Why did Ches Crosbie cross the road? To ask the chickens if they want to launch a lawsuit.
Ches Crosbie went to a hockey game, and a class-action lawsuit broke out.
Ches call me if you want to file a lawsuit.
Ches Crosbie, John Crosbie and Sidney Crosby walk into a bar. … Stop me if you’ve heard this one.
It isn’t often that decent people have sympathy for a lawyer, but you’ve got to feel for Ches Crosbie. He became the subject of ridicule and mockery this week when his announcement of a class-action lawsuit against the provincial government over moose-vehicle accidents made national news.
Readers of Canada’s coast-to-coast Toronto newspaper were brimming with detestation and loathing for Crosbie’s supposedly inane and money-grabbing legal action. Some Telegram readers joined in.
It can be easy to laugh at lawyers. Crosbie even admitted at a Tuesday news conference that some people would be perplexed by the class-action lawsuit.
As quoted by The Tely, Crosbie said, “I would like to reassure you all I haven’t lost my marbles.”
On the contrary, the real fools are those who drive on any highway in this province without a care or a worry about the possibility of hitting a moose.
Moose-vehicle collisions kill several people annually, and cripple others. There are 700 to 800 moose-vehicle collisions every year in this province. That is an astounding statistic. If the provincial government refuses to take the issue seriously and address the problem, then perhaps a judge will.
Critics of Crosbie and his class-action clients commonly claim motorists who speed or drive recklessly and hit a moose shouldn’t expect taxpayers to cough up cash after their “accident.”
Hopefully, a judge will give Crosbie’s class-action lawsuit the go-ahead, and the facts can be brought out in a courtroom and separated from fiction.
Fact: there is far too much speeding taking place on the province’s roads.
Fiction: anyone who hits a moose has only himself to blame.
Everyone has a moose story. You can drive along well below the speed limit, especially at night, and have a moose pop out of the bush almost instantly and be on the road directly in front of you. Whether it jumps out 100 feet away or right onto your bumper is a matter of sheer chance or luck.
“Another 10 feet or half a second, and I’d have been dead.”
It should be easy for Crosbie to find a few thousand people who will testify to that.
Eugene Nippard of the Save Our People Action Committee told The Globe and Mail this week only 30 per cent of motorists who hit a moose were driving more than the posted speed limit.
Maybe this is an underestimation, given the preponderance of speeding. But even if half the drivers who hit a moose were going too fast, that still leaves 350 to 400 incidents in which motorists can’t be faulted. That’s roughly one incident per day.
There are about 120,000 moose on the island of Newfoundland, according to the provincial government, which has increased the number of hunting licences granted and has allotted funds to clear brush from roadsides. These actions seem to be an admission of the problem.
One argument we should blast into oblivion is that a moose cull would be cruel or inhumane. Another ridiculous argument is that efforts to decrease the moose population would make it harder for hunters to get their moose, and for outfitters to satisfy their clients.
Human lives are more important. Stop the Ches thumping.
Brian Jones is a desk editor at The Telegram. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.