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Parker’s Pen – February 2023

David Parker

The weather, politicians and shopping continue to hog the news.

The weather we have no control over, and it’s beginning to seem that Ottawa doesn’t listen to us, nevermind those childish, angry clowns running the Excited States of America.

But believe it or not, things were much worse during the time the CPR was being built.

Over the Christmas season I enjoyed reading Lords of the Line, a book I’ve had for several years but felt I never had the time to wade into its 457 pages of Canadian history.

What a treat, and what an easy read in reporting on the lying, corruption, bribery, scheming and deceit between politicians and very strong, successful businessmen that seemed quite necessary in creating Canada’s greatest institution. Well-illustrated, the photos of the Lords of the Line showed them always dressed to the nines, looking like they just stepped out of the Supreme Men’s Wear of the day. With one exception – George Ham, the PR man responsible for attracting tourists and immigrants to use the railway to head west. It was said, “The pockets of his waistcoat are always bagged under the pressure of cigars, and trousers are mostly of regulation length, but he once complained of a pair being a little tight under the arms.”


The Christmas season always produces a lot of creative ideas, especially in greetings and gift giving.

Best I saw this past December was a gift package in a plain brown bag from Trigger Advertising. On it was printed a request to, “Refill this paper bag with non-perishable food items and drop it off at your nearest food bank.”



Notice I used the term Christmas season – and always will.

Language guidance gets dafter.

The University of Bristol – that’s right, a university where debating was always encouraged – sent a directive to staff to call Christmas the ‘winter closure period’, so as not to upset those students who are not Christian.

I am.

But have never been bothered by Muslim friends who want to observe Ramadan; I’ve enjoyed participating in happy Diwali celebrations, Chinese New Year galas, and feel good about wishing my Jewish friends a happy Rosh Hashanah holiday. And they all respect my Christian faith.


I watched a local TV news item in which cyclists were being interviewed about bike lanes. One young lady wished for more concrete dividers to separate her from vehicular traffic.

I’m all for safety, but please consider those with mobility issues who on some streets have to climb out of the passenger seat into a traffic lane – picture 12th Avenue or 3rd Avenue – and then climb over a pile of  concrete to get to the sidewalk.

Try it.


Spending some time recently in a hospital bed, I wondered if I would become an invalid or just invalid.