Friday, February 24, 2012

Calgary Peace Bridge Discussion

   I think that most Calgarians will agree that the "Peace Bridge" controversy has been one of the most polarizing issues in local politics in may years.  Love it or hate it, the Peace Bridge is finally nearing its completion after nearly fifteen months of delays.   I had the chance to appear as a guest on the CBC Calgary Eyeopener again this week to discuss everybody's favorite pedestrian bridge and had a blast as always. 

Personally, I think that the bridge is quite odd looking, but unique.  My issues with the bridge include the following:

  •  I am not a fan of the way that this bridge funding was pushed through council.  I would have preferred a public tender process and more transparency during the whole process.  Had there been more discussion on this, I think that this bridge would not have become such a polarizing issue. 

  • I agree that most people were not sold on why this bridge would be needed as there are some additional pedestrian bridges nearby.

 Either way, I am pleased that because of the public uproar over this bridge, city council will never go through with this type of untendered public infrastructure project again. 

Here is a link to the CBC Eyeopener chat....

What are your thoughts on the Peace Bridge?


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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Help Alberta Senate Candidate Jack Redekop "Jack The Senate"

  With the Alberta senate candidate nominations underway, I thought I would share some information about local candidate Jack Redekop.  I have known Jack for a few years now and worked closely with him on a few different boards and I believe that Jack would make an excellent Senator.  Jack is a successful business owner, dedicated community volunteer and I am impressed by his commitment to the community.

  Jack is also a dedicated conservative and has worked on many local riding associations in addition to his community volunteer work.  He is committed to senate reform, which I also support entirely. 

 Here is an open letter that Jack wrote, and I find it very interesting....

If not an Elected and Equal Senate now, when?
   Why is the Senate irrelevant?  Because Senators have been appointed by Prime Ministers’; some of past governments as far back as Jan., 1984.  The Prime Minister of that day was Pierre Elliott Trudeau.  Who are these Senators accountable to?  Some to a Prime Minister that has been deceased for almost 12 years?
   Constitutionally Senators were supposed to represent the Provinces, particularly in the areas of health care, manpower, education and taxation – a travesty because the Provinces have been robbed of this representation, ostensibly since confederation.

    Moreover, representation by population has also not been adjusted since confederation.  One need only look at the four Maritime Provinces with a total of 2.3 million residents with 30 Senators, as compared say, to British Columbia with a population of 4.4 million, almost double that of the Maritimes, and yet has only 6 senators.
  Of the 104 Senators currently appointed (1 seat still vacant), only 2 have ever been elected by a Province (Alberta), then appointed by the reigning Prime Minister.  Stephen Harper appointed Senator Bert Brown (the father of the EEE) in July of 2007 and Senator Betty Unger this week.
  Prime Minister Harper, with the assistance of Senator Brown have proposed Bill C-7, the Senate Reform Bill, now in Second Reading in the House of Commons, expected to be advanced in June of this year.  With a majority of Conservatives in the House and in the Senate (although even some self-serving Conservative Senators have said they may not support C-7), we may have our single best opportunity to finally right a 145 year wrong.
   Even if C-7 is passed by the House and then the Senate, there is still much work to be done convincing other provinces to actually hold elections for Senators.  B.C., Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and of course Alberta have committed to holding elections, but to be effective, you need at least 70% of the population, which means 1 of Ontario or Quebec, and no one is betting on Quebec getting on board, even if it meant they would finally get the provincial representation they have been seeking since the start of the separation movement.
  So the task goes to convincing Ontario MP’s and Senators to pass then adopt Senate Reform Bill and hold Senate elections.  Once Ontario is on board, we will have that critical over 70% requirement with which we can then further address the Equal part of the equation.
   But the time is NOW, for who knows when we will next have a Prime Minister committed to fulfilling the responsibilities for which they were originally constituted.
 Please help me come beside the Prime Minister and Senator Brown in obtaining an elected Senate that represents the Provinces, and then an equal Senate which will result in, finally an effective Senate. Jack Redekop, PC Senate Candidate Nominee                                                                                                  

For more information on Jack, be sure to check out his website at

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Calgary City Council Mediator Session

  I have been lucky to have been a guest on the unconventional panel three times in the past month!  This week, the panel talked about the City of Calgary "intervention", where a facilitator was brought into a special meeting on Monday.  This caused quite a stir on twitter, as many people were shocked at the thought that council actually needed a psychologist to come in and facilitate a meeting to promote harmony amongst the group.

  I had the chance to talk to Mayor Nenshi about this last night and he confirms that it really was blown out of proportion.  Like George and Cory state in the panel, these types of meetings go on all of the time and are often used as a team building event or  a corporate goal setting session.  Mayor Nenshi laughed at the notion that the facilitator ( who is a psychologist by profession) was there to offer his professional services to try and "head shrink" his colleagues.  I am sure that when  most people heard this story, they imagined the Alderman laying on couches and telling the facilitator "about their mother's".

  We had a good debate on the show this morning and we all had some fun with this topic.  You have to check out the picture on the CBC website which shows off George Brookman rocking the coolest pair of ladies sunglasses! 

Here is a link to the audio podcast!

Do you think that this was blown out of proportion, or does this point to an increasingly dysfunctional council?

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