Monday, December 19, 2011

History repeats itself: CMHR boondoggles exposed, Free Press attacks Museum critics

Two days late and two dollars short, the Winnipeg Free Press has come late to the games that the Canadian Museum for Human Rights plays with telling the truth to the public about their dubious finances and questionable activities, tactics that have been flagged for years by the very citizen journalists and newspaper readers whom the newspaper of record still deride.

The floodgates sprung a leak about the CMHR work on, or rather in, the ground:

" ... the museum said Thursday evening its critics should be aware the archeological study's final report is still being written and will be released sometime next year.

"We want to ensure we tell the whole story," said Angela Cassie, the museum's director of communications and external relations. "

This comes only 21 months after we reported on Kick-FM the whole story about the Museum running away from any acknowledgement about the lands beneath it being a graveyard.

"The truth about the bones beneath the floor was an inconvenient truth, for the human rights crowd of Manitoba.

Armed with extensive historical clippings and academic studies of the region, Carriere took his case to the vaunted Round Table consultations at the Forks in January, when CMHR officials ostensibly were asking for citizens to come forward with their ideas of which human rights stories the museum should tell.

As he described it, "THEIR JAWS WERE ON THE TABLE".

Carriere is not asking for construction of the Museum to stop.

He is not asking for existing structures to be torn down.

All he is asking for is a cairn, a plaque, a memorial, to allow visitors to the Forks and the CMHR to give pause and remember the exploitation of a native burial ground by land developers.

Apparently, for the Gail Asper's of the world, such an act would require too much time away from high-society hobnobbing and panhandling for donations from gullible school children and photo-op craving Premiers.

CMHR head cheerleader Gordon Sinclair of the Free Press also brushed off the concerns, based on assurances from the museum's handpicked aboriginal "experts" that enabled the pet project of millionaires to proceed unabated." "

The same day, another story exposed even more excuses for why the wheels are falling off the buses to the Museum, and Free Press readers reacted with a barrage of criticism not only for the pet project of millionaires, but for the newspaper that supports it:

"The museum recently revealed its 2013 opening has been pushed back a year, but didn't say why.

Now, 2014 isn't carved in stone either.

"2014 is contingent... by March, we can confirm that date," Cassie said... "When is the optimal time to open a museum? You have one opportunity to throw your doors open to the world."

Cassie said the museum needs to choose a specific month to open that would best align with school tours and conferences anxious to use museum facilities.

She acknowledged some groups have had to postpone such events scheduled for 2013." "

(Online comments)


12:01 PM on 12/16/2011

@soolkyut... What the blackrod does is analysis. Drawing conclusions from the information. They were bang on about the last cost overruns, that were verified three months later by the Freep.


7:51 AM on 12/16/2011

I see they (CMHR) now have a feel good commercial running on TV begging for more private donations. Their "well-heeled" private donors must have finally awakened and shut the tap off. Fortunately our federal government has done the same. Note to Greg and Sam: Any more money into this will be political suicide for you guys. Don't even think about it.

Lubomyr Luciuk

6:16 PM on 12/18/2011

Over budget (again), not paying existing bills, behind schedule by several years, still refusing to listen to what most Canadians want - it seems as if the CMHR needs Jacques Marion of BDO Canada to come in as a third party administrator to sort out this continuing mess - he's not wanted at Attawapiskat so he might as well go to Winnipeg to figure out why this boondoggle just keeps getting further into the hole.

On Saturday, a follow-up story revealed that CMHR board chair Arni Thorsteinson was de-boarding the sinking ship with a startling new detail that pushed readers to the edge:

"Sources say the museum is as much as $45 million over its $310-million construction budget, mainly because of the rising costs of interior work and the technology needed for the unique exhibits that are planned"

A small sample of the 400 comments:

earl tunnley1

9:24 AM on 12/17/2011

Absolutely no more tax money for this very carelessly run project. Not a penny of "bridge" financing, either. Get a loan from a bank or from the very powerful and wealthy supporters. This project was shoved down the throats of the public and the public is saying in no uncertain terms, No to donating money. It's high time the Free Press acknowledged the other side, ie., the public's disinterest and outright opposition to the project. There's a story here, Free Press. Why don't you tell it?

Steven T

9:29 AM on 12/17/2011

Say what you will about The Black Rod Blog, but he's been warning about this sort of thing for quite some time...

Score: 21


12:35 PM on 12/17/2011

I trust the Black Rod blog more than the mainstream press for any news regarding the Human Rights museum.

Reader RJF summarized:

Of all the new projects going on in this city, this was the one we needed the least. It was the media elite who demanded it; not the public

Faced with losing control over the narrative which was decaying under the flood of mismanagement stories, the WFP editorial (credited to "Staff writer") insulted its own readers and told them to start going "MOOO", as they were to be treated as milk cows for the failing CMHR farm, regardless of how they felt.

"It would be unreasonable to demand that the Friends do more, particularly when they are struggling to fill the last $20 million gap. The rising demand on private funds, moreover, means nothing will be left for an endowment fund that was to help bring students from across Canada to Winnipeg.

Nor would it be acceptable to dumb down the museum, or reduce its noble and necessary mission. The city too easily cuts corners on defining projects, such as the downtown arena, which was originally supposed to be more architecturally significant.

The Harper government has said it will not increase its capital or operating grants, but it should reconsider. The original financial projections were simply unrealistic.

Ottawa, which recently awarded $122 million to the Royal Alberta Museum, a provincial facility, needs to show more interest in a museum that will represent all Canadians. Instead, it seems intimidated by a small group of naysayers."

Readers told the Mountain Avenue braintrust how wrongminded they are:


1:11 PM on 12/18/2011

"All Canadians, in fact, should be prepared to stand up for the museum to ensure that it fulfils its destiny as a truly national institution with an international reputation."============== Perhaps the powers that gave the CMHR its 'destiny' shoud have predestined its construction not commence until adequte funding was secured? It is telling that the editor uses a gambling metaphor. This thing was started on a bluff: 'even though we don't have enough money to finsih the museum, if we start building it anyway we will be able to shame the public into picking up the rest of the tab.'========= The proponents of this project often mistake it for an act of human rights. The CMHR is, if anything, a fiction to tell themselves


4:17 PM on 12/17/2011

"Instead, it seems intimidated by a small group of naysayers." SMALL group of naysayers? Nobody wants this thing except the SMALL group of Asper sycophants. It has the potential to turn our city into a laughing stock. Oh wait, it already has.

Blue Rod Blog

2:41 PM on 12/17/2011

The wfp shows it's true colors. This is arguably one of the worst projects, not most important. It's clear the wfp has zero objectivity and abandoned their journalistic integrity regarding this project. For shame

earl tunnley1

10:45 AM on 12/17/2011

The organizers testified before a senate committee that they would not ask for more tax money above and beyond the Fed's contribution. Why on earth won't you mention this fact, Free Press? The public greatly resents having this museum forced on us. That is why their fundraising is suffering. The arrogance behind creating this project without any consent from the public, was astonishing but where was the mainstream media when the difficult but necessary questions needed to asked? You can and will continue to give us advertorials and editorials but we are not drinking your koolaid. You should do yourself a favour and cease trying to market this museum and just report the news.


2:54 AM on 12/18/2011

The best information available on the internet comes from the Black Rod. The Black Rod has been the most accurate source of information on the CMHR.

None of the dismissive and disrespectful attitude towards FP readers who don't drink the CMHR Koolaid comes as any surprise to listeners of TGCTS.

We laid it out 2 1/2 years ago:

"Conveniently, the paper never mentions that Bob Silver and his partner Ron Stern kicked in to the Museum too.

The term "conflict of interest" never crosses the lips of Margo.

Instead, we lack "visionaries". Those who speak out about the obscenity of $300 Million being diverted from existing museums and charities, and from the taxpayer, are not losers like those who oppose the Fort, we're... "people who think small".

Then, she says "my money's on Gail Asper."

In a bizarre twist, the day before the newspaper repeated history and mocked readers "who think small", editor Margo Goodhand was portrayed in a new, tolerant light:

"Free Press
editor Margo Goodhand went outside and waded into the middle of the protest to give the newspaper's side and to hear from the protesters. Goodhand later spoke with the opposition as well.

"This is a free and democratic society, and we welcome opinions of all kinds," Goodhand said.

"I'm glad these people came out to express their perspective, and we will continue to investigate the issue. We will not be intimidated by protests or petitions or threats on either side.

"We stand by our reporters and the work they have done on this story." "

For more about how welcoming Margo has been about differing opinions and her track record when her understanding of the actions of her reporters is proven wrong, see

Readers who have called out the newspaper for their pro-CMHR bias and selective reporting, had best hope the editor doesn't find out where they work or who the funder is.

Hear the full podcast special about the latest Museum debacle and their mainstream media enablers here:

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Comin' soon - new year, new website, new watchdog (PS: and RRC gets a message)

Later today, after the transcripts have been reviewed, a podcast about yesterdays City Hall meeting will be prepared. It was quite the experience for Osborne House CEO Barb Judt, who had never been down to see our elected representatives at work. It was also quite the experience for me, who has been going down there at various times since before Harvey Smith was elected.

More than ever, a watchdog over the actions of council and committees is needed.

That is why, as soon as it's ready we will have a new easy to use website for our podcast , with our archive, background information, new features, and ways for you to help move the work of TGCTS forward.

There is no ombudsman, no advocate, no voice for the people of Winnipeg coming from mainstream media.

That is our job here. And we'll continue to break stories they won't touch. Stay tuned.


On Thu, Dec 15, 2011 at 10:55 PM, J wrote:

I used to listen to you everyday in my car. I was a financial advisor with xxx xxxx and would have your show on everyday while driving home or to a client's place. I'd even stream in my office if I was working late. Fast forward a year and a half and I'm at a different company in a different role and I ride my bike to work (no, not on the roads nor "rapid transit" anything - I take the paths along the river the entire way, year round). So the few occasions that I drive, I try to catch the show. Even my (now) 7 year old son still asks me to switch to your show if I'm driving him home.

Marty, WTF?

RRC should be ashamed.



Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Two charities may have to cancel Christmas dinners; plus a Lesson in Journalism

Essential listening to understand what's going on in Winnipeg? You betcha.

Start with contrasting the state of the subjects on Winnipeg radio to our hyperlocal, relevant, informed content and style; how you'll be able to get involved with TGCTS thru our new website; then we enumerate our latest dozen followers (@TGCTS, it's booming!) on Twitter including United Way Winnipeg, Ottawa radio show The Album Drop, Cash Mob Winnipeg and Pulitzer Prize nominee, sportswriter Dave Kindred.

It's fascinating to watch the scope of awareness about our work spread across the continent, which sets up...

A Lesson in Journalism.

We examine the Twitterchat about the Jets licence plates, the Metro News story about Osborne House and their wish list and the issue of donor fatigue. How it relates to the CTV Late night news is part two.

Perhaps suffering from compartmentalization they missed a key point in their TV stories - with the Salvation Army and Indian Metis Friendship Centre being a combined $35,000 off the required donation pace for annual Christmas meals and gifts for the less fortunate, this issue of donor fatigue is now the elephant in the room in our city after the pet projects of millionaires sucked obscene amounts of dollars out of our community. (Remember, your favorite Museum is still panhandling for another $20 million. )

Also we reveal that Osborne House CEO Barb Judt is marching down to city hall later this week with a few messages for the Mayor and council.

In the crime report, we make a brief mention of the Grant Avenue Speed trap, the work of Colin Craig of the CTF and Tom Brodbeck of the Sun, as a Facebook member tries to find the good side of the fiasco; and a blogger discovers the city will issue an order on a derelict building, they just won't ENFORCE the order.

How Seinfeldian. Bizzaro Manitoba. Send this episode to everyone you know, here's the link:

Thursday, December 8, 2011

EPC ignores public consultation promises: why the public needs a watchdog

This powerful episode, recorded live on location, explains more background and ties together media reports about Red River College's privacy law woes, the scrambling of the CMHR plans to hire staff and open on - well it isn't on time cause it was already late - and their "Orwellian" question and answer exercise; and lastly, what happened at city hall when the Downtown Parking Plan was rubber-stamped with no regard for the unconnected common folk who are being denied input.

This is the third neighborhood this week to report an absence of fair treatment by city "planning".

Listen for an online comment about the difference between Coun. Eadie's tirade about his own backyard and the silence of councillors when other areas get steamrolled by city processes.

We explain how this ties in to the launch of a new website next week, and why the general public needs resources like our Podcast and our coverage of city hall, the Legislature, and local blogs to help them stand up to decision-makers and hold them accountable. Listen for how you can be part of the next stage.

Plus :
- more on homicides number 36 and 37,
- a Level 5 car thief tries to injure cops twice,
- the price of cocaine in Winnipeg plummets, and
- are the HA's picking up stakes?

A newspaper columnist and a local clothing designer now follow us on Twitter- you'll hear who they are!



Tuesday, December 6, 2011

CMHR, RRC President Forsyth learning hard lessons in accountability; Is Parking Authority next (Updated after mtg) ?

It's been a rough week for the upstanding responsible 'leaders' and 'visionaries' of our downtown.

On Sunday, to the shock of many, the Winnipeg Free Press - fed by an actual caring student journalist - told the public how, yet again, Red River College president Stephanie Forsyth had some splainin' to do to the Provincial Ombudsman because of those pesky privacy laws and some detoured-from-the-shredder security reports.

One of our listeners wasn't so willing to let Madame Micro-manager pass the buck to just the lowly contracted cleaning staff :

The security workers working that night that put those files in the designated recycling area should be fired for not doing there job and locking them up. The cleaner should also be fired because they clearly don't understand the concept of having a shredding station and knowing paper is there to get shredded for a reason.. Whoever was responsible for shredding those papers should be investigated as well. If they were dumping their work of on the cleaners and not shredding stuff themselves they should be fired too.

Then on Tuesday, the pet project of Millionaires - still silent about being built on a sacred burial ground - admitted to the Winnipeg Sun that after years of living high off the hog and showing no regard for whose money was being spent - the taxpayers of Canada - suddenly annual spending was constricted by 50%, hiring was only 1/3 of the planned staffing expansion, they might not be able to afford the entire $310 million for the monstrosity on the Red, and oh yes, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is ANOTHER YEAR behind schedule.

On Wednesday morning, I will be appearing at the City of Winnipeg Executive Policy Committee meeting. To my surprise, a caller advised me that a report from the Parking Authority about a downtown parking plan is wedged into their crowded agenda.

It is written in almost incomprehensible bureaucratese, such as "Develop a range of customer input mechanisms". (HUH?)

None of which, it appears, included the term "public consultation" or "town hall".

No wonder, considering not a single human unaffiliated with a civic department or agency was consulted as part this plan set before "the Mayor's cabinet".

I will be reminding the EPC members who amongst them agreed with my presentation last March, and are quoted in Hansard agreeing with me, that the public should have a say in parking planning; deserve some fair recourse for complaints; and that public consultation meant the public as in "humans", not just the designated organizational "stakeholders" the parking czardom is cozy with.

HINT: it's a majority of the votes.

Will their words of assurance from March have meaning, or will voter cynicism about politicians be once again validated ?

Given that aside from my late-in-the-day registration to speak, NOT A SINGLE DELEGATION was scheduled to address the dozens of issues EPC is deliberating on, it appears civic engagement in River City is at an all-time low.

Little wonder, when those who have stated their case at council have been personally attacked -- on the record -- not for the validity of their arguments, but for having dared to speak out in opposition and participate in something that got those same councilors into their jobs in the first place - democracy and free speech.

We'll let you know how it turned out on the next podcast, which will be recorded at our special Facebook group gathering to which all are invited Wednesday night, 7 PM, at the Kings' Head tavern.

Here is the Twitter-ready version of the presentation - thanks to James Turner of the Winnipeg Sun:

James Turner
at EPC meeting to present on his views of the downtown parking plan.

James Turner
Says report is 'dense' in terms of how it's written. Talking public consultation.

James Turner
'The public had to be consulted' but stakeholders didn't include 'people' Gold says.

James Turner
'I have waited since March ... For a public notice", Gold says.

James Turner
Not a single record of WPA consulting public on downtown parking, he says. The plan affects Women's shelter

James Turner
'Would somebody please ask (the WPA) to start speaking english?' Gold says.
2 hours ago

James Turner
'How come the public is never mentioned as a key stakeholder group?' Gold asks.

James Turner
WPA references Los Angeles etc. In report: 'none of which have blizzards,' Gold says.

James Turner
'Couns. Must take some actions with regard to the Parking Authority.'

James Turner
Katz thanks Gold for his comments, no questions

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Museum & Simkin Centre update, Eadie's tirade, Realtor rules, homeless housing victims, Vandal vs consultation, boneheaded judge: All in one podcast !

Shout-outs off the top of today's podcast across the continent, to a crew that includes a Winnipeg student journalist, a realtor, a new member of our Facebook group from Thompson, a rock singer who is also an aspiring American politician, and a groovy Village retailer.

One of the overriding themes today - there is less news and information and more pollyanna-ism in Winnipeg mainstream media than ever with the return of the Jets - who will fill in the gap?

Part One: Follow-ups on recent featured analysis of

- The new slant of the Museum of Human Rights, apparently unwilling to allow discussion of human rights abuses and genocide by Nazi's and Communists but seemingly willing to commit a blood libel against Christianity as part of their Holocaust displays - a philosophy that all must disavow BEFORE more public funding goes to the pet project of Millionaires;

- the disregard of the Simkin Center for basic non-profit governance, as the CEO's contract was extended? renewed? no one's sure - without even needing approval of the closed-shop self - perpetuating Board of Directors .

Who in government or the MSM watches the public's back? Who will speak out about this abuse of power and is the watchdog against non-profits that break their bylaws, from bullying by the connected classes, from community dishonesty ? We ask, who's there to protect you ?

Part Two - City Hall behaves like a Grade 3 Class ?

L'affair Ross Eadie: F-sharps like "a newly peglegged pirate"; the real questions about his rant; naming names of who was for/against the 108 Scotia St. housing; and a blogger analyzes the cast of characters and explains how our impending civic budget ... um, well ...

"These are the people that we decided were responsible and mature enough to handle our money for us, and on the strength of their decision-making skills we will owe a billion dollars within the next three to four years without having solved any of our existing problems. Everything is terrible. There's your local news."

Speaking of politicians, a realtor brilliantly delves into how complacency harms Winnipeggers as both voters AND homeowners, and reveals a startling new era of accountability may be on the way - for realtors, anyways:

Part Three - Crime Courts and Public Safety

Just wondering, considering #35 was a homeless person in an abandoned apartment block, is #36 halfway there ?

Speaking of homeless people and public safety:
FP Reporter: In Winnipeg, At Home has produced a number of heartwarming success stories along with some spectacular failures.
"Wally Ruban, operations manager at B & M Land Co., which once rented 10 suites to At Home participants, said the company has pulled out of the program. "I think it's fallen flat on its face," he said Friday."
(A project manager said:) "I think it's been a learning experience for all of us."

Again the question is asked who speak out for the people that live in suites next to the "spectacular failures" AND I tell what someone in the private sector hears after trying the "learning process" excuse out on the boss.
And who speaks out for the victims of these failures, ie their neighbours especially in public housing ?

Meanwhile, Coun. Danny Vandal tries to find a way to knock the public (and their own responsibility as elected officials) out, once and for all, from having a say in transit fares by emulating the Parking Authority model -

"It also allows that independent intelligent analysis that is often lacking and avoids what happened on the floor of council," Vandal said, referring to the recent transit fare hike.

Memo to the Councillor: if we had something in this town called MANDATORY PUBLIC CONSULTATIONS, a 25c fare hike wouldn't have happened either.

And how can it exist until you and council get a handle on this next issue?

"The report shows that when it comes to feeling "not at all worried" about using or waiting for public transit at night, Winnipeggers had the lowest rate in Canada.

Only 33 per cent of Winnipeggers said they felt that way"

James Turner of the Sun - well, in this case of his blog

tried to reward the effort of a Crown attorney to protect the public from a violent sick 16 year old who beat up two innocents in 2 days last summer, kept out of jail because she might be around bad influences and then there's the little baby that needs her.

She walked away Wednesday with two years of supervised probation, admittedly with some stringent conditions for the first few months.

Despite randomly picking a stranger to attack, brutally beat and strangle for no apparent reason — two days after robbing another guy behind a 7-11 — S won’t do any real time.

(How long till bonehead judgements forces the Crown to rethink her career?)


LASTLY: From our former Kick-FM colleague Ezra of Illegal Curve on CFRW:

"Hello everybody.

As some of you already know, my father, John Ginsburg recently released the e-version of his book "Fine Times" on Amazon and the iTunes book store.

My dad began working on this book in the summer of 2009 and completed it in 2010.

The book is currently only available for download from iTunes and the Amazon book store. The cost of the book is $2.99 and it can be found by searching "Fine Times John Ginsburg"

I'm really proud of my dad and I hope everyone enjoys it.

-Ezra Ginsburg"

(Ed. note - It's about a girl who idolizes Moshe Dayan, so it must be great.)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Crimestat flaws predicted 5 years ago/ Faron Hall poster child for failed NDP holistic approach

TGCTS opens today by recounting our recent Twitter interaction with the likes of civics blogger Brian Kelcey, Taxpayers Federation director Colin Craig and PC Justice critic Kelvin Goertzen that proves the relevancy of our platform in the current local media scene.

Then 3 main segments are undertaken:

1) The attack on Christian values by the left, as analyzed by CBC's Rex Murphy for the National Post, was almost predictive of the plan of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights to blame Christianity for the Holocaust, even while as Tom Brodbeck reports, the federal money tap to pay for it is being turned off

2) Revisiting previous stories -- The unexplained (by MSM) reasons why the NDP had to roll out a 511 emergency communications system - it's a 4 letter word; Bernie Bellan raises the issue of the responsibility of the WRHA and Health Dept. bureaucrats in the death of Simkin Centre resident Lilyan Peck; and the Free Press estimate of the enormous cost of the bribe paid (in the form of higher wages and pensions) at the back end of the wage freeze the NDP arranged with their union friends.

3) The amazing analysis of Bob Axford on March 12, 2007, that the proclamations of then police Chief Ewatski and Mayor Katz about how their version of Crimestat would emulate US successes was a con job on the public. Recent blog posts by Menno Zacharias and Rae Butcher seem to back up Axford's hypthesis.

Plus a rundown of recent near-killings and robberies involving teenagers, the jail time for a rampage last summer on downtown bike riders by a fledgling gangster, an excellent court report from James Turner about a 53 x arrested for intoxication downtown vagrant and what should be done about him, my comparison of that case to recently arrested and intoxicated 'homeless hero' Faron Hall, the biggest example of why the NDP has failed to protect not only the public, but the perp (from himself);

and last but not least, Justice Murray Sinclair jumped on the "one minute to midnight" bandwagon and the Free Press had to censor dozens of commenters that called his bluff for making excuses for the potential of aboriginal violence .

And a reminder to join our Facebook group at the Kings Head next Wednesday at 7 PM for a roundtable and announcements about the growth of our platform. GET INVOLVED - YOU HAVE THE POWER.

Here is the Wednesday Podcast:

Friday, November 25, 2011

Failures exposed: Paul Martin and WeDay, Chief McCaskill and Crime "Roadmap"

This week, the mainstream media:

- Ignored the obvious questions about political bias and self-serving agendas that infected the presentations to 16,000 schoolchildren at We Day. TGCTS culled Twitter and the parliamentary record to bring you the other side of the story beyond the hype, about the event itself and the sorry history of former Prime Minister Paul Martin who pretended to now be the champion of aboriginal needs.

- Ignored the failed administrative practices, deceptive promises and insufficient math of Chief McCaskills' promises to bring more control over problem tenants and more cops to bear on crime in Downtown. TGCTS recaps the extensive analysis of The Black Rod that revealed how McCaskills' artsy layout cannot mask his failure to utilize Crimestat properly or to deliver meaningful change.

- Ignored the travesty of the Diamond Lane ticket trap on southbound McPhillips at Inkster, even with news cameras filming bewildered motorists getting tagged when the buses-only priority is not in effect. City Hall directed a cop to answer our listener Outlaw Adam Knight, who took the issue to Mayor Sam Katz and is keeping our audience in the loop.

- Ignored the disconnect between the Court of Queen's Bench on what would be acceptable conduct to "reasonable members" of the public and what a normal person would think actually went on, when the Labradoodle trial was compromised by a provincial Court judge's actions and a motion for his dismissal was rejected. We were there.

Plus: updates on the disruption of the Downtown Biz safety forum, the PC leadership race-to-be, the latest violent incident near the Air Canada building on Portage, and an arrest in the shooting of a 14 year old boy in the face last month - and a translation of the McCaskill-approved press release into plain English.

And no less than 8 shout-outs start off the show - along with the announcement of Marty Gold doing play by play for a cable TV sports special.

Here is the link to the Friday Podcast:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fifth Anniversary Episode: Chief McCaskill's colouring, em, crime reduction plan-to-make-a-plan booklet reviewed

Today's podcast marks the 5th year of The Great Canadian Talk Show serving the community as the voice of the alternative media. The support of so many people, from all political stripes and opinions, and from the mainstream media, bloggers, world of business and academia, and supporters of free speech, is gratefully acknowledged.

My latest column in the Jewish Post and News provides some historical background on the training to engage in this form of broadcasting that I received under the mentorship of the late Yoram Hamizrachi East.

Shout-outs off the top of the show include the instructors and students at two institutions I had the pleasure of speaking to this week: the radio class at Academy of Broadcasting under John Copsey; and the Writing Partnerships Practicum course in the Rhetoric, Writing, and Communications department at the University of Winnipeg, at the invitation of Associate Professor Jennifer Clary-Lemon. Her class blogs at .

Our focus on this episode is the colouring book-like booklet distributed to the media on short notice last Friday by Winnipeg police chief Keith McCaskill, long on fluff and filler like:

“The fact that you’re planning is more important than the plan."

As I said to the classes I spoke to, if a Grade 10 student tried to regurgitate self-serving quotes and artsy pictures in a class project like McCaskill did, they would be awarded an F.

Forced by statistical fact of an increase in violent crime to croon a Petula Clark hit to explain where he intends to target resources - hello Stefano Grande - McCaskill adopted what could be a new phone number representing the lowball targets he has for a crime-reduction strategy - 9-3-3 - for approval at city hall "where normally supportive politicians damned the long-awaited plan with faint praise."

The Free Press also reported on how the presentation did not address breaking the backs of gangs "that seem to invade every safe space" by going after "the kingpins"; nor did the material explain how the Chief wants to work with the MLCC to address alcohol-fueled violence after working WITH the Liquor czars to pursuade the NDP to expand the hours socials held in neighborhood halls can sell booze.

Rounding out the show is a recap of two accounts from the blogosphere of last week's Downtown Biz safety forum being hijacked by anti-cop, anti- Biz anarchists:

(NB - it has come to my attention that one of those stories is being disputed, which I will raise when taping the next installment.)

And of course given the circumstances, a special reflection on our time at Kick-FM and growing the audience, the dishonest conduct of Red River College censors under Stephanie Forsyth towards community radio and free speech - lying about Sam Katz and Vic Toews for instance - and what our listeners are saying about the show and the direction this city has taken in the past year with no one on radio holding the oligarchy to account in our stead, are part of the commentary. Here it is:

Friday, November 18, 2011

Exclusive: Velomobile introduced in Manitoba; plus city "leaders" cower from public consultation on bus fares

(Thanks for alerting us, the audio link has been fixed) On Remembrance Day, I was out with one of our close friends and sponsors, TJ Bratt of Double D Snow Removal (call 805-3555, he'd want me to remind you). As we drove down a quiet street in St. Boniface, what looked like a white rocket crossed the road about a block ahead of us. Naturally, as intrepid reporters and curious Georges, we set off in pursuit.

What we found was the debut of a unique form of transportation to Winnipeg and a most affable driver.

In this special podcast, you'll meet the owner of the first Velomobile on our streets, who has taken his love of cycling to a whole new level. Josh, (not to be confused with our longtime associate Young Josh, now of APTN) is a longtime resident of Southeast Winnipeg and although a believer in active transportation, has never been aligned with the militant bike lobby.

Rather, he went about his hobby quietly and decided to invest his hard-earned savings from his job as a shipper/receiver in the most unique, cool, self-propelled vehicle imaginable, the Sunrider model manufactured in the Netherlands.

Josh describes his personal background, the reasons why he decided to buy it, the physical demands of this style of cycling, and his hopes to add sponsorships to the fibreglass hull and perhaps make guest appearances at local events and for worthy causes to help him defray the costs. He sat in for the entire show and it was a pleasure to be able to host him in the studio.

Also on today's show - Josh helps list who was hitting up our blog (thank you potty-mouth Pat Martin!) and the shout-outs to our newest followers on Twitter - including Manitoba's Top Employers, social media ace Erica Glasier, and Destiny Watt of city hall.

And speaking of city hall...

You will hear our analysis of how councillors betrayed the working class, seniors and the poor when "leadership" at city council was re-defined as ditching all public consultation to hike bus fares by 400% more than was originally asked for, thanks to the allegedly spontaneous brainstorm of Deputy Mayor Justin Swandel to fund rapid transit ... sort of.
The way the vote passed, and who supported it, exposes the deep divide between the marginalized inner city and the arrogant oligarchy at 510 Main that resorted, without shame or guilt or conscience, to procedural trickery to avoid public debate. It was like they sneered "ya, what Pat Martin said" to Winnipeg voters, and ignored their promises to make sure the people had a say after the disaster of bike lanes in 2010.

Which members deserve a pat on the back for refusing to go along with anti-democratic tactics? Do we need recall legislation to ensure elected officials do not abuse the public trust or pocketbooks again ? What was said and by whom, in the Twitterverse and on blogs? Listen and get informed.

Also reviewed (speaking of Remembrance Day) is Free Press columnist Dan Lett admitting in a blog post to his surprise (and a few other things) that a U of M student didn't swallow his attacking Mayor Sam Katz again and told him off; and the fierce debate among our Facebook group about who (beside the convicted boy) should be held responsible for the murder of a 14 year old girl stabbed through the mouth while she was passed out drunk. And it ain't Gary Filmon.

Here is the link to the Friday podcast:

Go Bombers !

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Crime Special: Chief McCaskill's priorities dangerously out of touch

The numbers tell the tale of a city where thanks to the 12 years of the NDP's "holistic approach" and a clueless police chief, criminals have no fear of cops and think they have a human right to commit crimes.

5 - the number of homicide cases in 2011 with no arrests and seemingly, no leads.

14, 15, 17, 17 - the ages of accused gun, knife and bear-spray wielding suspects this past week.

12,13,13,14,14,14,15,16,16,16,16,42 - the ages of their (known) victims. Think about how many teens across the city were terrorized, and the effect on their families and friends.

#33 - the Exchange District drive-by shooting where police are begging for tips.

# 35 - the most recent homicide count, the latest victim is now being canonized as a troubled homeless man found fatally injured in a blazing abandoned apartment block, barely 5 weeks after he himself almost killed an innocent man by bashing his face with a rock.

5 - the number of incidents referenced above that occurred in downtown Winnipeg in the past 7 days, (6 in two weeks if we include killing #33)

With murders, stabbings, shootings, macings, arsons, and break-ins ( including a bloggers' home) are rampant in Winnipeg, and while other cities try to find genuine solutions, in the Tuesday podcast we itemize the unacceptable priorities of our Chief of Police, Keith McCaskill:

- don't answer the non-emergency line;

- launch an encrypted dispatch system to conceal the number of violent emergency calls from reporters and the public, a technology that so endangered cops on the beat it had to be pulled;

- announce a volunteer-staffed fake initiative to compile complaints about "community issues" like poor street lighting that already never get fixed (why have citizens call 311 directly when now police trained volunteers can do it instead ?) ;

- assign cops to enforce diamond lanes on Saturday mornings in the north end - are the buses being delayed on McPhillips ?? - rather than having them investigate real crimes;

- pressure city council to ban snowmobiles, ignoring how maybe, maybe one day in a blizzard (ie 1966, 1986, 1997) the cops will actually need citizens to rally the troops and get doctors and nurses to hospitals;


"The problem is not a lack of policies or examples or approaches. It’s the absolutely shocking failure on the part of Winnipeg’s entire leadership class to act on any of these examples.
" Brian Kelcey

Listen to the Tuesday podcast:

Twitter: @TGCTS

Monday, November 14, 2011

Winnipeg blogosphere backlash against Free Press hypocrisy

Today, Graham Hnatiuk blogged about a war of words started over on the Free Press website, after columnist Dan Lett didn't take kindly to being called out for ignoring allegations of election irregularities in the vote that resulted in Kevin Chief winning the Point Douglas seat at the legislature.

Hnatiuk raised serious issues about the derisive attitude of the Winnipeg Free Press towards citizen journalists, at the same time as they have joined forces with Red River College to administer a $400,000 program via the Winnipeg Foundation to "train" them.

I want to make clear that in no way do I think, or have I ever thought, that Dan Lett had anything to do with the "keep this confidential" backroom gang - style 'hit' of my reputation and my community radio program by pro-censorship elitists aligned with "people whose opinions we care about".

However, the following email from a listener about today's blog post demonstrates that even one year later, the actions of Free Press and Red River College officials and of their corporate radio "partners" masquerading as community representatives on the radio station board of directors, continues to cause deep mistrust in this community towards the MSM and Red River College - and has backfired on FP editor Margo Goodhand, her bossman Bob Cox, and RRC president Stephanie Forsyth.

Hi Graham and Marty,

Graham, your post today was very well written and highlights the arrogance and hypocrisy of some MSM members.

Folks like Mr. Lett are not used to being challenged and as a result instead of engaging the public, resort to ad hominum attacks.

Whether teddybaxter is right on his/her facts or not - he/she is actually a customer of Lett.

All Lett had to do was place his evidence forward and invite teddybaxter to do the same - while keeping his professionalism.

Instead the public is treated to "Behold the wonder of citizen journalism" and accusations of being "birthers" and 911 conspiracy folks.

This is an insult to every single "citizen journalist" and every single person who reads/listens to them (like me).
The MSM is losing the trust of the people that they supposedly serve. As a result those folks are increasingly looking for alternatives.

This scares the MSM because they are losing that exalted space that used to be theirs.

When backed into a corner they lash out.

I'm glad that you reiterated the cancellation of TGCTS. This has dire consequences for all community radio in this city.

If commercial/"elite" interests can get away with it at KICK, you can bet your ass they'll try it again somewhere else. What happened to TGCTS should not be forgotten. These jokers might not like something on your own radio program and all of a sudden there's no room at the inn at UMFM.

This past year has been one hell of an education for myself (and it's not over yet).

"Citizen Journalism" and the "Alternative Media" have never been needed more.

All the best as you continue your work


(Next podcast is a Tuesday special about Crime in Winnipeg
. )

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Live at King's Head - City Hall, the Bike Lobby and 'Rapid' Transit; reel-to-reel & 80's Winnipeg VHS tapes wanted; special guests

Thanks to the wonders of our Facebook group, a live edition of TGCTS broke out at the King's Head on Wednesday night and was it fun (if perhaps recorded at a too-quiet setting, live and learn ) !

Notwithstanding the absence of a wireless signal, a fast-paced and wide-ranging discussion ensued with shout-outs to all sorts of Twitterists, guest commentators including Graham Hnatiuk of Progressive Winnipeg, and a rave review of Dr Pepper Barbeque sauce is but a fraction of the fun.

Oh, and the answer to the question from our last Podcast - how many callers did I hang up on at Kick-FM?

Lots of opinions, information, naming names galore (Rosemary Vodrey??), and discussion about Winnipeg past and present, and especially plugging Jim Jaworski's work to preserve historic video of this city
( if you have any to contribute), at


PS - If you would like to book a live edition of The Great Canadian Talk Show to generate discussion with your group or organization, as a fundraiser, or for your own entertainment, we'd be happy to oblige.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Osborne House CEO Barb Judt speaks out: Domestic violence and the underfunded women's shelter

One year ago today, Osborne House was denied the launch of a $10,000 fundraising campaign on Kick-FM.

The Tuesday podcast returns to the issues surrounding domestic violence in our society that CEO Barb Judt was going to raise a year ago on campus radio - until RRC made the choice to stifle free speech and protect the fiefdoms of their "media partners" by canceling The Great Canadian Talk Show without notice that day, rather than have the story of Manitoba's largest shelter heard and help protect vulnerable women and children.

When she tried to address College officials involved with the Kick-FM board about their arbitrary actions, she was misled, outright lied to, and ignored. The President of Red River College Stephanie Forsyth and her obedient staff of censors "demonstrated insensitivity to Osborne House", says Barb, and they failed to recognize that their own students are among the most common demographic of victims. She appears on TGCTS today to set the record straight as part of Domestic Violence Awareness month.

Listen to Barb explain:

- how dysfunctional childhood backgrounds create volcanic environments for adults
- that new technology is enabling more pervasive stalking techniques
- the spiraling demand for protective services from new immigrants, who are shunned for refusing to be imprisoned in their homes and beaten
- why business owners and managers have a vested interest in raising awareness and funding shelter services to help their employees deal with domestic violence
- how the NDP government has finally moved on the funding crisis
- why mainstream media shies away from reporting about the issues Barb and her staff deal with every day

The details touched on in this interview about the role OH(@OsborneHouseWPG)
serves with children and new Canadians are of utmost importance. This is a podcast that listeners should email to everyone they know, and to elected officials they may not know but who control the public pursestrings.

Also today, Los Angeles homelessness activist/documentarian Mark Horvath (@hardlynormal) - whose speech at CDI College this summer was attended by ZERO MSM reporters, ZERO CEO's and ZERO Downtown Biz representatives - made an observation this weekend about the true test of people who claim they want to help find solutions.

Listeners may also want to send his remark to everyone they know and to elected officials they don't know, it's that good. Some local phony-baloney "leaders" would surely pale at the thought of living up to Horvath's standard.

The shout-outs today include a blogger, musicians, an online radio industry hub, a newspaper rep, and a journalism instructor. Plus news in progress about a planned gathering of our Facebook group members on Wednesday evening.