In today's Calgary Herald, an article appears which talks about the President and CEO of Excel Homes and Apex sending a memo to the employees of his company suggesting strongly how they should vote.
(alternate source for the memo: http://globalnews.ca/news/909342/leaked-memo-points-to-builders-slate-of-election-candidates/ )
“There has never been a more important time in the history of this industry that our collective voice is heard,” states the letter signed by Greg Lefebre, president and CEO of Excel Homes and Apex, a land developer.
“We encourage each and every one of you to do your own due diligence on the issues at stake in this civil election and elect the candidate that will best represent your interests on our city council.”
Despite this open-ended encouragement, Lefebre’s note adds: “as an organization we have endorsed the candidates as attached to this memo.”
Attached is a map of all 14 city wards, with names of candidates. They include challengers to incumbents in five wards, including sitting aldermen that Shane Homes founder Cal Wenzel suggested were “the dark side” in a secretly videotaped political speech to industry colleagues.Let me be abundantly clear - under no circumstances should an employer be telling their staff how they should be voting - EVER. That Mr. Lefebre thought that this was an appropriate action to take says a great deal about how far big money in this city is willing to go to ensure that its interests are looked after. (and you can be sure that the interests of big money aren't likely to align with the average person's interests)
If this is anything, it is a revealing of the whispered "Builder's Slate" - the candidates that the builders are endorsing for Calgary City Council.
The list of candidates implicitly endorsed in this builder's memo:
Ward 1: Chris Harper
Ward 2: Joe Magliocca
Ward 3: Jim Stevenson
Ward 4: Sean Chu
Ward 5: Ray Jones
Ward 6: Joe Connelly
Ward 7: Kevin Taylor
Ward 9: Richard Wilkie
Ward 10: Andre Chabot
Ward 11: James Maxim
Ward 12: Shane Keating
Ward 13: Diane Colley-Urquhart
Ward 14: Peter Demong
Mayor: Jon Lord
Well ... at least its out in the open now. Vote as you see fit, but please make sure it's an informed vote.
In the realm of electoral reforms, it seems to me that it's time to take this kind of money-driven nonsense out of the picture. Actions like this should carry with it penalties. Remember, corporations are run by people, but corporations ARE NOT PEOPLE, AND THEY ARE NOT CITIZENS.