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Graven Images: The Greening Of Calgary

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The city of Calgary this week elected the first woman mayor in its history. This is a source of great satisfaction to those citizens who cringe at Calgary’s image as part buckaroo/ part bitumen cowboy. The fact that Jyoti Gondek is of Pashtun origin only deepens the sense of accomplishment for the urban elite of Calgary.

How giddy are the wokesters? A CBC reporter illustrated the story with a tweet showing a long series of emoji men followed by a single emoji of a woman. Because journalistic objectivity at the national broadcaster demands a clever tweet.  “Look what we’ve done, world! Woman! Punjabi! Now we can hold our heads up in the polite society of the urban hives.”

The new mayor has a PhD in urban sociology which “furnishes understanding of the complex as well as profound meaning of every urban reality, notably the territorial stabilization of social life, the rise of a space symbol system and culture, and the origin and evolution of human settlements.”

Which sounds like the sort of convoluted stuff that Wokesters toss around when they’re trying to distance themselves from the Stampede crowd. What it means in reality is that Gondek will commit $250 K to declare a climate emergency in Calgary as her first priority as mayor. As this photo below shows, it’s not a moment too soon.

Can she tame the city’s transit snarls and stare down a council bent on destroying the budget? Who knows? Who cares? The natural gas/ petroleum bastards will now have to take a knee to the symbolism of her outreach to Big Climate.  And that’s enough.

Okay, it’s just a mayor in a mid-sized Canadian city, but you have to start with small dreams if you’re going to make the world a progressive paradise. Especially when, like Gondek, you spend every working day cloying with guilt over how Calgary’s energy industry is ravaging Mother Earth.

The big Green virtue dreams are the ones about to be dreamt in Glasgow in the next weeks as the world’s guiltiest liberals— aka the IPCC— convene to reconstitute the world economy by killing fossil fuels. If this all sounds familiar it’s because the Al Gores and Neil Youngs have been hard at this project for decades, sending thunderbolts of doom via a captive media. (Sample: 1987: NASA’s James Hansen predicts world 3C warmer by 2020. Reality: average temp only 0.44C higher.)  And lots more faceplants.

No matter. The evolution of Green is a litany of half-baked predictions and salacious slanders. Even as European governments scramble to replace their sacred renewable dreams with the realities of nuclear power or, gasp, Russian natural gas, the pious will still party like it’s 1999— when all things seemed possible. There’s a revolution of purity happening here, folks, and a few inconvenient facts isn’t going to harsh the vibe.

The vibe, of course, is not climate change or even first women mayors. The vibe is victim culture, re-fitting Marxism so the uncouth and intemperate opposition can be permanently rendered inert. If Marx’s wealth re-distribution is to happen equity— not just equality—  must be achieved. Any weapon at hand— climate, gender, victimization— will serve to get there.

The old Commie’s theories just need a new coat of victim’s paint to make them current. Author Chris Rufo explains how the Left is making the quick flip after their Cold War dreams died in the ‘70s at the altar of capitalist riches. : “… rather than abandon their political project, Marxist scholars in the West simply adapted their revolutionary theory to the social and racial unrest of the 1960s. Abandoning Marx’s economic dialectic of capitalists and workers, they substituted race for class and sought to create a revolutionary coalition of the dispossessed based on racial and ethnic categories.”

Suddenly, it’s all victims, all the time.

Thus the new liturgy, funded by Big Tech oligarchs such as Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates. Capitalist roaders are failed humans. Writes Christopher Chantrill: “Today’s elites are totally down as Allies of the Oppressed Peoples. Their political power is justified by their untiring support of and advocacy for The Victims.”

Andrea Widburg describes the role reversal in The American Thinker: “In its new iteration, Whites are irredeemably racist and evil.  Equality is a trap because White societal dominance means that the other races (and sexualities) will never be able to catch up.  Forced equity is the only answer, and one way to pave the way for that to happen is to force Whites to remove themselves from society, from the economy, from politics, and from any other area in which they can be seen to have an advantage.”

Celebrating the ascent of symbolism, not the skill-set of politicians such as Barack Obama (and the removal of statues) is how whites willingly remove themselves from the economy and society. As Rufo tweets, “@LockheedMartin, the nation’s largest defense contractor, sent key executives to a three-day white male reeducation camp in order to deconstruct their “white male culture” and atone for their “white male privilege.”

To the surprise of the Marxists, their old enemies on Wall Street are enthusiastically taking the bait.  Now they have only the rump opposition of libertarians and stubborn conservatives left to hammer into shape and the Bernie Sanders revolution, begun in the ‘60s, will be complete.

Calgary will be so proud.

Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy is the editor of Not The Public Broadcaster (http://www.notthepublicbroadcaster.com). The best-selling author of Cap In Hand is also a regular contributor to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada’s top television sports broadcaster, his new book with his son Evan is called InExact Science: The Six Most Compelling Draft Years In NHL History is now available on http://brucedowbigginbooks.ca/book-personalaccount.aspx

BRUCE DOWBIGGIN Award-winning Author and Broadcaster Bruce Dowbiggin's career is unmatched in Canada for its diversity and breadth of experience . He is currently the editor and publisher of Not The Public Broadcaster website and is also a contributor to SiriusXM Canada Talks. His new book Cap In Hand was released in the fall of 2018. Bruce's career has included successful stints in television, radio and print. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada's top television sports broadcaster for his work with CBC-TV, Mr. Dowbiggin is also the best-selling author of "Money Players" (finalist for the 2004 National Business Book Award) and two new books-- Ice Storm: The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Vancouver Canucks Team Ever for Greystone Press and Grant Fuhr: Portrait of a Champion for Random House. His ground-breaking investigations into the life and times of Alan Eagleson led to his selection as the winner of the Gemini for Canada's top sportscaster in 1993 and again in 1996. This work earned him the reputation as one of Canada's top investigative journalists in any field. He was a featured columnist for the Calgary Herald (1998-2009) and the Globe & Mail (2009-2013) where his incisive style and wit on sports media and business won him many readers.

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Alberta

Calgary man who admitted to participating in terrorism activity to be sentenced

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CALGARY — A man who admitted to terrorism-related acts with the militant group Islamic State is to be sentenced today in a Calgary courtroom.

Hussein Borhot, who is 36, has pleaded guilty to one count of participating in terrorism group activity between May 9, 2013, and June 7, 2014, as well as to kidnapping for a terrorist group while in Syria.

RCMP arrested him in July 2020 after a seven-year investigation.

An agreed statement of facts read in court last month said Borhot travelled to Syria through Turkey to join the Islamic State.

The statement said he signed up as a fighter, received substantial training and excelled as a sniper, but did not tell his wife or father before the trip.

Court heard that Borhot revealed much of the information to an undercover officer after he returned to Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 26, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Cheese not on the table in Canada-U.K. trade talks as Britain seeks market access

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OTTAWA — The British foreign secretary has often been mocked for her preoccupation with cheese. It started eight years ago when Liz Truss expressed outrage in a speech to her party’s annual conference. 

“We import two thirds of our cheese,” she raged. “That is a disgrace.”

Now Truss is facing another battle over cheese, this time with Canada. 

Britain wants greater access to Canadian markets for more than 700 varieties of cheese including Stilton, Cheshire, and Wensleydale, a crumbly variety originating from Yorkshire. 

But Ottawa has made it clear it does not want to see more British cheddar, let alone artisan varieties such as stinking bishop, renegade monk and Hereford hop, on Canadian fridge shelves. 

During the first round of negotiations of the U.K.-Canada trade deal, Canada told Britain that a larger quota for British cheese is not on the negotiating table.

When it was a European Union member, Britain was part of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with Canada, giving it some access to Canada’s cheese market. 

After the U.K. left the EU, a “continuity agreement” with Canada was swiftly put in place to maintain the CETA arrangement until a bilateral trade deal could be struck. 

Ralph Goodale, Canada’s high commissioner to the U.K., said if Britain wants more access to Canadian markets for its cheese as part of a bilateral free-trade agreement, it will have to knock on Brussels’ door and get its part of the dairy quota back. 

“The point is we have already provided that volume in the EU deal and the British left it there without taking it with them,” he said in an interview. “That’s an issue they need to resolve with the Europeans because the Europeans have their quota.” 

Goodale said the U.K.’s request for extra access for British cheese — on top of the access given to the EU — is “what the Canadian negotiators consider to be pretty much a dead end.”

“You are talking about a double concession — one we have already made to the EU and the request is being made by the U.K. for yet another one on top of that,” he said. 

The high commissioner said Canada values its trading relationship with the U.K., adding that he is confident that a mutually-beneficial trade deal will be reached.

But if Canada allows the British to export more of their cheese it would involve “a major commitment of compensation to dairy producers” in Canada to make up for lost incomes.  

In 2018, after the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement gave the U.S. fresh access to the Canadian dairy market, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he would compensate Canadian dairy farmers.

Canada’s dairy industry was worth over $7 billion in 2020, according to the Canadian Dairy Commission’s annual report. 

There are over 10,000 dairy farms in Canada — most of them in Quebec and Ontario — with an average of 92 cows per farm, it said. 

Until at least the end of next year, Britain will be able to keep exporting its cheese to Canada under the trade continuity agreement, the U.K.’s trade department said. 

This allows U.K. cheese exporters to access the Canadian market tariff-free under the EU portion of Canada’s World Trade Organization cheese tariff rate quota. 

As part of the 1995 WTO agreement on agriculture, Canada established tariff rate quotas for cheese and other dairy products. The quotas set out quantities of dairy that could enter Canada with little or no duty. 

For Britain, a fully fledged free trade deal with Canada is crucial after Brexit left it looking for fresh tariff-free markets.

“We want to negotiate an ambitious and comprehensive new agreement with Canada that will strengthen our close and historic bilateral trade relationship,” said a U.K. government trade spokesman in a statement, adding the relationship was worth about $34.5 billion in 2021.

In March, U.K. Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan flew to Canada to announce with Canada’s Trade Minister Mary Ng that bilateral negotiations had officially begun. 

In a speech in the House of Lords in London earlier this month, Goodale reported on progress in the talks, saying that “both sides are optimistic that, as good as CETA and the continuity agreement were, we can do better still when Canada and the U.K. negotiate a deal face-to-face, directly with each other.” 

Like Goodale, Ng said Canada is confident a free-trade deal with Britain will be reached, enhancing co-operation in a number of areas, including on renewables, sustainability and the digital economy.  

“Canada values the relationship with the United Kingdom. They are … an important trading partner and a trade agreement with the U.K. will be very good for Canadian businesses,” she said in a phone interview from Thailand last weekend.

But she was also firm about the need to protect Canada’s dairy producers, and that means keeping more British cheese out. 

“I have been very clear, our government has been very clear, that we will not provide access to our supply-managed sector,” she said. “We have been clear about that from the get-go.” 

The Canadian dairy sector now produces 1,450 varieties of cheese, including ewe, goat and buffalo varieties, as well as the cheese curds used in the Québécois dish poutine.

At least half of Canada’s cheese is made in Quebec, which is home to a number of artisan varieties including bleu l’ermite, or blue hermit, and Oka, a popular semi-soft rind cheese.

Pierre Lampron, president of the Dairy Farmers of Canada, has made it clear he will fiercely protect Canadian cheese from British interlopers.

Lampron said he had “validated that the issue of access to the Canadian dairy market was not on the agenda of these trade talks.”

Canada’s protectionist stance toward its dairy industry may have pleased farmers. But it has caused some tension with close allies. 

Earlier this month, New Zealand launched a formal trade dispute against Canada, accusing the federal government of breaking promises to give access for dairy imports under the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.

The Biden administration also recently said it was asking for a second dispute settlement panel under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement to review a trade dispute with Canada over dairy import quotas.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 26, 2022. 

Marie Woolf, The Canadian Press

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