Sunday, September 30, 2007

Calgary Alderman - Ward 1

Jennifer Banks is a social worker by trade, with a solid background in helping environmental causes. In short, she's a perfect example of how Calgarians like their municipal politicians: completely unelectable in this city to any other level of government. :) Her four focuses are:

  • Creating communities of character
  • Green growth, sustainable city
  • Increasing affordable housing
  • Governing with integrity and respect

Jennifer also keeps a blog on her website, so big props for that. She has a Facebook group, and posts her schedule on-line, so clearly she's trying to use "new media" to overcome the differential in name recognition between her and the incumbent. Her website is here.

Dale Hodges is the incumbent for Ward 1. He has served the riding since 1983, and is seeking his 9th mandate from the voters.

His issues and goals for the next term include:

  • Sustainable growth of the transportation infrastructure in Calgary.
  • Sustainable land use planning framework
  • Sustainable long-term planning, financially (anyone else see a pattern here?)
  • Affordable housing
Dale's website, complete with his home and cell-phone numbers, is located here.

Normand Perrault ran in the last election, losing handily to Dale Hodges. Despite the fact that this is his second run at office, there is precious little information available about him or his policies. Tip to Normand: Get a website! Heck, a Blog is even FREE! :)

More on the Public School Trustee Races

Nation, I received an anonymous recommendation - 4 times, actually - that I've posted below.

"If you can't attend a forum and are interested in learning more about the candidates for public school trustee, go to and download the 2007 Trustee Elections newsletter. The Calgary Association of Parents and School Councils has asked candidates to fill out a questionnaire and you can find their answers there."

It certainly makes for interesting reading... take it with a grain of salt, as it's the candidates putting the best possible spin on themselves, but check it out for yourselves.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Separate (Catholic) School Board Trustee - Wards 13 & 14

Mary Martin has been acclaimed in these wards, as the only candidate to file papers. Her main issue is the lack of funding that the board receives from the province. She is a registered nurse and mother of 4, who has a long history of volunteer work in the Calgary Catholic school system.

Separate (Catholic) School Board Trustee - Wards 11 & 12

Michael Vincent Annuik is an entrepreneur involved in oilfield equipment. He has expressed frustration with the Bishop's Office over their dictate that Catholic schools must forego fundraising through gaming, yet the not-exactly bankrupt Catholic Church muckity-mucks are not suggesting ways to replace that income. He fears that parents may be asked to pick up the slack through increased school fees - fees that many families can hardly afford as is.

Cathie Williams has withdrawn from the race to seek the provincial Liberal nomination for the riding of Calgary Egmont.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Separate (Catholic) School Board Trustee - Wards 9 & 10 and Chestermere

Michael O'Malley, elected to this seat in the last election before being judicially disqualified from service to the board while he was simultaneously suing it, filed papers to run for the seat again. He was disqualified from candidacy for both this election and the 2010 election, but his name may still appear on the ballot.

Gerald Adam "Jerry" Heighes has served this area as their trustee in the past, before going down to what he described as "attack ads" by O'Malley in the last election. He bills himself as the only candidate living in the riding, and then (ironically) proceeds to attack his opponent on his website, located here.

Rosemarie Goerlitz ran in Wards 3 & 5 and Airdrie in the last election, and was defeated. The former teacher is running to repair the damage she feels was done to the ward by the O'Malley debacle of the past years.

The candidate's forum will take place on October 9, 2007, at 7:00 p.m. at Holy Cross School (3719 - 26 Avenue SE).

Separate (Catholic) School Board Trustee - Wards 6 & 8

Lois Burke-Gaffney is the incumbent trustee for this seat, which she has held since 1992. Her website, which is shockingly short on detail, is located here.

Antoni (Tony) Grochowski is a former high school teacher running for the seat. He is a firm believer in the obligation of the CSSD to follow the directives of the Bishop's office.

A candidate's forum will be held October 4, 2007, at 7:00 p.m at St. Gregory School (5340 - 26th Ave SW).

Separate (Catholic) School Board Trustee - Wards 4 & 7

Margaret Belcourt has most recently served as the board's Vice Chair, and has been acclaimed for this seat. She served the CSSD as a teacher for 35 years.

Separate (Catholic) School Board Trustee - Wards 3 & 5 and Airdrie

Linda Wellman, the incumbent, has been acclaimed for this seat.

Wellman has served as a trustee for 15 years. Her platform is available on her website, here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Kirk Schmidt checks in...

Nation, you've read on these pages before about my admiration for the kind of commitment and courage that it takes to put yourself "out there" as a candidate in an election - ESPECIALLY as an Independent candidate, running against party-backed contenders.

Kirk Schmidt is such a candidate, spreading his Independent gospel in the federal riding of Calgary West, currently held by the incumbent Darth Anders.

Kirk checked in with me this week to let me know how the campaign planning is going. Of course, not knowing when the writ will be dropped for a federal election makes the Schmidt campaign's job much harder than it already is - but they're working their collective butts off under the assumption that tomorrow will be the day. If not, then maybe the day after... point being, they're prepared, organized, and ready to engage the people of Calgary West. I'd also like to point out that, at this point, Kirk is one of only 2 politicians from Alberta listed on the "Canadian Politics" application on Facebook (the other being some guy named Harper).

Along the ideas I really like are the "I Support Kirk Schmidt" cards that will be made available. Buttons are SO 1960. :) Likewise, Kirk will be holding several events that will give Joe Voter a chance to get out, hear, and SPEAK TO the candidate. Taken straight from the horse's mouth:

"An Independent Vision for Calgary West and Canada" - Formal address by Kirk Schmidt, Independent Candidate for Calgary West, followed by a question period and meet-and-greet. This is taking place on Sunday, October 21, at the Silver Springs Community Centre at 7:00pm. Bring a few friends and come see the vision that Kirk has for the riding and the country.

Sunday Policy Talks - During the federal election, a number of Sunday evenings will be reserved for Coffee and Policy talks at local establishments within the Calgary West riding. This will be an opportunity for you, and others, to make any concerns known, provide your thoughts on different policies, and to get acquainted with Kirk. Specific details will be available on the website. Make sure you come out, have a cup of coffee, and chat with the next Member of Parliament for Calgary West.

Nation, I have stated before, and will continue to assert that the "Party System" will be the ruin of democracy. Take advantage of this rare chance to actually sit down and have a conversation with someone who wants to be the MP for Calgary West.

Often, when you attend a Town Hall or a similar function featuring an MP or candidate from a party, they'll talk at the audience for a while, and then the "reception" will see them talking to a donor or party insider for 40 minutes at a time, while you can't even approach them to say "hello", forget about raising an issue and getting an earnest and forthright answer.

Kirk Schmidt operates differently... he CARES what you think, because, unlike many in the "party system", Kirk knows that the MP is ruled by the voters, not the other way around. I encourage you to go out to see Kirk on October 21st (E.S. will be in the house!), and take the time to talk to the man. I think you'll like what you hear.

For more information regarding the Kirk Schmidt campaign to save Calgary West from the "backroom boys", go to Kirk's website.

- E.S.

"The best things in life are free..."

"So you can give 'em to the birds and bees..."

Nation, thank you for regularly coming back, and making The Enlightened Savage the citizen journalism juggernaut that is has become. Please make sure you help us fight the good fight by clicking on the "google ads" on the right of your screen. I've seen ads for Alnoor, ads for the Alberta Liberals, ads for pollsters - so at least Google is getting the idea of what the citizens of E.S. Nation are interested in. :)

Keep the faith, citizens... E.S. Nation SCHWAG is coming soon!

- E.S.

Separate (Catholic) School Board Trustee - Wards 1 & 2 and Cochrane

Serafino Scarpino is the incumbent for this seat and, as he is running unopposed, he has been acclaimed. A teacher for 30 years, this will be Scarpino's second term in office.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Public School Board Trustee - Wards 12 & 14

Carol Bazinet is the incumbent for this seat on the CBE's ruling body. Bazinet has served on the board since December of 2003, and is currently the board's Vice-Chair. Her husband is a CBE teacher, and they have 5 children. Most recently, she made headlines for her proposal that the CBE institute an alternative, faith-based curriculum.

Gregory C. Humphreys is a father of two, who has grown disillusioned with the CBE's inability to get its financial house in order. Further, he feels the board needs to be more PROactive in finding solutions to problems, rather than commisioning studies while schools are falling apart around the students' ears.

Monday, September 24, 2007

A Note On Municipal Election Coverage

As the campaign wages on, I will no doubt obtain more and more information about candidates, their websites (if applicable), etc. Please check back often for the races that impact you - the posts will be updated as more information becomes available.

- E.S.

Public School Board Trustee - Wards 11 & 13

Current trustee Nancy Close is not seeking re-election for this seat.

Deborah Duncan is a retired lawyer with 2 teen-aged children in the system. She favours a long-term sustainable agreement with the province to deal with the chronic underfunding of public schools. She is also in favour of exploring alternatives that will better serve students within the constraints of the current funding formula. Her website is here.

Karen Kryczka is a former MLA for the PC's in Calgary West. She argues that her political connections will be a valuable asset in discussion with the province.

Neil Mackie is a father of 2, who believes that the board is failing in its responsibility to engage and discuss issues with the parents of the children in their care. Neil's website is located here.

Kathy Power is an entrepreneur and mother who feels that the CBE needs to restore accountability and transparency before it tries to re-invent the wheel. She can be found here.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Public School Board Trustee - Wards 8 & 9

The incumbent for this seat, Pat Cochrane, is running unopposed for this position and, as such, has been acclaimed. Cochrane has served on the CBE board of trustees since 1999, and is its most recent Chair.

Well Done, Nation!

The citizens of the E.S. Nation have come through in spades, with a full 88% of those polled saying they would be casting votes in the upcoming Calgary Municipal Election. (Those who live in Ward 10 pledged to vote at LEAST once!)

Th 12% who said they would not be voting cited living outside of Calgary as an excuse. I guess we'll let that one slide... for now. :)

Now, if only we can get 88% voter turn-out in the election itself. Spread the word, Nation - inspire your fellow citizens to vote! We are all affected by the choices that the mayor and council make - we should all have a say in who they are.

As always, you can just send those disinclined to vote to the Enlightened Savage - E.S. will set them straight. :)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Public School Board Trustee - Wards 6 & 7

Drake Hammill is the former head of the custodian's union, and a former candidate for President of the AUPE. School upkeep and infrastructure are his 2 big issues. He made headlines last year when he, as president of AUPE Local 40, invited PC MLA's to tour the public schools that were most in need of repair, including the highly-publicized troubles at Western Canada High School.

George Lane (Incumbent) was acclaimed in the last election, but faces challengers on 2 fronts this time around. George is well-prepared for the election, however, as his policies and platform are on-line here. George is the first Trustee candidate I've examined so far with a campaign website, so we know he's taking the election seriously, and taking nothing for granted. Lane believe strongly in access to early childhood education, including full-time kindergarten and junior kindergarten for parents who want it (we used to call it "play school", back in the day). How exactly he plans to pay for the programs, he hasn't said. E.S. being a softie for bloggers, you can find George's blog here.

Greg Scott is a lawyer who served as the CBE's Head Counsel for a time. He feels his knowledge of the legal issues and legislation related to the running of the schools would be an asset as a trustee. Scott is also a former teacher, although it should be noted that being a teacher doesn't make one any more qualified to run a school board than, say, being a traffic cop makes you qualified to be the Commissioner of the RCMP. They're 2 entirely different animals.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Public School Board Trustee - Wards 5 & 10

Without an incumbent running (Kyle Fawcett, the former trustee, is planning to run for MLA), the race for wards 5 and 10 should be a hotly contested one.

Pamela King is a mother of 2 and former CBE employee who feels that the board's most pressing issue is its labour crunch. She feels that the board needs to de a better job attracting and retaining top-level staff (read: scream at the province for more money).

Michael Peter Stefanyshyn is a former High School teacher who left the classroom disgusted with the politics within the system (a common refrain among teachers at the high school level). In his estimation, if he was going to have to deal with politics anyway, it may as well be an OFFICIAL part of the job, instead of an unfortunate necessity. The 27 year-old feels that more money needs to made available to the "front lines" of education - the classroom - that is tied up in unneccesary overhead costs and grossly disproportionate levels of administration staff.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Public School Board Trustee - Wards 3 & 4

There are 2 candidates vying for this position on the province's largest school board. They are Lynn Cameron Ferguson (Incumbent), and Jadine Kohut.

Lynn Cameron Ferguson handily won this seat in 2004, running to replace the outgoing incumbent. Aged 54, her main issue is school funding - she wants more. Well, she wants more schools, AND more funding. She's well thought of as an activist for student causes.

EDIT: Lynn's website can be found here.

Jadine Kohut is a 39 year-old stay-at-home mom of 3, and she is angry at what seems to be an "old boys backroom mentality" at the board, especially as relates to prioritizing school building and repairs. She wants more transparent and accountible governance of the system by the board. A particular area of interest to her is a new Public high school in the North Central Calgary area.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Public School Board Trustee - Wards 1 & 2

Gordon Dirks has been acclaimed for this position.

Dirks has held this seat since 1999.

Monday, September 17, 2007

By-election Results

EDIT 11:28 Mountain Time:

Results are final, with all polls reporting.

Final returns from the Federal By-elections in Quebec tonight.

168 of 168 polls
Thomas Mulcair (NDP) 47.5%
Jocelyn Coulon (Lib) 29.0%
Jean-Paul Gilson (BQ) 10.9%
Gilles Duguay (Con) 8.6

194 of 194 polls
Denis Lebel (Con) 59.4%
Céline Houde (BQ) 27.0%
Louise Boulanger (Lib) 9.6%

224 of 224 polls
Ève-Mary Thaï Thi Lac (BQ) 42.1%
Bernard Barré (Con) 37.5%
Brigitte Sansoucy (NDP) 7.9%
Jean Caumartin (Lib) 7.4%

Analysis after the votes are all counted... but a very, VERY bad night to be Stephane Dion.

Official 2007 Calgary Municipal Election Candidates

The papers are filed... here are your contenders!

(On a side note... I'm not crazy about the official candidate's list having the candidates' HOME ADDRESSES on it, for public view... that's GOT to be a privacy/safety concern, doesn't it?)


Bertram, David
Bronconnier, Dave (Incumbent)
Fielding, Elizabeth
Foster, Allan
Heck, Harry
Jenkins, Sandy
Kassam, Alnoor
Sunstrum, Jonathan Joseph (JJ)
Zhao, Jeremy


Ward 1
Banks, Jennifer
Hodges, Dale (Incumbent)
Perrault, Normand

Ward 2
Avramenko, Terry
Del Re, Daniel M.
Lowe, Gord (Incumbent)
Magliocca, Biagio

Ward 3
Chahal, George
Larocque, Helene (Incumbent)
Stevenson, Jim

Ward 4
Evans, Richard
Hawkesworth, Bob (Incumbent)
Peterson, Alex

Ward 5
El-Rafih, Mohamed
Jones, Ray (Incumbent)

Ward 6
Berglund, Rosemary
Burrows, Craig (Incumbent)
Connelly, Joe
Istvanffy, James Donald
Kohut, James

Ward 7
Aithal, Jag
Eldridge, Barry
Farrell, Druh (Incumbent)
Terlesky, Merle

Ward 8
Chapman, Steve
King, Madeleine (Incumbent)
Luhnau, Lindsay
Mar, John

Ward 9
Ceci, Joe (Incumbent)
Koenig, Al
Waciak, Stan

Ward 10
Chabot, Andre (Incumbent)
Dossa, Nargis

Ward 11
Matthews, Dave
Murray, James M. (Jim)
Pincott, Brian
Rockwell, Jim
Whelan, Evonne

Ward 12
Halfyard, Nick
McIver, Richard William (Ric) (Incumbent)

Ward 13
Colley-Urquhart, Diane Marie (Incumbent) (acclaimed)

Ward 14
Fox-Mellway, Linda (Incumbent) (acclaimed)


Wards 1 & 2
Dirks, Gordon (Incumbent) (acclaimed)

Wards 3 & 4
Ferguson, Lynn Cameron (Incumbent)
Kohut, Jadine

Wards 5 & 10
King, Pamela
Stefanyshyn, Michael Peter

Wards 6 & 7
Hammill, Drake
Lane, George S. (Incumbent)
Scott, Greg

Wards 8 & 9
Cochrane, Pat (Incumbent) (acclaimed)

Wards 11 & 13
Duncan, Deborah
Kryczka, Karen
Mackie, Neil
Power, Kathy

Wards 12 & 14
Bazinet, Carol (Incumbent)
Humphreys, Gregory (Greg) C.


Wards 1 & 2 and Cochrane
Scarpino, Serafino (Incumbent) (acclaimed)

Wards 3 & 5 and Airdrie
Wellman, Linda (Incumbent) (acclaimed)

Wards 4 & 7
Belcourt, Margaret (Incumbent) (acclaimed)

Wards 6 & 8
Burke-Gaffney, Lois H. (Incumbent)
Grochowski, Antoni (Tony)

Wards 9 & 10 and Chestermere
Goerlitz, Rosemarie
Heighes, Gerald Adam Jerry
O'Malley, Michael (Mike)

Wards 11 & 12
Annuik, Michael Vincent
Williams, Cathie (Incumbent)

Wards 13 & 14
Martin, Mary (acclaimed)

Municipal Madness

Brave citizens of the E.S. Nation:

Here's an overview of the coverage you can expect from your Calgary Municipal Election Hook-Up.

September 19th - 25th - Calgary Public School Board Trustees
  • September 19th - Wards 1 & 2
  • September 20th - Wards 3 & 4
  • September 21st - Wards 5 & 10
  • September 22nd - Wards 6 & 7
  • September 23rd - Wards 8 & 9
  • September 24th - Wards 11 & 13
  • September 25th - Wards 12 & 14
September 26th - 29th - Calgary Separate (Catholic) School Board Trustees
  • September 26th - Wards 1 & 2 plus Cochrane
  • September 27th - Wards 3 & 5 plus Airdrie, Wards 4 & 7
  • September 28th - Wards 6 & 8, Wards 9 & 10 plus Chestermere and area
  • September 29th - Wards 11 & 12, Wards 13 & 14
September 30th - October 13th - Aldermanic Races
  • September 30th - Ward 1
  • October 1st - Ward 2
  • October 2nd - Ward 3
  • October 3rd - Ward 4
  • October 4th - Ward 5
  • October 5th - Ward 6
  • October 6th - Ward 7
  • October 7th - Ward 8
  • October 8th - Ward 9
  • October 9th - Ward 10
  • October 10th - Ward 11
  • October 11th - Ward 12
  • October 12th - Ward 13
  • October 13th - Ward 14
October 14th - Mayoral Race
October 15th - VOTING DAY

Sunday, September 16, 2007

There's Something in the Air...

Autumn. There's a certain excitement in the air... no, it's not the CFL stretch drive to the playoffs (luckily, my beloved Eskimos have taken care of that distraction for me this year). Neither is it the start of the NFL season, the impending Major League Baseball playoffs (yawn!), or even the start of pre-season action in the NHL.


I know I've been remiss in my duty to inform as of late. I have, however, been preparing to launch a full-out assault on the near total lack of information that accompanies each municipal election in Calgary. The refrains I hear most often during municipal elections are "I don't know who any of these people are, or what they stand for - there's no media coverage for anything but the mayor's race. I recognize the incumbent Alderman's name for my ward - MAYBE. And who the heck are all these people running for school board trustee? What IS a school board trustee?"

Nation, The Enlightened Savage is your official Calgary Municipal Election 2007 Hook-Up. You wanna know? I'll TELL you. We will be offering pillar-to-post coverage of the candidates for each position. There will, naturally, be more to say, both good and bad, about the incumbents in most cases - some of them are running on 3 or 6 (or more) years of on-the-record history. But nevertheless, we will be offering the usual in-depth analysis of EVERY race, from the Mayor's chair to Ward 8 Alderman to Catholic School Trustees...

Check back often. If there's something you want me to look into, let me know via a comment or at my email, published to the right in the "About Me" area (campaign "leaks" welcome as well). And for goodness sake, VOTE. Vote TWICE, if you can (and then let me know, so I can blow the lid off the voting improprieties). The election is Monday, October 15th.
In 2004, 17% of the eligible voters bothered to show up and exercise their right to choose their leaders. SEVENTEEN PERCENT. If you voted, five of your friends couldn't be bothered.

If that embarassing trend continues, then your vote on October 15th will be on behalf of 6 people. Make it count - cast an INFORMED ballot, by bookmarking The Enlightened Savage for all the analysis on the candidates in Calgary.

Big Poppa E.S. is your hook-up... holla if you hear me...

Thursday, September 6, 2007

What is Leadership?

Nation, we're going "off the board" on this issue: Rather than telling you all what you should think, I'm hoping instead to hear from you about what you ALREADY think about the issue.

Quite simply: "What is leadership?"

We hear a lot about leadership these days. Usually, from people whose own leadership is under question. Tories spending millions to broadcast ads that tell everyone "Stephane Dion is not a leader". Jack Layton screaming about how having our troops in Afghanistan for longer than the next 24 hours shows a "lack of leadership" on the part of the government...

What IS this "leadership" we hear so much about? Is it getting people to do what you tell them? If so, Hitler and Stalin could be characterized as great leaders. Is it being RIGHT about an issue, as Democrats keep insisting that Dubya is "a poor leader", despite the fact that everyone around him does what he tells them to? If being RIGHT is the hallmark of leadership, then shouldn't we applaud Maginot, for building the line of fortifications that, as promised, stopped the Germans from invading from the East? (they came through Belgium instead). Or is leadership all in the results? Mark Messier captained 2 teams to the Stanley Cup (the only man ever to do so), and won it 6 times in all. Is the Moose therefore a better leader than, say, Mike Bossy?

I know MY opinion... I share it with Ralph.

"I just got out in front of the parade - it was the people in the parade
that determined where we were going."

To me, leadership is knowing what the people want and need (by asking them), and then finding a middle ground between the 2, giving it to them and staying true to the core principle while being open to the evolving nature of reality.

What I'm MORE interested in is YOUR opinion, so please add it to the bottom of this post as a comment, or email privately if you prefer, at amishbuggyracing (at) gmail (dot) com.

- E.S.