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Cheers & Jeers

Cheers: to potential drunk drivers making their own arrests simpler. From Thursday night in Corner Brook, according to the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary: “On June 28, 2018 at approximately 5:20 p.m. RNC Patrol Services received a complaint of erratic driving. It was reported that a motorist was following a vehicle driving onto a sidewalk on Broadway and the vehicle continued to the Park Street area continuing to drive upon the sidewalk. The witness remained following the vehicle until police intercepted the suspect vehicle on West St. As a result of an investigation, a 59-year-old female resident of Corner brook was charged with Impaired Operation and Blood–alcohol exceeding 80 mg.”

Cheers: to safety changes on the Veteran’s Memorial Highway. Last week’s announcement of $3 million in work to make the highway safer — adding ramps, passing lanes and a rumble strip in the centre line — are not only necessary, but long overdue. Notifications from the RCMP that the highway has been closed because of major accidents are all too regular: eight people have died in accidents on the highway since May of 2016. The route suffers from limited passing areas, drivers travelling at ridiculously high speeds, and, equally, drivers who take to the route at a dawdling 65 or 70 kilometres, apparently convinced that no one was meant to reach highway speed ever. The changes will go a long way towards limiting risks, but won’t address the most significant risk of all: the distracted, impatient, careless, cellphone-using person behind the wheel. Making the road safer is only half the battle.

Jeers: to willful blindness. An independent review of casinos and their role in money laundering in British Columbia has found that the facilities were being used to “clean” huge amounts of money. Large volumes of cash are exchanged for chips, and then those chips are cashed back in for “winnings.” The casinos apparently were unaware of major problems. Here’s a hint: when someone shows up at your facility with $2.6 million in used $20 bills in plastic bags, you might have a problem. Turns out, the casinos had pretty much the same issue for years, despite the CBC’s regular investigative journalism pointing out the problems.

Jeers: to buying low and selling high. Actually, the opposite: Friday, the provincial announced plans to ask for more private involvement in the resort, saying it was announcing “plans to enhance Marble Mountain Ski Resort as a provincial tourism asset through private sector involvement.” Have a good look at the government’s request for privatization proposals, though, and the cold hard facts are in the very last line: the resort had 56,964 visitors last season, 4,000 fewer than any year in the 16 years of data provided, and the numbers have been on a steady downhill trend for the last eight years.

Read more Cheers and Jeers here.

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