Invisible ghost town.

At a glance Calgary’s downtown appears to be vibrant and thriving.

Huge modern buildings shine and tower while cranes are hard at work building even more. Traffic appears to be bustling until one realizes that this is more due to lane reductions from bicycle tracks and poor traffic light synchronization rather than a volume of commuters. Parking lots are expensive and bursting at the seams but then one realizes that this is due to a purposeful strangling of parking supply by the city of Calgary which led to Calgary being second only to New York city in parking costs throughout North America only a few years ago.

The reality is that Calgary’s downtown is languishing with near a whopping 30% vacancy rate!

People don’t see it but this is nearly catastrophic when measured against other major cities in North America. A 10% vacancy is considered high. 30% is unimaginable (except in Calgary).

Of course most of this is due to the crash in Alberta’s energy industry but there is a great deal more to this picture than that. Large companies were bailing out of Calgary’s downtown well before the most recent crash.

CP rail moved their headquarters out of the core in 2012 in a move that saved them an estimated $19 million per year. 

Imperial Oil decided to move from downtown to Quarry Park in 2012. 

The trend of companies leaving Calgary’s congested and expensive downtown has been going on for quite some years now. The energy crash only made the trend much more acute.

A friend of mine who was working in multiple buildings last spring shared some video with me of the spaces.

It’s almost eerie seeing these modern yet abandoned spaces. Some are portions of buildings, some are entire floors.

Some areas are gutted, some are partially renovated.

Some offices are still furnished.

Some even have packing boxes left behind almost as if folks were fleeing an impending disaster (I guess in a sense they were).

This urban catastrophe could actually be turned into an opportunity but Calgary city hall will need a complete change of attitude and ideology in order to take advantage of it.

We have all of this modern space within a city with an international airport. In the right conditions businesses could be flooding into the city.

To begin with, the city needs to court small to medium businesses to fill all of these gaps. It was almost embarrassing to see tossing their figurative panties at Amazon as they dove into a spiral to the bottom in whoring themselves in hopes of gaining a massive new entity. Logistically Calgary was never in the race for new headquarters. Why on earth would a company that specializes in shipping items stay on the same side of the continent as their current headquarters in an expansion? They needed an eastern location with modest labor costs. While Calgary only spent $600,000 and didn’t offer massive subsidies to draw Amazon, it still was utterly wasted money on an unrealistic dream.

The powers that be in Calgary city hall now want to piss away 10s of millions chasing an Olympic dream which may cost billions if we get it. Meanwhile Calgary’s downtown ghost town gathers dust.

Instead of chasing these whales that demand massive taxpayer subsidies, the city needs to look for those small to medium businesses that are flourishing within the modern economy. All these offices are virtually plug and play as some are even furnished.

As was written recently, Calgary’s business taxes are outright out of control. 

It’s a competitive world. Businesses simply won’t move to a location where taxes are too high and Calgary’s are way too high. Sadly Mayor Nenshi and most of city council are obsessed with vanity projects such as the Olympics and ugly public art projects which consume tax dollars when they should be seeking ways to reduce spending in order to reduce taxes.

Unless Calgary reduces the business tax burden, Calgary’s downtown will keep its vast number of empty offices.

Calgary needs to drastically reduce the parking rates.

Parking costs downtown amount to another tax on businesses down there. Companies either have to spend to pay for their employees parking spaces or compensate their employees more in order to offset the cost for the employees.

This is due to an ideological push from Calgary city hall over the years to try and force people out of their cars and into public transit. The city owns the bulk of the parking spaces downtown which allows them to essentially set the baseline price. In keeping supplies of parking spaces down through regulation on new buildings and in taking spaces out for barely used bicycle tracks Calgary managed to get the grossly expensive parking rates that were highlighted earlier.

The effort failed. Calgarians still overwhelmingly choose to live in the suburbs and they choose to drive their personal vehicles to work. They won’t ride bikes or get on cramped sporadic buses. City hall needs to face reality and accommodate consumer demand by reducing parking costs downtown and adding more spaces as needed. Despite their rainbow and unicorn ideals professed, companies don’t choose headquarters based on the number of bike tracks. They look at the dollars spent and the comfort and convenience of their staff.

Next, the city of Calgary needs to massively reduce their regulatory burden on businesses. Just this week it was in the news how a local brew pub had to spend over $10,000 and wait 11 months just to get a tiny patio approved. 

This is ridiculous but this is typical. Calgary city hall is massively bloated and massively over managed. Useless regulatory burdens cost businesses in the city untold millions in compliance. These regulations cost taxpayers millions in administration and staff that we simply don’t need. City hall needs a strong bureaucratic suppository to flush out the clingons which would allow for the tax cuts that businesses to desperately need.

Calgary is run by a tax and spend administration right now and we all are paying the price for it. Council and administration need a massive change of attitude which likely won’t happen for at least another 3 years.

Small business needs to be courted and embraced rather than seen as a tax cow to be milked and regulated.

Downtown Calgary needs to be seen as a place to do business in rather than being a giant pet project where a pipe dream of some sort of bike riding, pedestrian utopia is to be created with tax dollars despite the wishes of citizens.

Until all the above changes are made, the massive empty spaces sitting in downtown will remain as an opportunity lost.

Calgary’s 12 Ave bicycle track causing nearly 1/4 million extra driving hours per year for commuters


The numbers are starting to come in from Calgary’s controversial and expensive bicycle track experiment and they aren’t pretty. Proponents highballed numbers claiming as many as 12,000 cycle commuters per day when pushing for the tracks. They then moved the goalposts to the more realistic couple thousand per day for a baseline when the tracks went in. Despite those number crunching efforts and an extremely mild winter, the cyclist numbers simply are not that impressive. The tiny but vocal cycle lobby has been sadly trying to cherry pick numbers such as a nearly insignificant uptick in female ridership in hopes of claiming success but it is falling on deaf ears for commuters tired of languishing in traffic only to see empty cycle lanes taking up parking and laneways.

Naheed Nenshi said in a radio interview that on 12th Avenue alone the cycle track has added a 2 to 2.5 minutes for drivers to get a short 14 blocks.

While those numbers sound small at a glance, one really needs to look at the cumulative impact of these tracks and in that context they are staggering and bad.

When crunching the numbers and being generous on 12th Ave alone, we see the addition of nearly a quarter million driving hours per year in the city due to the tracks!

12th Avenue SW in Calgary moves between 15,000 and 21,000 cars on an average weekday. It is a very busy avenue on weekends too as it is a main artery. I picked the lower part of the average and used 17,000 cars per day.

In splitting the difference in Nenshi’s numbers, we get an average of 2.25 minutes of driving time per driver due to the tracks which adds up to 637.5 extra automotive hours per day on that road.

When those extra hours are applied over the course of a year, we have 232,687.5 extra hours per year that cars are running on 12 Ave SW due to the empty cycle tracks.

So much for proponent claims that these tracks would reduce traffic.

The cost of so many wasted hours cant be understated.

What kind of environmental impact is caused by an extra 232,687.5 hours of active vehicular traffic?

What does this add up to for consumers as extra fuel is purchased and extra wear and tear is imposed on vehicles due to this slow, start and stop traffic?

How about productivity? I bet if those 1/4 million hours were applied to work rather than sitting in traffic, we would see some benefits.

How about quality of life? 232,687.5 unnecessary hours are being wasted sitting in cars. What if that time was spent with family? Perhaps in the gym? Maybe simply sleeping or getting a better breakfast. Pretty much anything is better than sitting in traffic without cause.

These numbers are from just one avenue in Calgary. The cycle tracks are on many other streets and are impacting traffic there too. What kind of extra commute time numbers are we talking when all of the cycle tracks are added up? Possibly into the millions of hours.

Millions of hours of time wasted with fuel burned by Calgarians so that a handful of hipsters can use cycle tracks downtown during good weather. Is this a good trade?

Calgary has one of the best cycle path systems in North America but you wouldn’t know it to listen to the few but shrill downtown cycle lobbyists.

City council needs to look at the real and cumulative impact of these tracks downtown. They are a failure and should be removed if the interests of the majority of Calgarians are to be taken into consideration.

Of course, if the interest is an anti-auto agenda rather than that of the majority of Calgarians, we can expect these tracks to stay no matter how terrible the numbers are.

Sad when the damage and cost is considered.


Calgary taxpayers give Nenshi a loan.


From yesterday’s CBC article: The city is picking up the tab for Mayor Naheed Nenshi’s legal battle with developer Cal Wenzel, but he now has to fundraise in order to pay the city back.

When Nenshi found himself rightly being sued for slandering a Calgary businessman and philanthropist during a radio interview, many people were rightly concerned that taxpayers would find themselves on the hook for the legal bills.

Nenshi could have easily ended this entire mess with a simple retraction and apology years ago. That is exactly what he ended up doing in his settlement anyway. Clearly Nenshi was on the losing end of that settlement as he had to humbly apologize and didn’t get his legal fees covered.

I suspect that His Worship in his arrogance was so confident that he would come out on top in this lawsuit that he never thought twice before screaming to any and all critics that he would pay all the legal bills.

One has to wonder if Nenshi would not have dragged out this legal mess as long as he did if the city wasn’t going to backstop the legal bills for him until he could pay them back? How many employers will pay 6 figures in legal fees on a loan for employees who are in the midst of getting sued for slandering somebody and outside of their employment duties? Nice loan if you can get it.

The Canadian Taxpayer’s Federation acts as a watchdog on political spending on all levels of government. This is very important in municipal politics as there is no official opposition working to ensure that our elected servants are being responsible with our money. In doing his job at the time, Derek Fildebrandt made a request to ensure that the Mayor indeed was going to pay his own damned bills.

Fildebrandt’s inquiry set off a classic, petulant Naheed Nenshi public tantrum. Calgary’s Mayor truly does sound like a six year old when he gets upset.

Roger Kingcade with QR77 radio in Calgary did a fantastic, dramatic reading of Nenshi’s social media hissy fit which can be played at the link below.
Nenshi Vs Fildebrandt tantrum.

Nenshi sure was sensitive to the issue.

As Canada’s highest paid mayor ($216,401 per year), I guess Nenshi felt he could absorb the costs if he had to.

Now it looks like Nenshi will be asking others to pay his bills through contributions. How long that will take and how that may work on a political influence level is tough to tell at this point.

One thing that we can be sure of though is that taxpayers have tied up a bunch of capital in covering Nenshi’s legal fees until he can find a way to pay them. Will there be interest charged? Service fees? Loans typically aren’t free and I don’t see why an exception should be made for our Mayor who dug his own legal hole.


We can doubtless look forward to more outbursts from Nenshi on this and other issues.

We must follow up on this though as no matter how hard Nenshi howls, the bill simply isn’t paid until Nenshi finds a way to pay it.

For now as usual, taxpayers remain on the hook for the cost of Nenshi’s big mouth.

I hope he has pursued insurance for future suits.

Bureaucracy run wild in Calgary costs a homeless charity $350,000 per year.


Examples abound but this one is a truly magnificent demonstration of the anti-car idiocy that has taken over  in Nenshi’s city hall. It is hard to write anything about the actions of Calgary city hall without the word ridiculous being used too much.

The Mustard Seed is one of the most respected charities in all of Calgary in helping with homeless people. They expanded to a large new building downtown. The new facility provides 228 affordable housing units and three stories for education and employment services. Due to city regulations, the building had to contain 79 parking stalls and 60 secured bike racks.

Due to the reality that homeless people typically don’t need parking spaces, 70 of the parking stalls and all of the bike racks are languishing empty.

Thanks to years of city hall’s anti-auto strangling of parking spaces, Calgary is second only to New York city in all of North America for the highest prices for downtown parking. These rates will only be going up as hundreds of downtown stalls are going to be removed for a bicycle track “pilot” program. This has the side-effect of making downtown parking spaces a very lucrative possession, that is if you are allowed to rent them out.

The Mustard Seed could make $350,000 per year renting out those empty and wasted parking stalls. Unfortunately adding parking goes against the anti-auto ideology of Calgary city hall these days so they refuse to allow the spaces to be rented out. The volunteers and staff at the Mustard Seed get to look at those empty spaces every day and wonder what charitable works $350,000 per year could be dedicated to if only Nenshi’s city hall transportation could drop their ideological agenda and let a little reality creep in.

According to this story, the Calgary Transportation department told the Mustard Seed that letting them rent out their parking spaces would encourage traffic.

Essentially a charity like the Mustard Seed will be paying $350,000 per year to remain in keeping with the anti-auto agenda of city hall councillors such as the Flakey Four (Pincott, Farrell, Woolley & Carra) and their leader Naheed Nenshi. Anti-auto ideology trumps simple common sense and Calgary’s charities are paying the price.

Ward 4 Councillor Sean Chu has thankfully been speaking up on this issue.


Evan Woolley, the councillor for the ward that the Mustard Seed is in has so far remained utterly silent on this issue.  In the next week, I hope we see some more city councillors questioning transportation bureaucrats on this latest idiocy. I expect we will hear nothing but silence from the usual anti-auto suspects. I wonder how good they feel knowing the homeless get to subsidize their anti-auto agenda?


City council is considering wasting your tax dollars in order to stunt business development.

It is hard to tell which does more damage to Calgary’s business environment; city council’s indecision when it comes to zoning decisions or when city council actually makes a decision on something and intervenes in projects. They both are damaging in general.

There clearly is a great deal of money to be made in generating studies and reports while our cowardly city council tries their hardest to avoid making a simple decision on anything. Despite pretty clear evidence that a bike share program in Calgary is totally unviable and likely would turn into a terribly expensive taxpayer boondoggle, our council of cowards has turned away from completely shelving the program. $24,000 has been wasted on one biased bike-share study and our council has decided to throw more good money after bad in order to study the issue further.

Last year I went to a meeting at my community association where an exasperated lawyer was trying to build his case to get the city to give him the green light to build a small office complex on Center street near 41 ave. He had bought some houses there under the assurances that he would have no trouble in getting his offices approved and he would be able to construct and move into his new facility. This was not to be so and the poor man was jerked around by the city system for a couple years. He has since put all those houses up for sale and one can see the line of realtor signs on Center north of the Tim Hortons there.

You see, there is an element of the hard left who have this long-term utopia in mind where Calgary would have LRT access to all portions of the city and that includes a proposal to run a train right up Center street.  While there is no official plan on the books for this extension and certainly there is no money to build it, there are some members of city council who want to see this happen. What is happening now is that they are stalling all development on Centre Street North as they know that new development on Centre would hinder plans and expropriation of property should the city decide in a decade or so to put a line there. This is similar to the provincial legislation that essentially seizes and devalues private property in anticipation of expropriation rather than just buying it.

The outcome of this unofficial policy on Centre Street North is stark, ugly and obvious. Houses are run down and worthless as owners will not put in any dollars to maintain a place that they expect to be expropriated. Crack houses, massage parlours and general slums are blossoming along this stretch of zoning uncertainty and things will only get worse. Who in their right mind would buy property on Centre right now?

I can’t imagine how much that poor lawyer lost in his attempt to develop something nice and new in good faith. He still hasnt managed to sell those dumps that he purchased.

The impact spreads beyond Centre as well. We have seen a marked increase in general crime and vandalism in our neighborhood as the unsavory element drawn to the run-down houses walks to neighboring communities in hopes of stealing something for their next fix. This devalues houses for blocks around Centre and it is soley due to instability and indecision on the part of our ineffective city council.

Not simply content to meddle with development through their inaction though, our city council is now looking to stop development through direct action. Council decided yesterday to study (surprise surprise) an idea to purchase 19 hectares of land along Highway 1 in order to stop potential development of retail business.  This is getting outright insane people. This is not some rare natural area and it is not an area lacking in open space. Have a look at the picture below to see the massive volume of undeveloped and protected space already set aside in that area.

What we have in city hall these days is an almost religious-like fervour against the concept of what some pejoratively call “sprawl”. This anti-business gang will stop at nothing to try and hinder city growth and this idiotic notion of buying land to stop retail development is a clear indicator of it.

Lets assume that the city wastes millions and millions of our dollars to buy this land in a gross dispay of market intervention. What will the consequences be? Well, our reputation as a good place to do business will sink further as instability in zoning is assured and the anti-development attitude of our council is more clearly exposed. The retail businesses that were considering that site will not simply vanish. What will be more likely to happen is that a larger new retail center will simply be developed farther West this causing people to commute even farther for their purchases. How green. Residential development will push even farther as it chases retail services and the dreaded “sprawl” will have expanded more.

Get real you fools! Calgary is a thriving and growing city. We are blessed with the open space surrounding us that allows us to grow and build good neighborhoods for our families. To those who really want to see the outcome of high density planning may I suggest a trip to Manhattan. There you will see obscenely expensive real-estate values due to lack of supply. That leads in turn of course to neighboring slums and ghettos that are totally unimaginable in cities like Calgary. Homeless and crime levels in densely packed cities are worlds worse than ours and much of the reason is density.

People are welcome to pursue whatever unrealistic utopia they like I guess. What is concerning though is that these blinded idealists have found their way onto city council.

Airdrie, Okotoks, Cochrane and Strathmore will continue to thrive and people will continue to develop outwards to avoid the congestion and discomfort that anti-“sprawl” measures will bring about. We will continue to grow as a city but our development will be an odd hybrid of sattelite cities and a dysfunctional downtown crowded with discarded rental bikes and empty busses.

Please Calgary can we elect a city council with a grain of common sense in 2013? We really need to break the trend.

No need, no demand, expensive, wasteful… No not our “Peace” bridge. I am talking bike sharing.

Have we seen people pining away for lack of a bike in the city? Is Calgary suffering economic pain as we can’t draw labor as skilled professionals are demanding a bike sharing program? Is it impossible for people to navigate the city without a borrowed/rented bike? Have we seen citizens loudly demanding that Calgary adopt a bike sharing program?

The answer to all of the above questions is a simple and resounding NO! Despite that some fool has managed to waste $24,000 tax dollars for a report on bike sharing that is so biased in origin that it is worthy only of the trash heap. Was it really that hard to find out that we don’t need this program?


Generating these foolish reports is great work if you can get it. A bike sharing company was paid $255 per page to essentially compile an advertisement for their services. One would think the idiotic bureaucrat that commissioned this report would at least have tried to find one degree of separation between the company making the report and the company potentially providing the service.

For those not familiar with it, bike sharing is an idealistic notion that has been tried around the world with almost universal failure at great cost to whoever funds it whether non-profit groups or local governments. The idea is that people may quickly and inexpensively rent bikes from stations placed around the city, ride to their destination and then drop the bike off at another station assuming that one is near their destination. I guess the notion is that it would reduce on automotive and public transit use.

As I had said, this has failed all around the world and for a myriad of reasons. Theft and vandalism destroyed the vast majority of past bike sharing programs. I get a kick out of the handful of supporters on this one making excuses. Montreal is losing a fortune on this wasteful concept. They have tried advertising to offset the costs (supporters point to that as a means to make it sustainable). Supporters are also blaming the advertising saying that it causes the vandalism. I guess bored anti-capitalists target bike ads or something. Either way, that excuse holds no water. Most of the prior and failed programs died due to theft and vandalism and many of them did not have advertising.


Many of the self-styled social engineers who promote pap such as bike sharing love to point out how great cities such as Paris are. Well the picture above is of vandalised bikes in Paris’s failed sharing program. They put out 15,000 bikes and half of them were stolen. Many of the rest were destroyed.

Some say the solution to the theft/vandalism problem is to charge more and to have an onerous registration system for users. This does indeed expose how supporters of socialized bike use have utterly no concept of supply and demand. If you demand a person register before use, pass a credit test and spend a pile of money; chances are they simply are not going to use the service.

Lets face it people. Responsible people with good credit and spare money will buy their own bikes or choose whatever other form of transportation that they please. They will not want to go through an annoying process to sit on a bike of questionable cleanliness and shape in order to pedal to a station that may not be convenient to them. Those who somehow can’t afford their own bikes or transit however are also those prone to stealing and destroying property. May not be a nice fact of life but that is how it goes.

Montreal has Canada’s largest bike share program through Bixi. That whole mess has become such a disaster that the city of Montreal lent $108,000,000 to the failing company in order to bail it out. Yes people, over one hundred million tax dollars have been invested in that loser so that they may hope to make money in other parts of the world as they are losing millions locally. This folks is utter insanity.

 I will save you all from spending $24,000 like the city of Calgary did and provide a link right here that will demonstrate the viability of bike sharing.

Dozens of failed bike sharing programs can be found in minutes. Those still operating are costing their local taxpayers a fortune (an ongoing failure). The wikipedia article on bike sharing gives a pretty good history on the concept and while a positive spin is attempted, it is undercut through the listing of failed programs worldwide.

Now should Calgary follow the report recommendations, taxpayers will spend an estimated $2.5 million to put 400 bikes on the road. City programs are consistently  over budget so it is likely closer to three million tax dollars. Bear in mind folks, this is simply start-up costs. Ongoing expenses will mount annually. The optimistic estimated operating cost of this system will be over $1.1 million per year on top of the millions spent in setup.

 Calgary taxpayers are expected to spend millions so that a couple hundred people can ride bikes for perhaps 7 operational months per year!

While this all sounds so stupid that people would think there is no way that our city council would allow this program to go through, we do have to keep in mind how stupid our city council has traditionally acted with our tax dollars. I am happy to see that Nenshi, Chabot and even Comrade Pincott do not think this idea will float. Despite this, we must be vigilant. City hall has had a knack of letting such projects slip through the cracks and then blaming the approval on inside civil servants rather than taking responsibility. They must be watched at all times and have no doubt there are at least a few who think this bike boondoggle would make a perfect legacy project for themselves.

Taxes rise every year while Calgary city council acts as if it is impossible to cut spending. How much spending per year is there on stupid reports such as this one anyway?

Keep an eye on this one people. The supporters of this bike sharing waste will not give up easily and any effort to move forward with this idiocy must be nipped in the bud.



Ever present reminder.

A few years ago I had finished a stint of a couple months on an Arctic oil exploration program and I had decided to go to Vegas to feel some heat and blow off some steam. My accounts were full and my liver was empty so while still a little out of sorts from my time on the Beaufort I hustled Jane and myself onto a plane and headed south. After long stretches in isolated areas, I can be a little out of sorts for awhile.

At the end of a long day travelling the strip, I was tired and more than a little tipsy. Still, I decided to wind down the evening at my hotel through feeding the slots some more cash for awhile. Now, I can be a terrible procrastinator in many ways. In this case, my problem was an overstuffed wallet that was literally falling apart at the seams. Those who remember the old Seinfeld episode with George Costanza’s wallet know what I am talking about. Well in reaching into my wallet to get another bill to fire into that infernal gambling machine, I slipped and my wallet along with all of it’s contents spilled all over the floor. On my hands and knees I had to scramble to round up my ID, credit cards and such as people walked upon my scattered documents. It was a tough job as for some reason my eyes were seeing double.

Then and there I vowed that my procrastination has come to an end! I swore that I would not rest that night until I had a new wallet and I would buy one at the first store that carried them! Well dear reader, in the Bellagio there simply are not many cost conscious stores carrying wallets. True to my word I found a shop however. It was the Gucci store.

To complicate things, none of the wallets on display had prices attached to them. “No matter.” I thought to myself. I am getting a new wallet no matter what anyway. I found an appropriate bifold and had the clerk take it to the register for me. I was asked if I wanted it gift wrapped. I said no I could use it right now.

I was then asked to pay $360! To make it worse, the American dollar was still worth somewhat more than ours at the time.

My inebriated pride would not allow me to back down so I shelled out the cash, pocketed the wallet and went off to seek another drink in hopes of numbing the effect of my idiotic purchase.

Below is a shot of the now worn but still distinctly Gucci wallet. I still carry it with me every day.

Now there is more to this story than simply pointing out an incident of impulsive purchasing idiocy on my part. The wallet has actually paid for itself in the funds it has saved me.

You see, I am prone to some impulsive moves at times and often it involves spending money. Now, every time I want to spend money on anything, I have to pull out my wallet. The shining telltale letter G stares out at me every time and forces me to ask myself if what I am buying is really a good idea. It is astounding how many things can be deferred with just a moment of second thought. Had I bought shoes or a belt I would not have that constant reminder. With a wallet there is no choice. I must be reminded of my stupid purchase every time I spend more money.

Now this concept can be utilized by our elected officials. I propose that we get a 15×20 foot blowup made of the picture below and have it hanging in city hall facing our council.

Yes. Before every spending notion and decision I think every council member including our Mayor must stare at that picture for a minute. Every council member should have a constant reminder of what happens when they vote for ill conceived vanity projects. Nothing displays that more than the hideous, budget-blown, year behind schedule, sole sourced “Peace Bridge” that is now polluting our landscape with it’s Chinese finger-trap appearance. The only thing uglier in our downtown right now is that camp of squatters in Olympic Plaza (you knew I had to at least mention them once).

The picture should make them ask themselves what they did not when they approved that ugly thing in the first place. Do we need this? Can we afford this? Is this the best deal for this? Should we put this to tender?

This idea can be effective for all levels of government.

The MagCan plant that cost Alberta taxpayers hundreds of millions which is now falling apart near High River should be pictured and displayed prominently in the legislature chambers as a reminder of idiotic spending.

The above picture of the duel-colored and profound “Voice of Fire” that our federal government purchased for $1.8 million dollars should hang in the house of commons for all to enjoy and to remind them of what foolishness they are capable of.

Like government, I can be prone to foolish spending decisions. Unlike government, I only am spending my own money. If I can learn to improve my spending through simple reminders of my past mistakes, I don’t see why legislators can’t too.

Idiocy wins.


 Well, Druh Farrell was quite petulant and perturbed about having her senseless plan to close a portion of Memorial Drive for pedestrian use brought up for discussion in city hall. How dare the electorate question the notions of Druh?? How dare people want discourse on issues that we pay for???

 Well, despite five aldermen showing common sense and opposing what has to be one of the silliest notions ever to come from city hall, the motion to end this lunacy failed.

 The discussion in city hall was nauseating on this one. NDP Bob Hawkesworth actually wrote a sad little poem showing the offense he has taken with democratic exercise. Gord Lowe went even farther and chided the entire room. There seems to be nothing that these overpaid stooges get more worked up about than open discussion of policies. How dare the public try to express their views??

One columnist at the Sun wrote a poem in response:

Dave Breakenridge

We bring you editorial verse,

Because Ald. Hawkesworth

wrote one that was worse,

about an asinine lark

to make a roadway a park,

that’s sure to make all drivers curse.

There once was a council in tatters,

that gave in to ridiculous chatter

to shut down a road,

common sense was KO’ed

by people who think only they matter.

Brought forward by a member named Druh,

who with her presumptuous crew,

shot down all good reason and made driving treason,

no matter how angry we grew.

Then the jester stepped up from his chair

and proceeded to bellow hot air.

He poked fun at the press

and made discourse a mess

But his limerick was too much to bear.

Opposition was soundly defeated

Ridicule with which they were greeted,

called them all petty,

with the brains of a yeti,

while the victors look simply conceited.

Calgarians do like to party.

When it comes to the outdoors,

we’re hearty.

But this plan seems absurd,

the worst many have heard.

Why not move it and compromise partly?

So we’re left with a council divided,

just because a few members decided

that what all of us need

is for them to take the lead,

but it’s they who deserve to be chided.

Please bring back municipal sense

and do away with ideas so dense

And while we’re at it,

the sniping

and political griping

that comes at great civic expense.  


  Despite nearly universal opposition to this lunacy shown by Calgarians, city council has marched on and forced this idiotic road closure down our throats.

 Thankfully, while Druh initially wanted to make these closures a regular thing, it has been pared down to a one day test run.

 In August we will see one of two outcomes. The weather will be poor and we will see traffic backed up for miles while belching exhaust due to the road closure or the weather will be sweltering and we will see traffic backed up for miles while belching exhaust due to the road closure.

 In both of the above scenarios, we can rest assured that the closed lanes of Memorial Drive will be empty. Nobody will be out in the pouring rain nor will people choose blistering pavement over a river path right next to them.

 Aldermanic clown Brian Pincott will now no doubt feel inspired to push further with his notion of spending $250,000 in taxes per year in order to hire an official city poet.

 We have little more than a year left to endure this crop of idiots in city hall. They very well may do some terrible damage in that time, but there is hope. Think of how much better this city will be when the self-entitled parasites Druh Farrell, Bob Hawkesworth, Brian Pincott, and Gord Lowe are gone. Losing the organ grinder Bronco would be nice too.

A glimmer of common sense in City Hall.

Just about every glimmer of common sense that we have seen in City Hall has come from Ald. Ric McIver so it is not that surprising that he is the lone voice speaking out against Druh Farrell’s idiotic notion of closing a major roadway in order to expand walking/biking space in an area that already has multiple walking/biking paths in place.

 McIver is pulling no punches and calling this initiative what it is; madness! 

  As predicted, fellow fool on council Brian Pincott has jumped in to support Druh on this tax-funded foray into lunacy. Pincott is the Alderman who proposed the inane notion that called for the city to spend $250,000 per year to retain an official city poet. Supporting idiotic waste of taxdollars is well within Pincott’s realm.

 From radio call-in shows, to commentary in the news to comments online, Calgarians are nearly universally condemning this crazy idea.

 Undaunted by the views of the people who pay her salary, Druh Farrell carries on. This issue has been an excellent display of the respect that Druh Farrell holds for the views of her constituents. She has none. Druh has even proposed that we move on and close downtown streets into Chinatown in the future as well. Wouldn’t the closure of Center street do wonders for traffic in addition to Memorial? Dull Druh has pointed out that traffic can take 16th avenue if they want to avoid the inevitable snarls that will occur on Memorial when we close it for non-existent pedestrian traffic.

 WHAT??? Has Druh ever ventured the 16 blocks North to 16th avenue? That disaster of a roadway has been nearly impassible on weekends since the 1970s.

 Is Druh Farrell truly this bereft of common sense? Are there perhaps a few marbles rattling around loose in her cranium? If that is not the case, we can only assume that Druh’s goal is to end all vehicular traffic in the city. There are all sorts of lunatic environmentalists with similar notions. Most of them have no power to act upon their notions thankfully. Farrell has managed to bypass all public opinion and get this venture in the works.

 Never since the late Darwin Award winner Tooker Gomberg proposed flooding the city streets of Edmonton in winter so that people can skate to work has such idiocy been seen in a city council.


 There have been rumours that Ric McIver is considering a mayoral run. Lets hope that it is true and lets hope that he wins.

 We clearly need to replace twits such as Farrell and Pincott as well and I hope that happens. Having McIver in the mayors chair would do wonders for city hall.