You know my position on energy.  If Irving does it, they will want an economic return on their investment – full market value.  They will sell energy at the highest price the market will bear and so they should.  Therefore, this project does not mean cheap energy for New Brunswick economic development.

I have this romantic notion of using NB Power as an economic development driver – though I realize they are not currently mandated to do so.  Power generation projects are capital cost intensive – lost of economic activity during the construction phase but the cost of operating facilities is realtively limited.

The good old days of NB Power building large electricity generation capacity and then offering it at incentive rates to attract and grow industry may be behind us – but I don’t have to like it.

30 thoughts on “Energy Corridor

  1. There are lots of ‘natural gases’, and they aren’t necessarily ‘green’, in most cases the extraction of them is far from green-oil is ‘natural’. This is an interesting topic, at the CBC they had the story, but it was getting so many anti Irving comments that within a few hours they switched to an updated story that featured “talk of jobs spurs energy corridor”. That’s the usual byline when there are ANY new initiatives-jobs. Even if they are short term. But it goes to show that CBC certainly doesn’t have a left wing bias.

    This is just another political problem. It’s ironic that the history of New Brunswick, right up to the fifties, mainly laid the blame of ‘under development’ on the lack of a strong central power authority-which ontario and quebec had for almost a hundred years longer. Every town had a different power rate and different power generator.

    There’s no doubt that public policy can make good use of power. As we’ve discussed, according to the CBC NBPower buys power from Irving even when it doesn’t need it. For that matter, buying in bulk could well mean its a better investment just to get excess power from Quebec. Or, as in the past, taxpayers subsidize it and get the benefits of low power, as well as the chance David mentions-lowering industry costs. That never helped the forestry industry, but not every industry is the same.

    But NBPower is just another example of govenrment policy that is not supported or driven by the public’s interest. It was set up for INDUSTRY, not for taxpayers. They can pack up and move, you still have the debt (although I suppose you can pack up and move too). Apart from grousings about bonuses and lawsuits, power doesn’t even make it into the public discussion-mainly of course because the media is mostly run by Irving.

    But power CAN be used to benefit both people AND industry, but again, the problem is the lack of democracy.

  2. Try to understand that politicians and industry, or those in the know will always be using the “green” talk as a placater for the round glasses. And there will only be as much green as you taxpayers can afford because industry isn’t and never will be , interested. Unless you consider Nuclear green, but to industry nuclear is profit, which is all that is ever going to count. And NB Power will therefore be a certain willing partner, considering they already have the Northern Maine contract and will be ready and willing to pour more power down the new corridor, once the transmission lines are upgraded to make it feasible, also co-joining with NFLD and Labrador,Oh I could go on and on about the opportunities that i can see,especially with the largest economy in the world just miles away projecting a doubling of their energy needs and also are a very good paying country. But if the mouths, such as the Ontario bunch that stomped the US at every opportunity, start up here then you may face the same as Ontario. Collapse!

  3. ” Therefore, this project does not mean cheap energy for New Brunswick economic development.”

    That’s the entire problem as I see it. There will be relatively few benefits for NB. I’d like to see more info on the number of permanent high-paying jobs to be directly created from this initiative. I’d also like to see a realistic forecast of tax revenues that can be expected.

    If power plants are to be built, then there will be an environmental cost to us. We should get more than a handful of jobs for that; we should get a portion of the energy at reduced rates – to be used to entice high-quality jobs to NB.

  4. Any country that deals with the United States will gain great benefits. They are the most generous of countries in the world. I have never heard of any company in NB complaining of power rates, as they negotiate better rates than we know about. We also are part of a free trade agreement, that has heavily benefited us , but also does not allow selling cheaper to Canada as experienced in trying to beat the U.S in the softwood lumber. The biggest trouble the U.S will have with Canada is their constant attempt to screw you. The U.S plays a tight but honest game, following the rules, generally, or they go to prison, unlike Canada, since chretien.

  5. Not sure what the ontario reference means-I can’t remember the last time an ontario voice had any impact on New Brunswick public policy. But it was high volume trade with the US that initiated the ‘ontario collapse’. Energy can be the same as anything else, the new President has talked extensively about ‘green energy’, and Canada was created because of the trade policies of the US. Fact is, the interests of Canada have little impact in the US.

    The devil is always in the details, it COULD be good news, at least job wise. I did a search but couldn’t find the average number of employees of a natural gas processing plant. And as mentioned above, apart from jobs there is little mention of any impact for New brunswick. The US won’t be determining whether they are ‘high paying jobs’, that will be up to Irving. If I’m not mistaken I seem to recall that a kind of shantytown was set up during the construction of the LNG terminal because workers from all over the world were shipped in. There is no reason to think this would be any different. The simple fact of the matter is that within two miles of Irving headquarters is one of the poorest regions in Canada. That’s NOT a ‘good thing’. As David says, this will serve Irvings interests first. The Irvings don’t care a sh*& from shinola about New Brunswick-they aren’t a charity. Its’ up to New Brunswickers to ensure this becomes a good deal. Go look at the states and you can find all kinds of stories about how industrial development is put in ‘low wage’ zones because voters couldn’t care less about them.

  6. The Ontario bashing the U.S had a big influence in the policies toward Canada, as you should be able to see, considering exports to the U.S from Ontario has dropped! I am simply saying. if you want no business with the United States, just follow Ontario’s lead and bash them all you can. Having been around and a constant border crosser, I can assure you their contempt for Canadians is now at the point that they do not want you crossing their border! But I’m beginning to think Canadians wouldn’t have the brains to know when their not wanted anyway.

    This is an odd little story. ‘Little’ in the amount of coverage it’s received in the US, but not north of our border.

    Yesterday in a speech to the Canadian Club in Ottawa, US Ambassador David Wilkins warned Canadians to tone down their criticism of the United States in their current national political campaigns. Canadian elections are scheduled for January 23rd.

    “It may be smart election-year politics to thump your chest and constantly criticize your friend and your No. 1 trading partner. But it is a slippery slope, and all of us should hope that it doesn’t have a long-term impact on our relationship,” said Ambassador Wilkins. “It shouldn’t be lost on any of us that some of your politicians use my country to score political points.”

    Its also not up to the Irvings to educate those poor people, And I was surprised at what a educated person gets working for Irving refinery. I guessed 70,000 and was told , more than that.

  7. “The Ontario bashing the U.S had a big influence in the policies toward Canada, as you should be able to see, considering exports to the U.S from Ontario has dropped!”

    Exports to the US have dropped even from countries that worship the US. That’s what happens during a recession.

    “a constant border crosser, I can assure you their contempt for Canadians is now at the point that they do not want you crossing their border!”

    Perhaps you are confusing contempt for Canada with contempt for you – something quite common, I understand.

  8. Come on. Let’s not make this stuff personal. We are supposed to be engaging in some kind of dialogue about economic development. It seems clear that a lot of folks are holding a lot of rage for whatever reason. Try and keep things above the belt, folks. I don’t mind dissenting views. I think it’s a good thing to debate all sides of an issue but…..

  9. The quote above was from what, two years ago? (although Richard’s post had more ‘rage’ in it than the anonymous one). At that time its true, there WAS criticism of the US, but it certainly wasn’t restricted to ontario. For the past eight years criticism of the US has come from all over the world. I remember reading a travel forum and an american was saying how they wouldn’t return to New Brunswick because the owner of the campground went on and on about how they couldn’t believe these customers had voted for Bush.

    But at THAT time exports to the US were at a huge level. Nowadays, with a new US President, canadians are positively GUSHING-almost embarassingly so. And take a look at exports.

    It’s very true that a few years ago there were all kinds of stories about individual canadians getting insulted, etc., just like the americans ratched up the rhetoric about France, who were also highly critical. Yet despite the rhetoric, imports from France, particularly wine, increased substancially. Canadian exports are typically part of the business cycle, not final products on shelves, so in most cases americans don’t even KNOW when they are buying canadian. I know of americans who drink Moosehead who didn’t even know it was canadian (very few people actually read labels).

    So there is really no evidence that ontario did any more ‘bashing’ than any other part of Canada, and no evidence that that had any effect on trade. The evidence proves the reverse. Considering the actions of the US over the past eight years, criticism was remarkably low.

    As for Irving, its no surprise that they pay their top people well, but it depends what is meant by ‘educated’. Irvings pay VERY competitively, there’s no doubt about that. That’s at least in part because they CAN (and their sub contractors are a different story). It’s not good news for David, but Toyota’s name has been creeping around the UN and the ILO for its virulant anti union practices and ever harsher worker environment. When companies are doing well they typically pay well and times are good-its when times get bad that they need to be watched. Capitalists have always warned about centralized power, not because of business practices, but because of what happens when there is no more competition.

    What may also surprise people is the number of employees who work at the refinery who are americans-who get flown up every week to work and then get flown home. Apparantly there aren’t enough of those ‘educated’ New Brunswickers.

    Keep in mind much of the gains of workers came about because St. John was always a union town, but not so much since 1996’s strike. After that strike workers got a FAR worse contract and the union was essentially castrated. It’s good to keep in mind also that not only was there a death at the refinery attributed to unsafe working conditions (fortunately for Irving its very difficult to sue in New Brunswick-and next to impossible to sue Irving), and that the refinery actually ran for quite some time with NO workers AT ALL. So any talk of jobs has to keep these factors in mind, since its not like once a processing plant is built you can say “oh, well now you have to shut it down”.

    When the LNG terminal was first proposed I remember a big feature article on the terminal-before the big tax deal. While the article made the point that it was part of the ‘energy city’ platform, it went on to point out that there would only be about 8 permanent jobs. Then the tax scandal hit and over the years the number of ‘promised’ jobs kept going up and up. Of course there’s no word now on the ACTUAl number, when you own the media you can avoid all these nasty topics by simply ignoring them.

    But in any reasonable democracy, it would be quite simple. If they wanted a gas processing facility, then people could vote on it. They would provide information up front as to how many people would work there, the pay scales, the environmental factors, and the long term benefits. It WOULD be easy to have public policy that would let the province get ‘first dibs’ and ‘cheap dibs’ in exchange for the inherent risks and low tax that the companies will enjoy. Again, that’s not up to Irving, thats up to YOUR government, if you can make it YOUR government. If not, well, as David says, in that whole article there isn’t a single mention of NBPower.

  10. I actually enjoy Dicks proving he is out of his depth. With ieSpell doing such a good job with my spelling, it limits his ability to find something to say. And people should know that announcements are scripted carefully, because their are many Dick and Janes out their waiting to destruct instead of build.
    So you wanted the announcement to also mention a second reactor? Or maybe the plans that NB Hydro may go private? To Irving? You see, talking about economic development and doing it, is possible, but only for those who have look ahead analytical abilities. Try explaining the look ahead projections to the dicks and janes! Hence the carefully scripting. I just have a bit of an ability to see their vision.
    I also know, if you make an elephant mad at you 2 years ago, he probably still mad.
    In the Middle East and elsewhere, the U.S is the best friend, generous, and protective.
    Just project what this planet would be like without them. A world with a bunch of rabid Che Guevara’s.

  11. There’s a saying that when a debater stoops to attacking another debater they really have no points left. There’s also something lawyers learn their first year, and thats to disagree agreeably. AT some point the blogger gets tired of making the same requests of posters and simply starts moderating. Finally, of course, NOTHING being written here matters unless somebody reading actually ACTS on the information, and that’s been doubtful. So no point in getting too worked up.

    First, its absurd to think that the US is beloved in the Middle East, there is tons of evidence to prove the reverse. This is where flag burning is a regular occurence. The US is a friend of ‘governments’, the Saudi royal family absolutely loves them because without them as a trading partner the Saudi ’empire’ would have fallen long ago. The Kuwaiti royal family loves them to death for obvious reasons. The Israeli’s of course love them for obvious reasons, and most dictators over there love them because the US has shown that as long as they ‘tow the american line’ then they will be good trading partners. Even the Iranian government loves them-to a point-because all the threats from the US have enabled them to silence dissent.

    But that’s a far different cry from what the PEOPLE think, particularly in the middle east where the US is the single largest block to democracy in the region. That doesn’t even get into South America, where the ‘che guevera’s were extremely popular. Hugo Chavez has a higher popular support than Barack Obama can even dream of, and just a quick look at developments of the last ten years in Venezuela and the US shows which development model is the better one. But of course there is always the point that no country is ‘one’ thing. Actually, if you want to at least be realistic, Bush’s approval ratings were far higher in Africa than in the Middle East, where they were non-existent. The american GOVERNMENT gets abyssmal support worldwide, but ‘america’ the name brand, gets almost universal support. American music and movies are more popular abroad than they are domestically, but thats very different from government public policy. That’s sort of like New Brunswick being ‘popular’ with tourists who talk about how friendly the people are. It may be true but has nothing to do with government.

    But if somebody wants to believe that ontario trade to the US fell because the americans were ‘mad at them’ two years ago then that’s their business. Like Richard all we can do is prove the evidence contrary and let readers make up their own minds. Beliefs are like bad politicians-there’s just no getting rid of them sometimes.

    But this is about Irving and that’s an interesting link to look at. Its patently absurd. First, yes, the company is small compared to Exxon, because the Irvings are very good at siphoning out profits. The companies stay small because they are NOT corporations, all the ‘wealth’ goes to the family. They are among the richest families in the entire WORLD, that’s hardly ‘mom and pop’. We can’t even judge whether its true because its NOT a corporation, which means ‘we’ have absolutely no idea how big they are. As a private company they don’t need to mention anything about their business practices.

    The article was pretty ‘discrete’, there really wasn’t much mention of, well, anything. It would make a politician proud. The idea that Irving is so interested in the well being of New Brunswickers is patently absurd and can’t even be taken seriously. This is a company that let a ship full of PCB’s sit off the coast of PEI without even INFORMING the government it had PCB’s, then they refused to even be liable for it. This is a company that SUED to make it legal for them to be able to knock down the nests of endangered birds, and sued the government to call its oil storage tanks ‘manufacturing’ so they could get back millions. That doesn’t even get into the LNG deal, where obviously they have no problem with St.John’s budget, which is almost broke, all thanks to a tax concession for them.

    And that’s just a start, just go to CBC and type in ‘irving’ in their search engine. But like David says, they aren’t a charity, they are doing their job. It’s not up to them to do ANYTHING to make New Brunswickers live’s better, and the only real disingenuous part is articles like this where they try to make it SOUND like thats the reason they are in business. Yeah sure, everybody knows old KC Irving was a philanthropist who went into business for the well being of mankind! And if you believe that, I’ve got a couple of books on the Irvings to sell you.

    So again, thats all the more reason why people need to control their governments. People have far different energy needs than Irving, the opposite needs in fact. Irving NEEDS prices as high as possible, and consumers need them as low as possible. That’s why an active government is essential. The ontario government is no Chavez, but is now enacting legislation to prohibit Ticketmaster from reselling their tickets through subsidiaries. This was a story several years ago in NB, and died away when the media lost interest. Here they are enacting legislation, because thats what a pro-active government does (and ontario’s government is usually pretty far from pro-active). With New Brunswick its even more essential because you basically have a 19th century government-run by corporate interests. In fact with just half an announcement the government is basically on its knees in front of IRving asking what it can do for it.

    I’m trying to remember the name of the documentary, but they basically go around the world taking video of past ‘energy powerhouses’. It’s not a pretty picture. If the PUBLIC is not deciding this, then basically its no different than a feudal landlord telling his serfs that he’s building a bridge and his tenants might get some work out of it.

    It doesn’t take much thought to realize that the future of energy is in research. In New Brunswick most of the co-ops are with construction companies, and I heard they even have them at the high school level now. This isn’t blue collar bashing, this is reality. If you don’t have an education you are the low man on the totem pole. In construction your life and health are at risk, and there is little opportunity for advancement. Even the anonymous poster above recognizes that Irving is good ‘for those educated’.

    This basically burns down to different views of economic development. David knows he’s been peeing into the wind, but has always wanted what’s best for New Brunswickers. The question to be asked about ANY new development is “is this BEST for New Brunswickers”. Since Irving will benefit greatly, and from the paper seems to be remotely interested in your views (they don’t have to publish stuff like that, they can simply say “we’re Irving, we’re building a bigger honking company, whaddya gonna do about it?”), then its up to them to PROVE that its ‘best’ for New Brunswick. That means a lot less discretion.

  12. OK I can’t wait to warn you, after reading the first paragraph, that you are completely disagreeing with me , and then completely agreeing with me . I like that. Its different. Now I can read the rest.

  13. Another research for you. And a reminder that after humongous reading, I will take the United States over ANY country any day, and of course so will the numerous countries you mentioned!

    Humberto Fontova (born 1954 in Havana, Cuba) is a Cuban American author and conservative political blogger on issues with relation to Cuba.

    He and his family went into exile to the United States (New Orleans) in 1961 at the age of 7, while his father was held prisoner by the regime of Fidel Castro for a time after the Cuban Revolution. He holds an MA in Latin American Studies from Tulane University.

    Fontova is the author of two Cuba related polemics, Fidel: Hollywood’s Favorite Tyrant, a highly critical portrait of Fidel Castro and his supporters in the United States, particularly Hollywood actors, and Exposing the Real Che Guevara and the Useful Idiots Who Idolize Him. He is a frequent contributor to several conservative publications and a blogger on Moonbat. He has made guest appearances on the Glenn Beck Program and Fox News show Hannity and Colmes

    As Humberto Fontova reveals in this myth-shattering book, Che was actually a bloodthirsty executioner, a military bumbler, a coward, and a hypocrite. …

    Certainly sounds more like fact.

  14. I totally agree we need to get engaged politically and elect governments that are going to be effective and meaningful.

    However, there needs to be some changes in both the political system and in voters so that meaningful governments can be elected. As it stands, you can win the north simply by promising a dollar more than the other guy to the northern slush funds (see or People have come to accept that the best they can expect from their government’s economic development efforts is new lawn mowers for their golf courses and they elect whoever promises them the shiniest machines.

    New Brunswick’s recent political history is filled with “great leaders” who removed tolls, paved roads, installed moose fencing and lowered insurance rates. What we need is truely great leaders that can stop the population decline, graduate high school students who can read and advance economic development to the point that people have a chance to remain in their province and get a reasonable job.

    I am affraid that if leader emerged with the ability and focus to accomplish such miracles, they’d get beat out by someone promising to fill one extra pothole. Electoral reform will be necessary to overcome this problem.

  15. We will get over the problem when we have ability and education back instead of the language disaster and the only way to do that is with affiliation with the huge powerful friend to the south. And thats why it is happening. Back to our roots of the 1600’s. Supply and demand.

  16. 100,000 dollar a year jobs.

    The head of the Public Utilities Commission in Maine says the state may be interested in providing a market for power generated by a second NB Power nuclear reactor.

    Maine, which exports power to the rest of New England, is looking for ways to take pressure off its own resources and keep power rates down.

    Commission chair Kurt Adams said one way to do that would be to turn to the state’s northern neighbour.

    “If New Brunswick has the capacity to build a centre of excellence for nuclear generating capacity, and it has the ability to site something in a place where it makes sense, New England might want to help participate in that and purchase the power.”

    Energy Minister Jack Keir said there are opportunities for New Brunswick to cash in on the New England energy market.

    “Certainly a second reactor will help in the supply of that and we’d look forward to getting involved with that project,” he said Wednesday.

    It’s not yet known how much New Brunswick power could sell for in New England.

    Keir said prices would have to be competitive if the utility wants to be a player in that market.

  17. Only one of those posts are really on the topic. For the others, all I can say is if you get your ‘facts’ from Fox, well, good luck to you. Cuba’s literacy rate is almost 100%, their health care is far better even than Canada’s. And this is a country with a 50 year illegal embargo. As for political prisoners, I’ve actually researched that, and what the US calls ‘political prisoners’ includes people who have robbed convenience stores, murdered people, and sold drugs. Cuba has held together with almost NO economic development, whereas the US is melting down on the basis of ONE financial ‘disaster’. The US has far more ‘political prisoners’ than Cuba, in the case of Cuba the public at least knows who they are, unlike the ‘disappearances’ conducted under the patriot act.

    The US society is relatively ‘free’ and open, and most countries want that. The US has a history of democracy, and THAT is what people want worldwide. However, that is not something that the US exports. THe US is well known as having the second most number of referenda, yet when they invade another country, they don’t export that. Ironically, in Afghanistan and Iraq, the two countries have been set up with a system of Proportional Representation, NOT the US system of government, so that shows just how interested they are in exporting ‘american democracy’. The documents are now publicly available on how the CIA overthrew the democratically elected government of Iran in the fifties, leading to all the current problems. It should be noted that the Canadian government supported almost all the same dictators as the US has, with a few exceptions.

    In the former soviet union it took only five years for the russian people to begin revolting against ‘US capitalism’. In 1996 polls universally showed that people were far happier with the communist form of government than with the new ‘advancements’. That’s reality, but its not like anti-communism died with McCarthy, if anything, its the established religion. Fortunately, the next generation has ample evidence that virtually everything we are taught to believe is wrong. There are tons of books railing against Che Guevera, and even Hugo Chavez is regularly pilloried in the press for no other reason than he seems to be popular. But just because somebody says something or gets it published doesn’t make it ‘fact’.

    There wasn’t anything new in those government comments though. The fact is, as they say, they have no idea what they will pay for power. That’s reality. The US is an open market, when they get desperate for power, NBPower charges them through the nose. When they aren’t desperate, thats another story.

    The bottom line is that this is an ‘export opportunity’. Nowhere does Irving say ‘we want to provide natural gas to ALL New Brunswickers’, nowhere do they say ‘we want to provide more power so that your bill will be cheaper or so that coal can be abolished’. NONE of that, or anything like that is in there. The province of New Brunswick has had to go to Quebec to get natural gas into northern communities.

    So what happens if the energy market turns out like pulp and paper. Will Irving have this giant plant that they will use to blackmail the province like they did with their pulp mill? Will environmental regulations be even FURTHER degraded (they’re pretty bad now) because Irving basically has the province by the short hairs?

    And again, Canada was created thanks to the fickleness of our southern neighbours. When’s the last time the province of ontario put an embargo on lumber from New Brunswick and increased the tariffs? When’s the last time a food product approved in one province was banned in another? This happens all the time, in fact just within the last five years we have examples of ALL those. But again, if people want to believe that Uncle Sam is their benevolent benefactor just waiting to please them,that’s their business. If somebody believes that about Irving, I’m not surprised they’d beleive it about the US government.

    Again, this isn’t bashing economic development, even BAD economic development, it is simply saying that in order to gauge whether its good for the province, the numbers of jobs needs to come out, and a list of exactly what other benefits it provides. People who don’t ask for details about projects are bound to be disappointed.

  18. You don’t embarrass easy, i bet?

    Human rights
    Main articles: Human rights in Cuba and Censorship in Cuba
    The Cuban government has been accused of numerous human rights abuses, including torture, arbitrary imprisonment, unfair trials, and extrajudicial executions (a.k.a. “El Paredón”).[91]

    The Human Rights Watch reports that the regime “represses nearly all forms of political dissent” and that “Cubans are systematically denied basic rights to free expression, association, assembly, privacy, movement, and due process of law”.[92] Groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have issued reports on Cuban prisoners of conscience.[93] Cuba is “the second biggest prison in the world for journalists” after the People’s Republic of China.[94] The Ladies in White opposition group received the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought from the European Parliament in 2005.

    Citizens cannot leave or return to Cuba without first obtaining official permission, which is often denied.[92]

    Cuban regime operates an extensive system of censorship similar to North Korea and it ranked on the bottom of the the Press Freedom Index 2008 compiled by the Reporters Without Borders.[95] The censorship limits accuracy of information about Cuba.[96][97] The media in Cuba is operated under the Communist Party’s Department of Revolutionary Orientation, which “develops and coordinates propaganda strategies”.[98]

    The authorities have called Internet “the great disease of 21st century”.[99] As a result of computer ownership bans, computer ownership rates are among the world’s lowest.[100] Right to use Internet is granted only to selected people and these selected people are monitored.[99][100] Connecting to the Internet illegally can lead to a five-year prison sentence.

    Main article: Healthcare in Cuba
    Historically, Cuba has ranked high in numbers of medical personnel and has made significant contributions to world health since the 19th century.[124]

    Post-Revolution Cuba experienced an overall worsening in terms of disease and infant mortality rates in the 1960s. Recovery occurred by the 1980s.[36] The Communist government asserted that universal healthcare was to become a priority of state planning and progress was made in rural areas.[125] Like the rest of the Cuban economy, Cuban medical care suffered from severe material shortages following the end of Soviet subsidies in 1991.

    Challenges include low pay of doctors (only 15 dollars a month[126]), poor facilities, poor provision of equipment, and frequent absence of essential drugs

    And the Corruption Perceptions Index also doesn’t agree with your bitterness against the nation that is 30 times more powerful than its closest rival.
    Besides your disdain for Democracy!

  19. Just to make sure you get the correct information just type, che guevara killer, into google. And if you ever have read on revolutionary wars, the deviates are out in full force rising to the top with their cowardly cruel vicious actions, unable for normal people to describe.

  20. Well, by that definition go look up “Iraq”and “George Bush” and “killer”. The magnitude of death in Iraq makes any comparison with Che Guevera ludicrous. Even Castro’s takeover of Cuba was pretty mild in comparison with the death tolls in Afghanistan and Iraq. Revolutions aren’t pretty, but in a revolutionary war there is typically at least a good reason for the fight, whereas the embargo on Cuba is completely illegal, and in Iraq the only fair thing would be for Bush to be facing capital punishment. He’s FAR more a murderer than Saddam or Castro (if numbers and intent count for anything), but because the US is the world’s only superpower they can get away with “oops, we just got rotten information, my bad”.

    And the death tolls since pretty much exemplify it, under Batista Cuba’s infant mortality was amongst the highest in the world-typical of most countries with governments ‘supported’ by Washington (in latin america anyway). Since then it has plummeted to one of the lowest, some parts of Canada have a higher infant mortality.

    Very few people call Che ‘cruel’ or ‘cowardly’, he was far from cowardly. Its more accurate to say that he was ‘ruthless’, but primarily with defectors. Whereas in the US we have a situation of men in suits who will enact torture policies for people who have never even been proven guilty and simply hide behind euphemisms and trumped up courts. And of course by those standards George Washington was a cowardly murderer who oversaw numerous firing squad deaths. Like I said, revolutions are never pretty.

    And again, there are different definitions of ‘corruption’ and ‘human rights’. Human Rights Watch gets most of its funding from the states, and usually has different notions. Many so called ‘journalists’ were more than just journalists and many had ties to the CIA.

    The US has the highest incarceration rate in the world, and for human rights, compare a bunch of imprisoned journalists with the bodies of those in Iraq. The problem with human rights is that they don’t seem to count once somebody is dead.

    And again, the US fully supports governments all over the world that practice FAR worse practices than Cuba, Indonesia comes to mind, but there are dozens of others. So that is no defense. Again, at the federal level there is no ‘democracy’ in the US, there are some states that have some forms of democracy, and at the municipal level there are more, but that has nothing to do with foreign policy.

  21. George Bush never put the gun to the back of the head of any tied up child, nor could he ever. You have damaged any credibility you ever had, with your ridiculous defense of attempting to associate a war with a sneak bunch of cowards breaking into someones home and killing their wife or kid or better yet taking them to the dungeon for some play first, by the thousands. I need not tell you what you are.

  22. From those remarks I’m not too worried about credibility. George Bush did something infinitely worse-he ordered the army to do what he doesn’t have the balls to do himself. What is described above is a common occurence in Iraq and Afghanistan, verified by american soldiers themselves. They break into homes and kidnap all kinds of people. But perhaps the above poster thinks that only ‘white people’ are the kinds of people we really need to be worried about. Several of the prisoners from Guantanamo have written books about their ordeals and many of the former guards from there have come forward about atrocities just like the ones mentioned above. And that doesn’t even include the secret jails that the CIA has admitted they have all over the world.

    THe result of this has been the post traumatic stress, another phrase for ‘post war psychosis’ that soldiers suffer after returning home and reflecting on what they were ordered to do. At least revolutionaries have the guts to do what must be done, unlike american and canadian politicians, who talk a lot, but let others do the fighting and dying and dealing with the repercussions.

    By the way, its a pretty basic fact that the United is NOT a ‘democracy’. The founding fathers fought against what was called ‘the tyranny of the masses’ by putting all kinds of defenses against it in the constitution. As the favourite quote goes, “its a republic-if you can keep it”. It’s been the hard work by americans AGAINST their own government that initiated what democracy they do have. THAT is what people all over the world want for their own countries.

  23. I didn’t realize you were so far gone. You will also love this.

    Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki visited Caracas Friday to touch up on bilateral ties ahead of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s visit to Tehran next week, officials said.
    “Some important issues were examined, including the progress of joint projects, especially as concerns industrial cooperation and technology transfers,” a diplomatic source told AFP.

    During a public ceremony, Chavez revealed Mottaki was visiting along with vice ministers and other government officials, and said a meeting had been planned for later in the day.

    Chavez and his Iranian counterpart, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, are both arch-foes of Washington and their governments have significantly boosted their ties in recent years, signing dozens of agreements on binational banks, energy and factories.

    Cooperation between the two members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has translated into over 200 investment projects valued at more than seven billion dollars in 2007, according to Venezuelan official figures.

    Chavez is among only a handful of state leaders who support Iran’s controversial nuclear energy program, suspected by some of serving as a cover to produce nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies.

    Venezuela expelled the ambassador of Iran’s enemy Israel from Caracas in January to protest the Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip that left over 1,300 Palestinians dead.

  24. Dude, you really have to stop getting your news from Fox. No wonder you think simple facts are ‘too far gone’.

    First, so what…two leaders meet, so? Iran also has extensive deals with China, and does extensive trade with Canada.

    It’s good the article says ‘state leaders’. Again, that is the big issue here and at least it brings the topic back a little to New Brunswick. In poll after poll the majority of americans, and the majority of the world, have NO problem with Iran having a nuclear energy program. For heaven’s sake dude, you are living in a province that wants TWO nuclear reactors. Hey, maybe its a ‘front’ for a nuclear weapons program. In fact, its far more likely, it was primarily canadian trade and expertise in nuclear energy that helped India and Pakistan build their nuclear weapons program.

    Heck, with the way the US is acting in the middle east Iran is completely justified in having nuclear weapons-why not? Currently the only state in the region with them is Israel, and they have a LOT of them, thanks to Washington.

    And like Cuba, countries like this HAVE to set up trade agreements because the US and its allies force them to. Cuba was under the soviet umbrella because they were cut off from the rest of the world. The same thing happened in Guatemala, where the US isolating the country, began bombing it, then started calling them communist because they had to turn to the soviet union for fighters to protect their own air space.

    Again, this is because no country in the world is ‘democratic’. Venezuela is FAR more democratic than the United States, they’ve had more national referenda in the last two years than the US has EVER had. And again, virtually ALL these american foreign policy initiatives are in complete contrast to what the american public WANTS. It’s no surprise that Obama has basically pulled a Kennedy, saying ‘yes, we’re getting out of Iraq…in two years….but we’re leaving 40,000 troops….then we’ll see’. Basically thats code for ‘as long as Iraq is doing what we like then we’ll leave’.

    And that’s not ‘personal opinion’, that’s all stuff that I’ve read, and it ALL comes from americans themselves, army generals, soldiers, diplomats, foreign policy advisors, etc, who all give in depth interviews all over the web. I’m not talking to our anonymous friend here, because what he says is ‘conventional wisdom’ that comes straight from the corporate media in the states. But the world is FAR more complicated than ‘we good, them bad’. He hit the nail on the head when he talked about ‘democracy’, because that is exactly what this is about-the ability for citizens to control or at least be represented by their politicians. Again, lots don’t LIKE what happens in Venezuela, but the fact is that it is FAR more democratic than the US or Canada. People have the right to determine their own self interest and act on it, and Chavez at least has far more popular support than ANY canadian or american politician. And just because they trade with Iran doesn’t mean the two are equal, they are VERY different. However, Iran has as much right to nuclear energy as Canada does. And again, the state of Iran is directly the fault of the US-THEY toppled the democratic government in the fifties, so are responsible for what comes after.

  25. Your stupidity is too overwhelming.
    And is there any other news shows I shouldn’t watch? What about magazines and books,have you got a list to avoid. Say lets have a book burning, particularly the ones about the Spanish and their invasion tactics, in comparison say, to someone like Captain Cook or Christopher Columbus. Never heard of them?? oh well.

  26. This is what Graham knew when he said we would be selfsufficient soon.

    U.N. ‘Climate Change’ Plan Would Likely Shift Trillions to Form New World Economy

    according to the U.S. Department Of Energy, roughly 72 percent of U.S. electrical power generation in 2007 was derived from burning fossil fuels, with just 6 percent coming from hydro-power and less than 3 percent from non-nuclear renewable and “other” sources. And even then, those “other” non-fossil sources included wood and biomass — which, when burned, are major emitters of carbon.

    Among the tools that are considered are the cap-and-trade system for controlling carbon emissions that has been espoused by the Obama administration; “carbon taxes” on imported fuels and energy-intensive goods and industries, including airline transportation; and lower subsidies for those same goods, as well as new or higher subsidies for goods that are considered “environmentally sound.”

    Big money ahead.

  27. There MAY be big money ahead, but again, the question is for who. Irving already HAS big money, now they will have MORE ‘big money’. But that doesn’t do anything for New Brunswickers. There gas terminal gives them lots of ‘big money’, but with construction almost complete, the ‘investment’ is all gone. Those workers now are on EI, or leaving the region. St.John is the Irving headquarters and has one of the highest poverty rates in the country.
    Either way, as David points out, NBPower isn’t even mentioned in any of this. All the energy generation projects are all private, and all NBPower is going to be doing is ‘maybe’ buying power from them. So absolutely, Irving is going to have big money, but them having big money means no more than saying that TD Bank has big money in Toronto and some investments in NB-it still does little for the region, and with lower and lower taxes, it means less and less.
    New Brunswick has ALWAYS had ‘big money’, but its pretty centralized in a few hands. If that doesn’t change, economic development usually doesn’t.

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