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Cheers & Jeers

The Newfoundland Liquor Corp. will stop providing customers with plastic bags as of Nov. 1, although paper bags will still be available.
The Newfoundland Liquor Corp. will stop providing customers with plastic bags as of Nov. 1, although paper bags will still be available. — Telegram file photo

Cheers: to a good start. The Newfoundland Liquor Corporation has announced it is dropping its plastic bags, effective Nov. 1. The move will save the company $180,000 a year, and will also take at least some part of this province’s disposable plastic out of the waste stream. (The Crown corporation’s savings, by the way, eventually end up with the taxpayer.) One consumer group likely to be a little put out by the decision? Cat owners: the heavy plastic bags are better than almost any bag as a receptacle for cleaning litter boxes of clumping kitty litter.

Jeers: to staying firmly on the legislative fence. The provincial government has said it has no plans to regulate home inspections, despite complaints from both sides of the housing equation. A few months ago, The Telegram reported on complaints by home inspectors that others hang out their shingle as home inspectors with neither the training nor the experience to do proper inspections. This past week, we reported on the damage faulty inspections had done to home owners — one family who spent thousands of dollars fixing rot and water damage that their home inspector simply missed, and another case where an inaccurate inspection torpedoed the sale of a property. It’s about time the province moved to put some basic standards in place; homes are the biggest purchases people make, and there are no rules to make sure that they’re getting the kind of inspections they are paying for.

Jeers: to leadership looking a lot more like simply running away from problems. Last week, the province’s governing Liberals announced their plan for dealing with the costs of Muskrat Falls. The solution? Ordering someone else to look at it, in this case, the Public Utilities Board. The decision is similar to a long line of buck-passing excuses. “Have you done your homework?” “Yes, I’ve just ordered my little brother to do it.” “Did you wash the dishes?” “Yes, the dog is licking the plates now.” The beauty of this particular round of buck-passing? Why, that we’ll have to wait until after the next provincial election to really find out that there is little or nothing the government can do to stop us from having to pay for the things we had built. And the premier’s best line yet? That we shouldn’t “fret” about increasing power rates. Talk about minimizing legitimate fears.

Cheers: to contests. So, here you go: what’s the most ridiculous, outlandish thing that a United States president could possibly do, and still not garner calls for impeachment from his party? Oh, wait: it looks like there’s absolutely nothing that a president could do, not even involving party politics in judicial investigations. Even his own advisers admit the current president is basically incompetent. Sometimes it’s just fantastic to have a border between us.

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