Cheers & Jeers

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Cheers: to leaving a mark around the world. And who thought it would be for dead whales? The fact is, though, that Trout River’s dead whale — and the possibility of it bursting — has become an international news event, with headlines around the world.

There’s “Dead whale stinks up Canadian town, spurs explosion fears” from the Anchorage Daily News in Alaska; “As the world waits for the Trout River whale to explode, the town grapples with the attention,” from the National Post. There’s “Residents of a small Canadian town are worried a dead 60,000 kg whale that washed up on a boardwalk could explode any minute” from, an Australian web news service. Fox News? “Canada could have an exploding whale problem.” The Miami Herald has carried a story: Newsweek warns “Yes, beached whales really do explode.” NBC News was more graphic: “Blue whale rots on Canadian beach as locals fear blubber blast.” The Smithsonian, where you might expect sober scientific thought? “This dead whale could explode at any minute.” The International Business Times? “Fears blue whale will explode raining rotting meat on Newfoundland town.” Huffington Post UK? “Whale explosion fears grip Canadian town, as huge rotting corpse washes up at Trout River (PICTURES AND VIDEO)” It’s been in the news so much that there are there are even spinoff stories: The Wire is reporting on “The worldwide appeal of rotting whale carcass tourism.” See, Mom? We told you we’d make the big time — with a blubbery bang!


Cheers: to keeping track. Every few years, someone trundles into town and suggests what we really need is a casino. Well, just to keep things on the record, there’s this analysis, done by the provincial government in 2012 and released through an access to information request, that looks at the idea. The work was done after someone approached the province with a proposal for “a public-private partnership” to build such a facility, just one of what the government says are “a number” of such proposals in recent years. Here’s the nub of the analysis: “(I)t is questionable whether any material fiscal or economic gains could be achieved, or whether they are worth any social policy trade-offs. Citing past practices in other jurisdictions where casinos have been established, the proponent concedes that a casino would attract few additional tourists to the province and that the majority of its patrons would be residents of the •••••. As gaming is largely a discretionary spending item revenues generated by a casino may be offset by a reduction in Atlantic Lottery Commission (ALC) revenues or from other expenditures.” (The proposed location of the casino was withheld to protect the commercial interests of the company that was proposing the business.) So, later on, if a casino does come about some time in the future, don’t buy the argument that it’s some kind of economic miracle — it will just be something to suck money into government coffers. Remember how we needed to have ALC video lottery terminals to protect us from evil organized crime grey-market machines? Exactly.

Organizations: National Post, Fox News, The Miami Herald NBC News Atlantic Lottery Commission International Business The Wire

Geographic location: Trout River, Canada, Newfoundland UK

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Recent comments

  • Cashin Delaney
    May 05, 2014 - 08:06

    Don't forget the jobs, in the casinos. Right now, bar staff empty the machines, bar staff deal with the addicts, if jobs will be used to justify anything, it will be here. As far as the rotten blue whale carcass goes, can we take a break from Rob Ford for a few weeks, and deal with the important issues facing us - litter skeets. Newfoundland doesn't have the educational mathematics base to provide blackjack dealers. Indeed, only half of our population even have that extra appendage that helps them count to 21. We will still need TFWs to keep it all going. I heard a consortium from Taiwan has purchased The Blue Whale, in Dildo, and the rights to The Rob Ford were bought by Leonardo De Caprio. The carcasses, well, hollow them out before they bust and turn them into Casinos. Going down to the Jonah Room? Should be a hit.