It was only a matter of time and I am surprised it's taken so long. It's finally happened, the line is crossed. Someone has done it. Naheed Nenshi, our “beloved” lord and mayor is being sued.
If you've been watching local news at all, you know that this started well back in April, with the infamous “secret video.” The actual lawsuit however was filed on November 13, 2013. It's taken me a couple of weeks to get my thoughts ordered but I really wanted to see what Mayor Nenshi was going to do and say. Well, I have to say, so far, he's held up to my expectations. No, that's not a good thing.
Mayor Nenshi has been served by prominent Calgary businessman, Cal Wenzel. You may have heard of him. The charge is defamation. That shouldn't be a surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention considering the barrage of unfounded accusations and attacks from Mayor Nenshi since the video had been leaked. Mr. Wenzel was trying to play nice and did ask for a simple apology but that never happened. It probably doesn’t help matters that Mayor Nenshi used the home builders as his springboard into his second term as mayor. Why did he bother? He was all but guaranteed to have it! He didn't even have to campaign, he just had to show up! This is me saying this! If you know anything about me, you know that I don't like Nenshi, I don't agree with him 98% of the time, and I didn't vote for him! So I don’t understand why he had to create this false arch nemesis?
Here are the specifics over which he’s being sued:
The statement goes into far greater detail of course, but that’s it right there. It’s really very straight forward.
So far, Mayor Nenshi is “disappointed” by this action. I mean, someone is openly speaking against him! Heavens to Murgatroyd, whatever shall he do? Well, my first thought is, don't make unfounded accusations against someone and ya wouldn’t get sued, but that’s just my opinion.
Mayor Nenshi was on a radio show in which he said so much in a very short time. He stands behind his words and refuses to apologize for them. Mind you, I don't believe in the forced apology anyway. He also used the “secret” video to raise himself above the home builders during his campaign. “Look at how evil they are. I’m awesome for showing you their maleficence!” Okay, maybe he didn't use those words but that was the sentiment. If nothing else, I hope he's shown some humility in the next few months.
Transcript from the October 9th Interview on CBC’s the Eyeopener:
If it were me on the receiving end of this interview, I’d be rather upset by these unfounded allegations but Mayor Nenshi doesn’t see it that way. He calls it “freedom of speech.” I could almost believe him if so much of this interview didn't come across as statements of fact.
“Defamation covers any communication that tends to lower the esteem of the subject in the minds of ordinary members of the public.”
I copied this definition from wikipedia. This is fairly general, but you get the idea.
So far, I’m finding this humourous. Mayor Nenshi has never taken criticism well so I can only imagine how he's feeling about this. The next few months will be interesting to say the least, though I could be wrong. Maybe he’ll take it like a man and deal with the situation with dignity, integrity and virtue. Maybe he’ll deal with it like a 12 year old and feel from the first minute to the last, no matter how this lawsuit turns out, he’s entitled to say whatever he likes about whomever he wants with absolutely no repercussions. We can only wait and see.
In my previous article Calgary Votes 2013, I put forth a couple of questions about Nenshi versus the home builders:
- Why are the home builders evil in the eyes of Mayor Nenshi and some of the candidates?
- What did the home builders actually do wrong?
To date, neither of these questions have been answered. They’re just not the good guys in this tale or it’s a tale of Nenshi the Giant Killer. The issue I see is, these particular “giants” are kind of required to keep things going in our fair city. Homes need to be built, hence we have home builders.
Ah yes, I forgot about the Manning Centre. Mayor Nenshi thought the CRA should investigate the Manning Centre over the “the legality of what’s happening.” Mr. Wenzel put forward that he, plus 10 others, each donate $100,000 to the Centre. What’s illegal about that? Well, if you do your research, nothing.
It’s perfectly legal for the Manning Centre to accept those donations. They are a conservative non-profit centre (NOT a charitable organization) and they train potential candidates, but I’ve mentioned all this before. Preston Manning was attacked for no good reason and defended himself well. Is anyone safe from attack? Well yes, but you have to be on the side of right, or left, or… you know what I mean.
The “secret” meeting has been mentioned numerous times but what was so “secret” about it? The rest of us weren’t invited? Is that what made it secret? I’m not a home builder or anything, but I feel so left out now. Don’t they know who I am! I’m some chick in south Calgary who has a hard time keeping quiet! That’s who! But that’s no reason to let me know about a meeting that had nothing to do with me. It just would have been less secret.
Here’s the duality of it. Candidates, councillors, and the mayor have meetings all the time that we don’t know about and they’re not called “secret”. If we find out about them after the fact, they’re still not called “secret”. If I’d been given no other information, I’d have assumed Mr. Wenzel was one of the candidates - but since he’s just a businessman, this meeting is somehow illicit.
Mayor Nenshi says this lawsuit could make it difficult for council members to do their jobs and could discourage people from running for public office. I see where he's going with it but I disagree with him. What exactly is stopping council from doing their job? Don't make unfounded allegations against people in the everyday goings on of city hall and the job will get done without the threat of court action. They seemed to have succeeded thus far. What makes today different than yesterday? If Mayor Nenshi is found guilty, I'd run for public office if I'd ever had any impetuous too. I however can't speak for others.
Something like this has happened before. In 1969, a Calgary mayor by the name of Rod Sykes was sued by a developer for “misleading council.” I’m not sure of the exact situation as I’m actually having a bit of a time finding any details. He still ran in the municipal election and won. Guess what, council wasn’t hindered and the job was done as expected. OH, and, this is important, Rod Sykes paid for his own defense. Mayor Nenshi wants us to pay for his mistakes. That is very wrong. He’s the one that said these things, he’s being accused of defamation, and innocent or guilty, MISTER Nenshi should pay for his own legal bills. It’s really that simple.
During the municipal election, I really did find it distasteful when Mayor Nenshi put forth the idea that if the home builders supported a candidate, we as Calgarians knew who not to support. Mayor Nenshi also fielded his own list of candidates that we should support, because, you know, they were his best buds. How is that not disparaging towards not only Cal Wenzel and Shane Homes, but the home builders as a whole? And why was Mayor Nenshi fielding candidates? Isn’t that hypocritical?
How nice he has a position in which he does not have to take care of himself, our lord and Mayor. That he can say things, make accusations, be taken to court. That our Mayor is so infallible that it is we, the citizens of Calgary who are ultimately punished. That he can stand on our backs; the mechanics, receptionists, electricians, accountants, cashiers, CEO’s, the private sector who will pay his legal fees in the form of taxes, for how beautiful are the Emperor’s new clothes.
I'm a Canadian classical liberal (individual freedoms are important) who photographs stuff. I also happen to have few opinions about a few things. Read my stuff, you'll see what else there is to me.