Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream - Alberta politics: Ric McIver and the March for Jesus: A Lake of Fire Redux?

Tweet “Last year alone, Calgary’s streets were flooded with people of wrong sexual preferences during a homosexual parade of over 30,000 attendees and none of them were embarrassed the slightest to publicly even present their nakedness in front of families and in front of future generations to openly proclaim and manifest that they are not ashamed […] - Alberta politics: Opposition hoping for a sequel to Air Redford… Air Prentice

TweetThe long-summer of 2014 has begun in Alberta politics. With little substantial policy ideas to dispute or debate, Alberta’s opposition parties have set their sights on Progressive Conservative leadership front-runner Jim Prentice (if this continues, Thomas Lukaszuk and Ric McIver are going to start feeling left out). Hoping to tie Mr. Prentice to frequent-flying former Premier Alison Redford […]

Alberta Diary: Conservative former Edmonton mayor endorses conservative future Alberta premier: Yawn

Former Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel and PC leadership candidate Jim Prentice, obviously pleased to be in one another’s company, at a news conference yesterday in Edmonton at which Mr. Mandel endorsed Mr. Prentice. Below: The other Tory leadership candidates, Ric McIver and Thomas Lukaszuk, and New Democrat MLA Rachel Notley, who is expected to declare her candidacy to lead the Alberta NDP soon.

If there was any real news from yesterday’s news conference atop the Chateau Lacombe Hotel in downtown Edmonton, at which Progressive Conservative former Edmonton mayor Stephen Mandel endorsed Progressive Conservative future Alberta premier Jim Prentice, it was (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Calgary, I’m forced to admit, is a world class city

I have always been inclined to ignore talk about making my city—Calgary—world class. It sounds rather desperate, a sad sort of social-climbing by civic boosters. But now it appears that Calgary really is a world class city. How can it not be when two of the world’s top newspapers declare it to be so.

The New York Times, no less, has ranked our prairie metropolis as one of the globe’s top travel

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Deicing a WestJet plane in Calgary, in April 2014

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: On "Toll Lanes" In Calgary

I see that the geniuses at the Manning Foundation have put on their thinking caps and burned some extra wood to come up with this idea.  

The Manning Foundation is recommending tolls on some Calgary roads, such as Glenmore Trail, Crowchild Trail and Deerfoot Trail. 

“Folks are spending more time in traffic than being in the office, earning their incomes and contributing to the economy,” said report writer Ben Brunnen. 

He suggests one lane of existing traffic on those major thoroughfares could be transformed into a toll express lane. Drivers would pay $5 a day to use the faster (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Linda McQuaig responds to the CCCE’s tax spin by pointing out what’s likely motivating the false attempt to be seen to contribute to society at large: Seemingly out of the blue this week, the head honchos of Canada’s biggest companies, the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, put out a media release insisting that their taxes are not too low.

This defensive posture — who mentioned murder? — reveals they fear others may be slowly catching on to the massive transfer of wealth to the richest Canadians that’s been going on for the past (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: You’ll Pay For Climate Change One Way or The Other.

One thing climate change will probably bring you is higher insurance premiums. Last year Canadian insurers forked over $3.2-billion in payouts, a record.  For the first time, flooding-related claims exceeded fire losses.

Calgary flooding losses hit $1.7-billion.  Toronto’s flooding set an Ontario record of $940-million.

Insurance companies aren’t in the business of paying out more than they’re collecting in premiums so watch for rates to increase.

Alberta Diary: Ted Cruz: For God (& country’s) sake, talk to Conrad Black before you shred your Canadian passport!

Canada or USA? USA or Canada? Texas Senator Ted Cruz, visible between the signs, ponders what he should do. Actual Tea Party favourites may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Mr. Cruz waves bye-bye to his fellow Canadians … maybe; Lord Black of Crossharbour.

It’s said here that Calgary native Ted Cruise needs to make an appointment to have a serious chat with Conrad Black before he makes any rash and irrevocable decisions to run his Canadian passport through the shredder.

Mr. Cruz is now the junior Senator from Texas and a favourite of the Tea Party, a group that (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Calgarians are happy campers

If you were looking for a living definition of the expression “happy campers,” you might cast an eye on Calgary. According to an Ipsos Reid poll, almost ninety per cent of Calgarians believe their city has a good quality of life and is on the right track to become a better city; 95 per cent give it a positive rating for overall performance; 86 per cent say city government is open and accessible;

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Conservatives Win Friends and Improve Policy…

…Or that might be what the usually compliant and forgiving media would say if they hadn’t been pissed off about being locked out of policy meetings at the Conservative Convention last weekend in Calgary.

the weird, unsettling vibe that hung over the whole event. (We’ve grown used to seeing prime ministers sealed inside an impenetrable bubble, but a whole party?) That reporters were constrained from doing their jobs is perhaps a side issue. But that a democratic political party, at its national convention, would go to such lengths to hide from public view is just a bit creepy.

.@ (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Stephen Harper to Canada: ‘It’s not my fault! Now shut up and vote for me’

Trying to change the channel: Unfortunately for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the remote seems to have disappeared under a pillow and the movie stuck on the TV screen stars Mike Duffy, shown above moving toward the Telus Convention Centre in Calgary Friday night. Actual Canadian Senators may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Andrew Nikiforuk and David Suzuki.


So it all comes down to this, then? It’s not my fault. Now shut up and vote for me!

What else can we take away from Stephen Harper’s first campaign speech of the 2015 election season, made to the nervously shuffling (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Halloween 2013: a meditation on power

Prime Minister Stephen Harper just one year ago. Actual Canadian prime ministers may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Senator Mike Duffy and former Harper cabinet member Jim Prentice.

Last Halloween, when Prime Minister Stephen Harper went trick ’n’ treating, he was monarch of all he surveyed.

This year, he’s a ghost.

Oh, Mr. Harper is still corporeal enough. He passed through security Wednesday on his way to Calgary, I suppose, although one imagines prime ministers don’t have to take off their shoes and shuffle along in their stockings, or answer to why they failed to stow their toothpaste is (Read more…)

Trashy's World: How not to show your appreciation of and trust in your “base”…

Dear fellow Conservative: We really, really want your money and support. But please, please, just STFU. If you are approached by anyone resembling a reporter, blogger, Liberal, New Democrat, Green, environmentalist, Public Servant, First Nation member, telecom industry employee or Maude Barlow, please run away screaming, hands over ears, and yelling “LALALALALALA!” as loudly as […]

Bill Longstaff: Calgary—sprawl or planning?

During the recent Calgary election campaign, two visions of the city’s future development vied for attention. One, presented by Calgary’s mayor, Naheed Nenshi, was about planning growth to ensure a sustainable city. The other, presented by a group of home builders and their hired gun, Preston Manning of the Manning Institute, was about leaving growth to the dictates of the market.

The latter was

Susan on the Soapbox: Congratulations Mayor Nenshi!

John Macfarlane, editor of The Walrus,* asks the question: When did society turn against its best and brightest and more importantly, why? He was bemoaning the fact that Torontonians had elected Rob Ford—a man he described as wearing “his ignorance like a badge of honour”—to be their mayor.

Mayor Rob Ford

Mr Macfarlane concludes that the practice of electing idiots to run things is the result of two things: the “nothing is sacred” attitude that developed in the 1960s which led to a devaluation of knowledge and expertise, and the tendency of politicians to put their own selfish interests (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Progressive Alberta

Seemingly in defiance of Alberta’s reputation as a very conservative province, voters in Calgary and Edmonton both elected young, progressive mayors yesterday.

Calgary elected the 41-year old Naheed Nenshi for a second term and Edmonton chose the 34-year old former city councillor Don Iveson. Nenshi supports a more compact city with increased density in the inner city and levies on suburban

Terahertz: Albertans choose progressive mayors

After a surprise victory in the 2010 purple wave, Naheed Nenshi became one of Canada’s most popular mayors during his handling of severe floods in Calgary earlier this year.

Few predicted any chance of him losing his position in yesterday’s election and perhaps the only shock was the size of his victory, with 74% of the city voting for him.

Meanwhile, Edmonton saw a heated race as popular incumbent Steve Mandel opted to retire on a high note (rather than be unseated like most of his predecessors). Three councillors stepped forward to challenge for the seat, with Don Iveson’s ‘policy (Read more…)

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Pay to Go Politics in YYC

So, yesterday there was an “all candidates forum” sponsored by The Calgary Chamber of Commerce, the Urban Development Institute – Calgary and The Canadian Homebuilders Association – Calgary Region.

I did not attend this forum – for several reasons.  We already know that the developer community (or at least notable cabal within that group) have a “bone to pick” with the incumbent city council, and would dearly like to make things more “developer friendly” in the future.  They are entitled to that opinion and to advocate for it.  I have enormous problems with the obvious attempt to sponsor a (Read more…) What the heck is CivicCamp?

Who’s behind these pencils? Where do pencils get their funding from? Pencils are nothing but a left-wing propaganda machine. One pencil wrote in cursive once so all pencils obviously can only be used the same way!

I’m sorry, but I can’t help but play this game whenever I hear some folks talk about CivicCamp in an accusatorial way. Basically you replace the word “CivicCamp” with the word “pencil”. You see, in some circles there is a mis-understanding about what CivicCamp is, which that it is simply a tool. Like a pencil.

It’s not the fault of these folks that they (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Buying Calgay’s civic election with a little help from Preston Manning

Alberta’s election funding rules are notoriously weak. Those applying to municipal elections are no exception. The essentials can easily be summarized: no spending limits, contributions limited to $5,000 a year (the candidate may contribute up to $10,000 of his own funds), and the candidate must file a disclosure statement of contributions over $100. Candidates are allowed to keep surplus revenue

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: Canada’s Far Right Next Attack On Nenshi

It’s no big secret that the Conservative power base in Calgary was profoundly pissed off when Naheed Nenshi won the Mayoral race in 2010.  The amount of vitriol seen in the Sun’s pages after election day was astonishing, and since then, they have taken every opportunity to snipe at Nenshi.

This is no surprise.  They were also suspiciously silent when it came out that Cal Wenzel and a bunch of his pals had ponied up over a million dollars to the Manning Centre to build a slate of candidates that would be “friendly” to their interests in the next city (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: Is flood amnesia setting in?

Immediately after the big water in June, two truisms were out and about in Calgary. One stated the flood had been so catastrophic that finally Albertans would take significant measures to mitigate damage from future floods. The other said that it wouldn’t be long before the disaster was put out of mind and things would return to the complacent normal.

Reading recently about the province

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Dear Tim Hortons: It’s Not Your Lids That Are The Problem

…but what’s in the cup.  Your coffee is too patriotic, and not near gay enough.  I refuse to drink it. Every double-double is as though I am casting a vote for a regressive, far-right government.  It is also on the markedly bitter side.  Your Mr. Hansen will discover all this when he leaves Calgary and finds that there are other brands, like Satanbucks, or Coffee Crime, where the servers are always friendly and the pan-handlers doff their hats in respect as they block your path to the men’s room and lunge for your wallet.  It will strike him (Read more…)

Terahertz: Things You Can Do to Help Calgary’s Secular Community Grow and Thrive!

Found this (public) note on Facebook with some exciting news about the secular community in Calgary.

Keep it up!

And when I say “we,” what I really mean is you. I’m looking for people to take up some of these projects so I can proceed with the things I already have on my plate! If you are interested, contact me;I’ll provide more details and introduce you to the people you’ll be working with. If you’re not interested, I’ll have to let these opportunities slide, and that would be a shame. So show some interest, people!

This is a summary of (Read more…)