Cheers: to words of wisdom. Pope Francis spent All Souls’ Day (Nov. 2) in Rome last week, visiting an American military cemetery and the site of a Nazi massacre. During mass, he took the opportunity to lament the fact that humankind has not seemed to learn from war, which he referred to as “the destruction of ourselves” and said “hatred, death and vendetta” are the horrible fruit it bears. “How often in history, when men think of making war, they are convinced of bringing a new world, they are convinced that they are making spring,” Pope Francis said. “It ends in winter; ugly, cruel, a reign of terror, of death.” Words worth remembering, indeed.
Jeers: to ongoing disputes. There’s still no resolution to a racket on Bell Island that began after the Town of Wabana sold some property in 2016 and inadvertently included the building housing the town’s $400,000 drinking water system in the deal. Jim Bennett, owner of Beachstone Enterprises Inc., and Wabana Mayor Gary Gosine can’t even agree on whether the property sale did include the water system, let alone how to resolve what has become a heated spat. Gosine said the town intends to reclaim the water system — by going to court, if necessary. Bennett says he wants to hand it back, but he can’t get the town to make a deal. Let’s hope cooler heads prevail soon, before any more taxpayers’ money has to be spent on legal fees.
Jeers: to coming out on top. Newfoundland and Labrador took first place when the latest unemployment rates were posted by Statistics Canada last week. This province’s jobless rate in October was 14.5 per cent, with P.E.I. having the next highest rate, at 10.3. Despite having the greatest number of people living in poverty, British Columbia has the lower unemployment rate in the country, at 4.9 per cent. When it comes to Canadian cities, St. John’s is No. 1 at 8.8 per cent, followed by Calgary and Edmonton at 8.3 and 8.2 per cent, respectively. The city with the lowest jobless rate is Victoria, B.C., at 3.8 per cent.
Cheers: to 11 minutes’ peace. A Twitter employee decided to go out with a bang on his final day at work last week by deactivating the account of U.S. President Donald Trump. As Entrepreneur.com reported, “The shutdown only lasted for 11 minutes Thursday afternoon, but 11 minutes is a lifetime on the internet.” Trump was soon back in the Twittersphere, and @TwitterGov apologized for the “human error,” but during the brief hiatus many were quick to tweet how grateful they were for the break from the notoriously Twitter-happy president. Robert Caruso of Washington, D.C. perhaps put it best: “It wasn’t a mistake, @TwitterGov. Think of it as a new feature we all wanted,” he tweeted.