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 since 2005, adopted the symbol to knock some sense and the right questions into the heads of Legislators, pundits, and other opinion makers.

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:

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
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


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.


"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.


"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 ...
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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