Green Party of Manitoba to Release Election Platform Wednesday at 11AM

GREEN PARTY UNVEILS PLATFORM

(Sept 19 2011) The Green Party releases its platform for the 2011 Manitoba Provincial Election.  11 AM, WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21ST at MEMORIAL PARK, WINNIPEG.

The Green Party is the game changer and the surprise news story in this election.  With 32 candidates, double the number from the previous election, the Greens, for the first time in Manitoba, have enough representation to form government.  The party is participating at the televised Provincial Leaders’ Debate on September 23rd. This is a first for the party.  The Greens are unquestionably out of the ‘fringe’ and are increasingly being seen as a viable mainstream party at the doors of voters.

“We have arrived as a legitimate viable political alternative in our Province,” says party leader James Beddome.  “We need now to make a real effort to elect members of the team to the Legislature and, realistically, we can do this.”

CONTACT:
Claire Marchand – Green Party of Manitoba 2011 Election Publicist
(204) 391-0093 email:  media@greenparty.mb.ca

The Green Party of Manitoba Office: 488-2831   toll-free within Manitoba: 1-866-742-4292
For contact information on Green Party Candidates, call the Green Party Office 204 488 2831 or visit our website www.greenparty.mb.ca

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4 thoughts on “Green Party of Manitoba to Release Election Platform Wednesday at 11AM

  1. Alon,

    The Green stance on Bipole III is unacceptable, I was very disappointed to read what the Greens had proposed in the Free Press and what I saw on the news. Bipole III is required for system reliability, extra power is merely gravy. The green stance that it is not necessary and can be mitigated by conservation is foolish at best.

    Manitoba consumes roughly 3000 MW of power (the majority of it used by industry), we export 1500 MW. The Winnipeg river produces roughly 500MW, Grand Rapids another 480MW. To continue with only southern hydraulic resources requires a 66% reduction in load. How can be possibly still have any semblance of economic growth in this province by kneecapping industry like this?

    The Green policy also entirely neglects the offsetting of carbon generation by hydraulic generation which is a side-effect of exporting those resources south. Minnesota and North Dakota are about 40% reliant on carbon based power, which is demand generation, meaning it is the first to be offset by hydraulic generation.

    I’ve done some rough math on the subject, which I can share if you like, and if you assume that every square cm of the east side route contains mature trees which will be cut down, the displacement of carbon generation over lost carbon capture is roughly on the order 10.

    Please, reconsider your position.

    • Bruce,
      Fair comment, and I appreciate it that someone’s out there reading and responding. I knew we were taking a controversial position on this one, especially because we are suggesting a shift in thought altogether regarding our economic measurements and energy use. Let me highlight a few so that we can understand what the party was thinking:

      i) We have a passed policy that has to do with applying a soft energy path analysis, rather than the current hard path we use. To explain in simple terms, we are talking about demand-side management, not supply-side management, as we currently do. So that means that first we evaluate the whole system, then we consider waste in the system, then we look at trimming that waste to reach maximal efficiency in our use. Following this we look at how we can connect our production and consumption geographically, so as to become as self-reliant as possible locally. The NDP promised 1000 MW of wind energy and we are at 20% so far. Part of the GPM position is to refocus Manitoba Hydro – still public – as Manitoba Energy and retool the corporation to forward other energy sources besides mega-dams, which I don’t think are really green and will say why in another point. Besides wind, solar could really use a boost. We are a windy, sunny province and we are not taking advantage of it. There was an experimental energy-neutral home built on William Ave. to model selling back to the grid excess production. Back-metering in short. Consider our system’s total waste. Think of all the massive buildings and institutions like universities with big, south facing windows and lights on during the day. Let me ask, with $20 billion going into new dams, before the biPole costs, what would that scale of investments save us in energy in Manitoba? The soft path idea is not to expand if you’re not using current load efficiently. Amory Lovins coined the term. Why has Manitoba Hydro not been mandated, with all their resources, to figure out what a way more efficient system, including LED lights, would look like.

      ii) energy security can be gained by ensuring each house installs a 3kW micro-power system for backup in power-outs.

      iii) you assume economic growth is the measurement of a healthy society, while we Greens explicitly are challenging this paradigm. Growth only measures the amount of trade. Floods, war, and disease all drive up growth. David Suzuki said it best: “growth is also the logic of a cancer cell.” Elizabeth may has explained it as a qualitative v. quantitative discussion. We want children to grow, upwards, bigger, but up to point. Once they reach a certain age, we want their growth to be in quality: in mind, spirit, health, etc. Not up any more. At some point we need to close some loops and stop the waste. A genuine progress indicator that includes health, education, etc. would be a measuring device that people can really relate to.

      iv) On the US states: If we were practising a steady state economy – my home page has links to CASSE, which promotes this – rather than one of constant growth, then I could understand the argument that we are offsetting carbon use. But firstly we are feeding a system that knows no limits to growth, so what’s to see we’re not simply adding to a never-ending energy appetite that will still need to offset carbon? Secondly, we are undermining local soft pathers in Wisconsin by dumping bulk hydroelectricity and undermining local investment there in wind and solar.

      v) Long term, if we change models, what’s to say that hydroelectricity and other electric sources wouldn’t be more valuable offsetting carbon here in Manitoba than in the USA? I am talking about making Winnipeg an electric city for transportation and modelling this for the rest of the world to marvel at. Electric cars would be an affordable norm, with infrastructure to back it up, and the BRT/LRT false debate (false because Katz is not the right proponent of LRT due to his dithering and lack of commitment either way) would easily fall onto the LRT side. Imagine Winnipeg transportation running on smooth, clean, and cheap energy. We could say no! to the tar sands pipelines in Manitoba.

      vi) The East Side. Why do we call it the east side? Do we not know that this area is Waabanong Nakaygum, the Anishinaabek, Cree and Oji-Cree homeland for 16 communities, with its own long, storied history and a unique history in terms of modes of transportation? I am doing my MA research on community responses to all-weather roads coming through, as the impacts are far more complex and diverse than those of a hydro biPole. The impacts of a hydro line are only disruptive and offer no benefit to the people on the east side. at all. none. zero. OK, maybe some easement payments from MB Hydro, but so far I have not heard Hugh McFadyen offer any estimated cost to honour Aboriginal rights, as outlined in several high court rulings in Canada regarding consultation and compensation for first nations affected by industrial processes. But from a bigger ecological perspective, involving climate change and all — do you realize how few places are left on Earth without industrial development? Do you not look on a multigenerational level and wish for there to be a few places free of the grid, of the mines, of the massive mills, of the industrial age? A road to some communities would not be such an industrialization, but a Hydro line surely would. We have to leave some Earth heritage for the generations to come, and I am completely against the east side being opened up to hydro lines, as are most of the people on the east side. And that is what really counts. Why do the settler populations continue to insist on building infrastructure to suit their economic patterns on native lands that supported an alternative mode of production for thousands of years? It seems to me to be the final triumph in Canada’s colonialism to ram a Bi-Pole through the one place still unspoiled by such infrastructure. The NIMBY – Not in My Back Yard – approach of the biPole coalition completely undermines its opposition. If the farmers of the west side wouldn’t want this biPole in their back-yards, then why should the first nations on the east side….and,

      If you still support building the biPole, what do you think of the Liberal Party and Jon Ryan’s proposition down beneath the lake? Would love to hear your math and keep this dialogue going. By the way, have we met? I met a Bruce when I ran in Kildonan-St.P last election, and wonder if you are he.

      • Yep, That’s me.

        That’s quite a lengthy response and I doubt I’ll be able to deal with every point given time constraints, but I’ll pick on a few.

        i) and ii)
        Wind power:
        Not a panacea, a waste of money. Maintenance costs per kWh are orders of magnitude higher than hydraulic or nuclear. It simply costs too much to produce. An added problem onto that is that when you need it, the wind is never blowing. Assuming all heating/cooling is done with electricity (as I imagine the green end game should be) Then when you want to heat or cool your house is when you are in a high pressure area, when the wind isn’t blowing; so you have to bring in power from somewhere where is hopefully is. The moral of the story is for reliability, every unit of wind has to be backed up with a unit of demand power, which is right now carbon or hydraulic.

        Solar Power:
        In this part of the world, also a waste of money. The best indication I can see on that being that the payback period is on the order of 50 years with no amortization, at which time the units will probably not even be salvageable. Since the cost of the unit is directly related to the amount of energy used in creating it, you’ve created a net zero energy gain, but paid a price in reliability. The argument I used for wind regarding “it’s not there when you need it” is also true in the winter.

        Installing 3kw backup at every residence:
        Who’s going to pay for the capital and maintenance of this? Do you know that your average hairdrier takes 1200 watts? How’s this going to work in the winter when people need to heat their homes with electricity (Using 12000 watts conservatively)? What are you using planning to use as feedstock? I can’t see this as being practical.

        I think what you really want are personal thorium reactors, apparently some company in china is trying to build these. I recommend reading about the thorium cycle.

        The point I’m making here is that there needs to be reliable power on demand, the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow, no matter how you build your building. Energy storage is not at any useable density for home or commercial use and won’t be anytime soon. The green position should be to use proven reliable power with as minimal possible impact, which in my opinion is hydraulic and 3rd gen nuclear. On top of that, start turning Canada back into a place that we do R&D such that we can invent our way out of it.

        iii) Is growth a good thing, I’ll concede that point, but electricity is life, it’s clean water, it’s a warm house, it’s hopefully a ride to and from work if you can’t get on the bike. Have extra.

        iv) I don’t believe that dumping that power into the states is just feeding the beast. Companies down there will continue to consume. Someone’s going to supply that power. Hopefully we can do it cheaper with hydro.

        v)Market rates should determine this. I a proponent of hydro charging market rates for it’s power.

        vi)It’s a 60 to 100 meter swath of land, in my opinion an acceptable price. Those lines will need maintenance, hydro actively recruits and trains first nations people.

        Underwater lines have been successfully installed all over the world in places that aren’t landlocked. The key to this is to have as few splices as possible. I read a paper saying it could be done with 7 pieces of cable, and a special barge to be built on site, and special rail cars to transport the cable, with a bunch of other caveats. I think it’s a non-starter in this part of the world.

  2. Bruce,
    Your technical knowledge tells me it is time you took out a membership in the party and helped write policy — at least you could be part of the debate with more members than just myself! I appreciate your knowledge and won’t get into that technical a debate during an election, when the platform has been set. But one thing I would want to do is create public forums as MLA, so people in the community with new ideas could get their voices heard. Thanks for the detailed response and more than anything thanks for caring enough to voice your views. Maybe we do need to think through the details. But you can’t argue we’re wasting lots of energy now as it is.
    Alon

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