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EDITORIAL: Cheers & Jeers April 15

Moses, who was seized from a home in C.B.S. by humane services officers and treated for injuries a provincial court judge ruled were the result of cruelty by his previous owner, now leads a life of leisure with his new master in St. John's.
Moses, who was seized from a home in C.B.S. by humane services officers and treated for injuries a provincial court judge ruled were the result of cruelty by his previous owner, now leads a life of leisure with his new owner in St. John’s. — File photo

Cheers: to happy endings. The Telegram’s Tara Bradbury reported on the positive resolution to an animal cruelty case in Conception Bay South recently. Bear, a German shepherd-mastiff mix, had a collar that was so tight when he was seized from a property by humane services officers last summer that he had to be sedated before they could remove it and treat the infected wounds on his neck. Today, now named Moses, he has a new home and a caring owner, who gives him plenty of affection, toys and treats. Who’s a good dog?

Jeers: to childish putdowns. On April 7, on NTV’s “Issues & Answers” segment, Premier Dwight Ball aired his grievances about former premier Brian Peckford, who dared criticize the recent Atlantic Accord reboot between this province and the federal government. Ball said he didn’t know why Peckford was getting on with such “silly, stupid stuff,” and that the former premier should stay home in British Columbia and “chew on his cucumbers” — a thinly veiled reference to the Peckford administration’s failed cucumber venture with Calgary businessman Philip Sprung, the Sprung Greenhouse. It brought to mind Premier Kathy Dunderdale’s curt dismissal of Peckford in 2012, when he dared write her a letter warning of the danger of cost overruns at Muskrat Falls and what it could do to the province’s finances. We all know how that turned out. Dunderdale called Peckford’s advice then “a message from afar, about a debate that you haven’t been engaged in...” You’d expect a bit more class from sitting premiers, wouldn’t you? Silly, stupid stuff indeed.

Cheers: to credit where it’s due. Amendments to legislation may not be sexy things, but as new rules become codified into law, they can carry considerable clout. Last week, Justice Minister Andrew Parsons tabled amendments to the Correctional Services Act left unproclaimed by the Progressive Conservative administration in 2011. If they come into force this time, they will strengthen the act, and provide a new process to hear complaints from inmates who say they have been mistreated in provincial prisons. A tip of the hat to Parsons, as well, for acknowledging that “the hard work’s been done by staff.”

Cheers: to old ideas made new? And speaking of prisons, if a replacement for Her Majesty’s Penitentiary ever actually comes to fruition, as Parsons pledged last week, perhaps some thought can be given to building a far more progressive prison; one where inmates can receive beneficial programming and learn real skills that they can take with them when they reintegrate into society and try to enter the workforce. Oh wait — we had one of those once, but we closed it down and sold the land for cottage lots. The prison farm at Salmonier would not be an appropriate option for every criminal, but it seemed to work well for minimum security inmates and may be worth taking a look back at.

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