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
Today I decided to check out a CBC article on the internet presented via link on their website. The first thing a received was video ad and a one paragraph blurb offering nothing more than the headline. On this occasion did not even a drill down link to get deeper into the article. However; after the ad completed an interview with a subject to the article did appear to provide some substance to the headline.
You fund the CBC and you pay your internet host monthly fees and now you also get journalists substituting video feeds for the written word after getting through an advertisement. Paper media certainly was more simplified. By the way…the profits of Shaw Cable are up substantially during the pandemic. I’ll be monitoring the CBC more now going forward. I’ll learn whether the newer crop of journalists over at the CBC are equipped intellectually to present articulate and well researched op-eds. Society is in need of such journalists and I wonder whether the demand for them is lacking due to an unfair perceived lack of value.
Could it be that the profession of journalism is fatigued after the Trump debacle and a proliferation of attacks from the not so savvy? I suspect yes. Do you remember the days of Allan Fotheringham, George Will, Rex Murphy, and Diane Frances? These were folks who had the capacity to silence the noise and pen an article with intellect. Unfortunately, for newer aspiring journalists the variable of bafflegab can befuddle.
Did you know that Quebec reported 50,000 health care workers now on “leave” from work due to “burn out”? Just when your country needed them most….those nurses in Quebec are now collecting a disability cheque. That’s right – short term and long term disability claims are enormous right now. The actual number not on the job is actually 70,000 with the other 20,000 associated with those in current isolation. It’s staggering and you can look to see an increase in insurance costs for whichever policy for which you apply because you are not immune from the effect of claims paid in sectors unrelated to your policies. There is some correlation between sector related claims pertaining to generating premiums but that correlation is not 100 per cent. Insurance companies spread risk through a process called “reinsurance” thereby indirectly affecting you.
You know when Canadian soldiers lined the trenches while securing our freedom, there was no 1-800 number to call for applying for mental health leave. Of course, there are the “professional associations” and “unions” which provide complicating variables in restricting governments from casting a broader net for acquiring human resources necessary during this critical time. It should be no surprise that doctors are sparse and unavailable to assist due to our system of education and influence of the professional association in limiting access to the profession.
Here we are in a health care crisis whereby those associations so adamant at protecting their professions are now desperate. Nurses in Quebec and across Canada are needed now. Help them help us.
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.
Will Mayor 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.
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”.
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.
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?
- Increased government debt
- An American populous justifiably concerned about funding the defence of a nation other than their own
- A Donald Trump presidency plagued by scandal, deceit, incompetence, and self interest over public interest along with mistrust by allies
- A pandemic along with associated political haggling and resource uptake
- The weakening of NATO and the United Nations under the Trump administration
- 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
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.
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.
- Monopolistic tech companies not reciprocating fairly in their relationship with you.
- Unsatisfactory service levels and Service Canada and the CRA.
- Illegal money flow from foreign countries (money laundering).
- Indifferent police forces and poor enforcement
- Cyber Crime
- Cronyism in political circles
- The subsidization of the wealthy
- Complicity around homelessness
- Exorbitant government debt and fragile monetary system
- 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.