Don’t put businesses at risk with your fake service animals!

I had an exchange with some patrons in my pub today. Nothing that new as I am inclined to grouchiness and am not prone to holding back when somebody is giving me attitude.

It is rare but it is not for the first time that somebody came into my restaurant with an apparent service animal. The dog had an impressive looking blanket on it and was well behaved. When asked for the service dog credentials however, the dog handler got belligerent with my server. When I followed up I was told that the ID card was in the mail. Then was told that a letter from a psychiatrist trumps the need for a service card ID.

To be blunt, that is utter bullshit and I called it such.

Service animals are fantastic and they help improve the standard of living for people with all sorts of challenges. I am more than overjoyed to have people bring accredited service animals into my establishment. If a patron plained about the animal, I would happily invite the patron who plained to go elsewhere. Note use of the term “accredited” though.

To servers and other food service business owners, below is a picture of the ID that ALL people who are in possession of an accredited service animal will carry. Nothing less than the presentation of that ID will allow you to bring that animal into the establishment just as you can’t serve beer to a person who appears to be a minor unless they provide ID.

Here are the steps to apply for an accredited service dog. Click here for more detail.

When a person tries to bring a non-accredited service dog into a food service establishment, it is not a simple “no harm, no foul” sort of offense.

For one, the owner of that establishment may face serious legal sanctions from Alberta Health Services for bringing animals into their restaurants. Whether we like it or not, it is illegal to bring animals into food service establishments and when somebody does so they are putting the livelihood of the owner and the staff at risk with your selfish actions.

The other thing that is enraging is that when people try to sneak fake service animals into places, they set a poor example which furthers challenges to those reliant on real service animals.

It is heartbreaking (not to mention illegal) when one hears of a blind person being turned away from a taxi or an epileptic person being turned away from a pub because of their service animals.

Bad experiences from people with unaccredited service animals unfortunately can inspire some business owners and staff to try to turn away all animals.

I understand as well that many animals provide fort to people with all sorts of challenges. Good for them. If it works, by all means continue to do so. Don’t try to pretend that it is an accredited service animal though. It is not. Neither the animal nor the handler are properly trained and they can cause havoc in the wrong circumstances.

The means are there to train to acquire accredited service animals. If you need one, I certainly hope you can get one.

In the mean time, don’t try to sneak your uncertified animal into my or anybody else’s establishment. In doing so you put others at risk and harm the credibility of those who have accredited animals.

When will the nightmare end for the Maurice family?

It has been nearly two years since the night that Eddie Maurice found himself as the only line of defense between his baby and two intruders in his yard late one February night. Eddie verbally warned the criminals to leave. When they continued to approach, Eddie fired two warning shots with a .22 rifle into the ground which caused the intruders to flee. Maurice then returned to his home and called police.

Hours after the incident, police arrived and arrested Eddie on firearm charges.One of the criminals had apparently been hit in the arm by a bullet. The nightmare for the Maurice family then truly began.

Determined to convict this homeowner for defending his property and family, the Crown relentlessly dragged Eddie Maurice through the courts for months with appearances nearly every two weeks. It was speculated that Eddie may spend as much as eight years in prison. Finally when an RCMP ballistics report concluded that the bullet in the arm of the criminal was indeed due to a ricochet, the Crown finally dropped all charges against Maurice. They will never admit it but the growing crowds of supporters outside of the courthouse at every hearing for Maurice helped the Crown realize that they were way offside with public opinion with the attempted prosecution of Maurice.

The change in Maurice was immediately evident when the charges were dropped. His usually tense demeanor was relaxed. He was smiling which was rarely seen as the courts dragged him through the system. Eddie was looking forward to simply going on with his live and raising his family.

For over a year it looked like Eddie Maurice’s wishes to get on with his life would be respected. Unfortunately that all ended in September of 2019 when it was revealed that the habitual criminal who got himself shot at the Maurice home was suing Eddie Maurice. Not only was the crook in on the lawsuit game, but the Alberta government was looking for a piece of the action as well. It was astounding.

Upon hearing of this ridiculous travesty, Alberta Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer immediately extricated the government from their role in this absurd lawsuit. While bureaucrats in the justice department saw Maurice as the one who got away and were pursuing a spiteful suit against him, the Minister in charge realized how abhorrent this action was.

The Trespass Statutes (Protecting Law-Abiding Property Owners) Amendment Act was passed by the UCP government last year. This statute prevents criminals from suing property owners if they got themselves injured while mitting the crime. The Act was made retroactive to a month before the Maurice incident and that was no mistake.

Longtime loser Ryan Watson and the lawyer behind him appears to be undeterred by this legislative setback. They smell a payday and they plan to pursue this action to the bitter end.

Ryan Watson

Watson is no victim or sweetheart here. When he was arrested after his attempted robbery of the Maurice home, he was found to be in possession of methamphetamine. This was in contravention of a previous probation order. That tells us two things. Watson is a meth user, likely an addict and has a criminal history.

This week, Watson’s affidavit was filed in court. It can be downloaded in full below.

The content of the affidavit is laughable and insulting. In it, Watson claims that it was only through his catlike reflexes when he moved his head that he dodged one of the apparently multiple bullets fired his way. Yes, Ryan is apparently faster than a speeding bullet. Meth induced reality can be difficult to interpret at times.

Watson goes on to state how he feels that the Crown should press charges against Maurice again. Watson (or at least his lawyer) knows that he won’t get a payday unless Maurice is found to be guilty of something. Watson also threatens to try to use a rarely exercised legal ability to invoke a private prosecution against Maurice.

The bottom line is that Ryan Watson and his lawyer are hoping that with enough ongoing harassment of the Maurice family that they will give up and settle. Watson’s lawyer will get a new car and Watson will go his merry way with a nice big rock of whatever his pleasure of choice is these days to put in his pipe.

Eddie Maurice has no intention of letting that happen as can be seen in his release from yesterday.

In Watson’s affidavit, he claims a virtual hailstorm of bullets assailed him and his partner in crime that night. He paints Maurice as a psychopath who was intentionally trying to kill him. Never mind that utterly none of the forensic investigation indicated any of this.

Watson often cites the word of his sidekick Stephanie Ann Martens. Ahh yes. Ms. Martens is a credible witness indeed.

Stephanie Martens is a dangerous, repeat criminal with a long record. She was involved in one high speed chase where the vehicle crashed into a building in Saskatchewan.

Martens during one of her prior arrests

Martens was part of a more serious incident when a police officer was injured during the chase North of Calgary.

One has to wonder why the hell Martens was loose in the first place in order to attempt to rob homeowners a couple years ago. In light of the flaccid $200 fine she got for attempting to rob the Maurices though, I guess we shouldn’t be shocked.

The word of a career criminal such as Martens isn’t worth a piss hole drilled in a snowbank. Maurice will have to endure listening to this in court for potentially a long time though.

This action by Ryan Watson and his lawyer is nothing more than a shakedown. They are adding stress and misery to a family which has already had to live through a nightmare due to Watson’s past attempt at robbing them. While it is extremely likely that Watson won’t see a nickle from this idiotic, self serving action, the damage caused to the Maurice family can’t be measured.

This case is going to court in Calgary tomorrow. Maurice is asking for a summary dismissal of this claim and he should damn well get it.

If the judge chooses to indulge Watson and his lawyer on this shakedown, the stress and misery for the Maurice family will drag on for months if not years.

How many times must this young family be victimized and for how damn long?

If this is indeed going to be dragged out, it is time to get people together to rally outside the courts yet again. If mon sense won’t prevail in the courts, perhaps public outrage will.

How much more must this family endure?

Absurd demands made by “hereditary” chiefs need to be dismissed rather than indulged.

Would we shut down a legal $40 billion gas plant because a handful of activists and a local church minister or two demanded it?

Would we shut down a legal $6.6 billion natural gas pipeline because a distant cousin of Prince Charles said we should?

The above suggestions sound ridiculous yet that is what some people feel that we should do in light of opposition being shown to the CoastalGaslink project by the “hereditary” chiefs and their supporters in the area.

We should begin by defining what a “hereditary” chief is.

“Hereditary” chiefs hold a traditional position within many interior BC native bands. Their role is typically cultural, ceremonial and spiritual. Oral tradition guides these roles. That means that the authority held by “hereditary” chiefs is fluid and utterly arbitrary.

In having five male “hereditary” chiefs gang up upon and strip three female “hereditary” chiefs of their status, we can see how it isn’t reasonable to take these guys very seriously.

Elected chiefs are exactly what they sound like. These are people who were selected through a democratic vote by the citizens of the indigenous bands. Elected chiefs have direct accountability to their people through elections. They have responsibility for their people and the authority to sign into agreements on behalf of their people.

The elected chiefs for all 20 of the impacted First Nations along the Coastal Gaslink pipeline route support the project!

The elected chiefs understand the need for resource development. The elected chiefs understand the need for jobs and a future for their people. The elected chiefs are guided by reality and it shows.

Environmental activists backed by some academics, journalists and even a mittee from the United Nations want to ignore the wishes of the elected leaders and shut down this project which would bring work and prosperity to indigenous people in the area. It is unconscionable that these self-serving ideologues want to keep so many people in poverty based on their own personal ideologies. They are cloaking themselves behind the handful of “hereditary” chiefs in opposition to this perfectly legal project.

Things are going to go one of two ways on the Coastal Gaslink.

The RCMP, backed by government are going to intervene as multiple court orders demand in order to get this project rolling, or elected officials will cower in fear of the activists and let this project get shut down.

If the project is shut down, billions of dollars will have been flushed away. The government will be rightly sued by investors for not protecting a legal project and Canada will truly turn into an international investment pariah. Who in their right mind would invest in a nation which refuses to allow legally approved projects to be pleted? Whether energy, forestry, farming or even with a golf course, no investor will ever know if they may be shut down by some “hereditary” chief coupled with some activists.

The activists will scream and howl if and when they are rightly removed from the working area. The may get violent. They may force police or perhaps even armed forces to use force in order to remove them. It will make for some very politically dicey scenes.

Too damn bad!

The showdown over the Coastal Gaslink pipeline is about more than the concerns of some “hereditary” chiefs over the concerns of duly elected chiefs. This showdown is about whether or not Canada is a nation of laws or not.

Let’s hope the government shows some strength for a change on this one.

When are unions going to address their diversity issue?

Typically diverse union gathering

The social justice left loves to demand diversity among organizations. They demand quotas and call for affirmative action plans. They decry panies and political organizations as “old white boy” networks and love to post any picture which doesn’t show an evident rainbow of different races and genders.

The other thing the left loves of course is labor unions.

It only stands to reason that labor union leadership will reflect the diversity that decades of progressive activism has demanded right?

I did a pretty simple search. Wikipedia provides a handy list of unions operating within Canada. I just clicked on each and noted the race and gender of the union president. A few didn’t list their executive members for some reason but I got to fifty and figured it was a decent sampling of who is leading labor unions active in Canada.

Well, much to my astonishment and surprise, it turns out 41 out of 50 union presidents were men!

One would have thought that the activist left would have brought the male leadership ratio below 82 percent by now.

Well perhaps the race thing is more balanced. I didn’t find pictures of every president but from what I could gather, 46 out of 50 union presidents are white!

How can this be? Is it a conspiracy led by the patriarchy? Did the KKK infiltrate union membership to the point where they won’t elect non-white presidents?

There has to be some unsavory organization preventing these bastions of progressive thought from practicing what they preach.

Until the left can resolve their clear diversity issues within their own ranks, perhaps they should keep their collective traps shut on diversity in other organizations. Their silence on the union issue is rather deafening.

The ball’s in your court now Gil

Taxi drivers are now a race!

In their desperate quest to find racism where little exists, online social justice warriors (SJWs) have now determined that any critique of cab drivers is an act of racism which demands online reporting and a ban from Twitter.

I really wish I was kidding.

It began (as these things often do) with a simple tweet. It was a few days ago, hadn’t gotten much reaction and I had pretty much forgotten about it. Some goofy SJW spotted it this evening and brought it back into the scroll along with a pile of ridiculous accusations. This of course drew out more of their ilk as SJWs are indeed drawn to social media swarms like flies to shit.

I was tweeting in response to an idiotic class action suit launched by Toronto cab drivers whining about Uber which was rightly thrown out by a judge.

While I wasn’t nice about it, my point still stands. Taxi drivers have alienated consumers while hiding behind protected cab license monopolies for decades. This has allowed service issues to fester such as timeliness, politeness and personal hygiene. Not every driver was bad of course but far too many were and there was little that consumers could do about it. Anybody who has spent a lot of time in cabs over the last few decades has experienced all of the above problems. Not always but far too much.

Years of taking passengers for granted by cabs has allowed ride sharing services to explode onto the scene. There was little sympathy or loyalty to be felt from abused consumers for the plight of taxis as the market changed.

Now here is where it gets loopy. A tweeter who goes by Saje3331 fires out the tweet below.

When I pointed out that there was no racism in my tweet and that cab drivers e in all colors, she again called me a racist and apparently reported me to Twitter in hopes of my being banned.

When others asked her where the hell the racism was in my tweet, she started posting weird stuff about her marks in school and such. I blocked her as it was getting more than weird.

Not to be outdone in idiocy, some dingdong named Craig Rigden jumps in with a vapid assertion.

Um Craig, criticizing poor taxi service is exactly what I was doing. It is rather literal in the tweet.

As others began to ask Rigden where the racism was, he kept posting a screen snap with parts of my tweet circled in it which again only demonstrated a critique of cab drivers yet in his addled world he somehow felt he was demonstrating some sort of crazy proof of racism.

I then blocked him of course. I do fear that idiocy can be contagious if followed closely enough.

The fellow below is either lying or has no sense of smell. Either way, one of those conditions has somehow made him determine that my posting was intolerant of new Canadians somehow.

A number of other idiots chimed in but there is little sense pasting them all here. It is all much the same baseless crap from them.

Don’t just take my word for it though. Issues with the poor personal hygiene of cab drivers have been happening all around the world.

In a municipality in the UK a council had to take action to battle smelly cab drivers

In San Diego the airport had to actually do a smell test on drivers due to so many passenger plaints. The drivers should have simply bathed rather than plained.

In Indonesia cab drivers were tested for stench as well.

Nobody wants to be trapped in a vehicle for a period of time with a driver who smells like a goat’s asshole and it is neither unreasonable nor racist to plain when drivers do indeed smell that way (and at times they do no matter which race).

Soap and deodorant are indiscriminate. They work on every race and every race needs constant applications of both. Especially if they are going to drive a damned cab.

Forgotten were my critiques of the timeliness and politeness. It was the mention of the stench that drew most of the ire of the social justice loons.

Full disclosure here, I have been driving for Uber on occasion for the last couple years. It is a good way to make a few extra bucks now and then when my pub is slow.

Note that with 367 trips, I have maintained a 4.93 out of 5 rating from passengers.

My sparkling personality didn’t do it so what was it?

It was pretty simple. I don’t drive like a maniac, I am polite and helpful with the passengers, I don’t decline fares and oh yea I FUCKING WASH REGULARLY!

That is the beauty of ride share systems. They put responsibility directly into the driver’s hands for good customer service. You can directly rate your driver and it matters. If a driver rating drops too low, they can lose their ability to drive. All you could do before was perhaps call a dispatcher at a cab pany to leave a plaint which will be immediately forgotten.

This of course gives drivers a very direct incentive to do a good job.

With added petition in the market from ride sharing panies, taxis have finally been upping their game as well though it will be too late for many. They simply stunk for too damn long.

Most Uber drivers are visible minorities too by the way.

The world of social justice has gotten so insane that they try to quell all contrary discussion with cries of racism to the point where taxi drivers are apparently a race unto themselves and thus above critique. It is absurd but these nuts do manage to shut good voices and debates down at times. While the social justice twitter mob was trying to swarm me for daring to question taxi service, we had a case in Calgary where some nut has purposely been assaulting random people with purely racial motives involved. That is real racism but the social justice gang is too busy inventing “dog whistles” to take notice of or deal with it.

The irony of the whole thing is that the fools accusing me of racism are working on their own personal assumption that all cab drivers are visible minorities. That is pure racism on their own part but their self-absorbed world of social justice won’t let them see it.

Now aside from the race baiting hysteria, I do wish more taxi drivers would fucking bathe and wear deodorant. Or maybe as an Uber driver I don’t….

Nobody moves, nobody gets hurt.

On January 31 of next year, Alberta businesses will no longer be required to have an occupational health and safety (OHS) mittee at every worksite. This is fantastic news for all businesses as the requirement for these mittees implemented by the NDP was onerous, expensive and didn’t really do a damn thing to increase safety at Alberta worksites. Given enough time, these mittees could have cost untold millions or even billions as they create increasingly ridiculous and inefficient workplace regulations. Anybody who has worked in the oilfield in the last few decades knows just how absurd the red tape has bee and all under the guise of safety.

State regulation of work sites has made North America one of the safest places on earth in which to work. Long gone are the days when people are monly forced into working in unsafe conditions and the obligation for employees to speak up on safety issues is now applauded rather than shunned. There is always room to improve safety but the formation of thousands of pointless mittees is not the way to do it.

The main problem with safety mittees is that they begin their mandate as a solution looking for a problem. In any reasonable workplace, all major hazards for workers have been identified and addressed either through elimination or mitigation of risk through training and changes of workplace practices. When you form a mittee to seek and address hazards in this kind of environment, they feel obligated to find something even if no realistic hazard exists. That’s when we see bizarre regulations ing about.

In the oilfield there has been an almost cult-like pursuit of safety within the industry. The justification has always been that we must regulate the hell out of ourselves or the state will shut us down. There is a fear bordering on hysteria on the part of management within energy panies about safety based liability. This has led to the creation of a monster that is never satisfied and creates endless efficiency killing rules and procedures while not really addressing real safety issues.

I am going to list a few examples from my own work experience over the years to demonstrate just how ridiculous and costly things have bee. Talk to any person who has spent time in the oilfield or on large scale construction projects and I can assure you that they will all have many similar stories.

I spent over 20 years working as a surveyor on geophysical projects. We worked with explosives and we cut large trees at times which created hazards. We often worked in isolated areas where emergency services were not readily available. This required strong and prehensive safety policies and practices of course. Over the years though, the safety department moved well past mon sense and well into the ridiculous as they ran out of things to address.

I spent four winters working in the Arctic. We had an annual contract which would do seismic over the Mackenzie Delta region and right onto the frozen Beaufort Sea. It would require about 80 workers for about five months per year. In my first year up there, the initial project orientation for a worker starting up would take about 4 hours. They covered Arctic basics in dealing with issues such as extreme cold, thin ice, polar bears, etc. mon sense things. By my final season in the Arctic the orientation had bee a two day affair. That works out to 160 person-days plus acmodations in Inuvik (very expensive rooms) for every project up there. All the real safety issues could be covered within a few hours so then workers were drilled on things as ridiculous as eating balanced diets, wiping front to back and holding role-playing sessions on possible safety scenarios. Utter waste of time.

While in camp in the Arctic we held a safety meeting every morning before heading to the field. These meetings bloated to an average of 40 minutes per day and they were so boring that most attendees would be lucky to retain even a minute of valuable information from the meeting. This was due to an utterly stupid hazard identification system. You see, every worker was tasked to write and turn in a hazard identification card every day no matter what. Each and every one of those cards was then read at the meeting. With 80 cards to read, half of the room was asleep by the tenth report of ice being slippery on the frozen ocean. Meanwhile, a real hazard or two gets lost in the mix of all that paperwork BS. I don’t need to hear 20 times per day that the dark creates a winter driving hazard in the Arctic but I really did want to hear about the polar bear activity spotted in my work area. Alas, I had nodded off before the mittee head got to that card.

There were few things more dangerous in the Arctic than safety personnel with little to do. One luminary went out in the night and checked tire pressures on all the trucks. When you open a valve stem at -45 thermometer temperature, there is a high chance that the valve will get stuck open. What we then had was a morning with 20 trucks with flat tires. We then had to take off and bring those tires into the camp before filling them as they were frozen hard as rocks. The idiot’s justification? Safety of course.

The safety mittee kept demanding larger and larger fire extinguishers in the camp. Then a mittee member realized that our female workers couldn’t life these giant extinguishers which were every 20 feet in the camp. They then brought in dozens of smaller ones but found that we didn’t have enough mounts for these ones. They were placed on the floor. This camp was a multi-level affair built onto a barge and frozen into the ocean. One of the extinguishers was knocked over and rolled down a stairwell almost injuring a person ing up the stairs. Safety indeed.

On a program in the mountains North of Waterton National park, we had to use helicopters to access our work areas. This left an excess of safety people as they didn’t want to actually walk in the woods so they would roam the staging area. Some luminary on a safety mittee had determined that short sleeve shirts were a hazard and we are all forced to wear long sleeves in the heat (which we all removed as soon as the helicopters dropped us off). A helicopter engineer was lounging in the staging area on a lawn chair. There was little for him to do once the crews were all out. Most of his work came in the early evening when he did maintenance on the helicopters. Well, the safety officers noted he was wearing a short-sleeved shirt and swarmed him. He then folded his lawn chair, got in his truck, gave the safety gang the finger and went home. Having no heli-engineer was a safety hazard. We then had to fly 25 crews back in from the mountains six hours early at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars. Feel safer yet?

This problem isn’t just a Canadian thing. While in Texas I did a lot of shopping. Somebody on a safety mittee determined that our plastic fuel cans presented a static spark hazard. It took forever to find old fashioned metal ones for my crews. A new safety guy arrived and determined that the metal cans presented a leaking hazard and demanded I replace them with plastic ones. It took all my restraint to keep from pouring the gasoline down his unctuous throat.

Workplace safety is terribly important. Prior generations suffered under some unimaginable conditions as they tried to scrape out a living with little to no regulations for their well being. We never want to go back to those days but we have to get to a point where we can say: “I think things are safe enough.” When we keep forming mittees tasked with finding problems that don’t exist, we only create red tape and ironically often make things even more unsafe.

Nobody has been made less safe with the removal of the NDP requirement for thousands of safety mittees around the province. What we have seen is a great step among what I hope are many in making Alberta a good place to do business in again.

It’s time to tear down & repair the mess that the NDP made of Alberta’s Elections Act.

Rumor has it that the Kenney?government intends to change the Election Finances and Contributions Disclosure Act next year. During Rachel Notley’s tenure as Premier the act was quietly amended no less than four times. The NDP always knew that their odds of re-election in Alberta were slim at best. In messing with the Elections Act they hoped to set some traps and create conditions which would hinder the chances of peting parties. What was created was an unholy regulatory mess and it needs to be undone.

It is unfortunate that Jason Kenney and the UCP took such a ham handed approach with Bill 22. The rush to ram that bill through the legislature has ensured that Albertan’s will look at any reform proposed by the Kenney government with a jaundiced eye. With a number of United Conservative Party activists having been investigated and fined in the last year, any changes made to the Elections Act by the government will look self-serving. Nevertheless, the act needs reform.

In imposing stringent spending caps on parties, the NDP government caused political action mittees (PACs) to spring up like daisies on the electoral landscape. People are going to promote their causes one way or another and if the party route is closed they will create a new one. The NDP used labor unions to get their election messaging out while remaining within their party spending limits.

Third-party advertising regulations have led to a myriad of court challenges which will take time, cost money and likely be rescinded due to court rulings.They are a clear violation of free speech and expression.

The most clever and disruptive trap that the Notley government planted into the Elections act was in having Elections Alberta take over the regulation and management of internal party business. Political parties are private entities and the management of their nomination and leadership races was traditionally self-governed.

In keeping with socialist principles, the New Democratic Party of Alberta is managed with a top-down centralized model. The NDP rarely actually holds democratic nomination races.The leader chooses and appoints most of their candidates while the central party takes care of most of the funds rather than constituency associations. In placing onerous regulations upon constituency associations the NDP wreaked havoc among the ground organization of other parties while feeling nearly no impact themselves.

Alberta Party leader Stephen Mandel was found to be ineligible to run in the general election. Despite Mandel’s being acclaimed as a candidate for the party, he failed to file a zero-expenditure report for the nomination race which was never held. Mandel got a last-minute reprieve and was allowed to run in the election. It demonstrates just how insidious the NDP regulations are when a party leader is almost blocked from running in an election due to a pointless reporting requirement.

The trap set by the NDP in having Elections Alberta govern and regulate leadership races worked in spades. The UCP is still dealing with the fallout due to a number of party activists along with one leadership candidate running afoul of the rules.

The NDP set a trap in the constituency nomination process by requiring all nomination hopefuls register with Elections Alberta. Those aspirants were then listed on the Elections Alberta website as nomination candidates for parties. There was no way for parties to approve or vet these candidates in any way. Inevitably some radical candidates registered to contest UCP nominations. The NDP then pounced and tried to paint the UCP party based on the registered individuals and few in the public had any idea that the party had no control over this.

The NDP nomination trap lost its impact when I registered as a nomination contestant. I filled out the form and voilà, I was officially listed by Elections Alberta as an NDP nomination candidate.

I ran my campaign with vigor. I released a series of campaign memes based on NDP principles and began to attract support and attention.

Suddenly and unsurprisingly parties had the means to have nomination candidates marked on the Elections Alberta website as having been declined by the party. The NDP could no longer condemn the UCP based on their aspiring nominees unless they wanted to admit that Cory Morgan was actually representative of them.

My action wasn’t simply to disarm the NDP nomination trap. I also wanted to demonstrate the absurdity of having the government involved with internal party matters at all.

As a private entity, a party should be able to hold their nominations and leadership races however they please. I couldn’t care less if a party chose their candidates through a rock paper scissors match or with a massively regulated race. It is my choice as an individual as to whether or not a party is worth supporting or an internal race is worth voting in. Parties will create regulations to suit their needs and the electorate at large will make the final judgment on election day.

Elections need to be simplified. Parties have 28 days to get their messages out and I would rather the messaging was focused on actual policy rather than jousting over who may or may not have run afoul of party regulations that never should have existed in the first place. I want to hear from parties rather than a horde of PACs as well. There is enough information to digest as it is.

I can understand the reasons to distrust the UCP as they legislate on electoral reform. Repairing the Election Finances and Contributions Disclosure Act may indeed be in the interest of the UCP. Repairing that act will also be in the interest of us all. The NDP made a mess of it and it needs to be fixed.

Ground-level democracy is too important to get the government involved in the regulation of it at the party level.

She wuz askin fer it. Gil McGowan on union violence against women

Last weekend a few hundred union activists decided to spend their Saturday afternoon protesting outside of the hotel where the United Conservative Party was holding their annual general meeting. Despite years of recession, the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees has been demanding a 7.9 percent wage increase for their members. As it became clear that there is no way that the UCP government was going to indulge such a ridiculous demand, union activists felt that public protests and tantrums may help them get their way.

As is typical with union protests, they descended into violence and intimidation.

The thug pictured below chased and punched journalist Sheila Gunn Reid in the back as she tried to cover the protest. He felt that violence was a way to shut down press that may hold a contrary editorial slant to his own. Again, this is typical of union tactics.

While the picture and associated video showing the thug assaulting Reid is quite clear and has been widely distributed, the assailant still has not been identified.

Again as is typical of union activists, they close ranks and protect their thugs when they cross the line. It beggars belief that nobody has recognized the loser in the picture above.

Gil McGowan is the head of the Alberta Federation of Labor. Gil is known as being on the more extreme side of union activism and has never been one of the sharpest knives in the organized labor drawer. McGowan is in something of a leadership role with public service unions though and his response to Saturday’s violence was beyond the pale even for him.

Gil McGowan blamed the victim as can be seen in the tweet he released below.

When you insert the word “but” after supposedly condemning violence it means you are working to justify the violence. When you call a punch to the back of a woman trying to flee the situation a “push”, you are trying to understate violence.

Read the words that Gil McGowan wrote in a backwoods Southern drawl to yourself and think about it: “But we all know that’s exactly what the Rebel “reporter” was there for.”

Translation: She was asking for it.

Gil McGowan sounded just like repugnant men who try to justify rape.

“She shouldn’t have worn a dress so short. She shouldn’t have gone to that bar. We all know exactly what she was there for.”

By Gil’s abhorrent logic, if you are a journalist that he doesn’t like and you try to cover a union protest, you will be essentially asking to be assaulted. I mean, we all know what these reporters are there for right?

There is no justifying violence against women and there is no justification for trying to suppress the press through violence and intimidation. Gil McGowan is sure trying his hardest to do so however.

We are in for some tumultuous times as the UCP makes budget cuts as they were elected to do while organized labor tries to prevent our government from doing what we gave them a mandate for.

There will be more protests and if labor “leaders” such as Gil McGowan keep trying to justify violence we can rest assured that we will see more violence.

The cuts are ing whether civil service sector activists like it or not. If they want to keep even a glimmer of public sympathy to their cause, their leadership needs to unequivocally condemn the violence carried out against a female reporter last Saturday and condemn McGowan’s attempt to justify it. Unfortunately I don’t think we will see that happen. Thuggery is entrenched within organized labor and I just can’t see them giving up that undemocratic tool.

The only bright side of all this is that it will make the pending spending cuts much easier for the public to support. In that sense, keep up the good work Gil.

Bill 207 deserves a true free vote in the legislature.

It has been an ugly week for democracy in Alberta. The ramming of Bill 22 through every reading within three days by the United Conservative Party was an act of legislative arrogance that would have made Alison Redford blush.

On issues such as abortion, Jason Kenney was quite clear that neither he nor the UCP would open the issue up. His exact words are below:

“A United Conservative government will not address this issue, will not engage in this debate, will not initiate legislation.” ~Kenney

Well, here we are eight months later watching a UCP dominated mittee discussing a bill modeled to impact abortion access which was put forth as a private members bill by a UCP member.

Conscience rights for medical providers are already protected within the Charter and by medical professional associations. There has been no indication of problems in the medical munity with this issue. The Alberta Medical Association has e out in opposition to this bill. The bottom line is that this is a redundant piece of legislation which potentially opens the door for new ways to hinder the provision of medical services.

The United Conservative Party can regain at least a glimmer of credibility when it es to democratic process if we see a true free vote among the members on this bill.

In saying free vote, I mean each and every elected member taking a stand one way or another on this bill. No sudden stomach ailments making members scoot out of the chamber at voting time. No scheduling conflicting events at voting time. I am saying show up and have it recorded where you stand on this issue. I will consider any member who doesn’t vote on Bill 207 as being in support of re-opening the abortion debate within Alberta.

A few UCP MLAs have already e out in opposition to this bill. I appreciate that and look forward to seeing more e out.

There is little to celebrate in this legislative session when it es to democracy. One thing we can potentially look to as a democratic victory will be to see the party in power allowing a true free vote in the legislature on this bill.

The standing mittee responsible just voted 8-2 in favor of killing Bill 207.

Now let’s see the collected MLAs vote freely in the legislature to definitively kill this odious bill.

Gross display of bigotry from Jess Allen on The Social

I turned on the radio while at work today just in time to hear a repugnant rant from a woman who was cheered on by an audience as she derided Canadian hockey culture as being a nest of bullying white boys.

I had to look it up and listen again as I really couldn’t believe that a Canadian audience would let somebody spout out such a rant of vile pap without booing them off the stage.

Here is a facebook link to her disgusting diatribe. I will try to find something with better audio later.

It is a gross irony that this fortable urban living white woman is deriding a Canadian institution which has actually been a binding factor for all races, genders and walks of life in munities across Canada for generations.

I live in Priddis Alberta. While rural, it is a bedroom munity of Calgary. We also bound on the Tsuu T’ina native reserve. We have a pretty diverse local population.

We have two things which are munity hubs which pull people together. Our munity hall (over 100 years old), and our outdoor hockey rink.

Just this year we have had dozens of local volunteers working their asses off to renovate and get our little rink ready for the winter. It has been great to go out at night to see a whole bunch of people working together on a project like that.

They are just finishing the player boxes and should be flooding the rink for the season soon.

The rink will be packed with families for the entire winter.

Most of our munity lives on acreages. We don’t often meet and get to know our neighbors. Winters are long and cold and people tend to shut in. The hockey rink brings people out of their homes and brings them together.

I love looking out from my pub (across the road from the rink) to see the kids scrambling around chasing a puck while their families cheer them on. Contrary to what that myopic dolt Jessica Allen implied, these groups are far from simply being white boys. The number of girls on the ice is starting to rival the boys and there are children of a number of races out there playing. This is how kids and parents from different cultures get to know each other. This is how they bond. This is how we do learn that at the very base of things, we are all the same. This somehow offends the senses of Jessica Allen.

Allen says that folks should take their kids on a vacation rather than play hockey? A two week trip rather than an entire season of healthy petitive exercise and bonding within the munity?

Kids sit around playing too damn many video games as it is. It is astounding that some vacuous stooge such as Allen could claim that getting out and playing hockey is a bad thing (to the applause of gathered Stepford Wives).

The scene I have described here is repeated in thousands of rinks across Canada. These are social hubs which build and bind munities. If we want to reduce racism and gender issues, we need to be encouraging more munity sports like this, not deriding them as that fool Allen did.

Not all munities meet and bond while sipping $12 lattes in downtown Toronto Ms. Allen. You would be well served to get out and learn that. And to the women who gleefully cheered Allen’s bigoted rant, you should be ashamed of yourself.

We need to celebrate traditions which bring people together if we want to see munity unity in Canada. Intolerant twits like Jess Allen only drive us apart.