Cheers: to dealing with electronic waste. The provincial government and the Multi-Material Stewardship Board have launched a program to require producers of electronic devices to find a way to recycle old electronics: as Environment Minister Tom Hedderson correctly points out in a news release, “Electronics contain dangerous metals and contaminants such as lead, cadmium, mercury and other potentially hazardous materials that can create environmental hazards if not recycled or disposed of in a responsible manner.” But there are some parts of the plan that have yet to be fully worked out — here’s some more from the release: “The new e-waste program will take an Extended Producer Responsibility approach, meaning that electronics manufacturers will be responsible for their products from the point of production through to post-consumer recycling. Electronics manufacturers have 120 days to submit a detailed stewardship plan to the MMSB outlining their proposed recycling program for Newfoundland and Labrador.” Now, there’s a conversation worth hearing: “Hello, Apple? About recycling those iPads you’re selling in Newfoundland. Hello? … Hello?”
Jeers: to the silent treatment. As more and more questions swirl around the election spending and campaign contributions connected to MP Peter Penashue, what’s becoming plainly obvious is that the MP himself doesn’t intend to give any answers. Minister Penashue is staying firmly on his rump in Parliament while other Conservatives answer questions directed to him. Ahh, remember the good old days when Prime Minister Stephen Harper used to trumpet the need for accountability and transparency from government officials? Guess that was just so much hot air. The more things change, the more they clearly stay the same.
Jeers: to price increases. As Maple Leaf Foods warns about looming increases in prices for many foodstuffs, the City of St. John’s is adding to costs with a 25 cent-per-hour increase in parking meter fees. The cost of parking is to rise from $1.25 an hour to $1.50 — or a single-year increase of 20 per cent. The change will pay for new meters needed to replace meters that won’t take the Royal Canadian Mint’s new loonies or toonies. The increase will take two and a half years to raise the money needed to replace the city’s 1,250 meters, each of which will cost $550 to replace. After that, of course, the increased costs will just be more grist for the municipal finance mill. Wouldn’t it be nice to be your own little personal town, and be able to just dictate an increase in say, your pay? Too bad you can’t — must be time to punch another hole in the old belt.