Cheers & Jeers

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Jeers: to election apathy. An outfit called Happy City St. John’s held a well-publicized municipal candidates forum Thursday night. But the turnout was less than impressive. Of 29 candidates vying for seats on council, only 17 showed up. Kudos to Sheilagh O’Leary and Jennifer McCreath, respectively, for being the only mayor and deputy mayor candidates to make an appearance. Apparently Dennis O’Keefe, Geoff Chaulk and Ron Ellsworth had better things to do. Then again, audience numbers weren’t the best, either. Only about 70 people showed up at MUN’s Bruneau Centre to hear the candidates answer a wide variety of questions. In short: if you’re not interested in giving candidates a road test, don’t complain about potholes on your street afterwards.

Cheers: to brave accountants. Good luck to the poor sod who ends up with a new position being advertised by the Canadian Senate. The posting is pretty blunt about what the job entails: “Typically, the contact with clients (i.e. senators) will be to give, exchange or clarify information, for example, having to reduce the amount of an expense claim or not being able to approve the reimbursement of a given expense. However, exchanges may be more difficult and require greater effort when dealing with problems.” The pay? Between $47,818 and $60,506, depending on qualifications. Hmmm … does that include contact pay?

Cheers: to drawing a line in the sand. Quebec’s hardline stance against cultural diversity has drawn plenty of condemnation — and rightly so. But there are some “cultural” practices that cannot be tolerated in this country, and one of them is honour killing. The federal government is taking measures to stamp out this barbaric rite, along with other forms of domestic violence related to cultural background. Status of Women Minister Kellie Leitch announced more than $300,000 in federal money last week for a project to curtail domestic violence linked to cultural practices among some Muslim families. “I think Canadians and Canada is a very open and generous country, and we don’t want to extend — and we don’t extend — any tolerance to harmful cultural practices: spousal abuse, killing in the name of so-called ‘honour,’ female genital mutilation,” Leitch told reporters. The money will chiefly go to a two-year national community program to be offered by the Canadian Council of Muslim Women.

Jeers: to lingering road repairs: as a St. John’s cab driver put it recently, it’s not hard to tell there’s a municipal election on the go. No, not because of all the election signs, but because of all the pylons and detours. Seems the sitting council wants to woo residents with their own

money. Problem is, is all this new pavement and concrete going to wrap up soon? Because it’s tying up traffic all over the city, and now we’re back into another school year. A lot of this work should probably have been done long ago. But that’s politics for you.

Organizations: Bruneau Centre, Canadian Senate, Canadian Council of Muslim Women.Jeers

Geographic location: Happy, Quebec, Canada

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Recent comments

  • Simple Math
    September 09, 2013 - 09:38

    If 29 candidates showed up to a "debate", each would only get 3 minutes out of an hour and a half to say anything. And for most of them, only a scant few of the 70 would be resident in their wards and eligible to vote. Why bother?

  • Abdul Saieed
    September 09, 2013 - 06:47

    A few days ago Pam Frampton wrote an excellent article against racism, then today you applaud Stephen Harper for coming out against honour killings in Muslim families. You call it a "cultural practice." Let's be clear, honour killings are not a "cultural practice" they are murder and in contravention to Islam and Canadian Law. Harper's only interest in pursuing this is to further label Islam as a violent religion.