Janice Paskey

Pressure to meet the 'movie image' of Christmas

Barb Higgins is moving fast through my neighbourhood. My son found her discarded mayoral candidate sign. He’s using it as a sleigh and stores it under the porch. “Nice and waxy,” he says. But fraying. So his Santa list includes a new toboggan, but also a laptop computer. His brother wants a...

Monday, December 13, 2010, 7:30 PM

The secret is out on a successful part of our health system

Newsflash! One part of our health system seems to work well. I got my son into a quiet after hours medical clinic -- with an appointment. This was part of a Primary Care Network after hours care. So ERs may be a mess, but PCNs seem to be nicely picking up the load. PCNs are groups of family...

Monday, November 29, 2010, 7:30 PM

The frustrations of a community association

Join a community association.That’s our new mayor’s suggestion. I’m not so sure. It costs. Where will your money go? To an organization with terrific lack of city oversight. Community associations work like this: The city owns the community association buildings—and leases them to volunteer-run...

Monday, November 15, 2010, 7:30 PM

Traffic calming is money very well spent

Leslie Ferris is a guy you want in your community. The former Australian wine executive championed traffic calming in the southwest community of Strathcona, garnering $900,000 for eight speed cushions, 15 curb extensions, four centre medians, two intersection corner adjustments, a speed board, and...

Monday, November 1, 2010, 7:30 PM

Follow your instincts in the voting booth

Tonight's election night, but I haven't decided who to vote for. Mayoral candidate Barb Higgins asked last week, shouldn't journalism be about asking questions in an unbiased way? She responded to brutal bullying by a grandstanding television personality. She had the wherewithal to stick to a...

Monday, October 18, 2010, 7:30 PM

Getting cozy with Calgary's candidates

True, there was the guy who lifted his pant leg to reveal red marks. Bed bugs? he asked. Maybe, I reply, munching on a piece of aged gouda cheese. It’s intimacy like this you get at candidate house parties. This one is in Edgemont for Ward 4 candidate Gael Macleod. There’s wine, cheese and...

Monday, October 4, 2010, 7:30 PM

Meetings are mayor’s main job

We’re missing something. Something 50 pages long. Bylaw 44M2006. The candidates better understand it. It’s the bylaw on proceedings of council and its committees. A meeting expert? No kidding. That’s the soul of the mayoral job description.So why is no one asking the mayoral candidates about board...

Monday, September 20, 2010, 5:30 AM

It’s liable to make you think twice

Liability, here.Liability there, liability just about everywhere. In the dead of summer, we can’t escape it. Some call it information pollution. I agree.Send a kid to summer camp — and you sign lengthy liability waivers.I signed three pages of gobbledygook.Why bother reading the waivers — if you...

Monday, August 23, 2010, 5:30 AM

The homeless guy runs for mayor

He’s known as the “homeless guy,” but Wayne Stewart is about more than the initiative that consumed him for many years. Now he’s about becoming mayor of Calgary. It’s a sunny afternoon and Wayne Stewart walks from his home in Marda Loop to a local cafe.He’s tall, grey, handsome and wears an...

Monday, August 9, 2010, 9:30 AM

Taking a positive tone into City Hall

“So many men, so little time.”That’s the way my column started based on a new Ivrnet poll. It shows Ald. Ric McIver leading Calgary’s mayoral race with 44 per cent support. Bob Hawksworth follows with 13. The other eight candidates are trailing.Then CTV anchor Barb Higgins resigned, and if she...

Monday, July 26, 2010, 5:30 AM

City Hall needs strength of Sandra Bullock

If only Sandra Bullock were mayor of Calgary.Her divorce last week from bike dude Jesse James shows decisive action, based on principle. Sure, it would have been easy to go through the gymnastics of couples therapy. Pray, cajole, bury your pride — hope for change from the barnyard dog.But the...

Monday, July 5, 2010, 7:51 AM

Transit access to Calgary's airport grounded

Remember Imagine Calgary? That was the multimillion-dollar 18,000-Calgarian consultation to come up with a blueprint for our future. Its transportation strategy No. 1: “Encourage increased use of transit.”So imagine this. When the Calgary Airport shuts down Barlow Trail for a new runway next year,...

Friday, May 21, 2010, 11:30 AM

Finding funds for a crucial public service

No, you can’t have my purple leather jacket. It cost $20 at Value Village. When I tell you that, you offer me $30. Sorry. No to you and all the others who have tried. I like it. I triumphantly grabbed it before the dreaded “pickers.” They are the folks who select the best stuff and offer it at...

Friday, May 21, 2010, 11:30 AM

An ugly incident at a garage sale

Spring is disturbingly cool this year, but no matter, garage sale season is in full swing. According to Calgary bylaws, only three garage sale signs are allowed, and only same day. Researchers say garage sales build a happy community. Talking to neighbours, getting out, rifling through stuff,...

Friday, May 7, 2010, 11:30 AM

The man who would be mayor

He’s a no-nonsense welder’s son who wants to be Calgary’s next mayor. What’s there to know? Born in Woodstock, Ont., he is one of seven children. The middle-born advantage? “It’s basic training for being in council. There was lots of debate every day — you learn to give as good as you get.” Dad...

Friday, April 23, 2010, 11:30 AM

Guard the middle class

They didn’t get 47 per cent more. That’s what the University of Calgary asked for nine of its professional programs. This week, Advanced Education Minister Doug Horner gave the go-ahead to raise tuition for only two U of C programs. In 2011, tuition will rise to $7,220 for undergraduate business...

Friday, April 9, 2010, 7:36 AM

An air of uncertainty in the city

Simple question: How can Calgary’s air be ranked good when it looks so brown? You can see the smoggy haze when driving down into the city, yet 98 per cent of the time our air is ranked good. There are three monitoring stations in Calgary. Each costs $250,000 and another $50,000 to run annually. A...

Friday, March 26, 2010, 6:25 AM

Schools are a vital cog for Calgary

Mayor Dave is on his way out. Long live the new mayor. He or she will need to face a new upstart: City core advocates demanding a voice. For years, our mayor appealed to suburban voters, tripping up only to vote for two $50-million footbridges. Now those footbridges may be the key to saving inner...

Friday, February 26, 2010, 1:30 PM

Van Horne deserves reprieve

The news comes, as it always does, in a letter home.My son’s school is on the “operationally small list.” (His class has 27 students, so go figure.) He’s in Grade 6, and moving on, so I won’t be fighting. I’ve seen this movie before: There will be show trials of public hearings, parents will try to...

Friday, February 12, 2010, 7:45 AM

Those tasked with clearing the snow must play by the rules

The irony is his name: South. Terry South. This is his sander. And in it he’s sprayed and scraped the city streets for the last 13 years. It’s a large white truck emblazoned with the city logo, a small shovel underneath, light brownish gunk encrusted on the chute on the back. The sign says: Keep...

Friday, January 29, 2010, 10:31 AM