February 04, 2016

BIZZARE: This question made Mayor Nenshi throw a hissy fit

Brian LilleyArchive

Politicians can get into snits now again but I’ve never seen anything quite like what I experienced with the Mayor of Calgary as he visited Ottawa.

I’ve met Naheed Nenshi in passing a couple of times but I can’t say we know each other. Each time I’ve met him, I’ve been polite and respectful.

I posted a video of the speech Nenshi gave in Ottawa because I think he needs to be heard. Click here to watch the speech.

I was impressed with his full on defence of the oil industry and found him warm, funny, engaging but more importantly, I could tell he meant what he said. I’ve been at this long enough to know when politicians are being sincere.

Nenshi believes in Alberta oil. He spoke about how Canadian oil meets tough environmental and labour standards, how it doesn’t come from some of the nastier places on earth and, he may not like this, but it was like hearing a left wing Ezra give the Ethical Oil argument!

That’s fascinating because in Central and Eastern Canada, almost all progressives have decided that Canadian oil is dirty and pipelines are bad.

Remember Denis Coderre and the Montreal area mayors immediately saying “no” to Energy East? Montreal used to have a refinery which was pushed out by progressive politicians who didn’t want the oil industry or the jobs that went with it in their city. Then there’s Trudeau’s stance and his top advisor Gerry Butts who wants a zero carbon economy.

So Nenshi’s speech impressed me. I was tweeting as much as he spoke and I wondered, is this the man that can overcome the objections of the progressive side?

In the scrum afterwards I tried to ask him exactly that. A complimentary, respectful question that I never got to ask because he threw a hissy fit.

I’ve covered prime ministers, premiers, presidents and the Queen. I’ve stumped the best of them and have asked hostile questions of hostile politicians but NEVER in all my time as a journalist have I been treated like that.

Is it due to Ezra? I may not know Mayor Nenshi but he knows Ezra. They’ve been frenenies for nearly 25 years so maybe he was taking his anger for Ezra out on me.

In any case, he’s right - this shouldn’t be a left/right issue but it has become one. The left in Canada has decided we should say “no” to the energy industry and do without oil but, as Nenshi said, leaving it in the ground is not a rational strategy.

So I’m asking Mayor Nenshi to rise to the occasion, as a proud progressive and lefty Mayor, convince your own side of your own argument. Mostly, I agree with what you said but more Canadians on your side of the political aisle, need to hear that argument.

Are you up to that challenge mayor?

 

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READ Ezra Levant's bestselling books debunking environmentalist propaganda against the energy industry:
Groundswell: The Case for Fracking
Ethical Oil: The Case for Canada's Oil Sands

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Comments
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commented 2016-02-05 15:15:12 -0500
WILSON MCKINNON, “I agree with almost every other comment in this section defending Nenshi. I don’t see any sort of temper tantrum and I think his response was more than acceptable. I hope this trend on Rebel does not continue”. Sorry, that perspective from you and several others doesn’t wash. He could have allowed the question to continue, then, if he chooses dismiss that he is a ‘progressive’ (which he is) and then answer the question. But he was rude and brushed Brian off saying “next” like some kind of monarch. I thought his buggy eyes would pop out of his head in disgust. Politicians shouldn’t be so thin-skinned. If “It was a scrum after all”, such a sissy wouldn’t last long in real rugby!
commented 2016-02-05 15:12:59 -0500
Whether it can be called a hissy fit is debatable, however, there is no doubt that he was being dismissive in the extreme. I though he was going to call for the muscle to stop the questioner. It was a fair question. The left will hang him out to dry because he is not a central Canada leftist. Those are the real ones.
commented 2016-02-05 15:10:11 -0500
How did a fat commie muslim whack like this get to be Calgary’s mayor? It’s astounding … is Calgary now part of the middle east?
commented 2016-02-05 15:10:04 -0500
@wilson MCKINNON
Nenshi’s arrogant remarks stem from a longstanding hate for Ezra who bested him in debate class in high school. Some wounds will never heal. As soon as he saw Rebel on the mic his demeanor changed from friendly to combative. The disgust shown on his face is expected from a petulant child, not a Mayor of a major city. The Rebel is here whether he likes it or not. Brian’s years in the parliamentary press gallery gives him cred. Try not to wet your pants the next time he asks you a question.
commented 2016-02-05 15:05:01 -0500
And for many of the posters here – The Rebel didn’t make this a left-or-right issue. The protesters to stop developments and pipelines did. At the national level political, parties on the left and right talked about promoting or banning pipelines as part of the lead-in to the last federal election. With that as an intro to the question, Mayor Nenshi appears to be acting against many on the left, even though he probably agrees with them on most other issues. In my mind, that is the reason for framing the question the way that he did.

Those who disdain labels tend to be clueless about observing trends. “Left” and “right” describe thought patterns that determine how issues are considered. “Left” tends to mean “if it appears that what is being done could be improved, try something new”. “Right” tends to mean “do not abandon what is in place so long as it is working”. Mayor Nenshi appears to be of the opinion that having an oil based economy should not be discarded. This puts him at odds with many on the left. Whether he personally believes that there will be a thermageddon (with all life seared from the face of the earth) if CO2 concentrations get up to a boogie-man level like 1000 ppm is something I don’t know. But he sees his personal future as being tied to the oil industry. Hence, he must try to further it in order to further himself.

And how could he know the question if he never lets it get asked? I ask again, why is he so intolerant?
commented 2016-02-05 14:43:20 -0500
I have been following Rebel for a while and agree with much of the content. However I disagree with this article so much I actually felt obligated to signup and leave a comment. I agree with almost every other comment in this section defending Nenshi. I don’t see any sort of temper tantrum and I think his response was more than acceptable. I hope this trend on Rebel does not continue.
commented 2016-02-05 14:40:55 -0500
Scott Smith – I must disagree. Nenshi does not discuss, he dictates. He is a classic tax-and-spend type who is seeing the huge vacancy rate in downtown towers and sees the writing on the wall – if the oil business continues to shrink then the city will die on his watch. He can’t have that. But he still can’t bring himself to treat everyone equally.
commented 2016-02-05 14:22:26 -0500
I think you and the Rebel Media are being overly sensitive to this guy’s remarks. I don’t see or hear any hissying at all in his response. It was a scrum after all. He is just saying that in his view it’s not a partisan issue and I agree with him on that score.
commented 2016-02-05 13:57:58 -0500
That is actually pretty typical of him, he doesn’t like taking questions he doesn’t agree with……he actually belittles and criticizes voters and taxpayers on twitter when he disagrees with them, which I’ve always found odd…..elected politicians publicly scolding their bosses? In this case, I suspect he saw who you represented, and just didn’t want to talk about it….he’s a child….
commented 2016-02-05 13:38:20 -0500
I have to agree. What he was trying to say was some things go beyond partisan borders. I don’t think he did anything wrong and trying to start a fight about it Brian is not helping anything.
commented 2016-02-05 13:37:22 -0500
This unfortunately is our mayor. He is usually able to hold his anger in when in front of a TV camera. I guess the real Nenshi emerged. The one Calgarians are becoming all to aware of. If it doesn’t go his scripted way then all hell will break lose. We have been having things like tax increases and waste full spending on useless bike lanes in the downtown. Calgarians are getting tired of the BS.
commented 2016-02-05 13:32:35 -0500
Brian, I am a pretty firm Conservative, and I follow a lot of politics both in Canada and the US. I’m afraid I have to agree with Nenshi on this one. Making it about Left and right politics gives the left something to hold onto. When you make it a Canadian issue, it is all our responsibility to ensure that resource gets to market. I may not agree with a lot of things Nenshi says (though there is a fair amount I do), but he is focusing on the message of getting oil to market, and making it about political spectrum is not helpful.
commented 2016-02-05 13:22:07 -0500
In fact Brian, I agree with Don Morris and think you should apologize to him and perhaps restate the question as Don suggested…..he is on our side, we don’t need to piss him off…he is a great mayor ( I used to live in Calgary)
commented 2016-02-05 13:22:00 -0500
reminds me of boy blunder replying to a cbc questioner with “you must be from suntv”…
commented 2016-02-05 13:19:23 -0500
actually Brian, I think the question was worded poorly…I’m sure he instinctively felt he was being set up
commented 2016-02-05 13:17:05 -0500
Sorry,Brian, but you phrased the question poorly.If you wanted the answer, you should have put the question in a less provocative way. You stated what you wanted the answer to; “if the oil industry has failed to effectively present their agenda to progressives, what will you do that will work better”? So,why didn’t you phrase the question just as that, instead of bringing up the left-versus right aspect at the beginning?
commented 2016-02-05 13:15:58 -0500
just proves once again that “progs” are an irrational waste of oxygen….the environment does suffer..
commented 2016-02-05 13:08:50 -0500
Oil makes jobs for Albertians and without jobs he doesn’t look like the great mayor all the sleepers love. Such a man. More like an embezzle wrapped in a human suit.
commented 2016-02-05 12:45:17 -0500
Brian – this little display by Mayor Nenshi is a testament to yours and Ezra’s tireless campaign to promote Alberta and Saskatchewan ethical oil and the need for pipelines. Consider it as a compliment.
commented 2016-02-05 12:39:17 -0500
Brian, I seem to recall another (now former) Rebel reporter who had multiple similar difficulties with Shiny Pony.
What you are missing is that his worship probably truly does “like oil” a lot – when it is controlled by crony capitalists and massive government run pension funds.
When a dog shits on your doorstep, it is not because it has intestinal problems.
commented 2016-02-05 12:37:03 -0500
To those who missed the beginning of this story, some of us were saying that The Rebel is not a good name as the centre and the left think we are just a Bunch of Hillbillies, as Rebel implies.
commented 2016-02-05 12:26:41 -0500
What this tells me is these lefties are actually reading the rebel. Now why would they do that?
commented 2016-02-05 12:19:41 -0500
William McDonnell 12 hr. ago Great post; I agree with everything you said. But here is my point: Suppose you used the name " Killer Willy" , I would not have taken you as seriously as I did. The left would have thought this guy is just a Right Wing Nut Case, probably from Alberta. There is a lot of Character in a name, before you even take in what is said.
commented 2016-02-05 12:08:05 -0500
This isn’t a left/right issue but I am doubtful he shows this kind of disdain to how own scripted media stooges.
commented 2016-02-05 11:08:39 -0500
I watched Nenshi on CBC and I was impressed with what seemed to me to be intelligent analysis. He was making the same point re defending Alberta Oil. I am glad to know about Brian’s experience. This IS a left/right issue — because the left has made it so. I suspect that Nenshi got angry because he is forced to acknowledge to himself the ultimate irrationality of the left’s position. Let them get angry, but the left had better wake up.
commented 2016-02-05 10:53:07 -0500
consider this, Stephen Harper spent YEARS putting up with open hostility from the leftist media in Canada and he conducted himself as a mature, competent statesman. Now juxtapose that against the immediate sneering contempt shown by leftist politicians whenever they are asked REAL questions that Canadians want answered.
commented 2016-02-05 10:41:24 -0500
That’s our narcissistic mayor in action for you. As long as he gets his way and everyone agrees with him, he is pleasant. But he can turn on you in a heart beat, if you dare to question his intentions, or his authority. I never voted for him either time, and I won’t ever. He’s in bed with the Pembina Institute, and I for one don’t trust him.
commented 2016-02-05 10:36:34 -0500
There are no “hard” questions or “soft” questions, there are only questions. If Nenshi isn’t man enough or smart enough to answer a simple question as the Mayor of Calgary then maybe he should do us all a favor and step down, then he won’t have to embarrass himself.
Thank you Brian for your efforts.