ENOUGH TAX ALREADY
Re: Property tax hike again and essential service cuts. As my husband and I are on a fixed income, I cannot swallow the fact that Calgary has the highest-paid mayor in Canada, Mayor (Naheed) Nenshi, the useless and controversial artwork, cuts to essential services and wage cuts and freezes for anyone that is not associated with council, and now a tax hike again for the small and sometimes inadequate homes. What gave him the idea that it would be a good idea for the already overstrained people of the homeless and unemployed and the people on the edge “just making it”, to put up with this nonsense? Those poor souls just barely scraping by, an emergency would send them into a financial disaster even with the food bank. Calgary had the chance to discard some of this nonsense and didn’t, so you lucky people, live with this for this next term. Hope you’re happy. But why are we not being heard? Maybe (Nenshi) has a problem reading or understanding the issues, perhaps? I would love to see this in print, but I don’t see a hope in that, but if you do, you may look at it this way: more people will see this … a woman in a wheelchair and a husband going through his own physical struggles might show people that there is some hope in voicing their opinions and hey, maybe, just maybe, Mayor Nenshi will read this and comprehend the message here.
EDIE and BOB HANSEN
(Hang tough, Edie. Calgarians re-elected this mayor, sadly signalling they are OK with the tax hikes.)
Letters to the Editor by Donald MacDonald and Ray Mesluk show how poorly Alberta history has been taught in school. Mr. MacDonald, when the NWMP arrived in Calgary, they found a settlement of some 200 Metis/Indians — members of the Bobtail Band — already settled there. The Catholic Church already had a mission on the Elbow River and were in the process of building another at the mouth of the Elbow. The NWMP commandeered the logs (cut by Alexis Cardinal) of the latter mission to build the fort. The first settler(s) at Calgary, Samuel Livingstone and John Glenn, were married to Bobtail’s nieces, as were Abe MacPherson (trader, freighter and stage-coach operator). L’Hirondelle was raising quarterhorses. This is all, of course, documented (“written down”) — as is considerable of the history back to 1650 AD. Mr. Mesluk, around 1650 AD., Sisip Pimotew was born to a Cree on the upper Oldman River. He became a chief of the Mountain Cree. As early as 1807, David Thompson documented a Cree myth that describes geological conditions in the Medicine Hills (by Lacombe) during the deglaciation ca. 10,000 BC. Archaeologists are coming to accept that the Algonkian ancestors of the Cree and Blackfoot were the ice-front people who moved into Alberta some 12,000 years ago, and that the Cody People of that time period were ancestral Cree/Blackfoot. Cody sites are found in the Calgary-Banff area, as well as sites as far north as Fort St. John. As for the name Calgary, what makes this name of a Scottish village more meaningful than a local name? Elbow, for example, comes from the original Cree name for that river.
(Thanks for that. Fascinating but likely sadly neglected history.)
With all the news about WLU teaching assistant Lindsay Shepherd, has anyone thought to check within the Liberal Party of Canada for a similar attitude towards freedom of speech. After all, the leader himself said that dissension on certain subjects would not be tolerated. If someone in the youth wing were to hold discussions on abortion or Islamaphobia, would they be brought before a similar tribunal and reminded that these subjects are not allowed and create a toxic environment with the party? What about any Liberals who have questions about certain claims made by man-made climate change supporters? What if they just wanted to reassure themselves that the party was being true to scientific and fact-based evidence. Would they be welcomed to proceed or would the heavy heel of Liberal idealogy prevent them. Would Liberals within the party support them or would they be ostracized and pushed out of the party for simply asking questions? I’m willing to bet, if anyone is brave enough to look, they will find some pretty disturbing answers.
(Freewill in politics?)
GET IT RIGHT ON ART
I agree the beauty of art is often debated, but Calgary’s art is often over the top on the ridiculous side in look and price. If Calgary is to move forward with public art projects, a number of essential criteria should be considered. The art should come from Calgary artists only, supporting local artists and the local economy. All projects should be carefully reviewed for value and appeal to the masses, as it is public money paying for it. Art needs to be placed in appropriate places, not necessarily at the immediate site of the project, once again reviewed carefully. Calgary is becoming joke material for other cities such as Edmonton, I have often heard “nice blue ring” from Edmonton travellers coming to Calgary! Next we have the new “Bowfort Towers”, the price was insane and this is in no way art of any type, once again like the blue ring, an embarrassment to our city. Calgary public art is currently suspended for very good reason. Hopefully common sense will prevail and the current system will be scrapped. Hopefully all the controversy of late will facilitate bringing Calgary public art back to attractive art to enjoy, not the expensive eyesores often going up now.
(It’s a program run amok.)
Re: Random testing at Suncor. I am a firm believer in “Innocent until proven guilty”. However, the planned random alcohol and drug testing at Suncor seems to be a reasonable decision given the nature of the work. Safety sensitive means the position or task is high hazard and if something was to go wrong, the consequences could lead to serious injuries or death, not only to the worker performing the task but fellow workers and/or the public. Based on that criteria and the history at Suncor, where thousands of incidents have been recorded where workers tested positive for alcohol and drugs after incidents, it seems reasonable to try and prevent those types of incidents with random testing. Just the thought of random testing will curtail alcohol and drug use by most workers so they do not lose their jobs. These tests are not invasive for the workers, a swab of the mouth or a urine sample in a cup. Unifor, the union, claims it wants to promote safety by respecting the workers rights and dignity. Huh? Please explain how that works. There is no doubt that Suncor would much prefer to save the time and expense of a random testing program, as those costs come directly off the profit margin. They choose to invest in that program to actually promote safety and prevent needless injuries and deaths. Is that not the duty, legal obligation and moral imperative of all employers?
(Only a fool drinks or gets high on the job.)
There’s a lot in the news of late of wealthy Canadians avoiding their fair share of taxes by using offshore accounts. Ordinary Canadians are rightfully outraged, but they need to know that our own federal government has being doing the same for years. Official Development Assistance is the money that countries contribute to help the world’s poorest get at least some kind of help. It’s like the taxes we pay to assist the poor, disabled and sick in our own communities, but ODA recognises that those needs don’t end at borders. But for years now Canada has been cheating on its taxes. Despite being one of the wealthiest countries in the world, Canada contributes far less than most other developed nations. Despite being close to the top economically, our contributions are second from the bottom. Canada is like the guy with a massive house, a BMW in the garage, and a condo in Mexico, and claims poverty on his tax forms while his less well-off neighbours pay their fair share. No wonder the federal government seems reluctant to pursue the rich dodging taxes — when it comes to ODA, Canada, too, is a deadbeat.
(C’mon, Canada is hardly a deadbeat on the world charity stage.)
Tickets for expired vehicle registrations spike in Alberta, Nov. 26, 2017. I do not want to seem like I am complaining but where is the responsibility in these drivers who have expired vehicle registrations? It takes two seconds out of your day to check when the vehicle registration expiry is. Whether, it is checking in the glove box or making a trip back to the rear of your vehicle. I always wonder why people forget about renewing their registrations. Isn’t it better to pay $86 before you get pulled over by the police and receive a fine? I do drive, and I always make sure that I pay before the vehicle registration expiry date is up. I would use that $310 for something else. I had, a burnt out (left) headlight. And, what I did was I took my vehicle into the car dealership and they replaced it for free (under warranty)! That way, I do not have to worry about getting pulled over by the police. Depending on the police officer, they could pull drivers over for a burned out light “because, the vehicle is considered not safe for travel”. They could give you a ticket, expect something else is up with you and or, give you a warning. I do have a valid point.
(No sympathy for drivers deliberately skirting the law but some people have busy lives and simply forget.)
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