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Calgary BLM murals put on hold after ‘violent viritol, racism and threats’

“The city is not ready,” said Pink Flamingo




Organizers of a group planning four Black Lives Matter murals to be painted in Calgary say the program is now on hold because they say they have received threats.

It comes after thousands of Calgarians lodged complaints when it was revealed the Calgary Arts Development group had hired a organization called Pink Flamingo and was going to paint over a mural called Giving Wings to the Dream, done by Calgary artist Doug Driediger in 1995, that has graced the outside of the downtown Calgary Urban Project Society (CUPS) building.

“Pink Flamingo will be postponing our mural project to Summer 2021 due to the violent viritol, racism and threats we have received in the last 36 hours. We do not wish to add to the harm our community experiences,” the group posted on their Facebook page.

“We moved forward with this wall after reaching out to the original artist and would not have gone ahead if we did not understand our correspondence as supportive, or at worst, neutral.

“The artist is free to change their mind or express themselves as they see fit, and we must adapt to this because the power dynamic is not in our favour for a variety of reasons.

“We announced this mural weeks ago without backlash, sending more than 145 press releases and doing numerous interviews in regards to announcing the project. Our vision for this wall is also one of hope, evolutionizing this message by hearing it from the perspective of a racialized artist. Nothing About Us, Without Us.

“The last two days, the narrative has changed, and it is no longer safe to carry out the Black Lives Matter Murals this year.

“The city is not ready.”

The city announced Wednesday the mural site would be switched after the outpouring of outrage.

“As there has been unprecedented citizen support for Giving Wings, we are working with Pink Flamingo and CADA to explore new sites for a downtown BLM mural. Unfortunately, there has been an increase in negative and hostile messages directed at Pink Flamingo as a result of the recent media attention. We are working with Pink Flamingo and CADA to monitor social media and support the ongoing communications where appropriate,” Jennifer Thompson, acting manager for Arts and Culture for the city, said in email to councillors.

City council approved more than $120,000 for four BLM murals in Calgary in July.

Coun. Dianne Colley-Urqhart, who voted against the grant, said they weren’t told of any planned locations.

And she blamed Coun. Evan Wooley for the controversy.

“One of the council members made an end run around current policy to get this done,” she said.

Public art projects in Calgary have been suspended for about three years after controversy erupted after things like the Giant Blue Ring and the Bowfort Towers at the western edge of the city.

“I knew there was a risk for controversy. I’d never heard of these people (Pink Flamingo),” she said.

Calgary Arts Development had set aside a budget of $20,000 for the first mural.

“(I have) an unease over the idea that something that’s valid and vital would be covered by another artist’s work,” Driediger told Global News.

“Surely there should be some professional respect for work that exists, so that just leaves me a little concerned.”

The mural measuring nine metres feet in height by 41 metres in width is seen by an estimated 30,000 to 50,000 Calgarians per day due to its location opposite the Centre Street LRT station.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard



Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com


UCP MLA calls Alberta CERB recipients lazy ‘Cheezie-eaters’




The NDP is calling for an apology from Premier Jason Kenney after one of his MLAs called Albertans lazy “Cheezie-eating” people who used CERB money for drugs.

Lac Ste. Anne-Parkland MLA Shane Getson also called the federal emergency COVID-19 cash “funny money” at a recent townhall meeting.

He noted some companies are having trouble hiring workers because people make more on CERB and those Alberta recipients are “eating Cheezies watching cartoons.”

Getson said a friend in B.C. had noted drug abusers there had suddenly gone from earning $700 a month to $2,000 on CERB, a problem he has also noticed in Alberta.

“Now all of a sudden we have addiction problems going through the roof…then what, the funny money runs out.”

It’s unclear in the clip whether at the start Getson was referring to all Albertans or just those on drugs.

Getson video

“It is absolutely vile that a UCP MLA would make such a baseless and harmful statement about the hardworking people of Alberta who were forced to access emergency support during a global pandemic,” said Christina Gray, NDP Labour Critic. 

“People accessed these funds because their workplaces shut down or because they or their families were forced to isolate. The UCP defends their own use of emergency support for their debt ridden political party, while their MLA attacks struggling Albertans who needed support. Premier Kenney and Shane Getson owe all Albertans an apology for these thoughtless and hurtful comments.” 

Statistics Canada said 1,062,640 Albertans applied for the CERB.

“These comments are heartless and appalling,” said Heather Sweet, NDP Critic for Addictions and Mental Health. 

Notley tweet

“We learned just days ago about the tragic deaths of 301 Albertans to opioid overdoses. For an MLA to essentially joke about addictions at this time is beyond the pale. It speaks to the lack of compassion this government repeatedly shows when it comes to addressing mental health and addictions in this province Getson needs to immediately apologize for his ignorant and hurtful comments.”

Getson issued a statement later Tuesday.

Today, the NDP has politicized some remarks I made at a recent town hall by taking them out of context for political gain. The context was that a local business owner had raised concerns about not being able to hire workers despite being able to operate.

Clearly, the vast majority of recipients of government support truly need it. At the same time, some legitimate concerns have been raised about these programs that cannot be ignored. 

According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, CERB was the number one reason cited by small business owners for their inability to recall workers. And according to Ottawa Inner City Health, CERB is fueling overdoses in Canada’s capital city.

These are important issues that deserve our attention as they are happening everywhere. I recently spoke about these issues at a town hall in my community. Unsurprisingly, the NDP is now attacking me instead of focusing on how we keep our people safe.

It is important that we look at the evidence objectively. This will help protect our families and businesses in these difficult times.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Moe promises balanced budget in Saskatchewan in four years

“I believe in Saskatchewan. But Scott Moe’s old ideas aren’t working,” said NDP leader Ryan Meili




Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe kicked off the province’s election campaign with a vow to balance the books by 2024.

The province ran a $2.4-billion deficit for the 2020-21, a figure largely blamed on falling oil prices and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moe, during a campaign kick-off in Regina, said his Saskatchewan Party has a “plan for a strong economic recovery with a balanced budget by 2024.”

He said Saskatchewan now, despite a “challenging economy”, has the lowest unemployment rate in the country and urged voters not to go back to the policies of the NDP.

“They closed hospitals, we are building hospitals,” said Moe, whose party is well ahead in the polls.

“This election is about ‘who do you trust.'”

NDP leader Ryan Meili was itching to get on the campaign trail.

“New Democrats are ready to run a great campaign against this government that is old and out of ideas. Let’s go!” he tweeted.

Ryan Meili
Courtesy Twitter

“I believe in Saskatchewan. But Scott Moe’s old ideas aren’t working. We need to invest in healthcare, in our kids’ schools, in getting people back on their feet. Let’s build a better future that puts people first.”

The election will be held Oct. 26, two days after the vote in B.C.

When the legislature was dissolved, Moe’s Saskatchewan Party held a 46-13 lead over the NDP.

Moe was sworn in as premier in 2018.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Report: Trudeau’s second carbon tax would devastate Canada

“It will sacrifice the Canadian standard of living that has made our country a desirable place to live for so long. Trudeau will make it even harder to live in Canada.”




The second Liberal carbon tax will have a crushing effect on the Canadian economy, a new study shows.

The Clean Fuel Standard will increase the cost of home heating by 60 per cent, drive up the price of gas another 13 cents a litre, cost 30,000 jobs, put at risk $22 billion in foreign capital in Canada and cost every worker an additional $440 yearly, says the group Canadian for Affordable Energy.

Their report claims “the additional emission regulation undermines the efficiency of any existing carbon tax in reducing GHG emissions; that despite its cost the CFS will accomplish very little – especially in a growing economy; and that, depending on compliance options, the CFS may end up creating environmental challenges, not opportunities.

Study of second carbon tax on Alberta

“The problems of the Clean Fuel Standard (CFS) are truly represented in its name, which misleadingly suggests that the policy will deliver clean air. But Canada already has remarkably high clean air standards which are rarely violated,” said the report, written by former Liberal MP Dan McTeague.

“If the (Prime Minister Justin) Trudeau government is to pursue the lofty goal of zero emissions above all else, it will sacrifice the Canadian standard of living that has made our country a desirable place to live for so long. Trudeau will make it even harder to live in Canada.”

Study of second carbon tax on B.C.

The second carbon tax is part of Canada’s plan within the Paris Accord to reduce emissions 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

The Liberals have been planning the CFS since they came to power but the COVID-19 pandemic delayed their plans until now.

Federal environment minister Jonathan Wilkinson said the CFS will diversify the economy and promote investment in clean solutions.

“It will create opportunities for farmers and companies producing renewable fuels, will encourage investments in energy efficiency to help Canadians save money and will promote faster development of zero emissions vehicles,” he said in a statement.

“The cost implications for households and industry are unclear but a study by the Canadian Energy Research Institute in May 2019 estimated the impact of a 20 per cent reduction in carbon intensity. CERI suggested a total fuel decarbonisation cost of $15.3 billion a year, adding $84 or four per cent to household fuel bills; $62 or 2.8 per cent to the cost of gas; and 13 per cent to fuel costs for industry.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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