have you made a war out of your heart?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

have you made a war out of your heart?


have you learned your lessons as well as you could have?
have you poured yourself out entirely and made not a drop
of your soul an acid throw? have you given your mask away
a dozen times and shown yourself naked to the beloved? and if not
why not? the world aches for this sort of courage and you have failed
if you have not done any of these works

have you grown a garden of words and laid the root cellar full of your harvest?
have you gone out into the world and faced each lie with your sword and cut down
as much of that thicket down? have you made a war out of your heart? have you taken
down all those who would harm the ones who are powerless? have you been shield and cry?
have you done the good work? and if not why not? why have you not spoken up and given your blood
for the cause which is the cause of all of mankind? why have you not laid your life on the line?

the line of poetry the line of language the line of acts of courage?
why have you stayed silent while the homeless walked by your home?
why have you not spoken for the hungry? why have you kept quiet when we have been lied to?
why have you not taken out your soul from its burial ground and given it up in life to do the work
of love? I ask you this not to make you ashamed or restless I ask you this because I am curious
how can you let your children live and yet keep silent when their children die?

how can you do this?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

questions

It has been a rather grim day. I haven't accomplished much. I have started another investigation on the contract process in government that is full of information that I have to process. More bad news on the handicapped sister front. I asked for a second opinion on her condition and the first doctor says that this means that the file is closed. So now I am without a doctor.
It seems that if you ask for a second opinion in Alberta, the doctors simply close the patient file.
I left a message at the first doctor's office and said that we did not ask for her file to be closed.
It seems that you have a patient and  a sister who is hard to manage and there you go.

Most of the work on the blog is very depressing.
I find that the most depressing part is the failure to get answers or if I do get answers, they are fluffy answers that do not answer my real questions--which I present in my e-mails.

I guess the entire objective of the failure to answer and the failure to answer appropriately is to get folks discouraged. And I am discouraged. It seems that citizens are the last to get any sort of information (if they get it at all).

The rationale of privacy was a good one but now it has ensured that the money trail is hard to follow.

I am stuck in a rock slide and I can't get moving forward.

In this society moving forward requires political and schmoozing skills that I lack. It is a sad fact of life but you can't get ahead without connections.  I note that people with very few skills are able to make their way to the top of our society and they manage the people with the highest skills.
It is very difficult doing any sort of work in the area of following the money ---which seem to be large sums of our money---and seeing who got this money and what their relationships with the government are.
Most citizens believe that contracts are given to the lowest bidding company.
But in the case of sole source contracts this is not the case and there is the fact that Mr. Anderson has indicated that sole source contracts under ONE MILLION DOLLARS can be handed out by the city manager. Who knew this? I didn't know about this.
This seems to be a rather hefty sum of cash that can be sent out the door on the basis of one person don't you think?
Why do we allow it?
This is a good question and we deserve to know the answer.

But will we get one?
Mr. Anderson sure doesn't want to do his job of answering my questions other than with an approved set of words. Why not?
This is another good question.

Is everything canned and prescribed in our society?

This sort of discovery isn't very palatable.
I have lots of questions and no answers.

I notice that you have copied your questions to both Mayor Iveson and City Manager Simon Farbrother, and any further information you require should be requested from their offices. Bryan K. Anderson Councillor, Ward 9 780-496-8130 www.bryananderson.ca

From: "jyali" <jyali@>
To: "Bryan Anderson" <bryan.anderson@edmonton.ca>, "don iveson" <don.iveson@edmonton.ca>, "bvg.gc.ca," <city.auditor@edmonton.ca>, "simon farbrother" <simon.farbrother@edmonton.ca>, investigations@metronews.ca, edmonton@globalnews.ca, newsroom@globeandmail.com, "Margo Goodhand (Edm Journal)" <mgoodhand@edmontonjournal.com>, "Velvet Martin" <johnvel@>, "Diana Daunheimer" <dianadaun@>, "edmonton whitemud" <edmonton.whitemud@assembly.ab.ca>, "calgary greenway" <calgary.greenway@assembly.ab.ca>, "edmonton highlandsnorwood" <edmonton.highlandsnorwood@assembly.ab.ca>, "edmonton rutherford" <edmonton.rutherford@assembly.ab.ca>, "highwood" <highwood@assembly.ab.ca>, "calgary elbow" <calgary.elbow@assembly.ab.ca>, "calgary west" <calgary.west@assembly.ab.ca>, "calgary acadia" <calgary.acadia@assembly.ab.ca>, "draytonvalley devon" <draytonvalley.devon@assembly.ab.ca>, "stephen harper" <stephen.harper@parl.gc.ca>, "james rajotte" <james.rajotte@parl.gc.ca>, "thomas mulcair" <thomas.mulcair@parl.gc.ca>, "justin trudeau" <justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca>, "elizabeth may" <elizabeth.may@parl.gc.ca>, "Jessica Ernst" <magog@sasktel.net>, "Stewart Shields" <lagran@shaw.ca>, gthomson@edmontonjournal.com, "Darren Boisvert" <elephanttimes@gmail.com>
Cc: "andrew knack" <andrew.knack@edmonton.ca>, "dave loken" <dave.loken@edmonton.ca>, "michael oshry" <michael.oshry@edmonton.ca>, "tony caterina" <tony.caterina@edmonton.ca>, "mike nickel" <mike.nickel@edmonton.ca>, "Bev Esslinger" <bev.esslinger@edmonton.ca>, "scott mckeen" <scott.mckeen@edmonton.ca>, "ben henderson" <ben.henderson@edmonton.ca>, "michael walters" <michael.walters@edmonton.ca>, "amarjeet sohi" <amarjeet.sohi@edmonton.ca>
Sent: Thursday, April 24, 2014 4:20:14 PM
Subject: Re: LRT lobbying and advertisement contracts---sole sourcing

Dear Mr. Anderson,

I am looking at the Stewart group information right now.I see nothing special about this group. 
What you have indicated doesn't give me any indication of why they were chosen by the city manager.

Why does the city manager get to make this rather hefty decision?
Why are the sole source contracts allowed in this manner? This seems to be an area that needs to be changed. 
This seems that there is too much money being given out by a single person. This sort of power to spend money needs to be limited in my view. 
This sort of payout needs oversight by city council as well.  

The e-mails I directed to you need answers.
The e-mails I directed to the Mayor's office need answers from the Mayor's office.

I see no reason why your office would not provide the answers to the questions I have listed in my first e-mail. I don't want a generic advertisement blurb. I want answers to my questions.
For example, please note that a generic answer of the advertisement contract being given to several companies does not answer my question which is which companies got the contract divvied up. When I write a blog post about this matter, I want to say that the city of Edmonton divided up the pot of gold among company X, Y and Z. Then I want to see if these companies contributed to councillors in the elections. This sort of revelation is important for citizens. Just giving me a blurb won't help me make these sorts of connections.

If I ask your office questions, your office should answer my questions. You represent my ward and as such your office has the responsibility to answer the questions of constituents in this ward. Please don't fob me off with the referral to other offices. It is your job to answer the questions of the folks in your ward.
The mayor's office has the responsibility for answering questions for all citizens.

As a taxpayer, it is very dismaying to see this sort of generic response giving.
I am also not impressed by the generic contract making ability of the city manager.  

I believe council should look at the powers of the city manager and limit them in this case with reference to sole source contracts.  I've never heard of any city doing this sort of sole source contracting through their city manager.

Best regards,
Julie Ali



From: "Bryan Anderson" <bryan.anderson@edmonton.ca>
To: "jyali" <jyali@>
Cc: "don iveson" <don.iveson@edmonton.ca>, "bvg.gc.ca," <city.auditor@edmonton.ca>, "Simon Farbrother" <simon.farbrother@edmonton.ca>, "andrew knack" <andrew.knack@edmonton.ca>, "Dave Loken" <dave.loken@edmonton.ca>, "Michael Oshry" <michael.oshry@edmonton.ca>, "tony caterina" <tony.caterina@edmonton.ca>, "mike nickel" <mike.nickel@edmonton.ca>, "Bev Esslinger" <bev.esslinger@edmonton.ca>, "scott mckeen" <scott.mckeen@edmonton.ca>, "ben henderson" <ben.henderson@edmonton.ca>, "Michael Walters" <michael.walters@edmonton.ca>, "amarjeet sohi" <amarjeet.sohi@edmonton.ca>
Sent: Thursday, April 24, 2014 12:33:42 PM
Subject: Re: LRT lobbying and advertisement contracts---sole sourcing

Julie, 

Council has delegated a number of responsibilities to the City Manager including the awarding of sole source contracts under $1 Million dollars.  The document you are asking for was not provided to Council as the decision was made by the City Manager.  I am copying below, a paragraph from my previous email to you.  It clearly states the reason for the Stewart Group receiving the sole source contract.

The $275,000 ad campaign was spread out among a number of local companies providing advertising services.

"The Stewart group was selected on a sole source basis due their extensive background and track record with rail projects in Canada and the US and ability to deliver a strategy within the time frames requested by Council (fall of 2013 – advocacy strategy requested, delivered strategy by February 2014). Sole source contracts under $1 million do not go to Council."


I notice that you have copied your questions to both Mayor Iveson and City Manager Simon Farbrother, and any further information you require should be requested from their offices.  


Bryan K. Anderson
Councillor, Ward 9
780-496-8130


On Thu, Apr 24, 2014 at 10:32 AM, jyali <jyali@> wrote:

Dear Mr. Anderson,

Can you provide me with the actual city council document references please?

I understand that sole source basis--as being--that there were other companies can do this work but for the necessities decided upon by the city--there was no tendering process done. I find this curious.
Sole source is different from single source where we don't have a choice in contractors.

I give you this information to clarify:

ISSUE BACKGROUND The terms single source and sole source are often used interchangeably; however, in
procurement terminology they mean different things and the distinction is important.
Single source procurement is a non-competitive purchase where there is only one supplier
of a product or service and as a result a competitive quotation process is simply not
possible. Examples include utility purchases, TTC tokens and suppliers mandated by the
Provincial government. Many of the single source situations are now covered by
Schedule A of the Financial Control By-law which lists goods and services that do not
have to go through the competitive bid process. This report does not include information
on single source purchases authorized by Schedule A of Chapter 71.

Sole source procurement is a non-competitive purchase where there are other suppliers of
the product or service available; however, for reasons such as emergency, proprietary,
matching existing equipment, health and safety concerns, time constraints, etc., the
procurement is sourced to a specific vendor.
***********************
This report indicates that sole source is different from single source procurement.
In other words, there are other folks who can do the job but were not given the chance to tender for the job.
The decision to sole source with reference to one or both of these contracts appears fishy to this citizen. Why were these decisions made? Who made them? Why isn't there oversight by the city council? Why not public discussion? This is not the way I envision democracy or the prudent use of my tax dollars. 
It also makes me feel as if there are corruption files in existence when I see this sort of preferential awarding of contracts. It may not appear this way to the city council -but it gives me a bad feeling and I don't like it.
Why? Because you are streaming contracts to preferred folks without public oversight. Why on earth would you do this? I'd say to avoid hearing from folks like me who would want this stopped and so you all went ahead and did it before we could protest.

I have sent an e-mail to the mayor's office.
This kind of sole sourcing stuff  and single sourcing stuff ---may be legal but it appears bad to us.

I still want the information I requested for my blog posts.
I want to know what advertisement company was used.
What connections (if any) do the advertisement company and the Stewart Group have to the city of Edmonton?

I am not satisfied by this placid response. It should be avoided in the future--the appearance that large sums of money are going to preferred contractors--if only for the major reason that we no longer trust the operations of city council after the awarding of the Katz arena which was not in the public interest.

I look forward to details please.
This won't do.
Please let me know if I have to FOIP to get the contract details.
I note from the provincial government that there is a process for FOIP requests of these contracts. What is the city of Edmonton process?

Managing Contracts
under the FOIP Act



A Guide for Government of Alberta
Contract Managers and
FOIP Coordinators
Revised September 2010

Julie 



From: "Bryan Anderson" <bryan.anderson@edmonton.ca>
To: "jyali" <jyali@>
Cc: "bvg.gc.ca," <city.auditor@edmonton.ca>, "don iveson" <don.iveson@edmonton.ca>, "tony caterina" <tony.caterina@edmonton.ca>
Sent: Thursday, April 24, 2014 10:03:17 AM
Subject: Re: LRT lobbying and advertisement contracts---sole sourcing

Julie, 

Thank you for the email.  I can offer the following as a response.

"We understand and appreciate your concerns regarding funds spent on a campaign to secure funding for the LRT extension. Here is some background for you that we hope will be helpful:
-The $275,000 spent on advertising was with a variety of advertising providers including outdoor advertising, print advertising, retail media Adbars at 35 grocery store locations, digital online advertising and outdoor print production.
-In addition to the $275,000 for advertising, Administration obtained the services of an outside contractor, the Stewart group to assist with a broader overall strategy (including research, tactics, monitoring and evaluation) to work towards securing the $750 million required from the provincial and federal governments to allow the Valley Line project to move forward. The total contract value was 351 k.
-The Stewart group was selected on a sole source basis due their extensive background and track record with rail projects in Canada and the US and ability to deliver a strategy within the timeframes requested by Council (fall of 2013 – advocacy strategy requested, delivered strategy by February 2014). Sole source contracts under $1 million do not go to Council.
-Written funding commitments are now in place from the Province and it is expected that the federal government will formally commit to their portion of the requested funding as well.
-Contractor costs were minimal in comparison with the $1.8 billion overall project budget.
-The return on investment was well worth it as the $600 million in funding commitments from the Province came within weeks of launching the successful advertising and social media campaign that engaged Edmontonians in Council’s top infrastructure priority.

Bryan K. Anderson
Councillor, Ward 9


On Mon, Apr 21, 2014 at 7:01 PM, jyali <jyali@> wrote:
Dear Mr. Anderson,

 I note that quite a large sum of money was spent to lobby folks for the LRT funds. The CBC article below says that $728,000 was spent on the single company--the Stewart Group and an unnamed advertisement company..
I have a few questions about this sort of sole source contracting.

1) Why was the sole source contract for $351,000--with the Stewart Group approved by the city manager and not by city council? It appears that some councillors did not know about this sole source contract. Why didn't these councillors know about it? Why did this get sent out of house when it was supposed to have been done in house? Who made the decision to send the work outside? Why?

2) Who got the contract for the advertising campaign for $275,000? Was this sole sourced as well? Why?


3) Why was the public not consulted when the mayor went ahead with almost a million dollars for an ad campaign and consultations by a lobbying company? What work did the advertising company do? What were the deliverables? Can we have an accounting of exactly what advertisements were done for us for this major amount of cash? Similarly, what exact product did the mayor get for the $351,000 from the Stewart Group? I want to know what work the company did  "to enable the mayor to more effectively lobby the provincial and federal governments". What data and expertise did they bring to the table? Where is the products of their work?

4) Why is the city of Edmonton unable to do its own advertising and own research inhouse? Why do we pay for expensive external support when I suggest it would be cheaper to do this in-house?

5) I do not approve of this large expenditure of cash by the mayor. I think we hire all of you so that you all do this work. Why do we need to pay for other folks to do the job we expect city council to do? What does the inhouse advertising and research staff do?

6) Where can we get details of these contracts and the way in which they were approved?  Is this is the normal way such big contracts go through? If so I suggest you change this process so  that any contract above $50,000 goes up for tender. This is beginning to sound like the problems at the AHS.

Please provide information on this matter. The success of the project, should not eliminate the need for careful use of public dollars especially when I am going to be paying more on my property taxes.

Best regards,
Julie Ali





https://ca.news.yahoo.com/lrt-campaign-cost-728k-more-twice-original-amount-131735423.html

LRT campaign cost $728K, more than twice original amount
CBCCBC – Tue, 15 Apr, 2014
Email

Print
RELATED CONTENT
Mayor Don Iveson told the public in February that the LRT campaign would cost $275,000.View Photo
Mayor Don Iveson told the public in February that the LRT campaign would cost $2 …


The city of Edmonton spent $351,000 on hiring a Vancouver firm to promote LRT expansion, CBC News has learned.
That’s on top of the $275,000 Mayor Don Iveson said the city was spending in February. Everything else was supposed to be done “in house”
However, documents obtained by CBC through a freedom of information request show the total for the promotional campaign was $728,000, more than twice what the public was originally told.
Iveson said he was not trying to mislead anyone.
“I meant the advertising campaign when I was talking about a $275,000 campaign,” he said.
“We did get additional help to do the government relations side and I think it was money well-spent because we achieved our objective.
The agreement with the Stewart Group was a sole-source contract approved by city manager Simon Farbrother two months ago.
While Iveson knew about the contract, at least three city councillors say they did not.
“I'll be asking the city manager...why we weren't made aware of that in any way, shape or form,” Coun. Dave Loken said.
“I think we'll probably have some questions for the mayor,” said Coun. Scott McKeen.
"I don't recall a sole source contract," Coun. Mike Nickel said.
Derek Fildebrandt with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation is concerned that the contract was not put out to tender.
“This sets off so many alarm bells,” he said.  “This was not spending directly approved by council. I think a serious second look needs to be taken here.”
Clarification : CBC has clarified that the Stewart Group provided consulting services to the City of Edmonton to enable the mayor to more effectively lobby the provincial and federal governments. (Apr 15, 2014 4:49 PM)

Dear Mr. Anderson, Can you provide me with the actual city council document references please? I understand that sole source basis--as being--that there were other companies can do this work but for the necessities decided upon by the city--there was no tendering process done. I find this curious. Sole source is different from single source where we don't have a choice in contractors.

From: "jyali" <jyali@>
To: "Bryan Anderson" <bryan.anderson@edmonton.ca>, "don iveson" <don.iveson@edmonton.ca>, "bvg.gc.ca," <city.auditor@edmonton.ca>, "simon farbrother" <simon.farbrother@edmonton.ca>
Cc: "andrew knack" <andrew.knack@edmonton.ca>, "dave loken" <dave.loken@edmonton.ca>, "michael oshry" <michael.oshry@edmonton.ca>, "tony caterina" <tony.caterina@edmonton.ca>, "mike nickel" <mike.nickel@edmonton.ca>, "Bev Esslinger" <bev.esslinger@edmonton.ca>, "scott mckeen" <scott.mckeen@edmonton.ca>, "ben henderson" <ben.henderson@edmonton.ca>, "michael walters" <michael.walters@edmonton.ca>, "amarjeet sohi" <amarjeet.sohi@edmonton.ca>
Sent: Thursday, April 24, 2014 10:32:52 AM
Subject: Re: LRT lobbying and advertisement contracts---sole sourcing


Dear Mr. Anderson,

Can you provide me with the actual city council document references please?

I understand that sole source basis--as being--that there were other companies can do this work but for the necessities decided upon by the city--there was no tendering process done. I find this curious.
Sole source is different from single source where we don't have a choice in contractors.

I give you this information to clarify:

http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2013/gm/bgrd/backgroundfile-57608.pdf
ISSUE BACKGROUND The terms single source and sole source are often used interchangeably; however, in
procurement terminology they mean different things and the distinction is important.
Single source procurement is a non-competitive purchase where there is only one supplier
of a product or service and as a result a competitive quotation process is simply not
possible. Examples include utility purchases, TTC tokens and suppliers mandated by the
Provincial government. Many of the single source situations are now covered by
Schedule A of the Financial Control By-law which lists goods and services that do not
have to go through the competitive bid process. This report does not include information
on single source purchases authorized by Schedule A of Chapter 71.

Sole source procurement is a non-competitive purchase where there are other suppliers of
the product or service available; however, for reasons such as emergency, proprietary,
matching existing equipment, health and safety concerns, time constraints, etc., the
procurement is sourced to a specific vendor.
***********************
This report indicates that sole source is different from single source procurement.
In other words, there are other folks who can do the job but were not given the chance to tender for the job.
The decision to sole source with reference to one or both of these contracts appears fishy to this citizen. Why were these decisions made? Who made them? Why isn't there oversight by the city council? Why not public discussion? This is not the way I envision democracy or the prudent use of my tax dollars. 
It also makes me feel as if there are corruption files in existence when I see this sort of preferential awarding of contracts. It may not appear this way to the city council -but it gives me a bad feeling and I don't like it.
Why? Because you are streaming contracts to preferred folks without public oversight. Why on earth would you do this? I'd say to avoid hearing from folks like me who would want this stopped and so you all went ahead and did it before we could protest.

I have sent an e-mail to the mayor's office.
This kind of sole sourcing stuff  and single sourcing stuff ---may be legal but it appears bad to us.

I still want the information I requested for my blog posts.
I want to know what advertisement company was used.
What connections (if any) do the advertisement company and the Stewart Group have to the city of Edmonton?

I am not satisfied by this placid response. It should be avoided in the future--the appearance that large sums of money are going to preferred contractors--if only for the major reason that we no longer trust the operations of city council after the awarding of the Katz arena which was not in the public interest.

I look forward to details please.
This won't do.
Please let me know if I have to FOIP to get the contract details.
I note from the provincial government that there is a process for FOIP requests of these contracts. What is the city of Edmonton process?

Managing Contracts
under the FOIP Act



A Guide for Government of Alberta
Contract Managers and
FOIP Coordinators
Revised September 2010

Julie 



From: "Bryan Anderson" <bryan.anderson@edmonton.ca>
To: "jyali" <jyali
Cc: "bvg.gc.ca," <city.auditor@edmonton.ca>, "don iveson" <don.iveson@edmonton.ca>, "tony caterina" <tony.caterina@edmonton.ca>
Sent: Thursday, April 24, 2014 10:03:17 AM
Subject: Re: LRT lobbying and advertisement contracts---sole sourcing

Julie, 

Thank you for the email.  I can offer the following as a response.

"We understand and appreciate your concerns regarding funds spent on a campaign to secure funding for the LRT extension. Here is some background for you that we hope will be helpful:
-The $275,000 spent on advertising was with a variety of advertising providers including outdoor advertising, print advertising, retail media Adbars at 35 grocery store locations, digital online advertising and outdoor print production.
-In addition to the $275,000 for advertising, Administration obtained the services of an outside contractor, the Stewart group to assist with a broader overall strategy (including research, tactics, monitoring and evaluation) to work towards securing the $750 million required from the provincial and federal governments to allow the Valley Line project to move forward. The total contract value was 351 k.
-The Stewart group was selected on a sole source basis due their extensive background and track record with rail projects in Canada and the US and ability to deliver a strategy within the timeframes requested by Council (fall of 2013 – advocacy strategy requested, delivered strategy by February 2014). Sole source contracts under $1 million do not go to Council.
-Written funding commitments are now in place from the Province and it is expected that the federal government will formally commit to their portion of the requested funding as well.
-Contractor costs were minimal in comparison with the $1.8 billion overall project budget.
-The return on investment was well worth it as the $600 million in funding commitments from the Province came within weeks of launching the successful advertising and social media campaign that engaged Edmontonians in Council’s top infrastructure priority.

Bryan K. Anderson
Councillor, Ward 9
780-496-8130


On Mon, Apr 21, 2014 at 7:01 PM, jyali <jyali@> wrote:
Dear Mr. Anderson,

 I note that quite a large sum of money was spent to lobby folks for the LRT funds. The CBC article below says that $728,000 was spent on the single company--the Stewart Group and an unnamed advertisement company..
I have a few questions about this sort of sole source contracting.

1) Why was the sole source contract for $351,000--with the Stewart Group approved by the city manager and not by city council? It appears that some councillors did not know about this sole source contract. Why didn't these councillors know about it? Why did this get sent out of house when it was supposed to have been done in house? Who made the decision to send the work outside? Why?

2) Who got the contract for the advertising campaign for $275,000? Was this sole sourced as well? Why?


3) Why was the public not consulted when the mayor went ahead with almost a million dollars for an ad campaign and consultations by a lobbying company? What work did the advertising company do? What were the deliverables? Can we have an accounting of exactly what advertisements were done for us for this major amount of cash? Similarly, what exact product did the mayor get for the $351,000 from the Stewart Group? I want to know what work the company did  "to enable the mayor to more effectively lobby the provincial and federal governments". What data and expertise did they bring to the table? Where is the products of their work?

4) Why is the city of Edmonton unable to do its own advertising and own research inhouse? Why do we pay for expensive external support when I suggest it would be cheaper to do this in-house?

5) I do not approve of this large expenditure of cash by the mayor. I think we hire all of you so that you all do this work. Why do we need to pay for other folks to do the job we expect city council to do? What does the inhouse advertising and research staff do?

6) Where can we get details of these contracts and the way in which they were approved?  Is this is the normal way such big contracts go through? If so I suggest you change this process so  that any contract above $50,000 goes up for tender. This is beginning to sound like the problems at the AHS.

Please provide information on this matter. The success of the project, should not eliminate the need for careful use of public dollars especially when I am going to be paying more on my property taxes.

Best regards,
Julie Ali





https://ca.news.yahoo.com/lrt-campaign-cost-728k-more-twice-original-amount-131735423.html

LRT campaign cost $728K, more than twice original amount
CBCCBC – Tue, 15 Apr, 2014
Email

Print
RELATED CONTENT
Mayor Don Iveson told the public in February that the LRT campaign would cost $275,000.View Photo
Mayor Don Iveson told the public in February that the LRT campaign would cost $2 …


The city of Edmonton spent $351,000 on hiring a Vancouver firm to promote LRT expansion, CBC News has learned.
That’s on top of the $275,000 Mayor Don Iveson said the city was spending in February. Everything else was supposed to be done “in house”
However, documents obtained by CBC through a freedom of information request show the total for the promotional campaign was $728,000, more than twice what the public was originally told.
Iveson said he was not trying to mislead anyone.
“I meant the advertising campaign when I was talking about a $275,000 campaign,” he said.
“We did get additional help to do the government relations side and I think it was money well-spent because we achieved our objective.
The agreement with the Stewart Group was a sole-source contract approved by city manager Simon Farbrother two months ago.
While Iveson knew about the contract, at least three city councillors say they did not.
“I'll be asking the city manager...why we weren't made aware of that in any way, shape or form,” Coun. Dave Loken said.
“I think we'll probably have some questions for the mayor,” said Coun. Scott McKeen.
"I don't recall a sole source contract," Coun. Mike Nickel said.
Derek Fildebrandt with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation is concerned that the contract was not put out to tender.
“This sets off so many alarm bells,” he said.  “This was not spending directly approved by council. I think a serious second look needs to be taken here.”
Clarification : CBC has clarified that the Stewart Group provided consulting services to the City of Edmonton to enable the mayor to more effectively lobby the provincial and federal governments. (Apr 15, 2014 4:49 PM)

Dear Mr. Iveson, I have already written to my councillor Mr. Bryan Anderson about my interest in specific contracts that were recently reported by the CBC as being single sourced contracts for the LRT project that was recently approved. Hopefully Mr. Anderson will get back to me with some answers soon. While I wait for his answers, I am investigating the awarding of these contracts and would like to ask your office some questions. I am referring these questions to all councillors so that they might understand that citizens are rightly concerned by the failures of our elected hires to inform us of major expenditures until the deeds are done.

--- Forwarded Message -----
From: "jyali" <jyali@
To: "don iveson" <don.iveson@edmonton.ca>, "simon farbrother" <simon.farbrother@edmonton.ca>, "bryan anderson" <bryan.anderson@edmonton.ca>, "bvg.gc.ca," <city.auditor@edmonton.ca>
Cc: "andrew knack" <andrew.knack@edmonton.ca>, "dave loken" <dave.loken@edmonton.ca>, "michael oshry" <michael.oshry@edmonton.ca>, "tony caterina" <tony.caterina@edmonton.ca>, "mike nickel" <mike.nickel@edmonton.ca>, "Bev Esslinger" <Bev.Esslinger@edmonton.ca>, "ed gibbons" <ed.gibbons@edmonton.ca>, "scott mckeen" <scott.mckeen@edmonton.ca>, "ben henderson" <ben.henderson@edmonton.ca>, "michael walters" <michael.walters@edmonton.ca>, "amarjeet sohi" <amarjeet.sohi@edmonton.ca>
Sent: Thursday, April 24, 2014 10:02:20 AM
Subject: contracts----Iveson stressed that he made the case for the project with both the provincial and federal governments, but the group gave him good advice on what to say.------Coun. Amarjeet Sohi said any money was clearly worth the investment, because the city received $600 million in provincial funds for the project.-----

Dear Mr. Iveson,

I have already written to my councillor Mr. Bryan Anderson about my interest in specific contracts that were recently reported by the CBC as being single sourced contracts for the LRT project that was recently approved.  Hopefully Mr. Anderson will get back to me with some answers soon.
While I wait for his answers, I am investigating the awarding of these contracts and would like to ask your office some questions.
I am referring these questions to all councillors so that they might understand that citizens are rightly concerned by the failures of our elected hires to inform us of major expenditures until the deeds are done.
I do not know a great deal about the awarding of contracts but after learning about the corruption of municipal politics in Quebec, I feel that it would be wise for all taxpayers to keep an eye on the awarding of all major and minor contracts by government folks.

I have questions about the contracts that were employed to facilitate the process of getting funds for the LRT extension.   I have briefly looked at the information on the city of Edmonton website and I am still not sure what the tendering process is.In any case, it appears that these particular contracts were approved independent of the regular tendering process.

I will start with the questions I have about the contracting process for any sort of external services, goods and other work.

1) Is there a dollar amount --say $75,000 as used by AHS --that requires that there be a tender process employed by the city of Edmonton?

2) If there is a process--- was this process followed for the advertisement and for the information provision contracts that are discussed in this article below:

http://metronews.ca/news/edmonton/1004748/mayor-don-iveson-defends-lrt-advocacy-contract/

April 15, 2014 Updated: April 15, 2014 | 8:46 pm Adjust Text Size
Mayor Don Iveson defends LRT advocacy contract
 By Ryan Tumilty
Metro
Share this Article

   
Contributed by City of Edmonton The southeast LRT line, as currently proposed, would stretch from downtown at Churchill Square to Mill Woods.
Mayor Don Iveson defended a $351,000 contract with a lobbying firm Tuesday that was used to help the city secure funding for the South east LRT.

The contract, first reported by CBC, was with a Vancouver firm the Stewart Group, that Iveson said specializes in transit projects.

“There is nobody else like them, as far as we can tell. They are the national experts on how to put together a strategy,” he said.

Related:
Edmonton councillors to consider $55 million boost to road repair
Edmonton’s Chinatown gate likely on the move
New Edmonton women’s committee sees flood of applicants
Iveson stressed that he made the case for the project with both the provincial and federal governments, but the group gave him good advice on what to say.

“We did not hire lobbyists. I did all of the lobbying. I just had really good advice to make sure I could go in there and make the best case,” he said.

When the city announced its LRT advocacy campaign, Iveson said it would cost $275,000. He said he thought he was being clear that was only the advertising costs.

“I apologize for any confusion about the $275,000 number,” he said.

Coun. Amarjeet Sohi said any money was clearly worth the investment, because the city received $600 million in provincial funds for the project.

“This campaign has been hugely successful for us to mobilize Edmontonians,” he said.

3) In my mind these contracts represented large sums of public monies that should have received oversight from the city council with especial oversight by the city finance committee as well as full disclosure to citizens so that we could have evaluated these contracts.

In my mind, there was no justification for the expenditure of such large sums of cash (almost a million dollars) at a time when city council is increasing property taxes.  Were these contracts reviewed by all councilors and the city finance committee? If so where can I find the city council meeting data for this oversight in terms of city documents please?

4) In my mind, to avoid any sense on the part of citizens that specific companies are being given preferential treatment with reference to the awarding of contracts, there must be a process followed for all contracts that I don't seem to see with reference to these contracts.

With the allegations of corruption of municipal contract provision in Quebec, we want to avoid the same sort of situation in Edmonton and I would like to see if there is a formal contract awarding process that was followed for these two contracts.

Or were these contracts awarded in the same poor way as the provincial government decided on the electricity transmission projects by simply doing the decisions behind closed doors to the detriment of the public interest? These sorts of closed door contract making processes are anti-democratic in appearance as well as in  practice because citizens are not in the room when decisions are being made about their monies; when public monies are used the information should be public and if contractors do not want contract details published they should simply not do business with the government at all levels.

5) Mr. Sohi's comments that the end justifies the process is incorrect and represents sloppy thinking on his part and poor understanding of how citizens like myself feel when we see such large amounts of cash going out the door when inner city residents are struggling to pay their property taxes that go up and up and up because the city is unable to do business without such profligate spending.

It is time you all got to the citizen level of fiscal management. Every dollar counts. Because you are all spending other peoples' monies it doesn't seem to concern you all; I feel it should concern you all. In addition, trust is based on the wise use of our monies and the transparent disclosure of all information. In this case, this was not done and I believe it was not done because citizens would yap to you all about it.  Please don't repeat these sorts of "mistakes" which in my mind are simply political methods of getting contracts past the gate before citizens understand that the monies are already gone.It is mind boggling to me that you all spend so much money on communication and yet fail to communicate the real costs of such communication.

6) I have questions about the contract with the advertisement company --what firm was used?  And what were the products/services delivered? Where are the results of spending this major amount of cash for $275,000?

7) I have questions about the contract for the lobbying group support which is referred to as advocacy work. This company was named in the CBC article as the Stewart group.They cost us $351,000. Can you specify the exact ----goods, services, support in tangible documents so that I can verify we got bang for our major bucks? In other words, where are the deliverables? When I see this sort of cash going out the door for chatter it reminds me of the Klein error "advice" that seems faintly irregular in my accounting books.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/lrt-campaign-cost-728k-more-than-twice-original-amount-1.2610549

LRT campaign cost $728K, more than twice original amount
CBC News Posted: Apr 15, 2014 7:12 AM MT Last Updated: Apr 15, 2014 8:07 PM MT

Mayor Don Iveson told the public in February that the LRT campaign would cost $275,000.
Mayor Don Iveson told the public in February that the LRT campaign would cost $275,000. (CBC )



City spending $275,000 on LRT ad campaign
The city of Edmonton spent $351,000 on hiring a Vancouver firm to promote LRT expansion, CBC News has learned.

That’s on top of the $275,000 Mayor Don Iveson said the city was spending in February. Everything else was supposed to be done “in house”

However, documents obtained by CBC through a freedom of information request show the total for the promotional campaign was $728,000, more than twice what the public was originally told.

City spending $275,000 on LRT ad campaign
Iveson said he was not trying to mislead anyone.

“I meant the advertising campaign when I was talking about a $275,000 campaign,” he said.

“We did get additional help to do the government relations side and I think it was money well-spent because we achieved our objective.

The agreement with the Stewart Group was a sole-source contract approved by city manager Simon Farbrother two months ago.

While Iveson knew about the contract, at least three city councillors say they did not.

“I'll be asking the city manager...why we weren't made aware of that in any way, shape or form,” Coun. Dave Loken said.

“I think we'll probably have some questions for the mayor,” said Coun. Scott McKeen.

"I don't recall a sole source contract," Coun. Mike Nickel said.

Derek Fildebrandt with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation is concerned that the contract was not put out to tender.

“This sets off so many alarm bells,” he said.  “This was not spending directly approved by council. I think a serious second look needs to be taken here.”

Clarifications

CBC has clarified that the Stewart Group provided consulting services to the City of Edmonton to enable the mayor to more effectively lobby the provincial and federal governments.
Apr 15, 2014 2:49 PM MT



8) I had hoped that this sort of poor communication with the public had ended with the Mandel error but it seems to keep going on. I hope this won't happen this way on an ongoing basis-- since it feels that citizens are going to be the ones paying for everything while getting less services. In other words, we feel shafted by this sort of behavior.

For example, the city has spent $728,000 on  the LRT project before it is even started.  This sort of cash expenditure --- appears to this citizen to be ads and advice of the Action Plan sort--- that do nothing for my quality of life.

Now I hear on the radio that there is a plan to decrease the numbers of bus stops so that seniors and mummies will walk long distances to get to a slow moving bus to nowhere that only comes once every hour. This sort of dissonance between the waste of money on one hand to expand LRT services --- and the saving of money on the other hand that decreases the citizens' quality of life is alarming and we need to talk about it as a city.

 Why is it that poor folks who use the bus will get fewer bus stops and yet the city spends more and more cash on the preambles to get a LRT to a part of the city that won't be used. I see that you are building for the future but what future is this? Who will pay for the Katz Arena and this sort of transportation system? I guess it will be all of us.

Do you all --on city council---understand that there is only a finite number of dollars in a family budget? And yet we are supposed to suck it up while the city of Edmonton spends on Action plan junk of the Harper crew sort.

I would like some answers please. I am tired of writing e-mails and not getting answers. What was the process by which these sole source contracts were approved?

Sincerely,
Julie Ali



Wednesday, April 23, 2014

and it was good

and the rain fell on the earth
from that shower the roots recovered
and began their knitting
the dirt collected     in their bolus of threads
was pierced and taken into them
to begin the cycle once again of life and death

and the rain fell on the earth
and shook free of the dust
the wild animal of water flew
like the cascades of the waxwings
in showers that seemed unending
(at least this is how it seemed to the people below)

and the rain fell on the earth
the slippery slide down the roof
to the garden beds where the glistening eye looked out
and said the world was good
as it really is    the world is good and always will be
today there was a bath of the entire   and it was good 

and the rain fell on the earth
wherever the dust had dulled the surface and made tawdry
the rain cleansed and buffed  so that even the spruce trees
in their lack of glitter shone with tiny pinpricks of water
and the slovenly firs that have dragged their skirts in the mud
were made over as Christmas symbols (but without the snow)

and the rain fell on the earth
and all the hard feelings went with the rain
as we were christened as well and made new
all the bad has been drawn out   now the world glistens
with the fresh and I am sure that we have all been blessed
look about you and count the joys that are before you

and the rain fell on the earth
we recognized the leaf and the sparrow
we saw the broken hearted people
and we held hands with them      but in the end
we understand limitations   we say to ourselves
something will not be cured until the people walk away from desecration

and the rain fell on the earth
the grasses preened their faces by the marsh
the blackbirds caroled forth   the waxwings slipped on the clouds
and the crows stumbled in their perambulations   the world broke in half
and the rains came down and we began again    (or at least I did)
I began again  from what was dead the green shoot appeared (at least it did for me)

and the rain fell on the earth
I turned my face away from the past
and I turned my heart towards the sun that opens every seed in the garden
I turned towards the new world of the garden and I gave up on the desolate countries
that I have lived in    I gave up on the sinners  and the luggage they carry of their gold
I gave up on that world   and I came back to the holy world I now occupy


and the rain fell on the earth
the dust was overcome for today       although the dust is victorious
and although we will all be dust in the end   the rain fell and trampled
the armies of dust   the silver lining of the clouds was dismantled
and the sugar of the sun was dissolved away    we have no work other than
the work of love       or at least  this is how I think and so in small acts
I begin again the work of love    but without the tools of government


although the rain falls

although the rain falls
and the wind stirs in the trees
surely spring is in the air?
surely we will not return
to days of darkness and rot?
will we always be in anticipation?

although the rain falls
in the slurry of the morning
although the waters of the Earth
fill the landscape   we are not to lose hope
the waters come from some eternal jug
that is only now being emptied

although the rain falls
and the waters fill the streets where we go
although the marsh becomes a sponge
so that the Canada geese are drenched
although the blackbirds are soggy tips of pens
we are to wait it out for spring is in the remarks they sing

although the rain falls
and the garden creeps out of wilderness
although the buds have not yet broken out of the Ginkgo jail
although everywhere there is solitude    soon we will have the carnival
there will onlookers to the beginnings of the world   we will have a forest
full of views    although the rain falls    we are not to lose hope in Alberta

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Baytex’s response to the AER’s new regulations is compliance, agreeing to meet the four-month deadline putting an end to open venting of emissions. “We are going to meet the deadline, we will meet the deadline, no issues there,” said Andrew Loosely, director of stakeholder relations at Baytex. When asked why the company did not do so two years ago, when residents first approached them to make changes, Loosley argues they had planned to. “We’ve been prepared to do that from day one. Back in June 2012, we put forward a plan to address this issue,” he said. He has argued, landowner objections prevented the company from implementing the plan, however, a number of dated letters obtained by the Daily Herald-Tribune and addressed from Wilson to Baytex and the AER, request the company stop making this claim, calling it false. To this point, the seven families who left Reno Field have not received any form of compensation and still cannot move into their homes – at least not for another four months. “Baytex has had over two years. Why are we giving them another four months to keep open venting? I don’t get that. It makes no sense to me at all,” said Wilson.------Ken Klak · Top Commenter I can't for the life of me understand how people can be treated this way. How could you sleep if you worked for this company, knowing you were affecting people like this? Dollars over lives...sad. Reply · · 3 · April 15 at 7:28pm-----------------A lawyer is asking a court to shut down a northwestern Alberta oilsands plant while the owner works to stop harmful odours that have forced nearby residents from their homes. Keith Wilson represents families made ill by powerful smells emitting from Baytex Energy's operations near Peace River.

The surreal feeling I have about the messes in the Peace (that I never even knew about) is compounded by the decision of the AER to let the offending company --Baytex--take its time to fix a problem that they were responsible for. This problem isn't a new problem but an ongoing difficulty that is easily solved. What the AER should have done was to tell the company to fix the problem NOW. Not at their convenience.

But as usual we have the AER sitting on the problem. I mean it took the energy regulator 600 complaints, years of suffering by families who eventually had to become environmental refugees in Alberta (yes that's refugees and not environmental radicals--these folks are all good old Tory voters) and then there has to be a movie about the troubles in the Peace before there was any sort of admission that there could be a problem.  But of course the Tories did nothing. They sat around telling folks that they were imagining the problems they were yapping about. Then when folks did not shut up--the Tories told them that maybe there was a special problem here --that was only true of the Peace area and that they would look into it. They looked into it for more years. Then finally as the folks in the Peace were organizing and yapping to the media with negative consequences for the oil and gas industry, the Tories decide that maybe they would upgrade the problem that folks were experiencing to an "emissions" problem rather than an odor problem.

Huh? Who have we elected in government? Are these aliens from another planet? Do these people we supposedly have representing us understand anything about representation? When folks are saying that they have experienced symptoms---they are experiencing health consequences from exposure 24/7 to emissions and they have tolerated the failures of the Tories and the energy regulator way too long. In my mind, they should have gone to court a long time ago. In fact, they understand from the reluctant decision of the AER to wait for months for the solution to their problems that their problems are less than the problems of big oil.

So I begin to think the entire situation in Alberta is odd and frankly melting in terms of reality. We have folks in government in denial about corruption and we have folks in the AER in denial about corruption. What is corruption? Corruption is when democracy doesn't work because of a takeover by corporate interests and this corruption is evident in dumb decisions by the government and the energy regulator in the case of Baytex. What could have been a shining example of representation has boiled down to the clear evidence that the regulator built by the Tories is a representative of the oil and gas industry and let the people of Alberta never forget this matter.

We have to do the judicial solution to get the results required as the families in the Peace are doing now.
It is an odd world we live in folks.
And I bet it will get even more surreal as we go towards the next federal and provincial elections.

The Tories at all levels will not do their jobs until the citizens force them to do their jobs.
Even then they do their jobs in a lackluster way.
They do their jobs when we demand it ---to the bare minimum of changes required.

And so why bother to ask them to do anything anymore?
Turf them.
Soon enough we won't beg --we will get folks in who actually do work for their pay.


https://www.facebook.com/StopBaytex

Stop Baytex
is on Facebook.
To connect with Stop Baytex, sign up for Facebook today.
Sign UpLog In
Stop Baytex

Stop Baytex
4,185 likes · 329 talking about this




Alberta Energy Regulator gives Baytex four months to install pollution control equipment

BY SHEILA PRATT, EDMONTON JOURNAL APRIL 15, 2014
1
Alberta Energy Regulator gives Baytex four months to install pollution control equipment

Supplied From left, Brian Labrecque and his cousin Alain Labrecque left their homes near Peace River because of fumes from bitumen processing they say are causing their health problems.

Photograph by: Supplied

EDMONTON - Some Peace River area residents are “very pleased” the Alberta Energy Regulator backed their concerns and is toughening rules to reduce air pollution from bitumen operations in the area.
In its announcement Tuesday, the regulator gave Calgary-based Baytex Energy four months to install pollution control equipment on all its Reno area bitumen tanks and handed down deadlines for all companies to reduce flaring and venting in the region.
In its first major report, the AER also gave itself stronger powers to crack down on emissions coming from these heated bitumen tanks and excess, or produced, gas from wells in this area of high-sulphur bitumen deposits. Called Directive 60, it takes effect June 16.
Existing bitumen operations in the region must capture all excess gas and emissions gas by Aug. 15. New operations must comply by May 15.
Brian Labrecque said he was happy the regulator moved quickly after the inquiry. It has been a three-year battle for residents, he added.
“It’s a great relief and step forward,” said Labrecque, whose father was forced off his farm from the emissions and still suffers ill health.
Directive 60 “will help make sure this can never happened again,” Labrecque said
While he’s “very pleased” the community has had some success, Labrecque also noted that seven families are still out of their homes and many people are still suffering ill health including headaches, nausea, loss of balance and cognitive problems.
Baytex will meet a four-month deadline for installing vapour recovery units on its own by the regulator, company spokesman Andrew Loosely said, adding the company is supportive of the report.
Keith Wilson, lawyer for some of the Peace River residents, said he was encouraged by many aspects of the regulator’s decisions that back up the concerns of residents — even while Baytex insisted the air was clean.
But Wilson questioned why the regulator did not order a the closure of Baytex’s Reno wells to stop the pollution until the vapour recovery units are installed.
“Baytex can continue to open vent the harmful emissions into the community four more months and that sends the wrong signal about Alberta’s responsible energy development,” Wilson said.
“They’ve given themselves new powers to do that, they should use them,” said Wilson who added Alberta is under the spotlight due to the pending Keystone pipeline decision.
Jim Ellis, CEO of the regulator, said the speedy and far-reaching response to the public inquiry signals a new approach by the regulator to community concerns and pollution problems.
“We stepped up as soon as the inquiry report came in, we made it public and responded to recommendations,” said Ellis, adding the regulator must operating with more transparency.
“We have to step up in a different way given the heat and light and lens” on the Alberta industry, Ellis said.
By adopting Directive 60, the regulator closed the “regulatory gap” that prevented it from ordering companies to capture the excess or produced gas unless it was profitable to do so.
Under new Directive 60, the regulator can order a company to capture off-lease emissions and can order a well to be shut-in if the company does not comply.
Directive 60, however, will not apply across the province but only in specific places where the AER decides emissions are a problem to nearby population, Ellis said.
It will apply in Peace River where bitumen deposits are higher in sulphur and therefore pose a bigger problem for nearby populated areas.
The regulator supports two recommendations for further research into health effects of emissions, but as it has no jurisdiction on these issues. The recommendations were passed onto Alberta Health.
spratt@edmontonjournal.com



AER cracks down on Peace oil producers

By Laura Booth, Grande Prairie Daily Herald-Tribune
Monday, April 21, 2014 11:07:09 MDT AM
Lawyer Keith Wilson (left) meets with Alain and Brian Labrecque outside the Peace River courthouse after the injunction hearing in March of 2014. Laura Booth/Daily Herald-Tribune
Lawyer Keith Wilson (left) meets with Alain and Brian Labrecque outside the Peace River courthouse after the injunction hearing in March of 2014. Laura Booth/Daily Herald-Tribune
  • Bookmark and Share
Change text size for the story
Print
On Tuesday, the Alberta Energy Regulator (or AER) officially adopted a March 31 report submitted by an independent panel requiring all oil producers in the Peace Region comply with 20 new operation regulations. In addition, the AER announced it has the ability to enforce compliance.
“The regulator has new powers. If Baytex isn’t prepared to take immediate steps hopefully the regulator will use it’s new powers to take those steps,” said Keith Wilson, lawyer for the Labrecque families. The families vacated their homes near Reno Field, located about 40 kilometres south of Peace River, due to sickening odours from the company’s 86-vented bitumen storage tanks more than three years ago.
The AER has ordered Baytex and all heavy oil operations in Three Creeks and Reno area, to capture gases by Aug., 15, 2014 . It’s a request the Labrecque family took to the company over two years ago.
The Labreques say they experienced a number of health effects including dizziness, muscle spasms, loss of balance, nausea, and difficulty breathing - all subsequent to Baytex’s purchase of the operation in 2011.
Using a novel oil production method called CHOP – Cold Heavy Oil Production – the company sucks bitumen, of a peanut butter consistency, from the ground and into storage tanks where it is heated to extract the oil.
The gases released from this process were allowed to be released into the atmosphere previous to Tuesday’s newly adopted regulations.
Brian Labrecque is happy with the new regulations, but admits the outcome is a little bitter sweet.
“Don’t get me wrong, we are pleased with the results, but at the end of the day, unfortunately we’re still in a position where it doesn’t get the families back into their homes, it doesn’t get them closure, it doesn’t get them to essentially move on with their lives,” said Labrecque.
Some of the homes and farms in Reno Field have now been abandoned for over two years making it difficult for families to go back, especially some who may soon be facing bankruptcy, said Wilson.
The Labrecque’s troubles have recently caught attention state side. The family has been asked to share their story at U.S. Senate hearings looking into the health impacts of oil production. The hearings are being led by Sen. Barbara Boxer, committee chairwoman and critic of the Keystone XL pipeline.
The Labrecques are conflicted as to whether or not they will attend.
“We don’t really have an opinion on Keystone and we know if we go down there potentially, I guess we could be used for political gain…with those who are opposed to the project,” said Labrecque.
“We’ve always said, we’re not against the oil and gas industry, we’re not anti-oil,” he added.
On the other hand, he argued, they have lost their livelihoods and their homes and attending will publicly shame Baytex.
Baytex’s response to the AER’s new regulations is compliance, agreeing to meet the four-month deadline putting an end to open venting of emissions.
“We are going to meet the deadline, we will meet the deadline, no issues there,” said Andrew Loosely, director of stakeholder relations at Baytex.
When asked why the company did not do so two years ago, when residents first approached them to make changes, Loosley argues they had planned to.
“We’ve been prepared to do that from day one. Back in June 2012, we put forward a plan to address this issue,” he said.
He has argued, landowner objections prevented the company from implementing the plan, however, a number of dated letters obtained by the Daily Herald-Tribune and addressed from Wilson to Baytex and the AER, request the company stop making this claim, calling it false.
To this point, the seven families who left Reno Field have not received any form of compensation and still cannot move into their homes – at least not for another four months.
“Baytex has had over two years. Why are we giving them another four months to keep open venting? I don’t get that. It makes no sense to me at all,” said Wilson.
laura.booth@sunmedia.ca
















http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/04/22/baytex-oil-fumes_n_5192773.html

Baytex Energy Oil Fumes: Lawyer Asks Court To Shut Plant


CP  |  By The Canadian PressPosted:   |  Updated: 04/22/2014 5:59 pm EDT
EDMONTON - A lawyer is asking a court to shut down a northwestern Alberta oilsands plant while the owner works to stop harmful odours that have forced nearby residents from their homes.
Keith Wilson represents families made ill by powerful smells emitting from Baytex Energy's operations near Peace River.
Wilson says allowing Baytex to keep operating while it installs new equipment to block the smells puts corporate profits ahead of public health.
Last week, Alberta's energy regulator agreed with the conclusions of a public inquiry that found the company's emissions were harming nearby residents.
The regulator gave Baytex four months to install its new equipment.
Wilson says his clients are still deciding whether to testify at a U.S. Senate hearing that is examining potential health effects of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.
The injunction application comes the same day the Alberta government announced it would attend a conference in Seattle to tout its environmental record.
Ken Klak ·  Top Commenter
I can't for the life of me understand how people can be treated this way. How could you sleep if you worked for this company, knowing you were affecting people like this? Dollars over lives...sad.