When I first heard Danielle Smith speak back in the days of the Wildrose Party….I was impressed. She has the capacity to think and she has admitted to mistakes. Her biggest blunder of course was crossing the floor to the conservatives prior to the formulation of the “UCP”. In a word, she “blew up” and high tailed it right out of politics.
Years later…her constituents were willing to let bygones be bygones.
Last week as premier she spoke again in defense of the Oil and Gas Industry. She makes strong arguments and is an admirable stalwart in representing the industry as she has characterized Ottawa’s “just transition” dogma.
However; COVID is coming back to haunt her. An election campaign promise to pardon rebel anti-covid campaigners from legal breaches wasn’t so well thought out now that it’s been determined legally that pardons are untenable. Most recently, there is rumour that her office had reached out to prosecutors assigned to the Coutts crossing blockade which transpired during the height of the pandemic.
Serious conservatives are left wondering if her pandering to lunatics on the fringe is going to get the better of her and once more put us right back in the position of an NDP agenda. I envision much head shaking in downtown Calgary board rooms as we wonder if this will be yet another government imbued in scandal rather than good governance.
Policy initiatives to help her gain our trust:
- Get to the very bottom of the health care crisis and implement strong accountability measures (including professional bodies) while carefully budgeting new federal transfer moneys.
- Clean up runaway crime working with cities
- Enact policy to shore up a housing shortage
- Clean up abandoned wells ensuring tight admin for reclamation deposits
- Facilitate smooth flowing commerce
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 The Saddledome is a relatively new building built for the 1988 Olympics but for many it was already outdated because it wasn’t good enough for particular musical acts and there wasn’t enough luxury revenue generating suites for the liking Flames brass.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. The Flames Arena Deal is Iced but count on continued deliberations.
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.
It was quite the walk through today making my comparative to the2004 pulse as an example when I’d regularly spend time in the Calgary Plus 15 system for lunches and walks in the winter time while working downtown.
For those not local, the “Plus 15” system encompasses passage ways connecting buildings in the downtown core at 15 feet in theory from ground (second level). Some of the passage ways are more elaborate and buildings will host space allocated for merchants on level two.
At 3:30 in the afternoon on a Wednesday, half the shops and closed up and half are open and then there’s the deluge of “For Lease” signs. Very few people were around. Security guards are chatty ‘cause they’re so bored in spite of what should be increased demand in their duty associated with vagrancy. You see, in addition to their week day chores, the city has apparently passed a plebiscite requiring Plus 15s to be open now during weekends as a place of refuge for the homeless (could Calgary be the next Seattle?).
Back in ’04 people were dressed for the executive suite and corridors were jammed during lunch. There was excitement and people were poised for their next promotion. The middle management competitive ire was palpable. I remember thinking to myself back then as someone not making their salary….you just wait – these good times won’t last. I was right.
The Cenovus takeover of Husky has emptied the Husky building and in viewing the concourse and centre square within, the view of emptiness is breathtaking. Apparently, the fine lunch counter on the third floor remains open just for the lunch hours. The Nexen building still seems empty as well.
What will come of all this office space? The largest vacancies will be in the A Class space and rest assured that the pension funds as large owners won’t be as flexible as they should be in the short term.
The government benefit programs are all at work subsidizing merchants. In fact, when everyone else is open for business in Calgary with few restrictions….these plus 15 merchants for some reason or another still have their hours restricted. It’s bizarre but not surprising given what I’ve seen of political leadership in Calgary and Ottawa.
I’m not hearing enough about incentives to drive commerce to the downtown core. The new world wide initiative to impose a minimum corporate tax on corporations irrespective of headquarters could be a significant setback for office uptake in Calgary. Taxpayers should not be bailing out pension funds in lieu of malinvestment and ill thought urban planning.
Are Facebook, Google, and Twitter here to stay? Dumb question? Is there a barrier to entry for new players? What happened to MySpace? USA Today reports that Florida Governor DeSantis will be drafting new legislation to impose significant fines for “deplatforming” ( never used to be a word right?) users without cause. You bet – DeSantis is a Trump supporter.
Frankly, I’m confused why the tech behemoths have not faced some competition. It would appear that there are some intellectual property rights facilitating their market monopoly along with a fickle public way too docile in accommodating unsolicited non-friend / follower posts through their feeds.
Of course there is the issue of impersonal customer service and “no-reply” emails associated with all tech companies’ conduct which have become the industry norm. Individuals no longer put their names in signatures of email correspondence. Other companies have taken heed. Anonymity is the name of the game while taking your money should you decide to “partner” with them.
It seems that these tech behemoths had an appealing offering at first and have worked their business systems so poetically that they are now completely estranged from users behind a partition cloaked in indifference.
Now a legislator has stepped forward with a bill in conjunction with a disgruntled ex-President looking for redress which ironically despite the persona inciting the motion could benefit consumers if stamped with a consumer advocacy complement.
Is Canada in trouble with a proposed UBI (Universal Basic Income)? If you value work for pay instead of a government handout….you may now be a minority in Canada. This is how things seem today as federal liberals gather online to debate a “Universal Basic Income”.
When I left my home to go to work today, I took a look at the full parking lot at my residence and speculated what percentage of my complex is receiving some form of social assistance. Given the demographic of my neighbors –they are not the kind of folk to fire up computers and logon to Zoom. They are more of the marginalized class of Canadian.
Why shouldn’t the marginalized want “Universal Basic Income” if they’ve failed to meet the test of capitalism? They’ve come to believe that they deserve a free lunch so of course they’ll be looking to you to keep them mummified in their thumb sucking ways.
Yes…that’s the term I’ll use – the “marginalized class” because it’s less likely to get me in trouble with the politically correct. You see in Canada….it’s become fashionable to get a government cheque because with a government job…governments still have this old “defined benefit pension plan”. Parents in a practical sense may not fathom entrepreneurial pursuit given the risk reward profile matched against the comfort of government bureaucracy.
Somehow within the equation of this “UBI” debate someone from the nosebleed section may just rise to the occasion and ask where governments think they are going to get the money. Someone may be astute enough to ponder whether those in business who can execute are going to be willing to continue to subsidize a lazy Canadian populous. Virtually every natural resource project in Canada is gobsmacked with regulatory hurdles in getting approved with debt financings contingent upon layers of red tape much of which is unreasonable. Factor in the mountains of government debt already needing servicing and we see a nation in trouble.
Canada is already a country fully entrenched in socialism. My confident characterization of our culture took place during the first term of the Trudeau era when the federal government began fully subsidizing the rearing of children through the lucrative “Canada Child Benefit” program. This direct subsidization of parents has apparently become the envy of any special interest groups and such program has likely had much to do with the onset of a Universal Basic Income proposal.