Cheers: to open access for restaurant inspection reports. Letting the public know the conditions at their favourite eateries is certainly a good move. (You can find an alphabetical list of inspections at http://www.servicenl.gov.nl.ca/inspections/alphabetical.html#B.) Across the board, a quick breeze through shows the biggest problems seem to be with refrigeration (fridges not keeping food cold enough, including inspections where everything in fridges and food lines had to be discarded) and food preparation surfaces not being up to snuff. A prediction? The restaurants that do perform badly may also soon be developing a distinct lack of customers, especially as word spreads about vermin issues or other scary problems. (You have to love the report where an inspector felt it necessary to write “Vinegar is not a sanitizer. Use a food-grade approved sanitizer,” or the one who had to write “Cardboard must not be used as a form of surfacing in food premises.” And see if you can find “Pot of ribs to be cooled in small portions and refrigerated in cooler. At time of inspection ribs were out all night — pot of ribs thrown out.”) It’s a kind of restaurant evolution — at the very least, restaurant owners who fail to keep up their operations will end up being architects of their own misfortune.
Cheers: to persistence. Every day in the House of Assembly, cabinet ministers stand up and give ministerial statements. And with every ministerial statement, former Tory MHA Tom Osborne stands in the House of Assembly to speak to those statements and his former colleagues flatly refuse him permission to speak. Earlier this week, Osborne spoke to legislation that would see certain annual reports posted to the web (Ah, the web — public access for everyone, if you can find the spider hole where the online material is hidden today) instead of being tabled in the House. Why not, he suggested, have the information both tabled in the House and put up on the web? His motion was quickly determined to be out of order and deep-sixed. He’s also been told by the Speaker’s Office he can have one question in question period — once every 30 sitting days (or every seven weeks or so, and the House certainly won’t sit that long this fall, so plan that one question well).
Cheers: to Wikipedia gremlins. Apparently, someone with some time and a sense of humour gave provincial Innovation, Business and Rural Development Minister Keith Hutchings a new handle during the week, fixing up his Wikipedia biography and dubbing him the provincial Minister of Twitter. No word if the other Tory Twitterati — Steve Kent, Paul Lane, etc. — got their noses out of joint at being overlooked for the honour. The appointment has since been removed from the crowd-sourced encyclopedia.