Category Archives: Politics

Sean Chu on Hot seat

New Calgary mayor Jyoti Gondek appears to be grandstanding right out of the gate with an indignant exclamation that she won’t swear in city councilor Sean Chu on Monday. I’ve heard the details from Chu regarding the specifics pertaining to the under aged woman whom he thought was of age since they met at a bar. He passed a polygraph test and claimed that he drove her home when it was determined by the woman that advances became uncomfortable for her. Now you’ve just had an election and you want him to resign. You might as well just stone him like it was the 14th century. This guy seems like he sincerely wants to serve Calgarians and he’s been convicted of no crime. Yet, it’s becoming clear that in this era of political correctness that some are starting to believe that a mere distaste for someone else’s conduct is in and of itself grounds for abrogating judicial discourse. It certainly will not look good on Gondek if she follows through on her apparent decision not to swear in her councilor thereby instilling dysfunction at city hall right at the administration’s outset and precisely at a time in the city’s history that it needs improved performance.

Consequence of Distractions In Government (Afghanistan)

I need not tell you of the major international news today. Let me say this. Lives and enormous treasure were committed to overthrowing Afghanistan in 2001 via the ill conceived policy of George W. Bush following September 11th. Now the Taliban has it back and international security along with the liberty of Afghan citizens has been weakened. Strict Sharia Law will be re-imposed. The resolve of the G7 and the Afghan government with its militia was insufficiently strong and it should be considered a failure that the Taliban has regained control given the history.

What is the backdrop in which all this has taken place?

  1. Increased government debt
  2. An American populous justifiably concerned about funding the defence of a nation other than their own
  3. A Donald Trump presidency plagued by scandal, deceit, incompetence, and self interest over public interest along with mistrust by allies
  4.  A pandemic along with associated political haggling and resource uptake
  5. The weakening of NATO and the United Nations under the Trump administration
  6. An Afhani army equipped with 300,000 troops (trained and funded by G7 nations),an air force, special forces, and heavy equipment compared all compared to 175,000 Taliban fighters armed by means not fully verifiable

Canada’s Conservative Movement Lost Forever?

The Conservative Party of Canada is in disarray facing a snap election. Could the movement be lost forever? I’ve seen one federal politician in Canada wearing the blue stripe whom has looked effective, namely Pierre Poilievre but I can’t say much for anyone else. It was Poilievre who showed up to work when while others stayed home in COVID fear.

Word is that the Conservatives are going to further engage in self sabotage by resisting the COVID travel passport concept. It’s shear idiocy with the vast majority of Canadians looking to get their life back on a normal path with some reward from their government having performed their duty to protect themselves and those around them.  If conservative politicians walk an idealistic line as opposed to a pragmatic one – this one issue could very well be central to the upcoming abbreviated election campaign thereby relegating critical issues to the backstage. 

Critical issues such as unsustainable government debt, the prospect of tax increases,, egregious pensions for public servants, the expanding welfare state, a declining quality of education, pathetic enforcement of the law, monopolistic incursion on consumer rights, poor and complex administration of the tax system, an inefficient and exorbitant legal system, an overregulated bureaucracy of the professions preventing immigrants from participating fully, and suspect foreign policy all exemplify topics inevitably gone amiss with a dialogue preoccupied with ideology around COVID.

This country right now is not being led. It is being drawn into and ideology of socialism and appeasement toward anyone or anyone’s ancestors who have encountered perceived “unfairness”. As of today jobs go unfilled because going to work has less realizable benefit than staying home while receiving a government cheque. Right now in Canada your government pays you to have children unless your family income is above the top 20 percentile. As of March 2020 just at the outset of the pandemic, government debt stood at $2.434 trillion which amounts to $64,087 per every individual in Canada. Imagine what’s happened to the debt given the COVID and wildfire spending! Are there consequences to carrying too much debt? Most definitely if debt servicing becomes a problem. Foreign creditors can become hostile toward Canada. Canada has had the luxury of low interest rates but is lacking industrial development amidst a highly burdensome regulatory regime in order to produce continued GDP to optimally support the debt. In other words, we are back tracking and this rudderless nation via ineffectual leadership is not what Canada needs at this critical juncture. If Canada fails to right the ship…tax increases are inevitable along with the ramifications of such.     

Catholics, Residential Schools, Continued Indifference

Although I ‘m not a fan of Justin Trudeau,  I absolutely endorse his request that the Catholic Church step right to the plate and acknowledge the Residential School  horror in Kamloops, B.C. There should be full disclosure, humility, accountability and explicit detailing of records. This should happen now.

If we are absolute in ensuring that this never happens again – then controls need to be put in place along with mechanism(s) of accountability and whistleblower protection. 

As I craft my blog posts along with correspondence to political figures and the Canada Revenue Agency, I often think that I’m a rare breed as someone who actually lifts a finger when things are awry. In fact, of my 105 facebook friends, I’ll be surprised to see more than five who shout out in the comments in profound approval of this message.    

Within the past week we’ve seen all this reaction to the horror. Facebook profiles get symbols of victim family support but that which we need more is letters and petitions and personal outrage directed directly at political figures. We need you to be operative with injustices today speaking with power and conviction instead of deferring because you may sense that your voice is too small in and of itself.  We need you to do more than tweet about it or comment in an editorial. You need to draft arguments and deploy official means to forward feedback ensuring that you follow up and follow through.

The next debacle of society is waiting to happen. I’ll give you a few clues of challenges you can address.

  1. Monopolistic tech companies not reciprocating fairly in their relationship with you.
  2. Unsatisfactory service levels and Service Canada and the CRA.
  3. Illegal money flow from foreign countries (money laundering).
  4. Indifferent police forces and poor enforcement
  5. Cyber Crime
  6. Cronyism in political circles
  7. The subsidization of the wealthy
  8. Complicity around homelessness
  9.  Exorbitant government debt and fragile monetary system
  10. Drug overdoses

There is a list of ten things off the top of my head….one of which you could put your attention on now. You cannot do it all yourself but you can be one voice on one topic so that in twenty years we’re all not scratching out head wondering how did this all come to pass like the Residential School Horror. 

Kenney on COVID

I listen to Jason Kenny from time to time on the COVID updates. Most of the time I find him balanced, reasonable, and thoughtful. The one noticeable verbal slip was couple of weeks ago when he suggested that Alberta was going to have the best summer in its history. I just don’t have the problem with Kenney that  so many others do. He’s a good orator and his convictions are supported by his policy. He has not infused (yet anyway) any of his social policy biases into legislative proposals which was frankly my biggest concern when he became the Premier of Alberta. I ‘m insufficiently versed on alleged shenanigans during his rise to the leadership of the UCP.   

He handles media questions quite well in the context of COVID. Every province has been at the mercy of poor federal handling of COVID from the outset. It’s become apparent from his comments today that dozens of municipalities in Alberta have flagrantly disavowed restrictive measures and it is in this context that Alberta faces infractions by its citizenry. It’s become obvious that our legal system with all its intricacies and high power prosecutors have much to account for right now with the lack of enforcement and conviction around laws which have been ignored by hordes of people across the province. In lieu of the Bowden rodeo on the weekend, I had expected more on the topic of justice and COVID from the premier today. He has referenced another announcement upcoming tomorrow.    

I have witnessed indifference from law enforcement in Alberta pre-pandemic. I’m sensing that fellow Albertans are now also asking the question as to why people can flagrantly break the law with no consequences. I predict that there was no police officer nor Alberta Health Services marshal recording license plate numbers at the Bowden Rodeo over the weekend.  

Canada In trouble “UBI”

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.   

Government Incompetence Galore – Keystone XL

Why would the Alberta provincial government spend $ 1.1 billion of money that it doesn’t have to fund a pipeline that had a strong probability of not being finished due to the political position of the U.S. Democratic Party? Well of course there was this small matter that your federal government would have been endorsers of such a plan given that it had bailed out a private corporation to pick up an equity stake in the pipeline industry due to their mismanagement of policy in context of a private corporation’s investment.  It’s bungling. It’s a fiasco and as tax payers you should be outraged.

Governments have forgotten their role of being stewards of monies appropriate for disbursements applicable to specific services only they can be provide due to variables not deemed of interest to private for profit business. The construction and maintenance of roads, bridges, water treatment facilities, air traffic control towers, weather stations serve as examples whereby business would have no interest but society as a whole would be benefactors thereby warranting government support. 

When oil runs through a pipeline, capital interests are poised to profit. However; interested for profit parties in the pipeline industry require good faith from land owners and governments to ensure that contracts will be honoured. This of course is where things get sticky and it is precisely why no government should ever invest in pipelines given their power to expropriate and nullify contracts through statutory law. They are their own worst enemy when investing in pipelines but apparently once again needed to learn the lesson the hard way with Keystone XL. Federally, a deal was struck to appease shareholders certain that otherwise government officials would be embarrassed in court. 

Five years ago, it wasn’t fathomable to me that the U.S. electorate would have nominated a deceitful, tawdry, classless boor to lead the Republican Party. Not only did this man receive the nomination but he became the U.S President. This man’s party represented the position reflecting support of Keystone XL and it stands to reason that someone of Trump’s character should lose the office at the first opportunity. Under this guise, the $1.1 billion investment in Alberta by you the taxpayer was deployed. It’s a real head shaker.           

Medical Associations and COVID

It’s evident that there is a problem in supporting health care workers during this pandemic as reflected in the slow vaccination rate and stress reported by doctors and nurses. Quebec doctor Karine Dion has committed suicide. It’s hard to fathom that the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians is reporting that five to eight per cent of doctors have contemplated suicide in the last year alone.

I’ve always contended that professional associations have been protectionist in the way they administer their power. In Canada, it’s very challenging to obtain credentials as a doctor. When living in residence at University, I recall two pre-med students on my floor studying excessively in order to score the grades they needed in order to fulfill entry requirements. I recall a story by one of these two students lobbying a professor strenuously for the most infinitesimal amount fearful that one missed mark could break the threshold required.

Naturally, having a limited supply of doctors and refusing to acknowledge credentials from new Canadians arriving from abroad, the profession on behalf of their members casts increased negotiating power with governments. The calamity of a pandemic exposes associations to a particular shortcoming of their inward posture of protectionism.

One might reasonably ask…”how difficult can it be to administer a vaccine shot”? What kind of credentials do you think are necessary? In the very rare event of something going wrong with a vaccination, would it not be reasonable to assign a back up resource who is a professional association member?

You have a tremendous number of Canadian who have studied in the health sciences but are at home cocooning when they could be contributing toward the resolution of this big problem. I suggest that the lack of mobility of deploying more manpower quickly rests with a lack of resolve by governments and potential push back from associations.     

Impeachment Again

Here we go again. At the outset….let’s be clear. Trump should have been removed from office in 2020 due to Trump’s solicitation of an investigation into political opponent Biden’s son by a foreign power in exchange for releasing the withholding of financial aid to Ukraine. It was an abuse of power and there was clear evidence to prove the abuse. Furthermore, when subpoenas were issued and requests for documents, the White House obfuscated. The obfuscation obviously corroborated wrong doing. 

The only Republican senator voting in favour of the articles of impeachment was Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney is a man of vast financial means. When you think about 51 Republican Senators all having heard testimony of overwhelming evidence with only one Republican Senator voting in favour…..you know there was more than the cerebral evaluation of evidence at play when these men and women cast their vote.

Here we are on January 9, 2021 and five people lost their lives in an assault of the Capitol building incited by Donald Trump, one must ask the question – do these Republican Senators other than Mitt Romney have blood on their hands as a result of the event played out in Washington on January 6, 2021? Would Trump have continued his infantile “tweets” inciting violence had he been removed from office? Would Twitter have come to its senses earlier by banning Trump permanently had he been convicted during the impeachment proceedings thereby preventing the January 6th incident? They are all reasonable questions. I suggest that Trump was as successful at intimidating people in the halls of the Capitol just as he was at extorting money from contractors in business or bribing women of whom he had salacious sexual liaisons. I was not unique in assessing this man of being very weak in character and my regard for the citizenry of our neighbour to the south has been lessened for bestowing upon him a role to administer public policy never mind the Presidency. 

Now what will these Republican Senators do should this second impeachment vote come to pass prior to his scheduled exit? I’ll be watching with interest.       

Capitol Hill Incursion

In the fall of 2013, yours truly was in Washington D.C. and was surprised to get in for a tour of the Capitol building in lieu of a government shut-down at the time. I was standing across the fountain and thought….why not just ask around to see if the tours are still on. I was in luck. I strolled around the back (photo) and entered. There was no line up because everyone else may have been also presuming that tours were off because of the shut down.

I was certainly impressed by the architecture. We were seated in a min-theatre to watch a movie of the construction. There was the “rotunda” which is a picturesque dome of immaculate design and within the circular landing the perimeter is decorated in statues of historic political figures. Although, the House of Representatives was not sitting, the guide still offered us an opportunity to sit in the gallery to stare at the emptiness. I took her up on the offer unlike most of who declined. This required an extra security measure. I had thoughts of my mother (school teacher) who put much attention on things of civility and justice. You’ve all seen the exterior in pictures. Much work has been put into restoring the exterior in recent years. I came away thinking that much care had been placed in developing this material beacon of democracy unlike the care recently displayed by protagonists within its halls to serve its purpose.   

So….as I watched the course of events on ABC news yesterday when Trump loyalist stormed the Capitol building, I was obviously dismayed. I wasn’t outraged because I admit to having grown somewhat impervious to incidents tied to Trump. Even my shock regarding friends / acquaintances support of Trump over the years is wearing off. Is there a final chapter of irony to the Trump debacle to be played out via impeachment at the last hour when Republicans couldn’t bring themselves to vote their conscience on impeachment during the first go ‘round. It will be interesting to see. 

Trump should be everything that America should not stand for and he became their President. It’s embarrassing to have watched this fiasco unfold. Those idiots who stormed the capitol will still be snivelling about how in their minds life has cheated them and potentially how to execute their next pathetic display of victimhood.