Cheers & Jeers

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Jeers: to passing the bucks. Changes to Canadian coins — specifically, loonies and toonies — will see the City of St. John’s having to find $500,000 to replace the mechanisms in 1,250 parking meters. The new plated steel coins don’t work in existing meters, a problem that’s hitting vending machine companies as well. The Royal Canadian Mint made the change from nickel to save $16 million a year in manufacturing costs. Total costs to private companies across the country? It’s estimated at $40 million. Guess it’s one way to get part of the economy moving … force the customers to ante up extra.

Cheers: to making a plan. After hearing this week’s St. John’s Board of Trade speech by Premier Kathy Dunderdale, you can’t help but wonder if Quebec-hate is taking up too much time in the busy days of this province’s premier and her cabinet ministers. How can you possibly make a clear-headed decision on things like hydro dams or equalization if you always have to be factoring in the nebulous and requisite value of being in some way able to shaft the neighbours? Here’s an idea: why not just set up an official Department of Provincial Revenge? (It could be called ScrewQ for short.) The department and its minister could spend their days trying to find ways to even the score — and it would have a fixed and measurable budget, so we wouldn’t find out somewhere down the road that, in the midst of one of the regular fits of delicious imagined payback, we’d actually cut off our fiscal nose to spite our face. One problem though: who would be spitey enough amongst the current crop of Tories to be the minister?

Jeers: to putting yourself first. Busy U.S. airports like Kennedy International are finding a new problem with people trying to skip lineups: they’re ordering up wheelchair service to move to the front of the line, even though they aren’t disabled. The New York Times reports the practice is so common that some routes are dubbed “miracle flights,” because as many as a dozen passengers request wheelchair boarding — and then only one or two require the wheelchairs provided when flights reach their destinations. Real nice.

Cheers: to mail call. Hmmmm. The elves in The Telegram’s mailbox seem to be getting a sudden bunch of letters supporting Muskrat Falls. There have always been a few, but now there are more than usual, all saying that if the Decision Gate 3 numbers look good, the project should be a go. Is this just a spontaneous flexing of the voice of the proletariat, or did a call go out from somewhere or someone?

Organizations: Royal Canadian Mint, Board of Trade, Department of Provincial Revenge Kennedy International New York Times

Geographic location: Quebec, U.S.

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  • Cold Future
    October 09, 2012 - 09:48

    When you try to pass an ugly unecomomical mess like Muskrat that will cause hardship to the NL consumer, you have to call on all the help you can get, including bad mouthing the province of Quebec which you have failed to negotiate with to produce an economical solution. However, when the fighting Newfoundlanders you get support from wake up and realize the hardship of the excessive high rates and the subsidy they will be paying to mainland ratepayers you had better run for cover.

  • Bob K.
    October 09, 2012 - 08:00

    That wheelchair scam has been going on for 60 or more years that I can vouch fore and it's still the same as you describe. Quite healthy people feel they must beat the boarding line (it's kind of a status symbol for some), the airline passes the word to the destination so it'll have chairs waiting, but voila!, they're not needed. "Patients" are off & running. Delta's flights from JFK to Miami were notorious.