MATTER OF TRUST
I was surprised I wasn’t bothered by Coun. Jeff Davison’s view that citizens did not need to approve a deal for a new arena. I wondered why and realized it was only because the mayor was not involved in the negotiations. Without his involvement, I can trust that any deal will be good for both parties. Just as I can trust the mayor will be critical of any final deal made.
(We’d be surprised if it took that long.)
GO WITHOUT THEN!
Cavemen driving F-350s, actually it was cavewomen, umm sorry, cavepeople, driving the F-350, I myself drive a K-3500, a real caveman truck. Don’t you just love all the hypocrites who heat their homes with oil products, own a motor vehicle or even take a diesel bus, use anything with plastic, you know like laptops, cell phones, who bitch whine and snivel about the oil industry. So they buy, use, even drive their vehicles to protest what they support. I mean like our precious Mayor (Naheed) Nenshi, who rides around in a pre-heated limo. Does he feel it is powered by his own ego? What next, pick on farmers because they drive big diesel vehicles producing food that these hypocrites eat? Remember cavepeople helped build this country.
(Nothing wrong with driving a truck.)
The Jim Barbaro letter, “City must benefit from the Calgary Sports and Entertainment (Corporation) new arena” is food for serious thought. In many ways the city does benefit from having a NHL franchise and as such the city should at least donate the land for any new NHL arena. However, as with any corporation that requires capital to renew/update its facilities, they would issue “common shares” or “interest paying bonds”. The fans could purchase the “shares”, the city and financial institutions could purchase “bonds”.
(We trust all involved parties to be as creative as it takes to make this happen to the benefit of all.)
Rachel Notley was elected premier in May 2015. A short time later, Justin Trudeau was elected prime minister. Since that time, there has been massive destruction of wealth in the Canadian oil industry. I picked two well-known senior conventional oil producers that have experienced a wealth destruction of $16 billion. We are now being told that the Alberta economy is recovering through economic diversification. How is that possible? The Alberta economy has suffered massive job losses, wealth evaporation, tax increases, and enormous reductions in capital investment that further negatively impacts jobs and personal disposable income. Notley and Trudeau must be held accountable for this travesty in the upcoming elections.
(The public payroll is booming.)
It is truly frightening to think that those people that voted for our current mayor can now smoke marijuana legally. It seems some are so concerned with Russian voting interference in the U.S.A., perhaps we should be concerned about other actors’ interference at the municipal level!
(Long way to another election.)
BONUS LETTERS — ONLINE ONLY
THAT’S NOT RACISM
So, Kipp Teghtmeyer believes that anyone in favour of a fence/wall/border enforcement is guilty of “gratuitous racism”? I have a number of questions for Kipp: Do you have locks on your doors or a fence around your property? Why? Could it be to protect yourself and your loved ones from uninvited visitors, be they someone less fortunate in need of help, or just your run-of-the-mill bad guy (or your neighbour’s straying dog, perhaps)? Does this make you a racist, xenophobic, an anti “something”, or simply a prudent individual who wants to secure the people and things that are important to you from potential harm? Let’s assume that Kipp chooses to personally open his doors to those in need. Does he simply invite all comers or is it reasonable to learn a little something about his new house guests before welcoming them over the threshhold — are they criminals, mentally ill, carrying a communicable disease or living a lifestyle anathema to his own? Perhaps, to avoid be “labelled” (by someone like himself) he just moves them into the guest room, adds them onto his health and dental plans and makes them a beneficiary of a portion of his retirement savings, no questions asked? And what to do when word of his generosity gets out? What happens when the house fills up and the funds run out? Does Kipp arbitrarily start sending people over to his neighbour’s homes, unannounced, and expect them to be welcomed, unchallenged, with open arms and open wallet? Would he be surprised (certainly) to find that most of his community did not share his “open-door” policy to perfect strangers? Helping others is kind and compassionate (especially with other people’s money, time and resources), something Canadians have been doing for decades, but there are limits. Unfortunately, we just can’t help everyone, and therefore, we can’t allow our generosity to be taken advantage of by anyone who turns up on our doorstep. It is entirely reasonable to expect those that come to our country to, first and foremost, demonstrate a respect for the laws and customs of our land, which includes respecting our borders and following the fair and generous immigration process. And, if, as is happening now, there are people openly defying these simple procedures and just “walking through the door”, then some sort of barrier/enforcement is required to prevent this from happening. It certainly isn’t helpful for holier-than-though individuals like Kipp to resort to name calling and degradation of those who would see the rule and spirit of the law upheld for the benefit of all who live here, and shows a true lack of critical thinking or forethought as to how his approach is is either sustainable financially, or fair to all those waiting patiently for their turn to immigrate to this great country.
(Thanks for that, Gary. Nice analysis.)
Last night I watched the TV news about an elderly couple who fought off a robber in their convenience store with a banana. As the robber jumped over the counter to attack the man, his wife grab a bunch of bananas and began hitting the robber. Boy is this couple lucky. They’re lucky the RCMP doesn’t charge them with a whole bunch of criminal offences! First, there is “unsafe storage of bananas”. In the video, you can clearly see the bananas are in plan sight with no locking device. Second, she obviously uses “excessive force” as she strikes the attacker more than once, using a bunch instead of a single banana. And continues striking the attacker even after he stops his attack and tries to retreat. Nothing sends the Mounties into a charge-laying frenzy faster, or angers crown prosecutors more, than a victim who tries to defend their property or themselves with a weapon. And Justin will probably order his boy Bill Blair to include bananas in the ban with assault rifles and handguns, later this year. Woe be tide the victim who tries to defend themselves.
(No worries, they will be cleared on a peel.)
Health Minister (Sarah) Hoffman is operating like a ‘poster girl’ for the (safe-injection) site — 800 lives have been saved”. Repeat — “800 lives have been saved”. Her repeated response to questions and criticisms regarding the complete and utter disaster at Alberta Health Services Sheldon Chumir safe-injection site. For starters: the 800 lives reportedly ‘saved’. How has that number been determined? Of the supposed 800 rescued from death, how many were ‘saved’ just one time … and how many were ‘frequent flyers’? (So comforting to know you can maintain your tax-dollar-supported dangerous lifestyle … and someone will rescue you if you overdose … repeatedly, if necessary). It has always seemed utterly perverse to me that we attempt to ‘deal’ with a growing drug problem by assisting the addicted to maintain a destructive lifestyle with ‘safe-injection sites’. The addicted, as has become abundantly clear, bring with them a whole entourage of seedy, dangerous types who make life hell for the unfortunate residents and businesses in the area. A good six months ago, I accompanied a family member to the Sheldon Chumir Centre for medical assistance. While waiting, we witnessed a bizarre scenario: a young woman, attired in a glittering cocktail dress, moccasins, and a ratty-looking wig, engaged in erratic behaviour … while apparently waiting for her ‘safe injection’. Her companions: a male, perhaps her pimp and/or dealer, and another only slightly less bizarre female, waited for her outside. Definitely the sort of group one wouldn’t want to get too close to. I found the experience unsettling. That was months ago. The situation at, and around, the Chumir has clearly deteriorated exponentially. And everyone except the addicts and their sleazy assemblage are being sacrificed on the alter of a deluded progressive agenda. Predictably, the more monumental the political disaster, the more reluctant the politicians responsible are to acknowledge … and take action. Intransigent Minister Hoffman would be well advised to abandon her ridiculous defence of this government-instituted debacle, and terminate before someone — other than the addicts being ‘saved’ — dies.
(The problem needs to be addressed immediately.)
RED LIGHT TIME
A “Green Light” should not be given to the “Green Line” (GL) yet. The mediocrity among politicians has reached another irresponsible new level. Why we must have a new discussion on the GL project. On March 15, 2017, the Transportation Report to SPC on Transportation and Transit mentioned: There are many technology advancements on the horizon that are highly likely to have significant impacts on the future transportation system and land use pattern in Calgary. The city will have limited control over the use and uptake of these technologies. Was the Green Line designed purely scientifically? Or, was it a blatant attempt by a bunch of career politicians, members of the city council, to secure votes for re-election by promising LRT to their wards? Fact check: City current debt is over $4 billion, reaching the limits of what it can borrow. The NDP pledges $1.53 billion for the GL, as opposed to $6 billion needed in the last estimate. To finance all proposed projects, their options are, raising taxes or introducing new taxes, fees, toll road charge, etc. What is the immediate short term answer? Living within our means until we can have the type of leaders who are cut out to serve others first and know how to manage properly and efficiently. Calgarians need also to ask, how comfortable and safe are we with the use of low-platform LRV technology that has not been used before in Calgary? It exists in some Third World countries; vehicles/pedestrians share the street with the LRV
(It’s a big, big project to mess up.)
OUT OF THE WAY
Re: “Speeders want a break”, letter, Feb. 2. I’m sorry Greg Owens, but you’re not familiar with this traffic law. A three-lane highway consists of the left lane (the passing lane), the middle lane (the cruising lane), and the right lane (the merge and exit lane). When a driver cruises at the speed limit or less in the passing lane and refuses to move to the middle lane for faster traffic behind them, then that driver is breaking a traffic law. It’s called “keep right”, and yeah, it is a law. All drivers that do not vacate the passing lane when they cruise on it, at the speed limit or less, are in their minds enforcing the law. In fact that is not their job. It’s the police that enforce traffic laws. My advice to all these hesitant (fearful, white-knuckle) drivers that cannot keep the speed limit in any lane on a highway, under ideal circumstances: stay off the highway because you are the ones that cause the problems. There are other routes that will take you to your destination.
(Nothing worse than wannabe officers on the road.)
SAVE THE WHALE
We all know one of the main obstacles to our pipeline issues to the West Coast is the plight of killer whales and the impact tanker traffic will have on the well being of pods and transient pods in the effected area. Not to mention foreign-funded aboriginal opposition and now Washington state to the south who would have a voice about killer whales. Riddle me this, now that some aboriginal communities want to start a seal hunt for the elites that can afford this new niche dish in a posh restaurant. What the hell would reducing the killer whales’ main food by 50% do for the plight and survival of the whales? I would imagine the latter question takes care of the original question about tanker traffic. There would be a lot less killer whales in the affected area! If you’re a fish lover (cod, salmon, etc.) the price should drop dramatically with all those “pinnipeds” out of the picture. I’m sure there will be a lot more to this latest issue once all the special interest groups weigh in … more quicksand to wade through! This country is going to hell in a handbasket!
(Let’s get it right.)
I know you won’t print this but as The Great One, Wayne Gretzky, once said “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”. So believing it’s in your paper’s best interest to appear at least a ‘little’ unbiased once in a while here’s my shot (um, question/comment actually). What I would seriously like to know is what did the ever growing number of now disgruntled ex-UCP candidates and supporters expect from Jason Kenney when he promised them a “grassroots guarantee” (sic)? If any of them had cared to research anything about him before he was elected leader, they would have already known that a leopard never changes his spots and that Kenney is the master of astroturfing (which means a faux-grassroots organization). Lest we forget that when Kenney was the president of the Canadian Taxpayers “Federation”, it’s name being deliberately misleading and laughable in itself, it was run by just five people who were accountable to no one, much less a ‘federation’. Remember people, Kenney holds the pen so don’t hold your breath for him to ask your humble policy opinions anytime soon. But please keep those donations rolling in and try to keep a straight face while pretending you don’t notice that emperor in waiting Kenney has no clothes.
So Coun. Jeff Davison would want us to believe public engagement and open discussion are not necessary in the case of putting forward suggestions about building and funding the new Flames arena. With the Olympics fiasco being water under the bridge, Mr. Davison is hoping Calgarians have a short memory of council’s performance. It is unfortunate he is not taking a page from the American constitution where the founding fathers created the government for the people, with the people and by the people. This city council proved many a time that it is interested only to be a government for the people, damn the torpedoes about the rest. His stand smells of ‘elitism’, something I found disappointing in a first-term councillor.
(It’s a long way to the finish line on this project.)
‘DAVISON IS WRONG’
I read Jeff Davison’s comments regarding a new arena. They are wrong in so many ways, and I’m wondering if he is a slow learner or just unteachable, as the Olympic debacle did not seem to register with him. To comment that taxes will not increase if we put tax funds into an arena for a “for-profit entity” is flat out misleading. The “only a couple of hundred million” he refers to that would go into that project would not be available for more needy projects resulting in taxes being increased to cover those needs. Quit playing a shell game, Jeff, you are not good at it! Additionally, your comments that those people who want the opportunity to express their opinions only want to vote no is an insult to all hard-working, tax-paying Calgarians. It highlights what appears to be an elitist attitude, which I can only assume is being driven top down at city hall.
(Pretty sure one person does not speak for council in this case.)
SHARE THE WEALTH
City council is back in private negotiations with Calgary Sports and Entertainment Group about a new arena. It should be known to city council that there are only two arenas in Canada that are owned by the cities and they are Calgary and Edmonton, all the others are privately owned. I personally don’t have a problem with building an arena for the Flames, Hitmen and Roughnecks, however then we should get the revenue from all the events other than these three groups. Let them have the revenues for those 100 days a year and we the city get all the revenues for the rest of the year. Betcha Ken King and Gary Bettman say no. My question for Jeff Davison is, who gets the revenues/concessions from the event centre when there’s a concert, etc.
(Let’s wait to see a deal before we tear it apart.)
Has anyone seen this Andrew Scheer fella or as he is known in our house as “Where’s Waldo”? I understand this guy is a Saskatchewan MP and the leader of the federal Conservative Party of Canada who makes around $250,000 bucks a year. Is it just me, or do other Canadians have trouble understanding why AWOL Andy isn’t on our former drama teacher and PM Justin Trudeau like a rabid pitbull every day of the week. With a federal election scheduled for the fall, it might be a good idea, Andy, to pick it up a notch, or better still, hand the ball to someone who can maybe save what ever is left of this once great country.
(Plenty of Canadians are counting on him to end Trudeau’s reign.)
My deepest sympathies to the family, friends, and co-workers of the three railroaders who lost their lives on Monday morning. Quite predictably, Tuesday’s ‘too soon’ Transportation Safety Board press conference was loaded with more holes than Swiss cheese, and it raised far more questions than it answered. It frustrates the hell out of me to find out that, going on five years after the Lac Megantic disaster, it is still legally acceptable in Canada for railroad managers to counsel some of their hardest-working employees to disregard their training and experience and park heavy trains at the top of the highest hill in the country for two hours without taking traditional, sensible, common-sense precautions like applying hand brakes and using derail devices. Unbelievable. Perhaps the next time General Secretary Gerald M. Butts, the Supreme Leader of Canada, shuffles his Politburo, he might consider replacing the present transport minister (an actual world-famous rocket scientist) with a humble high-school graduate who has some idea what it takes to put on two or three layers of work clothes and a pair of greasy old mitts and safely operate a train’s brakes outdoors during the coldest time of the year.
(A tragic accident.)
WASTE OF DOUGH
What a waste of $7 million! Why set up workshops to teach people how better to discern a true from a made-up news item? Should an obviously false story, replete with ‘chop-shop’ photos show up in social media; then simply have it exposed via trustworthy ‘pre-internet’ sources! But then, perhaps I should attend one of these proposed workshops in order to know for sure that the ‘Mr. Dress-Up Tour’ of India (a.k.a. trade mission) was an event, and that it resulted in the Indian government having placed a 6% tariff on Canadian chick peas. Should I post or re-post reminders of the embarrassing episode on Facebook prior to the election; might I be charged with collusion? Is it OK to suggest in public that I think recent columns on this government proposal, by Anthony Furey and Lorne Gunter, be mandatory reading by all of voting age? Especially for those whom now smoke grass! Just askin’, eh!
(The whole thing is quite scary.)
Open letter: “Hello, Mr. Mayor”. Caveman #24783 here. I used to drive a car but decided to get a GMC 4×4 truck after you became mayor, as it functions much better at icy, unsanded intersections and on unplowed city streets. Personally, I’d rather count myself a caveman anyway than a condescending, socialist-progressive spendthrift who sucks his living off the backs of the real working men and women of this once great province. I’ll be sure and vote for you, just as soon as hell freezes over.
(The shine has long worn off.)