Calgary Sports News

Taylor Ruck blazes to gold in women's 200 at Canadian Swimming Trials

CBC Sports - 1 hour 27 min ago

Taylor Ruck has picked up right where she left off after winning a record eight medals at the Commonwealth Games in April.

Orioles trade Manny Machado to Dodgers

CBC Sports - 3 hours 50 min ago

The Los Angeles Dodgers have won the Manny Machado sweepstakes, getting the prized All-Star shortstop from the Baltimore Orioles in a trade Wednesday night.

Drunken crash left two men suffering severe brain injuries

Calgary Sun - 4 hours 24 min ago

The devastation of drinking and driving was on display in a Calgary courtroom Wednesday when a Red Deer man took the stand to describe the effects a drunken crash had on him.

Calvin Michael Burns slowly made his way to the witness box, with the aid of a cane, where he explained how he is a shell of the man he was before a June 27, 2015, crash near Cochrane.

The problem for Burns, however, is he was the drunk behind the wheel in the collision which left two other people with serious injuries.

Defence counsel Ian Savage is seeking a sentence of 90 days which would allow Burns, 31, to serve his time on weekends.

He had pleaded guilty earlier to causing bodily harm while driving impaired.

Savage put his client on the witness stand so Calgary provincial court Judge John Bascom could hear first-hand the impact the crash has had on Burns.

The lawyer argued the serious wounds suffered by the offender, combined with the more than a year the RCMP took to charge him, are mitigating factors which could justify a weekends-only jail term.

Crown prosecutor Ron Simenik acknowledged Burns’ injuries should be considered by Bascom, but only to reduce what would normally be a jail term of nearly 12 months to two years.

Burns said before the crash he was a healthy young man who enjoyed skateboarding and longboarding.

But that all changed when he made an illegal U-turn on Hwy. 1A just west of Cochrane, after the vehicle he was following made a similar manoeuvre.

While Burns was trying to change from going eastbound to westbound, an SUV being driven by Shirley Begg collided with his passenger side, seriously injuring her and his own passenger, Brandon Chase.

Hospital tests showed he had 155-171 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood.

Savage told Bascom he wasn’t trying to compare the injuries suffered by Chase to his own client’s, but noted they were similar.

“None of my comments are in any way intended to diminish the horrible effects … this has had on his life,” Savage said, of Chase.

“It’s extremely sad for both of them.”

In his evidence, Burns, who suffered a severe brain injury, said he now has difficulty talking, can’t walk without a cane and can’t work the hours he once did.

He said he used to work 10-hour days at the autobody shop where he remains employed, but after four hours “I’m mentally and physically exhausted.”

Bascom agreed with Savage the RCMP should not have taken more than a year to lay charges against Burns.

“I find this totally inexcusable that the RCMP dragged their heels,” he said.

The judge will hand down a ruling in September.

KMartin@postmedia.com

On Twitter: @KMartinCourts

What’s the risk in the DeRozan-Leonard trade?

CBC Sports - 4 hours 42 min ago

CBC Sports' Jacqueline Doorey and Anson Henry break down some of the pros, cons, risks and rewards of trading former Raptors star DeMar DeRozan to the San Antonio Spurs for Kawhi Leonard.

Heavy equipment thief leads construction workers on low-speed chase

Calgary Sun - 4 hours 53 min ago

Police are warning Calgarians against taking the law into their own hands after two contractors chased down a thief trying to make off with a piece of heavy equipment.

Acting Sgt. Nigel Nelson says a front end loader was reported stolen from a worksite in the area of 61st Street and 100th Avenue S.E. on Monday.

So imagine the surprise of two workers from that construction site when they saw the very same loader driving down the road at 26th Street and 50th Avenue S.E. just two days later.

Nelson says the workers spotted the would-be thief making a low-speed getaway around 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday and called police to say they’d located the stolen property.

The contractors gave chase to the slow-moving machine. Nelson said the 49-year-old suspect must have realized he was being followed and tried to ditch his pursuers by driving into an empty field near the 5800 block of 68th Avenue S.E.

“He dumped (the loader) and he tried to get away on foot,” Nelson said. “But what he didn’t realize was these (contractors) had sort of carried on a bit further and were out the other end of the field, so you could say they were waiting for him.”

Nelson said some construction workers from a nearby job site saw what was going on and came to assist the contractors. Nelson said the suspect “basically laid down and gave himself up” when he saw he was outnumbered.

The entire chase lasted about 10 minutes and Nelson said police were on scene to take the male suspect into custody shortly after the man gave himself up.

Nelson said the man is facing a charge of possession of stolen property over $5,000. He said the man was driving on a suspended licence. The suspect’s name has not been released as charges are still pending.

And while the theft and chase had a happy ending, Nelson said it’s always better to let the police chase down the criminals, even if they are escaping at a snail’s pace.

“I would just urge people in circumstances like this or in any similar circumstances to call 911,” Nelson said. “You don’t know what you’re going to be confronted with.”

RRumbolt@postmedia.com

On Twitter: @RCRumbolt

Inglewood condo fire started by careless disposal of smoking materials

Calgary Sun - 5 hours 11 min ago

The condo fire that displaced more than 200 residents in Inglewood was caused by improper cigarette disposal, says the Calgary Fire Department.

Fire crews arrived at the four-storey building at 1408 17th St. S.E. around 1:30 a.m. on May 30 and quickly called for more more units, making it a rare four-alarm fire.

The fire broke out on a fourth-floor balcony and required 25 fire department trucks to fight the blaze.

“We have now officially determined that the cause of the Inglewood condo fire was careless disposal of smoking materials in an outdoor planter on a patio,” said Travis Thiessen, the Calgary Fire Department’s acting fire investigation co-ordinator, of one of the city’s largest residential fires in recent years.

Witnesses told investigators they saw the fire emerge from an outdoor deck window and door.

The investigation showed a cigarette was improperly thrown out around 10:30 p.m. on May 29, which smouldered before it broke into flames.

The department says the Inglewood fire is a small representation of a bigger problem as 35 per cent of the 56 building fires in May and June that cause was determined were related to smoking. Of the 25 most serious building fires in the same months, 13 of them were due to careless disposal of smoking materials.

“Fires that start outside of a building — such as on a back deck where smoking materials might be improperly disposed in a planter — are potentially much more dangerous for the occupants as indoor smoke alarms may not detect the outdoor fire until it is well underway,” said Thiessen.

The aforementioned two-month span has seen a $17.9 million in damages caused, with several investigations still underway.

Once again, the department reminds smokers to carefully dispose of their smoking materials by never putting them out in plant pots, peat moss, lawns and gardens.

They recommend using a deep metal container with a lid filled with water or sand.

zlaing@postmedia.com

On Twitter: @zjlaing

Calgary police nab thief after he gets beatdown by store clerk

Calgary Sun - 5 hours 19 min ago

A man linked to a rash of convenience store robberies — including one in which a Slurpee was flung at a store clerk — got an unexpected surprise in the form of a beatdown from a clerk Tuesday night, during an attempted robbery at a southeast 7-Eleven.

The 14-second security video footage initially shared on Reddit shows a thief walking into the store around 11:30 p.m. before launching himself over the counter and digging for something behind it.

The clerk, who refused to comment on the incident, took two steps backward before unloading at least eight blows to the thief’s head and tossing him back over the counter.

Dazed, the thief took a second to collect himself before fleeing the store.

Police believe the man they have in custody is the one shown in both the Slurpee-flinging incident as well as the video from Tuesday night.

Calgary police released this surveillance camera image of a man who has lunged over the counter to grab cigarettes at eight Calgary convenience stores. He also hurled a Slurpee in one of the heists.

Acting Staff Sgt. Scott McCann, with the Calgary Police General Investigations Unit in District 4, said they had been looking for the suspect in connection with up to 10 other convenience store robberies, and that charges are pending.

“We believe the offender did this on at least 10 occasions, this one included. We are gathering as much of the CCTV footage out there, and we are hoping to be charging him with a number of the offences,” said McCann.

“Our belief is it started with him just grabbing cigarettes, or whatever he could, then running away. Then the Slurpee incident happened. Now this one where there was a confrontation between him and the clerk. There were signs that this was escalating further.

“We’re pretty certain it’s going to be the same guy.”

McCann said he doesn’t recommend the type of vigilante justice served up by the 7-Eleven clerk.

“It’s the unknown that causes us concern when workers try to fight back when an offender tries to commit an offence. They don’t know if that person has a weapon, what that person is willing to do to get away and, in the end . . . no amount of property or money is going to bring back a person who is injured, or worse.”

Two Alberta convenience store clerks have died in the past five years standing up to thieves.

Maryam Rashidi died in Calgary on June 5, 2015, after she chased a man that fled after not paying for gas.

Fas Gas owner Ki Yun Jo was killed in Thorsby in October 2017 when he also chased after a vehicle that fled without paying for gas.

zlaing@postmedia.com

On Twitter: @zjlaing

Sporting a cast on his left hand and arm, police shooting victim makes brief first court appearance

Calgary Sun - 5 hours 20 min ago

Calgary’s latest victim of a police shooting made a brief first court appearance Wednesday, two days after his release from hospital.

Clad in Calgary Remand Centre overalls and a white cast covering his left hand and lower arm, Brady Andrew Gillingham had his case adjourned two days to attempt to get a lawyer.

Duty Counsel Morag Morel spoke on Gillingham’s behalf and asked provincial court Judge Anne Brown to give the accused two days to find someone to represent him.

Outside court, Morel said it’s possible she will be taking on Gillingham’s case.

Gillingham, 33, faces 17 charges, including 13 criminal allegations, in connection with an incident last week in which police opened fire at the conclusion of a stolen vehicle rampage in the city’s south end.

Among the charges he’s accused of is dangerous driving, flight from police and possession of stolen property.

Gillingham, who appeared via closed-circuit TV, did not address the court other than to clarify he would be back before a judge in two days.

He was charged with two others, Darby Jackson Benedict, 22, and Cole Stuart McLean, 30, after police used the HAWCS helicopter to track a stolen Dodge Ram pickup truck from Ogden to a home in Auburn Bay.

Fearing an arrest could be dangerous, officers laid a spike belt outside the residence.

When the truck drove away, a tire was punctured and its two occupants were later picked up by another stolen vehicle, resulting in a confrontation with pursuing officers.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, Alberta’s independent police watchdog, is now investigating the shooting of the suspect, who was struck in the hand and the abdomen.

In a news release Wednesday, the organization said Calgary police had the initial stolen vehicle under surveillance for about 4 1/2 hours before an opportunity to conduct a safe vehicle stop occurred.

It said when the stolen Dodge Ram was disabled by the spike belt a stolen Toyota Highlander picked up the two occupants of the first truck.

A subsequent confrontation resulted in the shooting, ASIRT said.

KMartin@postmedia.com

On Twitter: @KMartinCourts

Raptors' DeRozan-Leonard deal among biggest in Toronto's history

CBC Sports - 5 hours 55 min ago

The blockbuster deal that saw the Toronto Raptors send all-star guard DeMar DeRozan to the San Antonio Spurs for 2014 NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard is one of the biggest in the city's history.

Guilty plea in Calgary liquor store parking lot killing

Calgary Sun - 9 hours 23 min ago

What began as a joke ended in a deadly fight in the parking lot of a southeast Calgary liquor store, a Calgary court heard Wednesday.

Rico Alan Properzi, 34, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of Peter Nassichuk on April 11, 2016.

Reading from a statement of agreed facts, Crown prosecutor Jason Wuttunee detailed the deadly encounter.

Wuttunee said Properzi and his friend, Scott Eadie, arrived at the Star Liquor store on McIvor Blvd. S.E. shortly before 10 p.m. March 24, after having dinner with friends at a nearby pub.

About three minutes after Properzi and Eadie entered the store, Nassichuk, 37, walked in and after briefly speaking to the clerk went to the beer cooler before leaving empty-handed.

Properzi said, jokingly, to the clerk that he should check Nassichuk’s pockets in case he was shoplifting.

Angered by the comment, Nassichuk turned towards Properzi and spoke in a hostile manner while jabbing his finger at him. 

“He is obviously angry and is scolding and gesticulating at the accused,” Wuttunee said, of the incident captured on a store surveillance camera.

Undated photo of Rico Alan Properzi, charged in the death of Peter Nassichuk.

Outside the store, Nassichuk challenged Properzi and Eadie to a fight. Properzi shoved Nassichuk away in an attempt to go to his truck, court was told.

“As he does so (Nassichuk) again challenges him to fight,” said Wuttunee.

Despite attempts by Properzi to diffuse the situation by offering to shake his hand, Nassichuk continued to challenge him, saying “c’mon, I’ll kill you”. 

At that point Properzi quickly advanced towards Nassichuk, punching him twice, including once in the head. Nassichuk fell to the ground, hitting his head on the pavement.

He was rushed to hospital unconscious, but despite surgery, died more than two weeks later.

At the request of Properzi’s lawyer, Balfour Der, provincial court Judge Paul Mason ordered a pre-sentence report.

Properzi, who remains free, is scheduled to return to court on Nov. 30.

KMartin@postmedia.com

On Twitter: @KMartinCourts

Raptors, Ujiri betting on themselves with acquisition of Kawhi Leonard

CBC Sports - 9 hours 30 min ago

Even after a franchise-best 59-win regular season and an off-season that already saw their longtime nemesis LeBron James leave for the Western Conference, the Toronto Raptors weren’t convinced they could remain with the status quo and made a blockbuster trade on Wednesday.

Guest Column: Clarity on the Highland Park Golf Course redevelopment

Calgary Sun - 10 hours 22 min ago

In May 2018, the City of Calgary’s Water Resources department released the Confederation Park Regional Drainage Study.

The report recommends building several water storage sites, which would require a significant portion of the former Highland Park Golf Course.

The development proposal approved by city council in March of 2017, should never have gotten this far.

I agree with Mayor Naheed Nenshi’s assertion that much of the work surrounding the drainage study should have been done prior to approving the land-use plan.

A thorough consideration of the landscape and the water that courses through it should’ve been the first step – not the last.

In a June 5 article about the proposed Highland Park Golf Course development, however, Mayor Nenshi is quoted stating that “it’s a very real possibility” that the province could scrap the development plan.

This is not an accurate statement, and here’s why.

First, we live in a society which enshrines private property rights, and the laws and regulations surrounding property development largely reflect this.

In the case of the Highland Park Golf Course site, changes to the watercourse would require an application to Alberta Environment and Parks by the developer.

The submission would be reviewed based on a number of factors, including, but not limited to, hydrological effects, effects on public safety, third-party impacts, and existing water management plans.

As of this time, Alberta Environment and Parks have not received any application for the site and therefore no decisions are pending.

Secondly, some have pointed to the province’s Crown jurisdiction over the vaulted creek on the site, as a possible means to jettison the entire development proposal.

Again, this is not the case.

Any decisions in regards to the Crown claim-ability of the vaulted creek, or to invoke measures under Water Act, require the landowner to submit an application to alter banks, shores or wetlands in some way.

These are considered on their planning merit.

Again, Alberta Environment and Parks has not received any application for the site.

The City of Calgary does have a problem on its hands and the solution lies in working with the community and the developer, while also providing badly needed flood mitigation and green space.

I would personally like to see the vaulted creek daylighted, which would certainly be welcomed by the area residents.

Simply put, no solution lies with the province scrapping the redevelopment plan, because the province does not have the jurisdiction to do so.

And beyond the community being vindicated in its concerns, I hope the city will not put the cart before the horse on a development like this in the future.

Craig Coolahan is the MLA for Calgary-Klein

Hockey Teammates Needed

Calgary Sport Activities Kijiji - 10 hours 54 min ago
We have a few openings on our team for the upcoming fall/winter season. A great group of guys with a good balance of skill level. No meatheads in our locker room. haha. Intermediate level. At least 3 ...

Editorial: Challenging time for city’s top cop

Calgary Sun - 12 hours 25 min ago

So, how will history remember the Chief Roger Chaffin era?

Likely as little more than a blip as a three-year term was nowhere near long enough for Calgary’s retiring police chief to make his mark.

We do know his time at the top, capping a 32-year career, has seen a number of challenges both internally and out on the streets.

Most damaging to the force, of course, has been the ongoing charges of a toxic workplace, with alleged bullying and harassment of female officers at the forefront.

Having inherited that mess from his predecessor, Rick Hanson, Chaffin talked a good game about changing the culture and addressing the problem head on but it remains to be seen if in fact he has changed anything.

Some would suggest it’s an ongoing struggle turning that big an issue on a dime.

From a purely inside baseball perspective, by all accounts the issue of tenure also damaged morale within the force, with veteran officers upset about being sent back to the streets from specialized positions.

From the outside perspective, Chaffin’s time has corresponded with the nationwide opioid crisis, which very much seemed to have ground zero right here in Alberta.

Combine a drug plague with an economic meltdown and you have the perfect ingredients for criminal mayhem.

Aside from the policing/health crisis on the streets of every corner of our city, the resulting crime wave has not been easy on our men and women in blue, or black.

Hand in hand with chaos on the streets has been the alarming number of officer-involved shootings.

While ASIRT — the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team — independently investigates these shootings on a case-by-case basis, the accumulation of incidents certainly raised eyebrows.

This led to the hiring of retired Justice Neil Wittmann to review CPS use of force.

His report subsequently made 65 recommendations for changes in training, recruitment, equipment and oversight with focusing on the use of non-deadly alternatives possibly the key suggestion.

Auto theft has been off the charts and has proven a constant frustration for police and a threat to law-abiding citizens.

With much of it driven by desperate drug abusers and repeat offenders, it’s been near impossible to stem the tide and even came to the point where the police pleaded with the public to stop making it so easy for their vehicles to be stolen.

No, our next chief constable won’t be stepping into a cushy job in Happy Valley.

There is still much work to be done on these issues in a city only getting bigger, and some might argue colder, with the added pressure and unknowns of marijuana legalization.

Chief Chaffin, we salute you for your service during difficult days and wish you a peaceful and rewarding retirement.

Stamps’ Micah Johnson gets some love from league

Calgary Sun - 13 hours 17 min ago

Micah Johnson insists he didn’t expect to be named one of the CFL’s Players of the Week.

If he’d really thought about it though, Johnson probably could guessed that his performance last Thursday against the Ottawa RedBlacks was going to earn him some love from the league’s voters.

He did, after all, finish the Stamps’ blowout victory with three sacks and two forced fumbles to his name, and those are the sorts of numbers that get people’s attention.

“For real, I don’t necessarily keep up with it that much, as far as individual weekly accolades go. It’s awesome, though,” Johnson said. “Anytime people see what you’re doing, the feeling of hard work paying off and everything like that, it’s always awesome.”
Johnson was everywhere last week against the RedBlacks, recording the second three-sack game of his career and helping limit the Stamps’ opponents to only 35 rushing yards and 150 yards of net offence.

While the numbers were eye-popping, the performance was consistent with what Johnson has been doing so far in his team’s four wins this season.

The Stamps defence is allowing a league-best 9.5 points per game this season, and the defensive line has been a big reason why.

“They fight for it pretty hard up front,” said Stamps head coach Dave Dickenson. “I thought our d-line’s been the strength of our team the last few weeks.”
That’s not just Johnson, obviously. The entire line has been bringing the pressure and while Johnson currently has the most sacks in the group, guys like Ja’Gared Davis and Cordarro Law are going to get theirs.

For now, though, it’s Johnson who leads the team with four sacks, only one behind former teammate and current Saskatchewan Roughriders defensive end Charleston Hughes.

Last year, Johnson finished the season in the top-3 in the CFL in sacks, with nine, and it’s worth wondering whether he could actually lead the league this year.

Since the CFL started recording sacks as an official stat in 1982, no defensive tackle has ever finished a season as the outright leader in the category, according to the Stamps, although there have been a couple tackles who tied for the league-lead.

Most recently, James Curry, a tackle, finished the 1989 season in a tie with his Roughriders teammate Bobby Jurasin, a defensive end.
Yes, it’s a little early to start talking about who will end up leading the league in anything this year, but Johnson’s play over the last 13 months is enough to make you wonder whether he can pull it off.

“He’s doing some things that haven’t been very relevant in this league for quite some time and he takes pride in that,” said Stampeders defensive line coach Corey Mace. “He talks to me in the off-season, as well, and we know the goals he sets for himself and he tries his hardest every week to do what he’s got to do to prepare himself to play.”

LIMITED BO

All eyes are going to be on Bo Levi Mitchell this week as the Stamps quarterback fights to be ready for Saturday’s game against the Montreal Alouettes after suffering a “lower-body” injury against the RedBlacks.

On Tuesday, it was backup Nick Arbuckle who took the majority of reps for the Stampeders, although head coach Dave Dickenson refused to commit to playing either guy this weekend.

“(Mitchell) is working on it himself, I’m preparing to play either guy,” Dickenson said. “I’ve got a scenario in my head. Obviously, you want your starters in there but as a coach I have to be smart.

“Then again, how many times does everyone play with pain? It happens, we’re trying to win a football game.”
Mitchell did participate in practice, but didn’t appear to take any first-team reps.

If it is Arbuckle lining up behind centre against the Alouettes, the Stamps do believe they can win.

While he didn’t put up massive numbers in the second half against the RedBlacks, the Stamps were already holding a 20-0 lead and didn’t need him to go in and do anything spectacular for them to get the win.

“Same as in pre-season, I thought his second game was a lot better than his first,” Dickenson said. “He functioned, he did some nice things. A lot to improve on. I do feel like he loves football, he works hard, he’s a smart player. Just want to see improvement.

“As a backup this is the greatest thing possible, to get a lot of practice reps. Whether you play or not, to get better.”

NOTES
Jamar Wall practised for a second straight day, but Dickenson wouldn’t commit to slotting the veteran in as the Stamps’ starting SAM this weekend. Patrick Levels has impressed at the position, and nobody should be surprised if the second-year DB keeps his spot … Tunde Adeleke continues to be out. The ankle injury he suffered before the Stamps’ Week 3 win over the RedBlacks has kept him out of practice for a while now, although Dickenson said he was trending in the right direction.

daustin@postmedia.com

www.twitter.com/DannyAustin_9

Man charged with manslaughter in Red Deer slaying

Calgary Sun - 13 hours 54 min ago

Mounties have made an arrest in a Red Deer homicide investigation.

In March 2017, RCMP were called to an apartment for reports of an assault and a man in medical distress.

When officers arrived they found 26-year-old Mathiang Chol, 26, suffering from serious injuries. 

He was flown by helicopter to hospital in Calgary, where he later died after being taken off life support. His death was ruled a homicide. 

On Monday, RCMP arrested 34-year-old Red Deer man Gabriel Juma We Agotic in Calgary. Agotic has been charged with one count of manslaughter. He is in custody and is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.

Watch the 2018 Canadian swimming trials

CBC Sports - 14 hours 28 min ago

CBC sports is providing a free live stream of the 2018 Canadian swimming trials, beginning on Wednesday, July 18 at noon ET through to the end of the competition on Sunday.

Raptors, Spurs complete blockbuster swap of all-stars DeRozan, Leonard

CBC Sports - 15 hours 32 min ago

San Antonio has traded 2014 NBA finals MVP Kawhi Leonard to Toronto for four-time Raptors all-star DeMar DeRozan in a blockbuster deal.

Bell: Calgary city hall’s got dough. And lots of it

Calgary Sun - 16 hours 57 min ago

I’m sitting in the Calgary city hall chamber.

Watching the proceedings of city politicians figuring out what brainwave they can spend taxpayer money on this time, an old beer hall tune bounces in my head.

“Roll out the barrel, we’ll have a barrel of fun. Roll out the barrel, we’ve got the blues on the run.”

It’s fun times at city hall. All that’s missing is the accordion.

Earlier this month, city hall was pleading poverty. It’s the oldest trick in the book because it works. Calgarians fall for it every time.

We’ve got no money, cry the poor urchins of the big blue playpen.

We’ve worked our fingers to the bone to find places to cut spending. No stone has been left unturned.

So, you must understand, when the next four-year budget comes to city council later this year, it’s tax hikes or cuts to services.

Oh yes, tax hikes or cuts.

By the way, the city is already lining you up for year-after-year tax and fee hikes leaving the average soul paying the city $500 more in 2022 than they pay now.

Back to the old trick of playing the pauper. There’s one problem. City hall isn’t in the poor house, though you might be headed there.

By their own accounting, they actually enjoy an embarrassment of riches.

Their reserve cash tops $2 billion. Billion with a B.

The city’s rainy day fund sits at $574 million and that’s after shipping out almost $100 million for spending elsewhere.

Just so you know, the city’s surplus in 2017 was $81 million.

Even if you subtract $135 million from the rainy-day fund because city hall has cheques they want to write with that dough, there’s still $439 million up for grabs in that one city pot of money.

And there are many pots.

Big numbers and they racked up that impressive arithmetic in tough times from you, dear reader.

What does city council say? Not a hell of a lot. It’s obvious some councillors have not even read the report.

While they muddle through the math and offer little defence of the taxpayer, the city’s retirement bonus comes up.

You know, that’s where a city employee scores coin equal to their yearly vacation time when they retire to their fat pension.

You get seven weeks vacation a year, when you retire you get a cheque for another seven weeks on top of that. Just for looking so good.

City hall can’t find the records of when the bonus started. It was sometime in the 1980s.

And get this. It’s not part of a labour agreement. They just hand it out because, says city brass, they want to treat city staff well.

On your back.

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi was photographed during a council session on Monday June 25, 2018. Gavin Young/Postmedia

Meanwhile, Mayor Nenshi defends the city’s big numbers. He says city hall is doing a super-swell job.

Jeromy Farkas, the councillor the city hall establishment love to loathe, asks when Calgarians will get a taste of the benefits.

TRANSLATION: No tax hike.

Nenshi’s reply: “They share the benefit of it every day.”

My mind roams back to the flood.

Nenshi pushed to take your $52-million provincial tax break rather than give it to you because he said the city needed it. The city’s rainy-day cash might run dry with flood costs.

My columns mocked His Worship. The flood was covered. Now here we are. As predicted, the city has cash out the wazoo.

Jeff Fielding, the city manager, comes down from his office.

He says those reserves of city loot will be drawn down, just you wait and see.

Olympics, arena, field house …

Meeting the press, Nenshi says no one comes up to him and talks about the city’s hefty cash reserves and tax hikes.

That is, “except for the gentleman asking the question today.”

Hi, Mom!

City hall, for Nenshi, is “an example of exceptionally good financial management.”

Citizens tell the mayor how they can trust the city to manage money well.

Calgary city councillor for ward 11 Jeromy Farkas listens during a council session on Monday June 25, 2018. Gavin Young/Postmedia

Farkas still wants tax relief for Calgarians.

“How can we go cap in hand to the taxpayer every single time saying the cupboard is bare when the city’s own numbers show we are flush with cash?”

Does Farkas think he will succeed fighting the fight for taxpayers?

Let’s be blunt. This Farkas guy should be wearing a hockey helmet since he’s always banging his head against the city hall wall.

“It’s my job to dream,” he says.

All I have are city hall nightmares and beer hall songs in my head.

“Now’s the time to roll the barrel, for the gang’s all here.”

rbell@postmedia.com

Letters to the Editor, July 18

Calgary Sun - 16 hours 58 min ago

FREE-FOR-ALL?
Our flaky PM says “irregular” border crossing is OK. Can I then go to the mall and do some “irregular” shopping and leave the store with out paying?
R.S. COSH
(Not unless you want to go to jail.)

NO MONEY FOR ILLEGALS
I somewhat agree with Lorrie Goldstein’s take on the feds’ lack of support for asylum seekers, however I fear we are missing the main point. Whether funding for these illegal border crossers is coming from the municipalities, or the provinces or the feds is a moot point. In the end, it’s all coming from a single revenue stream: the Canadian taxpayer! The real talking point here is that there should not be any funding for illegal border crossers at all! It shouldn’t be allowed to happen in the first place. After all, isn’t that the very definition of illegal?
JERRY HILL
(Stop it with that common sense, Jerry.)

CAN’T BE TRUSTED
To R.J. Rothwell. Dear sir, Jason Kenney and his re-hashed and renamed conservative cronies have already shown their real intentions. Already “expensing” UCP functions to MLA accounts (illegal) and only refunding because they got caught. Do Albertans really want to trust this bunch? Have we not learned our lesson yet? Those people are not trustworthy.
TONY CAROLAN
(We’ll find out soon enough who Albertans trust with their future.)

BIT OF A STRETCH
So according to the socialist wunderkind Tom Parkin, if you favour strict immigration laws and expect would-be immigrants to obey the rules and regulations when applying for admission, you’re a neo-Nazi or white supremacist. Grasping, the neo-communist has got to do better than resorting to cheap and empty name-calling.
JEFFREY ANDERSON
(Those exaggerated and childish slurs undermine their opinion on everything.)

WHO’S CANADIAN?
Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen seems to think that anybody who has a problem with the open-border policies he and his cronies advocate is “not Canadian.” I remember when I was 10 years old, helping my father dig through four-foot snowdrifts twice a week every winter. I wonder, how did Mr. Hussen pass the time during the winter when he was 10 years old? In light of the minister’s recent boneheaded statement, I can’t help wondering if he has ever picked up a snow shovel in his entire life?
LEE HORSMAN
(Shovelling snow doesn’t make one Canadian, or not. Respecting our laws, country and citizens does.)

WHAT ABOUT …
Re: Gutter Journalism, Chris Laughren. Alright sir: Let’s forgive and forget the inappropriate physical touching by every common citizen in the land from 18 years hence! Thus: Justin Trudeau is exonerated. It’s not as if he’d been caught on camera urinating in an alley, is it? Mr. Laughren, are you therefore quite happy that our prime minister, on a supposed ‘trade mission’ (a.k.a. family holiday) to India, actually resulted in India increasing its tariff on the importation of Canadian chick peas? Empathy? Welcome home, ex-ISIS Canucks! And the list goes on …
DAN DRINKALL
(Thanks for reminding us.)