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Parker’s Pen – April 2023

David Parker

I was thinking of the line ‘When will they ever learn?’ in the Peter, Paul and Mary song ‘Where have all the flowers gone?’ when I heard of the latest frustrating and maddening action by the city.

After learning of the generosity of MNP investing in a 10-year deal that will contribute to the expansion of the city-owned complex formerly known as the Repsol Centre, and being proud to have it re-named the MNP Community & Sport Centre, I also heard that the city had contracted a Cleveland, Ohio, firm to sell naming rights to other city-owned buildings and facilities.

What ever happened to ‘buy local’? When will they ever learn that we have businesses here to support, that are run by some amazing, competent and creative business leaders.

It is most frustrating for them to be shunned by Alberta Blue Cross hiring a Toronto agency, other government-funded organizations hiring lead architects for projects like the BMO, Stephen Avenue revival, Glenbow renovations, several building at the university, and, my big beef, paying a Vancouver company to design the new logo for the Alberta University of the Arts when it has lots of grads trying to earn a living in this city.

When will they ever learn?




I am reminded that during the time I was responsible for this city’s film industry, trying to help win work for film, television and video producers. After lunch one day I got a call from one of our top producers, angry that the Stampede had hired a Vancouver company to make a new promotional video.

I walked over to Mayor Al Duerr’s office with the concern, and by that afternoon the contract was cancelled. The following day a Calgary company was given the job.




There are an amazing number of brilliant inventions over the past few decades that have helped life be a lot easier. But in thinking of those that make my day better, I have to thank the person responsible for coating drugs.

Just thinking of a spoonful of Beecham’s Powder with a dab of strawberry jam in the middle to try and hide the taste, and even a chalky aspirin makes me cringe.




One of the frustrations caused by online shopping is the growing number of reserved parking stalls for pick-up orders that take spaces close to the front doors and, in some lots, has moved handicapped parking farther away.

And I would think that buying groceries online must be hurting the chains somewhat.

Think of six needed items, order and then pick-up or have them delivered. Simple. But I know that if we made a list of six, after wandering up and down the aisles that number would easily be doubled. Especially on the sale items we were not aware of.




Reading about the visit to Ottawa of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his country’s need for liquified natural gas (LNG) in its energy transition plans, reminded me of a diner, many years ago, to discuss the very subject.

It was held at the Calgary Petroleum Club hosted by a former Consul General of Japan in Calgary, and besides me was attended by former MLA Wayne Cao and a senior representative of the pipeline industry.

The plea was for Alberta LNG to help Japan be less reliant on fuels from other nations that it might not be able to rely upon in the future.

Japan is still waiting.


Final words: Getting angry is punishing yourself for the mistakes of others.