Cheers & Jeers

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Cheers: to consolation prizes. When 10-year-old Elijah Porter of Paradise saw the devastating disqualification of the Canadian men’s 4x100 relay team at the London Olympics, he wanted to do something about it. So, he sent them a letter praising their attempt and extolling the efforts of Canadian Olympians. He also sent them a Timbits soccer medal he won when he was four. It’s touching, of course, but more importantly, Elijah revived an important lesson lost in these days of “owning the podium.” Sports really is about how you play the game. All of Canada’s Olympic athletes — winners and losers — did us proud.

Jeers: to senseless destruction. Scouts Canada has been under a lot of scrutiny about the way it handled past allegations of sexual abuse. It doesn’t need added headaches as it pursues its otherwise worthwhile goals. For the second time in two years, vandals have sacked Camp Morristown, a scout camp near Foxtrap, C.B.S. Like similar facilities around the province, Morristown provides valuable outdoors experiences that boys and girls will treasure for a lifetime — the kinds of experiences that prevent young people from turning into useless thugs like the ones who did this damage. Let’s hope they’re caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Cheers: to cod fodder. Over at The Navigator, editor Jamie Baker has a few interesting things to say about cod, and the latest buzz about an imminent comeback of the once plentiful species. Fisheries scientist George Rose recently reported that cod stocks around the province seem to be remarkably healthy. That’s gotten some gills flapping about whether a renewed cod fishery may be on the horizon. Baker, in his online Skipper’s Blog, says things aren’t that simple. “If cod came back today, there would be nothing we could do with it,” he says. “A great number of vessels and harvesters have converted their enterprises and businesses since 1992 to be focused on crab and shrimp, and going back would be the kind of expensive proposition that could drive them out of the industry.” As well, says Baker, most onshore facilities have been converted or closed up. And then, of course, there’s the challenge of re-establishing markets in an increasingly competitive world. As Baker puts it, “This is not 1992.” Food for thought.

Jeers: to heavy-handedness. Pussy Riot is a brash Russian punk band. They’re not especially musical, but make up for it with plenty of anarchial verve. In February, the band barged into a Moscow cathedral and performed a vulgar “prayer” to the Virgin Mary asking for the ouster of President Vladimir Putin. Clergy and parishioners were shocked. Three of the singers were arrested and held for trial on charges of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred.” The women insisted their actions represented legitimate political protest. Nonetheless, on Friday, the judge handed down two-year jail terms. The religious angle is ironic, in a way, as the three young punk rockers have now become martyrs for growing anti-Putin sentiments, not only at home but around the world.

Organizations: Scouts Canada, Moscow cathedral

Geographic location: Canada, Foxtrap, Morristown

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