Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hal Walker Joins the Wildrose Alliance. Is The WAP Becoming a Haven For Old Tories?

Today's announcement that Hal Walker has joined the Wildrose Alliance Party as their interim party president is no big shocker and it is no big "coup" either.  While Mr. Walker has a long association with the PC Party, including Past President of the Calgary Elbow PC Association, but appears to have given up on the party a long time ago. 
  Many people will recall Mr. Walker's famous email, ( I am sure the people who had their email address listed for all to see where not so impressed) that pretty much sealed his intentions as a future PC party member.  Daveberta had a great post on this link.... and it definitely worth the read.  In the email, Mr. Walker shares his love for our premier and more love for the royalty review. 
 I love how every few weeks, the Wildrose machine feels that they need to share the fact that they have attracted a FORMER PC SUPPORTER/BOARD MEMBER/PARTY INSIDER/SECOND COUSIN ( twice removed) / FORMER PAPERBOY TO AN EX-MLA's Executive Assistant. ETC...  to their party!  Why do they feel the need to legitimize their membership in this manner?  Are they a real party or just a protest tent for old PC party supporters?  I have yet to see anything of substance come from this fledgling group, except the fact that the party seems to attract a roster of PC cast-offs full of yesterday's ideas?   Even better, it always seems that once someone feels slighted, or that they are no longer part of the mysterious "inner circle", that they only place for them to go is into the loving arms of the WAP. 
 I have made it no secret that I am a PC supporter and at the same time, I often share my frustration with my party and the leader.  But I truly believe that the only way to change the Alberta PC party is from within.  The old guard will tell me that the damage is done and that the party is beyond repair, but I don't believe that to be true.  I know that there is a bastion of supporters from my generation ( I am 33 this weekend) that believe we can change the system without jumping ship to the Grumpy Ol Boys and Girls Club ( Aka The Wildrose Alliance)   I for one have made it my personal commitment to give it all I have to try and make my party better and if we fail as a group, at least we tried. 

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's Official! Ric McIver is Running for Mayor of Calgary in 2010

  It's official!  Ward 12 Alderman Ric McIver has officially announced his candidacy for Calgary's Mayor in the 2010 Election.  This announcement has been long anticipated by many ( including myself) and finally confirms his intentions to what what is considered by some the 'most open' secret in Calgary municipal politics.

 I was at Ric's Block Party event last night and I must say it was quite impressive.  The media confirmed the event had over 900 people attend and from a quick scan of the room, it was a very diverse cross section of Calgary.  At a $150 a ticket, these events usually draw the business suit/tie crowd so I was amazed that there were people of all ages and backgrounds attending.  It is likely a testament to Ric's popularity in this City. 

Ric gave an passionate speech about his vision for Calgary's future, which I think was key.  He answered Bronco's criticism of his "Dr.No" moniker and made repeat mention that he wants this city to be a Calgary for Everyone.  He also called for the inclusion of a written hansard in the City Hall meetings so there is a written record for all see, which I think is a great idea!

 Ric also talked about his C A T methodology and that he will be using this test on all spending decisions going forward.  The C A T test is as follows:

 C-  Cost Control
 A-  Accountability
 T - Transparency

Once again, I was amazed by the level of support that Ric has.  The fact that Ric can draw close to 1000 people will likely shake some reality into some of the other pretenders that want to come out of the woodwork and run for the mayors job. 

 It's going to be a fun summer and fall!

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Alberta Introduces Distracted Driving Legislation!

  Finally!  After so many false starts and delays, I was pleased to see that Art Johnston was finally able to introduce Bill 16 into the legislature today!  I had ranted about my frustrations about this delay on a previous post back in December entitled " Who Is Really Blocking Alberta's Cell Phone Law?"

This is the release from the Alberta Government Site:

The Alberta government has introduced some of the most comprehensive distracted driving legislation in Canada. Bill 16, the Traffic Safety (Distracted Driving) Amendment Act, 2010, proposes a ban on the use of hand-held cell phones and activities like texting, reading, writing, personal grooming, and puts restrictions on using other electronic devices while driving.
“This legislation is a practical, effective and enforceable approach to the issue of distracted driving,” said Minister of Transportation Luke Ouellette. “We are sending a strong safety message to all Albertans: When you’re in your vehicle, your focus must be on driving.”

The bill proposes a fine of $172 with no demerit points. Drivers engaged in any of the identified activities can be charged under this amendment. A distracted driver could face additional charges if they commit other violations such as running a red light or making an improper lane change. Bill 16 will also complement the current driving without due care and attention law—a serious offence with a fine of $402 and six demerit points— by giving law enforcement agencies more flexibility in dealing with a wider range of behaviours.

“I am pleased with the efforts that have been made on bringing forward a piece of legislation that strives to make our roads safer,” said Art Johnston, Calgary-Hays MLA who introduced the legislation. “I appreciate the great input of law enforcement and traffic safety stakeholders that has led to the introduction of this legislation. This is a complex issue and I believe we have found a good balance between enforcement and safety.”

Bill 16 would allow the use of hands-free phones. Also, radio communications such as CB radios would be allowed for commercial purposes and search and rescue services. Drivers could use hand-held devices to contact emergency services and this legislation would not affect the official duties of emergency service personnel including enforcement, fire and medical services.

“This is a great step forward for traffic safety in our province,” said Frank Oberle, Solicitor General and Minister of Public Security. “Bill 16 is part of a comprehensive law enforcement strategy to help continue reducing fatalities and injuries on our road ways.”

The proposed legislation is expected to be debated in the legislature this fall. This will give the public and traffic safety stakeholders an opportunity to view Bill 16 and provide comments and feedback. Go to for more information.

I have a good feeling that this bill will pass.  The fact that it has actually made it out of committee and onto the floor speaks volumes. It looks like the hard work they put into reworking the wording and enforcement provisions will pay off.  

 Great job Art Johnston! 


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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Idle Free Calgary: Piss on This!

  I love a good ad... especially when its funny and effective.  I think the ad below (thanks to Mike C. for passing this to me!) gets thumbs up on both of these criteria for sure!   While I am not a environmentalist by any stretch, I think that common sense approaches to educating the average Canadian about how they can help the environment work best in my opinion.  I really have no time for the extreme stunts pulled by the "Friends of Tuna" or "Save the Swordfish" groups.  Personally, I tune them out and pay them little to no mind.

That is why this video is so powerful.  It uses humour ( potty humour is usually effective) to get its point across.

 Classic!  Now somebody grab a mop!

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Friday, April 9, 2010

We Get Mail! Reader Guest Post From Johnny V!

  As a blogger,  I always love feedback on my posts.  Usually, the comments are by Anonymous users who hide behind the cloak of mom's basement to leave their scathing remarks, lol.  So when I get an email from a reader that is funny and has some excellent points, I think I need to share it! 

The email below is from a chap named Johnny V and he has never commented previously.  Check out his letter!

Hi Shane

First let me say I really enjoy your rants, and love Calgarians. They keep me hopeful the political climate will change for the better one day soon. My wife and I left Calgary last August because we had enough of Bronco's kinematic style. He was always whining about the city not having enough money, but oh what a surprise when they discovered millions of dollars in surplus cash. Still our property taxes went up. Absolute road apples. AND Stelmach giving MLAs a gargantuan pay raise shortly after taking office. Then feeding us baloney, and applesauce like we all had congenital myxedema. He's an embarrassment to Albertans every time he opens his mouth to speak. We love Calgary, and had mixed emotions about leaving Alberta, but it had to be done. The urban sprawl has destroyed the beautiful scenery, and the city's snow removal policy almost caused our home in Ranch lands to flood during the spring thaw of 2009 which was directly caused by a build up of 12 inches of ice on the city street. The frustrating part of it all is the city would have issued a fine had we removed it ourselves.

Council has sat on their collective asses for years under Dave's watch and did nothing to rectify the problem of side streets not being cleared. Reading about the 5 homes in Citadel burning to the ground just before Christmas because the fire trucks couldn't get up the hill due to the ice made me extremely angry, and we're glad to hear Davie Boy is crawling back to where ever it is creeps like him go. I firmly believe he would have been drawn and quartered by the locals in the next election. We're hopeful the new Mayor and council will be more in tune with the real needs of the people. Like a real public transportation system, oh wait they can't, the city planning department screwed that up approving the building of sprawling subdivisions all over hell's half acre.

It's well documented that city councils have been systematically influencing municipal property values for personal gain for centuries. This low-level of corruption in municipal politics is akin to a global pandemic. "Transparency", "Full Disclosure", "Responsibility", "The People's Representative" are words bantered throughout political arenas, but seldom, if ever, adhered to. Where's Toto when you need him to pull back the curtain so Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, and the Lion can see the smoke and mirrors for what they are? A dog and pony show, with the occasional pancake breakfast thrown in to feed the plebes.

It was Calgary Mayor Rod Sykes who introduced the Real Estate Registry in 1972 with the intention of curbing the rampant corruption within city hall. The resolution stated: "That a Real Estate Registry be established in the City Clerk's office in which each Member of Council and each Commissioner and Department Head and all supervisory employees of the City shall be required to disclose any interest in real estate within The City of Calgary," and "That the Registry of Real Estate to be held by the City Clerk be made available for inspection only upon receipt of written application and further that this Registry not be printed and/or made available for sale to anyone." The ruling applied directly and indirectly to elected representatives along with middle and upper management, and if ethics could be factored into the equation, it would also apply to their families and friends.
Under Duerr's watch nine city aldermen voted to discontinue the Real Estate Registry. Bronconnier was one of them (as mentioned in your rants). The other eight who voted to end the registry were: Mayor Al Duerr, Diane Danielson, Sue Higgins, Bev Longstaff, Joanne Kerr, Dianne Colley-Urquhart, Bob Hawkesworth, and Joe Ceci.

Six have since left Calgary's political arena, leaving Bob Hawkesworth (Ward 4), Joe Ceci (Ward 9), and Dianne Colley-Urquhart (lucky 13). Three names I've been suspicious of since 2001. I recently heard a pretty credible rumour that Hawkesworth is going to run for Mayor, and Colley-Urquhart will run for alderman of Ward 13 (or maybe Mayor). Not sure about Ceci yet, but think he will run again.

I recently read your faint-hearted rant on Dianne Colley-Urquhart. The read left me scratching my head, especially when you failed to mention her participation in the Real Estate Registry vote, as you did for Bronco. Has she wooed you to the dark side? Where's that razor-sharp intellectual pundit I've come to enjoy reading? Your mandate is sarcasm, isn't it?

Will you be commenting on Hawkesworth's and Ceci's repugnant participation in the vote to discontinue the Real Estate Registry?

In closing I ask you please remember the honourable aldermen who voted against quashing the Real Estate Registry in 2001.

1. Ray Jones (Ward 5)
2. Dale Hodges (Ward 1)
3. John Schmal (Elected President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities in 2002) These days Schmal and Steve Syms have launched their "Preston for Premier" initiative in Calgary.
4. Former Alderman and MLA Jon Lord (who is running for Mayor). My pick for honesty, ethics, and most likely to table the reinstatement of the Real Estate Registry. Why? Because like yourself, he, and his ancestors have deep roots in Calgary, and Alberta. Check out

Thanks for the rants
Johnny V

From the Vaults of Johnny V in Colchester South, Ontario, Canada
Website Last Updated January 2010

Great Stuff!

Happy Weekend....


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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Will Sean Chu Run for Calgary Ward 4 Alderman?

  I was pleasantly surprised when I heard a rumour recently that Sean Chu was considering a run for Ward 4 Alderman in the 2010 Calgary Civic Election!  I have had the good fortune to get to know Sean over the past few years while working together on the Calgary Hays PC Association Board and on various fundraisers.  Through my experience with working with him, I think he would make an excellent alderman!

 With the departure of outgoing Ward 4 Alderman Bob Hawkesworth ( see Bob's confirmation on his blog at the race for Ward 4 will be an interesting one.  Bob has held this seat for a long time and while some feel he has done a good job,  it really is time for a change in Ward 4 in my opinion! 

 Sean Chu has been a City of Calgary Policy officer for over 17 years and has many years of dedicated experience in the community.  Here is a brief snapshot of some of his community work:

• Advisor to the Sunalta/Scarboro Coalition for Safer Communities which led a successful local initiative to stop a halfway house from being built close to schools in Sunalta.

• Member of the Wildrose Lion’s Club.

• Member of the Sien Lok Society.

• Advisor to the Calgary Chinese Merchant Association.

• Volunteer Board member of local  PC Constituency Associations.

• Homecare support for a person with a disability.

• Affiliated member of the Beltline Community Association.

• Works closely with a number of senior apartments in the downtown area.

• Volunteers at various other community and charitable organizations.

  Sean has confirmed to me that there is no official announcement to make at this time, but said that he is considering this opportunity and told me to wait for some more news in the coming weeks!  As I stated before, based on my experiences with Sean, I really believe that he would make an excellent Alderman and bring some much needed class and dignity back to City Hall.  He is an honest, hardworking man that really cares about this City and I believe he is getting involved in City Politics for all of the right reasons! 

I will be watching for more developments regarding Sean's candidacy over the next few weeks. Stay Tuned!


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