Thursday, April 30, 2009

Dave Taylor shows his class

In a move that will likely fuel Canada's stereotyped image of Albertans, Liberal MLA Dave Taylor really showed his class yesterday! After Premier Ed highlighted the ethnic diversity of his caucus, Dave Taylor is alleged to have shouted " You've got a few scope monkeys in it.".....
UNREAL! While I am sure that Dave (Face for Radio) Taylor will spin it somehow, I am disgusted that he could even say such a thing in 2009. These remarks will just justify what many other Canadians think about Alberta....that we are a Redneck, Intolerant, Racist People. And frankly, I am sick and tired of being labeled a redneck or a racist, especially since I support the PC party. Furthermore, they are entirely inappropriate and uncalled for.
As a Conservative, I have to constantly defend the image that I am not a closet racist/homophobe due to my support of the party. Anyone that knows me understands that nothing could be further from the truth, as I am about as RED TORY as they come. However, many people still believe that if you support the PC party, you must be a redneck or racist. I believe that the PC party has made inroads over the years to change this false image, although the opposition parties cling to it as a defence mechanism to win votes and scare people away from the PC/Conservative Party.
Can you imagine the uproar if a PC MLA made these comments?
I tried searching for some blog responses today, but I was shocked to find NONE yet. ( HMMM?) Maybe later today.
I will be watching for Dave Taylor's apology/spin today and comment if it is appropriate.
Just think ALP, you could have had this chap as your leader!
5/1/2009- UPDATE
Dave Taylor officially apologized yesterday in the legislature. "I Screwed Up. I Was Wrong."
You got that right Dave.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Does Calgary's "Mafia Commision" ( aka Aldermanic Committee) really run things here?

In the old Mafia folklore, when the heads of the rival families needed to come to an agreement on an issue, they would all get together in private to come to a peaceful solution to their problem. Often, they would work together to split their empires up amongst themselves to avoid any future hostilities.

This Mafia Commission arrangement sure looks a lot like the one being used by our City of Calgary Aldermen these days!

In an attempt to save his own aldermanic seat ( or "Territory?" ) Ald. Andre ( Save my Job) Chabot refuses to accept the boundary map recommendations of the City Returning officer. I have written about Andre's reasoning here, which I think is pretty clear. Having rejected the democratic procedure, City Council voted with Chabot yesterday to take the matter to Aldermanic Committee, which essentially means that they will decide among themselves,(behind closed doors) just like the Old Mafia Commission!

While I understand that Chabot's crew may want to protect their "Turf" and not lose their "Territory" to a "rival" Alderman in 2010, the optics of this arrangement are just terrible. Behind closed doors, they will likely make Council "an offer they cannot refuse".

If City Council does not come clean on this issue and allow an independent body to implement the changes to ward boundaries, I hope the lot of them get what they deserve... unemployment in 2010 (aka..."Swimming with the fishes"!)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Addressing the need for Recreation facilities in South East Calgary

Hi Everyone! I am on my "soapbox" today! My wife is quickly becoming a "committee widow" do to my ever increasing volunteer commitments and I need your help….

Most Calgarians are aware that there is a lack of Recreation facilities in the City. In order to address this need, the City has commissioned a “recreation gap analysis” which confirms that there is a serious need for a full scale recreation facility in South East Calgary.

As a resident of the area, I have joined the Seton Recreation Center committee as a volunteer as I believe it will have a huge impact on improving our city! The city has committed $70 Million to fund the construction of a new facility and our federal government is looking to add a further $25 Million in funding for this important project. To date, there has been no decision on the specific location that this facility will be built. There are a few proposals out there, but I believe that the Seton location makes the most logistical and economic sense.

Seton Centre Community Vision

The Seton Committee’s goal is to work in partnership with the City of Calgary to design and construct a major wellness and recreation facility on land designated in the Seton area next to the new South Calgary Hospital, within the next 4 years. Support for this Comprehensive South East Recreational Facility will ensure a coordinated, sustainable solution to meeting the recreation and wellness needs of South East Calgary residents for today and for the next generation.

What Can You Do To HELP? We need to confirm to the City (and the powers that be) that this is the best option for SE Calgary. Time is always of the essence in these matters, so we have set up an on-line petition to show that this idea has the support of Calgarians. Check out the Website at & follow the link to the Support Petition. ( Note: this will take you 45 seconds max to complete!)

Please send this to anyone you think may benefit by having a recreation centre in Calgary SE. ( I have also created a facebook group with additional information.) This facility will benefit ALL Calgarians and will ensure that the recreation needs of our growing city continue to be met.

The issue is not IF a facility will be built...but WHEN and WHERE... Have your say!


Friday, April 24, 2009

Alberta Liberal Party...Stay out my Inbox!

In an unwelcomed surprise, I was curious to understand why my email inbox was undaunted with emails from the " Alberta Liberal Caucus" this week? These spam email's are simply press releases issued by the ALP and sent out en-masse.
I never signed up to be on the ALP mailing list and never will. I note from a comment posted on the Enlightened Savages blog yesterday that it appears I am not alone in receiving these unsolicited emails.
I have sent a response email to this group asking them what qualified them to add my name and email to their mailing list, but have not received a response yet. The email used is only available on my blog, so I suspect that they are "trolling" the blogs looking for emails addresses to use. This lack of creativity just confirms the problems with the ALP in our province...when you have no supporters and no one is listening, they just figure its a good idea to SPAM random people with their message.
If anyone is interested, here is the email address they used....
To be fair, I think I will forward them all of the spam emails I get going forward. Especially the ones for "Male Enhancement", Viagra and the Nigerian Chain Letters. ( Perhaps the latter will actually help them, as it may give them some fundraising ideas!)
Let's see how they enjoy that!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bronconnier Flip-Flops yet again.

In what can only be described as a common sense realization, Calgary Mayor Dave Bronconnier has announced that the city will "freeze" levies imposed on the home building industry. I had touched on this in a previous post in February, and I am pleased that the City has agreed to amend this proposal.

Our fine Mayor cites "economic" reasons for his decision to amend the proposed increase. Really? I am at a loss to understand what has changed economically in this City from late February until now? Home sales are still down, new construction is at an all time low. The city is also pushing its "Plan-It" vision for future development, which generally calls for more inner-city homes, ( which will restrict the ability of home builders to build in the suburban edge) so why the sudden about face on this issue?

I may be reaching here, but if you look at the calender, we are less than 18 Months away from the next election. There are rumblings that Bronco could be facing some big name challengers for his job in October 2010. Perhaps this "flip-flop" is being made to appease the construction industry ( and their big donation base) in advance of his re-election bid? These challenging economic times will likely make fundraising difficult going forward and I would assume he would like to keep their donations flowing into his war chest and not over to his rivals.

If you look at his 2008 Campaign Finance Disclosure, you will see it is full of construction industry donations. Now don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with that...until you let the money influence your platform. Perhaps I am wrong? Time will tell.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Paul Hinman to Resign as Wildrose Alliance Leader!

I just received a press release issued by the WAP confirming that thier charismatic leader is stepping down! The press release is copied below...

April 21, 2009

Paul Hinman's Leadership Sets Stage for Wildrose Alliance's Growth
For Immediate Release

Alliance Party leader Paul Hinman has advised the party executive of his intention to step down as leader at the upcoming Annual General Meeting scheduled for June 5 and 6, 2009, in Calgary. "Mr. Hinman has been a driving force in creating a new political alternative for Albertans," says Wildrose Party President Jeff Callaway. "His tireless determination to create a voice for Albertans who question the policies of the Stelmach PC party has sparked growing interest in the Wildrose Alliance." Paul Hinman’s commitment to providing Alberta with a new political option that is attractive to the majority of Albertans involves more than policy and merely criticizing the government. It includes leadership with vision and communication, and to help ensure the continued growth of the Party, Mr Hinman wants to ensure that the Wildrose Alliance is led by the most capable, energetic, and qualified person possible. "To demonstrate his commitment," says Callaway, "Paul will step down at the AGM and open up the leadership of the Party to what we hope will be a robust race." Paul Hinman says of his decision " Our Party's strong growth in the past year tells me now is the time to further that growth with a leadership race. This will help the Wildrose Alliance harness this remarkable groundswell and give the most people possible the opportunity to participate." Hinman encourages other interested parties to enter the Leadership race and "Together we will build the Party. The interest in the Wildrose Alliance as a viable political alternative to the existing government has been growing fast and has come from a diverse group of people from different regions and economic segments of Alberta who want to get involved."
"I am accountable to Albertans and our party members and I believe this is the best decision for our party and ultimately for our province," Hinman says. "I extend the greatest appreciation to those who have supported our party and myself in the past. Be assured I will continue to work with the Wildrose Alliance and Albertans in whatever capacity I can to make the greatest possible contribution to restore the Alberta Advantage and prosperity to the people of Alberta." Commenting on the future of Alberta, Paul Hinman continued "The government must rein in its spending and bureaucratic growth while stimulating the economy through the reduction of taxes and red tape. It needs to be accountable and display the type of integrity that will restore the confidence of investors and businesses. Protecting the freedom of choice and competition balanced with a regulated free market economy encourages the creative and entrepreneurial people and businesses of Alberta." Regarding our health care and educational systems and Senior Citizens, Hinman says "The focus should be on service, not on management as it currently is. While concentrating on all of the above near-term, the long-term future must be protected through proper stewardship of the environment and our natural resources." "Paul Hinman has demonstrated his commitment and service to the people of Alberta and the Wildrose Alliance," President Jeff Callaway stated, "And I know he remains committed to each going forward. I view his decision as the act of a selfless Leader and he deserves the thanks and respect of the Party. In whatever leadership role Paul assumes with the Party, the Wildrose Alliance will benefit from his experience and guidance. The Board, Executive Director and myself look forward to working with Paul as together we build the Party."

Interesting, Interesting Times. I figured something was up due to the strange media plays by Jane Morgan and Paul Hinman in my previous post!


Paul HinmanWildrose Alliance leaderPhone: 403 393-2003

Will the Silver Dollar Casino be the first to "Bust"?

After selling his beloved casino in 2007, local entertainment icon Frank Sissons must be cringing at the state of his former pride and joy. Old Frank's Silver Dollar Casino looks like its about to go "craps", which is no big surprise to me. Having been in this facility many, many times, I cannot see how it can compete with the six ( YES...SIX!) other casinos in the City.

Until this facility was purchased by evergreen gaming, the place was truly an eyesore. It looked like a perfect movie set for a film set in 1970's Calgary. Here are some gems:

  • The Blackjack tables all had some strange smell to them and were covered in mystery "stains". The blackjack chips used to be from somewhere called the "Calgary Tower Casino"... ( This frugal move should come as no surprise, as Frank was believed to be a real tightwad....even going as far as to take his own cash deposits to the bank himself, well until he got robbed and shot in the knees! )

  • The food in this place was horrible. I mean HORRIBLE! I work just around the corner, and even though there is limited choice of menu options in the area...I never learned my lesson.

  • I wonder if Frank is doing any interior design work since retiring? The pictures on the walls of this place were hilarious. I would categorize them as "Hillbilly Chic". He had the lounge decorated with dozens of "B" and "C' List stars autographed pictures, most of which the average person has never heard of.

  • The Rats Maze: Walking through this place was a real challenge. It was an old industrial warehouse and not really suited for this type of use. There was an old Bowling Alley in the back, which was the original Silver Dollar Bowl.

Now I must give credit to the NEW owners, the Evergreen Gaming Corp for the excellent work that they have done since taking over. The decor has changed, the place has been transformed from a dingy basement to a real casino! The food is actually quite good now also.

That said, the casino is doomed to fail. The "new" casino facilities are where people want to be. You cannot compare the tiny one room Silverdollar with the Mega Facility Deerfoot Inn, Grey Eagle, Stampede or Elbow River Casino's. Location aside, (the Silver Dollar is tucked away in an industrial area in the SE) there is nothing else to attract customers to the Silver Dollar Casino. The casino market is over saturated in Calgary. Unless you have the size and entertainment options, you are doomed to fail.

Frank Sisson would never change with the times, so the best he could do was sell the business off. As usual, Frank picked his timing right and made a killing on the sale of the building and casino. Even he knew you cant beat the house!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Alberta "Opposition" Parties Comedy Continues...

The state of the "opposition" parties in Alberta continues to diminish by the day. If it were not so funny, it would be quite sad. Let's take a quick look at the "would be" alternate parties in our province...

1) Alberta Liberal Party.... 1) Broke.... 2) Fractured.... enough said.

2) Alberta Green Party... Kevin Libin from the National Post had an excellent piece on this today. This party is in shambles.

3) Alberta NDP: 2 Seats....Lots of Noise...Outdated Views...Edmonton centered support= NO HOPE.

4) Wildrose Alliance Party: Lots of Cash.... No Quality Candidates.... Confusing, Populist Platform... and now, leadership questions!

On Friday, WAP executive director and fellow blogger Jane Morgan showed her solidarity to her party and her leader by claiming "some members may be seeking a more charismatic leader" during the party's AGM in June. Even party leader Paul Hinman brushed off the comments by stating, " Well, I guess you never has as much charisma as you'd like...We've been trying to track someone down since the party started, from Preston Manning to Deb Grey, to numerous other ones."

Now that is leadership! What is Jane Morgan saying here? Well, we need someone more interesting that doesn't just appeal to the "Rural/Small Town" Vote. How does Hinman respond? By agreeing that he thinks someone is better out there...but no one wants the job, so he will just stay on in the meantime? Where do I join this party? Where do I send my cheque?

Interesting how everyone wants to be Premier in this province, but none of the opposition party's leaders can create and manage a party that can fundraise, pay staff, create a platform that the people want want and get solidarity from their members.

It is not "voter apathy" that has kept the Alberta PC party in power as much as it is the incompetence of the opposition leadership. ALP, NDP, WAP, Greens...(or those party's that are still around) good luck with the next election.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Yes Reporters are human too..just ask Roger Millions and Ralph Klein

When I watch the evening news or sports broadcasts, I am always impressed by the smooth vocal delivery of the hosts. Perhaps the pressure of the NHL playoffs caught veteran reporter Roger Millions a little off guard last night? Too Funny....

Here is another gem that I found on the net... a 1970's blooper of our former Premier, The Hon. Ralph Klein, during his glory days as a young reporter. This one did not surprise me much...classic!

It just goes to show you that no matter how polished your delivery is most of the time, we are all human. Too bad that in the world of live TV ( and life) , there are no retakes.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

More Sugarplums from Ald. Druh Farrell

Confirming my theory that nothing that comes out of City Hall shocks me these days, I was not surprised to hear about Calgary Ald. Druh Farrell's recent "Sugarplum" idea. With what must be a lack of other priorities in her ward, this genius Alderman has decided to push ahead with a plan to shut down part of Memorial Drive on Sunday's this August, turning it into a Promenade.

For those who do live in Calgary, Memorial Drive is an East-West road that goes right through the City Centre, connecting people to Crowchild Trail and Deerfoot Trail. Farrell boasts that this is a "Great Idea" and wonders who would oppose such a wonderful thing? Well, a poll on QR77 yesterday showed that the majority of Calgarians do not support this idea.

Thankfully, our common sense Ald. Ric McIver has been outspoken on his opposition to this idea. But wait... Ald. Farrell confirmed that she does not need to take the proposal before City Council to get this type of closure approved. He vowed to try and pass a motion later this month to stop this nonsense.

Why would anyone oppose this idea? Here is my reasoning...

1) How can one Alderman decide to close a main road that is used by ALL Calgarians?

2) Why should anyone have to replan their traffic route to appease Druh's sugarplum ideas. Why doesn't she move her planned "Rollerblade and Mountain Bike love-in" onto a local side street in her Ward? This would avoid the potential inconvenience to the REST of the City.

3) Safety Concerns.... How will this area be policed? Will the city have to assign specific officers to monitor the area during the shut down? I would think so. What about the access to the rest of the road for Ambulance and/or Police vehicles trying to get through? Will she simply yell "CAR" and everyone will move to the side of the road like street hockey players?

4) Business concerns... Why would she want to restrict traffic to the shops in Kensington? Sunday's are likely slow as it is...why hamper potential customers from visiting the establishments in her own ward?

4) Please, Please Ald. Farrell...come up with something original. This idea is being copied from other cities, ( eg. Ottawa) Why not come up with a unique idea? You already got your $25MM designer bridge approved...just let it go already!

Hopefully Mayor, oops..I mean Ald. McIver will show City Council that this idea needs to be put to bed for good. If not, where will it end?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Jason Kenney/Mike Duffy Event was a blast!

I has attended the MP Jason Kenney/Senator Mike Duffy event last night at the Hyatt and it was a blast. Mr. Kenney gave a passionate speech and Mr. Duffy was as advertised....extremely entertaining.

Kudos to the hard work of my fellow members of Calgary Southeast EDA for organizing and putting this event on.

The room was packed, the speeches were great. Want details of the speech's? Buy a ticket next!


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Perhaps the $1.30 Jump in Beer Tax will get people to vote!

Wow... Budget day today...shocking stuff! $4.7Billion Deficit..... Enough said...
I like the $1.30 tax increase on a case of Beer... if this doesn't get the masses pissed off, nothing will! Perhaps this will be a lightning rod to the average voter, lol. ( I guess the 60% or so who didn't vote maybe have their issue now?)
OOPS... I forgot to mention the $3/carton increase on tobacco and $2.85 on a bottle of liqour.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Hey Don Martin....Here is a 'Wild" Theory....Maybe Harper is just a good leader?

Over the past few weeks, it seems to be Don Martin's mission to create a buzz about our Prime Ministers future. He has written a few articles speculating about Harper's intentions as the CPC leader heading into the next and/or future elections. He has written spec pieces on who will succeed Stephen Harper as leader, including a nice piece on Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall.

In Today's article, Martin writes a wild piece of fiction, basing the piece on his "wild" theory on the reasoning behind Mr. Harper's recent media blitz. In Martin's mind, he figures that the PM is "sending out feelers" for future employment opportunities... wow! I know that most of the world figures Canada to be an "also ran" kind of country, due to our small population and limited economic influence, but why does Don Martin have to speculate on such nonsense? Perhaps our Prime Minister is using this foreign airtime to PROMOTE CANADA? I am confident that if a Liberal PM ( Paul Martin/Chretien etc.) were doing the same thing, the media would be oozing over them and complementing them for their wonderful leadership on the World Stage. Its unfortunate that the same enthusiasm is not shown when a Conservative PM is actually doing a better job than his predecessors.

To speculate that Mr. Harper does not really have any prospects for employment in Canada once he retires from Politics is foolish. Stating that he "only has a degree in Economics" is absurd also.

While Mr. Martin used to be a credible source of information, I think he is just reaching and reaching further into speculation. I think he might want to worry about his own employment prospects, given the shaky financial ground of his employers, and worry less about the prospects of our Prime Minister.

Slow news day Don?