Cheers & Jeers

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Jeers: to intimidation tactics. Social services serve an important purpose. They prevent the less fortunate from falling through the cracks. It’s not a perfect system; there are losers and abusers. But the Harper government’s systematic crackdown on the employment insurance program is clearly heavy-handed. Combined with new regulations that can force people to move away from home for work, the feds have now sent agents out on the streets to make unannounced home visits. This is just too much. There are no lives at stake here; it’s not a case of child protection. No one disagrees with trying to catch cheaters, but that can be done through less invasive means — audits, phone calls and in-office interviews. It all smacks of right-wing sneer: hard-working stiffs vs. lazy louts. That attitude is simplistic and mean-spirited.

Cheers: to billion-dollar bonanzas. Tourism Minister Terry French announced last week that vacation spending in this province topped $1 billion in 2011. That’s a staggering figure, even if more than half of that came from Newfoundlanders themselves. It goes to show how important slick advertising and word of mouth are in luring people to the natural and cultural beauty of this province. True, there are still some gaps when it comes to quality of service — scattered hotel and restaurant owners who still don’t quite get it. But the 2011 numbers prove we’ve come a long, long way.

Jeers: to childish behaviour. There are many sides to the Clarenville “Jersey-gate” scandal, but none of them seems to exhibit a reasonable level of maturity. Parents ignoring team uniform requirements, a child being suspended from recreational hockey, abusive emails and phone calls from parents, and an entire group of adults abandoning their posts at the expense of what’s supposed to be a bit of fun on the ice. What’s so amazing is that no one could apparently break through the madness somewhere along the way and let common sense prevail. Those kids deserve better. And the grownups? They should all get a game misconduct.

Jeers: to dead giveaways. It tumbles through the lips with ease, long before the speaker realizes what an utterly useless and self-defeating phrase it is. Seasoned reporters have heard it many times, and it’s usually a good cue that they’re on the right track. The phrase? “There’s no story here.” Premier Kathy Dunderdale was the latest to utter it, when asked by reporters about The Telegram’s coverage of leaked documents detailing the orchestrated manipulation of online polls. The premier was not the first to fall victim to this temptation, and she certainly won’t be the last. A word of advice to all those who find themselves falling under media scrutiny: don’t do it. Don’t say those words. Trust us, it’s like waving a red flag at a bull.

Geographic location: Jersey

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Recent comments

  • Corporate Psycho
    February 25, 2013 - 19:57

    "There's no story here". Only the story of a morally corrupt government.

  • John Smith
    February 25, 2013 - 13:54

    Chantal...shhh...don't frighten David away...I love reading his wonderful posts they are so amusing...they always provide a good laugh...I just hope he isn't a gun owner...LOL

  • Aunt Lizzie
    February 25, 2013 - 13:27

    The Telegram has it completely wrong when it comes to the recent EI reforms. The new rules say that a person must only accept a job if it is within a one-hour commute from where the person lives. That is the exact opposite of forcing people to move away from home to find work. And the Telegram's position that a bureaucrat knocking on an EI recipient's door is somehow unfair or intimidating is simply ridiculous. Members of the military are subject to random drug tests before they deploy, and taxpayers are subject to random audits of their income tax returns. So why on earth should EI recipients not be subject to a little scrutiny as well? When you are living on someone else's dime, you better be humble enough to accept a little accountability.

  • Bob
    February 25, 2013 - 10:28

    Gotta say I disagree with you on the 'Harper Conservatives' methods of checking on EI fraud. I would argue we could use more of this type of thing. Maybe the provincial govt could take a hard look at the abuse in our social services (welfare) system. A phone call is not gonna cut it...if you're abusing the system then chances are you can manage to stretch the truth on a phone call.

  • Chantal
    February 25, 2013 - 09:38

    @ David. It must be very difficult for you to live in a world where everyone else is an idiot, an imbecile, a leech, etc. Alas, such is the lot of the corporate ruling class and their bile-spewing stalwarts. Any thought to clamping down on the tax cheats?

  • david
    February 25, 2013 - 08:25

    Cheers to the "billion dollar" tourism lie? Do you have an conception of what a billion doallrs is? it's 1,000 million dollars. Anyone who would put tourism at any more than 50 to 70 million dollars of revenue in this province is a complete financial ignoramous. Using the same "accounting" as this government , tourism in B.C. would be $75 trillion a year, and Disneyworld in Florida would be the largest economy on the face of the Earth. Wake up for gawd's sake! Tourism, for all the millions of tax dolars that have been poured into it, is a decent, 2-month a year success..... yay. But to not only tolerate being lied to like financial imbeciles, but to celebrate it!?!?@! Telegram...I now suspect you are on the government payroll.....there is just no other explanation for this level of journalistic ignorance.

  • david
    February 25, 2013 - 08:11

    If EI abusers and fraud artists are found and cut off, there's more left in the EI fund for deserving, law-abiding users of the system. Really?..."Jeers" to that?!! So, to recap: You don't want any changes to the system, and you don't want any enforcement of the existing system....just keep handing out the endless "free money". Wow. But I'm not sure which of two thongs this idiotic opinion reflects....a tacit admission that clamping down on EI cheats will most certainly many Newfoundland "clients" of the system, or just another reason to bitch and moan about Harper? Either way, "jeering" about this is a very insightful, predictable poiunt of view......leeches and eejots.

  • Cold Future
    February 25, 2013 - 06:56

    Did not Mike Duffy (ficticious resident of PEI) use the phrase"there's no story here." recently. The phrase rates right up there with "it is what it is".