Nenshi, Telekinesis, And Anti-Oil 

September 8th, 2013 | R. Rados 

Delving into the world of weird and unsophisticated pseudo-science, we find a man who has dabbled in telekinesis and participated in bizarre competitions involving people who think they can move objects with their minds. That man is Chima Nkemdirim, better known as Naheed Nenshi's chief of staff. 

Nkemdirim was at Nenshi's side when he won Calgary's mayoralty and he might hope to be by Justin Trudeau's side if the Liberal leader becomes Prime Minister. Before all of this, Nkemdirim led a team from the "Capitalist Energy Sector" to the 2008 World Telekinesis Competition. Like his big daddy, Nkemdirim also fancies Twitter and seems to connect with groups that oppose Alberta's oil sands. 

If you want to brush off all this telekinesis stuff as some gag or satire, don't rush to that conclusion just yet. The telekinesis competitions are real. They attract some serious competitors every year who compete to "remotely influence the behavior of a candle". The team to make the candle's wax drip onto the opposing team's side of the game board wins. This exciting video from the last few minutes of a competition shows how it's done. What you see in the video is the game board with a candle in the centre. Some other photos can be seen here to complement your experience. 

These enigmatic telekinesis competitions that Nkemdirim has participated in belong to what is known as the Noxious Sector Projects. It's a group of like-minded individuals and artists based in Seattle and Canada. They sometimes come together as a "collective" to do crazy things, like haunt Harper. At their official website, visitors can actually find an event called "Haunting Harper". The event was held in April of 2012 and sought to impose the psychic presence of its participants on Harper's spectral will. You can't make this stuff up. 

The official Noxious Sector website states: 

We believe in the power of united minds, brought together to impose our psychic presence on Harper's spectral will. We believe that people have the mental power to make an impact -- and we want to test this belief in as large scale a way as possible.

Noxious Sector's official Facebook page says the group is dedicated to the exploration of alternative cognitive function. A quick peek at some of the postings by group members and followers will give you a hint of how serious some of them are. 

Whether Mr. Nkemdirim takes any of this seriously is up for debate, but even if he doesn't, Canadians might want to know why he would associate himself with such a strange group. They might also want to know whether Naheed Nenshi is aware of the group's obvious contempt for Alberta's oil sands. Here is a screen shot of Noxious Sector's artist statement about an exhibit that criticizes and condemns the Athabasca oil sands. The end of the statement makes a final condemnation by saying,  "This is the anticipation of a moment where humor quickly turns to horror, and horror reveals itself as the making ready of the next environmental disaster, in the exuberant parlance of economic progress."

It may or may not be a coincidence that Nkemdirim is associated with a group that opposes the oil sands and that Naheed Nenshi has recently come under fire for sending Calgary's tax dollars to The Pembina Institute, which is a well-known environmental advocacy group that opposes the Alberta oil sands. Since Nenshi has been mayor, Calgary has paid The Pembina Institute over $300,000 in fees.

Calgary's economy depends heavily on the oil industry and the Alberta oil sands. It seems antithetical for the city's mayor and his colleagues to support groups that oppose the entire industry. However, these connections fit perfectly into a growing picture that paints Naheed Nenshi as a man with his own agenda. 

Naheed Nenshi has had some bizarre and shady connections that require some explaining. In light of his support for The Pembina Institute, the connections of his inner circle might tell a much more complex story that voters deserve to understand.