Friday, November 26, 2010

Gunter on Edmonton EXPO 2017

Lorne Gunter in the National Post: Edmonton didn't need an Expo

A couple of excerpts
"But I have to admit I'm glad Ottawa chose, this week, to deny federal funding to Expo 2017. This event had "huge white elephant" written all over it."

"The Vancouver Olympics were supposed to bring in more billions than they cost. Yet despite being brilliantly run -- truly a world-class event -- the games have saddled taxpayers with hundreds of millions in debt. Just the overrun at the athletes' village will hit nearly three-quarters-of-a-billion dollars."

"Because of its perceived out-of-the-way location, Knoxville never attracted all the international pavilions it had planned for and ended up burdening the city with a $46-million debt -- and Knoxville never envisioned using its expo the way Edmonton did to justify massive transit upgrades and urban redevelopments."

I agree 100%. This decision looks to have averted a major disaster for not only the tax payers of Edmonton and Alberta, but from the rest of Canada as well. The amount of pork in the bid, that had nothing to do with the EXPO event itself, combined with the inevitable cost overruns and the low balled security costs make the decision by the Feds to deny funding the right choice. For all of us.

BTW would the Mayor, or any other supporters, explain to me just why the taxpayers of Canada were being asked to pay for the following:

EXPO 2017 will also generate new opportunities to increase the positive impression the city makes upon visitors, such as the construction of a signature bridge over the river to enhance the connection between the southside and downtown. Another is the redevelopment of the Legislature grounds and the West Rossdale area in time to celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary. At the regional level, increasing access and enhancement to the river valley park system and using the river as a transportation conduit between downtown and the South Campus site could be lasting legacies for the entire community.

when they have nothing really to do with the EXPO event itself.

They may be wonderful ideas but it is deceitful to have the rest of the country pay for them under the guise of them being needed for EXPO 2017.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A note to the rest of Canada from Edmonton.

Don't buy into the BS on Edmontonians reaction to the federal government not backing our Expo bid because the average Edmontonian could give a rats ass about it. 

To date I have yet to meet one single Edmontonian who has even mentioned our cities Expo bid, and if I broached the subject, every single one said it was a waste of money.  

Monday, November 22, 2010

Alberta Health Services logic

Problem: Patients backed up in Emergency rooms because of lack of beds on the hospital wards are causing increased wait times.

Solution: Put MORE patients onto the already full hospital wards.

It is almost like the entire operation is being run by a Muppet.

BTW this plan is just the 2007(which is STILL in effect at our larger hospitals) plan revamped.  It didn't work; if it did we wouldn't be having the same problem today would we.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Alberta's very own Cookie Monster?

Alberta Health Services President/CEO Stephen Duckett, the media, and a cookie!

video from CTV Edmonton.

Stephen Duckett made $744,000 last year. $595,000 base salary and $76,619 in performance bonuses .

Today AHS announced a plan to improve the current 'emergency room crisis' which in reality is just the 2007 plan re-announced. Moving people from the ER into hallways or 3 beds to a 2 bed room etc on other hospital wards is already common practice in many hospitals in Alberta and has been since 2007.

The new (old) plan may make a nice sound bite ( at least better than the CEO's) and it might keep the masses of their backs for a while, but I see nothing in it that is really going to help the current situation in our hospitals.

Ross Rebagliati's candidacy goes up in smoke

Ross Rebagliati, Olympic gold medal winner infamous for testing positive for marijuana, has decided not to run as the Liberal Party candidate in Okanagan–Coquihalla.

How bad must it be in the Liberal Party right now if they can't even convince Ross to stick with them.

Related: a couple of posts from the Ice Man. Here and here.

From your MSM: 2 Articles. 1 Shoddy, 1 Cheap,

Yesterday was not a banner day for journalism in Canada.

First up from CTV News comes the Shoddy:

 Term-limit Senate bill shot down in the House.

The Conservative government has failed in its bid to push through a bill that would have limited senator terms to eight years.The bill required unanimous support in order to pass in the House, but the opposition parties denied the Conservative plan to send the bill directly to the Senate for approval.

Hands down the worst bit of journalism I read today in spite of the author(s) trying so hard to explain parliamentary procedure to us dumb Canadians. Reading the above story one might assume that the fate of Bill C 10 (the actual name of the senate term limit bill though this is NOT FOUND IN THE ARTICLE) had been settled and that it was dead, but you could not be more wrong.  Bill C 10 is alive & well and in fact will come up for a vote later today and then go on to committee for study. What happened yesterday was only an attempt to by-pass (fast track) the bill, nothing more, and it has no effect at all on its life.

But you wouldn't know that by reading that CTV story would you.


Next comes the cheap from See Magazine and its author former Liberal MLA Maurice Tougas.

(highlighting mine)

The Perils of Leadership

The burgeoning Alberta Party held its policy convention in Red Deer on the weekend.....

An example of what a charismatic leader can do for a party is, of course, Danielle Smith of the Wildrose Alliance. Smith is the Bobby Hull of Alberta politics. Without Smith, the Wildrose Alliance would be a party of right-wing cranks. With Smith, the Wildrose Alliance is a party of right-wing cranks, but with a hot leader. That’s a different thing entirely.

This may be the case with the comely Ms. Smith (how’s that for a segue?). The WAP leader got the full interview treatment from the Globe and Mail on Saturday, and it was revealing — beginning with the 6” x 12 1/2 “ photo. Smith is pictured with the top two buttons of her blouse undone, with the third barely hanging on, as if to say “Join the Wildrose Alliance, and I’ll pop the third button.

Seriously See Magazine? You actually have people paid to write and edit this stuff?

 Bonus update for fun:  Paul Wells on a story in the Globe and Mail.  

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Marlene Jennings is in a class by herself. Video.

Marlene Jennings, Liberal MP for Notre-Dame-de-Grace-Lachine, was busy playing cheap political games (the kind that the Liberals say they detest so much) yesterday in the House of Commons and let Canadians get another glimpse of this MP at work.

Watch the video:

Read it in Hansard.

Stay Classy Marlene. You are a true treasure for Canadian politics and the Liberal Party of Canada.

Lots more from Jennings here.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month an armistice was signed to end the war to end all wars. 

Lt Col John McCrae:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Why my MLA makes me proud.

Carl Benito PC MLA for Edmonton-Millwoods.

"When Benito was cornered by reporters to explain why he had not paid municipal taxes owed this year on four rental properties he owns, he stopped, looked the journalists in the eye -- and blamed his wife."

"Ever since then, he's been trying to muddy the issue by blaming reporters for allegedly misquoting him in the 2008 campaign. We didn't. (For the record, here's Benito again in his own campaign literature: "Carl Benito will donate his MLA salary for scholarships to young people in Mill Woods.") "
Just a couple of excerpts from the Calgary Herald.  Full story here.

Friday, November 05, 2010

The City of Edmonton's new anti racism campaign

Words almost fail me on this.  Found on the City of Edmonton website ( )

"What can you do to stop racism?

Acknowledge your white privilege.
White privilege refers to all the benefits we get just for being white. Most of us are aware of how racism hurts others, but we're not aware of how it benefits us

...Racial "whiteness" is many things, but one of its consistent qualities is power. As people granted unearned privileges by our own whiteness, and as people who have likely harmed non-white people with our own whiteness, it's our moral and ethical duty to find ways to combat racism.
Racism is real. Denying that racism exists perpetuates racism."

Seriously? This smells like a AHRC complaint ripe for the taking and worse yet my tax dollars pay for this nonsense.

If you are having problems seeing what is wrong with the linked page, try substituting another skin colour/group/ethnicity in place of the word 'white' and ask yourself if it would have ever made the cut for posting on a city website.

Singling out anyone on the basis of the colour of their skin and then attributing qualities to everyone in that same group is not only stupid, it is quite simply racist.

There can be no other word for it.

Updates:  Read the comments for plenty of updates and feel free to drop off a comment yourself.  

Thursday, November 04, 2010

The BHP potash decision: Ignatieff clueless on the law.

As most of you are now aware the decision on the BHP Billiton hostile takeover bid for Potash Corp of Saskatchewan came down today and as per usual, Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff was quick to jump in front of the PPG cameras to give us his take on things. His take on things though was just a little bit different than what one might expect from someone who is trying to become this country's PM because Ignatieff had no clue as to what he was talking about.

And what did Ignatieff get so wrong?    Watch the video and see for yourself.

You see, under Canadian Law, when a decision like this is taken by the government, the party that they ruled against has 30 days to modify its bid/offer etc before the government can legally make a final decision on the matter. To not comply, as Ignatieff wants to do, would open the government up to a huge lawsuit (remember it was a 40 Billion dollar deal) that this country does not need to fight.

That is the law, there is no way around it and Michael Ignatieff had absolutely no clue at all on the matter and reminds us all once again why he is not suitable to be the leader of this country.

Ignatieff, having been out of the country for over 30 years or not having ever served in cabinet might have an excuse, but Ralph Goodale was in cabinet and all he could do today while Ignatieff was making a fool of himself with his lack of knowledge on the subject in front of the TV cameras was stare at his leader like a lost puppy.  What a team.