Cheers & Jeers

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Cheers: to a little bit of the obvious. Service NL Minister Dan Crummell told the CBC that the government-mandated date (May 1) when studded snow tires have to come off didn’t cause accidents when snow came after that deadline last week; it was that drivers were going too fast for the conditions. And he’s right.

People who drive should spend a lot more time thinking about their driving and a lot less on getting somewhere quickly. And while we’re talking driving: to the driver of the charcoal-grey car that crossed two lanes of traffic on Prince Philip Drive with no warning whatsoever Friday at lunchtime — all the drivers around you knew you were texting, perhaps because of the bright-pink phone case and the way you were holding it up to study your messages. Several attentive drivers saved you from yourself by avoiding your essentially driverless car.

Jeers: to access. A thought about the ongoing fuss over Humber Valley Paving and whether or not it got preferential treatment in escaping a Labrador road building contract it didn’t want to complete: so, if you’re a company in this province, you just make an appointment with the minister to sort things out directly? Interesting. That must make the old ministerial suite pretty darned busy.

Jeers: to data-mining. So, federal Treasury Board President Tony Clement defends the Harper government’s actions in snooping on Canadians’ Facebook and other social media sites as being a way to “engage in conversations” with the electorate? Isn’t that a bit like a peeping tom defending his predilection for looking through other people’s curtains as “building a relationship”? There was a time when Canadian governments didn’t think they had a place in the bedrooms of the nation — or on their computers, either. Here’s David Christopher of the online rights group OpenMedia, speaking to the CBC: “When we share on Facebook, we think we’re sharing with our friends. We don’t think we’re sharing everything with some faceless government bureaucrat in Ottawa using our tax dollars to snoop on us.” Get away from those curtains, Tony, and get your thrills (oh, sorry, “conversations”) somewhere else.

Cheers: to changing circumstances. Well, maybe not cheers, exactly, but at least a bit of recognition that the scales have tipped a little. Last week, CBC News posted video shot at an IceCaps playoff hockey game showing the Conservative caucus and soon-to-be premier Frank Coleman enjoying an evening with Danny Williams in his booth. It’s video shot in a public place — but you can only imagine the stink there would have been in the corridors of power about that scrap of tape in years past. So, here’s a question: will the CBC be welcome at the next game of a Williams team, even if their reporters (like one did this year) wears a home-team jersey while they do their news reports from the game?

Organizations: CBC News, Treasury Board, IceCaps

Geographic location: Ottawa

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Recent comments

  • david
    May 13, 2014 - 14:38

    I'll give Vicki Kaminski credit: in some respects, she was right when she said that "things are better than they were". The latest breach of patient record confidentiality was for accessing only 20 patient records, instead of 50 or 75 like before. If being nosey and stupid was a paying job, Nfld. would have the hottest economy on Earth.

  • Mr. Speaker
    May 12, 2014 - 09:51

    Mr. Speaker; I don't have a tender contract with government, but, if I did; could I please re-negotiate the terms & conditions and scope of work, with a simple phone call to the minister and have some $20M returned to me? I promise, it won't benefit me or my family one little bit. What's that? oh, ok; so, I have to agree to be premier to get that deal? ah, let me get back to you on that.

  • Uncle Dolf
    May 12, 2014 - 06:30

    Jeers to access: Isn't it prohibited to talk to your MHA or Cabinet Minister these days? I'm under the impression everything had to go thru the Premier's office first.

  • Ken Collis
    May 12, 2014 - 06:01

    No matter what else went down politically concerning this contract, Humber Valley Paving should not qualify for a government contract for at least six years. That is a no brainer of course, but we are talking about politicians