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Cheers & Jeers

It's motorcycle season and riders have got their motors running. — SaltWire Network

Jeers: to big motorcycles and fragile egos. No sooner did the summer arrive, then so did the young drivers and their monster motorcycles. Nothing says summer freedom more than blasting your way down the Prince Philip Parkway with the throttle cranked wide open at 6:30 in the morning, right? There’s not much anyone can do about it — the motor-miscreants are long gone before anyone could even answer a complaint. All we can hope for is a little long-term karma: that this year’s ignorant drivers grow up, settle into a nice house next to the parkway, and father sleep-averse twin babies. No, triplets.

Cheers: to paying your fair share. Canada’s major banks and the Canada Revenue Agency seem to be on a collision course over $2.8 billion in taxes and interest dating back to 2009. The CRA says the perpetually profitable banks used a loophole to escape paying tax by shifting tax breaks from share owners who couldn’t use them to others who could. This should be fun.

Jeers: to changing horses in midstream. Over a year ago, Eastern Health started building a berm to protect key electrical systems at the Health Sciences Centre from being flooded by Leary’s Brook during high-rainfall periods. Problem No. 1? They started the work without first obtaining permission under the province’s environment assessment legislation. So, the work was halted, and the environmental process began. Problem No. 2? Then-environment minister Eddie Joyce ordered a full-scale environmental preview report (EPR), which was finally completed in March. Ready for this construction season, right? Wrong. On budget day, the province announced it now planned to the long-needed replacement for the Waterford Hospital on the Health Sciences grounds. Do they even talk to each other? Because of that decision, on June 15th, the EPR process for the berm project restarted — right down to a new public meeting. It’s bad enough that Eastern Health thought it was outside the process. It’s worse that this tangle has found its way into a second year, and maybe longer. If Eastern Health really believes the Health Sciences’ entire electrical system could be compromised by flooding, shouldn’t there be more urgency to this process?

Cheers: to the great escape. Martin the tortoise has been reunited with his owners 11 months after he escaped under a fence in an Oakville, Ont., backyard. Herman was scarred from an animal trying to eat him; he may have escaped other perils as well, as early reports suggested a well-meaning bystander had found Martin and released him at a nearby lake. (Martin is a desert tortoise, and can’t swim, so that might have ended very badly.) You get the feeling that the Toronto Star was having a bit of fun with the story; the newspaper’s headline describes the renegade reptile as having been “on the run,” even though 11 months of travel only saw him travel … two blocks.

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