Yes I think terrified is the word that best suits Mayor Nenshi and Calgary City council right now. For weeks, now a small collection of squatters has been displacing legitimate park use in Calgary Olympic Plaza and have done an estimated $40,000 in damage to the park so far. Our city has enabled the squatters with the provision of portable toilets yet the squatters still defecate right next to their own tents as pictured below. Even dogs generally try to keep their eliminations away from their sleeping spots. This is unfortunately typical of the class and respect shown by these baseless squatters towards the people of Calgary.
I do apologize for the grotesque picture above but it has to be driven home what these people are doing to our public property and the general respect that they have for us all. These things will only get worse as we continue to appease these people.
Last Sunday I definitively proved that Nenshi’s assertions that bylaw enforcement and the physical removal of people from our park based on bylaw infractions were untrue when I was charged with a bylaw infraction and removed for doing just what the “occupy” squatters are doing (aside from the feces thing).
Yesterday Calgary City council went behind closed doors for hours trying to figure out how to get the squatters from our park. Having lost their dodge based on charter issues and bylaw enforcement, council was in a spot. Our emboldened squatters took advantage of this time to hold protests right inside council chambers as pictured below. Still council was too cowardly to have this handful of rabble removed from their very chambers.
When it was assured that the occupiers were finished in council chambers, our city council came back from their closed door meeting in dealing with occupiers.
With much fanfare and many fluffy statements, it was determined that city council had chosen to implement a plan to consider issuing warnings that may lead to enforcement of city bylaws at an indeterminate date.
The lack of leadership from our elected city officials has been appalling on this issue. The “occupiers” continue to push the envelope and even took over council chambers while council cowered in an incamera meeting. Maybe the next step will be defecation within council chambers. The “occupiers” appear to be determined to find out just what the limit is and our city council is determined to do nothing about it.
The occupation in Calgary’s park is an unsanitary and unsightly embarrasment. The behaviour of Mayor Nenshi and the yellow council has been an embarassment as well.
There will be a demonstration at noon at city hall tomorrow demanding the equal application of bylaws in Calgary. It took half an hour for the city of Calgary to bring the full force of the law against me on a bylaw infraction yet in almost a month the city is too cowardly to ticket a single tenter. I will be at the demonstration tomorrow and I encourage others to pop by. I expect council members will remain consistent in their cowardice and will remain hidden for the demonstration. 😉
I was going to begin by saying something like “alright, these guys have made their point and now it is time to move on.”. I then realized that the “occupy” Edmonton and Calgary squatters haven’t even figured out what their point is much less made one. The bottom line is that they are a bunch of bored, spoiled malcontents trying to seek a sense of purpose through complaining rather than working whether in an employed sense or in the political/activist sense that our great free nation provides. Taxpayers are paying and people who have legitimately booked parks for functions are at risk of being displaced by these squatters. Park maintenance is falling behind and we may see delays in the outdoor skating rink that we pay for as taxpayers.
Appeasement with this small group of squatting complainers is a waste of time. The city graciously set aside and allowed free camping at St. Patrick’s Island for this. The motley group of the entitled turned up their noses at this and began to squat in our Olympic Plaza instead. Now should people want to spend an afternoon with their kids on the grass in our downtown park, they will have to weave between tents and protest signs. The “occupiers” have demanded condoms by the way so I would suggest not getting too close to those tents.
I find it outright offensive when I see these directionless layabouts comparing themselves to to the revolutionaries participating in the recent “Arab Spring”, Martin Luther King and even Gandhi. These guys live in one of the most prosperous cities in the most prosperous province in one of the most prosperous countries on earth. Canada is not perfect but we have some of the most open and democratic rights as individuals on the planet in living here. For these “occupiers” to liken themselves to those living in third world dictatorships where civil rights are simply a dream is insulting to say the least. I even saw one person vacuously claiming that medieval peasants have better standards of living than Canadians do.
On twitter and facebook I have seen people try to claim that if we evict these squatters from our parks that we will violate their charter rights. Sorry folks but that is complete, total, unadulterated bullshit. These guys have full free speech. They have been exercising it on the latest apps as they tweet about their trials and tribulations with their Iphones. We have free expression. The protest and march was allowed and demonstrations will continue to be allowed. That covers free assembly too. In most of the other countries in the world this group would have been locked up in the planning stages of their protest and definitely assaulted when the march began. We rightly have and protect all of those rights to assemble and speak here in Canada.
The self-styled occupying stooges however feel that they have a charter right to camp in a city park. Sorry guys, simple by-law enforcement is not a violation of your rights. I used the analogy before in that if I kicked out people squatting in my backyard I have not violated their rights to assembly, speech or expression. They have all of those rights. They just can’t camp in my yard. It is not that complicated.
It is clear that this handful of people truly do have nothing better to do. To appease and wait them out will be to allow them to turn our beautiful city park into a shantytown that city citizens and visitors will avoid. These guys are playing the game that kids would do where they put their finger as close to your nose as possible and repeatedly chant “Im not touching you” until the victim of the annoyance finally slaps the hand away. The child then will claim they have been wronged of course. It is time to give these kiddies a lesson in life and kick them out of our park. They can go to a campground, back to their mom’s basement or even get a job and a home. Playtime in the taxpayers park is over.
City bylaws exist for a reason. I don’t agree with all of them and I often feel that we have too many of them. That being said, when you are going to have over a million people living in an area, a degree of regulation is required. I can’t simply ignore parking rules if I feel the federal government did something I disagreed with and my free assembly rights will not be violated if my vehicle gets towed away. I can’t dispose of motor oil in my garbage and I cant open a commercial production facility in a residential area. I can’t camp in city parks as well.
As I said in the beginning, it is time to kick these kiddies out of our park. If we want to simplify it lets just say it is a matter of bylaw enforcement.
Perhaps (though I hold out limited hope), the eviction of these complainers may help inject a dose of reality into their worlds. We have a myriad of democratic and free means to pursue changes to our governance and system. People can form/join political parties and activist groups. Rallies can be held and marches can be organized. Letters can be written and doors can be knocked (all that work terrifies some though). Sitting around in a park complaining is not an effective (or legal) way to get anything done. Perhaps the bylaw boot to the collected bottoms of this bunch of squatters will encourage them to move on to something productive.