May 11, 2022

Nelson: Yahoo! A municipal household election draws closer every day

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Perhaps Alberta’s top doctor would like to share his perspective on whether the multibillion-dollar Green Line transit project should go ahead.


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Or maybe Deena Hinshaw could give her take on the ongoing civic deliberations with the Calgary Flames on the future of the planned new arena and entertainment center?

Hey, why not? After all, at the town hall, they line up to do its job. And the fair is the fair, after all.

Seriously, is it any wonder that so many citizens are angry, scared and confused these days, given recent Calgary City Council antics? Because, if ever there was one issue that summed up just how dysfunctional this current advice has become, it’s this week’s debate on dropping the mask rule.

Remember, not too long ago our mayor stigmatized people who refused to disguise themselves and walked face-to-face in malls like a bunch of so-called “covidots”. A rough translation of this relatively new term describes anyone so labeled as someone who does not believe in science and refuses to follow health restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the virus.


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Indeed, Mayor Naheed Nenshi then called these scofflaws incorrigible.

OK, so one wonders what he could call the various advisers who did the exact same thing by refusing to accept the easing of measures across the province which was explicitly and expertly explained over a week ago. by Hinshaw.

It seems that when the science of the day confirms your point, then that’s fine. But if it doesn’t, that’s not a problem either. Instead, just bring in another so-called expert to come to another conclusion that fits your story.

In fact, those mall protesters who enraged our mayor so much months ago used the same tactic, because nowadays there is expert opinion out there somewhere to back up every point of view, no matter how ludicrous- he.


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Again, nowadays what qualifies someone to be judged as an expert actually comes from a very low bar.

The news media love the word because it’s short, sweet, and a treat in the headlines. But, honestly, does an emergency doctor or university professor have so many specific details about the future spread of a newly-appeared zoonotic virus in the general population that they can pontificate at will and be immediately judged as a accepted source of knowledge?

Of course, these people have a medical degree and work to heal wounds or lecture online to future doctors, but does that therefore earn the nickname of expert on all matters related to COVID-19? ?

Yet at least these people are from the medical tree, even though they sit on a different branch than that which encompasses public health. Councilors don’t even belong to the same forest, but does that prevent them from challenging Hinshaw’s findings?


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No. They spend the indisputable glories of pothole repair to arguing the merits of genome-sequencing-based vaccines faster than you can count aloud the number of current mayoral candidates.

Everything is political, of course. That’s to be expected with three of the current crop of advisers running for mayor while others search for a place sweet enough to land outside of the civic arena.

But the result is that a city already torn and confused by the endless torrent of advice, warnings and conflicting theories about this pandemic is now even more adrift, having desperately sought leadership and clarity from those she chose to serve almost four long years ago.

Fortunately, it’s Stampede time and, masked or not, it’s a blessing.

In Calgary, it really is the start of summer. It’s also the unofficial countdown to the municipal elections in October, where we hope to elect 15 people who understand the adage: “There is no me on the team.

This faint hope alone is worthy of a Yahoo!

Chris Nelson is a regular columnist for the Calgary Herald.



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