SE Calgary News

In 2009 SE Calgary News published an online newspaper. This was its website. Content below is from the site's 2009 archived pages. It is just a small sampling of the type of articles they published.



August 27, 2009 by Markham Hislop

Linda Fox-Mellway, Ward 14

I am on the Steering Committee for this new facility.  The Pine Creek Water Management Centre construction project is now 95% complete.  This project has reached a number of important milestones.
• In the Fall of 2008, commissioning of the plant began.  This process tests systems and components of the plant and allows staff to optimize plant operations.   Process performance was established very quickly and effluent quality continues to be excellent. 
• In February, 2008, Council approved a two-year acceleration schedule for construction of a ‘solids and gas’ handling portion of the Pine Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.  Construction of these components, the last major contract to complete Stage 1, commenced in the spring of 2008. 
• The Bow River crossing project will provide potable water and sanitary sewer service to existing and future developments in the south east quadrant, both east and west of the Bow River.  Construction completion was estimated to be mid August of 2009.

During the planning, design and construction of the Pine Creek Wastewater Treatment facility, The City has remained committed to providing a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment facility to protect our valued water resources, while minimizing the impact of the construction and integrating the plant into its natural setting.  These efforts have been recognized as follows:

1.  LEED Gold Certification:
On February 10, 2009, the Operations, Maintenance and Administration Building at Pine Creek attained a Gold rating under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED ®) program.  The LEED® New Construction program promotes green design and construction practices.  These practices are intended to reduce or eliminate the negative impacts of buildings on the environment and on the users of the building.  To date, this rating has only been achieved in 6 buildings in Calgary.

2. Consulting Engineers of Alberta Awards of Excellence:
On February 13, 2009, the Pine Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant was recognized with two Awards of Excellence from the Consulting Engineers of Alberta.  These Awards of Excellence were in the categories of:
• Sustainable Design
• Project Management

3.  APEGGA Summit Award:
The Pine Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant was honored with the Project Achievement Award from the Alberta Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists Association on April 23, 2009.

To find out more information on the status of the Pine Creek Water Management Project please contact Orin MacIntyre at (403) 268-5764 or email him at

You may also visit the Pine Creek Water Management website at  .. then access the ‘construction projects’ tab.

If you have any concerns of a civic nature, please do not hesitate to call my office at 268-2430, fax; 268-3823 or 



October 14, 2009 by Markham Hislop

By Markham Hislop, Editor

I interviewed Danielle Smith, leadership candidate for the Wildrose Alliance Party, for today’s feature story in which her husband, David Maretta, features prominently.  Maretta is the managing editor for Calgary Global TV.  He is also a member of the Wildrose Alliance.  Can you see the potential conflict of interest?  Most people can.  Most journalists do.  Ms. Smith, for the record, had no opinion on the issue.

I have a problem with that.  Not so much with her official avoidance of the issue.  I get it, she’s not going to criticize her loyal hubby, who she praised at length for being a wonderful, supportive modern spouse.  Apparently the guy walks on water, too.

But even Maretta was smart enough to tell his boss that he regretted ever forking out ten bucks for the damn membership.  I’ll bet what he really means is that he’s sorry he was caught. 

According to his boss he didn’t contravene any Global guidelines or “principles.”  When his wife declared her candidacy for the party leadership he and his superiors followed standard operating procedure in a newsroom – he was taken off any political stories and was not allowed to attend meetings where political coverage was discussed.  But my reading of News Director Jeff Bollenbach’s comments are that eventually Maretta will be back working on political stories.

And every time I watch a Global TV news story I’ll wonder if he worked on it and if his Wildrose Alliance bias somehow influenced the story.

And that, in a nutshell, is the problem. 

Belonging to a political party ties you to a political ideology, a set of policies, a group of politicians and their supporters.  People join parties to advance a cause and elect candidates to political office.  Party members are often fiercely partisan. 

Do any of those characteristics sound like an independent-minded, unbiased journalist?  Hell, no!

We rely on journalists to sort through all the muck thrown our way by competing interests, whether they be political, business or whatever.  How can they do that if they are in bed with one of the aforementioned interests?

After my stint at a daily newspaper I worked for an NDP member of Parliament.  After a couple of years I left to become what scribblers acidly call a “presstitute,” a media consultant for hire, and during that time I was active in the local NDP constituency.  But I eventually left the party because of its opposition to business, which I like, and capitalism in general, which I have come to believe in. 

If you read my op-ed pieces since the start of the SE Calgary News, all that information, in one form or another, is in there.  My bias, such as it is, is out in the open.  I don’t belong to any political party and never will again, at least as long as I’m slinging words for a living.

But experience has taught me what it’s like on the inside of a political party.  Once you join, you’re part of the tribe.  You dance naked around the campfire, chant the ancient slogans and worship the party gods.  You’ve drunk the koolaid.

Now, how are you supposed to wake up the morning after a political party orgy of back-slapping, glad-handing and the debate of high-minded political ideals, throw on your suit and tie, and head off to the newsroom to write un-biased political stories?

Can’t be done, I’m saying.

The counter-argument is that journalists are citizens, too, and they enjoy the same rights as other schmucks – namely, the right to freely associate with like-minded schmucks, including the right to join political parties. 

Sheena Read, editor of the Nanton News, couldn’t care less that she was busted.  Not only does she own a Wildrose Alliance party card, but she’s bought memberships in other parties in the past.  She dismisses the whole debate as a “non-issue.”  Maybe her readers don’t know that she’s compromised her integrity right out of the gate.  Maybe they just don’t care.

I care.  And I wish Danielle Smith cared more, too.  She spent six years on the Calgary Herald editorial board and worked for Global TV.  She knows the score.  The least she could have said is that maybe hubby was guilty of a lapse in judgment and, best case scenario, maybe journalists should preserve at least the illusion of their independence by never joining political parties.


  1. MissGreen on October 14th, 2009 8:48 pm

I’d personally like to thank David Maretta for joining the Wildrose party and hopefully flexing his right to vote! It’s up the Global to make sure that their stories are properly edited and not all biased to one political party……

  1. Don Leonardo on October 15th, 2009 1:04 am

It seems the Wildrose Alliance has been hi-jacked from the left.

There are many that have stated to me on the Membership list “I normally vote NDP”

I guess the Liberals found a new party. No name change needed.

  1. Chrissy on October 15th, 2009 10:00 pm

Smith won’t discuss members and the writer finds that disappointing?

Dryholm steps in deep doodoo by revealing confidential member names the writer is all over it.

quite clear which side of the ethical fence Hislop is on.

  1. Maureen on October 16th, 2009 1:55 am

Why doesn’t the Craig Chandl-er, Mark Dyrholm Campaign just publish the names of EVERY Wildrose Alliance member they don’t like because they are Smith supporters?

What else are Craig Chandler and Marky Dyrholm doing with confidential Wildrose Alliance membership information?

And how is Danielle Smith disappointing in this?? Her husband buys a party membership to support his wife. So much for your family values, eh, Mr. Dyrholm? What hypocrisy.

Not only that, but her husband RECUSES himself from all provincial political coverage (of which Global has notorioiusly little) and Chandler still goes after Ms. Smith’s family.

Are Mrs. Chandler and Mrs Dyrholm not members of WRA?

What’s next — will Chandler and Dyrholm go after her step son or siblings? Are they investigating other members of her family and her friends’ families to make sure they are not in any sort of “conflict”?

If the writer wants to talk about conflict, how about Craig Chandler AND Dyrholm running the PGIB, a supposed business group that lobbies the provincial government? Will Chanlder fold this group if Mark Dyrholm defies the odds and wins, then goes on to enter government? I doubt it.

This whole article reeks of the kind of yellow journalism and favourtism toward one side that Hislop complains of in the MSM. Disgusting.

  1. marlene stobbart on October 19th, 2009 5:38 am

What an interesting, biased and well written column. What did Sheena Reed do to get busted? What does that mean? Wasn’t she the editor of Nanton News? If you refer to her story covering Danielle Smith when in Nanton – she’s the editor. The same applies to the High River editor covering Mark Dyrholm at the HR library.
I didn’t detect bias in either story.
As for Ms Smith husband and his position in Global TV – I didn’t see any untoward coverage for Ms Smith. Further, he acted appropriately when advising his employers and their employees of his position re Ms Smith.
As for joining political parties – you have the right and the right to hold more then one membership -ndp, liberal, pc or wildrose or green. She won, bottom line.



December 7, 2009 by Markham Hislop

Mike Huckabee speaks to reporters at PGIB fundraiser Sunday evening

SE Calgary News offers a regular series of political commentary and inteviews with southeast Calgary MPs, MLAs, aldermen and community leaders called 3 Minutes With…  The intent is to provide a forum where our elected officials can explain in detail their position on issues of the day, to move beyond the “sound bite.”  In this segment, Mike Huckabee, 53, the former candidate for the Republican nomination for president and currently a talk show host on Fox TV, talks about the conservative movement in the United States and Canada. 

Mr. Huckabee was the keynote speaker at a fundraiser organized by the Progressive Group for Independent Business, held Sunday evening at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce.  The former governor of Arkansas spoke about the need for conservatives to organize politically and to raise money to support political campaigns and initiatives.

Mr. Huckabee’s early career included stints as a pastor and demonational leader.  He was the president of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, the largest denomination in Arkansas, and led congregations in Pine Bluff and Texarkana.  In 1996 he became the 44th governor of Arkansas and served until 2007.  He is the author six books, including several on healthy living (he suffers from diabetes).

In 2008 Mr. Huckabee threw his hat in the ring for the Republican nomination.  He ran against a strong field of candidates that included John McCain, Rudy Guliani and Mitt Romney.  Despite being a relative unknown in American politics, he ran a strong campaign and eventually finished second.  Mr. Huckabee has not ruled out another run at the nomination and is currently active in grassroots organizing campaigns.

Full disclosure: SE Calgary News employees belong to two PGIB business luncheon clubs as part of their advertising sales efforts.  SECN does not endorse any political group, party or ideology.