Wednesday, October 18, 2006


"MAYOR Sam Katz made official yesterday what he's been denying for months -- Brenda Leipsic is his choice for city council in River Heights," is how Mary Agnes Welch began her story last week of the mayor announcing of his slate of candidates for council.

The move itself wasn't shocking -- word had been out there for months that Katz's office was directly involved in recruiting candidates and staffing the campaigns of allies. Welch also revealed Katz's recent poll to find out whether attaching his name to his favourite candidate might help them. (We suppose we now know the answer he got.)

The really shocking thing is how close the lead sentence of that story comes to calling Katz a liar, rightfully so, and no one seems to care that he is.

Katz has been stretching credibility to the limit these past months saying he didn't have a slate and his team wasn't actively supporting certain candidates. It was about as open a lie as possible. And last week Katz in fact confirmed it was a lie.

And no one cares.

Brodbeck is all too happy to call Gary Doer a liar over his disagreement with stated hospital hallway statistics, yet is silent on the mayor's clearly baldfaced lie in the middle of an election. The Freep editorial board utters not a peep.

The other oft-repeated, laughable lie that he gets away with is Katz's favourite line that he's not really a politician.

On the other hand, maybe he's right. A real politician holding such significant office usually has to account for her or his actions and words in the media.


While we're on a kind of "what's up with that?" jag, in the ongoing outrage over the incident on the weekend of children shutting a boy in a burning shed, we notice the 'Peg Sun's latest installment prominently featuring Tory critic Kelvin "I'm Not Comments Closed" Goertzen.

"We're not doing kids (who break the law) a favour by giving them a free pass. We're doing them more harm than good," quoth the member for Steinbach. "That doesn't mean incarceration for people under 12, but it does mean some reasonable consequences."

Hear, hear. Who could argue against that? How about some apple pie while you're at it?

But why on earth is Goertzen quoted? Why are his views at all relevant? Does he offer any concrete prescription whatsoever?

No, not at all. Because the Youth Criminal Justice Act is a federal law under the auspices of the his close buddy, the federal member for Provencher, Vic Toews.

As Goertzen's Wikipedia vanity bio says: "Following the 2000 federal election, Goertzen also worked as an advisor to Provencher Member of Parliament Vic Toews and was a key local organizer for Toews in the 2000, 2004 and 2005 federal elections."

We trust that Rochelle Squires was instructed by her desk to contribute the free ride quote to this not terribly illuminating story, as we can't imagine any self-respecting journalist taking this on under her own volition.


While we're perusing the 'Peg Sun -- a frequently unpleasant task -- today Bunkbeck continues to champion provincially-appointed marriage commissioners who are not happy about performing same-sex marriages.

"All the guy [a particular local former commissioner who is going to court over the issue] wants is the same rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms that rabbis, ministers and priests have," Tom writes.

Well, let's see here. He is in fact not a rabbi, minister and priest. He was an officer of the state, and thus totally subject to upholding civil rights. And same-sex marriage was clearly determined as a civil right by the Supreme Court.

If he was uncomfortable performing duties required by a civil law, as an officer of the government, then perhaps he should enroll in a seminary of his choice and thus be able to discriminate against whoever he wanted, behind a curtain of ample protection of a religious institution.

We wonder if Brodbeck would be so sympathetic if the former commissioner's personal covictions led him to refuse marrying black people, for example?