Thursday, April 30, 2009

Green Energy Solutions- It's time to go renewable

Let's clear the record. Nuclear power will not be good for Saskatchewan's economy. It will cost us billions, and cost overruns are common practice. The Government of Ontario has a debt of $38 billion from nuclear power cost overruns-- a debt the taxpayers of Ontario are now on the hook for. Ontario residents pay an additional charge on their electriticy bills towards these nuclear cost overruns. Do you want to end up on the hook for Bruce Power's mistakes?

Nuclear will not create long term jobs, and nuclear will not help us fight climate change, especially when the electricity generated from the proposed nuclear power plant in Northern Saskatchewan would be used to power the tar sands (the world's dirtiest oil).

What will help our economy? Renewable energy technologies and energy conservation would create far more jobs than power generation from nuclear or coal would. People of Saskachewan, do you honestly feel safe investing billions of dollars into nuclear power when renewables would cost half as much as nuclear and would generate many more jobs (and jobs that would actually last)? Nuclear is an economic risk that I am not willing to take, especially in the midst of an economic recession.

Solutions: The first step is to invest in energy conservation technologies coupled with programs designed to make these technologies affordable for everyone in this province. If we make climate change solutions available only to those that can afford to pay, we won't get anywhere. Next, we go fully renewable. But this will only work if we invest proper money into a renewable grid instead of spending billions on making our grid nuclear ready. Energy conservation and renewable energy technologies are rapidly progressing as billions of dollars from China and the U.S. flow into the 'New Green Economy'. Canada is behind the times. We are definitely not stepping up to our place as world leaders when it comes to fighting climate change. We are holding the global community back with intensity based targets for greenhouse gas emissions. Think about it. This nuclear power plant would be built to provide power to the tar sands and to export power to the U.S. (and possibly Manitoba). The people of Saskatchewan do not need this power, we would just be footing the bill for infrastructure, upgrades to the grid, and who knows what else (because the SK Government won't be transparent with us).

Besides, their is only enough uranium left domestically to provide approx. 45 more years of nuclear power generation at the CURRENT rate of consumption, yet nuclear waste stays toxic for a million years, and no one has ever been able to figure out a safe way to store it.

Let's start the renewable energy discussion Saskatchewan! Let's democratize our energy and agriculture sectors.



The Green Party of Saskatchewan Elects Larissa Shasko as New Leader

Above Image: Larissa Shasko (left) talking to Green Party supporter during the 2008 Federal election

Press Release -- April 27, 2009

Green Party of Saskatchewan held its annual general meeting last weekend in Yorkton. On the agenda was the election of a new Party Executive, policy resolutions, constitutional amendments and a presentation by keynote speaker Dr. Jim Harding concerning the raging nuclear debate in Saskatchewan. “Saskatchewan is in for both nuclear and coal; coal is needed for backup anyway,” said Dr. Harding. “We cannot solve the climate change crisis with a radioactive waste crisis. We need to leap into a renewable economy, which does not require resource extraction,” Dr. Harding continued. “The next two months of democratic activism are critical.”

Larissa Shasko, a 27 year-old student of Political Science at the University of Regina who lives in Moose Jaw is the newly elected Leader of the Green Party of Saskatchewan. Larissa Shasko has been a candidate for the Green Party three times in the past three years, twice federally in the riding of Palliser (2006 & 2008), and once provincially in the riding of Moose Jaw Wakamow (2007). She currently serves on the Green Party of Canada Federal Council and is the Young Greens of Canada Finance and Administrative Chair. “The Green Party of Saskatchewan is the only political party in Saskatchewan who stands united against nuclear,” said Shasko. “Despite flawed and biased UDP consultation processes and a complete lack of transparency from the Sask Party Government, we will fight hard to keep Saskatchewan nuclear free, and we will win,” Shasko continued.

According to Larissa Shasko, spending billions of dollars on costly nuclear power would rob Saskatchewan of the chance to go green with clean and safe energy through increased energy conservation and renewable energy technologies. “We only get one chance to fight climate change. This is our chance to go green and to go renewable,” said Shasko.

The Party passed 13 new policy resolutions and made 2 amendments to their constitution and by-laws. Policy resolutions passed at the AGM included increased energy conservation and renewable energy solutions, consumer goods packaging laws, car sharing as an alternative to ownership, and the establishment of an independent Citizens Science Council that would be charged with providing objectivity, accountability, and transparency in the researching of industry claims. Resolutions to maintain existing rail infrastructure while revitalizing and expanding the rail system for the transportation of both people and freight, as well as the construction of bike paths in cities, towns, highways, and bridges throughout Saskatchewan were also passed. “These new resolutions broaden the Green Party of Saskatchewan’s portfolio of Green Energy Solutions,” said Green Party of Saskatchewan Deputy Leader, Tory McGregor.