Archive for category Politics

We Should Know Naheed Nenshi

Since February 2008, local artist and community-builder Mark Hopkins has hosted “We Should Know Each Other” parties in his living room.

“We Should Know Naheed Nenshi” was an event Mark organized (Sept 15th) to help undecided voters to hang out, talk, and hear Nenshi’s elevator pitch.

The event was open to everyone, had delicious food, sparked some fascinating conversations… the only thing missing was photons. You know, photons, like from the sun, from fire… from light bulbs. So the footage is kinda grainy.

I hope this coverage of Nenshi’s Q & A session illustrates why I think he’s such an exciting candidate for mayor. Nenshi’s policy proposals are very detailed, and it is clear he has a deep understanding of how to implement bureaucratic reform, and fix Calgary’s budgeting process.

Nenshi’s thoughts condensed down
in to so few words as to be meaningless
02:12 02:12 Elevator pitch. Helps clients in private, public & government sectors increase their efficiency. At MRU teaches how to run non-profits effectively. Stands for sustainability [financial, social, environmental]. Will make Calgary a better place to start a business. Will fix city council.
13:52 13:52 Calgary Transit. Preferred choice, not last choice. Start experimenting with additional buses, increase capacity quickly. Express bus route that never goes downtown (already serviced by C-Train). Transit advisory committee made up of customers.
18:00 18:00 Public libraries. Incredibly important, particularly in areas with large English-as-a-second-language population. Does not believe director of library has proposed best budget cut options (stay closed on Sunday, halt opening of new N.E. branch). Does not know answer, but knows what questions to ask. Gives example, what are lowest used period for each branch? Can at least one library remain open in each city quadrant at all times? 2011 will be rough, 2012 should see restored services.
21:07 21:07 Broad change. Obama proposed new policies. Calgary is stuck in 1960s policy making. Lots of historical precedence for improving governance.
23:13 23:13 Social investment. Public transit is best investment.
23:48 23:48 Urban sprawl. Calgary developers more willing to engage in discussion than you think. Will not use developers as political football. If developers building livable communities fail, Nenshi will look bad. Need developers at table, but they can’t dictate terms.
26:52 26:52 Calgary film making. City can support new sound stage, or offer up civic resources. Not a subsidy war approach.
29:06 29:06 Winning. Campaign already projected third place on Labour Day. Alderman McIver’s support more solid than hoped. Barb Higgins is dropping like a stone. If Calgarians understand this is still a 3 person race, we will win. Our message resonates once people hear it, hardly anyone has heard it yet.
34:57 34:57 Gay community. Talking to all communities, what benefits Calgary benefits all communities. Discrimination (sexual, religion) is not the Calgary we are building. Acts of vandalism do not represent the Calgary McIver or Higgins want either.
38:24 38:24 Homeless. 10 year plan (Calgary is already following) is excellent. Lack of housing more of a cause than symptom of drug abuse. Homeless used to climb regardless of economy, now started to level off. Wants to start addressing poverty in similar manner.
40:58 40:58 Community green house. Streamlining, cutting red tape applies to projects of social value too, not just new businesses.
42:01 42:01 Arts & culture. Cites ArtsVote Q & A. Calgary needs flagship spaces for established artists, and facilities (in low rent neighborhoods) for emerging artists. Secondary suites & zoning changes will lead to lower cost housing & studio space. Likes proposal for International Avenue Arts Centre.
45:43 45:43 Evangelical interview. Don’t like gay pride parades? Don’t attend them. Everyone needs to be able to work together as a community.
46:47 46:47 Sale of ENMAX. Depends on price, depends on debt load. As public utility, ENMAX offers unique social value, is patient capital.
47:54 47:54 Local food. Down with community gardening. People should be able to try stuff (chickens!) in pilot projects.
49:23 49:23 City Council. Calgary City Council full of good people. New alderman will shake things up, gives opportunity to stop dysfunctional behavior. Governance reform, new procedures will help shift adversarial nature. Give ward alderman city-wide responsibilities.

This video is released under Creative Commons share-alike 3.0 license.

UPDATE: It appears Bob Hawkesworth has cited this video as Nenshi “being on the record” saying he’d sell ENMAX.

I believe anyone but Bob Hawkesworth watching this video would come to a very different conclusion.

I was already under the impression Hawkesworth was the only candidate factually wrong on the issue of the airport tunnel. Is this a Calgarian example of a political candidate inhabiting their own reality, as seen far too often in the USA?

Just the fact Hawkesworth isn’t willing to share where he saw Nenshi “on the record” talking about ENMAX, makes me think Hawkesworth knows he’s not on solid ground with his claim.

What pisses me off here, Bob, is that not only are you quoting Nenshi in my video out of context. You are behaving in a way that makes our mayoral candidates less likely to speak frankly about these issues. If every candidate knows their words will be taken out of context by their opponents, then they’ll revert to vague platitudes and intelligent discussion will cease.

Bob, I don’t see any video of you online sharing your insights on the topic of ENMAX. You know how hard it is to use an iPhone to video yourself talking in depth about any topic, and uploading that to YouTube? It is not hard at all.

UPDATE 2: Bob Hawkesworth first shoddily re-edited the We-Should-Know-Nenshi video (posting only his misleading edit), then finally (after a DMCA takedown citing the rules of the Creative Commons license) Bob linked to the original video.

Bob Hawkesworth is still being misleading on this, and I have no idea what his intention is at this point, except having the Nenshi campaign join his own in the “out of the mayoral race” category.

I’ve downloaded copies of the videos Bob’s posted, and I’ll have more to say on this once I’m done working on more important election video coverage (like indexing the content of mayoral forums).

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Calgary Leadership Forum’s Mayoral Debate

Derek McKenzie joined the mayoral race! Anyone else? Anyone? Anyone? C’mon folks, there’s still a month to go. What else are you going to do with your time?

The embedded video was shot & edited by Chelsea Pratchett (with help from Clinton Waller) on behalf of My contribution is strictly hosting it on my long-video-enabled YouTube account, and constructing the index table below.

If you don’t like my snarky comments below, don’t blame, they’re 100% neutral and snark free!

Kent Hehr
Wayne Stewart
Ric McIver
Paul Hughes
Naheed Nenshi
Jon Lord
Joe Connelly
Derek McKenzie
Craig Burrows
Bob Hawkesworth
Alnoor Kassam
introduction 0:10:53 0:15:16 0:20:04 0:34:51 0:40:18 0:29:43 0:00:17 0:45:26 0:05:39 0:49:08 0:24:51
Alnoor, if you were still in the race, how would you cut taxes 2.5% annually? 0:54:10
Bob, is Calgary LRT really all that? 0:55:34  
Bob, how to deal with the deficit? 0:57:09  
Craig, how do you really feel about park & ride? 0:59:40  
Craig, are you for, and what priority is, the airport tunnel? 1:01:21  
Derek! Have you by chance been involved in community work? 1:03:08  
Derek!?! Is council an equal partner in managing community’s business? 1:04:05  
Joe, how do we attract staff for the new hospital? 1:05:01  
I’ve just spoken to our psyentistz. Joe, the fluoride is toxic. 1:06:04 Our precious bodily fluids!
Jon, why did we let the province take our taxes? 1:08:12 You can get them back, right?
Jon, how can we provide affordable housing? 1:09:30 (To low income community?)
Naheed, what budget process will you use? 1:11:19 (To make the administration accountable?)
Naheed, how to fund the airport tunnel? 1:13:00 Let’s be like Charles Bronson in The Great Escape!
Paul, why is housing unaffordable? 1:14:41 It contributes to our homeless problem.
Paul, how can Calgary’s arts & culture 1:16:08 become world class? <take-a-shot />
Ric, transportation. 1:18:18 You can fix that, right?
Ric, how would you 1:20:51 balance new projects against our debt level?
Wayne, how would you 1:22:29 bring cohesion to council process?
Wayne, how would you 1:23:17 support the homeless… with buns?
Kent, can you 1:24:45 make Calgary safer?
Kent, 1:26:14 you like gay people, right?
closing 1:29:56 1:29:54 1:31:50 1:33:28 1:35:38 1:37:53 1:39:27 1:41:22 1:43:00 1:45:08 1:47:35

You might notice a few small errors in the video’s title cards. Our workflow was a bit messy, as I’d never used iMovie before, let alone someone else’s project.

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Calgary Mayoral Forum by Golden Age Club

12 candidates for mayor is a lot. Maybe a few could drop out? Please?

The table below the video offers hyperlinks to particular moments in the debate video. Hold the mouse over a candidate’s name or question summary, for more details. Time codes appear out of order because candidates were constantly prompted to respond in changing order. Green background indicates which candidate was the first to respond to a given question.

Or, you could watch the entire 2 hour, 45 minute forum video from start to finish. (Whoa, I kid, I kid…)

Kent Hehr
Craig Burrows
Joe Connelly
Barb Higgins
Paul Hughes
Gary Johnston
Alnoor Kassam
Jon Lord
Ric McIver
Naheed Nenshi
Wayne Stewart
Bob Hawkesworth
introduction 0:24:09 0:22:24 0:20:40 0:18:59 0:17:19 0:15:44 0:04:53 0:06:49 0:08:40 0:10:25 0:12:11 0:13:55
East Village 0:28:50 0:30:36 0:31:56 0:34:04 0:35:55 0:37:59 0:40:09 0:40:57 0:43:07 0:45:21 0:47:39 0:26:55
qualifications 0:57:28 0:55:21 0:53:23 0:51:12 0:49:33 1:11:55 1:10:02 1:07:52 1:06:05 1:03:54 1:01:52 0:59:45
beholden to 1:34:50 1:13:32 1:14:03 1:17:11 1:19:18 1:22:09 1:23:13 1:24:36 1:27:22 1:28:41 1:30:47 1:32:36
inspiration 1:52:00 1:53:46 1:56:05 1:37:03 1:39:10 1:41:32 1:42:47 1:44:05 1:46:17 1:47:02 1:48:49 1:50:49
cut waste 2:18:45 2:16:30 2:14:24 2:12:01 2:10:11 2:08:14 2:06:04 2:03:54 2:01:37 1:59:39 1:58:17 2:20:36
promises 2:32:20 2:33:47 2:35:26 2:37:52 2:40:48 2:43:00 2:23:21 2:24:55 2:26:50 2:28:09 2:30:04 2:31:25
< < < 2 finger scroll > > > 2 finger scroll < < < 2 finger scroll > > > 2 finger scroll < < < 2 finger scroll > > > 2 finger scroll

I’m constantly trying to find more effective ways of conveying long and/or dense video information such as this. Aside from some issues with the YouTube offset hyperlinks not working on my iPhone’s iOS4.0 (it used to work under a previous OS, am still investigating), I’m not sure what else I could do to make debate footage such as this more engaging, or easier to navigate.

If you have any suggestions, or critiques of the 4 minute “highlight roll” at the start, let me know.

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Calgary Mayoral Candidates Forum

On August 12th, Calgary’s mayoral candidates met at Holy Trinity Family Centre to compare their platforms, and answer questions posed by the local community. This footage is released under Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license.

00:14 48:45 Naheed Nenshi
02:27 45:42 Jon Lord
04:49 44:51 Bev Longstaff for Wayne Stewart
06:49 41:38 Barb Higgins
09:00 38:29 Joe Connelly
11:10 35:22 Alnoor Kassam
13:17 32:13 Bob Hawkesworth
15:29 28:59 Ric Mciver
17:38 26:11 Craig Burrows
19:58 23:11 Kent Hehr

This represents a slight alternation in the chronology of events, as originally each candidate was introduced by Wil Tigley, then each candidate was allowed to describe their platform, then each candidate closed by addressing 3 questions.

I’ve combined Wil Tigley’s introduction with each candidate’s description of their platform. That way the viewer isn’t trying to remember what a candidate’s bio is by the time they’re finally speaking.

If this is a concern, the raw footage is always available on the Internet Archive.

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Calgary mayoral candidate Naheed Nenshi

Having seen Naheed Nenshi speak at TEDxCalgary on the subject of “Calgary 3.0”, I wanted to hear his mayoral pitch.

His July 7th reception at Art Central was my first opportunity to do so. I was too busy taping to get an answer to the questions: “Are you concerned about splitting the (social) progressive vote? Can you pursue Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) as mayor for civic elections?” Maybe next time I see him we’ll get to discuss it.

For more information on the Nenshi mayoral campaign, visit the official website.

This footage of Naheed Nenshi is released under a Creative Commons share-alike license, and is available for download and recycling from Internet Archive.

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TEDx Talks pertaining to Calgary’s 2010 Election

TEDx, is the license used for independently organized TED Talks. Already in 2010, Calgary has experienced TEDxYYC followed by TEDxCalgary. I shot & edited the videos found on their respected YouTube playlists, so when I recently saw footage of Naheed Nenshi being interviewed by CBC, I kept wondering to myself… where have I seen that guy?

I’d edited his TEDxCalgary talk of course.

This got me thinking about the range of TEDx Talks given in Calgary. Some were extremely pertinent to civic issues, so here’s a brief summary for Calgarians.

Naheed Nenshi – Calgary 3.0

Journalist & mayoral candidate Naheed Nenshi (with the help of dataminer Natalie O’Toole) reviews Calgary’s growth patterns, and proposes that we are approaching decision time: What kind of City does Calgary want to become? Los Angeles and Curitiba (Brazil) are offered as potential futures, depending on choices Calgarians make today.

Grant Neufeld – Communicating for Change

Community activist & computer programmer Grant Neufeld shares his learning experiences on how to effect change. Since this blog entry is specifically for matters pertaining to Calgary’s 2010 election I’m skipping ahead in his video (you can of course rewind) to his discussion of, his tool to assist Calgarians with Calgary’s 2010 municipal election by consolidating candidate information.

“Isn’t that something local papers like Calgary Herald and Calgary Sun do?” you may ask. All I know is that during the last civic election, I waited until election day to do research before voting. It was hard to find detailed consolidated information online (to the point I was not satisfied with my own knowledge about the candidates as I voted). Maybe bigger news organizations will provide easier to find, more detailed information for 2010… But I would suggest bookmarking just in case. It is exactly what I was looking for in 2007, and never found.

Jennifer Martin – Innovative Spaces

Fostering innovation in youth isn’t normally thought of as a civic issue (with education being managed provincially). But Jennifer Martin argues that innovation can be encouraged by providing civic spaces for experimentation (her example being Telus Word of Science).

What Telus World of Science does for kids and teenagers, Calgary Protospace provides for young & young-at-heart-but-in-reality-old adults: A space for experimentation and shared learning. These spaces aren’t something I’d specifically expect a mayoral candidate to support in their campaign, but I would expect candidates to share ideas on how they would “foster innovation” in Calgary.

Chris Turner – Great Leap Sideways

Climate change is not an issue I normally associate with municipal elections… carbon taxes, cap-&-trade and fuel economy standards for automobiles are legislated federally & provincially, not municipally. And while a typical Calgarian’s carbon footprint exceeds the Canadian average by 30%, our municipal government is actively pursuing energy efficiency in its operations.

“They’re on it.” In fact (around the world) municipalities are taking action on climate change more aggressively than any other level of government.

However the significant per-captia carbon footprint of Calgary citizens is something which can be addressed by properly managing urban development. Here, author and journalist Chris Turner shares efficiency success stories which Calgary is free to emulate. “It can’t be done” is trumped by “it’s been done”. Calgary’s next mayor won’t be taxing carbon, but he/she still has many opportunities to help Calgarians lower their CO2 footprint.

Again, I’m skipping ahead in Chris’s video (past the argument that climate change is a problem) to his examples of success in improving energy efficiency.

That’s all the TEDx wisdom I can impart regarding Calgary’s 2010 municipal election. Beyond that?

#yycvote is the hash tag for Calgary elections, and it can be easily applied as a twitter search filter.

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Oil Sands Debate with Elizabeth May

“Is Oil Sands Development Ultimately Irreconcilable with the Environmental Agenda?” was the question posed by Calgary Enterprise Forum. The discussion was held at Calgary Petroleum Club featuring Elizabeth May, Deborah Yedlin (Calgary Herald columnist) and Murray Smith (Energy Minister 2001-2005).

Despite the plethora of oil patch executives, Calgary Greens and red wine, no fisticuffs took place.

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Calgary’s Low Carbon Future – The Summit

I haven’t had too many opportunities to stream live video since WireCast days at Cambrian House, so Calgary’s Carbon Summit was to be a live test of my new configuration:

  • Dual core MacBook
  • Wireless microphones feeding both the live stream, and HDV capture
  • 3G iPhone with tethering capabilities (and my strong desire to max out ROGERS 6 GB data plan)

UStream.TV had broadcast flawlessly from my house the night before. What could go wrong? Well apparently SAIT’s WiFi was blocking ports to which the UStream responded by crashing the browser. Any browser.

Fortunately I had a ROGERS 6 GB data plan, an iPhone 3G, and a deep burning desire to use up as much bandwidth as possible. Do you know how HARD it is to eat up 6 GB with an iPhone? Finding a reasonably priced ROGERS data plan is IMPOSSIBLE, so I took SAIT’s blocked ports as a blessing in disguise. 753,100 KB later, and UStream.TV had rebroadcast the summit.

I’ve since had a chance to upload HDV coverage of the event to YouTube, and also to Internet Archive. The most viewer-friendly copy can be found at entitled “Calgary’s Low Carbon Future”, it is cut down from 101 to 56 minutes and follows the narrative woven by Skid Crease.

The summit adds value to other City of Calgary initiatives including the development of a Community Greenhouse Gas Plan, The City Manager’s Office Sustainable Development Strategy and the World Energy Cities Partnership. This is an opportunity to develop a multi-stakeholder developed and ratified action plan to address future energy challenges.

Bios for keynote speakers can be found here. Rob Macintosh’s presentation is also available as an isolated YouTube video, and downloadable MPEG-4 from Internet Archive.

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Green Party’s Elizabeth May in Calgary

July 2nd to 4th, the leader of Canada’s Green Party, Elizabeth May visited Calgary to attend fund raising and community events. After a fundraiser, Elizabeth allowed me to record a quick Q&A with her regarding one of my concerns: The Pirate Party launching in Canada.

The Pirate Party’s platform is not as outrageous as many assume. They don’t want to abolish copyright, rather limit its duration and focus its impact on commercial (for-profit) activities. The Pirate Party also wants to abolish software patents, which many software programmers consider a restriction on free speech. However, many of its policies are closely mirrored by the Green Party’s platform.

What is Elizabeth May’s response to Swedish Pirate Party members being elected to European Parliment?

I’ve posted my concerns in a article. Single issue candidates can not get elected to Parliament under Canada’s first-past-the-post electoral system. If a Green MP will defend consumers (and the economy) against Bill C-61 horror shows, is splitting the digital-rights-minded vote a smart move?

Another interesting moment during Elizabeth May’s visit was during her Saturday morning visits to a series of Calgary Stampede breakfasts. People started tweeting that she’d caved on animal rights for a photo op, thinking that her attendance at a Stampede function implied she was attending a calf roping type event.

Elizabeth May’s daughter, Victoria Cate May Burton was monitoring Elizabeth May’s Twitter account. They discussed and responded to the tweet in 15 minutes. I have no idea how other political parties manage their social networks, but clearly a tech-savvy daughter is one effective approach.

Stock footage of Elizabeth May’s visit to Calgary can be found on Internet Archive concerning copyright and volunteering, fund-raising and the economy. Elizabeth’s Twitter and Facebook collaboration with her daughter Victoria Cate is also recyclable via Internet Archive. All footage is creative commons licensed.

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An open letter to FOX NEWS.

      from: gordon mcdowell
      date: Fri, Mar 20, 2009 at 5:04 PM
   subject: Could you be any more insulting?
While this is not the best example of FOX broadcasting deliberately misleading information, it is a perfect example of an attitude which does not just represent what is wrong with your otherwise fine country. It is literally, exactly & precisely what is wrong with your country. FOX NEWS.

NEWSWEEK POLL – “Do you think Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq was directly involved in planning, financing, or carrying out the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001?”

2003 response: 47% Yes, 37% No, 16% not sure.
2004 response: 42% Yes, 44% No, 14% not sure.
2007 response: 41% Yes, 50% No,  9% not sure.

Saddam Hussein was not responsible in any way for 9/11. The Americans who don’t know this are the ones who consume FOX NEWS. Ask a fellow American if they believe Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11. Oh he was? Then ask them where they get their news. I promise you they’ll answer “FOX NEWS”. Canadians are well aware of this correlation.
The reason USA is bogged down in 2 wars, instead of having won the Afghanistan war and caught Osama Bin Laden already (with which we continue to help) is because you, working through your employer FOX NEWS, helped the Bush administration convince your fellow citizens of a lie. That “Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11”.
Likely if there had been no FOX NEWS, there’d have been only one war… the UN sanctioned war. USA would have won. And Canadians wouldn’t be looking south, waiting for the dwindling yet increasingly deranged fans of FOX NEWS to clue in that you don’t have their best interests at heart.
As an employee of FOX NEWS, do you ever stop to wonder what responsibly you might share for American casualties? And those of American allies?
Should my television cable provider ever offer me a bundle which includes FOX NEWS, my response will be a that they please watch the Red Eye clip, and that any inclusion of FOX NEWS would make such a bundle unacceptable.
Gordon McDowell
Calgary, AB, Canada

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