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 adopted the symbol to knock some sense and the right questions into the heads of Legislators, pundits, and other opinion makers.
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Lameduck Mayor Sam Katz steps up to fill Robin Williams' shoes
Is Sam Katz auditioning for a new career as a comedian?
He's no Robin
Williams, but you've got to start somewhere.
When the news broke that
the province of Manitoba had asked the RCMP to review the trio of city audits
that uncovered massive favoritism in handing out construction contracts "and to
conduct any investigations it considers appropriate," Katz tapped his funny bone
to knock off some one-liners in the form of a "statement."
"The province has made their decision and chosen to exercise their right to
refer to the RCMP, and all of council would support their
decision, and I hope this brings closure."
Bwahaha. Now that's
It may be too subtle for many people, but it's in the true tradition of
understated British humour.
You see, Katz is saying just the opposite.
He and his council cabal voted AGAINST sending the audits to the provincial
justice department, a move made by councillors in the hope the province would
call in the Mounties.
The vote was razor-thin, 8-7 to approve the
motion. One councillor didn't vote -- Justin Swandel, Katz's sidekick, his
Ed McMahon to Sam's Johnny Carson, the guy who sits there and guffaws at his
master's lame jokes.
The council meeting ran late and Swandel left for an
appointment. If he stayed he would have cast the tying vote that would have
killed the motion to refer to the province.
Now that's funny, Sam Katz's
staunchest ally ensured the RCMP would be called in to investigate Sam Katz's
Katz isn't running for re-election because the humourless
electorate might not find the scandals that have cost taxpayers tens of millions
of dollars so funny. Instead, he's adopted the old adage: always leave 'em
But the RCMP review might not be the "closure" the lameduck mayor
The police might just expand on the "prima facie" case built by the
audits and dig deeper into the cozy relationship between the mayor, his best
friend and the city's chief administrative officer, and his other friend and
investor and beneficiary of the best friend's largesse. Who knows, the Mounties
might just travel to Scottsdale, Arizona, to ask questions about the million
dollar house Sam Katz bought from sister of an executive of Shindico for $10 "and other
But for a comedian it's all grist for the mill. Sam
Katz even has his punchline written and waiting: "When it comes to ability,
intelligence and integrity, this jury wouldn't even qualify to be in the same
building, let alone the same room, as Phil Sheegl."
Wow. No, double-wow. A game-changing bombshell lies buried in the supplementary evidence provided to the House of Commons Judiciary Committee by former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould. It has gone virtually unreported since she submitted the material almost a week ago. As far as we can find, only one journalist-- Andrew Coyne, columnist for the National Post--- has even mentioned it and even then he badly missed what it meant, burying it in paragraph 10 of a 14 paragraph story. The gist of the greatest political scandal in modern Canadian history is well-known by now. It's bigger than Adscam, the revelation 15 years ago that prominent members of the Liberal Party of Canada and the party itself funneled tens of millions of dollars in kickbacks into their own pockets from federal spending in Quebec sponsoring ads promoting Canadian unity. That was just venal politicians and a crooked political party helping themselves to public money. The Trudeau-Snc-Lavalin scandal is
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Manitoba Hydro is on its deathbed. Oh, you won't find anyone official to say it. Yet . Like relatives trying to appear cheery and optimistic around a loved one that's been diagnosed with terminal cancer, the people in power are in the first stage of grief -- denial. The prognosis for Hydro was delivered three weeks ago at hearings before the Public Utilities Board where the utility was seeking punishingly higher rates for customers in Manitoba. It took us this long to read through the hundred-plus pages of transcript, to decipher the coded language of the witnesses, to interpret what they were getting at, and, finally, to understand the terrible conclusion. We couldn't believe it, just as, we're sure, you can't--- so we did it all again, to get a second opinion, so to speak. Hydro conceded to the PUB that it undertook a massive expansion program--- involving three (it was once four) new dams and two new major powerlines (one in the United States)---whi
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
Published since 2006 on territory ceded, released, surrendered and yielded up in 1871 to Her Majesty the Queen and successors forever. Exposing the CBC/FP double-team smear of a hero cop Some of the shoddiest journalism in recent times appeared this long August weekend when the CBC and Winnipeg Free Press doubled teamed on a blatant smear of a veteran city police officer. In the latest example of narrative journalism these media outlets spun stories with total disregard for facts that contradicted the central message of the reports which, simplified, is: police are bad and the system is covering up. Let's start with the story on the taxpayer funded CBC by Sarah Petz that can be summed up in the lead. "A February incident where an off-duty Winnipeg officer allegedly knocked a suspect unconscious wasn't reported to the province's police watchdog, and one criminologist says it shows how flawed oversight of law enforcement can be." There you have it. A policeman, not
When did the magic die? A week ago the Winnipeg police department delivered the bad news---crime in the city is out of control. The picture painted by the numbers (for 2018) was appalling. Robberies up ten percent in a single year. (And that was the good news.) Property crimes were up almost 20 percent. Total crime was 33 percent higher than the five year average. The measure of violent crime in Winnipeg had soared to a rating of 161. Only four years earlier it stood at 116. That's a 38 percent deterioration in safety. How did it happen? How, when in 2015 the police and Winnipeg's police board announced they had discovered the magic solution to crime? "Smart Policing" they called it. A team of crime analysts would pore through data to spot crime hot-spots and as soon as they identified a trend (car thefts, muggings, liquor store robberies) they could call in police resources to descend on the problem and nip it. The police