Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Jeff Wilson - Telling It Like It Is

Jeff Wilson the MLA for Calgary-Shaw bares the truth in this Member Statement to kick off the fall session.
Thank you Mr. Speaker,
In 2012, we in the Wildrose were asked by Albertans to serve as Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, and we have been diligent, focused, and principled in our service. 
We have done what an Official Opposition is supposed to do on behalf of the citizens it serves: oppose, expose, and propose.
We have opposed on behalf of Albertans, but not simply for the sake of opposing. 
We have exposed on behalf of Albertans, what will historically be considered some of the most egregious examples of waste and mismanagement this province has ever seen.
We have proposed on behalf of Albertans.  With well over one hundred amendments to government legislation and put forward many positive policies, ideas, and solutions that put Albertans first.
Recently, we have seen many of those ideas and solutions implemented with great success and public appreciation.
Whether it is the lunacy around the government fleet, the pettiness of the license plate debate, or the reversal of the cold-hearted closure of the Michener Centre, it seems this government may be listening for the first time.
Following another Wildrose lead we see the promise of new schools and long-term care beds.
One can hope, for the betterment of all Albertans, these are real, genuine promises, that will result in real, genuine schools and real, genuine beds. 
These are big commitments, and I would remind the premier that we will continue to represent all Albertans, regardless of who they voted for, as Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition holding this government to account.
Now, it is clear that the governing party is no fan of the opposition, and the Premier himself seemed to question the need for an opposition at all, calling opposition seats in this house “Misrepresented” – a startling reminder of just how arrogant this government can be.
Which is odd on so many levels, given the fact that without this opposition where would the governing party be?
Certainly not “under new management.”
Albertans deserve good government, and, Mr. Premier, they also deserve good opposition. 
We have done our job; we’re waiting to see if you can do yours.  

Friday, August 8, 2014


Is it a party Scapegoating? From CTV :

Meanwhile, the Alberta PC Party released a scathing statement on Redford's departure from politics Wednesday, saying the embattled former premier has only herself to blame for her political demise.

Party president Jim McCormick also noted while Redford's premiership began with promise, "it was her own personal choices that led to her demise."

"She is alleged to have broken government rules, and taxpayer dollars were not treated with the dignity and respect they deserve," McCormick said. "She has paid a personal and political price for her mistakes, and we appreciate her decision to take responsibility for her actions."

McCormick added the same situation "won't happen again" and stressed the party is "more than just one person."

Read more:

I will agree the party is more than one person. Look at the Hansard from March where members of Cabinet openly on record defended their participation on flights used for partisan purposes at the expense of Alberta Taxpayers. Now we are to believe no one knew of this except the Premier....Good grief.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Subsidized...not so much.....

The mantra between Calgary's Mayor and the development community is getting simply ridiculous.
Recently Mayor Naheed Nenshi released a "End the $4,800Subsidy " campaign. The problem is....there is no subsidy. In an attempt for socialized engineering to create higher density in the inner city, the Mayor went full assault on the evil developers daring to sprawl Calgary to appease market demand. Now I am not saying he may have his own style of math, but we certainly are only getting a portion of the real story.
While there is certainly no arguing as the City expands further outward that costs of maintaining it will rise equally. To claim a subsidy though?! Not quite. When a developer builds a new suburban community, right off the top they pay for 78% of the infrastructure costs which is passed on to the new home buyer. Until the city signs off the development as complete, the developer is also responsible for all maintenance and up keep in the community (road clearing etc..), with many of them also putting in parks and as far as community centres. As has been with every neighborhood in Calgary (yes, even inner city dwellers) the remainder of the infrastructure costs are recuperated via utility bills by home owners over time. In fact even Druh Farrell said "Existing infrastructure has been paid for many times over."  So this of course leaves me wondering why is it being called a "Subsidy"? It has been a framework every neighborhood built, whether outskirts or inner city, has been entitled to. Now all of a sudden inner city screams it's not fair. Good grief.
Let's look at the costs of increasing density in neighborhoods that were not designed for it. Roads in the inner city are not designed for increased density. How many houses would have to be bought and bulldozed to accommodate? (Look at 16th Ave) The 100 year old water and sewer systems have some at peak already, who is going to pay for the millions and millions in upgrades to meet the density? Back to roads...oh right...we have the transit...don't need them is the battle cry. Guess what, not only is inner city transit SUBSIDIZED, it is also not capable of handling increased density. The other thing we may want to look at is the recent flood. The city was built initially around the waterways for ease of access, so naturally when the devastating floods hit in June of this year the inner city was hit hard. Is this a logical place for high density neighborhoods? Once in a hundred year flood or are we to see more extreme weather patterns as scientists predict.
While it is certainly easy to attack developers in an election, is it realistic. Not everyone wants to live in a densely populated area. These suburban communities do contribute property taxes for a hundred years to come. Driving people to live outside the city in bedroom communities such as Airdrie, Cochrane, Chestermere, etc... only drives tax revenues out of the city. People will still drive in to enjoy the amenities Calgary offers, only now Calgary will forgo the revenues for them to do so. One certainly needs to contemplate what the subsidy paid to Calgary developers actually is.

Friday, September 6, 2013

"It’s f---ing embarrassing.”

Apparently the Honourable Minister Doug Griffiths disapproves of the manner in which the elected MLA for Highwood (Danielle Smith) has handled the 1900 complaints against the RCMP for their seizure and damage caused in High River. In a stunning comment he said " I am sick and tired of people like her going around trying to blame people when we’re still trying to rebuild the community. It’s f---ing embarrassing.”

There certainly has been no shortage of  "f---ing embarrassing" moments form Alberta's Government. Here's a few the Minister must be right f---ing embarrassed about:
You know the old saying. People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. This barely scrapes the f---ing embarrassing events that have taken place recently in AB politics. I am not sure I would classify an MLA representing her constituents one of them, I am sure you get the hint.
 Have a great weekend!!         

Friday, June 7, 2013

Government aircraft’s new taxpayer-funded paint job has a decidedly Winnipeg Jets theme

As per normal the opposition are crying foul after the Canadian Government did the usual 6 year overhaul which included the painting of the RCAF-01. What the uproar is about is they claim that it is painted partisan to reflect the colors of the Conservative Party of Canada.
What is totally ridiculous is the fact it is a Royal Canadian Airforce aircraft, and when you look at the side it contains the Logo and colors of our national airforce as shown in the logo below:

Well even though this has been the logo for our Air Force post 1968, they of course cry foul because of the similarity to the Conservative logo here:
Luckily for all of you I have figure out the real plot behind the paint job of RCAF-01. The truth no one wants to fess up to in this biased Government..Harper as we all know has a passion for hockey. There is no convincing me that he did not paint it to show his bias towards the Winnipeg Jets:
Now my friends you know the whole Big Government Conspiracy. Happy Friday!!! 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Wagging the Finger

As political as I am, it may be hard to believe I do not follow political party Facebook pages. For good reason, I tire of the echo chamber. Yesterday however, I did open the photo stream on the Wildrose photo stream to see what all the commotion was about. Danielle Smith was celebrating the cultural diversity in our province by attending the  Calgary Vaisakhi Parade, in which she proudly posted pictures of her participation. What followed, disgusted and appalled me as well as many other people.
It's hard to believe in 2013, with a country as culturally diverse as Canada that racism and bigotry still exist. How do we fix the issue? I don't have the answer, but certainly we should call them out and expose them for who they are. In my opinion this is where the boat was missed with all the outrage. I was appalled and disgusted when a Cabinet Minister who I have long respected put out this release.
Racism is disgusting and offensive, trying to posture and making political hay out of it... just as much so. Instead of standing up to the racist commenter's and supporting Smith and her celebration of cultural diversity, he immediately attacked her and the party. Calling her "supporters" bigots and racists. Look at the comments: “If you emulate the Muslim faith, I will NEVER vote for you.” One person told Smith, “You embarrass yourself and us as well." Yeah great "supporters, saying they will not be voting for you. Food for thought Minister, if they are not going to support her party...which party do you think they are moving to?
Media gets many leads from twitter which is where this story broke. They were also quick to grab headlines. I wonder if a more effective way to combat this disgusting behavior would be to contact the people making the comments and call them out on it. I would be interested to see how true they are to their values once thrown into the public spotlight for their disgusting comments.
So it seems to me the biggest failure politically was not having a good moderation of their Facebook page over the long weekend. In the form of Colbert...Minister you get the "Wag of my Finger" for politicizing such an important issue and driving wedges instead of building diversity, and Ms. Smith you get a tip of the hat for celebrating the many great cultures that define our province.
To the racist and bigoted commenter's, you get shame and your name with comments forever for all to see on the Internet. Congratulations on your ignorance.  

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Calgary City Council.... Irresponsible

In the latest news I have read on the City of Calgary, it appears more and more they stand against almost anything. Home to some of the worlds Oil and Gas explorers and producers, Calgary thrives on the energy sector and the money it brings.
We have all heard the news on how as a Country, getting pipeline infrastructure in place is important to Canada's economy. Imagine my shock today when I read that an anti-oilsands exhibit was set up in Calgary City Hall. We have both our Federal and Provincial governments travelling the globe to promote our resources, in Calgary...the heart of Canada's resource sector we have a Municipal government promoting the anti-oilsands rhetoric.
One has to wonder exactly the direction this municipal government is taking. Some of the items on their agenda these days seem like nothing more than personal crusades of some politicians. For example, bans on shark fin soup. A judge decided in Toronto that this oversteps a bylaw power of a City, yet Calgary council seems to think it's an issue here. Unless there are sharks lurking in the city waters I see no reason for them to try and govern this issue. Want to cut down a tree on your own property? This city and the Pincott train don't think you should have those rights.
This is what the municipal government has come to. This latest move of helping the anti-oil rhetoric against our province and country. In a city that thrives on the revenues from this sector via taxes, provincial, and federal funding I am simply amazed at how irresponsible and hypocritical they are in what they stand for. In October's election I hope they are held to account. Rant done.

Updated Article: Politically charged anti-Northern Gateway Pipeline art display at city hall irks Ald. Diane Colley-Urquhart   

Friday, March 22, 2013

Forever in Your Debt

Seems to be that time of year for Governments to lay out their fiscal plans, with the Government of Canada releasing their 2013 plan yesterday.
For the 8th consecutive year the GoC delivered a deficit budget adding an additional $18.7 BILLION dollars of debt to Canadians. Should we worry? Absolutely. This brings our national debt well over a record setting $610,000,000,000.00, that's right $610 Billion! For every Canadian that is $18,000.00.
Not too bad you say? Well I live in Alberta where things are pretty good overall as we are just entering the Debt era. Over the years Alberta has had money to spare, but after draining down the sustainability fund to $3.7 billion from $17 billion in 2008 we can no longer rely on it. 5 straight deficits and they get larger and larger every year. The plan is to borrow an astonishing $17 billion in debt by 2016. What does this mean? Another $4418.00 for every man/woman and child in the province.
Lets go to the municipal level. I live in Rockyview County where we have a high municipal Debt. $75,444,029 placing us at one of the highest jurisdictions in Alberta. This leaves every man/woman and child totalling 36,461 with another $2069.00 of Debt.
How about at a personal level. Albertans hold an average of $157,000 in household debt (the highest in the country). Scared yet? I am.
For every man/woman/child in my County the average debt per person when combining them adds up to an astonishing $181,487.00. I won't bother to figure out what this means for my family of five. I am going to ignore the fact that low income, children, seniors, disabled, unemployed, etc...not paying income taxes would have to be covered by those that do. How much does that bring your share up to? We hear governments across the board telling us this is "Smart" debt, building for the future, etc...

I say thank you....I am forever in your debt.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Budget 2013 & The Entitled

Here we go again. Budget 2013 was delivered by the Alberta Government yesterday, awash in RED INK. Plunging Alberta back into debt.
Back in 1985 Don Getty entered the Premiership in Alberta with no debt, by the time he left 7 years later the province had taken on $23 Billion in debt. So I would refer to him as our "architect" of debt. Enter the 12th Premier of Alberta Ralph Klein leading the PC party to victory with 45% of the popular vote. Klein headed into the election making no promises, only saying how the government will balance its books and start paying down its multi-billion dollar debt. Away he went, slashing every department by 20-40 percent. The pain of the cuts were felt across the province, but in 1997 he his provincial support rose above 51% of the popular vote. Winning 63 seats he was clearly given the mandate to stay the course by Albertans.
Now here lies the issue, was it Klein that put us in the situation by paying the bills, or was the architect of debt Getty for taking it on in the first place? During the Klein era even after spending we saw surpluses during his reign of a unbelievable $52 Billion. That's right, the debt was paid and massive surpluses, with Albertans happy to put their hand out and receive the Ralph Bucks. To turn around today and blame him for our woes is a pretty easy out.
Enter Stelmach and Redford. With Alberta spending upwards of $40 Billion per year and posting year over year deficits since the exit of Ralph Klein. Let's be clear, it was 2005 when we declared debt free and spending started under Klein ramping up at an unsustainable rate. Almost 8 years later many Albertans blame today's spending on him.
It's utter B.S., want someone to blame? You best take a long hard look in the mirror and the current government. Scandal after scandal of wasteful spending, Billions thrown out the window to industry, and billions more thrown out to unions to keep them quiet election after election. We have entered into an entitled generation who want everything now, but don't want to pay for it. No cuts we cry, no tax increases either though. Enter debt, the popular way to pay for todays wants/needs and unload the payments on future generations. A Premier to afraid of losing an election to put us on the right track. We want the Schools, roads, hospitals etc... and they are going to build them. What's not in the projections is the cost to operate and staff them. More red ink my friends, this is not for future generations...this is for OUR generation. We need a government not afraid to make the tough choices.
We are at a crossroads. We can make cuts to balance our books. Maybe instead we raise revenues via taxes, royalties, and fees. Maybe we do a mixture of both. One thing for certain is to place the debts WE are incurring on the backs of another generation to pay is ridiculous. Why would we ever want to put anyone through what we had to go through in '92? We are spending 110% of what we earn, obviously we can't service the debt.
The answer is clear with our way of thinking. WE ARE THE ENTITLED.  

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The "Evil" of Private Health Care

Here we go again. After an inquiry looking at queue-jumping it seems the culprit is the evil private clinic, or is it?
If you have ever had serious health issues, one would not be so quick to jump to the conclusion that private clinics are one of the problems with publicly delivered health care. I know this because I have had to deal with the system, and trust is far from efficient. My other half had much of her stomach and intestine removed after cancer was found about 10 years ago. Four years ago cysts developed large enough to block intestines enough that eating solid foods would cause extreme swelling, pain, and of course discomfort. To top it off she was also diagnosed with Myofascial Pain Syndrome. Now I get the specialists are overworked, but what about the family care to deal with the day to day issues while you wait?
For 2 years we dealt with our local family Dr. who seemed to think the only course of action was to go home and rest. The pain from from the MPS was to the point that many days were spent in bed, and the local family Dr. did not want to prescribe pain medication. To book an appointment was a 2-3 week wait. That's when I stumbled upon a private wellness center right here in Calgary. After going in for an interview with the clinic to see if it would fit the needs, we decided to give it a try. During the interview the first thing the Dr. told us was he could not get into the specialist any quicker, but would advocate with more than a faxed request. In the meantime, the clinic jumped on the care portion. Two meetings a week with the Dr. for approximately 45 minutes each time, a dietitian assigned to ensure proper nutrition, a kinesiologist, deep tissue massage, chiropractor, as well as pain management, all included in the yearly membership. Was this the evil of private health care? A Dr. with the time to properly practice medicine and look after a patient to let them live with dignity? Evil indeed.
Over two years before a specialist was finally available to look at the stomach issues, only to find that because of the prior operations he was not able to help and put her back in the queue. This happened two more times with much frustration, finally a surgeon accepted. Medical records were very complete, so how is it so much Dr. and patient time was wasted? After 26 months the chronic pain center called to deal with the MPS. What did the specialists have to say? The private clinic was doing everything the same as they would. Oh that evil private care!!
What is my point to the rambling? Private clinics are not an evil would best sum it up. The public sector has been broken for many years, politicians don't have the courage to make the necessary changes to provide proper health care. If you mention change people think the cost of quality health care will break them. If your not willing to change a system, it will never be fixed. Private clinics offer an option to those that are not happy with the status quo, providing a level of service that every Albertan should receive. Those content with the public delivered system can keep that option if they desire, I would rather see a privately delivered, publicly funded system. Especially seeing how good the Evil private care can be.
Rather than be angry with those supporting these private clinics, maybe it is time to take a hard look at the public system.