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Kathy Shaidle


July 9, 2013 - 8:00 am
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calgary mayor

Flood relief fundraising t-shirt lauds Calgary’s mayor Naheed Nenshi as a hero. (Courtesy: CowboysCalgary on Instagram)

“It’s way worse than we thought it would be,” says my mom.

When my parents, my sister and her fiancé enter the house, they find the basement ceiling on the floor. The deep freezer is tipped over and there is rotting meat everywhere. Mud and sewage coats everything. On the veranda—the same one where I took some wedding pictures two years ago—the mud is so thick that there are green things growing out of it. (…)

The upstairs, the only place that looks like the home I remember, is caked with muddy footprints from the emergency responders who searched for anyone in distress a week ago. “I don’t even know where to begin,” my mom says.

Those same comments will echo through the town in the days to come, as thousands more open their front doors and step into their own disaster zone.

So far, only one death has been directly attributed to the state-of-emergency floods that swept the Calgary, Alberta area in late June.

However, the material losses are devastating.

And the timing of the flood couldn’t have been worse.

As pretty much all Canadians immediately wondered when reports first came in (of the Saddledome stadium supposedly flooded up to its roof, for one thing):

“What will happen to the Calgary Stampede?”

Now in its 101st year, the Stampede calls itself “the greatest outdoor show on earth” and is the province’s most important event in terms of economics, tourism, community pride — and politics.

An Israeli friend asked me about a tweet he’d spotted, sent by former singing (and not-really-tweeting — he used government ghostwriters) Canadian astronaut (and this year’s Grand Marshal) Commander Chris Hadfield, inviting folks to join him at the 17th annual Ismaili Muslim Community Stampede Breakfast.

I explained that, despite its reputation as Canada’s redneck central, Calgary’s mayor is actually Ismaili Muslim Naheed Nenshi, currently being hailed far and wide as the Giuliani of the flood; if Hadfield wants his possible career in politics to go better than that of the last former Canadian astronaut, I added, he’d best attend such an event.

(And as those minority immigrant Ismaili Muslims wisely noted seventeen years ago, they’d better darn well sponsor one…)

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Thanks a lot PJM for losing the comment I just spent 20 minutes typing! (And yeah, that was sarcasm.) Here we go again....

I've heard about this gun seizure in Alberta. The story I heard was that the RCMP claimed it was taking the guns temporarily from flood-ravaged homes to keep them from being taken by looters. They swore that they were going to be returning all the LEGAL guns to the original owners. I'm not clear how this is supposed to work though.

How would a gun owner get his gun back? And what proof would he need to prove that a given gun was his? I'll bet most gun owners don't have their serial numbers memorized and if they've lost their receipts, permits etc. in the flood, how do they prove that they ever owned the gun in question? I'm assuming that the police didn't keep careful and accurate records of where each gun was taken. If they really were racing through buildings that were about to be flooded to secure these guns, they probably didn't have time to make careful notes about where each rifle, pistol and shotgun were found. I'm guessing the cops are not going to just take anyone's word that a given gun was theirs.

What happens to illegal guns? Sometimes, a given gun is legal at purchase but becomes illegal later due to a reclassification. The gun owner may not be aware that this has happened. Is he going to go to jail for a few years when he tries to claim his once-legal gun back?

If the police damaged my property in their haste to "rescue" my guns, are they going to pay for the repairs to my property? For instance, if they kicked the door down, are they going to make restitution for that?
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