Cheers: to brave attempts. Renee Marquis used to own 10 KFC franchises in this province, and is currently making national news with her plan to surrender her KFC operations and open a chain of family restaurants specializing in healthier family fare. It’s quite a move for a restauranteur whose father brought KFC to Newfoundland in 1960. Part of her reasoning? Her five-month-old daughter, who Marquis doesn’t want to grow up eating chicken fingers. It’s an admirable attempt — bringing healthier, home-cooked food to a variety of places in rural Newfoundland — but it’s not without its business risks. People know the health dangers of fast food, but eat at fast-food joints anyway. Why? Because they like the food, as unhealthy as it is. You can lead a horse to water — but you can’t make someone put down the salt-and-cholesterol-laced option simply because you want them to eat healthier choices. Napoleon Bonaparte had an apt line for that: “An army marches on its stomach.” People’s arteries might thank Marquis for her efforts, but it remains to be seen whether their tastebuds will follow and march right in to her restaurants.
Jeers: to confusion. The premier of Nova Scotia and the premier of Newfoundland and Labrador met Thursday to talk about the Muskrat Falls project. They say no decision will be made about the project until the next set of financials are complete, and those financials won’t come until the end of the Decision Gate 3 process. Yet, even though the numbers aren’t in, both premiers say Muskrat Falls is still the best and cheapest option, and that, even though there are cost increases coming for the project, those cost increases won’t change the project’s status as the only viable choice — unless we want to, as Premier Kathy Dunderdale put it, “ration energy or sit in the dark.” Would you buy a used car on those terms? “Buy this one. We still don’t know the price, and it’s going to go up, but it’s really the only choice for you.” Somehow, it sounds like you’ll never really be the one sitting in the driver’s seat.
Jeers: to every silver lining having to have a cloud — and to the people who seem to want clouds. So there have been a few weeks of nice weather in the province, even in the far reaches of the Avalon Peninsula. Nice cool mornings, delightful summer heat late in the afternoons, evenings with the kind of wonderful soft summer breezes you dream about when the heating bill pops into your mailbox on a sleety January day. And there are people with the temerity, the absolute temerity, to tempt fate by complaining about how hot and dry it is! “For everything, there is a season…” And this season is summer. Bask in it, soak it up. Make the most of it. And quit grousing already.