Thursday, September 30, 2010
At the All-Candidates Election Forum the other night, I was asked a question on the Bear Smart Program that I found difficult to answer, as I knew little to nothing on this subject.
Well now I do! Thanks to Cathy Pisony at the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre for fitting me in, literally at the eleventh hour, so that I could attend last night's well attended and fully booked Bear Awareness and Educational Event that was sponsored in partnership by District Superintendent John Slupsky with Devon Canada Corporation and Kim Kiel, program manager, for the Alberta EcoTrust Foundation.
All who attended, I'm sure, found it as I did to be both an entertaining and informative evening that left us better educated on what we all can do to not only protect ourselves, but the bears and other wildlife as well.
Fish and Wildlife Officer John Clarke with his Karelian Bear Dogs did an 'excellent' job telling us about his and his department's work, and even gave us the opportunity to meet and pet his dogs followed by a live demonstration by one of his canine partners in action, while Amit Saxena, environmental advisor with Devon Canada gave us all hands-on bear spray training that I found to be the highlight of the evening, for me personally.
All-in-all a very 'enjoyable' evening was spent thanks to the efforts of President Judy Cooke and Jenice Smith with our very own Crowsnest Conservation Society who were instrumental in hosting this event and from what I understand do so on a regular basis.
I highly recommend taking part in one of these events when given the chance to do so the next time around, as I'm sure you will find it as rewarding as I did.
In future, if ever asked again about Bears I'm sure I will knock peoples' socks off with what I now do know, and what I now do know is what a fine program this is, what a 'great' group of people are passionately involved in it, and how important it is that the people in this community and this municipality get behind it, and do what we can in doing our part in supporting it.
On October 18, vote JOHN PRINCE For MAYOR
Those who have packed far up into grizzly country know that the presence of even one grizzly on the land elevates the mountains, deepens the canyons, chills the winds, brightens the stars, darkens the forest, and quickens the pulse of all who enter it. They know that when a bear dies, something sacred in every living thing interconnected with that realm... also dies.
If we can learn to live with bears, especially the grizzly, and if we can learn to accommodate the needs of bears in their natural environment, then maybe we can also find ways to use the finite resources of our continent and still maintain some of the diversity and natural beauty that were here when Columbus arrived.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
With that having been said, I do think people left knowing, for the most part, who stood out and who didn't.
To be brutally honest, I thought both Irwin and Sygutek clearly showed they were relics from the past, who are still stuck there (re-living past glories) and as such have lost touch with present day reality. Their legacy in most people's eyes (but not theirs), I believe, is that they failed miserably in the running of this municipality, were there for power and for the sake of power only, and as such have left us a mess to clean up and straighten out.
Of the female candidates, I thought Sasha JaigerBaird did well, especially her dealing with the affordable housing issue (although I think she should give serious consideration to grounding her daughter, for at least a month :-) ) Doreen Glavin, who is one of my morning coffee buddies, who I know to be quite knowledgeable about our local issues and knows the people in this valley well, was not given the opportunity because of the types of questions directed to her to articulate herself as well as I know she can and would have liked to.
Of the male candidates, Andrew Saje came across well, although a bit polished as though his questions were planted ones and as such his answers had been rehearsed beforehand? But he does have a professional presence about him that most people I believe found refreshing. I know I did. I thought Brian Gallant spoke well and intelligently, as did Douglas Raines (although Doug certainly came across as one who loves to talk, and therefore, I wonder if council meetings will ever end once he's on board :-) ). The incumbents, I thought handled themselves well (although Choppy, at one point might have been a little too 'curt') considering the 4-3 split kept coming back to haunt all of them. Dean and Ian, I thought, came across as confident polished veterans who knew what they were talking about and made no apologies for taking the stands they did. (In this regard, I personally believe they deserve more credit than blame for what they have successfully accomplished during their term on council.) Both Jerry Lonsbury and Emile Saindon projected themselves as thoughtful individuals, who I believe would bring a lot of common-sense and practicality to the council table, while Merle whose angry outbursts and moral indignation, brought a constant sense of humour to the evening, by making us all laugh.
Of the mayoral candidates, to be honest, I cannot say much as it is difficult to listen and concentrate on what another is saying when you are up next thinking about what you have to say. I, however, thought my closing speech was well received and have since confirmed this with others. As was my Curriculum Vitae and Brochure. And of course, I humbly submit that I honestly and firmly believe that I am still the best and most capable of the three to lead this community into the future, over the next three years. If I do say so myself. :-)
All in all, I think we as a community could have done better to ensure we had a more suitable location (e.g. MDM) to host this event. It should also have been broken up into at least two forums (one for the mayoral candidates and another for the council candidates), and candidates opening speeches should have been allowed (as they have in the past) in order to get a better feel for the candidates, before heading into the Q&A phase.
I do not believe yesterday's forum fulfilled its stated purpose as well as it could have, but what is done is done. Next time around, I for one as Mayor will make certain we do it much better by ensuring suitable and adequate facilities are made available and that if necessary more organizations get involved to better facilitate the process of holding more than one forum, so that the public is given every opportunity to better educate themselves as to who the candidates are, and what they stand for. In my opinion, too much time was wasted and taken up dealing with River Run and the 4-3 split. These issues should have been dealt with much earlier by this council in public forums of there own, rather than trying to cram these matters into an election forum, where in my opinion, they took away from dealing with the future direction of our municipality.
What's next? Three weeks of media blitz in which, following past practices, they first distort the picture of what 280 people saw with their own eyes at this forum into something else, for the benefit of the establishment types who are running in this race, in order to bamboozle the remaining 5600 people in our community who were not able to be there. Followed by several newspaper editions from each of our newspapers with their subtle and sometimes not so subtle barrage of ads, smear campaigns and propaganda telling you who you should vote for (or not), in their efforts to do all they can to predetermine the outcome of our municipal election for their political masters. Oh, and lets not forget the constant daily bombardment over the airwaves from our local radio station as well.
If you manage to survive all of the above, while still maintaining a certain amount of sanity and good judgement, then you will do well to remember...
On October 18, vote JOHN PRINCE For MAYOR
There are two ways to slide easily through life; to believe everything or to doubt everything. Both ways save us from thinking.
Monday, September 27, 2010
A record 22 candidates are running this time around, 3 for Mayor and 19 for 6 positions for councillor.
We have a fine slate of candidates and it should be an entertaining and informative evening for one and all. So drop what you are doing and come on down and see for yourself who you should be voting for and supporting.
If you can't make it and are still unsure who you should vote for for Mayor, well let me give you a little hint...
John Prince For Mayor
(There's nothing like having your own blog during an election for shameless self-promotion, now is there? :-) )
Seriously, don't let flashy ads and biased media tell you who you should vote for; come down, look, listen and be your own judge on who you think will work hardest to serve your own and this community's best interests over the next three years.
On October 18, vote JOHN PRINCE For MAYOR
Humor is also a way of saying something serious.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Yesterday, I had a conversation with one of these people that did not go very well, as this person from the get-go misconstrued my earlier email to him of that day as an insult, rather than a statement of fact. My email attempted to point out to him the fact that the number one issue of parents in this community with their school board was the recent busing issue. Email campaigns were launched, letters to the editor, protests, etc. people were outraged and at the end of the day he and they were thwarted in their attempts to force their trustees to change their new transportation policy with respect to this issue. On behalf of this group, I even posted a letter of theirs to the school board here, in a show of support.
So with the above in mind it came as a shock to me to find out that on Nomination Day for School Board Trustees two people (one an incumbent) got in by 'Acclamation'. There will be no election, no field of candidates, no debate or discussion of the issues (or repercussions over the busing issue) affecting education in the community. Complacency and apathy it would appear have reared their ugly head again, and I stated as much to this individual in my email and subsequent telephone conversation with him.
I also pointed out to him my belief that we could probably expect as much from him and his establishment cronies with our upcoming municipal election, which would be truly sad and pathetic but in keeping with their actions of the past. In closing I said,
Is it any wonder we have the problems we do here with so much complacency and apathy?This person told me in so many words that he found municipal politics 'boring' and 'trivial' and as such, 'beneath him'. While at the same time voicing his expectations that all candidates should make the effort to drop by and visit with him personally, to win his vote, while he himself does nothing by way of working for or supporting anyone himself, by volunteering his time and/or making a campaign contribution, either in cash or in kind. Its all about ME, ME, ME with these people. Never about what they can do and contribute for the greater good of the community as a whole.
Give your head a shake, boy! Then get out there and make a difference by getting involved by standing up for much needed and long overdue change in this community.
Support and vote for someone who has for years been on the front line fighting on behalf of those who can’t... or won’t!
Knowing this person and his kind as I do, the real sadness and truth of the matter is despite all their rhetoric and grandstanding, at the end of the day they do not even have the will or moral integrity to stand up for their beliefs and convictions. Instead, they make no waves and vote as a block for one of their own... like the sheep they are. And this is why a mayor such as we have had for so long was able to stay in power, and run this community into the ground for most people living here, but not for these privileged few. These privileged few who are secure and well-healed wanting for nothing, whose businesses and lifestyle have been protected from outside forces by their establishment friends, know nothing and care even less about those in our community who struggle every day with unemployment, lack of opportunities, nepotism and cronyism, the high cost of living, inadequate or non existent public transportation, affordable housing, seniors' housing, those having to live on fixed incomes such as the disabled and seniors, etc., etc. They are oblivious to the wants and needs of those who live under their very noses because they are to self-absorbed in their own little world and with their own class to see all the harm and devastation that has resulted because of their complacency, apathy and/or indifference. "Let Them Eat Cake".
In summary, the time has come for the great 'unwashed' among us to come forward and be the change we want to see in this community. Support those running who reflect your issues and concerns and who will work in your best interest... not just theirs and their establishment friends only.
On October 18, vote JOHN PRINCE For MAYOR
Only the shallow know themselves.
Friday, September 24, 2010
I heard on the news yesterday that Calgary and Toronto are having on average 3-4 election forums daily, whereas the good people here in the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass are forced to settle for having only one... for the duration of the whole election. And that one and only election forum, is three whole weeks before residents actually go to the polls.
With everything that has transpired here in our municipality over the last three years, and with 22 candidates vying for seven positions on council, one has to wonder how much if anything can be accomplished in a 2 hour all-candidates forum? Especially this time around, when according to the itinerary candidates won't even be allowed to do an opening speech but instead will have to settle for maybe being asked a question or two followed by a 1.5 minute closing speech. Not much time to get to know your candidates is it? Especially disadvantaged, I think, are the new ones running for the first time, who not too many people know or have even heard from before.
Today, I heard with all the commotion of late with the school board over the busing issue the two sitting trustees got in by acclamation? Is democracy dead here in the Crowsnest Pass? For all intents and purposes it sure looks that way, regardless of the record number of candidates running in this year's municipal election.
We have a situation here that reeks of both establishment interference with our democratic process, and voter apathy. From not being able to question properly the current mayor and council's actions over this past term with respect to such fundamental issues such as transparency, fiscal responsibility, accountability and due diligence, to Bridgecreek/River Run, etc. to unfair advantages (because of the process) being given to incumbents and former councillors, along with insufficient time and opportunity to properly evaluate a virtually unknown establishment type individual running for the top position in our municipality, to a community at large being dictated to by a few, and thereby settling for a farcical election process.
The above is how accidents and disasters happen. Is this community about to suffer another accident... or disaster? I hope not! Do your part to make sure it doesn't...
On October 18, vote JOHN PRINCE For MAYOR
The price one pays for pursuing any profession or calling is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Donald J.R. Vaters
From the unofficial list* above, one can see (with the exception of Gary Taje) all of the present council is running again, with even former councillor Gail Sygutek back in the race, too. The choice for some in this community will be to vote and support one of the two camps: the gang of three (old school), or the gang of four (new school). From what I can see and from what I know many of the remaining candidates, in my opinion, are already with one or the other camp. But fortunately there are still several others who are both qualified and, as far as I know, nonpartisan. Not belonging to nor favouring either (like me) old school or new, but instead being what I call 'middle school'. These are the people having no history or interest in playing 'gotcha politics', wanting only to serve their community to the best of their ability. These are the ones voters should keep a special eye out for, because these are the people who have the ability to save this community... from itself. We cannot afford to have another 'dysfunctional' council and therefore must choose wisely, based not so much on the individual, but on who best makes up a winning team.
In this regard, an old movie from the 40's comes to mind that best exemplifies what I am saying here. It was called Lifeboat. The central thyme being, rather than choosing people to make up a team (council) based on party affiliation, social class, status, money, old school, new school, etc., The decision had to be made with respect to those best able to work together to row their boat to safe harbour. We need to do the same here! Otherwise, we could find ourselves going down with the ship.
*Because candidates have 24 hours to decide to withdraw their names, or not, the following is the unofficial list. This unofficial list is also on the left and will be updated tomorrow, and will then become the official list.
Never doubt that a small group of people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
$15 million, a resurrection; Innoka Resort rises on site of Bighorn Mountain Resort
By Marty Hope, Calgary Herald September 18, 2010
They wanted their money back, to be sure -- but at the same time, they wanted their second home back as well.
Innoka Resort -- a 20-unit development at Kananaskis Way and Montane Road in Canmore -- is being created in response to the frustration of a group of investors.
They found themselves left in the lurch when the developer of what was then called Bighorn Mountain Resort went into receivership in 2009.
With the total support of 108 investors who have put up $15 million of their own money, Richard LeBlanc is spearheading the redevelopment of the recreation property.
To help relaunch the project, a shaman from the nearby Stoney reserve cleansed the land of the bad karma and blessed the investors on their quest toward success.
As CEO of Innoka Point Resort Corp. and an investor in the previous venture, LeBlanc says the project is "an exercise in the repatriation of lost equity."
The fractional ownership development will have 20 units in five blocks, with units ranging from 2,500 to 2,700 square feet.
Based on a one-eighth ownership, prices begin at $165,000 in the first block, says Cara Katterhagen, an investor and director of marketing for Innoka.
LeBlanc has been CEO since March -- and in the interim, he has cleared the required legal roadblocks to allow investors to purchase the property and to carry on with completion of the development.
"While there are strong and lingering emotional tones still, the reality is that we are in the business of developing a resort -- and that we must do so ourselves," says LeBlanc.
As a result, a vision of success has arisen from a financial nightmare -- and that vision, is closer to becoming reality each day now that work has resumed on the partially completed development.
The resort's existing footprint will be used.
Each unit has three bedrooms (each with their own ensuite), a media room with a pullout sofa, flat-screen TVs, as well as granite or stone counters.
Other features include slate and hardwood flooring, high-end commercial appliances, stacked in-suite laundry, garage with private storage, and three decks.
Prices in the first phase for the exterior units start at $165,000, while interior units start at $175,000. These units will be first offered to investors (shareholders and associates), says Katterhagen.
While prices for subsequent blocks haven't been finalized, they could be $5,000 higher.
Prices are based on an eighth share, giving each owner six weeks of usage in one week increments throughout the year on a rotating schedule.
LeBlanc hopes to have the first block complete by the end of October.
Completion of the remaining blocks will depend on sales, but as each block is at least partially constructed, construction time frames are expected to be about six to eight weeks per block.
This is a phased development; construction will depend on the sales pace. It is expected to take 18 to 24 months to complete the project.
In addition to the residences, there is also a 5,000-square-foot amenities building on site.
The use of the building has not been finally determined, but it will include a hot tub, exercise room, and quite possibly a restaurant/ lounge and a spa.
The building is also mostly constructed and requires interior finishing. Owners and guests will have full access to all the facilities. The zoning for Innoka is commercial, which limits occupancy to 30 day -- therefore, it cannot be used as a permanent residence.
The company has chosen to sell Innoka as eighths, keeping prices under $200,000 and broadening market accessibility to a larger group of buyers.
If owners cannot or choose not to use their unit, they can place it in a rental pool, which will generate income and leverage their investment.
Innoka Resort will incorporate a First Nations theme, which includes using sustainable material wherever possible, as well as sacred materials -- for example, using sage in the landscaping plan.
There will also be the use of symbols, with the biggest one, at least visually, involving First Nations artwork. Each unit will mostly feature original works by First Nations artists.
"The effort to re-start construction and to inherit self-operation -- there is no money for an external party to make profit -- requires a strong mentality of backfilling lost equity," says LeBlanc. "We do not dream of making a profit building, though we may come close. It is simply of reducing our loss."
The effort and challenge put into building and selling Innoka has resulted in the creation of another company, Buzz Resorts Corp., that will operate Innoka, which will become a condo corporation, he says.
"We will not simply build and sell, but we will stand behind what we complete and support it going forward through Buzz," says LeBlanc, adding that this will also open up revenue and asset channels for investors and may provide a "beachhead" for future endeavours.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
PROJECT: Innoka Resort will have 20 timeshare units developed in five blocks. It is the result of a group of 108 investors in a previous project that went into receivership banding together to bring it back to life -- and completion.
DEVELOPER: Innoka Point Resort Corp.
AREA: Canmore (Kananaskis Way and Montane Road).
PRICE: Based on a one-eighth ownership, prices begin at $165,000.
INFORMATION: Visit www.innoka.ca
© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald
Note: Thanks Richard for the heads up on this and Good Luck!
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Well today, I met her for the first time for coffee and had a pleasant 2-1/2 hour conversation dealing primarily with municipal business, and the election. I left pleased to have met her and to feel I now had a new friend. Well, a 'new friend' is an understatement... she is now my best friend! :-) :-) :-) Here's why...
Who would I rather work with??
Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.
Friday, September 17, 2010
I e-mailed it to my Japanese doctor friend; he e-mailed back: "If light stay on more than 4 hour, call erectrician."
Thanks Stan! :-)
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Since last Saturday, when I posted my doom and gloom news, I have received numerous emails and phone calls from local residents and others, including the media, asking if I was withdrawing from the race? All expressed concern and disappointment... except the one from the media of course. :-)
For the record, it now looks like my chances are 'very good' at becoming your next Mayor for the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass. Due in large part to my wife's initiative in raising much needed funds (in this regard, a special thank you to my blogging buddy Jose and his wife Darlene for their very generous donation. A heart felt thanks to all my other supporters who have already helped out). Kudos to my wife Diane for always being in my corner for over 40 years now. She is my strength and anchor in times of need, and has come through once again in our hour of need. Thank you baby!
An interesting side note worth mentioning is the feedback I am getting from all quarters, from people having the pulse of the community, is that support for me is Growing! Not surprising really when you consider my track record and proven commitment to this community, and the fact my only opponent at the present time is virtually unknown (aside from some of the establishment types) with even many long time residents not knowing who he is? But I see Lisa (who as we all know, is the epitome of 'dignity and class', and therefore knows what she is talking about in her Focus piece) who this week insulted every resident in this community who might or might not have been contemplating running for office (including a fellow businessman) that not having these characteristics, you were 'unsuitable' for municipal office... in her opinion? Let me just say, some of our society's worst scoundrels have been those full of 'dignity and class', such as what a lot of people (including the Pass Herald) considered the BBoys to be. They were full of 'dignity and class' too... just like our Mayor. (once the books are opened, we will soon see how much real 'class' they have, and what if anything is left of their 'dignity'. :-(
I also see Wendy Zack from the Crowsnest Museum is another one doing her part at promoting my only other (at present time) political opponent for the Mayor's chair (with the help of the Pass Herald, of course). Although in Wendy's case, saying nice things just prior to an election about a man running for Mayor whose one and only real community board membership is now front and center as a 'dysfunctional' board, I think, is not doing him any favours? :-) Of all the boards in this community, the Crowsnest Historical Society Board is 'dysfunctional'?? Shocking!!! Boy, we really have hit rock bottom, haven't we? lol! :-) This years Harvest of Memories should be a blast! :-) :-)
More to come as things heat up and I start rolling. Remember...
On October 18, vote JOHN PRINCE For MAYOR
One man with courage makes a majority.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Check out her website above and see for yourself.
Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily this is not difficult.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
It's time to address our Social Deficit here in the Crowsnest Pass, by caring less about the greedy, and more about the needy
We are a community that has been governed for years by the well to do. By those who derive their income from the public tit, and who because of their past actions (or lack of) must be either insensitive or oblivious to the suffering and need that is under their very noses in this community. We have no jobs, no shelters, no affordable housing, no adequate public transportation system, and no multi-faceted community centre, combined with year after year of onerous tax increases without anything 'visible' to the naked eye to show for all this money. Obviously certain segments of our population have been marginalized, disenfranchised and exploited by those running things, in what many people would say is to their benefit rather than ours. That needs to change!
How has this come about you ask? Well it's simple. This community has allowed itself to be run by the suits, those so-called professional types made up of at least one doctor and a whole slew of teachers (with even more coming forward for this election) who all derive their income and pensions from you and me. They are not businesspeople, or entrepreneurs, or common folk working for the greater good. No these are the people who treat their positions on council as a part-time, ego tripping, social affair, while looking down on those who do not belong to their social class, and caring even less about their circumstances. Some have even had secret agendas that have proven to not have been in the best interests of this community.
Like I said, this all needs to change and it will, provided people wake up to the fact they must elect to council those of their own kind, instead of the elites who care nothing about what many of you are going through because they are too busy looking after themselves and their kind to care about you and your needs, wishes and aspirations. We need to rebuild our society here along the lines of caring less about the greedy and more about the needy.
This election more than any other, we have a chance to take back our community, by getting rid of all the establishment types and voting in those who will really work for the greater good of this community, and its people. It can happen, if you make it so. Make it so!!
On October 18, vote JOHN PRINCE For MAYOR
When the defining moment comes along, you define the moment or the moment defines you.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Probably for the best, or as a favourite Buddhist quote of mine puts it "'Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck". With this in mind and knowing as I do now how the next council is shaping up with Irwin and his cronies getting back in, I expect we will have another dysfunctional council that will have an end result of continuing to hold this community back... again. Sitting as mayor on a council of this making working on behalf of a divided community would be an exercise in futility.
It does not look like this community is ready yet to turn the page by supporting those who represent the future, because too many are still stuck in the past. Until that changes, nothing else will.
In the part of this universe that we know there is great injustice, and often the good suffer, and often the wicked prosper, and one hardly knows which of those is the more annoying.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Failure to raise sufficient capital prior to nomination day on Monday, September 20 will necessitate my dropping out of the race.
If you believe this community needs and wants the change my being Mayor can bring, then you need to act to bring about that change by supporting my campaign. Make a donation TODAY!
"Be the Change! Be the change you wish to see in the Pass."
An election campaign is an expense to the candidate. It depends upon the campaign donations of it's supporters to be successful.
MAKE A DONATION TODAY!
If you wish to make a campaign contribution, please make cheques payable to John Prince and send to the address below:
Bellevue, AB T0K 0C0
Or call 403-564-4518 for pick-up.
Say YES, I want to make the necessary investment to win this important fight and turn this municipality around.
On October 18, vote JOHN PRINCE For MAYOR
With realization of one's own potential and self confidence in one's ability, one can build a better world.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
For immediate release
September 7, 2010
GOODALE WELCOMES NEW ROLE AS DEPUTY LEADER
REGINA – Wascana Member of Parliament, Ralph Goodale, says he is delighted to be taking up new responsibilities this fall as Deputy Leader of the Liberal Official Opposition in the House of Commons.
In government for more than 12 years, Mr. Goodale has extensive federal cabinet experience in several portfolios, including Agriculture, Natural Resources, Government House Leader, Public Works and Finance. Since the 2006 election, he has served 4½ years as Opposition House Leader for the Liberal Party.
His promotion to Deputy Opposition Leader was announced today in Ottawa by Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff.
“As I continue a vigorous outreach program this fall and winter, engaging Canadians face-to-face in communities from coast-to-coast, I need Ralph’s steady hand in Ottawa guiding our parliamentary team,” said Ignatieff.
In addition to representing the Leader in Question Period and in other Ottawa functions when Mr. Ignatieff is on-the-road, the new role of Deputy Leader will also include chairing the group of Liberal M.P.’s who devise strategy and tactics for the Official Opposition.
Mr. Goodale will also be closely involved in Liberal Platform development for the next election, and in the design and communication of key Liberal economic positions. As the senior Liberal M.P. from the prairies, with seven election victories to his credit, he will also play a leading role in work to strengthen the Party’s standing in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta.
Mr. Goodale said, “Michael Ignatieff has done a tremendous job this summer – traveling 40,000 kilometres to more than 140 events in communities large and small in every corner of this country, connecting with thousands of ordinary Canadians who want their political representatives to be up-front and personal, and genuinely in touch with what matters to average, middle-income families.”
“With the return of Parliament on September 20th, our task this fall and winter will be to build on the momentum Mr. Ignatieff has generated with a cohesive, effective performance in Parliament to reinforce the Leader’s on-going outreach activity.”
“Stephen Harper’s priorities are apparently prisons and fighter planes. But Liberal priorities are those of Canadian families – strong, sustainable public health care, access to higher education and decent job prospects for their kids, help in caring for their loved ones, and a secure retirement.”
“These are the issues people raised with Mr. Ignatieff this summer, and these are the issues the Liberal Team will be taking to Parliament this Fall,” Mr. Goodale concluded.
Comment: Iggy couldn't have picked a better man for this position in my opinion. It shows he has good sense and is not scared to put the best person forward into a position that is in this case just one step removed from actual leadership, which is where, like I have said in the past, I think Ralph should be, and hopefully will be one day. Good for Iggy and good for Ralph!! And good for CANADA!!!
Whenever Stephen Harper is confronted with the daily pressures on average Canadian families, he resorts to cold, irrelevant comparisons. Just be content that the Americans are doing worse, he says.
Conservatives admit the recession damaged Canada’s standard of living. Canadian household debt is now the highest in the western world, and the cost of servicing it is rising.
That makes affording child-care that much more difficult. And a lot of families face the double challenge of also caring for elderly parents or a child with special needs.
For too many families, high costs block the way of qualified young people who want to get into university, college or an apprenticeship program. But they can’t afford it, so they stay home.
Only a fraction of Canadians can expect an adequate pension when they retire. And for 2 million near-seniors who tried to build a nest-egg for their golden years, their dreams were destroyed when Mr. Harper broke his promise about Income Trusts -- $25 billion in retirement savings were vapourized.
Retirement numbers are about to skyrocket with the big baby-boomer generation beginning to turn 65 next year, and that will increase pressures on medicare, homecare, pensions and retirement facilities.
But forget all that, Mr. Harper says, Conservative priorities are different. So what are they? Here’s the list:
- $1.3 billion for an inglorious G-8/G-20 extravaganza;
- $26 billion for untendered, non-competitive military contracts;
- $6 billion annually for tax cuts for the wealthiest corporations;
- more than $1 billion for extra spending on partisan advertising and consultants, plus 20% more for the Prime Minister’s Office;
- $30 million more for a dumbed-down Census; and
- $13 billion for more jails.
With boondoggles like these, Conservatives can’t be concerned about their deficit, and they’re certainly thumbing their noses at average middle-income families.
Ralph Goodale, M.P.
Monday, September 6, 2010
First, let me say, I have always been a strong supporter of our local CC and in this regard, I am proud to say I am a member of this fine organization and have been for some time. In fact, not long ago, I sat on the board of directors and served as their treasurer.
When I said they are made up of business people who have their own agenda I did not mean to imply that there was anything sinister behind that. I only meant to point out that they do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of all segments within our society here in the Crowsnest Pass (although, often times, they do work on behalf of the greater good of all residents living here, and not just solely towards the interests of businesses only). In this regard, and by way of a perfect example of them stepping up to the plate for the greater good of all residents in this community, is in their hosting our election public forums.
Although in the past there has been a thorny issue with respect to 'anonymous' questions being asked at these forums, I have recently been assured this will no longer be an issue. In that, the CC will no longer allow these types of questions to be asked at their forums. As of this year, and with this upcoming public forum scheduled for September 27, 'anonymous' questions will not be permitted.
In addition, because some in our community feel one public forum is not enough considering the magnitude of events that have occurred over this last term of council (Bridgecreek (River Run), CLC, economic stagnation and decline, taxes, lack of public debate on important issues, etc.) and the fact people also want to have the opportunity to really grill the candidates with respect to their vision and future plans for taking this community forward, it is felt we need at least two public forums.
A representative of the board for the CC has agreed to discuss this possibility with his board this coming Thursday, and a decision will be forthcoming.
In conclusion, let me say for the record (while at the same time sucking up for votes :-)) I think we as a community are fortunate to have an organization such as the Crowsnest Pass Chamber of Commerce for a number of reasons, but no more so than for hosting this important event when I do not see anybody else able or willing to do so. In addition, I for one appreciate their willingness to not only listen to their members but to respond proactively in addressing their concerns, especially to those of us who will be participating as candidates in their upcoming forum(s).
Update: (Sept. 10)
The chamber board has decided to not have a second public forum. This is unfortunate, as the one and only forum will now take place just 7 days after nomination day and a full three weeks before people actually go to the polls. This of course will allow those with deep pockets to have an unfair advantage while at the same time utilizing a willing and compliant media to propagandize the election process for their own self-serving purposes.
This same scenario played itself out the last election as well. Coincidence or what?
Never doubt that a small group of people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
This brave young girl's message to me is best summed up in the following quote:
People today foolishly try to believe that all the world's senselessness and cruelty - the richness of the few, the great poverty of the many, the violence and warfare - happens outside their own lives and does not interfere with them and their way of life.
The future is in our children, should we not prepare a better way for them, and in doing so listen to what they have to say? After all, it has been said only the very old and the very young speak words of wisdom. There is much wisdom in what she has to say. Hopefully, it does not fall on deaf ears.
"Think Globally, Act Locally"
Saturday, September 4, 2010
What I found of particular interest was the following:
What I couldn't help but wonder was whether we were providing the election platform for some as yet undeclared candidates who's minds were already made up.
Especially useful by those who do not have the pulse of the community and who for whatever reason do not really know the people, the area, its problems, and its recent history with regards to the issues, concerns, aspirations, hopes and desires of its people, don't you think?
Were they testing the waters before announcing themselves? Were the ideas discussed meant to reinforce or shape already formulated platforms? Or in some cases was a rationale provided for discarding a potentially unpopular platform?
Again, as above.
Joni goes on to wonder how this invite-only business group's vision would differ from the community at large? Would Joe Public offer a different spin on things? Having priorities, concerns and aspirations different from the well-healed, so to speak. And considering the majority of the people living in our community are in the latter group, should their voices not be heard as well?
All in all, Joni did a good job writing this and certainly surprised me for one with her unique perspective on the subtle nuances that took place that evening that most people, including myself, were not fully aware of. Could some have possibly used and manipulated the room to further their own political aspirations, the end result of which would have a huge impact on our community come election time?
Devious, conniving, self-serving prima donnas and opportunists dealing with a very short and narrow 4 week election time frame, hoping to slide through a tightly controlled and confined election forum hosted by our local Chamber of Commerce (made up of 'businesspeople' having their own agenda), combined with a well financed election advertising media campaign, have been known to win elections in the past here on the basis of the public not having had enough time to really get to know the candidates and their platforms, resulting in people having little in the way of solid concrete information to base their decisions on and therefore falling prey to the hype and propaganda, and voting for those they really don't know.
Fortunately, I for the most part do not have to worry too much as most people in this community know me, and what I stand for. But I guess I do have to worry about those who try to regurgitate what I have been saying for years, as being 'fresh' ideas of theirs, that they have just repackaged in a different way and will be selling to the gullible as something 'new'. But you know, I have never been fearful of people stealing my ideas, because first of all, I can come up with more creative and progressive ideas before breakfast than most of my opponents can come up with in a lifetime. :-) And second, I learned a long time ago not to worry about people stealing my ideas. Because as it has been said, "if it's original, you will have to ram it down their throats."
Dealing with political opponents is like being nibbled to death by ducks.