Cheers: to less investigation. We’ve heard plenty about crime growing in frequency and severity — heck, “big crime” was even the local CBC newsmaker of the year for 2013. But it’s nice to hear that some parts of the province are still, shall we say, stressed about smaller things. After last weekend, the RCMP put out a news release saying, “A total of 28 incidents were recorded for Stephenville Detachment during the previous 72 hour period.” One of those incidents? A Jan. 3 investigation: “Case 201411198 — 4:04 p.m. —unfounded report of break into vehicle in Days Inn parking lot. Appears passenger did not fully close door.” It would be nice to have more incidents like that.
Jeers: to politics and playthings. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is in the midst of a scandal after his aides decided it was time to play payback time. After the mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., didn’t throw support behind Christie, the aides decided to punish the area by blocking off its roads, texting “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.” The message? Political dirty tricks do happen, and complaints about them should be taken seriously. Not only that, when public resources are diverted or misused for political gain, all voters should pay attention. Dismissing abuse as “just politics” only encourages further abuse. In New Jersey, the firings have already begun.
Jeers: to quick responses and heady praise. At 11:17 on Friday, the provincial government, in its role as regulator, issued a news release announcing that the Kami Mine in Labrador had been released from environmental assessment. Precisely 76 minutes later, at 12:33, the provincial government, in its role as mining cheerleader, issued a news release lauding the new project, saying, “Today’s release of the Kami iron ore project in western Labrador from the provincial government’s environmental assessment process represents a major milestone and an important step forward for the project.” Natural Resources Minister Derrick Dalley was quoted as saying, “The Kami iron ore project will generate valuable economic and employment opportunities for the people of the province, particularly in Labrador. Following today’s announcement, the next step will be the approval process for a third transmission line between Churchill Falls and western Labrador.” Come on, guys — isn’t it a little unseemly to point out how thin the line has become between independent oversight and professional booster? You might have waited until, well, Monday or something.
Cheers: to time. Remember Gov. Christie? (See Jeer above.) Well, he gave a record apology for the actions of his aides (he says he knew nothing about it) in the Fort Lee traffic tangle: 108 minutes of apologies, a speech some 20,000 words long. And that wasn’t even for a six-day power shemozzle complete with rolling blackouts, full outages, frozen pipes, closed businesses and shuttered schools and colleges.