Flames Arena Deal Iced

Once again your tax dollars have been wasted. This time on a fantasy gone wrong. The Saddledome is a relatively new building built for the 1988 Olympics but for many it was already outdated because it wasn’t good enough for particular musical acts and there wasn’t enough luxury revenue generating suites for the liking Flames brass. For the wrong reasons, Calgarian’s tax dollars intended to meet the needs of every Calgarian were committed toward a special interest and a sport represented by players and management whose salaries far exceed those responsible for contributing funding. It was odorous from the beginning and the rightful ending has arrived but not without costs. 

You see….back when community rinks were established in the 1940’s and1950s all over Canada, these rinks were built with the pretext of bettering communities because all taxpayers would have access to them for figure skating, hockey, and recreational skating. Community programs could be advanced through the utilization of the facility. The health and wellness of all Canadians could be advanced in lieu of a community investment. This model is a good representation of a budget line item worthy of public funds given the direct benefit to tax payers.

You’ve all heard the economic argument of “spin offs” from building bigger and better. The trouble is that there is simply too much risk in postulating “economic benefit” from the standpoint of the magnitude of investment. Canadian cities are becoming more diverse with an aggressive immigration policy attracting new citizens who have not been acclimatized to the sport of hockey.

The NHL and its teams are financially successful evidenced by published salaries earned by players. In a capitalist model which Canada is barely retaining, corporations should be looking to the markets or investors for funding and not the public purse. 

Ironically and yet to be confirmed by rumours it may become evident that the nixing of the deal had much to do with a matter relevant to a reasonable Flames request associated with public funding of roadways / public works associated with the vicinity of the arena.

This has been a fiasco and could have been avoided. My sense is that prior Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi had his instinct correct in the beginning about this project but then ceded his position from variables which I’ll allow you to speculate.          

Will Gondek Be Recalled in Calgary?

The question is becoming a viable one in lieu of the recent passage of Bill 52 in Alberta regarding “recall” and Calgary Mayor Ms. Gondek’s apparent propensity to overreach in jurisdiction. Firstly, it was her declaration of a “climate emergency” and now it is her suggested $100,000 deployment  of Calgarian tax funds for the purpose of challenging Quebec’s Bill 21 legal fight. 

Bill 52 requires 40 per cent of the populous to vote in favour of recall and terms also require a 60 day window to collect signatures. Eligibility to begin collecting signatures starts at 3 months of tenure by the official. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is “urging” the mayor to use her own salary for the Quebec challenge. Undoubtedly, Calgary taxpayers are watching closely to see if Ms. Gondek’s apparent zeal for politics beyond the municipal will yet again post up Calgarians as soldiers toward causes beyond the city limits.   

Ski Gear Safety Tips

Now that we’re “gearing up” for the new ski season, I’ll give some gear tips to help keep you safe this winter. With many seasons under my belt while reading the occasional review on mountains and gear, I seldom see gear safety write ups…..so here goes my take.

Not all ski brakes are designed equally. Some fold up nicely while clamping in and others may not. If brakes do not elevate and wrap inward, then protruding brakes can catch on your snow pants or boot buckles. This could send you tumbling. Upon stepping in, check on your brake alignment with feet apart. If they don’t fully wrap, you can manually bring them in with a squeeze in order to save a trip to the pro shop. However; do have a technician tend to them in advance of your next outing.

Ski poles are still sold with straps. When you insert your hand into a strap, you don’t want your pole to catch on anything while whizzing by….like boundary netting. Never put your hands through pole straps in advance of disembarking from a chair.

Binding settings – this is one that you do think about. The settings need to be adjusted to your weight and proficiency level. If there’s a change in these two variables, your settings need to be changed accordingly.

Boot grips – there are none so buckle down when walking around the base area and mid-mountain lodge. This way your more nimble gait will lessen the chance of a slip. Smaller steps when walking in boots.  

Sun screen for your nose and lip balm. Ha ha.

You Think You Have It Tough?

Yes…it’s a provocative title. Poverty and hardship comes in many different forms. There are those who choose not to pursue success. There are others who blame others for their circumstances. There are the addicted and the depressed. There are the swindlers and the slovenly. There are those without a conscience. There’s the combination of variables aforementioned. Then there are also those who have had every bit of bad luck hoisted upon them. It’s true. There are those in difficult circumstances because they never had a chance. It is these people whom I think of when I awake at 3AM and their plight in the context of the socio-political climate.   

The “Chosen Won” at youtube has been profiling the downtrodden from Detroit.  I think of him today and his interviewees as I read today’s headline grappling with the emergence of a potential Roe v Wade challenge. Unfortunately, first world democracies deal with the complexity of homelessness. Administrators will be the first to admit that it’s difficult. One would think that an advanced civilization should be able to extract someone from utter despair and provide meaningful support to aid an individual in becoming self sufficient. In lieu of failure in this regard, I propose that such a variable deserves consideration within the abortion debate among the most obvious variables well known.

I bring your attention to Penny. The youtuber “Chosen Won” in his video entitled “Penny. The Women That Started An Interest”. I won’t give it a link since it’s graphic and for adult audiences only. You can find it if you want. It is the most compelling evidence that I’ve ever seen which showcases that there are those who deserve help from society. It would be very difficult in good conscience to derive an opinion that this woman deserved her fate.

As we go into the Christmas season in 2021 having witnessed more recent evidence that there are some more impacted by the pandemic and weather events than others, there’s cause for reflection on individual circumstance in which some people find themselves.  They are under the radar. Not all of them are panhandling with a sign. Many will need encouragement. Others may need a tougher form of love. I propose that there are some which require absolute intervention not well served here in Canada by our enshrined “Charter of Rights and Freedoms”.