The Black Rod

The origin of the Usher of the Black Rod goes back to early fourteenth century England . Today, with no royal duties to perform, the Usher knocks on the doors of the House of Commons with the Black Rod at the start of Parliament to summon the members. The rod is a symbol for the authority of debate in the upper house. We of The Black Rod have adopted the symbol to knock some sense and the right questions into the heads of Legislators, pundits, and other opinion makers.

Name:
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

We are citizen journalists in Winnipeg. When not breaking exclusive stories, we analyze news coverage by the mainstream media and highlight bias, ignorance, incompetence, flawed logic, missed angles and, where warranted, good work. We serve as the only overall news monitors in the province of Manitoba. We do the same with politicians (who require even more monitoring.) EMAIL: black_rod_usher@yahoo.com

Monday, June 06, 2016

Sex and Drugs in the Peg. Is that what PM Justin Trudeau is covering up?



The Parliamentary Press Gallery spent the weekend yukking it up with Justin Trudeau at the annual gallery dinner, demonstrating that relations between the Prime Minister and the press were back to normal, the master and his voice in sync again.
Things had been a little strained a few weeks ago when Trudeau, determined to show that he was a tough guy and not to be trifled with in the House of Commons, delivered a hard elbow to a female MP's breast while manhandling an Opposition MP who wasn't moving fast enough to suit the PM.

The reporters and pundits had to do quite the soft shoe to excuse Trudeau's boorishness when video of the incident contradicted his initial explanation for how his elbow smashed into her chest.  Luckily, the controversy subsided quickly and the press gallery could go back to work--- adoring the Sun King.

And then, last week, damn it, up popped another matter that threatened to blemish the reign of Trudeau II. Its name---Hunter Tootoo.

Hunter Tootoo turned out to be Canada's Fisheries Minister 
( Who knew?). Only he wasn't, because he quit. 

There was a bit of fanfare when he was appointed in November, 2014. His was a historic appointment, we were told. He was the first aboriginal and the first northerner (he's from Nunavut) to hold the cabinet post. "It is a proud day for Inuit” declared the president of the national Inuit organization. "We survived the long, dark night of the Harper government and we're coming into the dawn of a new day with the Trudeau government," declared Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs.

But last week Trudeau was treating Tootoo like the Zika virus. 

He couldn't put enough space between himself and his historic appointment.  

Tootoo's departure was announced in a late-in-the-day release from the PM's office that consisted all of 70 words, none of which spoke of what a great job he had done or what a terrific role model he had been or how much Trudeau would miss him. He quit, said the news release, and, oh, he left the caucus too.

Say what?

It was all too mysterious, so Justin addressed the press and pundits personally the very next day.  The former minister was going for addictions treatment. Ignore the rumours. There's no story. Drop it.

And the press did as their master said, with one small exception. 
Last Wednesday, following Trudeau's brief statement, the CTV National News anchor read this tidbit: "sources say there was an incident with Tootoo at the Lib convention on the weekend, serious enough to be kicked from caucus."

And that was it. No follow up. Some niggling questions on blogs and posts on news media comments sections, but as far as information, dead silence.

Until today.

*  From the initial flurry of news reports, we gather that Hunter Tootoo was in fine spirits following his attendance at the national Liberal Party convention in Winnipeg last weekend. 

*  He returned to Ottawa and attended cabinet meetings Monday night and early Tuesday morning.  

*  The 9:30 a.m. Tuesday cabinet meeting was followed by Question Period at 2 p.m. QP lasts roughly an hour.

Something happened in the 90 minutes or so between the time Trudeau left Question Period about 3 p.m. and the time the initial news of Tootoo's resignation hit the news wires. 

*  The earliest alert we could find is from CBC's Aboriginal service:
CBC_Aboriginal
 Follow
Hunter Tootoo resigns as Fisheries minister, leaves Liberal caucus. cbc.ca/1.3609915
4:36 PM - 31 May 2016
*  Initially, commentary focused on the news that Tootoo not only quit the cabinet, but also left the Liberal caucus. Nobody in the country believes he did so voluntarily -- despite what Trudeau claimed.

*  Then there was the day-after CTV newslet about an incident in Winnipeg. What was that all about?

Winnipeg journalists, especially in the alternative press, immediately put their ears to the ground.

The Globe and Mail reported: "Mr. Tootoo, 53, had been drinking heavily at the Liberal convention in Winnipeg, but one friend said, “he was never stumbling, or anything like that”."  

When someone is knocking back booze, who counts how much?  Nobody. What says "heavily" is behaviour. 

Drunks get loud and want to be noticed.
They can be loud and funny, what's known as happy drunks. 
Or loud and obnoxious, the dreaded ugly drunk. 

We don't know which Tootoo is, but little birdies said he was noticed---allegedly in a Winnipeg strip club.

*  Local reporters soon heard the story and, eventually, began bombarding the Winnipeg police for comment.

Was there "an altercation"?  Did a search of one of those involved turn up cocaine? Did the incident involve a woman?

The police finally had to issue a public denial that they were ever called to any incident involving Tootoo.

“The Winnipeg Police Service has no record of any official police contact with this individual,” said Const. Robert Carver, a public information officer with the force. “I cannot be more clear about that — no record.”

*  That should have been the end of it, except that seasoned reporters have learned to parse carefully what public officials say.  No "record" does not mean no "incident."

Winnipeg police might throw a blotto City Councillor into the drunk tank, but no Member of Parliament is going to be inconvenienced during a party convention in this friendly city. That would be what's known as a career-ending move. 

That left just enough air to keep the rumours alive.

*  But even before the city police made their public statement, the story on the street had taken a twist.

This version also spoke of cocaine, but added a young Liberal staffer. Female.

Cherchez la femme.

Had the young lady been offered a toot by Tootoo? Was she telling tales back home? Had somebody started asking questions on Parliament Hill?

Remember how nobody believed Tootoo quit the Liberal caucus of his own accord? 

That's because they remember that one of Trudeau's first orders of business on being elected leader was to throw out of caucus  two MP's who had been accused of sexual harassment by a female MP of another party.

He wouldn't hear their claims of innocence. Out they went. 

Now, imagine a scenario where he has just been pilloried for elbowing a female MP in the breast and barely two weeks later another Liberal (male) is embroiled in a scandal involving, gulp, a female. Whose side do you take? 

Can you spell Ghomeshi?

Step one: act fast to demonstrate you acted fast once you heard. 
Step two: insist there's no story. Maybe they'll fall for it. 
Step three: tell jokes,. Everyone loves to laugh,.

But as the immortal Yogi Berra said: "It ain't over until it's over."

PS --  this wouldn't be the first time that Tootoo has run into problems with women: 

"On Monday, Leona Aglukkaq, minister responsible for the status of women and one of two women in the 19-member legislature, told the house she, too, had faced verbal abuse and threats from elected officials. 

Outside the Chamber, she said the member for Iqakuit centre, Hunter Tootoo, chased her and swore at her after a committee of the whole meeting in March 2005.

Tootoo was not available to confirm those words on Monday. he did apologize two days later in the legislature, saying his remarks were "unacceptable in content and  tone."

http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/2007/09/18/legislature-rebukes-premier-over-insult-nunavut-minister-says-other-politicians-have-verbally-abused-women 

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Things we want to see in Brian Pallister's victory speech


Today we expect to see Manitoba voters deliver a historic repudiation of almost 16 years of NDP government.

But incoming premier Brian Pallister is dead wrong if he thinks that just giving the scoundrels the boot is enough.

The wolves have had free rein on the farm too long. By the end they had convinced themselves, like all despots, that they could do no wrong. 

*  Trying to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Jockey Club to patch the depleted provincial budget
*  Publicly supporting a racist cabinet minister who admitted to prejudice against whites,
*  Shrugging off a stomach-churning account of a woman spending her final hours of life screaming in pain on the floor of a hospital emergency ward 

The NDP saw any opposition as downright evil and having to be stamped out.

By controlling the levers of power, the NDP were able to slough off one major scandal after another. That doesn't mean the scandals didn't exist.  But you don't cure cancer by sending the patient home with a wag of the finger and the admonition "don't be sick again, got it."

Brian Pallister needs to get to the root of the cancer of the NDP.

Tonight, in his victory speech, Pallister needs to say the following:

1.  Call for a judicial inquiry or a royal commission into the NDP election fraud of 1999.  

Yes, its been 16 years.  But if you believe that democracy is important and worth fighting for, then this cannot be allowed to pass. 

The New Democrats, under the watch of then-leader Gary Doer, engaged in a conspiracy to defraud taxpayers of tens of thousands of dollars to finance their election campaign.  When the scheme was finally detected in 2003, Elections Manitoba officials colluded with the NDP to cover up the fraud.  It wasn't until 2009 that a party whistleblower went public with what happened. 

The NDP weren't about to investigate themselves, so they rode out the faux indignation of a sympathetic press, and carried on business as usual.

Pallister has to demonstrate that an assault on democracy cannot be condoned, regardless how much time has passed.  It's too late to charge anyone, but not to subpoena them, to bring them in to testify under oath, and to prepare a report for  generations to come to see how the NDP/union twisted the rules to get elected.

2. Order a Securities Commission investigation of the Crocus Fund debacle.

Way way back, Crocus was a labour-backed venture capital fund designed to raise money from Manitobans to invest in Manitoba enterprises. It was a time when private investors avoided Manitoba like the Zika virus and anything that could spark investment in the province was grasped like a straw by a drowning man.

But over the years, Crocus became a government-approved Ponzi scheme. The managers overvalued their "investments" to entice new investors whose money would be used to pay off the original investors who wanted out.

 The fund had a back channel into the NDP cabinet --- through then-finance minister Greg Selinger ---which kept the NDP abreast of the fund's true liquidity problems. The NDP nevertheless continued to promote the fund as a great place to invest your retirement fund, right up until some newly hired managers ran in horror to the Manitoba Securities Commission with the grisly news of the fund's real numbers. Trading stopped, fund collapsed, 34,000 investors screwed.

The Manitoba Securities Commission declared it would launch an investigation, but there was always some reason for delay, not least because the commission itself was enmeshed in Crocus' convoluted schemes to stay afloat.

Pallister must order a true investigation into the Crocus Fund, including what the NDP cabinet knew and when.
  Given that the Manitoba Securities Commission is tainted by its dealings with Crocus, the investigation has to be conducted by an outside financial body. 

3. The NDP broke the law in 2013 when it raised the provincial sales tax one percentage point to 8 pct from 7. The law was clear. No government could "introduce" legislation to raise the PST without holding a referendum.  The NDP could have gone to the Legislature to revoke that law, but they didn't. They chose to break the law.

Pallister must order a thorough investigation within the government's legal department  to determine who approved breaking the law.  

Those government lawyers and officials must be identified and removed. A government cannot function with the trust of the public when infested with civil servants who think they and the ruling government can act as they please regardless of laws passed by the Legislature.  

This, too, is a matter of defending democracy, not cheap retaliation.

Pallister stupidly launched a civil action to test the government's right to raise the PST. This is not a situation where civil suits prevail.  This is a matter of breaking the law, as its written.

If the prosecutions branch determines that charges are warranted, they must be laid as an example to future governments that nobody is above the law. 

 If they determine they can't get a conviction, then Pallister must release the emails and documents around the debate over sidestepping the law -- so that the public can see for itself who made what decisions and how and can deliver a verdict in the court of public opinion.

******************

Finally, a valued reader who is more erudite than we are, sent us this historical quote that sums up tonight so poetically:

From: xxxxxxxx
Date: April 18, 2016 at 10:01:01 AM CDT
To: black_rod_usher@yahoo.com
Subject: On the Manitoba Election
Oliver Cromwell said it best:
It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.
Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter'd your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?
Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defil'd this sacred place, and turn'd the Lord's temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress'd, are yourselves gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors.
In the name of God, go!

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Friday, April 15, 2016

MSM Reporters went to the wrong place looking for election fireworks



Wow.

If you wanted election fireworks, you should have been at the Sinclair Park community centre Wednesday night.
Candidates for St. John's riding squared off in a wide-open forum and its hard to say what the bigger story was --- the fact that one city councillor and two candidates stormed out of the building in separate huffs? or the tip that the NDP has begun shredding its files and replacing the computer hard drives at the Legislature?

One thing for sure --- the biggest loser was the NDP's parachute star candidate Nahanni Fontaine, who demonstrated she's completely unfit to be a member of the Legislature. She's too thin-skinned, can't take criticism or hard questions. If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen, and she ran.

Fontaine was the target of local gadfly Josh Sigurdson, who lobbed questions at her about the NDP's role in the seizure of children by Child and Family Services.  The audience (of about 25) was unsatisfied with her answers, and let her know it.  Her response --- to flee, muttering something about 'too much negativity' in the room.


Babe, you ain't seen nothin' yet in the world of politics.

Surprisingly, Liberal candidate Noel Bernier (also parachuted in) followed Fontaine out the door. Why? Who knows? He didn't even wave goodbye. Until then he had dominated the meeting with sharp questions aimed at Fontaine and the NDP, but seemed scared to touch CFS issues. Hmmm.

Left behind was Progressive Conservative candidate Barbara Judt (yes, another parachute) who stayed to answer questions for another hour and a half  without drama.

One of those questions was about the NDP's upcoming shredding weekend and the Hewlett Packer truck parked outside the Legislature where onlookers were informed "regular maintenace" was in progress, including swapping out hard drives on computers. 

Judt, the only candidate left, said she would try to get answers from the Premier's office.

Among the earlier questioners was NDP-backed city councillor Ross Eadie. He challenged all the candidates, but especially the Princess Nahanni, over hugely expensive projects imposed on city council by the NDP (such as separating sewer and water lines) without adequate provincial co-funding.  It was dry stuff which came to a head when he started lecturing Bernier about the lack of cost sharing with the province and the moderator tried to cut him off.

Eadie is blind. And that means he can't see the normal visual clues that your audience is bored, so shut up.  In this case he took the moderator's efforts personally and walked out with his nose out of joint. 


What's interesting, politics wise, is to see an NDP-backed councillor challenge an NDP candidate so openly.  Given that former incumbent Gord Macintosh has never endorsed Nahanni Fontaine, or even been photographed with her, and you have a sense of how her parachute candidacy is being received by constituency members (rumour has it a union sent out an SOS for campaign help on her behalf). Whether that translates into a voter backlash, is too soon to say.

***************************
The mainstream press ignored the Sinclair Park candidates forum in favour of attending the one in Fort Rouge, where Liberal leader Rana Bokhari is facing off against the NDP's other star candidate Wab Kinew and the P.C.  candidate Audrey Gordon.

That one was, by all accounts, tame --- except for tarnished star Wab's persistence in trying to stop Gordon, a black woman, from speaking. 

Feminists have reacted, by not reacting. 

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Friday, April 08, 2016

Nahanni Fontaine, the NDP's Christian-bashing, cop-smearing, other star candidate


As the vultures of the press circle over the wounded Liberal Party of Manitoba, one NDP star candidate must be laughing up her sleeve at how her extremist past has escaped the scrutiny of reporters and pundits.

Parachuted into a safe NDP seat in Winnipeg's North End, she nonetheless feared a bruising campaign against a well-heeled Liberal opponent.  Ha ha.  Instead, the sleepy newspeeps have turned a blind eye to her years of vitriolic attacks on Christianity, white people, and police.

* She's spent years bashing Christianity as the root cause of all the problems of native people in Canada.
* She's called for a boycott of white businesses.
* And with her  Marxist research partner, she's smeared city police as intransigent racists.

Step up Nahanni Fontaine,
running for election in St. John's riding as successor to the retiring Gord Macintosh.

While her male counterpart in the NDP's galaxy of stars, Wab Kinew, has responded to the controversy over his woman-and-gay bashing  rap lyrics and tweets by fervid apologies and hand-over-heart assertions that he's changed his leopard spots, Fontaine has chosen a cone of silence.

*  Fontaine set her sights on the evils of Chrisitianity as far back as 2006 while working on her PhD in the department of native studies at the University of Manitoba.  

She shared some of the "research" for her dissertation entitled "Old Ladies, Bitches, and Ho's: deconstructing the female Aboriginal gang member" at a  public presentation. The university newspaper The Manitoban captured the best parts (March 15, 2006, PhD candidate describes lingering effects of colonialism in Aboriginal communities):

“Unfortunately as a result of the introduction of Christianity and forced Christian marriages, the incorporation into a wage-economy, residential
schools, and the introduction of alcohol, Aboriginal men’s and women’s roles have significantly changed,” said Fontaine.

And...

"Aboriginal gangs are the product of our colonized and oppressed space within Canada" said Fontaine, "a space [that] brought with it inequity, racism, dislocation, marginalization, and cultural and spiritual alientation."
"It is a space of physical and cultural genocide that continues to exist in and at this very moment," added Fontaine.

*  She was still at it four years later, only more belligerent in her attack. This time it was over the proposal of a Youth For Christ funded youth centre at Main and Higgins.
Nahanni Fontaine, director of justice for the Southern Chiefs Organization, an advocacy group for First Nations people in southern Manitoba, said giving public money to the project would be like contributing to the contemporary version of residential schools under the guise of helping youth.
"[We] saw religion used as an abusive and violating mechanism in which to assimilate aboriginal children into Euro-Canadian mainstream," she said.

Assimilated?

"Aboriginal people were assured that these sort of infringing practices and strategic policies would never occur again."
Approving this proposal would just be sanctifying a "more contemporary form of the residential school experience," Fontaine said.

*  Between her attacks on Christianity, Fontaine endorsed a broader race-based policy, if only for one day.

On something called a 'national day of action', Manitoba's Southern Chiefs Organization, Fontaine's then-employer, called for a boycott of non-native businesses.  She thought it a fine idea.

Boycott non-native businesses Friday, Manitoba chiefs urge ...

https://caledoniawakeupcall.wordpress.com/.../boycott-non-native-busine...
The boycott would be one way to demonstrate the economic power of the native community, said Nahanni Fontaine, director of justice with SCO.
Aboriginal people as a group spend huge amounts of money, she added, but little of it stays in aboriginal communities.

"The idea is that we're sustaining our own poverty. We need to in some ... tangible way, even if it's just for one day at this point, to stop buying products and services from non-aboriginal businesses."

The decision to call a boycott follows the recent SCO election of a new grand chief, Morris Shannacappo, and is the beginning of a long-term strategy of economic action, Fontaine said.

"I don't want people to think that it's personal, that it's an attack on individual business owners," she said. "It absolutely isn't. But it's about time that we need to support our own."

* Nahanni knows all about supporting "our own".  
As the "director of justice" for the Southern Chiefs Organization, she was all about trash-talking police, calling them racist, and demonstrating knee-jerk solidarity with every native with a beef against authority.  Like Evan Maud.

Evan Maud, a 20-year-old "high school student", claimed in 2010 he was picked up by police at a bus stop in the North End (not the St. John's riding), driven to the outskirts of town, stripped of his coat, and told to run or be tasered.

"Its not an isolated event," declared Marxist professor Elizabeth Comack of the University of Manitoba.

Calling on research conducted with Nahanni Fontaine, Comack said they uncovered 10 similar incidents among 78 aboriginal people they interviewed.

 "They feel they can't tell anyone or report to anyone, or that anyone would do anything if they did," said Comack.

"Evan has the courage to speak out."

Except that modern technology, GPS and video-cameras, ultimately proved that Evan Maud was lying through his teeth

None of what he said was true.  Dang that white man's wizardry.
Fontaine shortly thereafter got a nice government job and has managed to hide her extremist past so far in the election campaign.  But if the politicos get tired to feasting on Liberals, she makes a tasty target.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

An invisible Eagle picked toddler Wab Kinew to change the world


People who have been mocking the NDP's tarnished star candidate, Wab Kinew, better watch out. They don't know who they're messing with.

Wab is a man on a mission.  

A divine mission.  

We know 'cause he told us so.  

Well, not us exactly, but Alberta Native News in March 2012, with more details in his pre-politics memoir.

It seems that when he was three years old, or maybe it was four, Wab had a vision.

He was in his bedroom, where all good three-year-olds should be at night, and he started to hallucinate.  He saw an eagle. 

It's always an eagle. It's never a magnificent Canada goose or a perky red-breasted robin. No, it's got to be an eagle. In this case, a Golden eagle.

Before the eagle, though, little Wab saw a pipe ("It was beautiful") with four eagle feathers hanging from it fastened by brass tacks. The eagle swooped down to grab the pipe in its claws.  "The scenery faded" but Wab could still see the eagle in his bedroom, flapping its wings.

He knew he had had a vision and so did his father and so did the medicine man his father took him to. The medicine man told Wab's dad to bring him back within a month, and when he did Wab was given a handcrafted pipe and told that, from then on, he was a pipekeeper, a prestigious role among Anishinaabe people.

From that moment Wab Kinew knew he was destined for greatness.

"His calling to a powerful destiny that would impact the lives of many was confirmed and his family started grooming him for his life purpose." wrote Alberta Native News writer Brandi Morin. 

It doesn't take much to get him to talk how he walks in the footsteps of men like Martin Luther King and Louis Riel, with the implication that he will be among their ranks. 

And women swoon in his presence. 

Take Brandi Morin for one, with this tweet:

Brandi Morin
‏@Songstress28
My new crush is Wab Kinew @WabKinew OMG he's like a real life freakin' Super Hero! *drool- Come rescue this Damsel in distress too plz =)
6:13 AM - 10 Feb 2012

So it must have been a jolt when he entered politics and found that people didn't automatically gush over him like Brandi did.

Before announcing his bid for office he analyzed his vulnerabilities and zeroed in on the lyrics to his rap songs which degraded women
.

*  To get the jump on critics, at the Aboriginal Music Awards where he won an award for best hiphop CD, he apologized for such hurtful songs, and urged other hip hop artists to change their lyrics too. 

*  And he apologized in his memoir, in two sentences shoehorned into the very back of the book.  

*  And when the issue was raised in the election campaign, he apologized again.

*  And when his tweets containing slurs against gay men were discovered, he apologized. 

*  And tweets that body shamed overweight girls, you guessed it, he apologized. 

The only thing he hasn't apologized for is running over a cat with his car and joking about it. (The cat lived, though he broke its legs.)

Through it all, Kinew has known he was born to lead, just as the eagle said. 

In fact, he'll be the first to tell you.

"I hope over the course of this campaign and over the course of my career ... I prove to people I'm not just the indigenous guy. I hope that people recognize that I'm a leader," he said in a Canadian Press interview.

As for people who didn't recognize his brilliance, well "I think we all know where this stuff is coming from..." he said as he pulled the race card from his sleeve. 

If you don't forgive Wab Kinew and stop attacking his character, you're obviously a racist, was the clear implication intended to silence his critics.

But, eagle aside, Wab Kinew has shown little leadership that wasn't calculated carefully in advance.

He told CJOB he intended to fight bigotry. But he stands side-by-side in public appearances with NDP cabinet minister Eric Robinson, the biggest self-confessed bigot in Manitoba. 

Robinson fought off critics of his openly admitted racism against white people by inventing an exception to prejudice on the basis of colour --- white people have privilege because they're white, so it's okay for non-whites to be prejudiced against them.  

A weekend column by Gordon Sinclair in the Winnipeg Free Press showed another opportunity to show leadership that was missed by Kinew.

Only two weeks earlier, the taxi industry had been under attack by aboriginal women, backed by the Southern Chiefs Organization, amid allegations of racism and sexual harassment.

The CBC highlighted one disputed area:
"Some aboriginal people said they feel discriminated against because they're asked to provide cash deposits up front.

"The cabbies said they'll make that request if they worry a passenger will skip out without paying, no matter what their racial background may be. 

"I'll get that thrown in my face — 'You're only asking me for cash because I'm Indian,'" (a driver) said.

Sinclair, delving into Kinew's memoir, noted Kinew had been arrested years ago for assaulting a cab driver who tried to stop him from refusing to pay a fare.

That said, he could have gone public, admitting his prior actions had contributed to the suspicions that cab drivers have about aboriginal customers.

 He could have said that there is validity to both sides and tried to de-escalate the conflict. 

But he didn't. 

Shown the opportunity, he chose to be a one-trick pony. 

He chose to be, in his own words, "just the indigenous guy."


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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Et tu, Wab?



Fresh off his 'Homos, Ho's, 'n Bitches' Apology Tour, ex-rapper Wab Kinew is about to break in a new act --- pulling his knife out of Greg Selinger's back, with a smile.

Selinger is just over a month away from going down in history as the man who took Manitoba's New Democratic Party over the cliff with him to humiliating defeat because of his conceit and hubris.  The beginning of their mutual end is universally traced to Selinger's decision to raise the provincial sales tax one point to 8 percent from 7 percent in 2013.

Among the masses throwing brickbats at Selinger back then was one Wab Kinew -- an employee of  the University of Winnipeg with a degree in economics -- who took to Twitter to express his  opposition to the NDP's surprise tax hike.

How does raising the Pst help grow the economy? How is a tax which takes a proportionally bigger slice of poorer peoples' incomes fair?
2013-04-16



Oops.

That was before Selinger hand-picked him to be the party's star candidate in the 2016 provincial election. But Kinew's shine was tarnished almost from the start once people learned of his penchant for rapping songs that degraded women and his Tweets which included body shaming jokes at girls and slurs at gays.

Okay, you've got me,  but I've changed, he'd boast (with a smirk on his face). I know the error of my ways.  
I'm Feminist Wab now and I'm really really sorry for what I said when I was Hiphop Wab

NDP leader Greg Selinger would nod sagely at his boy.
But will voters be as forgiving for Econo Wab, whose political flip-flops just keep on coming. 

The PST? 
He was against it -- before he was for it.

Greg Selinger? 
Loves him.  

Those poor people hurt by the PST?  
Quitcherbitchin'.

The higher sales tax has taken $5000 away from the average Manitoba household so far, a factoid determined to be True by Global News factcheckers.  

The damage to the poorest Manitobans is proportionally worsesomething even Econo Wab knew in 2013.


Will the new Wab Kinew go on the road for Apology Tour II? Tickets at NDP constituency offices, PST added for your own good.

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Monday, March 14, 2016

Not so fast, Police Chief Devon Clunis. We're still waiting for an answer.


He's retiring?

Winnipeg Police Chief Devon "Mack Daddy" Clunis is retiring?

How old is he? It seems he just started in his job and he's taking a flyer already?

Clunis is about 52 and he got the job as police chief barely 3 1/2 years ago.  That means he was 48 when hired, so whoever hired him had every reason to believe he would stick around for a long time.

Especially given all the big talk from Clunis when he started the job.  He was going to literally change the culture of policing in Winnipeg.  Police weren't going to be crime fighters so much as social workers, offering soft shoulders to cry on, strong arms to gather the broken, and sympathetic ears to hear the chorus of sad stories. Blah blah blah.

If you listen to Mack Daddy today, he's done all that. Mission accomplished, he said when announcing his departure. Sick healed. Blind seeing. Lame walking. Geez, the guys a candidate for Christ as his next job.

Oh, and he wants to spend more time with his wife.  Yeah, like we haven't heard that one before.

What was that all about? If he knew he wasn't going to stick around more than a few years, why take the job?  Was it to pad out the pension? Well, that won't fuel more cynicism of public servants, will it?

* When he was hired, the Winnipeg Free Press warned that he didn't have many qualifications. He has a divinity degree and had been the police chaplain. He had experience in the vice unit, traffic division and community service, hardly the hard crime-fighting fronts of police work.

"He has minimal experience in serious crime investigation, or in finance and administration. These are serious shortcomings, particularly at a time when the city is trying to control the escalating costs of policing, which represents 25 per cent of the city's budget." wrote the FP in a prescient editorial.

The knock is that Clunis is leaving because the new police board wants to start chopping the police budget, and with it staffing by as much as 80 police officers. 

He denies it, but a social worker always wants to spend more and not less.

* Clunis never worked his biggest strength. As a preacher he could have preached that the biggest root cause of crime is the refusal to accept the difference between right and wrong. Instilling the moral value of right over wrong is a more powerful deterrent to crime than a policeman on every block; it's a policeman in every heart.  

But social workers pride themselves on not judging. So, instead, they enable.

Mack Daddy got his nickname from his policy on street prostitution. He talked about wanting the working girls off the streets, but he did more than anybody to keep them there. He formed a special unit to do nothing but ride around and make friends with hookers and suggest they get another line of work. 

At last count the measure of the unit was one dead hooker (Tina Fontaine) and two claiming they might be interested in getting out of the biz.  Seriously, no joke. That's it.

* Clunis' finest hour was standing up to I'M-MARTY-MORANTZ-AND-I'M-A-LAWYER. 

As a newly elected councillor, Moranz tried to browbeat a senior police official at a committee hearing. The officer politely informed the shrill Moranz that the police reported to the new police board, not city council. Moranz tried to intimidate the officer but only demonstrated what a fool he was.

Clunis took Mayor Brian Bowman by the ear to the woodshed the next day. After a mano-a-mano talking to, Bowman learned his position in the pecking order in no uncertain terms. He took Morantz into his office for a good spanking before both of them offered a grovelling explanation to the press that, yes, the police official was right, Morantz was stupid and wrong, and that disrespect for the police would never happen again. Morantz was not allowed to open his mouth.

* Clunis' darkest moment was his cowardice four months ago over the killing of 24-year old Mark DiCesare who was surrounded by a veritable army of gun-toting police officers and blasted to death in an empty field in River Heights.

Clunis refused to answer the single most important question about the incident--- did the man have a gun? He was surrounded by 20-30 policemen, the officers armed with an assortment of weapons ranging from Glock pistols to pepper spray, to batons. He had no chance of escape. 

The only reason to kill him was if he had a gun? Did he?

The police department refuses to say.

Why?

Because if he did not have a gun, then this case should have already been turned over to homicide investigators from another police force.

Did Clunis, the chaplain, meet with Mark DiCesare's mother and offer condolences for his death? Or is he headed for the exit before this case is resolved.

It must not be allowed to turn into a repeat of the police shooting of Craig McDougall, the 26-year-old man shot by police in 2008. The authorities have managed to stall the mandatory inquest into McDougalls' death at the hands of police for EIGHT YEARS. His family is still waiting for answers. The McDougall inquest might start in August.

Will Clunis give Mark DiCesare's family an answer before he skips out the door to enjoy his fat pension and his time with his wife?

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