Friday, January 30, 2009

Good call Premier

I was pleased to see that Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach has announced that his caucus will forgo a salary increase this year. While it may be unpopular, I believe that our provincial MLA's deserve every penny that they get. While no one would ever get into politics to get rich, many of our MLA's could find better paying jobs in the private sector, but forgo this in the name of public service.

This move will save the Alberta taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars this year. These savings will avoid any rollbacks on the public sector employees incomes. This was an excellent decision and I am pleased to see it was made before the public" screamed about any potential increases to MLA's salaries.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Alderman Pincott...Time to Wake Up!

Well, it must be another slow day ( or 14 months) for Ald. Brian Pincott at City Hall.

With all of the pressing issues facing the city of Calgary, I cant help but shake my head at some of the nonsensical ideas coming from Ward 11 Calgary Alderman, Brian Pincott. Yesterday, he supported an idea to revisit the idea of an anti-idling bylaw. A similar idea was floated in Edmonton last month, but has been put on the back burner for one year.

Some of Mr. Pincott's other genius priorities include:

  • Banning Take Out/Drive-Thru windows in the city of Calgary.
  • Banning back yard fire pits.
  • Paint The Pavement... and idea to help "calm" traffic on city streets.
  • Making snow removal on city bike baths a priority. ( When most citizens can't get out of their residential side streets in their vehicles!)
  • Don't get me started about his lawn pesticide stance or his support over the ban of plastic grocery bags.

Since being elected as Ward 11 Alderman in 2007 ( and only after the popular incumbent, Barry Erskine pulled out just before the election.) I can't remember a week going by without seeing some proposal of sound bite from this gent. Having lived in Ward 11 for nearly 30 years ( I just moved out in Dec.2007.) I cannot believe that his Socialist/NDP ( of which he was a candidate in two federal elections!) views will "jive" with the residents of (a typically conservative) Ward 11 in the next election.

In an interview with the Calgary Sun in 2007, he is quoted as saying... "City hall is viewed by some as a bastion they have to storm. Some say: 'I hate city hall but as long as they're not bugging me I'll keep doing my thing."

Well, your constant proposals for interference in peoples lives is BUGGING me....I think its time to wake up and take your own advice!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The REAL reason Ignatieff is supporting the budget. ( And why Liberal's know all about deficits!)

Have no fear fellow Canadians! Even though Mr.Ignatieff has confirmed he will "swallow hard" and support the Conservative Party budget, he has threatened that he will be watching closely and has put Mr. Harper on "probation". He advised that he will require regular reports to Parliament on the budget's implementation and its cost — one in March, one in June and one in December.
Well great! We will not have to worry about an election until at least June....why June??
Our good friend Iggy has a new book coming out April 28, 2009.
God forbid a spring election get in the way of his book tour and promotional appearances.
However, he may choose to sell one to every member of the Liberal Party, as a fundraising measure. Perhaps he will even funnel some funds to help pay for his predecessor's debt. ( And take a look at the "debt" link and you will see that the Liberals know all about running deficits!)

Iggy/Liberals to Support the Budget!

So after much posturing and threats, it looks like Ignatieff and the Liberal Party will support the budget after all! I guess he figures that this will give him some time to "learn the ropes" as Liberal leader and raise some much needed cash. I think the budget is correct in these times, but I hope I do not have to hear anymore of the following January "BUZZWORDS":

1) "Shovel Ready"

2) Stimulus Investment ( ie..Deficit...yuck.)

3) " Protecting the Most Vulnerable"

4) " A Coalition if necessary, but not necessarily a coalition"

Poor Jack coalition bridesmaid dress for you my friend.
Now...on with running the country!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

WOW! Could they be any more arrogant?

Oh Yeah.... I guess its not an election year!

There were some pretty funny sound bites coming from City Hall this week. ( In fact, it was so odd, you could not make this stuff up!)

  • Alderman Joe ( Man of the people) Connelly takes the cake this week. When asked what effect the Alderman 5.5% pay raise would have on negotiations with other City of Calgary employees, he was quoted in the Calgary Sun as saying:

"If I want to go be a bus driver, then I'm going to go be a bus driver. If there's any bus driver out there that's upset, well, then run for politics next time, run for politics in two years and hopefully you'll get there and hopefully you'll be making more money than a bus driver." "Come and run against me, that's the way it works." He also added "You get what you pay for." "The deal is if you want better politicians you've got to pay them better money. Bottom line, that's where it sits."

Wow...... I wonder if Mr. Connelly would have made such a bold, arrogant statement during an election year? I hope that the residents of Ward 6 take his comments to heart, as I would be embarrassed to have him representing my riding. I bet those residents thought they got a better representative when they voted out Craig Burrows in 2007.

  • Alderman Gord Lowe: A real sweet quote this week, in response to the public reaction to the proposed salary increase... " The Public will forget about this by next week and they'll be angry about something else."

Funny? Yes... ( But so true in Calgary Politics.)

  • Alderman John Mar: This was a funny story... $210,000 public outhouses? He wants to see more of them, but he isn't sure if the economic timing is right? How out of touch can you be? This just stinks...( I could not resist!)

  • Mayor Dave Bronconnier: In response to a vote on revisiting the salary increase... " If they want to look at it, that's fine. I certainly wasn't going to support it."

This is a typical response from our fine mayor. If he had any leadership qualities at all, he would have taken the lead and voted against the increase. After all, does he really need it? It is reported that he is sitting on a $300,000 "campaign war chest" that will likely go right into his personal bank account ( which is perfectly legal under City Election rules) once he retires from city politics. Spend that raise wisely Bronco...its likely the last you will get from the voters of Calgary.

Stranger than fiction!

Good Article by Jonathan Denis, MLA

I came across a good article in the Calgary Herald this morning, outlining "Bill 50". This bill should be a great "weapon" in the war against the organized crime element in Alberta. While it is not enough, it is an excellent start.

The Link can be found here:

I have also attached a link to Jonathan Denis's website for reference. I am impressed by Jonathan and feel that he will be a real force in Alberta politics for years to come.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Toronto Jack... It is a Matter of Confidence!

I could not help but laugh at our NDP friend Jack Layton all week! After getting a little too excited over the possibility of finally receiving a "coalition" cabinet post and having a real say over the affairs of the country, he is now reduced to his usual post of Mr. Irrelevant. With speculation that the "coalition" is all but dead following the vaulting of Ignatieff as Liberal Leader, poor Jack is left grabbing at straws and trying to get some attention for himself in the media.
Last week, Mr.Layton claimed that the NDP will not support the Conservative budget this week, without even having seen the contents. He went on to say that " I Don't have confidence in Mr. Harper on these matters" and that Mr. Harper cannot be trusted. Hmmm...
For a leader of a dead party, that was used and has now been abandoned by the Liberals, it looks like old Jack is on his own. Perhaps he will consider reaching out to the Bloc to form another Coalition...( Socialist/Separatists... The NEW DemoBloc Parti?)
For a leader of a party that only obtained 18% of the Popular vote in the last election, and is currently sitting at 14% in the most recent poll data released this week, Mr.Layton seems to have an inflated sense of importance.
You are right Jack, it is a matter of Confidence and Trust... its too bad that you fail to accept that the people of Canada do not have ANY of the above in your leadership or party. If they did, you would actually matter in Ottawa.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Academic Alderman

The City of Calgary Aldermen released their budget spending this week without much fanfare. I guess they were all pleased that they "came under budget" this year! I laughed when I saw that Alderman Linda Fox-Mellway's spending came in at $138,000, the highest total among her colleague's.

Putting her totals over the top was a $15,000 ( YIKES) expense for a Management course at the University of Calgary. "That was pricey, but those are the kinds of things we should be doing. There's lots of senior managers and executives in that program, and it's important to stay current and find out what additional questions we should be asking at council." Linda Fox-Mellway

I find it difficult to understand how this council expects the city taxpayers to pay for this type of course? $15,000 for this Management course will go a long way in padding her resume and will no doubt prepare her for her next job in the private sector.

Perhaps the voters in her ward will consider electing a stronger candidate in the next election, perhaps one that will know "the right questions" to be asking at council. Unbelievable!

I recall that in 2006/07, Alderman Craig Burrows ended up in some hot water over a $12,000 UofC management course that he added to the city books. I see know that council has changed the way they "approve" the spending for these courses following Mr.Burrows PR disaster.

Seeing how unsuccessful Mr. Burrows was in getting re-elected in the last election, I would hope that Alderman Fox-Mellway takes heed and starts working on her resume right away. 2010 cannot come soon enough!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bronconnier's spin on the Cecil Hotel...

"Calgary's mayor says crime around the Cecil Hotel is down by 85 per cent since the city ordered the tavern to close its doors.Dave Bronconnier says beyond a shadow of a doubt, the closure of the notorious watering hole has increased safety in downtown Calgary.The city revoked the tavern's business licence last month." (

Wow Bronco, what a statistic.... you close the Cecil Hotel and crime is down "85%" over 1 year ago. Interesting spin... I guess that all of the drug dealers and criminals have 'seen the error in their ways" and decided to clean up their acts now that their favorite trading post is closed. I guess they all decided to get clean once and for all and move to the suburbs to start a new life! Using this statistic is complete nonsense, without acknowledging/disclosing if crime rates have dropped on other city blocks in the area.

The mayor also stated that he admits criminals who used to use the Cecil as a home base are setting up shop elsewhere, but police are on to them. "They're trying to move around the city and our police officers are doing a very good job and staying on top of that. The officers are there, moving with them."

Really? If the CPS could not control the crime activity at the Cecil how are they supposed to monitor their activities now that they have spread out over downtown? I think this area could have been cleaned up long ago, but due to the close proximity of the Cecil to the "Cuff and Billy" police pub/clubhouse, I think that Happy Hour may have taken precedence over public safety. Obviously these criminals do not fear the Calgary Police, or they would not have continued to carry on with their drug trade right under the CPS members noses. ( I know I hit the brakes if I am speeding next to a police officer on Deerfoot!) Once again, our fine mayor is tweaking the facts to get a good soundbite for the 6pm news.
I'm not buying it...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

No Bail for Gangsters? Wow...what a concept!

I was pleased to see that after a 4 hour hearing in Calgary yesterday, a judge denied bail to 3 suspects involved in a violent gang shooting in December. I can't imagine what needed 4 hours to be discussed in court for this lengthy period, but I can assume that the judge needed convincing to keep them behind bars, pending their trial. One of the accused lawyers said afterward " My client is extremely upset at the prospect of having his liberty taken away from him."..... What??? I am sure that the people of Calgary are extremely upset at having their "liberty" taken away from also. The escalating gang war has made many Calgarians uneasy, as these thugs have taken their war into city streets and public places.

I am at a loss as to why these criminals keep getting bail and released back onto the street. This "catch and release" strategy makes me shake my head. I cannot believe that the City Police are unable to wipe these gangs out with ease? Why?....

1) Surely the Calgary Police Service know who the gang members are. ( and where to find them.)
2) We are dealing with a street gang, no a century old organization. These chaps are probably not the best organized group.
3) Although I cannot confirm any public numbers, I am sure that we are talking about dozens, not hundreds of gang members.

The CPS has a slick produced site at which outlines their gang strategy. Its a nice start, but not deep enough in my opinion.

Chief Hansen promised to double the size of violent crime suppression team, pull over suspected gang members on violations as minor as littering, and put pressure on the gang members' families through new provincial legislation that allows police to confiscate anything purchased with money obtained from crime. He is also quoted as follows:

"We have, on good information, the parents of some of these gang members are benefiting from the proceeds that are obtained from the trafficking of drugs, the sale of drugs, and other crimes associated with that," he said. "When we make those links sufficient to satisfy a court, we're going after the proceeds of those crimes as they are reflected either in homes, cars or businesses."

We will see if they in fact follow through with this threat, or if it was just public posturing following the New Years Day shootings. Maybe its time to reallocate some of the officers away from their Radar/Multinova duties and into rounding up the bad guys once and for all.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Grey Eagle Casino....Black Bear Crossing

I had the chance to visit the Grey Eagle Casino on Saturday...after a self imposed "semi" boycott of the facility. ( I was seething over the continued "stall" in negotiations over the Calgary Southwest ring road) However, curiosity got the better of me, along with the fact that there are almost no Bingo Facilities left in this city!

After hearing all of the hype about this place, I must say that I was quite disappointed! I don't know how much they spent on the design and architect, but I am sure it was not a priority in their planning stages. Personally, I found the building to be quite dull.

It is estimated that they spent close to $40 Million Dollars to build the facility. Wow... This is interesting to me. If you look closely, you will note that the Casino is adjacent to the famed "Black Bear Crossing" neighborhood, which has a notorious reputation as of late. Once leased to the provincial government as part of CFB Calgary, the area became a haven for squatters once the Armed Forces moved out. Close to 850 people were living in the modest soldiers quarters at the time. Over the past 10 years, the area has become a quite run down, much to the joy of the homeowners in adjacent Lakeview. ( Which happens to be Ralph Klien's neighborhood)

The Tsuu T'ina confirmed that the homes have become unsafe to live in and have been trying to evict the remaining tenants through court orders. ( In addition, they have also attempted to shut off the power/water supply against the courts order, but that is another story.) This past week, the Tsuu T'ina band has finally got the court order to evict the last holdout from the makeshift community. Now they plan to use $6.4MM from the Federal Government to demolish/decommission the area. Once completed....they plan to develop this area into a commercial/retail "power centre". Hmmmm.....

Having lived right next to the Tsuu T'ina Reserve ( in Woodbine/Cedarbrae) for nearly 30 years, I can confirm that they appear to be once of the most industrious bands in Canada. What baffles me though, is the priorities set out by the band management. If 850 People "chose" to move/live in the run down "Black Bear Site", how bad must the housing situation be on the reserve? I have heard that the band plans to use the proceeds from the Casino to build new homes on the reserve. Well that is a great idea...but to me, the optics are not good at all!

If your band members are lacking adequate housing, should they have proceeded to spend upwards of $40 Million on the Casino?

If they are obtaining $6.4MM in Government funds to "decommission" the Black Bear Crossing site, (in order to make way for a Commercial Development) where is the money from the Casino going? Hmmmm... I thought that a Casino would be profitable? Odd...?

It will be interesting to see how the Tsuu T'ina handle the housing situation in the years to come. I just hope that any future government grants for housing take the Casino and/or Commercial Land development profits into consideration when determining funding. Hopefully, the profits from these operations will be funnelled back into their community, which was likely the intention on granting the Casino license to begin with. I am sure the Tsuu T'ina people are "betting" on it.

Friday, January 16, 2009


" I may not agree with a word you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" Voltaire

Welcome to my first post on this new blog! After years of ranting to anyone that will listen to my opinion on current issues (and thank you to my lovely wife for putting up with me) I have decided to start a blog to rant about these items. My intention is to keep the posts light hearted and at times, sarcastic.

Disclaimer: I am a born and bred Calgarian and extremely proud of my City and Province. I am also a member of the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta and Conservative Party of Canada. None of my views/opinions expressed in this blog are intended to represent the views of these groups.

My political views are varied and have evolved ( and will continue to) over time. In a nutshell, I believe in Fiscal Conservative Policies and defend Socially Progressive issues. The graph above kind of 'maps" out where my ideologies lie. ( Source:

I welcome all feedback and encourage your comments! ( Providing that they only agree with me, lol!)