Friday, May 2, 2008

Read it and Weep...and then Go for a Drive in your SUV


Not on our roads

May 1st 2008 | MONTREAL
From The Economist print edition

Bureaucrats against electric cars, and progress

IN THESE times of high petrol prices and worries about climate change, you might think that any country would be proud to enjoy a lead in manufacturing electric cars. Not Canada, it seems. Two Canadian companies, ZENN Motor Company and Dynasty Electric Car, make small electric cars designed for city use; a third, which will use new battery technology developed by Exxon Mobil, plans to launch a model later this year.

But almost all these “low-speed vehicles” (or LSVs) are exported to the United States because Canada refuses to allow their use on public roads. Transport Canada, the regulatory agency, questions their safety. It doubts they would stand up in a collision with a delivery truck or a sport utility vehicle. Officials say they crash-tested one which didn't fare well, though they refuse to release the data. The agency wants LSVs confined to “controlled areas”, such as university campuses, military bases, parks and Canada's few gated communities. Its advice has carried weight with the provinces, which make the rules of the road.

It is true that the cars are made from lightweight metals and plastics. But the manufacturers allege political bias: Stephen Harper's conservative government has much support in oil-rich Alberta. Backed by thousands of would-be buyers, they are campaigning to reverse the agency's decision. “It's a ludicrous regulatory situation. All you can point to is oil and the big guys and think there's a conspiracy somewhere,” says Danny Epp of Dynasty.

Mr Epp reckons that his car should be allowed on urban streets with speed limits of around 50kph (30mph) or less. But Dynasty recently gave up the battle. In March it announced that it is being bought by a Pakistani firm, which will move production to Karachi and export to the United States from there.

ZENN—that stands for zero emission, no noise—promises to fight on. Ian Clifford, its boss, points out that there has not been a single death related to LSVs in the United States, where 44 states allow them and some 45,000 such cars are in use. And gas-guzzlers imperil public safety by polluting the air, he notes. But Mr Clifford is not expecting change soon. He claims that his campaign against Transport Canada has made him enemies. “Two senior, entrenched bureaucrats have told me personally that if it is the last thing they do, they'll keep LSVs off the road in Canada,” he says.


He will Continue to be a Great Asset to His Community

Do you remember the lovely dad who went awalkin' in sub-zero weather with his two infant daughters?

Of course, he was drunk. Of course, the girls died.

You remember all that, I'm sure.

The dad's wife, and mother of two dead daughters, says he's suffered enough and shouldn't be charged with any criminal offense.

Forgiveness has found a home.


Headline of the Week

"Flaherty May Have Conflict"

Italics are mine, all mine.

Let's see now.

The Finance Monster creates a federal tax break for private school students.

But, oops there, he and his wife have financial interests in a private school.

And the headline - and very small, back page story - says he may have a conflict?

Canada Immigration is a disaster

Vancouver lawyer, Richard Kurland, is absolutely right to raise holy hell about the backlog of cases and the government failure to fill vacancies on the Immigration & Refugee Board.

But he has barely scratched the surface.

Last week, a government official told me that Canadian Immigration currently has a backlog of EIGHT HUNDRED THOUSAND cases!

I learned this because one of my dearest friends has been waiting almost two years for any action whatsoever on his file. He is trying to bring his partner here.


You are separated from your spouse for over 2 years, while trying to establish yourself in a new country and new culture, and there is no resolution because the issue sits dormant in a desk drawer somewhere.

Isn't it time to admit that so many of our government agencies and offices are pathetic in their stupidities and inefficiencies? Canada Immigration, National Parole, Corrections Canada...and those are just the beginning.

Way Too Taxing

Thanks to Harvey Enchin writing in the Sun today about the cash cow called the carbon tax.

The key message comes at the very end:

"As presently designed, B.C.'s carbon tax will further impoverish the poor, destroy productive industries, imperil public finances, erode the province's competitive position and ignite inflation -- and it won't make an iota of difference to greenhouse gas emissions.

Doesn't anyone have the common sense to pull the plug on this catastrophe in the making before it's too late?"

And I have highlighted the core - it won't effect the climate whatsoever. From the beginning, I have seen these carbon tax measures as cruel jokes and money making schemes for governments and entrepreneurs.

Don't buy into this circus act for a moment.

Chad Kroeger, the Nickelback lead singer, has taken hypocrisy to new levels.

On the one hand, he acknowledges that he is a convicted drunk driver and that kids shouldn't follow his example.

Then, his lawyer adds quickly that they will appeal the miscreant's conviction.

Here's the thing, Chad Darling.

Be quiet, accept that you did the crime and live out your meager sentence. be grateful you didn't kill anyone or your own perfect self.

Anyone who can afford a Lamborghini can certainly afford a driver for one year. heck, you might even learn to read.