I am old enough to remember the last overblown pandemic which decimated the Alberta economy. That was BSE (mad cow disease). Alberta producers could not export their cattle due to a worldwide panic over a disease which had not actually killed anybody. As a result, producers were killing and disposing of their animals as the process to try and sell meat directly to consumers was too onerous.
While Alberta producers were swimming in a surplus of beef, consumers were still paying the full price for beef at the grocery stores as a small cartel of major meat processors ensured that retail prices stayed high. I remember how some producers slaughtered and ground beef to be sold directly to people in lots in Calgary. They were sold out in minutes as government kindly looked the other way at this gray market transaction. Pretty sad that something as simple as selling a food product had to be done in a parking lot transaction which felt like a drug deal.
Agriculture and Forestry Minister Devin Dreeshen announced yesterday that new regulations will allow producers to slaughter livestock on site and sell directly to consumers.
While producers could already sell directly to consumers before, they had to transport the cattle to a slaughter facility and payment had to be made through the slaughterhouse. It was a pain in the arse and took away much of the advantage of a farm-direct transaction as the expense was incurred by the transport and the animal was stressed by the trip.
Livestock still needs to be processed by a licensed butcher and health regulations need to be followed. Now though, this can be done by a mobile butcher (or the producer if they are licensed). Video inspections are now allowed as well to ensure that protocols are followed.
This is fantastic news for consumers who want to directly support local producers and for producers who want more value added to their meat products.
It is doubtless that some ambitious butchers are already preparing mobile setups and some producers are preparing to advertise direct sales.
This is a winning policy for us all (aside from the handful of giant meat processors).
We need some good news and policy now and then and here we have some.
Shane Wenzel is the President of Shane Homes in Calgary. Shane Homes and the Wenzel family have been known for their community engagement and their local philanthropy.
Like his father Cal, Shane has always been an unapologetic conservative and is outspoken online with his views.
Shane came out as a gay man publically a couple years ago when he posted his wedding pictures on Twitter and Facebook.
While the reaction from the conservative community was mostly positive, there was unfortunately some negative feedback as well. The conservative community is getting better but still can be a haven for the intolerant at times and much to the detriment of the conservative movement in general.
On the other side of the coin, not everybody in the LGTBQ community was welcoming of Shane’s conservative views.
It was a fantastic conversation as Shane speaks of his experiences and where we should be going as conservatives and perhaps those within the LGBTQ community as they learn to accept that sexual orientation and political philosophy are not one and the same.
While most of us fear for how we may be making our next mortgage payment while the COVID-19 pandemic crisis drags on, federal civil servants are enjoying and extended vacation with pay.
The vultures at the Canada Revenue Agency alone have collected $311 million in paid leave over the last few months. Rest assured that they will be working their hardest when they finally absolutely have to return to work as they will have to hound and harass working Canadians more than ever in order to try and get money to pay the massive and building interest on the federal debt.
While everybody from construction workers to grocery clerks are managing to continue to work through the pandemic, federal civil servants in the thousands and thousands apparently find it impossible to come in to the office or work from home. So far 1,470,000 hours of paid leave has been given out to bureaucrats in order to have them do nothing and the numbers are expected to grow.
It’s utterly galling to watch these parasites sucking what little is left of the federal treasury dry while average Canadians are suffering through the worst economic crisis in generations.
While Trudeau and Morneau take money from charities in order to pad their family’s fortunes, hordes of federal bureaucrats are sitting at home and lapping up tax dollars and enjoying a paycation that your average person could never even dream of.
Simple mathematics tell us that we need to greatly reduce the cost of government and soon as debt mounts yet here we are spending hundreds of millions of dollars paying government employees to do nothing.
Has your life been all that bad without the work of all those civil servants this last few months? Had you even noticed that they hadn’t been on the job?
Of course not. That is because these civil servants really weren’t doing a hell of a lot of value in the first place. We will not be losing much in services if we cut a great many of them loose.
I don’t see cutbacks coming any time soon when the federal government is too gormless to even put these “workers” back to work.
While most Canadians are going to be seeing incredibly hard times in years to come, thousands of federal civil servants are feathering their nests while doing nothing.
In the truth is stranger than fiction department, the British Columbia Health Services Authority has actually promoted the use of “glory holes” in order to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
This is a beautiful example of government bureaucrat thinking coupled with a deranged notion of political correctness written into policy.
For those who don’t follow tasteless comedy or take part in anonymous casual sex in public washrooms, I will explain what a “glory hole” is.
Glory holes are holes that were typically cut into the cubical walls of men’s washrooms to allow for anonymous sex acts. One can use their imagination there.
The holes are typically found in truck stop or highway rest stops.
Now, while COVID-19 is indeed of concern to some people, I can’t imagine how performing anonymous sex acts in a filthy public restroom is any better. People appear to be forgetting that there are hundreds of other infections and diseases out there, many of which are far more dangerous than COVID-19 and I can only imagine that use of glory holes is a fine way to pick one of them up.
So why on earth would a government health authority suggest use of glory holes?
Well there are two reasons. One is simply that bureaucrats tend to truly be linear thinking morons blinded by their own obsession to make policy. They are simply looking at ways that people can avoid breathing on each other and can’t look outside of their simplistic box.
The other thing bureaucrats are blinded by is a deep sense of political correctness.
To be blunt, glory holes are a remnant of the bad old days when gay men were pushed underground by societal condemnation and literal law. Public washrooms gave a means to hook up relatively safely and anonymously.
Due to advances in public thought and online communication, I am suspecting that glory holes have fallen into disuse for the most part and are now more of a piece of urban mythology than reality.
Still, some pointy headed bureaucrat at the health authority likely felt that glory holes were an integral part of the gay community and that it was best to recognize their use as a COVID-19 contraceptive. They felt it would be offensive to leave such a practice out of their list of suggested “safe” sex acts.
I may be off the mark in my speculation of the motive of the idiot who put this suggestion to paper in the BC health authority but in light of how utterly absurd the recommendation of glory holes is, I can’t imagine that I am too far out to lunch here.
This is reason number 100824 for wanting smaller and less intrusive government.
Do you really think these people can run your lives more wisely than you can?
Corporate welfare is an insidious and damaging economic strategy which is used by governments at all levels and pretty much with every party. Whether through direct subsidies, preferential tax treatments or selective regulations, governments try to pick economic winners among the business community and invariably end up creating losers.
Franco Terrazzano of the CTF and I discuss historical examples of failed corporate welfare along with current ones. From the city of Calgary’s $100 million slush fund to Premier Kenney’s petrochemical initiatives.
As governments seek ways to restart the economy that they shut down, the lure of trying to use corporate welfare in order to do it appears to be overwhelming for them. Punishing successful enterprises in order to shore up the unviable ones won’t help anybody (aside from the crony capitalists with hands extended).
It was a great chat and we covered a lot of ground in 40 minutes. Give it a listen below.
You save your money and pay taxes on the capital gains.
You live responsibly and pay your bills on time thus building a good credit rating.
You purchase a home and pay taxes on the purchase.
You pay property taxes on the home.
You work hard to maintain the home and invest in renovations which of course you pay GST on.
After all of this, if all goes well your home will have gained equity.
Now the Liberal government of Canada is considering stealing your savings through an equity tax and the galling pricks have the nerve to call homeowners who have managed to gain equity “lotto winners”.
Doesn’t that feel nice?
Isn’t it good to know that your retirement and hard earned nest-egg may be snatched away in order to fund things such as the corrupted WE charity that appears to primarily exist in order to launder tax money towards well connected Liberals?
I wish that I was making up this gross travesty but alas its true. The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (federal government arm) has spent $250,000 in order to study how to gouge Canadians with a home equity tax. When researchers literally describe hard working home owners as “lottery winners” one doesn’t have to wonder too hard about where they plan to go with it.
These are extreme ideologues who want to “equalize” the perceived inequity between renters and home owners. Like all practitioners of the politics of envy, they view the fruits of the labor of others as being unfairly earned somehow. They have a repugnant urge to seize those funds and give them to the irresponsible in hopes of creating an egalitarian utopia.
This is hardly new of course. It has been tried and failed in numerous nations from the Soviet Union to Venezuela. The only thing that changes with extreme socialists is the approach to their goals. In Canada they are trying to do it incrementally rather than through revolution. The end result will still be the same though. They will bankrupt the nation if allowed.
Will Canadians finally find the will to stand up and tell these thieves to piss off?
I fear not.
Canada is broken and the ride is only going to get worse.
_______________________________________________________________ Below is episode three of the Cor’s Notes podcast where Cory Morgan and Franco Terrazzano of the Canadian Taxpayer’s Federation discuss disastrous corporate welfare policies which are screwing taxpayers at all three levels of government. It is a great discussion of a pressing issue.
My second podcast episode and first one done through a Zoom interview. The delay presents some special challenges to the discourse but we got through it.
Thank you to Josh for working with me as I get the hang of this podcasting thing.
The American South is often one of the most misunderstood and mischaracterized regions in North America. While the deep south has a terrible reputation for ingrained racism, it appears to have stayed clear of the rioting and unrest which overwhelmed many Northern cities.
Many people have not spent time in the South or spent much time speaking with people from there.
Josh Tupman is from Benton Mississippi and is tiring of some of the stereotypes.
I have known and worked with Josh for some years now.
He offers a perspective on racial and social issues that we Canadians rarely get to hear.
Calgary’s hospitality sector is down to a tiny shadow of what it once was. Years of recession coupled with a decade of huge municipal tax increases has driven countless restaurants and bars out of business. The COVID-19 pandemic shutdown wreaked utter havoc on the industry and those few remaining businesses which are still operating are hanging in there by a thread. With already traditionally tiny margins in the industry, restaurants and bars are barely squeaking by and only because of federal wage subsidies and a loan program. If the industry takes one more hit, it will kill countless struggling establishments.
Nenshi for some damn reason appears to be bound and determined to hammer that final nail into the coffin for Calgary’s hospitality industry by implementing a pointless mask bylaw.
Let’s look at the numbers.
Restaurants and bars have been open with limited capacities for over a month now. People have been dining, meeting friends and socializing and the vast majority of them have not been wearing masks. Retail stores have been open throughout the entire pandemic and the vast majority of patrons there have not been wearing masks either.
So have we seen a mass uptick in infections due to this?
Not a damn bit!
Today’s numbers from the government of Alberta:
With 6,808 tests done yesterday, 46 new cases were found. Active cases are in the hundreds. No spike. Not even a bump.
What about our health system?
In a province of 4.4 million people, we have 55 in hospital and 7 in ICU.
Covid is barely putting a strain on the system.
In light of that, why the hell is Nenshi proposing a bylaw for masks? This thing is under control. There is no reason to crack down further on citizens.
Nenshi was bitching that he is seeing too many Calgarians going about their business without wearing masks. So fucking what? All that matters are the stats and the stats make it clear that the lack of masks has not been a problem. Get over yourself Your Worship!
Now imagine what will happen to the hospitality industry if Nenshi brings in his mask bylaw.
To begin with, it is rather impossible to eat or drink with a mask on. Not sure how we are to get around that. Some have said that people will be able to remove their masks in order to eat?
If people can remove their masks in order to eat and drink, then it is clear that they didn’t need them in the first damn place. Will they put the masks back on when people walk near them? Put them on while chewing and take them off for the next bite?
Either people will be forced to wear masks which essentially means that restaurants, cafes and bars are back in lockdown again which will of course bankrupt them or there will be exceptions made which would prove the pointlessness of the bylaw. How could you make exceptions?? Isn’t the whole thing about “If it saves one life?”.
People are social animals. We like to eat together. Drink together. Talk together. That is why takeout never has and never will replace restaurants and bars. If we are sweating and gasping behind masks while trying to speak and socialize without seeing each other’s full faces, the experience will be ruined. People simply will stop going out to restaurants and bars again.
I expect little of Naheed Nenshi and he rarely disappoints.
This proposal of bringing in a mask bylaw has to be the dumbest damn thing he has come up with yet bar none. There is no reason for it. There are no stats to back it up and it will do terrible damage to already struggling businesses.
I deeply hope that sane members of council tell Nenshi to roll his bylaw up and stuff it deeply into his behind.
Calgary’s industries simply can’t take more abuse from Nenshi’s whimsical, anti-business city hall.
This is the first of what I expect will be many podcasts.
There are so many interesting people out there with so much to say and conventional media simply doesn’t present the opportunity to hear from people on complicated issues. Cancel culture has limited what the mainstream media is willing to touch as well and we are losing out on some great discussions on pressing issues.
For a maiden episode, it went quite well. I look forward to them evolving as I improve both my interviewing and editing skills.
In February of 2018, intruders invaded the rural property of the Maurices near Okotoks Alberta late one night. Eddie was alone with his baby and in confronting the invaders, one was hit in the arm by a .22 caliber bullet from a ricochet from a warning shot.
This led to Eddie’s arrest at gunpoint and an ordeal with the criminal and civil justice systems which put the Maurice family’s life on hold in a stressful nightmare which took nearly two years to fully resolve.
Eddie and Jessica discuss what happened, how it impacted them and how we can change the system in order to prevent this sort of thing from happening to others.
Click on the link below to download and listen. It was a great chat with some great people.