My daytrip to the Calgary anti-lockdown protest

I am not sure what I expected to see.

I am not sure what I wanted to see.

What I did see though was not a group which is doing anybody any favors.

I have been outspoken against many lockdown measures and controls on businesses and individuals. I am still concerned about government overreach and what it will take to get rid of these controls being dropped upon us when the pandemic has finally run its course.

In going downtown to the rally yesterday, I was expecting to hear from and meet with other people with rational concerns. I was to be disappointed.

What I found was a disparate group of people with all sorts of chips on their shoulders with the government. Again, an attitude that I can understand and relate to. The concerns and the solutions proposed by many though were simply too far from the realm of reality to be taken seriously.

I wandered the periphery and chatted with a few folks. On the outsides of the crowd (500 at best), I did tend to find more people who were concerned and curious like myself. They tended not to stay long as it became evident that this was not going to become anything productive.

As with Dante’s Inferno, the deeper you travelled into the circle, the more intense things became.

Many denied that there was a pandemic at all which was to be expected though I don’t agree.. People I spoke with deeper in the crowd explained to me how 5G networks had actually been transmitting and spreading the virus and were all part of a Chinese conspiracy which Trudeau was a part of. Others explained to me on how this whole thing was a conspiracy to force vaccines upon us all which would control our minds. I stopped asking people what they thought once I got into the center.

There were two stands set up. One was March for Freedom which blared music (Ironically “Imagine” was one of the songs I heard) and opposed government controls but was still difficult to pin down as a group or a movement with a distinct goal. I can’t even find a solid web source of what they are.

Another was “Unify the People”. They had a great number of signs out and have an impressive number of painted vehicles which promote their cause. They were selling merchandise and did seem to be the most organized. I have encountered them before as they have set up micro-demonstrations throughout the city for months now.

You can click on the link for the “Unify the People” movement in the image above. If you are into 1990s circa web sites, you will be impressed. You can then take a deep dive into their theory that confederation never existed, we are all “sovereigns” and how they will guide us all to a free new world.

They are just another incarnation of the “Freeman of the Land” or the old “Detax” movement. They never grow nor go away.

I also saw perhaps a dozen of the Proud Boys.

I don’t want to get into discussions on whether or not the Proud Boys have been fairly labelled or what they do or don’t stand for. What I will say is that they distract from any rational discussion or demonstration questioning pandemic response by the government.

I feel that these people have the right to demonstrate and that they should not be shut down. I do feel that the majority of the people there were not crazy, they were simply very concerned about the state of things in light of the pandemic.

Right now though, the crazy/rational ratio is still way to high to make these demonstrations productive or meaningful. If the state does truly overstep its bounds, we will hit a tipping point and thousands will come out. The folks worried about the lizard people controlling the world will be overwhelmed with the common citizens demonstrating. I think we are seeing that tipping point happening in Ontario where the state has been far more intrusive and people have had enough. Alberta is clearly not there yet.

If and when Alberta hits that tipping point, I may very well be down there holding a sign rather than observing others doing it. For now though, there is little being accomplished in these demonstrations aside from giving statists fodder to falsely claim that everybody who opposes a full lockdown is crazy.

Podcast: Yasmine Mohammed on radical Islam

Yasmine Mohammed is a Canadian born activist of Egyptian decent. She escaped a terribly abusive family in order to safely raise her daughters and has written a very personal book about her experience called: Unveiled: How western liberals empower radical Islam.

Mohammed has been outspoken and critical of the gross double standard held by Western liberals when it comes to women’s rights and Islam including encouraging Muslim women to shed their hijabs on the day that progressive activists try to celebrate the oppressive head covering.

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How about some transparency from big labour?

Big labour is big money.

Just ask Guy Smith from the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees who is pulling down close to a cool $300k in salary and benefits or the rest of the list of executives who are in the $200k club as can be seen in the document below.

The AUPE website says they represent 95,000 Alberta employees. In extrapolating under an assumption of an average $60,000 per year income from these employees, that union is bringing in about $71,250,000 per year in union dues alone.

Where does all that money taken from workers go?

Yes, we can see that union executives lap up a couple million for themselves off that total but it still leaves a rather large surplus.

Despite record levels of office vacancies in Alberta, the AUPE did build themselves a palatial new headquarters for $50 million. Guy Smith needs a nice office to work from as he counts his bucks I guess.

Just a few weeks ago, Guy Smith was giving a speech in front of supporters who were carrying a Marxist banner. Like every good Marxist, Smith understands that some are more equal than others.

Guy Smith is just one executive of one union of course. There are many executives out there for many unions making a rather healthy living from union dues.

Let’s not forget the Alberta NDP branch called the Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL). The AFL is constitutionally entrenched within the NDP and have a guaranteed role in the management of that party. The AFL siphons funds from affiliate unions. Pretty much every union is an AFL affiliate. They were strongarmed in long ago.

Just how much of a workers paycheque goes to Ol’ Gil McGowan and his AFL? How much does Ol’ Gil make to run the AFL? How much do the rest of the executives of the AFL make? What does the AFL do with the rest of that money?

While people across the entire province are all facing employment insecurity and wage cuts, union executives remain rather comfortable.

While union members have no choice in having dues removed from their paycheques, they often have the right to request and see the detailed financials from their unions. The unions usually aren’t eager to share these things but perhaps its time.

When members are being laid off or having cuts, they should know what is happening with the dues which come off their cheques every month.

That’s why I am asking concerned union members to put in requests of their unions and to share the results with me.

Let’s follow that money! Are you getting your money’s worth on those dues pulled from your cheque every month? Are they doing a good job?

I know that unions love to bully the membership and can be rather dangerous at times. That is why I am offering to share those numbers on your behalf. Stay safe and anonymous while exposing union management.

Transparency is always a good thing. Put in those requests and let me share the results for you.

We will all be better for it.

Justin Trudeau pursuing the “great reset”

The “great reset” along with the 2030 UN Agenda are both plans which intend to take advantage of a world crisis in order to entrench socialism across the planet cloaked in the guise of “sustainability”.

While many people dismissed these goals and plans as being conspiracy theories, they are and were very real. What most of us dismissed was the notion that any world leader would actually pursue such an insane plan.

To listen to Prime Minister speak of the UN 2030 Agenda and then reference the “reset’ is utterly chilling.

Trudeau is no nefarious, conspiracy minded genius hatching a complicated plan. He is an imbecile who has latched on to a crazy plan. Unfortunately in the parliamentary system, that imbecile has nearly unchecked power.

We have long known that Trudeau was being carefully handled and guided by ideologues bent on crushing the economy in the name of being “green” but it was always assumed that there were still enough rational voices in the Liberal caucus to keep those ideologues in check.

They are making their move now. They can’t achieve their goal democratically since voters would crush them if they had such an ludicrous platform in front of them in an election. These ideologues are looking to use a crisis to make irreversible changes to our entire system and we will all suffer dearly for it if this madness is not somehow stopped in its tracks. Jagmeet Singh and the socialist NDP sure won’t do it so I am not sure how the hell this can be halted.

Listen for yourself folks. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s own words below. Then look up the “Great Reset” and UN Agenda 2030.

Be very very afraid.

Doctor lobbying to shut down Alberta businesses is a heavy NDP donor.

The left loves to use the term “Follow the money!” whenever they hear from voices that they don’t like. They like to imply that anybody contrary to them must be part of some grand conspiracy with nefarious funding behind them.

Well, I decided to apply that principle with outspoken Alberta doctor Joseph Vipond.

Vipond loves to get in front of the microphone whenever possible to imply that Premier Jason Kenney has been harming Albertans with his policies responding to the pandemic.

While on the surface, Dr. Joe Vipond sounds like a genuine physician who is solely motivated with protecting the well being of Albertans, a short search on the good doctor reveals something else.

Dr. Vipond has been a very heavy donor to the provincial NDP and federal Liberal parties for years. Not just a few bucks here and there. Many thousands over the years. This is a very dedicated person ideologically tied to the NDP.

Vipond is also an environmental activist who has vigorously opposed the UCP development of Alberta resources.

Does this mean that Vipond’s points are invalid?

No but they need to be taken with an extremely large grain of salt.

The NDP and their supporters have been obsessive in trying to tear down the UCP government since they were resoundingly fired by Albertans last year. They want to do and say everything possible in order to make the UCP look bad and they don’t care if they push to bankrupt small businesses in the process.

There are differing views on how to deal with the pandemic.

I think that folks can safely dismiss whatever comes from Dr. Joseph Vipond however.

Vipond’s interests are clearly more ideological and political than health based.

Follow the money indeed.

Podcast interview with Premier Jason Kenney

I had a rare opportunity to interview Premier Jason Kenney for half an hour for my podcast. It wasn’t nearly enough time but we covered some great ground on a number of current issues.

Podcasts provide such a casual atmosphere hh where extended answers can be given and followed up upon.

We spoke on the current pandemic situation and potential government responses to rising cases, the longer term economic fallout due to the pandemic and the challenges to Alberta’s economy coming from some less than supportive governments and activist groups.

It was a great conversation.

Listen below:

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Speak for yourself Mayor Nenshi

As what appears to be the most competitive municipal election in Calgary in over a decade develops, embattled Mayor Naheed Nenshi is growing increasingly desperate and unprincipled as his approval numbers swirl the drain.

In a move designed to try and foster division among council members, Nenshi has issued a letter to the Alberta Municipal Affairs Minister which he claims is on behalf of city council.

Whether or not the measures in Bill 45 are good are not is debatable. The issue here though is that Nenshi has issued a letter making demands upon a provincial minister and he has falsely claimed that it is on behalf of city council. Council members were not consulted and the only signature that appears on the letter is Naheed Nenshi’s. He has no place to claim to be speaking on behalf of the council in a matter like this unless he brought the letter openly before them in order to seek their approval.This did not happen.

Of course, any council member who speaks up will be immediately painted as being a patsy for “big money” as Nenshi’s campaign of division continues. This is a self-serving abuse of the Mayor’s office but it is hardly surprising from one such as Nenshi.

Rest assured, Nenshi and his cabal on council will be stretching every rule and breaking every principle as they desperately try to retain their jobs. This incompetent gang knows damn well that they will never be able to make such money for doing such a terrible job in any other role.

Its going to be a rough and ugly campaign and Nenshi is setting the bar low early.

Podcast: Libertarianism with Darcy Gerow

Darcy Gerow is the former Deputy Leader of the Libertarian Party of Canada, was an organizer for the PPC and Maxime Bernier in Western Canada, and has been an outspoken advocate for libertarianism in Canada for some time with columns appearing in the Western Standard and elsewhere. 

We speak to the challenges in promoting or organizing libertarianism whether in thought or in partisan matters. 

How do we package libertarianism in a way that the general public will embrace it?

Listen below:

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Evan Woolley threatens Calgary businesses

Calgary Ward 8 city councilor Even Woolley has been a strong advocated for bending to the demands of Black Lives Matter and defunding the city police force. Things in city hall got heated as the debate to cut funding to the city police was ongoing. Ward 4 councilor Sean Chu is a longtime veteran of the city police force and he has been outspoken in his support for maintaining funding for the city police.

These tensions led to Woolley making the belligerent and troubling statement pictured above.

In calling his fellow councilor an “ignorant moron” Woolley was simply demonstrating himself as being the childish, petulant prick that he is. Much like the city’s Mayor as a matter of fact. Rude but par for the course in the city hall environment developed under a decade of Nenshi’s stewardship.

What is more disturbing in the statement from Woolley was his rather direct threat towards businesses who may contribute to his council rival.

What does Woolley mean when he says that donors are a “target” that he will push?

Is Woolley saying that he will use his council influence to try and somehow punish donors to Chu’s campaign? Is Woolley implying that things such as development permits or approvals may be delayed or declined as he “targets” these businesses? Or is Woolley saying that he plans to try to use his position of public visibility in order to attack and shame donors to Chu’s campaigns? Something like Gil McGowan tried to do with businesses which donate to UCP supporting PACs?

This is a very ugly scenario.

The ability to donate to candidates of choice is a key democratic right which every council member and the Mayor rely upon. To threaten the donors to a rival is no small thing and it is an affront to democracy. It is also a vulgar abuse of power.

I suggest that donors double their contributions to Chu in light of this threat and that they donate to whoever is running against Woolley in this year’s municipal election.

Fire that juvenile thug Woolley as an example of what happens when arrogant elected officials try to use their position to stunt the democratic process through threats.

We can’t let Woolley’s threats go lightly.

The age dense urban living is gone

The industrial revolution brought about the need for skyscrapers and densely packed city centers. Mega companies were forming which needed armies of administrators and it only made sense to set up shop in city centers. It was efficient for different departments to be able to commute floor to floor rather than across a large industrial campus. Commutes were kept short as white collar workers lived in high rise residential developments on the fringes of the business districts.

High urban density made perfect sense last century. Does it make sense now though?

The creation of the fax machine was actually the first development that really undercut the need for dense, urban business centers. For those who lived in the 80s, we all remember how city centers were busy hives crawling with bicycle and even walking couriers. It was essential for businesses to send documents from building to building in a timely manner and in a dense downtown this made it relatively easy. With the invention of the fax machine, a document could now be sent across the world in minutes, never mind across a city.

Another essential advantage of downtowns was the ability for tight networking. Business lunches were an integral part of enterprise and communications within and and between companies. While not as socially appealing as a luncheon, the internet has provided an alternative to meeting in person and due to the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have become accustomed to digital rather than in person meetings.

With essentially every family now having at least one personal automobile, the need for an employee to live in close proximity to their workplace is gone. Why lose hours of personal time per week jammed onto a public transit system when you can have a quiet and comfortable commute where you can plan your day? COVID-19 comes into play here again as well. While businesses have been operating again, transit remains nearly empty as few people have an appetite for spending time in close quarters with strangers. The same applies to elevators.

Families have lived within the urban centers for decades simply because they had no choice. When given the option, the vast majority of families will choose to live in the suburbs where they can raise their kids on quiet streets with their own yard and away from the dense traffic and aggressive homeless people in the city core. Businesses have been responding to this demand by developing suburban business centers which gives them a strong edge when recruiting employees. Quarry Park in Calgary was drawing enterprise out of Calgary’s core well before the energy price collapse and the pandemic.

Calgary’s downtown is well over 30 percent vacant and that number is expected to grow. Other cities are experiencing similar trends as the economy contracts, dense living appears unhealthy and a new age of home offices has exploded.

Urban density has turned into something of an immutable orthodoxy for many urban planners and municipal politicians. With an almost cult-like fervor, they use every tool they can to try and force a square peg into a round hole in fighting a consumer exodus from dense, inner city living. The density zealots are losing this war but they are creating some very dysfunctional cities in battling the will of citizens. Satellite communities outside of large cities are booming as citizens and businesses flee increasingly intrusive and ideological city councils.

The era of the crowded downtown skyscrapers is done. We need to focus urban planning based on the reality of continued outward growth while trying to find creative ways to make use of decaying downtowns.

Voters in municipal elections need to flush the dinosaurs from their city councils as soon as possible. There can be no reasoning with politicians and administrators who feel that raising business taxes and hiking parking rates while jamming roads with bicycle lanes is a way to stem the outward flow of the population. These ideologues need to be replaced en masse.

Calgary and Edmonton will have that opportunity in a year. They can’t afford another four years of urban planning based on a model from the last century.