Naheed Nenshi plays the race card.

Last night a Facebook video of Naheed Nenshi reaching out to Calgary’s Pakistani community came to my attention.

There is utterly nothing wrong with campaigning directly to identifiable groups. It is natural and politicians will always campaign strongly in areas where they have cultural ties or strengths.

The problem came when Nenshi began implying that his opponents are organizing a vote base of “haters and racists” in order to set the city back. That was pure, crass, bullshit identity politics and it is well worth calling Nenshi out on it.

Within an hour or two of tweeting links to this controversial video, it suddenly was deleted along with tweets from the originator of the video.

I asked what happened to the video and got this reply:

A message to a specific community? Um OK. So what then? Why does that mean it needs to be deleted in a rush along with all references to it?

What likely really happened was that as the video was quickly going viral on twitter, Nenshi campaigners saw the complete backfiring of this callow race baiting and asked Mashhood to pull the video ASAP.

Alas, it was too late. The video was recorded by multiple news outlets and remains out there for public consumption.

This video reeks of desperation. Nenshi is no fool but he is on the ropes politically and will try anything to keep his hold on the Mayor’s chair. This apparently includes accusing his opponents of being racists. Pathetic.

If this giant segment of racists was so active in Calgary’s political circles, how on earth did Nenshi get elected not once, but twice? The bottom line is that Nenshi is full of shit as usual and wont hesitate to take any tact to smear his opponents. Such a sad ending for what had been such a popular political figure.

Polls are indicating that people in pretty much every measurable category are beginning to reject Nenshi. That means non white folks are rejecting Nenshi too and in great numbers.

Identity politics are disgusting and they lead to the cultural divisions that we are all battling with today. From the white nationalists in Charlottesville to Nenshi and his supporters (who have demanded that white people must atone by voting for Nenshi) this gross style of politics must come to an end.

There is only a week remaining in the campaign. While multiple polls indicate that Naheed Nenshi is going to lose the election, many things can happen before then so those of us hoping for a better mayor can’t count our chickens yet.

One thing we can be sure of though is that Nenshi won’t go out with dignity. He will leave office with the same petulance and propensity for spreading bullshit that he had while sitting on the mayoral throne.

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Vote for Nenshi or you are a bad white person!

Geeze I wish I was exaggerating with the the title to this posting but this really is the stance that some desperate supporters of Nenshi are taking in this civic election.

Juliet Burgess is a charter member of Calgary’s loony left. She has mostly been active with the Green Party but has popped up commenting on news items throughout social media and has been lively in activist circles.

Burgess put out the call on Facebook yesterday stating White people, this is a call to us all.” as she essentially labelled everybody who is considering voting for anybody but Nenshi to be as Trump supporters.

When questioned about this call out to white folks, Burgess doubled down on her lunacy with the statement below:

So Burgess feels that all white people are naturally racist. Yup. Just by being born, if you are white you are automatically a racist.

Hmm. What is that term to describe a person who claims that there are inherent attributes that come along with race for better or for worse…

What is it when somebody says one race or another is flawed or superior to another…

Oh yeah, ITS FUCKING RACISM!

The nutty left has sunk so deeply into their goofy identity politics that they are actually no less racist than the tiki torch carrying idiots who marched in in Charlottesville and they don’t even see it.

So yes, going forward apparently white folks are so inherently bad that they must atone themselves by voting for a non-white mayor. Anything less would be some sort of act of white supremacy I guess.

Well honkys, I say you should vote with reason and conscience rather than based on racism as Burgess would like you to.

Its OK to despise Nenshi’s terrible management of city council. Its OK to oppose his chronic arrogance. Its OK to question the massive tax hikes since he became mayor. Its OK to think he was a fool for defaming a local philanthropist only to get sued for it and lose. Its OK to be extremely concerned about how Nenshi has alienated business during such an tough economic time. Most of all its ok to vote against Nenshi if you choose to!

You are not a racist or race traitor if you are white and do not want to cast a vote for Nenshi. Its OK if you do want to vote for him for some reason as well.

This is what Nenshi’s support base looks like people. Is it any wonder that his administration has been  so bizarre and expensive?

I say set aside the advice from racists such as Burgess and vote for whoever you think is the best candidate no matter what race they may be or what race you may be.

Rather simple isn’t it?

 

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Dare we dream? Is Nenshi’s reign coming to an end?

Is it for real? Have Calgarians finally had enough of the belligerent, pompous man who has resided on the mayor’s chair for the last seven years?

A Mainstreet Research poll sure is compelling as it indicates that Naheed Nenshi is trailing Bill Smith by 9 points in the mayoral race. 

The poll indeed could be an outlier. Pollsters have been pretty wrong on some elections in recent years. That said, Mainstreet is a major pollster with a very good track record. The sampling of over 1000 Calgarians makes for a pretty good indication of voter intentions as well. It would be foolhardy to dismiss these numbers though Nenshi’s flagging supporters are trying of course.

If there is on single thing that people most often mention when speaking of discontent with Nenshi it is his arrogance.

The video below demonstrates one of Nenshi’s common, petulant temper tantrums when he finds himself questioned in city hall.

I don’t think there is a single incident that has led to Nenshi’s plummet in voter approval. This trend is a cumulative thing that has built up episode by episode over the years as Nenshi continually lets his arrogance get the better of him to the detriment of city management.

Nenshi’s arrogance led to his getting his ass sued when he slandered a prominent Calgary business person and philanthropist. In his arrogant confidence, Nenshi built up a giant legal bill which he dumped on the taxpayers for quite some time until he could convince enough donors to pay it for him (along with tax receipts).

Nenshi’s arrogance led to a city council becoming so dysfunctional that he actually brought in a psychologist to try and bring order to the council chambers.

Yes. Nenshi was so arrogant that it appears he believed that only mental disorders could explain why his fellow council members would not always go along with his whimsical leadership.

Nenshi’s arrogance has caused a terrible rift between himself and the business community in Calgary as he continually attacks private enterprise despite having campaigned as a pro business mayor.

Nenshi’s arrogance was outstanding when he called concerned critiques of council’s grotesquely terrible public arts spending a “lynch mob”.

Yes. The bridges are cumulatively burning behind Nenshi as his arrogance has alienated Calgarians over the years with one issue after another.

It appears that Calgarians are tired of Nenshi’s staunch, free spending allies on city council as well.

Common Sense Calgary did some polling that really raises some eyebrows. Here are the results broken down. 

Could Druh Farrell finally be going down to electoral defeat? It sure appears that she is vulnerable.

In her lapdog like following of Nenshi, she has even managed to get herself embroiled in a defamation suit just as the Mayor did. Perhaps that has been the final straw for voters in Ward 7.

In Ward 8, it appears that Nenshi’s council representative from the hipster community (Evan Wooley) is in a battle for his political life.

The main focus of Nenshi supporting leftist ire over the years has been Sean Chu. Chu has never hesitated in questioning Nenshi and it has driven Nenshi’s supporters into hysteric conniptions for years.

Despite the left rallying to try and unseat Chu, it appears that Sean is more popular with his voters than ever.

The signs are there that Calgarians are finally ready to flush Nenshi and his council allies out of office. Ever increasing taxes along with condescending arrogance have clearly soured the electorate on Nenshi’s little city council regime.

All the above being said, those numbers only matter if people get off their asses and cast a ballot.

Municipal elections traditionally have terrible turnouts and incumbents often slide to victory on electoral apathy. Answering a telephone poll is easier than going outside and spending 20 minutes to vote.

The power of incumbency cant be underestimated and only campaign teams with strong GOTV campaigns can hope to unseat the union backed Team Nenshi in council. People need not only to vote but to nag and encourage others to vote.

Calgary can become a business friendly city with reasonable spending again if voters toss out the entrenched Nenshi clan.

I sure hope that the polls hold true.

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New city charters could spell fiscal disaster.

An issue that has been sliding under the radar in this municipal election has been that of the proposed new city charters.

Naheed Nenshi and other tax and spend style civic politicians have long been salivating at the prospect of gaining new powers of taxation in a city charter. Left wing politicians prefer to simply suck ever more dollars from the productive rather than take the time, effort and difficult choices required in order to balance their municipal budgets.

Thankfully, in the new proposed municipal charters there are no new taxation powers being offered. Notley jealously guards her taxation powers and doesn’t want to share them with municipal governments. This is one of the few benefits we can see from having multiple layers of left wing administrations.

While we dodged the taxation bullet in the city charters, there are still two proposals within them that cause some serious concern. The charters give municipalities the ability to run deficits, and allow municipalities to get into the finance game.

Right now under the municipal government act, municipal governments cant run deficits. Under the proposed changes, municipalities will be able to run deficits as long as they budget to pay them off over the subsequent three years. Lets not beat around the bush here. We know damned will that most of our free spending municipal politicians will run huge deficits that they will claim are short term. They will then hit the fiscal wall a few years later and come crying cap in hand to the provincial government. How that mess will be solved is anybody’s guess but you can be assured that taxpayers will be the losers in the deal as usual.

A more subtle but even more serious concern is in giving municipalities the ability to lend money to individuals and developers in order to finance housing. This could lead to an utter disaster.

I view banks as a necessary evil. They are a pain in the ass to deal with and you often feel more like a supplicant when dealing with them rather than a customer.

That said, banks simply are essential and they are good at what they do when they are left alone. The requirements for mortgage qualification are very carefully crafted to be able to service as much of the market as possible while minimizing risk of default. This can be frustrating for folks with limited capital, or poor credit when they are trying to enter the housing market but it simply is necessary. If the requirements are lightened, defaults will rise and interest will shoot up as non-defaulting mortgage holders are forced to take up the slack. In other words, the productive get punished for the actions of the irresponsible (socialism for short).

Many on the left hold a misguided notion that there is a giant pool of people out there who are would be able to responsibly maintain a mortgage if only they were given the chance to get into the market. We should overlook their poor or non-existent credit ratings. We should ignore their spotty employment history. We should set aside the need for a down payment to secure financing. If we just got these people into houses, they would do fine!

Alas, the above notion is utter bullshit. It is that kind of thinking that led to the US subprime lending disaster which caused the real estate collapse a decade ago that some regions are still trying to recover from. Backed through the government agencies of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, countless loans were given to people who simply would never qualify for mortgages otherwise.

In what should have been obvious to everybody, the whole thing collapsed as defaults exploded.

If we give municipalities the ability to lend money for housing, we can rest assured that flocks of well meaning but delusional municipal politicians will go on a lending binge to people who really should not get loans. The defaults will be inevitable and the damage will land as always on responsible home owners and taxpayers as the market artificially grows and then collapses. This is not theory people, it happens every time when government gets into the mortgage business and sets aside reasonable loan requirements.

Whether we like it or not, there simply are a great deal of people out there who are incapable of managing and maintaining a mortgage for countless reasons. Perhaps one day, these people will get there. Setting aside conventional credit requirements wont teach these folks responsibility.

I doubt that these charter proposals will become dominating issues in this civic election but I wish that they would. These are some time bombs waiting to go off on us all. I hope people corner their candidates and question them on these proposals. It may not save us from them but its worth a shot and we will know exactly who to blame when it all falls apart.

 

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The suit goes on.

While Druh Farrell may fancy herself as the Queen of Kensington, her royal status held little weight today in court. The judge appears not to have cared if the timing of the legal action is of inconvenience to Druh’s election campaign.

Farrell moved to have the suits filed against her dropped today. While the suits were combined from two into a single suit today, the legal action against Farrell continues.

The press release from representatives of the Terrigno family can be found here. 

Farrell clearly tends to feel insecure about her ability to get re-elected as it appears that this is not the first time she has tried to sway the timing of events away from election periods.

In the evidence presented against Farrell, there is a sworn statement from her associate Jeremy Sturgess where it appears that Farrell was trying to influence the timing of the Terrigno’s land redesignation application in order to avoid the application becoming an election issue as can be seen below.

Original scan of the document can be found here

Nothing more inconvenient to face during an election campaign than having to answer questions about development proposals in your ward I guess.

Today the Terrigno family saw a small victory as the effort by Farrell to have the lawsuit tossed out was quashed.

It will be interesting to see what the final ruling on this suit will be. The evidence does appear quite compelling.

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Grow Calgary gets the job done.

Paul Hughes and I don’t always see eye to eye on issues. He trends a little more towards the hippy sort and has more of an environmentalist streak in him than I. I can’t help but admire how Paul doesn’t just bitch about things or ask others to fix things. When Hughes wants an issue addressed he literally gets his hands dirty and works on it. Paul doesn’t ask, he just does.

Paul Hughes is probably best known for his advocating for urban chickens in Calgary and his past run for Mayor. He has always been quite focused on domestic food supply. Food is indeed a need for us all.

We all would be better off if more folks took on that kind of attitude.

A few days ago, I found myself driving into West Calgary on Highway 1 when I passed the Grow Calgary site.

A few years ago, Hughes set up shop on a few acres of vacant city land and began Grow Calgary. This lot is just West of Canada Olympic Park. The land will eventually be developed for the Calgary portion of the Ring Road but as we all know, that may still be over a decade away. In the meantime, the land has languished vacant, weed filled and of little purpose. Why not bring the land into production for the time being? It is a pretty unique venture.

My timing was lucky. I saw perhaps a couple dozen folks working with shovels digging up a potato plot as I drove by which caught my interest and spurred my impulse visit. Paul was with them and they were just about to break for lunch leaving Paul free to give me a tour of the area.

One of my first questions to Paul was to ask who all those people were. It turns out that they were a group of volunteers from Crescent Point Energy. It turns out that Hughes has attracted corporate sponsorship from multiple companies that doesn’t just translate into funds, but into manpower. Different corporate and student groups have volunteered time all year to help develop the urban farm. A healthy day out for the volunteers and invaluable service for the project.

Grow Calgary isn’t a charity and isn’t taking tax dollars. It is reliant on donors and volunteers. It appears that the base of both are growing.

The site looks pretty and eclectic as you wander between what appear to be random plots growing everything from sunflowers to tomatoes to hemp. To a libertarian like me seeing a little chaos is not a problem and in looking closer one can see that there is more planning to the setup than meets the eye. Water is limited and this year’s drought had a rough impact on the farm. Plots were chosen based on potential irrigation and access.

Small greenhouses have been constructed which are quite effective. These were built with completely recycled and donated materials and yes, it shows.

Opponents to Grow Calgary often cite aesthetics in order to demand that this venture be halted. Do we want pretty or do we want effective? Do we want to truly recycle items as Hughes has done or do we simply want to green wash with giant fabricated plastic buildings that will claim to have used some tiny degree of recycled materials? Everything Paul used here was donated and it all would have ended up in a landfill had he not made use of it. The greenhouses are in the center of the area and don’t look bad anyway. As can be seen in this picture, they are loaded with great tomatoes even this late into a dry season.

Paul also constructed what he calls an “earthship”, More hippy stuff but still some effective and interesting engineering.

Using all donated materials including wood, glass, tires, concrete and cans Paul has created a year round growing facility that uses no power. He excitedly showed me his charts as he had tracked the ambient temperature within the structure all winter. The lowest he ever recorded was just above freezing on a day in January when the outside temperature was likely well into the -20s. Not bad for a spot that uses no outside power sources.

The central area houses donated porta-potties along with a few structures that are used for everything from secure storage to a small hydroponic growing system. Donors have been so generous that Hughes has gardening and farm implements stacked and stored in every nook and cranny. Waste is not accepted so I expect that everything will be used in time including a monstrous pile of compost that was donated. It is hard not to be impressed by how much equipment and material has been built up through such a modest project. Security services have been donated by a local company as well. People really do like pitching in on this one.

While the drought reduced crops, there still was a very impressive harvest of fresh produce that has all been donated to various societies in need throughout the city.

This is the sort of thing that can happen when people such as Paul Hughes along with many many helpers say to hell with government bureaucracy and simply work to get the damn job done. The city has been pulled along grudgingly with this venture at best and established food charities have been rather cold as Hughes is producing massive amounts of product without having a giant administration and hand in the taxpayer cookie jar as they do.

Using excuses such as the appearance of the place all the way to liability issues I am sure that the busybodies in Calgary City Hall will work their hardest to shut Grow Calgary down. There are few things parasitic bureaucrats despise more than successful operations existing without their constant and heavy handed oversight. It exposes their uselessness. Paul is pretty determined though and is only setting his roots deeper. I suspect that Grow Calgary isn’t going anywhere soon.

Eventually, the city will develop that land and Grow Calgary will have to move from that site. This is reasonable and such is life. What is to be hoped though is that some lessons have been learned. There will be all sorts of unused city land all over the place at that time. There always is. I see no reason why Grow Calgary wont be able to move in and produce food for those in need on those new locations when the time comes. I mean, why the hell not?

Taxpayers are more than tired of grossly expensive and ineffective government initiatives to ease poverty. Donors to charities are tired of reading how the majority of their donations end up eaten by administrative costs as the bureaucratic worms dine on the bulk of the funds before the people in need see even a nickle of the donated resources. Grow Calgary has bypassed all of that crap. It is run with the most minuscule of administration and directly uses all volunteer time, items and dollars for the production of food. Efficiency is critical.

For folks who want to donate some time or resources, I can’t endorse this venture more strongly.

The site is Grow Calgary.

They get things done.

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Druh Farrell. The poster child for term limits.

While Naheed Nenshi may get yet another term as Mayor of Calgary, his popularity has been steadily dropping year by year with Calgarians. The number one complaint about Nenshi has been his insufferable arrogance when dealing with businesses in Calgary, fellow members of council and the public at large. The longer Nenshi resides on the municipal throne, the more his arrogance will grow as connection with the real world outside of city hall degrades.

Arrogance led Nenshi to label a leading Calgarian philanthropist and businessman as a “Godfather” type figure. In other words, Nenshi implied that Cal Wenzel was a criminal. Not a minor label to drop on a person without a solid foundation in truth (which Nenshi lacked). Nenshi’s arrogant mouth led to him being sued. As it became apparent that Nenshi was going to lose in court, he settled with a grovelling retraction and apology and found himself saddled with a legal bill nearing $300,000. Nenshi then backtracked on his word not to dump his legal bills on the taxpayers. Calgarian taxpayers carried Nenshi’s legal fees interest free for him for years while he raised funds from donors (while offering charitable receipts) to cover the cost. This is the price of arrogance.

While Nenshi’s arrogance has been around since the day he was elected, it is indeed growing. Druh Farrell has allowed her arrogance to grow and fester over 16 years in her comfortable council seat. This entitled arrogance has led to Farrell feeling that she can label innocent Calgarians as criminals as well.

Druh Farrell is more honest than Nenshi in some ways. Farrell has never made bones about dumping every penny of her legal fees upon Calgarian taxpayers. Farrell’s contempt for taxpayers and business people alike shows a profound disconnect with reality that has developed due to being in office for too long.

One of the first legal terms that any elected official should learn is “Pecuniary interest” if they want to stay out of legal hot water. It is critical that elected officials recuse themselves from discussions and decisions that will directly impact their personal finances for better or for worse. It is laid out quite clearly in Alberta’s Municipal Governance act. 

The Terrigno family has owned and operated the Osteria de Medici restaurant in Kensington for nearly 30 years. They have unfortunately been butting heads with Druh Farrell over their operations and their plans to redevelop since 2008 when Druh began acting to interfere with the restaurant’s annual Stampede event.

Druh Farrell owns a home just 160 meters from the Terrigno property. This means that actions on that property and developments very clearly could have an impact on the value of the property that Druh Farrell owns. In light of this pecuniary interest, any councilor exercising common sense would know that it would be best to recuse themselves from any city hall actions with regards to that property and leave it to the discretion of the other 14 members of city council. In the arrogance bred from sitting too long on city council however, Farrell never considered stepping back on issues with the Terrigno property.

As things heated from conflict over the restaurant’s Stampede event on to Druh’s apparent heavy interference with the family’s intention to develop the property, a formal request was submitted asking that Farrell recuse herself due to such clear pecuniary interest in the matter.

Letters_to_Druh_Farrell_Asking_her_to_recuse_herself

It would appear that the letter was of no effect and Farrell doubled down on her conflict with the Terrigno family.

Would Farrell have recognized the rationale for staying clear of this in her first eight years in office? I think it is much more likely. Farrell would not have grown the entrenched sense of entitlement and arrogance that she displays today in being enthroned within Ward 7 for nearly 20 years.

Eight years is plenty of time to get a mandate done in city hall. Hell, even twelve may be reasonable. Once we get beyond that, the initial fire in the belly has been lost and elected officials lose sight of why they got into office in the first place. Arrogance and entitlement replace genuine ambition to make change and the goals of councilors then become fixated on control and maintaining their perch on council.

Moving to four year terms was a good move municipally. Setting a two term limit would be even better. It would ensure a steady flow of fresh thinking and would cut back on these local battles between entrenched elected officials and business people that only lead to costs for the taxpayers. It would allow politicians to leave office on a high point and with dignity rather than ignominiously as they finally cross the line with the electorate or even at times with the law.

Farrell went beyond simply interfering with the Terrigno’s development. It does appear that Farrell went deeply into some pretty unforgivable defamation in her battle with that family.

I will post the documents indicating Farrell’s acts of defamation and how damaging they can be in a new posting soon.

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I came! I saw! It sucked!

While outrage over one horrific public art project or another has become something of an annual tradition in Calgary, Mayor Nenshi still doggedly denies that anything is wrong with the public art policy in the city. What would all those filthy taxpayers know about art anyway? How dare they question how city hall spends their money!

Nenshi likened critics of the latest arts abomination to a “lynch mob”.

Acclaimed Blackfoot artist Adrian Stimson took issue to this but then again, what would he know about Blackfoot inspired art? Can’t he just bow down to the wisdom of the handpicked city committees who choose these fine “arts” projects? No wonder he earned Nenshi’s insults.

 

Nenshi expanded to point out how it is “dangerous” to make judgements on something that hasn’t been “seen” or experienced.

OK. I went and saw and experienced the $500,000 “Bowfort Towers” for myself this evening.

The only thing that was dangerous was getting even close to the ridiculously placed display. It is set between two busy roads where vehicles are whizzing by at upwards of 100 kph as they approach an underpass. Hardly a nice spot for a person to pause and reflect on the piece of “art” that costed as much as an average city house does.

As can be seen below, I paused and reflected on the piece.

I gazed. I contemplated. I meditated. I came to a conclusion.

This piece of very expensive “art” is a turd that can’t be polished. Its is simplistic. It is terribly placed. It is aesthetically unappealing and it is apparently rather insulting to local First Nations. This was an utter waste of half a million dollars while most Calgarians are trying to recover from a recession.

Video of my visit can be found below.

Look, most people are not opposed to all public art. We are tired of “art” that is expensive, poorly placed and to be frank, damned ugly.

We have multiple pieces of art that we paid for that we cant even access as they were built in city industrial sites. We have a blue ring that is a national embarrassment. We have a silver ball that nearly lit a person on fire. The list goes on and on and on.

The policy is broken and Nenshi and his little “arts” crowd had better come to grips with this. Taxpayers are tired of being insulted and talked down to when they question the merit of their precious dollars being spent on art where the word “shit” is a generous description.

The backlash will grow if we don’t change this ridiculous policy soon. Fear city councilors who want to dramatically cut all forms of public art? Well I assure you, you will only empower those councilors when you deny that there is a problem and continue to defend this abhorrent waste of tax dollars.

There are many models in countless cities around the world that produce far better public art than what Calgary is generating. It is time that we emulated them rather than cling to this broken model that only produces crap.

Otherwise, get used to “lynch mobs”.

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Where has the time gone?

Can you believe that it has been over three years already?

Why, it feels like only yesterday that Naheed Nenshi had an epic social media temper tantrum when he found out that the Canadian Taxpayer’s Federation had done a FOIP request to see if the Mayor had dumped his legal bills on the taxpayers.

You could almost hear Nenshi’s fingers indignantly hammering his keyboard in rage as he expressed his ire over having been questioned on this issue.

The twitter thread stems from this tweet back in June of 2014

 

Roger Kingkade did a fantastic dramatic reading of the exchange here.

Yes indeed. Three years already. That means that it has been nearly four years since Nenshi defamed Cal Wenzel on a radio show. That defamation led to Nenshi’s grovelling apology and a legal bill that was nearly $300,000.

That legal bill was dumped on Calgarian taxpayers and Nenshi still has not paid it back.

Yes, despite Nenshi’s petulant outbursts it appears that Canada’s most highly paid mayor (depending in the year) still dumped the fruit of his act of defamation upon innocent taxpayers.

Nenshi is claiming that the bill will be paid soon. Nenshi of course claimed so stridently that the bill would never been dumped on us so he holds little credibility in this regard. It now becomes a thing of, “I will believe it when I see it.”

I guess this could be part of why Nenshi got caught up in a scandalous $5,000 per plate pay to play fundraiser just weeks ago.

As a small business owner, I sure could use an interest free loan for a few hundred thousand to make some capital improvements. Alas, these sorts of benefits only apply to Mayors I guess.

As it has been years now, we should be reminded that it is an election year. In a few short months, Calgary voters can choose to elect a mayor who is less inclined to dump his legal fees upon them.

I sure hope that the voters lose their apathy and do so.

While the last 4 years went by quickly, a further 4 years of Nenshi would be agonizing.

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Has Druh Farrell finally gone too far?

Let’s face it. Druh Farrell has never really been the sharpest knife in the Calgary city council drawer. Despite having resided in a council seat for nearly 16 years, there really has been little of note accomplished by Druh. The only real hallmark of Farrell’s extensive term has been a propensity to vapidly jump on and lobby for whatever the latest self-styled, hipster trend is happening these days whether its taking countless hours to try to regulate what sort of soups restaurants may serve to the completely catastrophic Memorial Dr. closure for her failed anti-automotive initiative called “The Bow River Flow”.

In Calgary, a councilor typically needs only to be mediocre in order to maintain their seat in perpetuity. Dale Hodges managed a council career that spanned decades and used the simple strategy of conveniently timed bathroom breaks to ensure that he never had to vote on a contentious issue. Druh however has made sure to be vocal on any issue where she can take shots at the things she despises in life such as automobiles, suburbs and successful businesses. This trend of blind ideology has led to a steady decline in Farrell’s support to the point where she only gathered 37% support in the last municipal election. This is an appallingly low level of support for an incumbent and it was only through a fortunate splitting of votes that Farrell managed to cling on to her cushy spot.

Having served so long in city hall, Farrell views Kensington as her own personal little fiefdom where she hopes to build a small, inner city hipster’s paradise where her name will go down in dreadlocked history as the founder of this miniature Portland North. That would explain Farrell’s hypocritical opposition to a project that would add density and economic expansion to her little demesne. While Farrell strongly opposes, suburban expansion and supports increased density throughout the city, she is the ultimate NIMBY in her own neighborhood and has pulled every string possible to fight these elements in her own community.

This hypocrisy leads up to the battle that began in 2008 with the owners of the Osteria De Medici property that has now landed her in the middle of a rather comprehensive looking lawsuit.

The statement of claim against Farrell can be downloaded in full here.

It begins with Farrell apparently trying to use city of Calgary bylaw officers as something of her own personal army in working to shut down an annual Stampede parties at Osteria. Farrell couldn’t abide by seeing so many unwashed Calgarians celebrating Western Canadian culture in her neck of the woods. Only drum circles and vegan tastings are appropriate! Apparently after failing in getting bylaw services to shut down the popular event, Druh began a personal vendetta that finally led to changes in rules surrounding popular Calgary Stampede parties.

This began the feud between Osteria and Farrell which clearly has only gotten worse over the years.

The statement of claim contends that Farrell coached people to defame the Osteria group in city hall. Farrell then apparently reiterated the the claims that the family was made of up criminals. This all has to be proven in court still of course but is sure sounds familiar. Nenshi’s forced apology and settlement with Cal Wenzel proved that the courts do not look kindly on accusations of criminality being leveled at business people by elected officials.

Even uglier, the statement claims that Farrell through an agent essentially tried to extort from the group through demands for a campaign contribution, a commitment by the group not to support any other candidates and a commitment to hire her preferred architect in order to get her support for a new development on the Osteria land. If any of this is indeed proven true in court, Farrell indeed is unfit to serve in office any longer.

I cant see Farrell’s support getting any stronger over the last few years and I don’t expect that this legal action will aid in her chances of re-election.

The arrogance displayed by Farrell in this matter and in her behavior over the last 8 years or so has at least brought about some very serious conversation about term limits for city councilors and some new ethical guidelines being brought down. A silver lining perhaps. Maybe a new accountability guideline can be dubbed “Farrell’s law”.

I suspect that Farrell has burned enough bridges over the years. She very likely will not retain her chair this time around.

It is time to reform accountability for city councilors in the future though or we may simply see a Druh Farrell by another name assume the chair she vacates.

This will be an interesting court proceeding to watch to say the very least. I am sure that more than a few elected officials will be watching it in Alberta as these sort of actions may come their way too if they don’t take care.

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