Calgary's "single-use items" bylaw is stupid, costly, annoying and doesn't do a thing for the environment. It adds pressures to small businesses in retail and food service sectors where profit margins are already razor thin and will cost a small fortune to administer and enforce. Citizens and businesses are rightly upset and the backlash over the ideologically driven city initiative is growing. What has to be asked though is 'why is everybody acting so surprised?' The bylaw was passed by Calgary's city council more than a year ago. Citizens should have spoken up at the time. The debate was in the news and some city councilors opposed the bylaw but Calgary's sleepy electorate wasn't paying attention. Last November, when the federal plastics ban was shot down in Canadian courts, businesses tried speaking up to remind Calgarians that a homegrown ban was looming. The warnings went unheeded. Now that the bylaw has been implemented, citizens are realizing just how absurd it is. As with so many legislations calling for environmental controls, proponents and bureaucrats supporting the bag-ban understated the extent of the law. They labeled it as a single-use plastics ban but now it has been found that paper bags and napkins are included as well even though they are compostable. A restaurant could face fines if they provide wet-naps to patrons on wing-night without being expressly asked to do so. A fast food outlet could face sanctions for giving out a paper bag to a family without being asked and then charging extra for it. How many pointy headed little bureaucrats have been hired, trained and tasked with policing these ridiculous laws? Will there be sting operations? Undercover agents trying to see if a business commits the high-crime of offering a customer a plastic fork without being prompted perhaps? The idiocy of this new bylaw is quickly becoming evident to citizens and it very well may be repealed soon. Wouldn't it be better if such laws weren't drafted in the first place though? Could we be more proactive and less reactionary? Mayor Jyoti Gondek is the most unpopular mayor Calgary has seen in generations and it's only her first term in office. Gondek has ushered in tax hikes along with an insane $87 billion climate change plan. Her administration tried to cancel Canada Day fireworks for fear of offending minorities and her antisemitism has shocked the country. Why are people surprised though? Gondek's nature was clear to see while she sat as a city councillor and voted for every far-left initiative that came before her including defunding the police. People should have known what they were getting into when they voted her into office. Or when they decided to stay home in the election rather than vote against her. Fewer than half of Calgarians troubled themselves to vote in the last municipal election despite most of the council spots and the mayor's seat being up for grabs as many incumbents retired. Meanwhile, unions and left-wing activists coalesced around specific candidates and walked most of them into victory.The next municipal election in Calgary is less than two years away and if people want change, two things need to happen. The first thing is that citizens need to find the energy to get off their asses and take part in the process. They need to study the candidates, make an informed choice, and most importantly they need to vote. The second thing is that conservative-minded groups need to get it together and endorse a slate. When the right splits the vote five ways in every race, the left wins every time. Whether its in the form of a political party or just an organized slate, this must happen. The Smith government is openly musing about introducing legislation for municipal political parties this spring. If such legislation is introduced and passes, it will leave a very narrow window for parties to form, hold nominations and get ready for the next election. Candidates and groups should be organizing right now. If Calgary's city council is dominated by left-wing loons again in the 2025 municipal election, citizens will only have themselves to blame.