Cheers and Jeers

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Jeers: to slow motion.

So the nation’s premiers met in Toronto on Friday, in part to press the federal government for changes to the Canada Pension Plan. Here’s a chunk of the CP story leading up to the event: “Canada’s provincial and territorial premiers will be discussing pensions and the federal job grant program when they meet in Toronto Friday. Host Premier Kathleen Wynne’s top priority for the meeting is reforming the CPP, warning there will be a huge financial crisis if action isn’t taken now.” Here’s a little quiz for you: how many of Canada’s premiers will actually have to look to CPP for their retirements? Exactly zero. Now, maybe if federal and provincial politicians saw their pay and benefits tied to numbers in the real world, we might actually see more action and fewer words …

Cheers: to this week’s new word. Out of a sequence of 10 news releases issued by the provincial government on Thursday and Friday, five used the word “vibrant” to describe some aspect of the province. Now, which definition do they mean?

“Full of energy and life” or “quivering; pulsating”?

Cheers: to getting back to normal. Now that the Senate has hove out senators Duffy, Wallin and Brazeau, it’s great to see that they’ve returned to their usual cut-and-thrust exciting debate. Here’s a sample from Nov. 7 and Sen. Linda Frum: “These two safeguards — first, requiring that the nature of the document is incidental to the real obligations found in the regulation itself, and second, ensuring that they are incorporated only as they exist on a specific date — are an appropriate balance to strike. With this important regulatory tool, there come important obligations. This bill recognizes the need to provide a solid legal basis for the use of this regulatory drafting technique, but it also expressly imposes in legislation an obligation on the regulator to make sure that documents it incorporates are accessible. While this has always been something that the government recognizes as a fundamental obligation, this bill would enshrine that obligation in legislation. There is no doubt that accessibility should be part of this bill. It is essential that documents incorporated by reference be accessible to those who are required to comply with them and those who want to know how the law regulates industries or sectors that are of interest to them. The general approach to accessibility found in this bill would provide flexibility to each regulation-maker to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that the material is in fact accessible. We also know that it is in the interests of regulators to ensure that the material that they incorporated by reference is accessible, understandable and enforceable. …” Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz. (After Nov. 7, the Senate adjourned for a much needed break until Nov. 19.)

Jeers: to a perfect record. On Friday’s drive to work, a Telegram editor stopped at eight traffic lights. At all eight, a driver in another vehicle was texting. Come on, people, we are not all heart surgeons who are constantly on call. We can at least focus on the road for the duration of the commute, and then answer the latest pressing text.

Organizations: CP

Geographic location: Toronto, Canada

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  • Mary Beth Hageman
    February 03, 2014 - 15:02

    JEERS: While we have heard about the breach in security at Target and their recent layoffs, what I haven't heard much about is the fact that Target.com has sent the jobs they took from Minnesota workers to India, thus depriving the state of taxable income, adding to the unemployment crisis and needless to say, creating grievous problems to the affected families of said workers in terms of income and insurance. Target is a Minnesota company, a spin-off of the Dayton-Hudson Corp, which boasts of its philanthropic support for its communities. This is not the kind of support we need. I for one will no longer be a Target.com shopper and will not be in a hurry to look at my Target ad in the future.

  • Sean
    November 18, 2013 - 14:04

    I was extremely disappointed at your characterization of the work of legislators. I understand you are trying to insult the Senate, and I have no particular love for that institution, however the kind of work you highlighted, getting down into the nitty gritty of the wording of laws, is some of the most fundamental work of any democracy. When draft bills don't get sufficient scrutiny, you get bad laws. Whether it is in the Senate, or a provincial legislature, any process that highlights substance over theatrics is to be encouraged. I was very surprised to see this type of view expressed by the Telegram. I expect better from you.