This morning, Jeromy Farkas became the first formal contender to announce a run for the Mayoral seat in Calgary in the 2021 election. Nobody else has announced yet and Naheed Nenshi remains coy about whether or not he will seek another term.
Farkas has ruffled more than a few feathers in his term on city council and he has forced the city to examine many issues on waste and transparency which they wouldn’t have otherwise.
The fiscal update from the Alberta government was terrifying as we embrace over $100 billion in debt. There has never been a deficit this large in Alberta’s entire history and there is no sign yet that it will be getting better any time soon.
Not all of this can be blamed on the pandemic. Alberta was heading into another big deficit well before we ever even heard of COVID-19.
Franco Terrazzano of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and I discuss how we got into this mess and more importantly, what we will have to do to get out of it.
Alberta got debt free before and we can do it again.
When will we see a leader with the will and fortitude to do it though
Click below to download or listen directly. It was a great chat.
Go on. Look for yourselves. Just google deaths in Sweden. Its all right there in a nifty chart. The numbers were tiny by July and they are next to nothing now. One every few days out of a population of 10 million people.
SWEDEN HAS DONE THIS WITHOUT LOCKDOWNS OR MASK LAWS!
How stark does the damned evidence have to be?
Its not that Sweden did nothing. Many people voluntarily quarantined and socially distanced themselves and large gatherings were banned.
That said, schools and restaurants remained open without restriction. Masks are not in general use today and look! The plague never took off!
Yes, they had a big initial spike. It turns out that like many other nations, Sweden initially and foolishly put infected people among their seniors. A terrible error.
We need to look at today though. Sweden has proven and is proving that the lockdowns and mask laws are nothing less than utter bullshit.
No more excuses.
If masks and lockdowns were what was needed, Sweden would be the worst nation on the planet with deaths in the thousands per day. They are barely having a couple deaths per week. They are doing better than we are where we are throttling our economy and making people wear masks wherever they go like a bunch of idiots.
I am forever in Sweden’s debt because in acting as a control group, they prove all of those who are claiming that our current dropping numbers are due to mask use and lockdowns are full of shit.
Now how badly are we going to castrate our economy and panic over what has turned out to be a really bad flu that had to run its course?
This was the most fun episode to record yet. Josh Groberman and Terry Etam are interesting characters with some fantastic insight to share on where our energy is sitting and how we can counter some of the misinformation and insanity surrounding it.
Josh is the publisher of the BOE Report which is a publication focused on Canada’s energy industry.
Kyle Rittenhouse is no hero. The 17 year old from Illinois heard of the budding riots in Kenosha Wisconsin, packed up his firearm and headed on down in search of adventure. Perhaps his intentions truly were to head down to help protect citizens and property from rioters but he was terribly naive at best. The kid went searching for trouble and he found it in spades.
The folks who found themselves shot by Rittenhouse were no heroes either. They were violent rioters who idiotically felt that attacking and chasing an armed kid with a rifle was a good idea. That lack of judgement led to two dead rioters and one with the better part of his right bicep blown off. It does appear that those who Rittenhouse shot had violent criminal histories but lets not pretend that he knew that at the time. He was attacked by armed rioters, he feared for his life and he did what most of us would have done in that situation; he defended himself.
What is questionable is why Kyle Rittenhouse put himself into that situation in the first place.
Maybe Kyle truly felt that it was his civic duty to stand up and protect his neighbor’s property. In light of police forces standing down in the face of riots for months, he believed that this was the only way to keep homes and businesses from being burned and looted. That rationale makes perfect sense in a police free world does it not? Is this not what community policing is all about?
The problem is that Kyle Rittenhouse was not a trained law enforcement officer. Oh I don’t doubt that he has spent plenty of time on the range and played endless hours of Call of Duty, but at his age I think it is pretty safe to assume that he hasn’t been trained and prepared to keep a calm demeanor while in the middle of a dangerous riot.
While the North American trend has been to shit on police officers lately, it simply can’t be forgotten how important trained police officers are. Yes, there are some issues in policing that need to be resolved but when it comes to dealing with dangerous situations such as riots, they are the best tool that communities have in dealing with them. Officers are trained and equipped. They are less likely to lose composure and end up harming themselves and others. Can they screw up? Of course they can. They are far less likely to end up shooting a number of people in a tense situation than a 17 year old kid with a rifle is though.
Dangerous people are drawn to these lawless zones. Look at the crimes and killings committed in Seattle’s short-live CHAZ experiment. Look at the number of pedophiles who were found to be residing in the past “Occupy” camps, It is no coincidence that the folks that Rittenhouse shot all had criminal pasts. They were criminal losers drawn out to take part in a riot and looting. They couldn’t care less about black lives.
It is well past time to dismiss these moronic calls to massively de-fund or even abolish police forces as being the extreme and ridiculous demands that they are. If anything, we should be investing more into forces so that they may be better trained to deal with these terrible situations which we expect them to deal with.
Do we expect community guidance counselors to restrain the puke and feces covered drunk who is assailing people on the sidewalks and put him in their car? Will community based policing deal well with an armed robber high on meth? Do you really think he can be talked down? On top of all of that, these officers have to deal with being called bastards by BLM extremists and screamed at through a car window by furious Karen’s receiving speeding tickets.
Police have a tough, dangerous and lately, thankless job. They may be flawed, but they are the best we have. Instead of trying to get rid of them, we should be seeking to improve upon them.
We got a taste of a police free world as we saw an untrained 17 year old kid kill two and injure one violent rioter. As we see forces further de-funded, demoralized and even abolished, expect to see more of those kind of scenes.
It has been over a decade since Naheed Nenshi was elected and his ideological agenda with the support of most of council has taken a terrible toll on Calgary’s downtown. Grand plans, massive spending and slush funds for CED have led to a city center which boasted a 30 percent commercial vacancy rate even before the COVID-19 lockdown hit. Office vacancy is now likely closer to 50 percent today.
While the price of oil and the impacts of the pandemic may be beyond the control of Calgary’s city council, the management of traffic in the city core is well within the control of the Mayor and council. Empty parking lots brag some of the highest parking rates in North America thanks to a parking supply oligopoly which is essentially controlled by the city parking authority. City subsidized condo units which bragged about their lack of parking spaces remain unsold while street parking has vanished due to a constant proliferation of bicycle tracks which sit unused for the better part of the year.
Nenshi and his fellow ideologues on council feel that if they can make the use of personal vehicles as inconvenient and expensive as possible, that Calgarian drivers will choose to stop driving and walk/bike or take the bus to work. What happened instead has been an exodus from Calgary’s downtown as residents and businesses relocate either out of the city or at least to suburban development areas such as Quarry Park in order to escape the expensive and awkward to navigate city core.
The few businesses that remain in downtown Calgary are hanging by a thread. Having lost the downtown office and residential crowds, they now rely on people driving out to visit them specifically. Chinatown has many specialty restaurants and shops which draw customers from all over the city. It is one of the few remaining commercial hubs in downtown Calgary which are still somewhat thriving.
Nenshi and council now have a plan to turn 3rd Avenue into a ridiculous and unnecessary bicycle/pedestrian route and to ban cars. This avenue is the lifeline of Calgary’s Chinatown as it runs right through it. If the fools on city council follow through with this plan, a cultural and business hub in downtown Calgary will be seriously damaged if not wiped out and all because of an almost obsessive anti-car mandate in Calgary’s city hall.
The Chinatown business association is already loudly speaking out against this absurd plan and long established businesses such as the Silver Dragon restaurant are saying that this plan would force them to close. Sadly, this will fall on deaf ears with Cagary’s Mayor and city council.
One only needs to walk down 8th avenue and count all the “for lease” signs to see how well downtown pedestrian zones are doing. A trip through the ghostly and nearly empty Eau Claire Market demonstrates how well being placed in the middle of a no car zone pays off as well. It is utter insanity for Calgary to close yet another important road downtown without any real need or demand. Unfortunately Calgary is not guided by a Mayor and city council who are bound by concepts such as economic reality.
Nobody is going to ride a bike to patronize these businesses in January. People will not continue to pay $20 to park in an empty parking lot and they won’t walk 10 blocks to a business due to the lack of street parking. They simply will shop elsewhere.
Nenshi’s plan to turn downtown into an automotive free zone may pay off in the long run as tourists come to morbidly observe a ghost town of skyscrapers. Aside from that, nobody is going to benefit from this obsession with battling automotive use in a city which sits under a blanket of snow for half of the year.
In day one of her tenure as Finance Minister, Chrystia Freeland is saying all the wrong things.
Yes, I understand that she has only just replaced disgraced Finance Minister Bill Morneau in the portfolio and don’t expect a detailed budget. Freeland’s speech in accepting the position lays out where she wants to take things in a broad way and her words are chilling to anybody with a sense of fiscal reality.
In Chrystia Freeland’s words:
“The restart of our economy needs to be green,” she said. “It also needs to be equitable, it needs to be inclusive “
OK I am glad that she understands that the economy has been devastated and needs a “restart”.
Clearly Freeland doesn’t understand that in a resource based economy such as Canada’s “green” is a goal but can’t be priority number one.
Loaded ideological terms such as “equitable and inclusive” in her maiden speech are concerning as well.
Yes, it is nice to try and be equitable and inclusive in general principle but in our current economic state, these are distant legislative priorities.
What is Freeland talking about? More pipeline and shipping shutdowns? Gender and race quotas? More wealth redistribution?
Canada is already a terrible nation to invest in right now due to years of ideological rule which was punitive towards most of the nations main economic drivers. We need investment and enterprise and nobody in their right mind is going to invest a nickle in this nation when the Finance Minister is more concerned with social justice virtue signalling than in dealing with the reality that the government is nearly broke.
We have a mounting debt and projected deficits at levels never seen before. Our unemployment levels are huge and countless businesses are going bankrupt daily. Trying to be “green, inclusive and equitable” is not going to do a damn thing to ease this crisis. We need a strong, smart and reliable hand at the helm of our finances and instead we have gotten a former journalist who is guided by social justice idealism rather than fiscal reality.
Canada is broken and will only get worse under this latest Finance Minister.
This week I had a fantastic conversation with Marcel Latouche on municipal politics as we head into an election year.
This could finally be a watershed election in municipalities as citizens realize that we are entering a new era where fiscal responsibility is going to be a necessity.
Marcel Latouche is the CEO of the Institute for Public Sector Accountability and has long been an outspoken advocate on behalf of citizens in a world increasingly becoming controlled by growing government bureaucracies.
Marcel has authored a number of books including: Take Back City Hall,
The term “black lives matter” is innocuous enough.
The activist group “Black Lives Matter” is anything but. They are extreme, intolerant, violent and Marxist. No tax funded body should be spending a nickle to promote that form of divisive extremism yet the City of Calgary has decided to spend $120,000 on a series of murals which will promote Black Lives Matter.
Here are some examples.
Yusra Khogali is one of the founding leaders of Toronto’s BLM chapter. One of the largest in Canada. She is a vulgar racist who refers to white people as being “sub human” and openly mused about struggling to keep herself from killing white people.
Edmonton’s Pride Parade was canceled due to threats and ongoing blockages of their celebration from Black Lives Matter. They were too afraid to confront the BLM thugs so they simply canceled their parade.
Black Lives Matter has and continues to incite violent riots which have led to deaths and massive property damage. We can’t pretend that this group is not extreme and pandering to them does not help anybody.
People can be appalled with the racist actions of some police officers without supporting BLM.
People can oppose racism without supporting BLM.
It is not racist to distinguish the difference between anti-racism and the extreme actions of BLM.
To add insult to fiscal injury, one of the BLM murals that the City of Calgary plans to put up will be covering a mural which was anti-poverty and graced the CUPS building for 25 years.
We are losing valued public art (a rare thing in Calgary), in order to pander to and promote an increasingly violent and extreme movement.
If BLM supporters want to promote their movement, let them raise funds and buy advertising space just like any other lobby group. Taxpayers should not be forced to cover with.
For those who think that this kind of pandering will immunize the city to extreme actions from groups such as BLM, think again.
We need to be calling out extremism in all its forms whether with racism or the extremists who purport to be rioting in order to end racism.
The City of Calgary has stepped well out of bounds with this move.
“An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile — hoping it will eat him last.” ~W. Churchill
Sweden has taken a lot of international flak for daring to buck the trend and refusing to get onto the COVID-19 panic bandwagon.
While nations castrated their local economies through sudden and ill-planned lock downs, Sweden kept things voluntary. Restaurants, hair dressers and schools remained open while social distancing was encouraged,
Sweden was scolded and condemned by the international Karen community. It was foretold that Sweden would surely become the next Italy within two weeks for the last four months. Sweden was condemned as a heartless nation which surely would kill a quarter of its population.
Even today, Sweden infuriates the world busybodies by refusing to get on the obsessive mask bandwagon.
So with months of this having passed, how has it all turned out?
Sweden’s pandemic numbers look just like those of nations which shut down and have imposed mask laws.
The world needed a control group for pandemic reactions and Sweden provided it. The world should be expressing gratitude as Sweden is proving rather clearly that the lock downs appear not to have accomplished a damn thing.
Look at the curves in the image showing deaths and new infections of Canada right next to Sweden. The trend is strikingly similar. The infections rose, deaths rose, they peaked and both have fallen to tiny levels currently. In the last week Sweden has had four COVID-19 deaths. While indeed tragic for those four families, out of 10 million people that is essentially what the flu would normally kill.
Instead of looking to Sweden for inspiration, panic porn aficionados continue to try and pick at Sweden’s success. They point to neighboring Norway and howl “Sweden had higher deaths per million than Norway!! Murderers!!”. The omit that Belgium had far more deaths per million than Sweden however and Belgium had a lockdown. Sweden fared better than many nations in deaths per million and that number will continue to improve as Sweden’s deaths appear to have flatlined while other nations still have deaths rising.
If the doomsayers were to be believed, Sweden should far and away have been the worst nation on the planet as far as pandemic numbers go. They should not be residing in the middle of the pack. The deaths should be exploding and the infections should be raging. It simply isn’t happening and it clearly won’t.
Sweden simply ripped off the band-aid faster than the rest of us. The pandemic swept through their nation as with any other and the curve looked the same. As we see growing evidence that asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 are very common, it is getting clear that far more people caught and shed the virus already than was previously suspected. Sweden is approaching herd immunity while nations which locked down actually managed to put that off. It looks like we are all getting to the same numbers in the end but some countries will have done a hell of a lot more damage to their economies on the way there than others did.
Nobody likes to admit that they are wrong. Those of the apocalyptic pandemic set who demanded and managed to get crushing lock downs imposed do not want to have to face the increasingly evident reality that the lock downs didn’t accomplish a damn thing. They rage, they shame, they shout down and they deny. They have gotten cult-like in their belief that a virus can be stopped through state intervention and no amount of evidence to the contrary will convince them otherwise. Thus the hatred directed at a nation like Sweden which had always been considered rather innocuous on the world scene. “How dare you!”
Sweden didn’t do nothing in reaction to the pandemic. They encouraged social distancing. Many people voluntarily reduced interactions and stayed home. Many large events and activities were postponed or canceled. Their economy still slowed and they had to adjust their daily living habits. The big difference though is that Sweden didn’t use the heavy hand of the state to try and quarantine the healthy and it has paid off.
We should be studying Sweden rather than picking on them. We should be emulating Swedes rather than shunning them.
Most of all we should be thanking Sweden. Without them, the pandemic panic crowd would have been able to falsely claim that their lock downs stopped COVID-19 in its tracks.
It is looking more and more evident that this virus is not nearly as deadly as the “experts” hysterically claimed it would be and that letting it run its course is our best course of action.