Cheers & Jeers

Staff ~ The Telegram
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Cheers: to the absolutely expected. The province of British Columbia rolled out the first government-owned online poker site in North America, and played the usual trumpet as it did so, announcing the need to protect residents from other online sites and the promise, as always, that the money they collect would be well spent. This, from the Friday Vancouver Sun: "Minister of Housing and Social Development Rich Coleman said British Columbians spend $100 million a year on illegal, offshore gambling sites and he wants to see that money spent in B.C. instead. There are more than 2,000 'illegal' online gambling sites, Coleman told a news conference on Granville Island Thursday where he unveiled the expanded website PlayNow.com. 'Of these websites, not one is accountable to the residents of British Columbia, not accountable to the players that play on their sites and not accountable to the laws of this country,' he said. He insisted the money collected on PlayNow.com will go to social programs, health care and education." The PlayNow.com is the same system now being considered for use by our provincial government. If they go ahead with the plan, stand by for the exact same justification.

Cheers: to the absolutely expected. The province of British Columbia rolled out the first government-owned online poker site in North America, and played the usual trumpet as it did so, announcing the need to protect residents from other online sites and the promise, as always, that the money they collect would be well spent. This, from the Friday Vancouver Sun: "Minister of Housing and Social Development Rich Coleman said British Columbians spend $100 million a year on illegal, offshore gambling sites and he wants to see that money spent in B.C. instead. There are more than 2,000 'illegal' online gambling sites, Coleman told a news conference on Granville Island Thursday where he unveiled the expanded website PlayNow.com. 'Of these websites, not one is accountable to the residents of British Columbia, not accountable to the players that play on their sites and not accountable to the laws of this country,' he said. He insisted the money collected on PlayNow.com will go to social programs, health care and education." The PlayNow.com is the same system now being considered for use by our provincial government. If they go ahead with the plan, stand by for the exact same justification.

Jeers: to one step forward, and just as many backwards. Thursday, the Vatican released new canon law about sex abuse by priests, saying such abuse constitutes a grave sin. Problem is, in the same canon law, the Vatican also termed ordaining female priests as a grave sin - essentially equating the two. Here's Britain's Daily Mail, reporting on the changes: "The new rules mean that priests can be defrocked or excommunicated for paedophile offences, sexual abuse of mentally handicapped adults or attempting to ordain women." As approaches go, you could file this one under "B" for "boneheaded." Anyone else think the Catholic Church is in desperate need of a little teeny dose of common sense? Here's the reaction of Andrew Madden, a former altar boy who sued the church over abuse: "The first thing the Church should be doing is reporting crimes to civil authorities. That's far more important than deciding whether a criminal priest should be defrocked or not. The Church's internal rules are no more important than the rules of your local golf club."

Jeers: to defending the indefensible. And while we're on the topic ... Quebec's health minister Yves Bolduc, a medical doctor to boot, would back his government making a $58 million loan to expand an asbestos mining operation that will ship the fibre, a proven carcinogen, to other countries (primarily developing nations). "The government has taken a position in favour of the safe use (of asbestos)," Bolduc said in Montreal on Thursday. "I understand that people from the public health (community) may want to take certain positions, but we are in a world where we have to make compromises, and if the government of Quebec makes a choice, we have to respect the choice of the government of Quebec." And what would you do if the Quebec government decided to jump off a bridge ...?

Organizations: Daily Mail, Catholic Church

Geographic location: British Columbia, North America, Quebec Vatican B.C. Britain Montreal

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