Agree or Disagree: The Podcast-Danielle Smith and the WRP Crossing

When we started 2014, the biggest villain in Alberta Politics was Alison Redford. The possible hero and new leader of Alberta Politics, you could argue, was Danielle Smith.

Now, as 2014 ends, the biggest villain of…. Canadian politics is Danielle Smith.

Steven Britton, Robyn Moser and Derek Fildebrandt discuss the shocking week of 9 Wildrose Members crossing the floor too the PC Party. We cover a ton of topics and it conveys a lot of emotions.  This also will have some “inside baseball”. However, there are some people that  had some insight into what happened. We broke it up in two parts. Some of the topics we cover include;

Part 1 is here

Part 2 is is this link.

Reactions of the crossing and how everyone heard;

A revelation from Derek about ANOTHER  potential story the media is looking into.

What the “deal” was to include and ended up including? Did Smith and Anderson get what they want

The WRP convention.

The bye-election

The possible orchestrator of the deal.

The current perception of the PC Party and Jim Prentice.

The current mood of the Wildrose Party.

When should we have an election?

Can the  so called “left” parties take advantage?

Is Prentice a good leader?

A debate about the need of Opposition. Can it be within caucus or an actual opposition?

Follow Robyn

@RobynMoser, RLTR

Facebook:Robyn Moser

Follow Derek:


Follow Steven


Agree or Disagree: The Podcast-Why we need GSA’s.An interview with a High School Student and Parent

Click this link for part 3 of our series of conversations around Gay Straight Alliances.

We heard from people who had some concerns about GSA’s. If you missed that, click here. It was with Jojo Ruba, Derek Fildebrandt, Terry Lo and Jeff Wilson.

The second was with Kent Hehr. If you missed that, click the link here.

This perspective is from a High School student named Caprice and her mother Diane. Caprice is in Grade 10. She is slowly opening up about who she is and her mom is there to support her.

We also heard from Kelly Hofer. If you haven’t heard his story, we touch on it briefly here. He is a Hutterite who, once he came out, cannot go back to his colony to be with his friends and family there. He has started a support group which he will talk about as well. Kelly couldn’t stay with us the whole time, but we did appreciate his perspective. If you wish to listen to his interview, listen to it here.

Oh, and Terry Lo is with us as well.

Topics we cover in our Podcast include;

Kelly’s perspective on GSA’s and the concerns from the religious community.

Diane’s experience dealing with teachers and principles in schools.

Caprice’s perspective.

A response to if an “anti-bullying” club solves the problem

A response to the parental concern argument.

Their impression on Gordon Dirks

Terry walks through how feasible Bill 10 would work with Caprice. And the logic behind it.

Follow Diane @Diegirl

Agree or Disagree: The Podcast-Interview with Kent Hehr


Kent Hehr and I discuss the recent issues around Bill 202 and Bill 10.

Click here to listen to the Podcast.

If you remember, Kent brought forward a private members bill Motion 503 which would make it mandatory for school boards to support students who want to form Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs)
Topics we discuss include;

-Kent motivation behind bringing Motion 503

-The process behind Bill 202 and the expectations of what would happen

-Bill 10

-The response to concerns that religious schools that this is a violation of their rights

-Gordon Dirks silence

-The hope going forward

We also spent some time discussing Provincial and Federal politics as well.

We discussed;

-the current perception of Alberta Liberal party

-his perception of the other parties

-the impact of oil prices and when Prentice could call an election.

-His nomination for Liberal MP

-Why he feels it’s important that we have a Liberal MP from Calgary.

Follow Kent on Twitter. He posts a lot of content.

Check out his website

Follow me on Twitter
Agree or Disagree: The Podcast

Add me on Facebook
Kevin Olenick

Like Agree or Disagree: The Podcast on Facebook.

Questions for Kent Hehr? And updates on other Agree or Disagree: The Podcast’s


This is Kent Hehr. He is a Member of Legislative Assembly for Calgary Buffalo. He is a well known Calgarian.

And he is coming on Agree or Disagree: The Podcast.

If you remember, on Monday April 7, Kent brought forth Motion 503. The motion would make it mandatory for school boards to support students  who want to form Gay-Straight Alliances. That motion was defeated.

Since the controversy of the last two weeks with Bill 202 and Bill 10, I think it is important that we do hear from him about what has happened.

I would like to hear from you as well. What questions or comments do you have for Kent? We will spend most of our time on GSA’s. But we will also spend some time talking about other things he is up too as well. Podcast will be up Saturday.

Now, while you spend your Friday night going on dates, or maybe Christmas shopping, I will spending time Podcasting.

We will also be recording a Podcast with a High School kid and her mother about GSA’s. We will also have Kelly Hofer joining us along with Terry Lo.  We might have another couple of guests as well. Podcsst should be up on Sunday.

We are also hoping to do a Podcast on the Secondary Suites in Calgary as well. Stay tuned.

Agree or Disagree: You would sign this petition supporting secondary suites in #yyc

There is a  very important vote going on at Calgary City Council this Monday. It is a vote to significantly improve the secondary suites process city-wide. Many people will agree that this process has been a long time coming.

Hence, why we have this petition. This is a petition you can sign to support secondary suites in Calgary. It is called We Support Secondary Suites. The site will give you some information on the issues. It will also link you to a couple of websites. I’ll include them here.

The first one is this. A link from the City of Calgary on Secondary Suites and their current guidelines.

The second one is here. It is an investigation on Secondary Suites in Calgary.

I will add one more article. This is a news story explaining some of the concerns around secondary suites.

After looking at this, would you sign the petition?

Agree or Disagree: The Podcast -An Adult conversation around GSA’s

Derek Fildebrandt, Terry Lo, Jojo Ruba, and Jeff White discuss the issues around the Gay-Straight Alliances, Bill 202, and Bill 10.

Derek wrote an excellent blog about having an adult conversation on GSA’s. You can read that here.

Terry, if you remember, left his role as VP of communications for the party Calgary- Glenmore constituency association. This was because WRP members didn’t pass an expanded statement on equality rights on their last meeting.

Jojo and Jeff represent Faith Beyond Belief. They exist to help Christians become effective ambassadors for Christ.

One of the observations Jojo made was that many moderate Christians voices haven’t been a part of the conversation. They feel that they have been shut out of the conversation.

Listen to the Podcast here

Topics we cover include;

Some benefits and concerns about GSA’s. Particularly those involved in a Christian school.

What was missing in this conversation?

Parental rights

Religious rights

The silence of Gordon Dirks and how it impacted both sides.

Why the PC government mishandled the situation so badly?

A possible solution going forward.

Follow Derek Fildebrandt at

Terry @calgarydreamer on Twitter

Faith Beyond Belief at

Follow me
Add me on Facebook: Kevin Olenick
Like Agree or Disagree: The Podcast on Facebook.

Agree or Disagree: Low Income people are considered less intelligent

From time to time I get requests to do an  Agree or Disagree topic. This is one of those times.

The person who submitted had an interesting experience. On the Olds Buy and Sell Facebook Page it said this;

“ISO: free dictionaries. This Christmas season I would like to collect dictionaries to give away to low income families in hopes that it might better them and that they will be able to secure better jobs enabling them afford luxuries in life without handouts. Please message me with any free dictionaries you may have. Also, self help books on the subject of helping yourself succeed would also be appreciated.

The person was offended. I’m going to let you read their perspective that they messaged me.

There is a fb page up here thats a buy and sell. And with over 10k members it gets used as a quick way to get info out and ask for help on many things.

The post that I sent you ended up causing a lot of anger and hurt feelings for what it implied. For me personally and others that are low income to imply that a dictionary and a self help book is all that separates us from having a high paying job and to buy luxuries in life without a hand out to do it blows my mind.

I am college educated and worked white collar jobs until I got sick and had a stroke at the age of 35. I had my first job at age 13. So I’m on AISH and that wasn’t easy. I had to fight to get it in first place and second it was a huge blow to my ego that boom thats it no more work. My body and health control every aspect of my life. Would I love to be out there working a 40 hour week bitching about my job absolutely. But reality is i cant so instead on the days I’m able to i volunteer. I have a full life and everything i need. One of The big thing i learned is that its not luxury items that make my life worthwhile or have meaning. By not being able to afford the luxury items or going on lavish holidays and eating in posh restaurants I’ve learned that as nice as all that would be it doesn’t define me. It’s other people who have without knowing me decided to define me by their expectations of what success and value are.

So for someone to say my life isn’t full and I need a dictionary and self help book to achieve that shows a complete lack of knowledge of what life is like on government funding. To assume that every low income person is uneducated, can’t understand language or vocabulary and is unmotivated is ridiculous. I knew a man who fled with his family from El Salvador that was an engineer that ended up working in a parking lot. That man had more knowledge in his pinky then most people.

If people really want to help low income people there are much better less insulting ways to go about it. Its the age old argument for having affordable housing, daycare, education, jobs that pay a living salary. It’s just another form of stereotyping and ignorance.

Then there are the few people that everyone hears about or a friend of a friend knows thats using AISH or EI fraudulently. Those are the ones that the rest of us are judged by. I can understand coming home from a long hard day at work and seeing someone who you know is low income carrying a case of beer and a carton of smokes and just being pissed off that there goes your hard earned taxes at work. I for one would 100% support a caveat that if you are on government funding you automatically have to go for random drug and alcohol tests for the length of time your taking tax payers money. If you fail that’s it you lose your funding. Is it harsh..yes.. But I think it would be fair. That money should not be there for those uses. It’s there to help you live and provide the necessities of life not to pay for your habits. Some people would say the government has no right to tell me what I can and can’t do with my money. I think that changes once you start taking and living off of tax payers money. I think it would be one way to curtail misuse of the money and for those with addiction problems to maybe get help. But that’s a million discussions all wrapped up in one very hot topic.

Going back to that post that started all my ramblings haha. There are more programs out there to help, educate, support then you can shake a stick at. Low income people don’t need dictionaries and self help books they need a little understanding. Just because a person doesn’t look sick doesn’t mean that its not taking all their energy just to be there. Or because they don’t use huge words that they are illiterate. Or because they work a blue collar job or can’t work that they don’t have the knowledge and skills to do something else. I don’t care what color your collar is I care about the person wearing it. Ahhh I could go on for days about how trying to pigeon hole people is such a ridiculous thing to do. We all have our stories and how we got to be where we are today. We all have dreams for a perfect life as we see it. My dream as a little girl sure wasn’t to be unable to work, sick and have a brain injury. My fairy tale didn’t come true so I just had to rewrite it and keep fighting everyday with what I do have to make the best of what I have.

I know what you have to say and the topics you talk about can bring up some very heated debates. I also know that one voice can be the start of change. My hope is that your voice and opening this whole topic of hot buttons for people will spark some honest open discussions about this and be the start of breaking down peoples misconceptions of what a person on low income life’s really about. I think some people might be surprised by what they learn from others on low income and some might be surprised by why or where their opinions of low income stems from. I welcome hard discussions there is always something new to learn from other people’s journeys.

I’m going to step off my soap box now lol. Thanks for listening.

What do you think?

Agree or Disagree: As part of farm chores,children should be driving farm vehicles.

Many of you were children that  grew up on a farm. You milked cows. You harvested. You bailed hay. Perhaps as a kid, you even drove a tractor. It was hard work and long hours. But, it was worth it

For the Arnal’s they have a different perspective. They have lost three of their children to farming accidents. All three accidents involved tractors or all-terrain vehicles. Their children were 16, 14 and 10.

You can read the story here.

An interesting statistic from the Canadian Agricultural Injury Program. There is an average of 104 deaths from accidents. 13 of them are children.

Do you think children should be driving tractors and all-terrain vehicles as part of the farm chores?

Agree or Disagree: Bill 10.

The last week, there was a big controversy and discussion about Bill 202.

If you are not sure what Bill 202 is, you can read it here.

Many people are actually quite supportive of the concepts of Gay-Straight Alliances. However, this bill is not universally supported. There were two major concerns of this specific Bill. One concern has been from religious schools. They feel that Gay-Straight Alliances are contradictory to their religious conviction. (I’m just sharing the facts, not giving a specific opinion here). The other was from some parents. Some parents felt that these alliances were infringing on how parents speak to their children.

Enter Bill 10.

Today, the PC Party tabled this Bill. You can read Bill 10 here.

Now, I can see from Social Media that this is going to go a particular way. However,let’s try to be constructive. With that, I’ll ask some questions.

What works with this Bill? (If you say  nothing, at least back it up)

What doesn’t work with this Bill? (I imagine this will be obvious)

However, perhaps this is the tougher question going forward

Is there an actual way to get religious schools, parents, and the LGBT community on the same page on this issue? I’m on record that I support Gay-Straight Alliances.It is very clear that these are supportive.  I think Bill 202 is the right step.I’m quite confused and perplexed as to why this can’t go forward. But obviously, we can’t . There are still concerns.

How can we actually deal with these issues?