Jeers: to rubberneckers and racers. The road construction season has started in earnest, and, like every year, it seems like no one is willing to take different routes or even slow down in construction areas. Construction workers are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts and uncles, daughters and sons — it’s something worth keeping in mind. If you can take another route to avoid construction, do it. It’s amazing what a little time spent planning can do. The work can get done faster, too. And if you can’t take another route, learn to put a cap on both your frustration and your speed, and be ready to be held up — the workers are just trying to get a job done, both safely and quickly. You can be part of the problem, or part of the solution.
Jeers: to entitlement. So, Thursday it came to light that Sen. Mike Duffy wasn’t satisfied with a huge paycheque, tonnes of perks, including free travel and expenses, and an absolutely gold-plated, taxpayer-funded pension — he wanted to be elevated to a cabinet minister’s post to enable him to get his paws on more cash, more staff and even more benefits so that he could more effectively campaign for the federal Tories. With every day that passes, the whole story just gets seedier and slimier. It’s way past time to show this entitlement-sucking leech the door.
Cheers: to clarity. At least, it will be “cheers” when some clarity comes along. Across the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the debate over the Maritime Link is continuing, with interesting fallout. An Emera official told the Nova Scotian public utilities board that if the Maritime Link fell through, Nalcor might build its own underwater link to some other part of the market — there’s some frightening news that us normal “pay-the-whole-shot” ratepayers haven’t heard about before. And then there’s the fact that, last December, the Nova Scotia government apparently agreed to pay Emera’s costs if the project got held up at the utilities board hearings. Fascinating stories that seem to change with every passing day.
Jeers: to snooping. While many have been occupied with the Duffy scandal and the never-ending story of Toronto’s Mayor Rob Ford, this little snippet may have slipped by the public’s view: Canada’s privacy commissioner has ruled that not one but two federal government departments used their IT staff to bypass security controls and spy on details contained in private areas of a Facebook page belonging to a prominent advocate for aboriginal children. It’s a disturbing window into how far government officials might be willing to go. The advocate, Cindy Blackstock, is involved in a human rights case against the federal government. The departments involved, Justice and Aboriginal Affairs, said they were doing covert monitoring to make sure Blackstock wasn’t releasing confidential information about the case. Their information haul reportedly included screen grabs about Blackstock’s travel plans and cookie-making skills. It begs the question, of course: who else are they watching, and why?