Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mayor Katz makes news on CJOB's Nighthawk with Marty Gold; top stories and guests list for Q2/09

Thanks to all the listeners who called in and emailed during my inaugural hosting of CJOB's Nighthawk show last evening.

Mayor Sam Katz addressed questions about the proposed partnership to create a water utility, claiming that GST and PST will not be causing an automatic 12% hike in rates, and that the change would protect taxpayers from sudden infrastructure costs; said he was interested in a callers' suggestion that the City was long overdue for a plastic bottle refund system like Vancouver's depots; and Katz refused the demand of MGEU prexy Peter Olfert to apologize for refering to paramedics as "ambulance drivers" in our TGCTS interview earlier this month. The Mayor proclaimed his support for rank-and-file paramedics and promised to ensure the public gets proper service, despite recent ER redirects, dangerous working conditions, and outright lack of ambulances to respond to shootings etc.

Today on TGCTS, Blues guitarist Derek Miller will be in studio at 4.30 PM; there is no broadcast Wednesday and replays air on Thursday and Friday;

Meanwhile, on the AM side of the dial, Derek Miller will also be interviewed on the Nighthawk as well this evening, about his 2 appearances at the Zoo ( the hotel, not the zoo in the park) as part of the Osborne Street Canada Day Festival. Also on the Nighthawk, MPI's Brian Smiley and another edition of Today in History with Professor Levinski.

Tomorrow on the Nighthawk, a special Canada Day interview with Canada's Greatest Athlete, wrestling great Gene Kiniski, and with any luck, pre-recorded words from festival-goers in the Village!

The Top Stories for April/May/June:
- EXCLUSIVE: Labradoodle kennel owner suing Manitoba government for illegal search and seizure of pups

- EXCLUSIVE: Sister of Gail Glesby, US based nurse, blasts HSC for negligence in 2004 ER fiasco; Glesby death raised in Question Period

- EXCLUSIVE: Roseau River audit leak reveals big gaps in paper trail
- Leaf Rapids Mayor gives province 30 days to act on promises to assist with no gang policy and getting tough on drunks

- EXCLUSIVE: U of M pension crisis goes to members; Minister McGifford knows nothing when quizzed in House

- EXCLUSIVE: Seven Oaks GH Emergency room treats drunks not 5 year old; official apologizes to listener

- EXCLUSIVE: Deaths of journalists Marshall Armstrong and Matt Bellan broken by TGCTS

- Gail Asper wants a "bar street" -- near her museum

- EXCLUSIVE: province flunks wait times benchmark, unreported by MSM

- Winnipeg Police Advisory Board report reflects fear of crime and gangs in poorest neighbourhoods

- Family Services Minister Huff n Puff Macintosh scrambles to explain foster care shortfalls

- FreeP 'mistake' inflates Coun. Harvey Smiths' cab tab/Coun. Mike O'Shaunessy gets taxpayer to buy him satellite radio

- Free Press financial losses expose circulation claims

- Friends of Upper Fort Garry won't disclose donors or conditions of pledges, city turns blind eye and allows sale to proceed

- EXCLUSIVE: Parking authority jacks rates in poorest neighborhoods, no consultation with residents or businesses

- Radargate no-refund controversy engulfs NDP's image as party of the common man

- Estranged wife Melody Sanford facing murder trial in killing of wrestler John Radocaj

- EXCLUSIVE: Sam Katz denies Chomiak's claim of conversation in which mayor opposed photo-rader refunds; Chomiak calls to apologize

- WRHA leaks poll to CBC trying to spin public dissatisfaction

- Black Rod blog exposes truth about Radargate tickets- "speeeding in construction zone" tags can only be issued by cops, not rent-a-cops

- Bloggers scoop MSM as CMHR admits costs soar out of control

- EXCLUSIVE: The Coun. Steeves letter to Minister Ashton the NDP hid behind to justify no refunds for photoradar

- EXCLUSIVE: Parking Authority forces union supporters out of jobs with contractor, one by one

- EXCLUSIVE: Mayor Katz infuriates paramedics by using term 'ambulance drivers'

- Our open letter to Margo and Gordo silences FP millionaire-lovers

- EXCLUSIVE: Interview with NDP Refundgate whistleblower Jim Treller - "Selinger looked like he was having a stroke"

- NDP bullied investigator, obstructed 1999 election finance scam investigation with false complaint

- Free Press turns on Doer, demands inquiry into Elections Manitoba and NDP cover-up

- Gail Asper sucks up to drivers, insists 60 km/h a safe speed for Grant/Corydon and Academy Road

- 9-11 truther Lesley Hughes suing theatre company for slip and fall, MP Peter Kent and Jewish groups for fall from Liberal Party grace

- City open house caters to cyclist lobby, willing to risk public safety and convenience on your streets

- NO ambulance available to transport two shooting victims on Manitoba

- Taxicab Board gets police to roust party buses to satisfy limosine cartel 

- Magnus Ave. rehab centre open house a bitchfest about existing Pt. Douglas crime
Guests April/May/JuneScott Taylor, CITI-FM sports director
Dr. Jon Gerrard, Liberal leader
Dr Jeff Zabudsky, RRC presidenrt
Jon Waldman, Slam!Sports
Susan Tymofichyk, CTV News
Rocky Mougdill, Wpg Youth Soccer Association
Jack E King, lawyer
Myrna Driedger, Tory MLA
Ross Taylor, L'Arche
Mayor Ed Charrier, Leaf Rapids
Mayor Sam Katz
Kelly Dehn, CTV News
Corey Quintain, BS Comedy Players
Coun. Jeff Browaty
Sean Crawford, Macdonald Youth Services
Hugh McFadyen, PC leader
Scott Carnegie, Magic Club of Winnipeg
Kelly Harrison, Exec. Director Teen Touch
Coun. Gord Steeves
Bill Hansen, CTV VP
Leila Dance, Macdonald Youth Services
Dutch Savage, pro wrestling legend
Brad Harrison and Mike McLure, Curb-Ease
Kevin Lamoureaux, Liberal MLA
Tom Brodbeck, Winnipeg Sun
Jason Geiger, MMA fighter
Ken Waddell, Neepawa Banner publisher
Mal Anderson, Exchange District Biz
Bob Axford, consultant
Graham Hnatiuk, urban planning blogger
Chris D'Souza, Point Douglas Residents Committee
Maureen Scurfield, Winnipeg Free Press
Derek Miller, blues guitarist

Monday, June 29, 2009

Two stations, one host: what you'll hear on 92.9 Kick-FM's TGCTS and CJOB 68's Nighthawk this week

Thanks to everyone for the kind words about the opportunity to bring the vibe and content of alternative radio to CJOB this week.

And welcome to CJOB listeners who are finding this blog for the first time!

Feel free to go back in the archives and see the kinds of stories about topics like Porkgate, The Friends of Upper Fort Garry, and the difficult relationship between the Winnipeg Free Press and its increasingly cynical readers, that you have not heard anywhere else.

Here's how a Free Press contributor describes how we have revolutionized local open-line radio:

... meticulously ripping apart the work of the big, bad, biased and arrogant mainstream media while promoting the opinions of the city's relatively unknown (to the public, anyway) bloggers...

TGCTS Kick-FM schedule:

Monday: Unfortunately, Coun. Jenny Gerbasi is under the weather and has postponed her appearance on the show today to discuss the proposed Water Utility. We are trying to reschedule her for next week. We will cover the beating of a peace officer in a strip-club altercation, and the beating the Free Press took at the hands of the Sun in covering the incident; more about 311, parking rates and the bike lobby; and as usual, sports with the King of Corydon Avenue, Frank the Italian Barber.

Tuesday: Guitar in hand, Derek Miller live in studio at 4.30 PM, previewing his show at Ozzie's (160 Osborne) that night and his outdoor performance as the headliner for the Osborne Street Festival Canada Day celebrations at 4.45 PM. On the current affairs side, we'll also do a Half-year in Review of the stories we covered that made news - inside the January meth-user suicide in front of cops, the Bill Blaikie exclusive interview, the Gail Glesby case, Justice Minister Chomiak apologizing to Mayor Katz, etc.

Wednesday: No broadcast --- HAPPY CANADA DAY

Thursday: Replay of June 1st interview with Mayor Sam Katz

Friday: Replay of June 11th show with Tom Brodbeck of the Sun and PC leader Hugh McFadyen, all about the 1999 NDP election finance scam and Elections Manitoba secret deal not to prosecute.

CJOB Nighthawk schedule:

Monday: At 9 PM, an in-studio interview with Mayor Sam Katz with lots of listener questions about his relationship with paramedics, ongoing problems with derelict buildings and police crime priorities.

* Also, we'll give away two passes to see blues master Derek Miller perform at the Osborne Village Inn on Tuesday night.

* At 10.30 PM, former Winnipegger turned Los Angeles business whiz and film producer Dan Denton of Frozen Pond Productions.

* After 11 PM, the shocking autopsy findings of what was left of Michael Jackson. Plus, Young Josh and your calls at 780-6868.

Tuesday: Brian Smiley of Manitoba Public Insurance will talk summer safety tips, explain the buckpassing by 311 and the Parking Authority to MPI over phantom tickets being issued to innocent motorists, and maybe even make a few CFL predictions.

* As the MSM continues to lose ground to new sources of information, a guide to who's who in the local blogosphere and the stories they have broken.

*And after 11 PM, Today In History with Professor Levinski !

Wednesday: In honour of Canada Day, a special interview with Canada's Greatest Athlete, former NWA and AWA Heavyweight Wrestling champion, Big Thunder Gene Kiniski! Call and tell us, how did you celebrate Canada Day?

Thursday: No Nighthawk - GO BOMBERS GO, listen to CJOB for all the action live from Edmonton with the voice of the Blue, Bob Irving.

Friday: We'll catch up on the news that piled up in the previous 48 hours, and take a compare and contrast look at the difference between how Canada and the USA celebrate the National birthdays.

* Plus another installment of Today in History with Professor Levinski.

Your feedback always welcome at talk@kick.fm.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Live NHL draft report, Scurfield on MJ, hot topics for Friday

Welcome to our new readers from across Canada!

Today's show is another good example of why so many people are turning to the alternative media. We have 2 exclusive reports, from the worlds of sports and entertainment. that you can't hear anywhere else.

Live at 4.00 PM from the National Hockey League draft in Montreal, Jon Waldman of Slam!Sports, with all the news of tomorrow's superstars being divied up by the needy.

And at 5.15PM, Winnipeg Free Press columnist Maureen Scurfield will be prodded to remember a Michael Jackson story- or two.

In between those exclusives, more analysis and your comments about bike paths -- and a blogger's exclusive report comparing the Asper Stadium open house with the pro-bike lobby presentation on bike paths the same night by the City, the city's budget needs, party-bus busts, and what Chief McCaskill did NOT say about gangs this morning on open-line radio.

And we will give away two passes for the Derek Miller concert taking place Tuesday, June 30th, Canada Day eve, at Ozzies as part of the Osborne Street Canada Day Festival.

After the weekend, we'll kick off Monday with an exclusive interview with Councillor Jenny Gerbasi, who's waging an uphill fight against a rush at City Hall to enact an unaccountable and expensive Water Utility that's guaranteed to raise your water rates.

Be sure to listen to the debut of Marty Gold on CJOB's Nighthawk, 9 PM Monday, when he interviews Mayor Sam Katz, and gives away another pair of Derek Miller tickets.

And on Tuesday, listen to TGCTS on 92.9 Kick-FM when Derek Miller will be live in studio, at 4.30 PM.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Spirited Kenny takes a bow - province finally moves on weather radios; and speaking of radio...

Yesterday Emergency Measures Minister Steve Ashton announced that the Government of Manitoba was finally, finally going to get weather radios into 1580 locations such as care homes, schools and municipal offices across the province.


Longtime listeners will recall that in 2007, Spirited Kenny started asking serious questions about the 10 year delay in establishing a national weather-warning system. Until the alternative media began pressuring elected officials such as MP Steven Fletcher, the public safety aspect was secondary to the inertia of bureaucrats. So a tip of the hat to Kenny for his work on the file, that served to embarass the NDP government into finally tasking meaningful action.


Yesterday we featured a personal story of a victim of a violent unprovoked mugging on May 30th. Kevin Bracken called in after we read his email, and the ensuing conversation about his view of the approach being taken by Police Chief McCaskill and the NDP towards violent goons - like the 2 juveniles who jumped him with an adult accomplice in Westwood -- shows the deep effects on real people, of what Crimestat lists as "robbery non-commercial".

His story will be featured on Global-TV tonight when Meera Bahadoosingh interviews Kevin Bracken at 6 PM. Here is the email we read from him about his fateful late-night walk home:

Hey Marty
I just called the studio, not realising you were already overtime today. I have a story that I do not think has been reported, and probably won't be.

On Saturday, May 30 and into early Sunday morning, 2 aboriginal youths (16 years old) and one aboriginal adult went on a bit of a crime spree in the west St-James area. They stole from a 7-11 and mugged a few pedestrians, claiming they had a gun. I can only speculate that it was around this time the police were called, and several (I was told 6) squad cars began patrolling the area.

Sometime after stealing from the Sev and pretending to have a gun, they picked up a 2x3 board and decided it would be easier to do things that way.

I had the misfortune of straying across these youths paths, in the Westwood neighbourhood, not far from Rouge Road. I was walking home from Salisbury house with a female friend, when I saw someone approaching me from behind.

I had been at the bar and was rather friendly, and greeted what I thought was another pedestrian enjoying a similar drunken walk home. Out of nowhere, he sucker punched me. I backed up and was hit again in the face. My female friend ran (thankfully) and got away. I had fallen to the ground and put up my arms to cover my face. It was at this point I realised I was up against 3 men, not just 1. I pulled twenty dollars out of my pocket, which was all I had and offered it to them. They took it but continued to strike me on the ground. I cannot recall if it was fists, feet or lumber that was coming down on me but my injuries imply the latter. I grabbed my wallet to see if I had anything else to give them, all the while being hit. I had nothing. At some point they left me laying, bleeding on the ground.

I don't know how long it lasted for or when they left; it's all rather blurry now. I lay in shock in the wet grass for what seemed like a few minutes, spitting out blood, but it could have been much shorter/longer. I don't think i lost consciousness.

I searched for my wallet for a few minutes before giving up and walking home. Its only about a four minute trek.

I was very calm, surprisingly, as I have never even been in a real fight before (although I wouldn't call this a fight). I was going to call the police non-emergency line because I didn't think it was an emergency, but couldn't find the number in my current state so I called 911, after calling my friends to let them know I had been jumped. They showed up quickly and insisted on bringing me to the hospital. I didn't think it was that urgent but complied. I was bleeding from various wounds on my face, although you would be hard pressed to determine exactly where the cuts were, my whole face was so bloody.

The Grace Hospital ER treated me well, fortunately it wasn't very busy. The constables arrived before the doctor did and I gave my statement. The doctor arrived half-way through so I finished my statement underneath a sheet while my head was being stitched up. I was relieved to learn that the guys had been caught, my call to 911 had given them enough info for the 6 squad cars to track them down. All in all my injuries were relatively minor, I received 6 stitches in the forehead, have a cut on my right cheek, a loose tooth, a fat lip, several cuts inside my mouth and of course a big shiner. No serious head trauma or even broken ribs.

I would be interested in talking to you more about this incident, I am a big fan of the show and have e-mailed and called in a few times. Included in this e-mail is a picture of me when I got home from the hospital, for your benefit (obviously the listeners will have to use their imaginations). Just so you know, I look quite a bit better now, but the picture was taken after I had been cleaned up so I initially looked even worse.

If you want to contact me before airing this e-mail or discussing the story, that is great, I check my e-mail often... Feel free to show my picture around the studio, its good for a little shock value.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kevin Bracken


Today we'll follow up on the Bracken story, with a Facebook note from a media personality who has a LOT to say about how dangerous downtown Winnipeg is.
It's a real eye-opener.

Also, live reports from Bob Axford and blogger Graham Hnatiuk about the Active Transportation Open House at Red River College; and an in-depth look a challenge to Premier Doer's refusal to call a public inquiry into the NDP 99 Election scam from Professor Bryan Schwartz in today's Free Press.


Starting next Monday night, the sound of The Great Canadian Talk Show will be heard on commercial radio with CJOB! Marty Gold hosts the NightHawk show, sitting in for Geoff Currier at 9 PM weeknights, starting on Monday, June 29th, through July 10th.

We'll kick things off with a very special guest on the first show - Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz, in studio, for a full hour, on the Superstation with Marty Gold, next Monday at 9 PM.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Loaded with guests and topics to usher in summer- win Derek Miller passes too!

The last week of June is shaping up to be a busy time on the show, with lots of guests, exclusive stories and a look towards Canada Day.

Today: Mal Anderson of the Exchange District Biz will tell us all about what's happening in the city's 'it' neighbourhood.

Along with the daily "crime courts and public safety update", we will try to answer a political question posed via social media by a Free Press reporter.

And as usual in our weekly sports segment, Frank the Italian Barber will explain the ups and downs of life with his bookie.

Tuesday: The City is holding an Active Transportation Open House on Wednesday, from 4-8 PM, at Red River College Princess Campus. This is specifically about plans to add bike lanes or pathways along 4 routes in the city.

Community Living Publisher Bob Axford thinks the motoring public is being lulled to sleep by a process in which co-opted consultants cater to a small vocal minority of cycling enthusiasts, who strike fear into the hearts of councillors and MLA's. The results of people not waking up, could be the loss of parking and easy travel near your own home. He'll explain who is up to what in an exclusive interview.

Wednesday: At 4.05 PM, Tahl East, acting director of CDI College, will preview a blood donation drive on June 25th and 26th, as well as a Stem Cell awareness lunch and registration/DNA swabbing to become a stem cell/bone marrow donor, facilitated by Canadian Blood Services. This is in support of Chantelle's Promise, a cause started by a CDI College student in the Addictions and Community Service Worker Program battling leukemia in the hospital.

And at 5.10, Kelly Dehn of CTV will share his weekly Crimewatch report.

Thursday: The Public Utilities Board wades into the ground-transportation business next week when it hears an application from Avion, still trying to find a way to pocket fares away from taxicabs at the airport. Joan Wilson, GM of Unicity Taxi, will help sort thru the issues, not the least of which is, how can Avion be granted a licence if it plans to refuse handicapped patrons?

We're also hoping to have an eyewitness acvcount of the Open House at the U of M from Wednesday night, about the David Asper stadium plan.

And, we'll look towards the happenings at the Osborne Village Canada Day Festival and give away VIP passes to see and hear the great Derek Miller!

Friday: Exclusive live coverage of the NHL draft from Montreal with Jon Waldman of Slam!Sports.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Paramedics association outlines "ambulance emergency" causes; emails from bloggers, doctors, and other listeners; MMA interview today

Hello Marty,

I’m writing in response to comments made by Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz on the Great Canadian Talk Show earlier this month, and to offer comment on the topic of “ambulance shortages”.

By way of introduction, I am the Chairman of the Paramedic Association of Manitoba (PAM). PAM is NOT a labour organization…it is a professional association for all licensed Emergency Medical Services personnel in the province with close to 1000 registered members across Manitoba.

In response to comments made by Mayor Katz:

“…if you are an ambulance driver…”

· Fire fighters aren’t fire truck drivers…police officers aren’t police car drivers…and Paramedics aren’t ambulance drivers.

“…paramedics on fire trucks has made Winnipeg the envy of other Canadian cities…”

· No other major Canadian city uses a fire-based EMS model. Edmonton tried and failed. Calgary looked at this model some time ago and abolished the concept. Ottawa , whose Fire Chief has lobbied their city council to move in this direction, recently decided it was more cost effective to place single Paramedics on Rapid Response Units rather than tie up a fire truck and three fire fighters in addition to a paramedic every time it responds.

There is no doubt having additional Paramedics capable of responding to calls in a “first response” capacity can have the ability to cancel unneeded ambulances in some situations. There is also no doubt that getting a Paramedic to a patient quickly to assess and begin treatment prior to transport can significantly improve patient outcomes. This first response/rapid response is the concept that other cities might envy…the model perhaps not so much.

“…if we didn’t have paramedics on fire trucks able to administer what they do we’d need 10 more ambulances…”

· Getting a Paramedic to the scene quickly has the ability to begin treatment prior to the arrival of a transporting ambulance, but I question whether sending three additional fire fighters and tying up valuable fire resources for extended periods of time waiting for the ambulance is a wise or cost effective use of those resources. The cost of staffing an ambulance…approximately $850K annually. The cost of staffing a Rapid Response Unit…approximately $400K annually. I have to think the cost of staffing a fire truck is at least $1.75M annually.

* If fire trucks are tied up at a medical call for extended periods of time…and that can be upwards of 2 hours in some cases…it means fire resources are lowered for that period of time. In all of these cases, a transporting ambulance is needed anyway. Only calls which result in “no patient found” or are identified as needing police in lieu of an ambulance actually reduce the need for a transporting unit to be assigned to that call.

“…we’re saving the province a lot of money…by providing that service we’re saving the province $10M a year…”

· Having Paramedics on fire trucks in Winnipeg has not come without a cost to the province. I can’t recall the exact year, but sometime around 2000 the Province allocated budget funding (Intergovernmental) to the City of Winnipeg to assist with placing Paramedics on fire apparatus as part of the fire/paramedic amalgamation…approximately $2.24M annually. In the most recent provincial budget an additional $4M of Intergovernmental affairs money was offered to the Winnipeg FIRE Department for EMS services for fire staffing, overtime and capital expenditures.

Other funding increases have been negotiated between the City of Winnipeg and the Department of Health. Having this service (Paramedics on fire trucks) has been funded by Government. The $6.4M in Intergovernmental Affairs money alone could staff at least 16 Rapid Response Units.

The City of Winnipeg does offer an enviable “stop the clock” response time. But “stopping the response clock” shouldn’t be the way we measure emergency health care. What we need to measure is the time it takes to get the “right care to the right patient”. Simply stopping the clock doesn’t get the appropriate cardiac care to someone experiencing a heart attack or other life-threatening cardiac event.

Stopping the clock doesn’t help a patient suffering from a stroke or severe respiratory ailment. Stopping the clock doesn’t relieve the pain for an elderly patient who has fallen, broken a hip and may have to wait for an hour or more for pain medication and transport. In these cases “stopping the clock” doesn’t mean the right patient has received the right care at the right time.

The “ambulance shortage” is a complicated problem, and one that needs to be addressed across the province. But to do so we need to recognize that Emergency Medical Service is exactly that…a medical service, and as such a component of our health care system. We may need to add some resources (Paramedics and ambulances), but we also need to better coordinate and more effectively utilize the funding and resources we have available today.

· Paramedics need to be able to treat and release patients when that is an appropriate option. Part of the reluctance to do that today stems from the fact that EMS services are “paid to transport”. If you don’t transport, patients can’t be charged the full ambulance fee and government funding could decrease.

· Paramedics should have the option to transport to non-emergent facilities when appropriate…Clinics, Urgent Care Centres, Physician offices, etc. Over 80% of the calls Paramedics and ambulances respond to are not life-threatening, and while many of these may still require treatment offered in an ER or hospital, many do not. Backlogs in ERs today, hospital re-directs (diversions) and delays in off-loading patients and returning ambulances to service are in part a result of overcrowded facilities.

· Utilizing Paramedics to assist with community health programs has proven very effective in other Canadian jurisdictions, and it’s thought to have saved a significant number of patient requests for ambulance service and emergency room visits. Again, it’s a matter of providing the right care to the right patient at the right time…and in the most appropriate setting.

· Manitoba has eleven Regional Health Authorities, operating eleven distinct and differing EMS Systems. While some coordination of rural services has been accomplished in recent years, Winnipeg can not and does not offer assistance to bordering rural services NOR do they seek assistance in times of abnormally high call volumes. The province needs to better manage, coordinate and utilize existing resources.

“First response” is a vital component in our EMS system. But once again, we need to ensure we’re able to send the right care to the right patient in a timely and cost-effective manner. Simply throwing more money at the problem won’t necessarily eliminate the problem.

I hope this provides some clarification and food for thought.

Eric Glass


Paramedic Association of Manitoba


question for Russ "our infrastructure is unsustainable" Wyatt

I want to know why Wyatt voted without hesitation or opposition, to green-light the largest bout of new infrastructure construction this city has seen in my entire lifetime. I'm talking of course, about the IKEA development.

Turning Kenaston into an 11-lane monster, new intersections, triple turning lanes, plus all other related anemities. Why was allowing this constuction not unsustainable? In fact it's so unsustainable, the city can't even afford to construct it, which is why the developer will assist us in doing so.

I suppose Wyatt could place the revenue from the 2% Asper Tax into a trust fund such that 30 years down the line we can afford to resurface Kenaston and Sterling Lyon?

Oh I forgot...It's SMART development! That makes it sustainable?

I'm still bothered by the whole IKEA thing, if only because of my realization of the following: nobody criticized the way the developer or the traffic engineers did anything. It was simply taken as the best way to do it, case closed, theyre engineers, what do you want us EPC folk to do? And from that, nobody, nobody, nobody, ever, suggested that maybe there was a BETTER way to do things, and that this kind of thing is no longer acceptable in Winnipeg.

I was shocked when a month later, Wyatt showed up at the Mayor's Sustainability forum, and made a 30-second speech about how unsustainable our infrastructure is. Wyatt had the power to say something, and change the way we DO infrastructure planning.

IKEA, Waverly West, CMHR, whatever, you name it, if you're promising millions in construction, jobs and potential tax dollars, you get a free pass in this city. THAT, Mr Wyatt, is what makes our infrastructure unsustainable.

Adding a 2% tax to help support said unsustainable infrastructure is like putting a band-aid on a geyser. As far as I'm concerned, the issue you are raising with infrastructure concerns is not about fixing what we have. It's about how we continue to build new things and new projects without thinking about how sustainable we are being. It's business as usual in Winnipeg, it's the status quo.

To make our infrastructure practices and expansions sustainable, you need to raise the bar by leaps and bounds. To make the new status quo mantra "this is not good enough for Winnipeg anymore."


Why a tax for infrastructure will not work

You had Russ Wyatt on saying how he would support an increase in the PST if it was separate and it all went to infrastructure and here is why I think it will not work. First off thanks to Bill 38 I was under the impression that all provincial revenue has to go into general revenue, even if it’s revenue that they don’t receive like profit from the crown corporations. This way the province can claim to balance the budget while running a deficit. Secondly say the province ignores legislation, which isn’t that big a stretch since they did it with their last budget by reducing debt repayments, and actually keeps this amount separate and give it all to infrastructure will this actually increase the amount currently going to infrastructure or will it just increase spending in other areas.

Say the Province budgeted spending 10 million on infrastructure for this year and this tax increase generates 5 million that gives them an extra 5 million in general revenue that they do not have to give for infrastructure. Or say this new tax brings in 15 million, sure that’s an extra 5 million for infrastructure, but now that’s 10 million from general revenue that was budgeted for infrastructure that is going to go elsewhere. So basically 66% of this new infrastructure tax is not going to infrastructure --- how planful.


bike lobby

I don’t know that I consider myself a lobbyist, but as a cyclist I can tell you that cars are completely unaware of us. And if you’re cycling for any distance, the sidewalk is in worse shape than the road.

As for bike maintenance, any serious cyclist will ensure that their brakes and lights are working – we tend not to add the danger that oblivious drivers put us in.


RE: Where have all the visionaries gone? by Free Press editor Margo Goodhand

She might not be wrong about Winnipegers lacking vision but I would rather have a say in what visions are brought to fruition instead of some boneheads and his "girlfriend" deciding for me.

Cranes at the hydro site on Portage for years. Cranes at the U of W residence site. Cranes at the 3 separate condo construction sites on Waterfront over how many years?

Lots of cranes for lots of years. Those cranes don't represent the same hope?

Maybe the hope she's talking about is the "Holy S! I hope we can afford to build this!


I caught your segment on the announcement last Friday of $3.1 million in federal funding for youth gang prevention. I heard you reading quotes from Leslie Spillet, executive director of Ka Ni Kanichihk which caught my attention. Spillet said that aboriginal youth had a "disconnect with mainstream institutions" because "they don't really reflect back to children who they are as young indigenous people. Our children don't feel that sense of belonging, it's not automatically there, as it is for European children who walk into these schools and see themselves reflected in the staff."

So not only is Spillet blaming mainstream institutions for what these youth feel, she is also saying the colour of a person's skin should matter. This is someone who deals with children?

One of the programs Spillet is involved with provides "cultural programming and counseling," and a library is available that focuses on 'aboriginal history'. In other words, racial pride and revisionist history will prevent aboriginal youth from going into gangs... and into politics. Spillet's dualism of aboriginal and European overlooks a lot of children in our schools who fit into neither category and I wish reporters would challenge her to deal with the present state of human diversity in society instead of letting Spillet remain comfortable in her nineteenth-century polarization.

Writing as I listen to the Sunday night replays, M

waiting times at Hospital ERs

Hello Marty,

I always feel bad for patients waiting a long time in the ER - especially 10+ hours. You can imagine how busy we can get is someone is waiting that long before they can be seen. I am not happy when it happens, but i know it does happen that people may wait in the ER overnight before being seen by a physician, and usually that's because the night physician is dealling with ambulances, people crashing in the hospital or ED etc.

At any rate, I can appreciate the young man's frustration. One has expectations that their doctors are going to perform their jobs competantly and ably and it can be frustrating when this does not happen. Although the fact that "we are humans too" is not comforting, i hope it does buy us some forgiveness.

A couple of things:
1) We do not always take xrays when wood is thought to be the foreign body. This is for a couple of reasons. Cellulose resembles flesh on an xray unless it is painted with lead, and it is often difficult to pick up on an xray, and the xray often entails an extra hour or two wait. Having said that I do xray more readily for any foreign body just because of the rare time that xray does pick up wood.

2) Sometimes people do not react to anesthesia as well as we expect. The question then is - do we give more freezing, or do we proceed without. The reason this is a question, is often the freezing process is as painful (or more) than the proceedure itself. Also xylocaine (which is used for freezing) is dangerous in certain quantities, and a doctor may not feel comfortable giving enough to get the job done, and they may not want to perform conscious sedation to remove a sliver.

3) Hallway medicine is a reality. If one can generate a sterile field in a hallway, and get the job done, there is really no reason to kick someone out of a room for a simple proceedure.

4) This proceedure is not surgery. It is something that I have done out at the lake when needed.
Just a friendly FYI.

Melita Dr shortage crisis
This is sad, but not surprising. It is easy to blame the RHA for this problem as they are the ultimate fallguys.

At the same time, there are RHA's which appear to work hard to alienate physicians, and it would not surprise me if Assiniboine was one of them.

There are some good RHA's which work hard to both obtain and retain good physicians, and I think their success needs to be examined and emulated. In the meantime, a useful minister of health might actually try to figure out where the problems are and how other systems solve them - maybe by talking to physicians who have not succumbed to the terrible disease of administration.

Now a GOOD minister of health would prevent these problems by doing something other than blaming the previous government - a sad practice which gets more difficult the longer one is in power.

Take the Grace Hospital, for example. What did the government do to deal with the problems when the ER was being emptied of physicians? They threw money at the problem. No one was asked why doctors were leaving, including the doctors.

The funny thing is, I almost never hear my colleagues complain about money, and the things they complain about would be more easily solvable than increasing salaries.

Thanks for the opportunity for the rant.

Doer and the "pitchfork issue of the day"
Hi Marty.

Is it any wonder that the NDP is so hostile? For an entire decade leading up to this, they were able to act with relative impunity, questioned only by a handful of true journalists such as yourself and Tom Brodbeck.

This allowed them to gloss over so many issues that have been dealing Manitoba its proverbial death by 1,000 cuts – Crocus, mismanagement of the Floodway, the shutdown of the Trans Canada at Portage LaPrairie, Gage Guimond, Phoenix Sinclair, the Seven Oaks School Division development fiasco (how do you lose money in one of the hottest real estate markets the world has seen?), the car theft epidemic, the rise of gangs in the city, Bipole 3 and the list goes on.

I would argue Mr. Doer should have felt the pitchforks long before this – unfortunately many journalists within the MSM handled their antics with kid gloves which only emboldened the leaders on Broadway.

Steve Andjelic

hey Marty,

I'll start off by saying your show is THE best show on the radio, it deals with real issues, and you guys aren't afraid to pull the pants off of bigshot political figureheads. Also, this is kind of long so just read it when you get a chance, and bring up some of this with a bigshot :P. I'm a young guy, only in my early 20s and have a degree from the U of W.

For the past few years, I've found myself complaining about everything in Winnipeg, from transportation, to road conditions, the general beauty of the city, and how it's run, and I'm never satisfied by thinking about it, because I know it will never be solved.

I'm just going to outline a couple of the REAL problems that a lot of the youth in this city want to see changed, and that would hopefully keep them here (many of which just go somewhere else), and possibly attract a few more here as well!

1. the city is really really, ... emphasis on really, ugly.
- i understand that were under snow for half of the year, and it's not practical to try to look like british columbia with all the flowers and what not, so why not have a clean and modern feel to the city?

A small example is Henderson Highway's boulevard, has mulch, tree's, and flowers, all of which are terribly maintained, and not needed: remove them, and just have road where road should be. the city just needs to get the crap out of the way, and stop paying people to replant the flowers that grow for a week and then die again. also, pick up garbage, and sand etc.

2. Downtown
- downtown in any city should be the place to be, it should be where everyone goes for business, and fun, usually shopping as well.

In Winnipeg we have an infestation of run down buildings, homeless people, drugged up people, and the worst traffic flow in the universe. My opinion: relocate things like the booth center, and make some sort of regulations on the area's homeless people can stay (i know it sounds perverse, but thats the world we live in, nobody wants to get mugged). In general, just clean up the area, did nobody think of that?

3. Transportation .. this is a biggie.
- living in the north, going to U of Manitoba was out of the question. an hour drive to travel 20-30 km ... that's out of this world. Winnipeg is a really small city, getting more heavily populated, and we have a terrible method of transportation. This city is terribly planned, no question about it, but city planners aren't making an effort to change it. They have no long term goals, they just want to patch everything up. Why do you think there are potholes in the same spots every year?

The emphasis should be on public transportation, but by that I don't mean buses.

- the general consensus of the youth of Winnipeg (from survey's I've done the last year) is that they want a fast transportation system. Something like a subway, rapid train line, or dare I say ... Skytrain.

Skytrain (one from Vancouver) is the most beautiful invention. It doesn't interfere with the roadways, except for the concrete beams they need to put into the ground everyso often. It can get you from one end of the city to the other in 5 minutes, we have Manitoba Hydro, so we can just power the thing with electricity / solar or wind panels on the top of the train. It snows here all the time, so the snow will not interfere with the running of the skytrain. plus the city can make money off of train tickets because I assure you, everyone will use it, at 4 or 5 bucks a day. Beats the price of a car! ...

Anyhow, basically, people want out of Winnipeg because of functionality, and beauty ... we dont want a new museum of human rights, we dont want a new stadium, and we dont want bike lanes, we want functional transportation, and a pretty city to look at.

Theres my rant!


p.s. Hail Aurtaurlia, Land of the Freep!

Today at 5.05, Crimewatch with CTV's Kelly Dehn, and at 5.15, MMA fighter Jason Geiger on life in Japan, grappling against UFC legend Dan Severn, and his upcoming bout on Friday for Tony Condello's Ultimate Cage Wars 16 at the Convention Centre
(call Tony for ticket info at Phone: 229-9173 or Email:tony@ultimatecagewars.com)

Also listen to TGCTS every day to win tickets for the PCW Premier Cup wrestling tournament next Wednesday, June 24th at Dylan's on Pembina, with:
* Ring Of Honor & Montreal Star El Generico
* Ring of Honor and DDT Japan stand-out Kenny Omega
* Evil Mike Angels and other stars of PCW

Friday, June 12, 2009

Auditor abandoned by Elections Manitoba after catching NDP insider "not being truthful"; EM stalled paying his bill while NDP attacked his integrity

Above is the letter that the auditor, David Asselstine (no doubt soon to be called 'disgruntled" by some media apologist for the NDP), sent in 2003 that outlines his experience with the Elections Manitoba officials, the NDP, and the ethics of both.
What is apparent is that he got a witness, an NDP campaign insider, to crack. In retaliation, the NDP spun a theory - not even a direct accusation- that he took advantage of her emotional distress about a family matter, and he got nuthin'.
He was set to reply to the NDP directly but Elections Manitoba really, realllly wanted to see what he was going to send first.
Speaking of he got nothin', the letter contains a fascinating detail of how the vaunted Elections Manitoba was letting the auditors' firm hang out to dry on a the legal bill for the investigation, a mere $47,000. He demands they pay, tells them they have no right to screen his letter to the NDP, and also complains they failed to defend him to the NDP bullies. There is an inference that these secret negotiations the execs were having with the governing party might deal with the substantial illegal refunds they had obtained since the 1980's before the scheme was uncovered.
No wonder Richard Balasko didn't want to get into the details about why the auditor was ousted, the last time he was at the legislature.
These letters alone provide many questions that have not yet been picked up on by the MSM -- and have not been answered by those involved like Finance Minister Greg Selinger or Campaign Chair Dave Chomiak, --- and should Balasko come to the Legislature on Tuesday as asked by the opposition, he can start by explaining why his organization stalled paying the auditor's bill.
Yesterday we had Sun columnist Tom Brodbeck go deep into the story, available for your review now at http://kick.fm/
Today at 4.05 PM, Maureen Scurfield looks towards the Monday debut of her Miss Lonelyhearts column in the Free Press.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Doer five-steps question: who told him about refund scam

The Marx brothers continued their starring run on Broadway today, as Premier Gary Doer side-stepped questions about his knowledge of the 1999 election refund forgery on 5 different occasions.

"Who was it that made the party aware?" of the fraudulent misrepresentation of union workers as a legitimate election expense, was tossed in various forms at Doer again and again by Consevative leader Hugh McFadyen.

'Groucho' showed off his vaudeville skills, tap-dancing around the serious issue by claiming the Election Manitoba official answered the questions in committee (he didn't), that the Tories spent more than the NDP did (as if that's an excuse to cheat the public), and that his government banned corporate and union donations as proof of their piety.

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Dave 'Chico' Chomiak waved documents, pointed at words on paper, and demonstrated the unique skill of bulging his eyes out of his head, when forced to field questions directed to Finance Minister Greg Selinger about his own knowledge and role in the scam.

Tory MLA Len Derkatch wanted to know what was true- that letter from the NDP exonerating Selinger of any involvement in the fraudulent shifting of salaries on declaration forms to a subsidy-eligible expense, or was the premier correct when he said earlier this week that Selinger was in fact involved?

Derkatch also pointed out that Selinger was linked to withholding information about the Crocus Fund that was circulated in departmental memos predicting the funds' insolvency in 2000.

Chomiak, who invented a new word "constit-uations" in his diatribe, was worked into a lather by the pointed Tory attacks on his role as campaign chairman of the NDP 1999 victory. "His performance in this House shows he has no credibility on this issue", said Derkatch.

With 'Harpo' Selinger glued to his seat and Chomiak gasping for syllables, Doer once again took the spotlight, stating " Elections Manitoba is always right!", before launching into a bar mitzvah speech about how proud he is of the Justice Minister, in particular for his having coddled car thieves to the point innocent Manitobans were forced to install immobilizers to solve his failure to protect their safety.

It would be comical were it not so sad.

Elections Manitoba is NOT always right.
They are, if anything, TOO independant.

Manitobans do not buy their wall of silence, that somehow legally hides the justification for prosecuting Tory election spending scofflaws but not the NDP government that, conveniently, ensured a handsome pay raise for Richard Balasko. His organization ensured the public did not learn of this scheme to defraud taxpayers with false expense claims until well AFTER the 2003 election that saw Doer, Chomiak, and Selinger et al returned to office.

Who holds Elections Manitoba to account? What are the links between their officials and the players in the 1999 NDP expense-claim scam? Did Doer know and approve of the attack by NDP officials on the career of David Asselstine, the auditor who red-flagged the long-standing practice of bilking taxpayers for zer0-cost union workers?

Today at 4.10 PM, Liberal MLA Kevin Lamoureaux, who was first to ask Doer about who he learned about the scam from, will join the show.

At 4.35 PM, Transcona councillor Russ Wyatt makes his first appearance on TGCTS, to explain his letter to the Free Press extolling the virtues of David Asper's proposal for a new infrastructure tax, at the same time as the NDP has hidden a tax break in Bill 30 for Asper's new stadium if it is built at a University.

And at 5.10, Kelly Dehn of CTV joins us with his weekly Crimewatch report.

Plus news about a new Free Press column, our comments about their "award-winning journalism", we'll tell you about a great blog post comparing two FP columnists, plus the Harv-Al sports report at 5.23 PM!


We've already paid for 5 days worth of meals - please join TGCTS and 92.9 Kick-FM us supporting this worthy cause!


WINNIPEG, June 10, 2009 – Macdonald Youth Services (MYS) is excited to launch “Food for a Day”, a new campaign to support their Youth Emergency Shelter, which provided 1171 overnight stays to youth in 2008.

“The goal of this campaign is to have at least 365 people donate $18.00 each, which will essentially feed the shelter for a year,” said Sean Crawford, Manager of External Relations at MYS. “This will enable more of our existing budget to go to other elements of the shelter, such as conflict resolution and crisis counseling - which are provided to youth who need these services."

“We don’t want to see the youth in our community go to sleep hungry, cold, or without the basic resources they as youth deserve,” said Dr. Erma Chapman, Executive Director at MYS. “For as little as 18 dollars per person, we as a community can make an extremely large difference for these youth.”

To donate to “Food for a Day”, visit mys.ca and click on the Give Now tab to select the Food for a Day Campaign, or call 477-1722.

MYS fosters hope and opportunities to empower children, youth and families
throughout Manitoba to grow and heal through safe, caring, respectful and collaborative relationships. To learn more about MYS, please visit our website at http://www.mys.ca/

For more information, please contact:

Sean Crawford
Manager of External Relations
Phone: (204) 477-1722
Fax: (204) 284-4431
Email: sean.crawford@mys.mb.ca

Monday, June 8, 2009

Chomiak's non-answer to Refundgate questions smells like an answer

Justice Minister Dave Chomiak faced renewed questions in the Manitoba Legislature today about his knowledge of the taxpayer-fleecing accounting switch pulled off by the NDP in 1999, when he was campaign chairman for the Doer victory.

After earlier jousts between Conservative leader Hugh McFadyen and an increasingly frazzled premier Gary Doer about the timeline of who knew what-and-when about the scam, Liberal leader Jon Gerrard followed up, zoning in on Doer's admission last week that he had known since 2001 that alterations to the election returns of 13 candidates had been done without the knowledge of the official agents.

Dr. Gerrard accused Doer of playing "hide and seek" with the public and asked whether he will call a public inquiry.

Doer repeated from the diversionary themes handbook - that the refund of the disallowed expenses was published in 2004 and tabled in the Legislature without a whimper from the opposition at the time, which goes hand in hand with "the government had banned corporate and union donations so this can never, ever happen again."

Gerrard then directly asked if the Premier had been apprised of this scam by the Justice Minister himself, who had been campaign chairman? After another non-answer by Doer, Chomiak finally rose to respond to the question of Liberal Kevin Lamoureux, asking him directly if he knew about the fraudulent change-up when it happened.

Chomiak went on to refer to the changes to donations laws, refered to the Monnin inquiry comment about "liars", and said "Every party has repaid and refiled (returns). It's in a report that's 5 years old. It's not very secret."

But what is a secret, and one Chomiak did not want to tell, is what he knew, and when he knew it, about the trick played on well-trained NDP official agents.

Someone altered the placement of union workers salaries on declaration forms, so that the party could get half the money deposited back as a subsidy into party coffers.

Whereas the government continues to spin this as a "disagreement" with Elections Manitoba, the public is seeing a now serious breach in the NDP cabinet along the lines of ethics and optics.

Finance Minister Greg Selinger will not rise on any questions about his refiled return, or about his demand for a letter of exoneration. Nor will he explain if he took his concerns about the possible (past) election deception that cost taxpayers to senior department officials.

In a scrum last week, Selinger confirmed the account of whistleblower Jim Treller, that agents and candidates had no idea they had been put on the hook for falsified expense claims until a meeting in April 2003.

Justice Minister Chomiak portrays an equivalency between the other parties past refilings and what the NDP did in 1999- taking donations from unions to pay for campaign workers, then tried to get another 50% of the wages refunded on top of it. The opposition parties never pulled that one.

And although the bare-bones numbers were published in a report 5 years ago, it is the circumstances of that refiling - that the party jeopardized the legal position of 26 innocent loyalists via trickery, in an attempt to scam taxpayers - that was a secret.

Given the legal costs for the Conservative candidates nailed for election finance misdeeds in 99 ran up to $15,000, that was a hell of a chance someone at NDP HQ took with other peoples private lives. It was so serious, Selinger insisted he be kept off the hook (not caring what happened in the other 12 ridings).

Chomiak will not answer questions about when he learned about the scam, which took place under his watch over the rise to power of Gary Doer in 1999.

Doer will only say he learned of it in 2001, sees no ethical problem, and thinks we should move along. He refuses to answer who told him about the scam being red-flagged by the auditor David Asselstine.

Selinger admitted to what he knew, and clearly he saw a problem if he demanded a letter from party HQ attesting to his non-role in the scam.

By Premier Doer not answering the question of who told him, alongside Chomiak totally avoiding the issue of when he himself found out about the scam, the public is being led to the obvious conclusion.

And given the optics of the non-answers of Doer and Chomiak when compared to Selinger's belated epiphany, voters are waiting for the next NDP whistleblower to come forward. Who knows when Dave Chomiak knew about Refundgate?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Audio of NDP whistleblower now online/ upcoming guests

We received so much reaction to our exclusive in-depth interview with former NDP election agant Jim Treller, that Rick the Boss has made the audio available in record time for our listeners.


Treller explained in simple terms, how 13 NDP campaign agents in the 1999 general election were duped into signing official returns where the numbers added up, but certain expenses had been illegally shifted in an "eligible for compensation" category.

It wasn't until an April 2003 meeting that the candidates and their agents learnt of the deception, designed to receive $76,000 in rebates that the NDP was NOT eligible for. They were told this was a common practcie in the past and all they had to do to avoid criminal prosecution was sign revised forms, as part of a deal with Elections Manitoba.

And Treller described the reaction at that meeting of Finance Minister Greg Selinger, to the news he may have been held responsible by Elections Manitoba -- despite Selinger and the other candidates and agents knowing nothing about the sleight-of-pen committed by officials at party headquarters.

More on the media coverage, Question Period, and who knew what when, today at 4 PM.

At 4.35 PM today Brad Harrison will join the show to explain the small business he started by acquiring a franchise of Curb-Ease, which utilizes a unique product originated in Australia to create beautiful yards and homes through concrete edging and curbing, as well as curb lighting and other improvements. www.curb-ease.com

At 5.10 PM, Colin Craig of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation will break news about a hidden tax break offered in provincial legislation directed to a surprising recipient.

- At 4.35 PM, former AWA world champion Rick Martel
Next week: Transcona councillor Russ Wyatt, Tom Brodbeck of The Winnipeg Sun, and more!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

NDP whistleblower calls for public inquiry into '99 campaign finance scam

An an outdoor press conference at the Legislature today, the former official agent for a winning NDP candidate says the 1999 expense return details were altered by someone in the party headquarters without his knowledge.

Jim Treller, who was on the winning team in Rossmere against incumbent Conservative Vic Toews, says that it was unfair for Toews to be prosecuted while he and his candidate, Harry Schellenberg, were not.

He added Elections Manitoba has never heard his story of why he willingly signed the revisions presented to him by NDP party officials in April 2003 as a way out of being charged, when he hadn't made the mistake in the first place.

" There was no pressure. I was relieved!", said Treller, who pointed out that Elections Manitoba was put in the position of criminally charging agents and candidates who had no idea the party had altered the return information.

"Someone" slipped some donations-in-kind from into a campaign expense column, making that sum eligible for a 50% rebate.

"We were charging for expenses we didn't have", Treller said, but the catch-22 for him and the other agents was that the party pocketed the money, yet could not be charged under the Act-- only the agents and the candidates could.

In total, $76,000 in subsidies for seconded union workers was taken by the NDP head office under the scheme. The NDP paid the union, which by donating the exact amounts of the wages, ensured there was no actual cost to the campaign. The official returns were prepared by the central campaign committee based on the calculations of local riding officials. The party placed the completed 16 page document in front of agents to sign before filing with Elections Manitoba.

As Treller explained to the 15 media present, since the total amounts for expenses didn't change, no one would have noticed that the places the numbers had been put on the forms had been switched.

By changing the placement of the wages total on the forms, the nature of the transaction between the NDP and the union was concealed.

When the rebate cheques were issued, the party lopped off that added subsidy before remitting the balance to the local constituency, which got the exact amount that had been claimed and that they were expecting.

When the agents from the 13 campaigns were brought to a meeting in 2003, they had no idea about the investigation already underway or that the party officials had negotiated a settlement.

"The meeting went on and on and then it was "oh by the way", and revised returns were produced for the agents to sign, said Treller. Ten days later, they got a letter from Elections Manitoba about the irregularities.

Party officials at the meeting scoffed that this had been a common practice in the past, and "(Finance Minister) Greg Selinger was very upset, like he was going to have stroke or something".

(It is known Selinger demanded, and got, a letter from the NDP executives absolving him of any knowledge or guilt in the affair.)

Treller added that Schellenberg, who defeated Toews by a mere 203 votes, was also upset as "(he) is a man of integrity".

When the illegal refunds were flagged by auditor David Asselstine, the NDP pressured his bosses to remove him despite his protests, preventing him from looking further into allegations the practice went back to the 1980's. Treller confirmed that some of the 13 agents expressed concerns that they had been similarly duped in the 1995 election, and the party might have pocketed a taxpayer subsidy illegally in past elections.

In calling for a public inquiry, Treller was careful not to blame the party but rather suggested some individual was responsible for the scam, although he did state that "Ultimately, (Premier Doer) is responsible as head of the party."

Mr. Treller will be interviewed at 4.30 PM today on 92.9 Kick-FM

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

An open letter to Margo and Gordo

The desperate cheerleading by the two of you in today's newspaper for the pet projects of millionaires marks a watershed moment in the history of the Winnipeg Free Press.

Formerly, your newspaper at least pretended that the concerns of taxpayers, of the working class, of the poor, of the homeless and hungry, was a consideration in the development and publication of stories, columns, and editorials.

Now, you have exposed beyond question, that the crisis of confidence first enunciated by bloggers in the aftermath of your covering up Porkgate, and the diversionary fundraising effort for not-even-close-to being evicted Chantel Henderson, was 100% accurate.

The two of you have abandoned any pretense of journalism or of caring about the average reader.

Instead you have exposed yourselves as the middle-aged equivalent of not-quite loaded high school kids (in my day, from River Heights) who suck up to the spoiled, connected, influential rich kids (Tuxedo) and 'nya-nya' that the poor kids from the rest of the city are just "jealous" of your friends and should go back to their little shacks in the dirty neighborhoods.

But then again, we know you have no shame. You don't even try anymore to hide the fact that the newspaper has become an extreme party organ for wealthy political cliques.

The two of you would stand at Portage and Main and squeegee Lexuses, if that would somehow protect the man who signs your cheques, Bob Silver, and his millionaire panhandler friends.

And of course, his close friend, Premier Gary Doer, who also supports without question the pet projects of millionaires, as long as he gets a photo in the Free Press out of the deal. After all, it ain't his money.

A "Historic" park, an "Iconic" museum, a "green corridor", one can hardly wait to hear his justification to support the "transparent" municipal infrastructure sales tax proposed by yet another millionaire, that madame editor fawns over today in her missive about "hope".

But more about that later.

Yesterday, Gary Doer handed another $1 million to the cause of the Friends of Upper Fort Garry, without a word of debate or discussion with the taxpayers. He and another of Silvers' millionaire co-horts, Hartley Richardson, met with the head of Petro Canada and not only concluded the oil giant should get a million from our treasury to cede land to the millionaires, Doer also granted Petro-Canada a write-off in exchange for another $1.35 Million in "land value".

That would put the public's investment in the gas station at $2.35 million.

According to the blogger Cherenkov, the last assessed value of the land at Broadway and Main was $814,000 dollars.

Meanwhile, the issue of what kind of cost might be associated with the inevitable environmental assessment and clean-up of the property before it can be used as part of a provincial park, is not even mentioned in your newspaper. Normally those costs would be borne by Petro Canada in perpetuity. But given the closed door negotiations that took place, the people have a right to know.

It ain't free.

But The Manitoba Club gets something for free. A paid-for park, just in time for their newly refurbished club to offer new members the chance to enjoy the magnificent view. Curiously, the Club actually refused to even consider paying a single, solitary dime towards "saving the fort" they will now enjoy on our dime in perpetuity.

But as Gordo says today,

"After all, many of the business and political elite who spearheaded the campaign to save the historic property for the citizens of Manitoba are also members of the Manitoba Club."

Not that the newspaper has ever reported how many of the Friends were also members of the Club.

By our count, it was 21 out of 37. A majority.

Poor Bart Kives. He has been the only writer on Mountain brave enough to ever breathe a word of who belongs to both groups.

Stifled when he has tried to speak the truth about the absurdity of millionaires like Richardson and Leonard Asper submarining the attempt to build an apartment building that would bring living, breathing taxpaying families to downtown.

How his mention of Richardson's joint standing slipped into his story about the Petro-Can deal is hard to believe. Maybe the copy editor was in Aurtarlia.

The readers of the Free Press would surely have found interesting the reasons why the Friends opposed the apartment block being built after it had been approved and the Heritage Winnipeg proposal rejected - hey Gordo, doesn't that make them "poor losers"- but it was only reported by the blogger Rob Galston:

"Speaking against the proposed apartment building Mr. Hilderman speculated that not only would the smell of barbeques emit from the balconies, but so would the sounds of tenants yelling at their kids."

So the end result is that a group (FUFG) controlled by the elite Manitoba Club, ensured the great unwashed would never darken their back door.

Your newspaper pretends that the public does not know this, and cannot recognize the favoritism in your pages, the abdication of the public interest, the conflict of interest posed by your owner being a fellow member of the Friends.

No, according to Gordo, speaking out against fake patriotism, against historical revisionism, against pretending that 1200 donors in a city of 700,000 is proof of "grassroots" support, against forcing the working families of the city to subsidize the view of millionaires off their private balcony and dining rooms, that, says Mr. "I forgot my wallet but I'll fill up with gas anyways and have the police called on me", is "sniping at the rich and/or the successful. Envying, instead of celebrating success, (is) an ugly attitude..."

The manipulation of the public isn't limited to Leonard Asper's pet local project. His sister Gail is Margo's new hero.

So what if they fibbed to Parliament about how much the Human Rights Museum would cost? Board members knew last year the costs were well over budget. In 3 years, she hasn't raised $45 Million, and now she says she'll raise an extra $45 million more ?

The Free Press never reported on any of the red flags about the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Never reported that an anti-zionist was appointed to give advice about museum "content"? There's no time for that.

Gail's getting an award from Glen Murray!
Gail wants more money from the taxpayers for her museum!
Gail wants more taxicabs cause she can't catch one downtown!
Gail hates red light cameras cause she got a ticket just like her bmf Gary Doer! (And at the same intersection! Isn't that darling??)

Last week, faced with finally having to admit that the bloggers were correct all along, and that she and her friends and advisors couldn't budget a 5 year olds birthday party, Gail and her pals had a private meeting with the Free Press editorial board to break the sad news. And she spoke of "hope".

We aren't sure what else she said, because city editor Paul Samyn didn't utter a peep about this super-secret meeting on his weekly video blog.

Maybe he can figure out how to upload the meeting so we can see for ourselves, without the filter of Margo, what was said, and compare it with what hard questions the FP asked, and what has been writen so far about this admission of a boondoggle.

Not that the public will hold their breath.

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."

Um, she meant Bob Silver's, $500,000 to be exact. Conflict of interest anyone?

Sure Gail knows about the "power of hope". She's hoping that the Free Press will survive the newest round of canceled subscriptions to promote her and her brother's pet projects, funded by Gary Doer's chequebook, and any other politician they can suck in.

(You notice that when Doer hands over public money to his friends, he never asks how many nurses would it pay for, how many teachers would it employ, how many food banks can we fill? Hell, maybe one day he can tear himself away from handing out cheques and turning sod at ceremonies with the well-heeled and finally grace Siloam Mission with his presence.)

Margo, the people have a vision for this city. And it ain't being abandoned by the newspaper of record and being called "losers" by your star columnist when they ask questions about how their money is being spent in the name of the vision of his and your bosses friends, the rich elite of the city of Winnipeg.