Wednesday, April 3, 2013

State of the City 2013, tempers and bloggers

This may have been more about a state of temper tantrum, smoothed over with some nice things to divert one's attention away from some real truths. I've heard many say this was a cover up for the state of disrepair that Edmonton is in and perhaps they are right. There certainly has been a plethora of waste, from huge grants to environment folks to help guide your eco-retrofits, singing garbage cans and a ... wait for it ... resident blogger? Really? We need to pay someone to butter up folks into thinking we are great, when we already have hundreds of bloggers in our fine city that already tell really cool stories??? And lets not forget the City already employs a communications staff. Course, there is that aspect where the City misleads you on the good side of things and totally bypasses the ugly side of the good side. There is a lot to be said about the whole truth and nothing but the truth..

One thing Mayor Mandel is known for (putting aside his years of lies and deception) is for the manipulation of the real truth into some rah rah cheer leading bandwagon... You know, the one that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside... the one where you are supposed to forget the real facts and only believe in the make believe. Like this one, quoted from his speech under the "Leadership" heading...

And we have shown leadership with our downtown arena project. Our city has stepped forward to make the deal work on terms that are fair and balanced on all sides. Our investment will support long-term growth and vibrancy of our core and long-term sustainability of NHL hockey in our city.
When I see statements like this I have to wonder if there isn't some form of early dementia setting in. I am not sure you could find one (unbiased) economics master that would even remotely consider this "deal" to be fair and well balanced. With literally every penny of the cost coming from taxpayers pockets, every penny of profit going to a private business (owned by a billionaire who's wealth keeps increasing by leaps and bounds) and effectively zero payback to taxpayers. And of course when we talk about this topic, we would be remiss in not mentioning the ever tail wagging, fully biased, fact omitting reports of Mr. Staples... his most recent one in relation to this speech is here.

Perhaps the most famous (and many say "spot on") comment came from Thomas Lukaszuk who stated "I don’t know who pissed into his corn flakes, and you can quote me on that." Certainly a lot of the Mayors speech was biting the hand that feeds him, almost in a controlled temper tantrum style of "why are you not giving me taxpayer dollars that I promised to my good buddy the rich billionaire". Naturally, this statement is paraphrased and blended into words and sentiments that I have heard from hundreds of people. Lets not forget, the vast majority of taxpayers have emphatically stated they do not want this deal done under the conditions this deal has been presented. And it is also important to note that those who object to this deal are not against the potential of a new arena...just not under these terms. A fact the Mayor seems to completely ignore.

Earlier I stated grants to an eco type company.. Check the City website for the full details but essentially a huge sum of money was gifted to a company that basically operates as a general contractor in associating all of the trades people and companies, to make sure things like your new furnace, hot water tank system, wall insulation etc, get done in a proper manner. Umm... really? Kind of like all of the other general contractors here in the City doing the job a general contractor does. But yea for us... we gave lots of money to this one company to do just that.

And now we have a residential blogger to boot. Seriously? No malice or bad thoughts directed towards Mr.McKeen.. I don't recall ever meeting him, but with some really great digging done by some friends, I want to share some links and let you draw your own speculative conclusions..

Scott's original website appears to have been setup back in September of 2010, where he made his stab at running for City Council. His website under "that name" no longer exists but thanks to a wonderful organization that captures historical information (a huge shout out to for this) you can see what he was back then.

Apparently Scott teamed up with Alain Saiffel back in 2011, to launch, and Mack Male even wrote an article on it, which you can read here. Some say 'yegnews' was poorly read, and Scott bailed on Alain leaving him "holding the bag" if you will, and Alain's comments about this are here.

I have to wonder.. why is it we are blowing $6,000 for this project?

So bottom line, things are pretty messed up here in Edmonton. I suppose Mr. Mandel may have done some good things along the way, but it doesn't justify letting the bad things be forgotten. The airport decision that has already caused death, the maybe 1/2 a billion dollars you won't hear about the environmental cleanup that will be required, and the gifting of around another 1/2 a billion dollars of taxpayers money for a really really rich persons personal palace.

It would be extremely wise of the Alberta Government to enact some legislation to prevent the abuse of politicians lying to get elected and not keeping their promises, and to close the loopholes in the MGA and MSI acts to prevent the use of taxpayer dollars for private enterprises. Remember dear Ministers of the Alberta Government, and the Premier... taxpayer dollars are to be used for the public needs. Not to be directed towards private for profit business. You have a unique opportunity here to step up to the plate and actually protect taxpayers from abuse prior to the upcoming civic election. Doing so will be an extremely large feather in your caps, and people will remember that at election time. Of course, they will also remember if you don't...

Just sayin...

No comments:

Post a Comment