Cheers & Jeers

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Cheers: to difficult decisions. The provincial government must have known that it was in for a world of hurt when it announced a five-year hunting moratorium on the George River caribou herd, so more power to them for making a hard decision in the interests of having the herd survive. But that’s only a fraction of actually solving the problem; the hard part is going to be actually enforcing the new rules. There’s a lot of Labrador up there, and despite years of brave talk about illegal caribou hunting, no provincial government has gone far enough to actually charge violators and bring them before the courts. They’ve talked the talk, but the only ones doing the walking have been caribou poachers who simply walked away — loading up illegally shot caribou and hauling them to Quebec on snow machines, for example. Until successful charges are laid and processed through the courts, this will be a hunting moratorium in name only.

Jeers: to flying limos. The federal government spent over $1 million flying specially armoured limousines to India by military aircraft for Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s last visit there. The RCMP said the limos were a security requirement, but the Indian government was willing to supply armoured limos in that country, and many are mystified and a little insulted by the move. “It’s a very paranoid reaction — to spend a million dollars to bring his own vehicle, I find that to be frankly outrageous that he would impose that cost on Canadian taxpayers,” Brahma Chellaney, professor of strategic studies at the Center for Policy Research in New Delhi, told The Globe and Mail. It’s also a little funny that, even though the Indian government had offered armoured limousines, the RCMP “determined there were no appropriate vehicles available in India.” Remember that little price tag the next time a federal politician tells you that we all have to tighten our belts.

Cheers: to open and accountable government. You may not be able to get cabinet ministers to do interviews on sensitive issues anymore — often, they’ll only agree to be interviewed by email — but thank goodness the government’s news release service is still churning out the really important stuff. Witness last week’s “Media Advisory: Minister to Attend Annual Volunteerism Luncheon.” The great part of that? The whole news release was 79 words long and more than one-third of that was the minister’s extensive title: “The Honourable Keith Hutchings, Minister of Innovation, Business and Rural Development, Minister Responsible for the Research & Development Corporation, and Minister Responsible for the Office of Public Engagement.” Man — does the minister of IBandRDMRR&DCMROPE have foldout business cards or what?

Organizations: RCMP, Center for Policy Research, Globe and Mail Business and Rural Development Research Development Office of Public Engagement

Geographic location: India, Quebec, New Delhi

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  • david
    February 04, 2013 - 16:09

    And Jeers as well to the Telgram and all the other media in Newfoundland...for complicity in letting all departments of government totally off thehook on this Orlova scandal, and droppogn them atter completely....it's not even worth a MENTION in this "Cheers & Jeers"? Really?! A precursor to how you'll cover an oil spill, I'm sure......

  • david
    February 04, 2013 - 16:06

    Jeers: The governemnt regulators who demand compliance by one and all under threat of legal action, but who conveniently circumvent their own laws and rules and complicitly drag an ecological threat away from oil infrastructure only to set it free again and become "someone else's" problem. It's all about public service folks...certainly not hypocritical, gutless, unethical incompetence, immoral opportunism, and putting the value of saving a dollar ahead of justice or accountability.

  • too funny
    February 04, 2013 - 11:30

    "the trivial governments we now seem to elect." What? Were you born yesterday? Do you seriously believe this is something new? We always elected "trivial" governments.

  • wavy
    February 04, 2013 - 10:52

    Well done, Telegram. In one solitary paragraph, you peeled away the layers of rhetoric and succinctly addressed the essence of government's role and responsibility in the George River caribou ban. The only additional element I'd ask of government, in the big-picture scheme of things, is why now? The biology and illegal activity, supposedly provoking the recently-announced ban, is nothing new; GR herd numbers have been in steady decline for years, the poaching has been going on for years. So why did government pick now to, supposedly (only time will tell if they're willing to go all the way and enforce the ban), put it's foot down and invite, as you put it, a world of hurt? By the way, nice one on government press releases. As the kids like to say, SNAP!

  • John Smith
    February 04, 2013 - 10:48

    Cyril, when it comes to bafflegab and meaninglessness...you should be considered an expert...LOL

    • Peter
      February 04, 2013 - 12:11

      Don't forget Cyril's sidekick Hollett. A basement dweller spending hours putting out his drivel.

  • Cyril Rogers
    February 04, 2013 - 10:19

    Cheers to the trivial governments we now seem to elect. They are all about trivial at the expense of the really important. When governments pass draconian legislation to hide their activities I, for one, believe they are up to no good. It is just one more example of a government in disarray and with no sense of direction. They are trying to fool us with bafflegab and meaningless announcements while ensuring that nothing of substance is able to get out.