Going Postal! Brian Pincott burning tax dollars in Calgary to fight progress.


As we see Calgary’s city council pleading poverty while they slam Calgary with year after year of record tax and fee increases, we also see council members pissing tax dollars down the drain on pointless pet projects and studies.

It is old news that Canada Post will be eliminating door to door home delivery in the very near future. The crown corporation has been bleeding red ink as the demand for home letter mail withers away due to advancements in modern communications. Just as pasteurization and modern refrigeration removed the need for a milk-man to deliver dairy products to our doors, the internet has eliminated the need to have a person deliver mail to our doors. Bill payments are predominantly automated and communications are now electronic.

Canada Post began moving towards community mail boxes rather than home delivery 30 years ago. Most of Calgary’s new districts have never had home mail delivery and they are served perfectly fine in getting their junk mail at nearby community boxes. It is a proven means of mail delivery and there really is little need to study further.

But wait!!! Who is this White Knight riding to the rescue of the fast-disappearing unionized postal carrier??


Yes, it is none other than Calgary city councillor Brian Pincott. Pincott has a well-earned reputation as a fool who loves to waste tax dollars on things outside of council jurisdiction such as wasting countless dollars trying to  ban types of soup. Pincott also wants to ban homeowners from cutting their own trees or having fire pits and wants to tell you what kind of lights you can turn on. I guess we should not be surprised when we see that Pincott wants to try to protect an utterly obsolete line of work. Perhaps Brian will spend tax dollars studying Calgary’s loss of blacksmiths next.

What Pincott is proposing is to use city bureaucracy to waste time and money to try and hold up Canada Post as they try to establish their community mailboxes. From the CBC article on it: “He wants a community consultation process developed and a report back to a council committee by this December.”

What is to study? What is to report? This type of delivery has been used for decades. There is nothing that a new process will uncover here. This is nothing more than a stall tactic.

Pincott has to know that the evolution away from home mail delivery is inevitable. I am sure Pincott is well aware that this is utterly outside of the jurisdiction of city council. Pincott loves to call for all sorts of studies and consultations so he has to be well aware that these things cost untold millions to taxpayers cumulatively. Why then is Brian Pincott pursuing this foolishness?

The answer is simple. Brian Pincott is propped up by union support. Pincott was very strongly contested in the 2013 election. He needs to maintain whatever support that he has. What Pincott is essentially doing is pissing away untold thousands of taxpayers dollars on a move that is utterly futile in order to kiss the collective asses of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. Be assured that the CUPW will likely toss a nice healthy contribution towards Pincott’s next campaign and encourage their mail-monkeys en-masse to help knock on doors for him.

Getting back to why the City of Calgary is constantly hiking taxes, when there are unprincipled councillors like Brian Pincott tossing around  and wasting tax dollars like that, how can we be surprised? Be happy taxpayers! We all just donated to Pincott’s next campaign!

Just Brilliant!

With the unfortunate lack of opposition in the legislature of Alberta (left or right) we can look forward to many ill-conceived schemes sliding under the radar.

Anybody who has even peripherally been watching the news has observed that we are in the midst of a global disaster in the financial markets. One of the key elements in the financial collapse was the American sub-prime fiasco. Under the misconception that home ownership is a right for all individuals. With the government subsidized entities of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac buying and guaranteeing mortgages from lenders, lending institutions were encouraged to expand into the market of people who normally would not qualify for mortgages.

Lengthy terms, low interest and a low bar for qualification encouraged by these entities led to a boom in the real-estate market that lasted for years. Alas, what goes up must come down.

Reality came crashing down and the USA financial market discovered what lending institutions sort of always knew; there is a reason that some people do not qualify for mortgages. Some people simply do not make enough money to properly repay a mortgage, some people are too irresponsible to pay other bills and thus their credit is too poor to qualify for a mortgage. With Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac buying and backing these high-risk loans however, banks were encouraged to keep lending this money out.

Low and behold, a tremendous number of people began to default on these mortgages that they never should have had in the first place. Foreclosures skyrocketed, real-estate values plummeted and banks were left owning a great deal of real-estate with negative equity. This of course has rocked the entire American market which in turn has rocked the entire world market.

The sub-prime fiasco is not the entire reason for this massive world market correction, but it is the main factor involved with it. It really does not seem that complex. Leave lending institutions alone. They want to make money. In order to do so, lending institutions create their own standards for loan qualifications so that they reduce the risk of people defaulting on their loans and the banks can continue to enjoy profits from loan interest. Due to that, some people will simply not qualify for credit. Get over it!

Even while we are in the midst of such a brutal lesson in basic economics, one idiot in our legislature has cluelessly proposed that we walk down the same disastrous path.

Progressive Conservative MLA for Lethbridge West Greg Weadick has tabled Bill 208; the Alberta Affordable Mortgage Protection Act. This bill explicitly states that the government should guarantee mortgages for people who would not normally qualify for one. WTF!!!!!!

Even without the current world financial crisis as an example to learn from, this concept is so stupid it should not even hit the legislature floor. Government is good enough at finding business losers to back financially an piss our money away (Magcan, Nova-Tel, Gainers). Greg Weadick wants the government to actively seek out losers with low incomes and bad credit so that the government can back their loans. If ever I have seen a recipe to waste Alberta tax dollars this is it.

The real frightening part of this is that while Weadick is clearly utterly clueless as to basic finances, this has not stopped him from taking on economic roles in government. Weadick is currently chair of the Cabinet Policy Committee on the Economy and sits on the Standing Committee on the Economy (the duplication of committees in the PC cash-cow committee system is fodder for another post). I almost fear that Ed Stelmach is gearing this twit for a position as finance minister considering his committee appointments.

Weadick is an alumni of Alberta civic politics. Few people are better at wasting tax-dollars and showing less grasp on reality than municipal politicians. Nuts like Tooker Gomberg and Brian Pincott come to mind.

Weadick came from Lethbridge city council, the place that spawned the Queen of crazy councilors: Dar Heatherington I know many are trying to forget Dar and her imaginary kidnappings and such. Heatherington should still be held up as an example that the voters can be rather mistaken in their choices of representatives at times.

Perhaps Weadick and Dar rubbed off on each other  a bit during their years on council. There has not been any proof yet that insanity is contagious, but I see this as evidence.

With any luck, this bill will die a swift death on the legislature floor as MLAs recoil from such an idiotic idea. We had best watch closely though. if Bill 208 passes, we may look forward to our provincial government absorbing billions in bad-debts.

Greg Weadick had best be watched closely as well. Clearly he should not be near any position where our tax-dollars or economy are involved (though that is already too late) and should be relegated to the deepest of back benches.

There is a reason for such things as credit ratings. Home ownership is not a right. If more people had grasped those two simple concepts in the last decade or so, we would not be seeing the current financial mess. It is almost unbelievable that some elected officials can’t read that rather stark writing on the wall.

Bright move Bernier.

 There are many aspects of American politics that I am envious of. The equal, elected and effective senate is certainly one of them. One thing that I have been happy as a Canadian to see though is that we really have not gotten into the national enquirer style coverage of our politician’s personal lives.

 A couple weeks ago the Liberals in parliament tried to make a big deal out of the fact that Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier’s ex-girlfriend, Julie Couillard had once been married to an informant who was with the Hells Angels years ago. Big bloody deal. You would think that parliament had better things to do than discuss a minister’s personal life that was a couple degrees of separation from a criminal gang.

 Last week, it hit the media that cabinet minister Vic Toews is getting a divorce and has a young, pregnant girlfriend. 

 So what? Is that any of my business? Do I think Toew’s behaviour in his personal life is admirable? Not really. I still don’t care.

 My only concern (and I wish the media would stick to those concerns) with elected politicians is their actions within their respective legislatures. I could not care less if one of my elected representatives went home after work, put on a latex nurses uniform and had themselves whipped by lasagna noodles by their significant other who is dressed as the skipper from Gilligan’s Island. (does paint a mental picture though don’t it?)

 We elect legislators not saints. These people are not in their positions to lead by puritanical example in their personal lives, they are there to represent constituents.

 Alas, the idiot Minister Maxime Bernier has just fed the jackals and fed them well. The fool left left secret documents relating to a NATO summit at his girlfriend’s apartment. Bernier likely was drawn to Couillard’s twin assets which are not class or discretion, they are rather defined in the picture above. Rather than quietly return the documents, Couillard made sure to get some more TV time by exposing it on Quebec television. The documents have been returned, and Bernier resigned as Foreign Affairs Minister yesterday.

 Now the people howling for puritanical politicians will have been given more ammunition in their drive to expose the personal lives of the elected. They can claim that Bernier’s choice in girlfriends reflected low moral character and it was right to pillory him over that.

 The only thing that Bernier should be pilloried over is outright stupidity. He was entrusted with classified documents that potentially impact upon our entire nation. Not only should Bernier be gone as a cabinet minister, he should be gone as a member of parliament altogether.

 The media and opposition were seeking dirt and we richly rewarded by Bernier. Sadly, this may lead to an increase in poking into the personal lives of our politicians in the future and that will only further degrade Canadian politics.