Senate security prevents man from wearing “I heart oil & gas” t-shirt — security cites fear of offence
UPDATE: Parliament Protective Service has since made a public apology to Lacey for the “misinterpretation” of the shirt’s potential offence on the part of security.
In an open letter to Ottawa, Chief Financial Officer of Steelhead Petroleum William Lacey claims he was asked to remove his shirt or leave the Senate by security. Security allegedly did this due to the potentially offensive content the shirt depicted. This content was “I heart oil & gas.”
Lacey begins his letter by describing a pleasant family outing to the nation’s capital, stopping in to show his kids all the usual attractions: museums, monuments, the House of Commons, and, of course, the Senate.
“In all, the experience was a good one, with one very notable exception,” Lacey writes. “When my wife and I went to visit the Senate, we were taken aside by security and told that the shirt I was wearing needed to be removed as it may offend some people. What was the offending shirt?”
“Nowhere does the shirt say anything negative, defamatory or insulting to others,” Lacey continues. “Far from it – it advocates a responsible and ethical approach to resource development. Last I checked, freedom of expression is protected under Section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Moreover, there were other people on the tour who had graphics of things like a skull with a cross on the forehead, an anti-discrimination shirt (ironic) and one with a peace symbol on it.”
According to Lacey’s employee description on the Steelhead Petroleum website, he has been in the oil and gas industry for over 20 years, almost always occupying a leadership role, whether as CFO or vice-president. He has won numerous awards from various organizations, such as the Wall Street Journal and Brendon Wood, during his time in the industry and has been successful in integrating oil companies and infrastructure investments.
Put simply, Lacey is an earner for Canada in one of our most lucrative industries and has every right to be proud of the industry which allotted him such an opportunity.
“The last time I checked there was nothing illegal about the Canadian energy sector, and yet I was made to feel as though I should be embarrassed for what I was wearing,” writes Lacey. “The solution? I was told I could either leave or I could turn my shirt inside out and take part in the tour – I chose the latter option.”
In 2016, Energy Exchange reported that the production and exports of oil products, natural gas, and electricity contributed roughly $170 billion to Canada’s $1.8 trillion GDP. This means that the oil and gas industry made up roughly 10 percent of Canada’s economy.
Statistics from Natural Resources Canada showed that the country exported $132.2 billion in 2018, representing 23 percent of Canadian exports last year. Canada reportedly exported energy products to 148 countries, with the U.S. being our biggest customer.
In 2018, oil and gas trades represented 11 percent of Canada’s total GDP.
As an energy producer, Canada ranks 6th in the world, constituting 3 percent of the world’s energy production, with Alberta contributing $71.5 billion alone from energy sales.
These statistics are all relevant because it really goes to show that the oil and gas industry in many ways is the backbone of our country and our overall prosperity. To see one of the industry leads disparaged for promoting such an integral part of the economy is quite disconcerting.
Some in the Senate were appalled by the manner in which security handled Lacey’s t-shirt.
“This is unbelievable and unacceptable! Mr. Lacey was told he couldn’t go on a tour of the Senate wearing an “I love Canadian Oil and Gas” T-shirt! Conservative Senators on the CIBA committee have asked for a full investigation into the matter,” said Senator Don Plett in a Facebook post. “I agree with Mr Lacey that we should all be proud of Canadian oil and gas! If we don’t get to the bottom of it I’ll be wearing one of the T-shirts to the Senate myself!”
He says his next stop on his Ottawa tour was the House of Commons. Here, he experienced no problem for his “offensive” pro-oil shirt, and not a single security member found his shirt potentially offensive or even noteworthy.
Lacey is now demanding the Government of Canada to explain the actions of their security and answer why a member of the Canadian energy should be personally shamed for being happy about their contributions to the economy.
“I would like an answer as to why I was treated in such a manner at the Senate and if it is the policy of the Government of Canada to shame members of the Canadian energy industry,” says Lacey.
“I am proud of the industry I work for and I know firsthand that we are leading the way globally in terms of improving environmental performance as well as other aspects related to ESG (environment, social and governance) standards.”
Greta Thunberg has joined up with 15 more young climate activists. They have claimed that Canada and Norway are violating the rights of children throughout the world with their oil and gas production.
The activist’s claim that the higher output of fossil-fuel production violates the countries obligations in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Hausfeld LLP released a statement noting that the youths have sent letters to both Canada and Norway addressing the countries’ fossil-fuel production. The letter contrasted the plan with the two countries’ self-proclaimed titles of leaders in climate change.
In the letter to Trudeau dated Dec. 10, it says, “Canada must apply its international climate leadership to all domestic action,” the letter also says, “It must demonstrate how a major fossil fuels producer and exporter can transition away from these pollutants, blazing a trail for other fossil fuel-reliant economies to follow.”
The letter covers Canada’s Line 3 pipeline that stretches from Alberta to Wisconsin as well as the Trans Mountain pipeline. Canada’s oil production could be raised 10 percent by the addition of the Line 3 pipeline alone.
The letter also says that Canada “must end the development and export of new oil and gas reserves, and set a plan to quickly phase out existing production fields,” and adds, “It must stop prioritizing short-term economic gains over the future of its children and all children around the world.”
The letter requested that Trudeau deliver a response in the following two weeks. The request was sent to Jonathan Wilkinson who is the new environment minister for Trudeau.
Wilkinson’s spokesperson, Moira Kelly, wrote an email saying, “Young people and Canadians across the country are counting on us for accelerated action on climate change,” she added, “We hear them, and all of the Canadians who sent a clear message this election, that continuing to fight climate change needs to be a priority.”
“We know we need to make a transition to a cleaner economy and we know that this will not happen overnight,” said Kelly, “We are committed to taking thoughtful solutions with Canadians to ensure that the clean economy is affordable for everyone.”
In 2018, Canada pumped more oil than Iraq, OPEC’s second largest supplier, according to data from BP Plc. By 2040, crude output is projected to increase by close to 50 percent, according to Canada Energy Regulator.
Merriam Webster’s word of the year is “they,” that ubiquitous plural word that’s been turned singular, individualistic, and is a smoke signal sent up to claim special status in the gender landscape. “They” was a top look-up for the dictionary site; “the dictionary is also a primary resource for information about language itself, and the shifting use of they has been the subject of increasing study and commentary in recent years. Lookups for they increased by 313% in 2019 over the previous year.”
People just want to know what it means, and how they can and should apply it, either to themselves, or to those who request it. The pronoun has been omnipresent, on name badges, in Twitter bios, and in the continuous discourse over which pronoun should be used for whom and upon what whim.
Celebs have embraced “they” this year, staking their claim to being just a little bit different than all the other taboo-breaking popsters out there. Brit singer Sam Smith changed his pronouns to the gender-neutral “they” after doing some choreography that made him realize there was a “vivacious woman inside [their] body.”
Jonathan Van Ness, of Netflix’s hit self-improvement, show Queer Eye has determined that he is they, as has Chilling Adventures of Sabrina star Lachlan Watson. Nico Tortorella, from TV Land’s “Younger,” claims that when they met their spouse Bethany, “he was a boy and she was a girl, whatever that means… Today Bethany and [they] both identify as non-binary and prefer ‘they/them’ pronouns.”
It’s always a touching moment when a newly minted they comes out as they for the first time, before lights and cameras, with welcoming applause and accolades. It can be done in a think piece, or a quick video, or on social media. Brigette Lundy-Paine, from the show Atypical, came out via Instagram post, “where they posted a picture of their cat with the caption, “I’m non-binary, always felt a lil bit boy, lil bit girl, lil bit neither. Using they/them as of late n it feels right.”
They has come to mean so much more than “those people over there,” and is representative of an entire gendered alt lifestyle, wherein a person believes themselves to be neither male nor female, but some variation on the assembled themes.
In assigning “they” word of the year status, perhaps Merriam Webster is signalling its own intentions to go all-in on the trans trend of pronouns adoption and word transition. So far, their definition of woman is still “an adult female person,” but the jury is still out on whether the dictionary will be brought up on hate speech charges for specifying a female correlation to the word.
This is not the first time “they” has made a splash. In fact, when academics were trying to eliminate the sexism in the standard use of of “he” in academic papers, they often switched to “they,” and pluralized instead of using they as a singular.
In a statement, senior editor at Merriam Webster, Emily Brewster, said “Pronouns are among the language’s most commonly used words, and like other common words (think ‘go,’ ‘do,’ and ‘have’) they tend to be mostly ignored by dictionary users. But over the past year or so, as people have increasingly encountered the nonbinary use, we’ve seen searches for ‘they’ grow dramatically.”
The choice to give they top billing in the word of the year charts was data driven, not human decision making. They simply had more lookups. Perhaps that’s because the more it is used out of context and outside the realm of its normal definition, the more people realize that their understanding of this simple word has been compromised.
But never fear, great uneducated public! If they is confusing, if preferred gender pronouns are vexing, there are multiple guides to help you figure out how to ask what someone’s pronouns are, how not to ask, how to figure out if maybe you yourself are alt gendered.
You never know, you could be agender, androgyne, androgynous, bigender, cis, cisgender, cis female, cis male, cis man, cis woman, cisgender female, cisgender male, cisgender man, cisgender woman, female to male, ftm, gender fluid, gender nonconforming, gender questioning, gender variant, genderqueer, intersex, male to female, mtf, neither, neutrois, non-binary, other, pangender, trans, trans*, trans female, trans* female, trans male, trans* male, trans man, trans* man, trans person, trans* person, trans woman, trans* woman, transfeminine, transgender, transgender female, transgender male, transgender man, transgender person, transgender woman, transmasculine, transsexual, transsexual female, transsexual male, transsexual man, transsexual person, transsexual woman, or two-spirit.
With “they” hitting top of the charts for Merriam Webster, it’s a good indication that gender non-binary preferred pronouns are here to stay. Before next year’s International Pronoun Day on October 16th, take some time and figure out if you are they. It would be a real hate crime to find that you have been misgendering yourself, and you don’t want to be accountable for that. You, too, might be a they at heart. After all, we contain multitudes.
The NHL will be implementing new changes in order to deal with the social justice frenzy that has been going on since the firing of Don Cherry from Hockey Night in Canada. Cherry was fired on Remembrance Day for his now-infamous “you people” moment when he chastised new Canadians for not wearing the poppy.
According to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, there will be mandatory counselling and training concerning anti-bullying and racism.
TSN reports that “The NHL plans to establish an anonymous hotline for players and team personnel to report inappropriate conduct; coaches and management will participate in mandatory annual training on inclusion and harassment; inappropriate conduct will result in discipline from teams, the league or both.”
At a press conference last Friday, Bettman said, “Inclusion and diversity are not simply buzz words. They are foundational principles of the NHL,” and went on to say, “Our message is unequivocal: We will not tolerate abusive behaviour of any kind.”
Shortly after Cherry’s firing, Mike Babcock was let go from the Toronto Maple Leafs. Sportsnet detailed one of the major allegations against Babcock: “[Babcock] was accused of maltreating forward Mitch Marner in his rookie season by making him list the hardest working players on the team and which ones didn’t have a strong work ethic. Babcock later told the players whom Marner had listed without Marner’s knowledge.”
Bill Peters was next on the chopping block. Former player Akim Aliu made an allegation against Peters regarding racial slurs, about a decade ago, while they were both in the AHL. Peters apologized for the incident but was made to resign anyway.
Most recently, Jim Montgomery of the Dallas Stars was let go by his team citing “unprofessional conduct.” Details on the situation are scant at this point. It could be warranted or it could be an overreach.
Some of the points involved in the NHL’s new plan include:
- Incidents of unacceptable behaviour being reported immediately by teams. Otherwise the use of “severe discipline” will be used
- Immediate punishment for past, present and future incidents
- Mandatory yearly counselling for coaches and managers focusing on diversity and inclusion.
- Anonymous hotline for players
- A disciplinary council run by NHL executive vice-president Kim Davis
Bettman said that he has been given full support by the board of governors concerning the new “code of conduct.”
There aren’t any conclusive ways to measure the effectiveness of diversity and inclusivity training. Diversity and inclusion specialists advocate for ongoing training as opposed to a one time shot, to make sure that the messages are driven home over and over again. This is becoming industry standard in more places than the NHL, and while it makes for a good press release, there’s no conclusive evidence to believe that it helps. What is definitely does is put people on edge and add stress.
Severe discipline. A snitch line. Diversity training. Free-thinking, reasonable people know where this will lead.
The experts who will be brought in will be drunk on progressivism and cancel culture. And they will reframe the conversation, and the thought processes so that people will constantly try to see how they were personally wronged.
It doesn’t have to be this way, but it’s going to be. The NHL is well about to enter a grievance-fuelled McCarthyist era. The blacklists, witch hunts and virtue signalling have already begun. And it’s a damn shame.
Many Canadians are reportedly filing for bankruptcy at the cost of their fellow citizens.
One of which is Kenneth Nantel. Nantel has been cleared of over $100,000 in debt in the past 10 years. He also does not appear to be concerned with the multiple bankruptcies.
After filing for the fourth time, Nantel’s application was finally denied by the judge overseeing his case.
In 2012 his judge wrote, “He’s shown no reluctance of using bankruptcy to be freed from his debts,” and added, “His past conduct demonstrates a contempt for the rights of his creditors.”
Nantel, who is a mechanic, later took his case to another registrar and was relieved of his debt obligations. He was successful in declaring bankruptcy for a fifth time eight days later after he had acquired another $37,000 in debts.
An investigation by La Press and Toronto Star has found that Nantel is not the only Canadian taking advantage of the bankruptcy system.
The investigations data analysis showed that in 2018, one in five Canadians were filing for bankruptcy for at least their second time. The data which came from the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy shows that 11,500 Canadians filed for their second to fifth time.
20 Canadians filed for bankruptcy for the fifth time last year.
According to the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada, from 2011 to 2018 the number of consumer bankruptcies per year has fallen from 77,993 to 55,091, totalling 523,389. Fifth-time bankruptcies have risen from 5 to 20, totalling 88.
Thomas Telfer, who is a Western University law professor, said, “One fifth-time bankrupt is probably one too many,” he also noted, “It shows that the bankrupt has not received the message.”
Though numerous people who have filed for multiple bankruptcies have legitimate reasons for doing so, others have taken advantage and used the system as what has been referred to as a “fiscal car wash.”
Retired Canadian senator and current lawyer, Yoine Goldstein, said, “In some segments of society, it’s become almost a game. People take advantage of the system and they take advantage of the leniency of the registrars.” he also noted, “Society is bearing the cost of repeat bankruptcies.”
Due to the taxes that have been unpaid because of bankruptcies, credit card lenders have had to increase their interest rate in order to make up the cost. These rates are also being paid by customers who have always paid their debts in the past.
According to the investigation, many of the multiple bankruptcies have taken place in greater Quebec. They also found that it can be easier to file a successful bankruptcy when it is the fourth or fifth time compared to the second.
Though the overall number of bankruptcies has been steadily declining, repeat bankruptcies have been climbing.
According to federal data, only 21 of 395 discharges of fourth and fifth-time bankruptcy applicants were refused.