Saturday 29 October 2011

Fun contest for a GREAT cause

My husband Cory has entered our bulldog, Stewie in the Fido "model" contest.

The great thing about this contest is that for each vote $1.00 will be donated to Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides, up to a maximum of $200,000. That's enough to support 10 guide dogs. Imagine being able to positively impact the quality of someone's life.

Click here to vote for Stewie.

You don't need to register or even give your email.

You can vote once each day, up until November 17, 2011.

Friday 28 October 2011

Amazing Tweet from Occupy Calgary

There have been some off the wall tweets from the people who are "Occupying Calgary"; but this one is so out there I just had to take a screen shot of it to save it for historical purposes.

You can click on it to enlarge if needed.

Time to take back Olympic Plaza! - Guest post

The following is a guest post from my husband, Cory.

This embarrassing and expensive scene has gone on long enough. A small collection of squatters has been camped in our taxfunded park illegally for weeks now and the damages and costs are beginning to mount up. These kids have done an estimated $40,000 in damage alone to our park and the costs will only rise.

The Muslim Heritage day event which was booked and paid for in good faith will now have to hold their event in a dirty park (cant maintain and clean properly with squatters camping) and they will have less space than anticipated due to these tenters. Another group that had booked the plaza for Monday is now seeking a new location as will another group that is booked for Wednesday if we do not kick these kids out of our park.

Olympic Plaza was never designed for camping and due to that the damages are mounting up fast. Costs for extra policing and additional maintenance are building up. How many thousands of dollars will have to be refunded to the legitimate groups that have booked and paid for the plaza that will have to relocated due to the city allowing illegal squatting in our park?

This is a sad and expensive joke and is an embarrassment to our city. There is NO reason that we can’t evict these squatters from our park. There is a hollow and weak case being made that these squatters are protected by the Canadian Charter in this. That again is simply a load of BS. Speech is protected as is expression. Both speech and expression are possible without illegally camping in a downtown park. No rights are being repressed through evicting these kids.

If indeed that cowardly excuse of possible charter issues is valid, then I suggest that none of us in the entire city of Calgary need abide by bylaws ever again. The “occupy” group has never really explained exactly what they are protesting. I guess those of us who ignore other bylaws will not need a real reason for our protest either. If I refuse to licence my dog, I have a charter defense in it. I need only say “I don’t like social inequity and I am not licencing in protest”. By city council logic I am covered by the charter. Can I use this defense if I don’t pay parking tickets? Can I occupy a free seat on the C-Train in protest and make a charter challenge if I get a ticket?

Storage is expensive. I suggest that people should park their RVs and fifth-wheels in Calgary parks. Heck you can even camp there when you please. Dig a firepit for yourself. Vandalize the local bathrooms and displace other people using the park. It is OK. Just claim some vapid complaint about the way the world is and claim your action is your means of expression.
Is it becoming clear yet why making an exception in our bylaws for this gang of camping kids is a big deal? To most people it is something of a no-brainer.

Our city council is hiding in collective fear of the potentially poor optics that may happen if we actually enforce the law and kick these kids from the park. We need to take away their excuses. The fear of a charter challenge is utter BS as demonstrated above. I don’t think we really need to sweat a bunch of ragtag hipsters organizing and taking the city to court on a charter challenge anyway. That is simply way too much work for them. There is no charter right for squatting.

Another common dodge used by city councilors is claiming that there have been few complaints. From what I heard from the person on the other end of a 311 call, there have been many complaints already. Still, we need to ramp up the complaints.

Don’t let our city officials hide on this issue and lets not let these squatters cost the taxpayers any more than they already have!!

We must register our complaints and it must spread. Below are the means to contact city hall and your councilors. Use them and spread the word to neighbors and coworkers who are tired of this. Clearly city hall won’t move without some heavy prodding on this issue.

To begin with, simply call 311. There is an option for bylaw complaints. While on a coffee break give the number a dial and make a formal complaint of people camping after-hours in Olympic Plaza.

Contacting the aldermen themselves is effective as well. They do try to hide direct contact information when possible. The beginnings of contact information for aldermen can be found here and here though.

On twitter many of our aldermen follow the #yyccc hashtag. Tweet them directly if you are on and demand that our park be cleaned up. Some but not all of our city council is on twitter. Their twitter handles are below.

@nenshi @yycgael @councilorkeats @pootmans @aldjonmar @bpincott @bigredyyc @peterdemong @druhfarrell

This issue will not go away until we as citizens make it go away. We can’t let city hall bury their heads on this while countless thousands of dollars are wasted, our park gets further damaged and innocent groups get displaced from events booked and paid for in good faith. Email tweet and call whoever you can on this folks. It has to come to an end and soon.

Any comments can be posted at

Friday 14 October 2011

Still mayor and still just a part-time leader

On May 28, 2011 Glenn Taylor was elected as leader of the Alberta Party. Glenn Taylor is also the Mayor of Hinton. I discussed this conflict at length in a previous post, which I wrote on May 31st. Some said I jumped on him too soon; that I should have give him some time; that he would step down as mayor in due course, etc, etc.

On September 27 via Twitter, I asked Glenn this: "When will you be transitioning from your Hinton Mayoralty position?" I figured four months was plenty of time for him to have stepped down.

This was his response:
I'm still working on that. My wife and I, my council and I are discussing.

On October 1st I suggested he should blog about his transition; he replied with “OK".

Four months and counting on what should have been a “no brainer” decision. I think it’s clear the party doesn’t have the funds to pay him a salary. It’s also clear they are very happy with having a part-time leader.

To me this boils down to a matter of ethics. It shouldn't take someone four months to decide what is the right thing to do in this situation. In fact it should have been something he gave a lot of thought to BEFORE he ran for leader.

OR perhaps it's a case of the party not being honest with the leadership candidates. Were they advised that there would be no salary? That it was to be a completely unpaid, part-time volunteer position?

Let’s not forget he has the bulk of the Hinton town council sitting on his local Alberta Party constituency board. It makes one wonder exactly how much “party” work they are doing while they are being paid by the municipality.

BTW Glenn, that's a pretty sweet car. I had looked at the Crossfire, but damn they were pricey.

Editted to add:

Just had a bizarre conversation with this Alberta Party supporter. Best quote from her:
everyone relies on taxpayers (duh) but if u reference some rule I hv no idea about - I hv no idea. Ideas r what counts.
You can read the entire string here.

Friday 7 October 2011

Informal polling on Alberta politics

Yesterday I had a conversion with someone who had no idea that we had a new Premier or who Alison Redford was. For that matter, they didn't know who Stelmach was.

This has prompted me to do some informal polling today of random people I encounter at work and elsewhere.

These are the questions I'm asking.
Who is our current Premier?

Can you name any of the political parties in Alberta?

Have you ever heard of the Alberta Party?

I will post my findings this evening.

Saturday 1 October 2011

Kyle (Fawcett); That isn't what I signed up for....

Let’s start with full disclosure.

I have known Kyle Fawcett since we ran against each other in the 2008 General Election. We have gone from calling each other Mr. Fawcett and Ms Morgan, to being comfortable with first names. We have communicated via email several times.

As my MLA he has answered my questions, sought my input, obtained passes for me to attend significant events at the Alberta Legislature, we’ve had lunch together on more than one occasion and he even helped me get my misplaced wallet safely returned to me.

His personal communication with me has been through his Legislative email of Kyle.Fawcett(at) Or in the case of community issues they come as bulk newsletters from his constituency office and are totally non-partisan; which I signed up for and can opt out of anytime.

I was a little surprised today to find an email from Kyle in my Spam folder. On closer inspection, it came from what looks to be a personal email address for Kyle and one I’ve never received emails from before.

More surprising though is that it is address to “North Hill Constituents” and it is a very partisan email soliciting for the Progressive Conservative Party.

I realize Kyle has my email and had he emailed me personally, I probably wouldn’t have thought anything of it; but he clearly is soliciting all constituents with whom he has an email address. And as a constituent ……that isn’t what I signed up for.

This is the contents of the email.

Vote on Saturday for Alison Redford

Calgary-North Hill Constituents,

I wanted to bring to your attention a very important moment in the history of our province. This Saturday, the 1st of October the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta will choose a new leader, and Premier of our province. This is your chance to have a direct say in the future of our communities and our province. In doing so I would like to encourage you to vote for ALISON REDFORD.

Over and above her impressive resume of international and domestic policy work, ALISON is the best chance for CHANGE in both the PC Party and our province. ALISON understands that your government needs to work for you, and not for special interests and the political elite. She knows that the province is at a political crossroads and that the PC Party needs to continue to earn the trust of Albertans if it is to continue its legacy of excellent governance in Alberta.

Additionally, ALISON represents the constituency of Calgary-Elbow, which is similar in geographic and demographic composition as Calgary-North Hill and shares similar challenges. She knows the challenges that faced by your family and community.

ALISON wants to do politics and government different from the past, and this means bringing forward new ideas, and ensuring that the PC Party undertakes substantial renewal.

You can vote for ALISON this Saturday at the Highland Park Community Centre (3716 – 2 Street NW) between 9am – 7pm. All you require is an up-to-date PC Party Membership, and two pieces of ID (one with a picture and your address). If you do not have a current PC Party membership, you can purchase one for $5 at the polling station on Saturday. If you are no longer a resident of Calgary-North Hill, but still want to vote on Saturday, please call ALISON’s Campaign Headquarters at 403-xxx xxxx to find out where your polling station is located.

For more information about ALISON’s platform download the attached document (5 Reasons to Vote for Alison Redford) or visit ALISON’s web-site at

If you would like to purchase at membership before voting day or need a ride to the polling station, please contact 403-xxx xxxx.

Kyle Fawcett, MLA
Calgary-North Hill

Editted at 3:20 PM to add Kyle's explanation from Twitter.

Well, I'm not a federal conservative member. But looks like others who are might have also received the email.