Jeers: to mixed messages. “The $4-billion deficit sky is falling!” “No, the $4-billion deficit sky isn’t falling.” Wow: two different budget forecasts from the Dunderdale government — one from the finance minister and one from the premier — and in just two days. So we either are/aren’t facing a $4-billion deficit over the next three years, including this year’s forecast $726-million deficit. Anybody who knows where things really stand, please put your hands up. Here’s a suggestion: the province’s deficit and surplus projections have been so far off over the last six or seven years, we might be better off hiring Paul the Octopus, the eight-legged wonder that predicted Germany’s World Cup Soccer wins. Wait: Paul the Octopus died. Oh well, even dead he probably couldn’t do worse.
Jeers: to bad PR. A coroner’s report says a 30-year-old New Zealand woman who died in 2010 likely died as a result of her 10-litre-a-day Coca-Cola addiction. All right, there’s probably no way to put a positive spin on that chestnut, but here’s the response a Coke representative came up with when the story of the death first broke: “We concur with the information shared by the coroner’s office that the grossly excessive ingestion of any food product, including water, over a short period of time with the inadequate consumption of essential nutrients, and the failure to seek appropriate medical intervention when needed, can be dramatically symptomatic.” Dramatically symptomatic indeed. As in dead. All things in moderation, people. All things in moderation.
Cheers: to an overdue goodbye. The sorry saga of the MV Nonia is finally over. A used ferry purchased from a former Eastern Bloc country, the Nonia has been a disaster from the get-go. It shouldn’t have been bought in the first place, it shouldn’t have continued to be repaired and, if it wasn’t for the need to save face in the provincial marine division, it wouldn’t have been repaired. It’s time to cut our losses. Here’s the government-speak: “The MV Nonia is currently in dry dock, and is not expected to return to service until January 2014. Given this time frame and the estimated cost of $9 million to complete repairs, a decision was made to remove it from the provincial fleet, have it decommissioned and sold. The vessel was acquired in 1999 at a cost of $1.2 million. Including purchasing costs, approximately $19 million has been spent to date to keep it in service.” The ultimate hole in the water into which we’ve poured far too much money.