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EDITORIAL: Cheers & Jeers Jan. 7

Drinking and driving continues to be the leading cause of criminal death in Canada and one of the biggest challenges police have is finding impaired drivers while they are on the roads. Especially in rural areas, it can be hard for police to patrol due to the size of the area and the number of officers available. This is why both RCMP and Cape Breton Regional Police officers are urging people to report any suspected impaired drivers, for the safety of the driver and others.
Drinking and driving is a leading cause of criminal death in Canada. — Submitted photo

Jeers: to seemingly not getting the designated driver concept. On Christmas Eve, the RCMP pulled over a car on the Trans-Canada Highway near Grand Falls-Windsor. We’ll let them tell the next part: “Three people occupied the vehicle. Both passengers informed the officer that the driver was their designated driver. The 51-year-old-driver from Grand Bank was arrested for impaired driving and provided breath samples that were above the legal limit,” an RCMP news release said. Here’s a hint for the future: the designated driver is the one who isn’t supposed to be drinking.

Jeers: to form over function. Nothing says “I can’t be bothered to read” quite like a shelf full of books placed backwards on the shelf, spines inwards so you have no idea which book is which. Yet, as silly as that sounds, it’s a current design trend. Why? Because it looks so even… it’s so irritating when those darned books have so many differently coloured spines when what you’re looking for is a shelf-full of constant bland. Authors everywhere pour themselves a drink as they realize that all their thought, passion and hard work is just as unimportant and forgettable as any other unread brick in a beige feature wall.

Cheers: to young and fresh journalists for whom everything old is new again. It was the awkward news time around Christmas and New Year’s, when news is short, so what better time to re-question the issue of the long-discredited promotional hype of St. John’s being North America’s oldest city? It makes good ad copy, but a trip through any news archive can tell you the claim was debunked in the 1990s, again in 2000, and on and on. “Wait — you mean we’re not the oldest city?” No, we’re not, and we never have been. We can safely put that to rest until the next time it gets “discovered.” In other ad slogan fakery? We’re not the “far east of the western world” either, although that was tried out until someone pointed out that the ad agency had forgotten, well, the United Kingdom and most of Europe. How about “The City of Legends”? Don’t even get us started on that blatant chicanery. What “legends” are we talking about here? The haunting of the headless parking meters?

Cheers: to information and knowing your rights. The latest rules for rental agreements, both for landlords and tenants in this province came, into effect on New Year’s Day. They are right here online: https://www.servicenl.gov.nl.ca/landlord/index.html and even include the rules for cannabis use in rental properties. Those are on page 11; what the heck, here they are: “A landlord may prohibit the smoking or cultivation of cannabis in a residential premises as a condition of the rental agreement. The Human Rights Commission provides guidance for landlords and tenants regarding medicinal cannabis.” There you go.

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