A couple of weeks ago, former Australian PM, Tony Abbott went to press, slamming Australia’s business and family killing Renewable Energy Target and calling for an end to subsidised wind power. Abbott quite properly observed that:
“The first rule of government should be to do no harm. Right now, the government must avoid all policy-induced hits on people’s cost of living and all policy-induced hits on the cost of doing business.”
Politicians these days tend to live cosseted lives, immune from the pressures of running a business or struggling to make ends meet in a low income household.
Surrounded by sycophant advisers (most with Arts/Law degrees, still wet behind the ears – intellectual infants, who’ve never raised a sweat in their inner city based lives), modern apparatchiks are so removed from the proletariat that they could be no more distant than if they were living on Mars.
The election of Donald Trump as US President and Brexit are just the most recent examples of the gulf that exists between political elites and those that they pretend to govern.
However, every now and again, one of the huddled masses gets to confront their political betters with the hard cold reality of attempting to survive in an environment where the consequences of cynical, political ideology play out to miserable effect. Political governance is always and everywhere about people: people like Kathy Katula.
Kathy is one of millions of Canadians now struggling to meet the escalating costs of power: costs driven by the ideological fantasy of powering an economy on the whims of the weather. Here’s Kathy’s story.
‘I think he was completely dumbfounded,’ says woman who grilled Trudeau on high hydro bill
14 January 2017
She’s disabled and works 15 hours a day as a personal support worker.
She’s also a single mom with four kids and three grandchildren.
By the end of every two weeks, Kathy Katula has only a mere $65 left after paying her $900 mortgage and $1,200 hydro bill. She’s now struggling to keep a roof over her head.
She’s your average Canadian and she wasn’t afraid of putting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in his place.
Katula has been fending off a barrage of Facebook friend requests from strangers since her televised emotional plea at Friday’s Peterborough town hall forum with the PM.
“I was looking out in the audience and seeing everyone crying, I was shaking,” she told the Toronto Sun. “I just saw the video and I look ridiculous. But it was from the heart. It was like letting every raw emotion I’d been dealing with and had been dealing with over the last couple years to survive, and just letting it out.”
In a shaky voice, the 54-year-old from Buckhorn — located 30 kilometres north of Peterborough — emphatically told Trudeau she couldn’t take any more.
“You have failed me, and I’m asking you today to fix that,” she said. “I’m asking you, Mr. Trudeau … how is it justified for you to ask me to pay a carbon tax when I only have $65 left in my paycheque every two weeks to feed my family?”
A couple weeks ago, after Ontario kicked in carbon tax on New Year’s Day, Katula found an extra $45 on her monthly propane bill to fuel her baseboard heating. It was the last straw.
In his response, Trudeau said governments need to ensure people barely making ends meet shouldn’t be penalized for his climate change policy, but he ultimately passed the buck to provinces to dole out the carbon tax however they see fit.
“The fact that he stood there and said (the tax) didn’t take effect yet, either he was not being honest or he just has no clue that it’s going on already,” Katula said. “I think he was completely dumbfounded. I think I caught him off guard.
“I hope when he lays in bed and goes to sleep he realizes, ‘This is a real Canadian. This is a real struggle.’”
A few years ago, Katula survived a coma but was left with a brain injury that affects her right leg, and her hearing’s impaired. She also recovered from meningitis and suffers from epilepsy.
The leftover $65 is used to cover off as many groceries she can afford.
“I’m stocking up on Campbell’s soup,” she said. “I’m in deep poverty. But none of this stops me from going out there and getting ahead in life.”
Katula said she has no regrets with how she pressed the PM for an answer.
“I think I made a great impact and it was worth it,” she said.
Trudeau’s cheap talk on climate change – If the PM expects Canadians to sacrifice to fight global warming, let him lead by example
14 January 2017
If you want to understand the impact of climate change polices on ordinary Canadians and how detached our political leaders are from what they are doing by imposing them, think of this every time they say “carbon pricing.”
Think of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau flying in on the Aga Khan’s helicopter to the billionaire’s private island in the Bahamas, part of his greenhouse-gas spewing winter holiday with his family and Liberal friends.
Then think of him returning to Canada to hear a tearful mother and grandmother on his “meet the people” damage control tour in Peterborough Friday tell him her skyrocketing electricity and fuel bills have driven her into energy poverty.
This even though, partially disabled, she said she works 15 hours a day and makes almost $50,000 a year.
That, in a nutshell, is the issue, because it suggests Trudeau doesn’t think he has to change his lifestyle to fight climate change, but ordinary Canadians do.
This even though the decisions he’s making about carbon pricing and to “phase out” the oilsands as he put it Friday — infuriating many Albertans whose economy is on life support — will change everyone else’s.
Now think of the rich, globe-trotting gurus of global warming from Al Gore to Leonardo DiCaprio.
Think of the United Nations’ never-ending global warming roadshow that seems determined, on the public’s dime, to invade every tourist mecca, five-star hotel and Michelin restaurant on Earth, spewing the very greenhouse gases the UN says are endangering the planet.
Never mind what these hypocrites say about saving humanity.
Ask yourself whether they act like people who really believe the Earth faces an imminent, existential threat from the overconsumption of fossil fuel energy.
Don’t their actions suggest their real attitude is “energy poverty for thee, but not for me”?
Trudeau told Kathy Katula of Buckhorn, Ont., who confronted him about her desperate situation, that he admired her courage.
He reminded her of the importance of fighting climate change.
He hugged her.
And he threw Premier Kathleen Wynne under the bus.
Trudeau told Katula that while she needs to be protected from the costs of carbon pricing, electricity is a provincial responsibility, and his “carbon tax” (he meant “carbon price”) doesn’t start “for another few years.” (It starts next year.) Wynne told the Oakville and Burlington Chamber of Commerce on Friday, while a few demonstrators outside protested high electricity prices, that she knows they are a burden and pledged to reduce them beyond her removal of the 8% Ontario portion of the HST on Jan. 1.
If Trudeau and Wynne really want to help people cope with the higher cost of living caused by carbon pricing, they can promise 100% of the monies raised will be returned to Canadians as tax cuts or direct grants.
This carbon pricing system, called carbon fee and dividend, is the only one designed to lower emissions rather than increase government revenues.
Thus, the chances of it happening are between slim and none, and slim just left town.
The Toronto Sun