Steak and Eggs #10 : A Tale of two provinces

A Word From the Editor: Driving across Canada is a daunting task to say the least, and no one is more capable of this feat than our Steak and Eggs road team. The best part about the trip is that the people are just as diverse as the landscape, and from sea to sea you will find smiling faces and warm people who will invite you into their homes and show you the hospitality that has made Canadians famous across the world, and to them, we at Steak an Eggs Raise out glass in thanks. Now with the pleasantries out of the way we get to the topic of our discussion today.


Today was spent driving through Alberta, and from the looks of things here you would never imagine that a few months ago the world was in economic turmoil. Whatever Canada’s economic plan for Alberta is, it seems to be working, there is a ton of construction going on along the highways coming to and from Banff. And outside of Calgary, the city seems to growing at a steady rate, pushing back never ending expanse of the prairies, making it habitable for you or I to have our own piece of the rugged wild rose province.
But with all this expanse, what are Alberta’s plans for keeping up with the demand for energy and stay ahead of the curve to avoid the energy problems plaguing larger and one might argue more economically diversified provinces like Ontario. Alberta’s energy plan is all lined out on their website which is filled with haunting statements like “Alberta has the wherewithal to leverage its current position and prepare for what is coming” and upon further investigation it seems Alberta’s plan is to invest in carbon capturing, develop clean hydrocarbons and infrastructure.
So essentially that means there going to build a bunch of pipelines and focus on curbing emissions. Not exactly a diverse energy portfolio there Alberta. Lets just hope either your precious oil sands last forever or the price of oil stays high. If the cost to pull it out of the ground out weighs the price per barrel, the math is simple. In a world of constant fluctuation, wouldn’t hedging your energy “bets” be a wiser choice


Just about 1768 miles, and what geographically seems a world away from Alberta sits Canada’s manufacturing and shipping powerhouse, as well as the seat of political power, Ontario. With a steady inflow of immigrants and by far the largest amount of new births per year 136,980 in 2008/09 as opposed to the nearest, Alberta with nearly 50,000 What are Ontario’s plans to combat the exponential rise in the demand for electricity, and are they as one dimensional as Alberta’s?
It seems right now there are two minds on how to go about dealing with this inevitable situation. Ontario’s Focus seems to be on “Green”, what seems to be a mantra these days. Go green, or go home. This plan includes transit upgrades, a Greenbelt act, Green jobs, and Greenhouse gas emission targets outlined in the governments “Go Green Booklet” . What it really seems like to this humble reader is a bunch of legislation, which looks great on paper but isn’t much good in the real world. They’re even predicting a return to pre 90’s levels by 2012, seems like there grasp has exceeded their reach.
2_11Going Green
Luckily the people who have been providing Ontario with electricity for more than five decades also have their “hat” in the ring when it comes to solving Ontario’s future energy problems, and Thank God. The Ontario Power workers have put together a far more diversified plan than their beaurocratic counterparts outlined in their “Better Energy Plan” In fact it’s motto is “Strength Through Diversity”. They state “ No one source can be relied on exclusively. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. Creating the right economic and environmental balance among the available technologies and approaches will meet the challenge of ensuring reliable, affordable supply and meeting environmental goals.” Diversifying power generation will create more jobs by spreading them thought various industries and also not have the drawback of putting all of our power eggs in one basket. So if the bottom of one market falls out we have safe guards in place and other sources to fall back on.
What ever the people of Ontario decide it’s good to know that there are options and that one government body is not going to arbitrarily make the decisions for us. Get out there and get educated people. We all take electricity for granted, just think back to the first hours of the Eastern seaboard blackout of 2003, and the panic most of us felt, until we realized that we were going to be okay after all.