Chainsaws at the Gates

The looming clear cut at the LaFarge gravel pit property has been presented as the end of a “complex” case. It’s not really complicated at all; developers pretty much get to do exactly what they want. Such are the rules and laws that govern private property rights in the capitalist system. This land is your land, if you own the title. With the required piece of paper in hand, you get to shred 2000 trees. If your goal is to preserve it, you need to own it. Ask any haggard veteran of the local Wal Mart wars.

The city blessed this years ago, it’s disingenuous to pretend otherwise. Here’s a bit of a refresher, as preserved by Guelph Politico: “January 30, 2009 – An Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) mediation process has resulted in a potential settlement on a proposed development on the former Lafarge lands at 35 and 40 Silvercreek Parkway South. The City of Guelph, together with the Howitt Park Neighbourhood Residents’ Association and Silvercreek Guelph Developments Limited, has agreed to request that the OMB approve a mixed use employment/commercial and residential development on the site at an upcoming OMB hearing.”

Four years later in 2013: “Council unanimously approved a new plan to develop an area known as the “Lafarge lands,” located at 35 and 40 Silvercreek Parkway at a meeting Monday night. Matthew West, a vice-president with Fieldgate Commercial, wrote a letter to council promising the development would “review options for retaining” a bur oak tree on the site. Coun. June Hofland, a longtime resident of the area near the proposed development, declared a conflict of interest on the matter and abstained from voting.”

Once the white sign gets hammered in the ground, everything that the public can see behind it is eventually toast or will be altered in some way. I’ve seen this before on an epic scale. I’m just old enough to remember the farms of Peel County and the drive through the country on Highway 10 from Square One to Brampton. I can still see the name on the signs on the fence line as it was going up  – “The McLaughlin Group”. Here is an aerial shot from 1974, just to show I didn’t dream it:

square one 1974

Below is a more modern view of the same area. For the record, I had a crash pad in one of these condos for a time and would cycle to work in this madness. There is a trail by the Credit River that will take you quite a ways up or down through town but when you leave the safety of the path and head into the industrial zone, you’re taking a big chance when on two wheels. It was not a place built for the cyclist or pedestrian. There are no feel good bike boxes here, the GTA commute is total war. 

condo condo

Certain things can be saved or salvaged from the demolition if the will is there and they are movable objects. Around the time of Square One photo above (1974), the McLaughlin group made the effort to save the historic Cherry Hill House by moving it out of the way and turning it into a restaurant. It’s hard to believe but there are still a few surviving places like this left in Mississauga. 

_cherry_hill_3

Often the mall would get built around a house and it would remain in situ. The Mad Hatter Pub (now known as the Maharaja) is another example. The strip mall developer made an effort and a piece of history was saved. You can find it on a google map at 4646 Heritage Hills Boulevard. It is the only “heritage” left there. They tried, at least. 

mad hatter

It would take quite a bit of digging to determine whether these places were saved because the developer wanted to keep them, or had to. Regardless, the optics are pretty good and the developer still gets what they want. A win-win as they say in the corporate world.

It’s a bit more difficult to work around natural landscapes. Nature is more powerful than any bricks and mortar structure and when she finds an opening, she lets loose. She’s the dandelion in the sidewalk crack, the bats in your soffits, the mice under the cupboards, the oak tree square in the middle of the old foundation of a settler’s place long rubbed out. 

She’s the significant species of birds like American Redstarts and Northern Flickers listed on the 2005 environmental assessment of the “brownfield” known as the LaFarge Lands. Do they compile these reports because they want to or because they have to? We’ve known for years that the chainsaws are primed and waiting by the gates. Why pretend otherwise? A clearcut creates a climatization period. It gives everyone some time to get used to the blank canvas before the new buildings and parking lots arrive. Tonight’s scheduled drum circle memorial should convey a blessing at the mighty bur oak and make sure a shit ton of evidence photos are taken, as there seems to be a lot of communication problems on local development sites these days. 

https://www.insauga.com/the-cherry-hill-house-and-how-it-was-saved

https://www.guelphtoday.com/local-news/new-guidelines-could-expedite-brownfield-redevelopment-345626

http://guelph.ca/wp-content/uploads/Lefarge_EISReport.pdf

https://www.guelphtoday.com/local-news/community-gather-and-vigil-to-be-held-sunday-evening-along-lafarge-lands-677729

http://guelphpolitico.blogspot.ca/2009/01/citys-down-with-lafarge-deal.html

https://www.guelphmercury.com/news-story/4252755-council-approves-development-on-lafarge-lands/

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This is a personal blog. Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner and do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in professional or personal capacity, unless explicitly stated. Any views or opinions are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual.

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

 

 

 

 

And To Think I Once Saw A Mulberry On Neeve Street

On the day that Guelph was founded in 1827, a large maple tree was cut down to mark the occasion. John Galt and company knew that foundation stories need some panache, so chopping down an obstruction to make structural lumber carried great symbolism. Chainsaws or luxury condos were not a thing back then, nor was the patented early morning sneak attack so tree huggers don’t have time to quickly mobilize and shut them down. They didn’t put up a distillery where the mighty maple stood so that several generations later it would become part of an investment condo scheme. Whiskey was a mandatory 1800s lubrication requirement, much the same as craft beer is today. A commemorative plaque to remember the town’s first official tree assassination still stands in the shadow of the Metalworks development, whose sewage upgrade was the prime mover for the unceremonious removal of Neeve Street’s famed mulberry last week. The intention to preserve it was mentioned at every single community meeting and it’s removal proves that there are truly no fucks given when housing-as-commodity is on the horizon. I mentioned this at the meetings, were you there? Do you remember a city councillor screaming at me until his face turned red? There were lots of people around. Perhaps I dreamt it like Marco did in the Dr. Seuss book about Mulberry Street. I swear I saw a stacked townhouse tree lined future but in reality we got a multiplex of high-rises and forlorn stumps. Marco later got a gig writing promotional materials for real estate developments. 

what marco saw

We long term Ward settlers have been putting up with a lot of crap while the new investments are being built. This isn’t the usual temporary frosh week disruption of jocks  hollering and defecating in the middle of the road, pumped on Red Bull and vodka at 5am. Streets are closed for months, giant craters randomly open up, reversing machinery beeps incessantly, dump trucks gun it to and fro, equipment pounds at the bedrock all day while the workers toss hundreds of Nestle bottles into the pits in full view of the blue water preservation ribbons tied snuggly to trees still standing. No one should be surprised at the visceral reaction to our communal mulberry getting smoked, we’re all a bit testy as anyone would be when the neighbours are making a racket and disrupting the relative peace. You can leave our 100+ year old sewer pipes as they are down this way, thanks. The moment a potential upgrade is mentioned, you’ll know that the hood is destined for gentrification greatness and your blue ribbon’d tree, whose roots likely burrow deep into the old brick lined shit tunnels, is doomed. The 7am chainsaw is always primed and waiting along with the excuses – “it was a sub contractor!” “there was a communication problem” “we’ll plant a new one!” “your call is important to us”. What on earth made you think they actually care? Was it the organic coffee and plentiful biscuit trays at community input night? 

60 unit cluster

The very minute that the Woods factory was sold off to an equity fund was also the moment the death notice was signed for the Neeve Street mulberry. I filed away all of the handouts from those long ago meetings, when the stated goal was to incorporate as much adaptive reuse as possible and that no new buildings would ever be more than four stories high to preserve the character of St Patrick’s Ward. What a waste of paper and time. Back then, those that gathered at the Italian Canadian Club were ok with the official line. The consensus was yes to redevelopment, except maybe from the workers who lost their jobs when their factory was asset stripped and run into the ground, no different from the recent implosions of Sears and Stelco. Your stocks and shares in those companies are worthless now but don’t worry, there are new ways of creating and storing wealth in many tiny cubes stacked high for all to see. And never mind those anarchists mooching tree fruits at the gates dear investors, they will be dealt with. The Downtown West Bank Biltmore Metalworks Distillery District is one or two MPAC assessments away from being tear down central. It’s far too late to fight anything once the book value of the two bedroom clapboard shack has hit $500,000 deep within the Owens Corning hexavalent chromium inclusion zone. It will be over. (hello future reader in 2027! ps – I told you so)

If you are aspiring to preserve your neighbourhood and shape it’s future, a rock solid reliable, diverse and active community group presence is required, coupled with a cadre of headstrong city council contenders primed and ready to make a run to represent you. Griping about it after the fact on Friendface and on the blogs (!) will result in a zero percent slowing of the investment property / commodity housing takeover. If a cohesive resistive force doesn’t exist when the first snow job proposals are presented, it will not magically materialize once the white sign is hammered into the ground. The time to get at it was yesterday.

https://www.guelphtoday.com/local-news/when-six-houses-become-60-the-neighbours-get-a-little-upset-464251

https://www.guelphmercury.com/news-story/7412637-guelph-neighbourhood-laments-loss-of-neeve-street-mulberry-tree/

http://guelph.ca/2017/06/york-road-closure-2017/

 

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This is a personal blog. Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner and do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in professional or personal capacity, unless explicitly stated. Any views or opinions are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual.

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

 

Canadian Values

There are two stock phrases that I consider to be completely Canadian. I was once asked at a very boozy party in the north of Scotland to “give us your best Canadian” so I went full hoser Mackenzie brother with a “How’s it goin’, eh?” followed by a rapid fire referencing of every single Canuck cliche under the sun. A Tim Hortons opened in Glasgow last week. I feel partially responsible. 

The second phrase, which I have heard far too many times in this lifetime yet it is part of the fabric of this nation would be “they’re letting too many ________ in!”, with the blank being filled by those who are perceived to be “getting in” at that given moment . Refugees and Muslims are popular blank fillers these days but you can bet since 1867 on, every conceivable race, colour or creed on this Earth has been in the blank. If you haven’t heard this phrase at least once, you haven’t experienced the complete range of Canadian Values. Plenty of people here have built their entire identity on the hatred of ________ . In general conversation, it will be the second or third thing out of their mouth, with the mere presence of another white person acting as a trigger for them to rant about The Other. 

I grew up in the GTA, which is possibly the most diverse place on the planet. Not once did anyone who was on the ever changing hit list of the “too many” give me a direct problem. I’ve done a bit of a personal inventory; a reflection of a 40+ year run living here in several different towns and cities. The only people who have ever given me immediate cause for concern has been other whites. Here is a partial rundown:

st patricks day riotAll physical fights I have been in and threats of violence/harm delivered to me, up to and including “Im going to kill you”  “The next time I see you, I’m going to cut your face” and “Ill give you the first punch then you are f—king toast”  – white guys

 

Cigarette stubbed out on my leg when I was five years old just in from the UK and sounding “funny” – white guy 

Beaten with a cane in Cub Scouts for a reason lost to time but probably very minor – old white guy (this also firmly established my distrust of anyone in “authority”)

Run over by a car, once on a bicycle and years later on a motorcycle, to be met with screaming/mockery/insults while lying in the road injured – white guys

Guy arrested in the backyard last week after stealing from cars who met one too many fences then the police dog – white

Threw eggs and yelled “faggot” at me from a passing car at midnight – young white guys (a unique, extra dangerous breed)

Hospitalized me from an intentional boot to the chest after the whistle had blown – white guy

Abandoned me in the middle of nowhere (twice!) because they “had to go” – devout Christian white guy

Road rage, general nuisance, causing a scene, bar fights, flaming couch in the middle of the road, screamed head off at 5am for no apparent reason, wrecked the mailbox or car windshield wipers, shat or urinated in our driveway while dressed as a leprechaun – white guys

Any boss, manager or supervisor who was a prick to me and my fellow workers (a 30+ year run) – white guy

Anyone who had pilfered something major or minor then boasted about it later whilst looking for approval with zero guilt  – white guy

Made open, blanket, disparaging remarks (with a nudge nudge and a laugh) about women, people of colour, LGBTQ, indigenous, anyone “different” or anyone that fills the blank- all white guys

Harassed strangers or their own family, girlfriend or someone else’s friend/girlfriend in public, on the bus, train and streetcar, in the mall, in a parking lot, at the sports complex, the supermarket, the music festival, the club, on their own front lawn – white guys

People I went to school with or co-workers who ended up convicted criminals, including a voyeur, a rapist and another who abused children and animals and filmed it – all white

Dropped a fellow student on his head and gave him brain damage on Wyndham Street, ran over and killed a student on Woolwich Street in a stolen car then ran away from the wreckage, assaulted and killed a little girl in Mount Forest – using supplies bought at the Guelph Home Depot, ran over soldiers with a car in the name of ISIL, shot and killed three in the Quebec parliament, shot and killed four co-workers because he didn’t like them, murdered eight seniors doing “god’s work”, killed 14 women in Montreal because they were women – all white

I haven’t once lost a minute’s sleep over _________ . 

hockey riot

 

 

Reverend Doctor Pastor Predator Esquire

The Don Meredith saga hasn’t managed to reveal anything new to us about the operations of the creaky, antiquated wasteland that is the Senate of Canada. It was designed as a bastion of patronage and will remain ever thus until it is levelled to the foundations, restructured or deleted. Piecemeal tinkering, such as when Trudeau declared that there are no more Liberal senators, will never repair it. It was built to reward the party cronies and faithful pure and simple; some of whom are replete with skills, others are a downright waste of space. If Harper had wanted to boost his cred with the social conservatives in the party ranks, there are plenty of Reverend Doctor Pastors out there to choose from. Instead he picked a guy as phoney as the people who were rustled up from Jason Kenney’s office to fake a citizenship ceremony for Sun News. What is very real is Meredith’s titles and faith operation were great cover for a Ghomeshi grade predator. A classic ruse as old as the old boy’s network itself.   

don and harper

There is no point in sticking any honorific in front of Meredith’s name here, for this contemptible Harper boot lick hasn’t truly earned one. Renowned man of faith Desmond Tutu earned all of his titles and initials but he hardly uses them. Tutu would probably make a fantastic senator. You may recall Meredith is the man who at one point was calling himself Reverend Doctor, a title he bought from the internet. When it was revealed that Meredith did this, his “Doctor” title was dropped. He seems to prefer “pastor”now. Not much of an improvement really, for if you put “pastor charged” into google, 20.8 million hits will result. The first few pages reveal mostly sex offences, with violence and financial crimes following close behind. Sure its #notallpastors, but its lots and lots and lots of them.  

Pastor Meredith spoke out against pre marital sex and was decidedly pro marriage, because  in his view marriage eliminated the “social problem”of sex before marriage. It would seem that it’s ok with the pastor to get his Onanist groove on with someone 30+ years his junior and wait not-so-patiently until she was 18 to have actual sex with her whilst all the while being married to someone else. It’s not even a double standard, it’s the absence of any standard. The age of consent rises to 18 when one of the people involved is in a position of authority and it would appear Meredith knew this. Professional frauds and charlatans always know the loopholes. Predators are masters of them.

photo 3.PNG

Meredith is currently on stress leave from the senate as the dark cloud over him must be darn near visible when he sits in the red chamber. He refuses to heed the request of the open poison pen letter from his colleagues telling him to get lost, still puffed up on the vainglory of his faux credentials or perhaps it’s pure Trump grade hubris. He will not apologize, or respond to interview requests, or resign. The church where he made his mark has no reference to him on it’s website. He’s on lawyer number two and probably on borrowed time. How does this fresh scandal end? Will he be quietly be pensioned off to be forgotten about soon enough? Somewhere a pastor is paying for his on-line credentials and opening a store front church. Don’t hesitate to google them. 

pastor don

http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/kenney-refuses-to-apologize-for-fake-citizenship-broadcast-blames-bureaucrats

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2017/03/23/senator-don-merediths-new-lawyer-says-sex-scandal-outcry-isnt-racist.html

https://www.pressprogress.ca/here_are_17_more_friends_stephen_harper_who_are_now_trouble_with_law

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/open-letter-begs-don-meredith-to-resign-1.4022314

http://www.praisecentre.ca/?s=meredith+

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/05/09/don-meredith-doctor-not-so-much_n_5297075.html

This is a personal blog. Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner and do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in professional or personal capacity, unless explicitly stated. Any views or opinions are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual.

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

 

Parkamania

Justin Trudeau is on another barn-stormy, petrol sucking national tour, popping up this past week in The North with a “Justin” branded parka that has just enough fur trim to appease the seal hunters yet not enough for the soft PETA types to scream murder outright. The ship of state sails on, straight down the centre in the ever consistent Liberal way – tacking starboard so that that Bay Street is not displeased yet occasionally veering to port to soothe the conscience of the glowing hearts of his amorphous middle class voters. He probably thought Iqaluit was far enough away from anyone who might want to keep harping on about the unceremonious ditching of electoral reform but even the Parka Plebs will not let it go. 

justin-parka-2

The electoral reform promise may have been flushed but it’s still swirling around in the bowl. Justin is running out of rhetorical tricks and may need a bigger plunger soon. He’s pretty much saying that the “smaller voices” on the “periphery of our perspectives” don’t matter. They should just suck it up and join a big machine as a path to power. He’s also attempting to blame the other two large parties for his failure. The language is a bit couched but the takeaway is Proportional Representation is an NDP plot that will lead to implied loonies like Conservative Kellie Leitch having their own parties and subsequently holding the balance of power in Ottawa. The Conservative’s use of the ranked ballot system in their leadership election, a system Trudeau espouses to prefer, will likely have no real bearing as to whether Ms Leitch becomes the Tory leader or not. Ranked ballots are just a type of ballot, not a newfangled voting system. The person who is the 10th place first choice in a 14 horse race will still disappear early on. 

The most productive federal government Canada has ever seen was that of the minority Pearson Liberals of the 1960s, who governed with an unofficial coalition of fringe voices, as they were propped up by the new and still somewhat socialist NDP. The Liberal’s big promises in the 1963 election were a new flag, health care reform and a public pension plan among other things. If the smaller NDP was not there to provide tacit support, effectively giving the Liberals the majority they needed, it’s possible Canada would not have seen these promises kept. The wish list probably would have been left to simmer for years, smacked down as loony fringe talk not unlike electoral reform is treated today. The then fourth party NDP, with less seats than the Social Credit (WHO?), helped make it all happen. Strong, lasting policies that are all considered planks in any Canadian Values argument were a product of the government cooperating with 17 seats worth of smaller voices. 

So it looks like we are stuck with our antiquated, throw back electoral system for the time being, barring some future hung parliament situation. If you are disgruntled, please continue to vote for the fringer of your choice knowing that the Greens, Communists, Pirates or Above Znoneofthe will never, ever within this lifetime hold any power. You are stuck with J Parka and his crew until The Middle Class tire of him too and install The Other Party led by whoever the winner of their ranked ballot contest is. If the new kids end up in a minority position and are led by someone who neither zigs nor zags too far in either direction, perhaps they will get the backing of the Liberals, who will by then have started squawking about electoral reform and fairness again. If patience isn’t an official defining Canadian value, it damn well should be.

justin-in-parka

http://www.cbc.ca/archives/entry/lester-pearsons-promises-analyzed-in-1963

http://globalnews.ca/news/3238502/trudeau-arctic-inuit-territories/

http://www.fairvote.ca/ranked-ballot-is-not-a-voting-system/

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/grenier-conservative-second-choices-1.3963984

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/electoral-reform-trudeau-leitch-1.3975354

Get Back

the-crumbling

In the midst of the all consuming vortex that was The Inauguration, Tom Mulcair went to Hamilton to visit with some retired steelworkers in their union hall. People tend to always call it The Hammer now but those of us of a certain vintage know the place as Steeltown and remember the particulate haze of its glory days. The federal NDP seems to be trying to get back to where it once belonged but it might be a bit late for Tom himself. It’s uncertain as to whether this trip was his initiative or something the party brass decided would be a good mission to rediscover it’s raison d’etre. It would be a welcome homecoming for those holding out for a political hero or two. 

The workers seem happy enough that someone is finally paying political attention to them. Thousands of pensioners at the once mighty Stelco are still left to wonder in the fallout of US Steel’s predatory assault on the business as to whether they will have a pension to survive on. U.S. Steel bought Stelco in 2007 and after years of asset stripping and beating it to within an inch of its life, it has been turned back over to a private equity investment firm called Bedrock, who have brought back the Stelco name. Fred Flinstone was not at the ribbon cutting. It is unlikely that Stelco 2 will become the powerhouse it once was but the legacy issue of the pensioners still needs sorting, among other things.

There is a striking difference in tone between the Liberals and NDP on the matter. Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Singh Bains has said he “hopes” the workers and pensioners are treated fairly. The NDP is saying that they must be. The signals would suggest that Mulcair and Co. have got their backs. They are hinting at the rebirth of the party of old that some of us remember you could always count on to represent the workers both current and retired in the political realm. But will it translate into action? 

As a young politicized punk kid light years ago, I dared to venture into the old Rubberworkers hall in Etobicoke to watch the travelling NDP leadership debate that eventually led to the election of Audrey McLaughlin, who replaced Ed Broadbent. This would not happen there now. New Toronto was brimming with industry then but as the ink was drying on the Free Trade Agreement that eventually became NAFTA, it was clear the trashing of the factories was looming large. The area once had the highest value of manufacturing per square mile in North America, now it’s vying for the most condos. If you squint you can see the ghosts of the workers. 

Many of these spirits are still living breathing people, trying to piece a life together in the fallout of the great industrial cave in. These are the folks that Trump so cleverly rallied in the USA, caught between the rubble of their old workplaces and a wifi driven world of artisanal cupcakes and overpriced coffee. There is plenty of spare real estate capacity on main street where the old-timers once bought vacuum bags and typewriter ribbons. Developers salivate at the thought of this languishing square footage, as every budding mogul aspires to be a baby Trump. Will the slide continue or will we see thee rise to challenge the wholesale neo liberal thrashing of the place? Hopefully somebody reliable will have our backs. The clock ticks on. 

http://www.thespec.com/news-story/7075914-mulcair-rallies-stelco-retirees-at-1005-meeting-in-hamilton/

Roll Up The Sleeves To Win

timbit-tour

There used to be a commercial for easy bake something or other, in which a woman knocks  together some goodies and serves them up after throwing some flour on her face to make it look like she has been hard at work in the kitchen. Justin Trudeau’s Timbit Nation Tour 2017 brings to mind this easy baker. With the sleeves rolled up, a splash of flour and a well placed tear of axle grease, the PM has morphed into One Of Us. We won’t see him up our way though, this Liberal riding is safe.

Countless middle class aspirants are willingly taking time off from their three jobs in the hope of touching the hem of his garment. There will be no trip to the canapé laden comforts of Davos for Justin this year; he is determined to circulate among The People to get a sense of just what the ordinary Canadians are up to. Genuine tears and fears are being met with the obtuse platitudes we are so used to hearing; a patented circular manoeuvre that sounds like a compliment but is actually a non answer. No charge for selfies either guys, that would be crass. 

WHATEVER YOU DO Timbit Nation, don’t ask him about his holiday. Our non fake media are doing a pretty good job of handling that so far. In case you missed it, while you were heading back from Maryam Monsef’s riding of Peterborough-Kawartha in last century’s Corolla in a torrent of unseasonable rain, the Trudeaus were sunning it in outright luxury, having alighted stress free from a private chopper into the arms of the Aga Khan, one of the planet’s nicer billionaires. At least Papa Khan is spreading it around, eh? 

Ethics of the chopper trip aside, an improperly vetted journey could lead to doom if the RCMP haven’t checked the baggage compartment for explosives. All billionaires have stepped on someone to get where they are, even if they are perceived to be “nice”. Our Liberal entourage of family and friends could have very easily been collateral damage for someone else’s vendetta. You can bet The Help got there in a boat that parks around the back well out of view, a far safer journey than those notoriously crashy choppers.

No doubt Matt Damon, Shakira and Jamie Oliver, safely ensconced in the Grandhotel Belvédère in Davos, will be wondering where their pal Justin is this year. He’s going to miss out on imparting his Bono approved banter to this year’s theme, which happens to be “rising inequality”. General admission to that gig is $88,000 CDN, double this for the all access pass. Did Justin cover the cost of his ticket last year or is this considered part of the cost of leading the nation? Either way, the savings will spring for a helluva lot of Timbits. 

 

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jan/13/army-of-staff-descends-on-davos-to-serve-wef-super-rich