When former Calgary mayor, Ralph Klein, was premier of Alberta he stated that "Bums, creeps and unskilled workers are not welcome. We will use cowboy techniques to deal with people who rob our banks, add to our welfare rolls, add to our unemployment lines and create rising crime rates." (1) He made being redneck cool.
And indeed he followed through on his threats, and started shipping the unemployed out, giving them a bus ticket and a "don't come back now ya' hear".
But when he threw a convicted stalker on a bus to Victoria, then B.C. Justice Minister Ujjal Dosanjh, said enough was enough. He couldn't solve his problems by simply giving them to someone else.
His drinking, cussing and questionable behaviour were legendary. (2)
But a lot has happened since then, and Calgary now has a young and progressive mayor. And a Muslim to boot. They are now cool.
But sadly, Toronto went the other way, electing a knucklehead Rob Ford, who won the election on promising to throw thousands of people out of work and putting immigrants in their place.
Jim Flaherty endorsed him ... enough said.
After his victory, Ford was seen at the bus station ticket counter, pulling a wagon. Look out Alberta. He may be sending them to you. Sigh.
And Toronto also has a new theme song. I don't drink but may have to take it up.
Rob Ford calls this "They's a teeeer in ma' baeeer ... " Yee Haw!
1. Hard Right Turn: The New Face of Neo-Conservatism in Canada, Brooke Jeffrey, Harper-Collins, 1999, ISBN: 0-00 255762-2 4, Pg. 52
2. Slumming it at the Rodeo: The Cultural Roots of Canada's Right-Wing Revolution, Gordon Laird, 1998, Douglas & McIntyre, ISBN: 1-55054 627-9, pg. 60-62