Death by regulation

 

The writing is on the wall and the numbers are distressing to say the least. Foreign investment is fleeing from Canada and we are becoming an international investment pariah.

Sadly, this trend should not surprise anybody as our national regulatory environment for large projects in the energy industry went from onerous to outright obscene. The Trudeau government is obsessed with adding unreasonable requirements for new business ventures and they have pushed things to the tipping point. Private enterprise can no longer do large projects. We are losing billions though lost development and price markdowns due to lack of infrastructure.

I spent four years working in the Arctic back in the early 2000s. The area was booming as people trained and looked forward to development of a local industry. There is a massive oil and gas deposit in the Mackenzie Delta that would bring billions if not trillions into Canadian coffers over generations if we could only get the product to market. We spent decades and countless dollars in drilling wells and acquiring data in the North in anticipation of a pipeline which would run a relatively short distance from Inuvik down to Norman Wells in the Northwest Territories. There are literally thousands of capped wells just sitting up there waiting to be brought into production.

Pipeline discussion began in the 1970s. In the early 1990s cost estimates for such a pipeline ran around $1 billion. After nearly two decades of studies, permit applications, hundreds and hundreds of public hearings and infrastructure investments into the Mackenzie Delta area, the projected cost for a pipeline had ballooned to an astounding $20 billion dollars.  Regulations had utterly destroyed the viability of the line.

The Mackenzie Valley pipeline consortium finally, formally pulled the plug this year after 40 years of wasted time and billions of dollars. Inuvik, Aklavik and Tuktoyaktuk now languish as impoverished communities dependent on government welfare with no realistic local industries to develop. The hopes that they had for a prosperous future died when the pipeline did. There is no viable fishery, forestry or mining in that area. Just a little tourism and some sustenance hunting. Many will end up having to move down south to make a living while leaving behind one of the richest energy deposits on the planet.

It was in watching a government employed lawyer spouting off on twitter about how it was natural market conditions as opposed to regulation that killed the Energy East pipeline project that I found inspiration to write on this issue. Not enough people understand just how much our bloated regulatory environment harms our energy industry. Misinformation from parasitic, taxpayer employed lawyers who thrive on an ever increasing bureaucracy spreading self-serving pap about what does or doesn’t harm industry isn’t helping.

Massive LNG projects have vanished while pipelines in all directions are either cancelled or stalled while every level of government adds to the hurdles already killing development and investment in Canada.

The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is the last one left and few people feel much confidence that it will be built. This isn’t even a new pipeline, it is an expansion upon an existing line which has safely operated since the fifties. Rather than cut regulation and streamline the process, the Trudeau government bought the pipeline project before it could be cancelled. Just today we are hearing that the cost of the pipeline has gone up by almost $2 billion. 

How on earth is this or any other large project going to get done until and unless we truly cut and gut our regulatory burdens? In British Columbia alone, the Trans Mountain line needs 1187 permits! 1187!

That is just one aspect and one level of government. How could so many permits possibly be required? How many studies? How many applications? How much time to wait for approvals? How many revisions get called for? By the time the last permit gets approved, the first ones will have expired. It is nothing less than madness.

Today we see a government in shock as Saudi Arabia cuts ties to Canada over a tweet. Some are trying to dismiss things by pointing out that Saudi Arabia only supplies 10% of Canada’s oil imports. 10% of an entire nation’s oil imports is no small amount folks. The vast majority of Canada’s imported oil is coming from the USA. Trudeau hasn’t exactly been endearing himself with the American government lately so we remain vulnerable on that energy front too.

Canada has more than enough oil and gas to supply the entire nation with domestic sources. What we lack however is transmission infrastructure. We can’t even build a bloody pipeline across our own nation due to regulatory burdens. It appears that the government would rather see foreign tankers of oil travel up the Saint Lawrence river daily than see a pipeline come out from Alberta.

The situation is absurd and it is untenable. Sadly nothing will change or improve until we admit that our regulatory system is out of control and then make a serious effort to fix it. I won’t hold my breath.

Racists, junkies and sex offenders. Camp Cloud has it all.

While the City of Burnaby continues to sit on its hands, the squatter encampment that calls itself “Camp Cloud” continues to spiral ever more out of control.

Violent eruptions are becoming common place while rampant and open hard drug use seems to be taking over the encampment.

Here is an account from a native activist who used to be supportive of the camp. After having been repeatedly groped by the camp members who have also harassed female joggers and in seeing the drug use she gave up on them. The camp also apparently houses and twice convicted child molester. This was a common theme as multiple child molesters were found to be dwelling in the “occupy” Calgary squatter encampment years ago. They seem drawn to these places. The full account is below.

Here is a video of the impaired denizens of Camp Cloud assaulting a young couple.

Here is a video of the matriarch of Camp Cloud going on a racist rant calling Chief Ernie Crey a “son of a bitch raised by white trash”.

Here is a part of a video that Camp Cloud shared today. At the 18 second mark, one can see the filthy collection of syringes that they keep presumably for hard drug use.

Here is a picture showing their two story shack built illegally and dangerously under power lines.

They have ignored multiple eviction orders and manage an open fire during a fire ban due to dry conditions.

JUST WHAT THE HELL DOES IT TAKE FOR AUTHORITIES TO FIND THE WILL TO EVICT THESE BUMS?

Will it be an overdose? Will it be a rape? Maybe a murder? Maybe a few more assaults? How about if they set fire to the area and burn down some of the neighboring homes?

This is a national embarrassment and something needs to be done.

These criminals will be evicted.

The only question that remains is by whom.

Will it be by the authorities or will it be by the hundreds who have been gathering on facebook at the group linked below who are planning to do it themselves?

https://www.facebook.com/groups/214809372557103/

Only time will tell and it is passing quickly.

Its time for citizens to get to work and clean up “Camp Cloud”

The ramshackle two story shack built dangerously under a power line acts as a giant, symbolic middle finger to Canadians who value commerce under the rule of law. Indeed as can be seen in the picture above, the squatters in the encampment that they have named “Camp Cloud” like to use the shack to stand upon and literally give the finger to Canadians.

The shack and the surrounding mix of tents, trailers and trash send a message to the the world investment community. It says that the administration within Canada is so cowardly, they will let a group of miscreants set up an illegal encampment in a community and impede legal commerce with impunity. It says that following process and law in Canada is pointless as crazed, extreme minority groups can bring your efforts to a halt on a whim and the state will do nothing to protect your investment. It tells neighboring property owners in Burnaby that compliance with bylaws, construction standards and public safety rules is only expected of them as legal, taxpaying homeowners. Self-identified “water protectors” can squat at will without paying any taxes and while flaunting all local laws.

The continued presence of “Camp Cloud” sends the message that violence is an acceptable means of discourse as the squatters repeatedly have assaulted people in the area as shown in the video below.

 

Click here for the full account of the latest violent encounter with “Camp Cloud”.

The City of Burnaby sneaks in during the early hours to drop eviction notices for “Camp Cloud” and scurries away. The city gives the squatters 72 hours notice to vacate due to a plethora of safety and bylaw violations. The squatters scornfully ignore the warning and are rewarded as the callow authorities do nothing to enforce the law.

The camp grows more deeply entrenched and the violent, entitled attitude of its dwellers grows. Why shouldn’t it? It appears that they are above the law. Warnings are toothless.

Enough is enough.

If the authorities will not clean up “Camp Cloud” it becomes incumbent upon citizens to do so. Energy workers have endured a deep recession for years only to have economic recovery hindered by illegal opposition to energy infrastructure. Many of them are more than happy to take a day to come out to clean things up. Many Burnaby residents are ready to come out and help clean up their community. Many citizens in general are tired of a government that lets extremists walk all over them.

I created a facebook group late last night to gather these citizens and organize the cleanup. By this morning the members neared 200 and it continues to grow. Click here to join in the organization effort. 

Its time to bring this standoff to a head.

The illegal and dangerous squatter encampment called “Camp Cloud” is going to come to an end in coming weeks. Whether the clean up is done by authorities or whether it is done by the group I am organizing is up to the state. I and others are going to continue planning, gathering people and organizing them under the assumption that we will have to do this ourselves.

We are left with no other choice.

Competition brings better outcomes in politics as with enterprise.

Let’s face it, barring a complete meltdown the UCP will be forming the next government of Alberta as soon as they get a chance in a general election. While politics are volatile and strange things happen, I don’t think I am taking a long shot position here. While Albertans were clearly discontent with the old PC government and they were not yet ready to trust the nascent Wildrose Party, they did not really understand just how brutal an NDP government could be until they got a taste of one for a few years. We won’t be going back to that for a long time.

That said, we should not let the government in waiting take that status for granted. We need an incoming government that will win the election based on goals and principles. Just winning for the sake of getting rid of the NDP is indeed appealing enough on its own but we still need the party to demonstrate and maintain a commitment to the conservative, grassroots principles upon which it was built. This will be much less likely to happen if there is no competition to the UCP from the right flank.

No, we don’t need to split the vote again. It must be remembered though, it was not simply a vote split that got us the NDP government of today. The NDP won due to an appallingly arrogant and disconnected PC government and a Wildrose opposition that was still recovering from being torn apart from its former leader. There was never a risk in prior elections of electing socialists despite there always being multiple options on the right. Conservatives had managed to put multiple unpalatable options before the electorate in 2015 and we all paid the price.

As it began to look inevitable that there would only be one conservative option on the table in next general election, everything suddenly changed when Derek Fildebrandt popped up as the interim leader of the newly re-branded Freedom Conservative Party.

There is little sense beating around the bush. Derek ran out of partisan options and that is his prime motivation in taking on this new party. Through a series of incidents due to a terrible lack of judgement, Fildebrandt left Kenney with few options but to keep him out of the UCP at least by my interpretation.

That said, I like Derek. He is smart, driven and doesn’t beat around the bush. He is driven by solid libertarian/conservative principles and has a great history of holding politicians to account. While his maverick ways have made him difficult to handle in a partisan setting, he is an asset in the legislature. It really is too bad that it has come to his being on the outside looking in with the UCP but it is clear that he isn’t giving up and this could be a productive thing.

Nobody said that forming the next government would be easy and I am sure that Kenney has never been under any illusions that it would be. Trying to coast as an opposition party and hiding from issues is not a good way to get there however. When the choice was made for UCP members to walk out over and over again rather than face and debate the NDP on their abortion clinic “bubble zone” bill, I was pretty disappointed.

Any political watcher knew that the bill was a political trap. Yes, the NDP were trying to make the non-issue of abortion access into a current issue and that was the point of the bill. Well, too damn bad. Trap or not, it is the role of the opposition to examine these bills and to offer either support or constructive opposition. By walking out the UCP did neither.

Fildebrandt was the lone working opposition member on this bill. He proposed amendments to the bill, they predictably got shot down by the NDP & he voted against the bill with a clear conscience based on that. The world didn’t label him a crazed anti-woman member and life carried on. He did his job.

There will doubtless be other bills set as traps in the coming months as an increasingly desperate NDP tries to find a way to make the Kenney juggernaut implode on social issues. With another conservative party on the sidelines willing to give a reasoned opposition to these efforts, it will be tougher for the UCP caucus to duck and hide on these bills. They will only be giving more legitimacy to the FCP. This makes for a better democracy for us.

One of the most elusive yet critical facets of parliamentary democracy in Canada is free legislative votes. Many parties pay lip service to free votes but it is rare when they practice them. Whipped votes are an insult to the electorate who send not one but 87 members to the legislature. I know I am being idealistic but we really could get some better political outcomes with a number of unrestrained voices speaking to, debating on and voting on issues in the legislature rather than a couple parties doing what are essentially token whipped votes.

An escape hatch has to be present in order to allow some degree of caucus freedom. The NDP has the Alberta Party to woo and pull discontented left wing members. The UCP now has the FCP to their right. These options will hardly cure all ills for the parties but it will make the leaderships consider things a little more before cracking the whip at times.

Fildebrandt’s assertion that the FCP will only run candidates in constituencies where it is pretty much impossible to win despite multiple vote splits is critical here too. Nobody wants to take a chance on giving the Notley government four more years. I will be living in Banff-Kananaskis when the writ drops. The thought of having Cam “the Weenie” Westhead as my MLA for four years is appalling. There is no way I would entertain the thought of supporting an FCP or any other right of center candidate in my constituency for even a heartbeat. I am sure that reasonable voters in any other constituencies where the NDP may remain in play feel the same.

Time will tell if the FCP develops into a productive entity or simply becomes a haven for malcontents and second place UCP nomination contestants.

I do feel that reasonable opposition from the right is essential for us in Alberta and I think that to a degree the FCP will be able to provide that. I want to see unrestrained voices speaking politically. Not hateful or insane voices (though those labels will be tossed out there) but voices that are not afraid to rattle cages a bit. We can’t make worthwhile changes if we hide from the tough issues.

I am not sour on the UCP. I want and look forward to them forming our next government with Jason Kenney as our Premier. I also however want that administration to be held to account as effectively as possible. Hopefully the FCP can aid in doing that. Time will tell as this new party begins to fill out. It will be interesting if nothing else.

“Gotcha” politics don’t win elections.

It is doubtless that NDP operatives & their allies at Vice giggled themselves to sleep last week as they prepared to release what they felt was a pivotal media “gotcha” shortly before the voters in Innisfail-Sylvan Lake would go to the polls in a by-election.

Who knows how long Vice sat on this “scoop” but let’s not bullshit here, they clearly sat on it until just before the election was held in hopes of having the most possible negative impact on the UCP candidate.

Yes, they had found out that Devin Dreeshen had been active on Trump’s campaign a couple years ago. On top of this revelation, there was a picture of Dreeshen in a MAGA hat.

This is “gotcha” gold Jerry!

The usual suspects on the left went wild on twitter and facebook around the clock when the picture came out. Why, this was akin to the UCP running Hitler right?

Surely the voters in Innisfail-Sylvan Lake will abandon the UCP en masse at the polls.

Yes the UCP would likely still win, but their support would surely drop. While NDP may not enjoy all of the gains of this collapse in UCP support, the nascent left-wing Alberta Party will doubtless see a surge in support right?

To the horror of the myopic left, the great “gotcha” of 2018 appeared not to mean a damn thing to the electorate.

Dreeshen won with an astounding 82% of the vote. 

The existing NDP support had collapsed from 23% down to a paltry 9%

The Alberta Party and the Liberal Party proved themselves yet again to be utterly electorally insignificant with showings of 7% and 1%.

David Inscho ran as an independent representing the “Marilyn Burns Party” to bring in a whopping 63 votes.

While some are doggedly trying to dismiss this outcome, it is significant. Many tried to claim that it was not granted that the voters who used to support the Progressive Conservative Party and the Wildrose Party would not come together under the new UCP.

Well, the combined PC and Wildrose votes were 71% in the last election. The UCP didn’t simply combine that support, they increased it.

Gotcha indeed.

But what about the Fort McMurray-Conklin race?

It was revealed that not only did UCP candidate Laila Goodridge work for a time for CPC MP Joan Crockatt, she spent time as a political staffer in Ottawa!

While not as good a “gotcha” as her having helped the evil Trump, this was profound indeed!

This would surely drive voters into the arms of the NDP in Fort McMurray-Conklin. It works just like that narrative that Jason Kenney wasn’t Albertan because he spent time in Ottawa as an MP. That has nearly made Kenney unelectable in Calgary right?

Oops!

Laila Goodridge with the UCP came in with exactly the combined past PC and Wildrose vote with 66% and a decisive win.

The NDP did maintain their past support level at nearly 30% and the Liberals and Alberta Party candidates remained consistently insignificant at 3% and 1%.

How is it possible that these UCP candidates managed to pull off such huge wins despite the rage and horror that dominated social media about them for weeks?

To put it simply, voters don’t really give a shit what hyperpartisan types say on Twitter and Facebook. They choose based on looking at what the parties as a whole have to offer and pay passing attention at best to whatever the faux outrage of the week is on social media.

Right now the left is swarming and raging over the nomination shenanigans in the UCP and the improper use of constituency funds by the now former UCP MLA Prab Gill.

These issues are important to political wonks and are important in the broader vision of principled politics but they really don’t mean a thing to the common voter at the door (or most importantly in the voting booth).

I love partisan online games and nasty shots. I thrive on them. I never have deluded myself to the point of thinking that those games have a heavy impact on the electorate. At best I bring specific issues a little more into the spotlight for a time and hopefully speed the rectification of them a little bit.

Personally, I hope that the left sticks to their games of gotcha. I hope that they continue to label the party that is currently supported by the majority of Albertans as being extreme or even fascist. While they won’t bring Albertans to their cause this way, they will entrench support for conservatives even more deeply as they get tired of being called troglodytes for supporting parties other than the NDP or left wing Alberta Party.

I will leave off with a few choice tweets that I saved from election night demonstrating the respect that the NDP types online show towards the electorate.

NDP MLA Marie Renaud got right into the game

This NDP supporter feels that rural Albertans would vote for a cow patty

 

This NDP supporter compared supporting Dreeshen to supporting a mass murderer

This NDP supporter did a double gotcha by calling Goodridge an outsider and Dreeshen a “Trumpist”

Gotcha!

Free vacation property in Burnaby! Join me in building a party palace!

I know this sounds too good to be true. With real estate prices in lower mainland BC skyrocketing, how could Burnaby possibly be letting people build vacation homes for free?

Well the precedent has been set.

A large group of bums has been constructing buildings and clearing land to make their own personal little vacation spots outside of the Kinder Morgan terminal in Burnaby since last winter.

Clearly the city of Burnaby and the province of British Columbia have declared a lawless zone right there in the city where anybody can build and reside without paying a nickel!

Zoning and building codes clearly do not apply in this free land zone either as the local squatters have even erected a two story building right underneath a three phase power line. Here they are pictured giving the middle finger to all of Canada.

If these guys can build for free in Burnaby, why can’t anybody else?

I contend that we can, we should and we will!

Burnaby is beautiful in August. Lets set the date for Saturday, August 18 this year for us all to build our little vacation paradise.

Bring wood. Bring tarps. Bring saws. Bring stereos. Bring furniture. Bring trailers and bring broken down old cars!

Have an old trailer gathering dust in the back yard? Bring it out and put it to use!

Lets hold the biggest summer party that Burnaby has ever seen (outside the Kinder Morgan terminal anyway).

Fire permits don’t apply either. The current squatters are claiming that their fire is “sacred”.

Well, we are in luck. I am an ordained Pastafarian minister and as can be seen in the picture of me while deep in prayer, I carry the mark of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

We are on a mission from FSM and keeping the fire burning in order to cook pasta is our holy right! After all, He boiled for our sins!

While writing with tongue somewhat planted in cheek, I am serious.

Lets do it. How often do we get a zone in such a beautiful area as that part of Burnaby opened up for full and total free use? Lets make the most of this people! Book that weekend. Get that hammer and nails.

Email me at albertarep@hotmail.com so we can communicate and organize.

We can make this summer truly unforgettable.

Public opinion matters & rational demonstrations make a difference.

Last week while at his sixth appearance at the Okotoks courthouse, Eddie Maurice finally had all charges dropped against him. 

Eddie had been charged with a number of offenses after confronting a pair of criminals who were on his property very late one night last February. Eddie was the lone line of defense between these crooks and his baby who was in his home as his wife was out of the province at the time. One of the scumbags was injured in the arm in the confrontation and Eddie Maurice found himself potentially facing years in jail for having done what any responsible parent would have done in the same situation.

On March 1st Eddie Maurice made his first court appearance in Okotoks. This was when the authorities began to realize that they may be on the wrong side of public opinion in this case.

Hundreds of supporters for the Maurice family made time to come out on a cold winter weekday and tens of  thousands of dollars were being raised for Eddie’s defense. It was clear that the public ire had been raised and that neither Eddie Maurice nor the general public were going to let this go down without a fight.

It was clear that no simple court victory was coming for the Crown.

Some formalities were observed and the next hearing was scheduled for two weeks later.

Eddie dutifully appeared in court two weeks later. Also appearing on what was an even colder day than the first appearance were supporters and press who huddled in the chill and made sure that Eddie and the Crown prosecutors knew that Eddie wasn’t alone in this.

The Crown had no evidence ready & Eddie was unable to make a plea. The case was punted two more weeks down the road.
It was made clear now that Eddie Maurice would be pleading not-guilty and that he would be seeking a jury trial.

Two weeks later the Crown lacked evidence and punted the case two more weeks down the road.

On Eddie’s fifth appearance in court, the Crown yet again lacked required evidence and the case was knocked down the road for another month.

Eddie Maurice’s life had now been held in a stressful legal limbo for four months and he had not even been able to make a damned plea and defend himself yet.

At every one of these court appearances the supporters appeared. At every one of these court appearances the media appeared. After every one of these court appearances stories were written and fund raising for Eddie continued strongly.

What the state will never admit is that they were watching what the public was doing every time. They were dearly hoping that the crowds would dwindle. They were hoping that either Eddie’s funds or resolve would dry up. They were hoping that the media were going to lose interest. None of these things were happening and public support for the Maurice family was only rising as outrage over the treatment of these young Albertans grew.

Another thing that the state will never admit made things into a turning point came from the injured criminal, Ryan Watson. Neither Watson nor his accomplice were strangers to the legal system. These were career losers who enjoyed Canada’s revolving door justice system. Well it turns out that Ryan Watson was arrested yet again for housebreaking!

Yes, it appears that the person that the crown wanted to paint as a victim in all of this was back out and robbing property owners as soon as his arm healed. Makes it tough for the Crown prosecutors to paint Watson as an unfortunate victim of the evil Eddie Maurice in these circumstances.

The issue that was already a public relations headache for the state was now about to turn into a public relations nightmare.

Somebody somewhere on high made the call to pull the escape hatch. A senior crown prosecutor was assigned along with a high ranking RCMP officer to head down to Okotoks to face the press outside the courthouse as soon as the charges were all dropped. It was an effort in damage control and it was clear that while the state was backing off in this case, their backing off was grudging at best.

They stated that public opinion had nothing to do with the dismissal of the charges. They say that it was a forensic report that would have made conviction impossible. I say BULLSHIT!

Conviction was indeed impossible but that was directly due to public support for Eddie. The state knew damn well that there was no way a jury was going to convict Maurice. The case was too established in the public eye and the public had no appetite for convicting a young man for defending his family.

The jury system is there to reflect the public and the peers of the accused. In these sorts of cases acquittals are common from Steven Kesler who was charged for shooting a criminal, to Gerald Stanley who shot a criminal to Peter Khill who was acquitted just the other day for shooting criminal. All of those cases involved the death of the criminal and in all of those cases juries acquitted the person defending themselves.

The law is in place to reflect and protect the public. When the law fails, the public corrects it through juries.

It is wrong that people have to put their lives on hold for months or even years in court for defending themselves and their property. We need to change our laws to reflect what the public wants and that includes the right to protect one’s person and property.

Reasonable and persistent demonstrations of support for Eddie Maurice made all the difference in his case though a prideful state will never admit that. The public spoke up and that public won and I can’t thank everybody enough for having done so from the people who donated, to the people who showed up to demonstrate to those who emailed and called their representatives. It works and it helps. It is important for all of us.

Cory Morgan for NDP in Banff Kananaskis!

UPDATE!!!!

It appears that ranking apparatchiks have responded to Cam Westhead’s fearful cries as his nomination was democratically challenged. They have moved to block my effort with efficiency rarely seen among socialists!

Have no fear comrades! I am undaunted & will continue my campaign to ensure that Banff-Kananaskis has superior NDP representation to Cam “The Weenie” Westhead in the next election.

Viva la revolucion!

END UPDATE


Yes, I have had a revelation of sorts. I feel compelled to bring about true transparency in politics through the nomination system.

Everybody knows that the NDP is all one centrally run entity which constitutionally requires their provincial wings to follow the wishes, whims and policy planks of the federal party. While provincial leaders are beholden to their federal superiors, they like to talk a different game when it comes to winning their local seats.

Well its time to end our political double speak and dodging and run local NDP campaigns openly on what our agenda truly is!

I have taken the leap so to speak and put my name forth to usher in this new era of transparency in electoral politics among our socialist parties.

I am officially registered with Elections Alberta as a nomination contestant with the New Democratic Party of Alberta for the constituency of Banff-Kananaskis.

I am rather excited.

The inspiring and foundational document which will guide my actions & campaign is none other than the LEAP MANIFESTO which was heartily embraced by the gathered federal NDP members in Edmonton last year.

It is hard to stop gazing in awe and inspiration at this profound and nation changing NDP endorsed document. I wish other other NDP comrades of mine would come out in the open to promote this brilliance.

I think if I shave my head the right way, I will be a ringer for St. Vladimir Lenin!

I will highlight the most important points from the LEAP Manifesto.

Shift swiftly away from fossil fuels so that Canada gets 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable resources within 20 years

We have about 18 years left to shut down each and every coal and gas fired generation plant in Alberta.

Be entirely weaned off fossil fuels by 2050.

We will ban all cars and natural gas heating in 30 years and of course end all oil and gas activities in Alberta.

No new infrastructure projects aimed at increasing extraction of non-renewable resources, including pipelines

All new projects MUST be stopped now. Under Notley we have been well on our way to that already but again, lets get our agenda out in the open.

“Energy democracy,” in which energy sources are collectively controlled by communities instead of “profit-gouging” private companies.

When all of Alberta is powered by wind, solar and unicorns in a few years, all of those sources of power will be managed by the collective.

End all trade deals “that interfere with our attempts to rebuild local economies, regulate corporations and stop damaging extractive projects.

Yes we will rip up NAFTA and all provincial trade agreements. Yes we will be sued and lose in Canadian courts (as with beer) and by the WTO. Who said that saving the world will be cheap though?

Expand low-carbon sectors of the economy, such as caregiving, teaching, social work, the arts and public-interest media.

Yes. We will employ everybody in these sectors and will have the state take full control of the media (for the public interest of course). These will be funded by the aforementioned unicorns. They are a fantastic resource.

Pay for it all by ending fossil fuel subsidies, imposing financial transaction taxes, increasing resource royalties, hiking taxes on corporations and the wealthy, introducing a progressive carbon tax, and cutting military spending.

And of course through unicorn exports.

So, why Banff-Kananaskis?

I grew up and graduated high school in Banff.

My home in Priddis will be within the Banff-Kananaskis constituency when the writ drops and the gerrymandering…  I mean new boundaries come into full effect.

Last but not least, while Banff-Kananaskis is indeed represented by one of my NDP comrades right now, he is something of a weenie.

I fear that we simply can’t take Cam Westhead at his word on things as deeply important to the NDP as adherence to the LEAP Manifesto.

We need honest representation from somebody such as myself who will stay open and true to The Ideology!

Along with working to implement the LEAP Manifesto, I will continue with Notley’s work on ending poverty through business regulation and minimum wage hikes. I will lobby to raise the minimum wage to $120 per hour and regulate us all to a one day work week. What a happy world we will be! Those corporate fat cats can afford to fund this.

I also pledge to unionize kindergartens and to have a statue of our true patron saint erected in every town square.

Be sure to get on board and support the new revolution!

First Banff-Kanasaskis, then maybe Cochrane or something. Its negotiable.

 

The price for mailing it in. Highwood is ready for change.

Highwood is one of the safest conservative seats in all of Alberta. The constituency resides just South of Calgary. It was formed in 1971 and the combined Social Credit/ Progressive Conservative vote was 93% in its first election.

Conservative support has softened in Highwood over the decades to the point where the combined Progressive Conservative/Wildrose Party vote in the 2015 election was a mere 74% (it was over 95% in 2012).

The real democratic race in Highwood will be for the UCP nomination rather than in the general election and this coming nomination race is ramping up to be a hot one.

Most parties will snap the nominations open and shut quickly in constituencies where they already have strong incumbent MLAs. The UCP is no exception.

Prasad Panda, Ric McIver and of course Jason Kenney have already had their nominations opened and closed.

Highwood is a different story. Not one but three strong candidates are contesting the UCP nomination right now.

Wayne Anderson is the incumbent MLA in Highwood. He was in the right place at the right time and was acclaimed for his initial nomination. The 2015 election was hard fought but the Wildrose still won Highwood constituency with narrow 8% margin. It should be noted that the combined conservative vote dropped in Highwood by 20% in that campaign. The winner got a grudging endorsement from the voters.

The relatively narrow win coupled with a drop in general conservative vote would have served as a warning to a canny incumbent. It is clear that the electorate in Highwood want to see an active MLA and want to feel that they are strongly represented. Alas, Mr. Anderson instead chose to mail it in with a lackluster backbench presence which is now catching up to him as electors organize to have him replaced. There will be no comfortable acclamation here.

One of the most pressing issues for residents of Highwood has been the ongoing and growing epidemic of rural crime. The issue came to a head when Highwood resident Eddie Maurice was charged and faces jail time for wounding a criminal as he defended his home and baby.

Highwood citizens along with Albertans in general were outraged at the charges being laid against Mr. Maurice. Hundreds rallied in support of Eddie Maurice at his first court appearance in Okotoks on a cold Friday morning. 

Notably absent from the rally was the local MLA Wayne Anderson. The legislature was not sitting and while Wayne never misses a mid-week fundraiser he somehow couldn’t find time to join hundreds of his constituents to express concern on an issue that impacts us all. Perhaps it was a little too chilly outside for him. That can have an effect on urban types such as Mr. Anderson.

On the following Monday Wayne Anderson had a chance to speak to this issue at the legislature.

As reported by Rick Bell:       “Then, lo and behold, Wayne Anderson, who represents Eddie Maurice in the legislature, stands up. This should be good, I’m thinking. Sadly, nothing on the criminals creating havoc in the countryside.”

Apparently Wayne didn’t think the issue was important enough to use his question on. Perhaps Wayne just didn’t want to wade into an issue as complex and potentially sticky as rural crime. Backbench warmers do have a tendency to vanish from any possibility of a controversial issue.

Eddie Maurice made five more court appearances since that first one. His issue is still ongoing. Sadly, his provincial representative has hidden from each and every one of those hearings.

While Wayne Anderson may be oblivious to the issues that are most important to his constituents, it is clear that residents of Highwood aren’t.

Daniel Smith learned the hard way what happens when you incur the wrath of the membership in Highwood. As an incumbent she lost her nomination to Carrie Fisher. That same Carrie Fisher is now running against Wayne Anderson for the nomination.

Along with Fisher, R.J. Sigurdson is running for the nod in Highwood. Sigurdson is a former constituency president of Highwood and is familiar with the members out there.

Local businessman Dean Leask was the first out of the gate in challenging Anderson for the nomination. Dean has some very strong credibility with his past involvement in both the PC party and the Wildrose Party at the provincial executive level. He knows how grassroots organizing works and isn’t hiding from the issues. 

Rather than perhaps looking inward to understand why he is being so strongly challenged for his nomination, Wayne Anderson has come out indignant and spitting. His first response was to attack Fisher and Sigurdson in an interview with the High River times. 

Wayne would be better served to consult with his constituents rather than attack the people who have put their names forward to better serve them.

Its in Anderson’s reaction to the challenge where we see the entrenchment of entitlement. One of the worst possible ailments of elected officials.

Will Anderson learn how to hit the ground to meet with constituents and sell memberships fast enough to head off these challengers in the coming weeks? Time will tell. He really should have started on this years ago.

Nominations are often overlooked by the public but they are a critical aspect of our system. When run properly, they keep our elected officials on our toes and they teach up and coming candidates how to consult and connect with their constituents.

The nomination process appears to be doing its job in Highwood.

They really have nothing better to do.

Today, two more court challenges against the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion were tossed out of court. One from the Squamish First Nation and one from the city of Vancouver. 

It is becoming increasingly clear that the law is fully on the side of Kinder Morgan in their efforts to expand the capacity of a pipeline that has operated safely for over 50 years. Horgan and other environmental ideologues will continue to waste the court’s time and the taxpayer’s money on more court challenges but they will eventually all be tossed out. They know this of course but their hope is that in delaying this legal project long enough that investors will flee. They may be right and Canada will lose untold other billions as we become an international investment pariah of a nation who allows themselves to be led by the nose by environmental extremists.

Assuming that Notley and Trudeau manage through promises and tax dollar backing to convince Kinder Morgan to continue with the project by the deadline next week and assuming the court cases get settled to the point where we can finally break ground on construction there still remains one huge problem, the protesters.

There is a subculture of career protesters in North America who wander aimlessly from cause to cause. It morphs identities. One year it is “occupy”, then “idle no more”, then “black lives matter” and lately they are self-styled “water protectors”. Its all the same group. Some of the faces come and go but at its core it is always the same group of people. Transients with little sense of purpose who have found a social group that accepts their pointless lifestyle as they pick a site to squat upon and protest against whatever their perceived cause of the day is.

There is no reasoning with these people because they are beyond reason. They latch on with causes but usually don’t even really understand what the cause is or what the outcome of their protest may be. Their demands are mixed, addled and often outright bizarre. They don’t want actual resolution to any cause. They just want to gather and feel a sense of purpose. Unfortunately their pursuit of this feeling of purpose is hindering some very important infrastructure projects.

I spent a fair amount of time around the squatters taking part in “Occupy” Calgary a few years ago. Below is a video with some dialog of an exchange that I recorded from what was very much a typical “occupier” and it demonstrates just how rational these people are.

How do you reason with people like this? How do you negotiate?

You don’t!

Lets not beat around the bush. If the Trans Mountain pipeline is ever going to be built, these protesters are going to have to be removed and with force.

Sadly, years of cowardly appeasement from governments at various levels has emboldened these people to the point where they have utterly no fear of legal authority. I honestly will never understand why governments fear this tiny subculture of bums so much but they will only enforce the law with them when utterly forced to do so if at all.

They laugh while literally giving the finger to cops who have been essentially neutered by politicians.

They giggle and take selfies in front of police lines comfortable in the knowledge that the police are about as empowered as a typical mall security guard despite flagrant lawbreaking happening all around them.

Again, why shouldn’t they?

In Burnaby the bums have been erecting buildings on the pipeline right of way and along the roadway leading to the Kinder Morgan terminal with utter impunity.

When I worked as a surveyor in the oilfield, I could not leave so much as an equipment trailer parked on a pipeline right of way. It is a safety hazard and I would have found myself fined and removed from the site if I refused to comply.

If you are a protester however, apparently you can build a “watch house” on the right of way with impunity. If an accident does happen, we can rest assured that these assholes will sue Kinder Morgan.

Ugly structures are being erected while junk and literal shit piles up in what once was a nice neighborhood. Local residents are petitioning to have this squatter encampment removed but their request to have the laws enforced have been ignored.

If I build so much as a large garden shed on my own property without a permit I can face fines. If I am a transient protester however, it appears that I can turn any residential neighborhood into my own little private garbage dump of a hobo camp.

This is all before the construction of the pipeline has even begun. Can you imagine how bad it will get once the equipment gets moving?

It is not just fiscal or legal security that Kinder Morgan needs. They need to know that they will be able to build their legal pipeline under the protection of the law of the land.

The government needs to clean out these squatters now as they will only multiply and entrench themselves further. It is a national embarrassment that Trudeau has let things go this far. He has plenty of tools to exert pressure upon municipalities and provinces to encourage them to enforce the law. He needs the will and the balls to do so however.

If for no other reason, these protesters need to be removed and charged for the protection of the environment itself.

Few things demonstrate the hypocrisy of these bums better than seeing the mess they leave behind after one of their squatting efforts. No person who truly cares about the earth would leave such a mess. As I said though, these people don’t really have a cause.

The above pictures are of what protesters left behind while protesting Kinder Morgan doing preliminary drilling a few years ago.

The bunch of pics above are from the Burnaby Mountain protest along with some “occupy” sites.

Rather consistent pattern.

Who can forget the million dollar cleanup of the mess left behind by the pigs protesting the Dakota Access pipeline? They even abandoned a number of dogs there.

Rapes, assaults and drug use are rampant in these camps as well. Calgary’s small “occupy” camp had not one but two different pedophiles amidst them who were charged during their stint in a downtown Calgary park.

As the title of this posting states, these people really have nothing better to do. The bums in the encampments are enabled by a variety of American activist groups along with individual hippies who won’t put their own necks on the line but will happily fund things so that others will. It is the free tents and food that draws these bums to these encampments. These are not friends of the earth. They are a tiny dispossessed minority who are being used by larger activist interests for their ideological ends. We need to remove these protesters for their sake and our own.

The hippies and hipsters from the city love coming out to these demonstrations. They love putting some token natives in the front of the line and they love letting somebody else take the brunt of the cost when the arrests actually begin.

Yes there have been some arrests and charges but in looking at the mess at the Burnaby terminal it is clear that we need more arrests and more serious charges. Rest assured the hipster crowd will vanish from the support ranks fast enough when their own criminal record free histories are are on the line.

First and foremost though the squatters need to be moved and the encampments totally removed. They won’t leave any other way as they indeed have nothing better to do.