Cheers & Jeers

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Jeers: to reporting delays. Ontario’s Trillium Health sent letters out to 3,500 patients last week telling them their CT scans and mammograms are being reviewed because of concern over a certain radiologist’s accuracy. These things happen, and the health board is taking the right approach. Only thing is, results of the review were available at the end of March. Why has it taken five months to notify patients of a possible problem? “I was a little bit surprised at the length of time,” said one patient. “My God, I’m only getting this letter now.” Perhaps they haven’t heard of the Cameron Inquiry into Newfoundland’s faulty breast-cancer testing? Of course, in the latter case, notification of patients was delayed by at least a year and a half. But any delay beyond a month or two is troublesome.

Cheers: to court-ordered transparency. The College of the North Atlantic has been determined to hide what it’s been spending on external legal fees in a case involving a former employee. Now, it not only wants to hide those fees, but it wants to hide the reasons for hiding those fees. Under the province’s more restrictive access law, Bill 29, government agencies can withhold privileged legal documents from the information commissioner, forcing members of the public to seek access through the courts. But in court, the college’s lawyers would not even tell the judge why it wanted to hide the evidence it had for wanting to hide the fees. On Thursday, Judge David Orsborn dismissed the request outright. “I’m not prepared to guess what the breach might be and I’m not prepared to go so far as to close court.” What’s the college’s next move? Good luck finding out.

Jeers: to wilful ignorance. Like that of C. Gwendolyn Landolt, national vice-president of REAL Women of Canada. Landolt, having already outraged fair-minded Canadians for endorsing anti-gay legislation abroad, has issued a “clarification” that further entrenches how blind she really is to reality. In describing controversial legislation recently passed in Russia, she explains that it “prohibits the propagation (not the behaviour) of any activity aimed at harming the psychological or physical well-being of minors and prohibits propaganda promoting alternative sexual lifestyles, such as the promotion of the use of intoxicating drugs, alcohol, gambling and the use of offensive language.” So, awareness of homosexual behaviour could damage kids? And gays are just exercising a deviant choice, like a drug addict or gambler? What century do you live in, Ms. Landolt? This is exactly the sort of attitude that breeds gay-bashing from a young age. If anything, it is this propaganda that should be banned — for the psychological and and physical well-being of us all.

Organizations: College of the North Atlantic, REAL Women

Geographic location: Ontario, Newfoundland, Canada Russia

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  • Colin Burke
    September 16, 2013 - 09:04

    Chantal, I refer you to the writer of the editorial, the first of us to use "deviant" in this discussion, applying it to drug addiction and (presumably) addicted gamblers. I myself did not state categorically that either of these, for that matter, was necessarily bad, but only questioned the writer's logic; my questioning that might have been meant, for all you know, to prompt him to come up with an improved argument, one that at least would be better than "What century is Landolt living in?" which rationally is no stronger than "What food do you eat on Wednesdays?"

  • Colin Burke
    September 16, 2013 - 07:34

    It may be just my ignorance, but somehow I've missed all the solid evidence which established that practicing sodomy -- or promiscuous fornication of a more usual sort -- is most certainly not a deviant choice like drug addiction or gambling? And precisely how does saying it is akin to these lead to gay-bashing? That is to say, where is all the addict-bashing and gambler-bashing which would support the claim that it does?

    • Chantal
      September 16, 2013 - 07:53

      Colin, define "deviance," then explain why it is bad. Oh, and extra marks for keeping your deviant religion out of it.