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EDITORIAL: Cheers & Jeers for July 15

Cheers: to playing it safe and being warned. But of all the parental warnings, “Don’t put baby in an air-tight box” seems like one of the more obvious ones.

Jeers: to the costs of going paperless. It’s already been reported that, since the provincial government stopped sending out reminders in the mail for expiring car registrations, the number of people getting tickets and fines for expired registrations has increased significantly. Fact is, despite the increases, there could be many, many more people getting dinged for letting their registrations expire. If you walked down just one row of cars in the Health Sciences parking lot last week, you could find anywhere from eight to 18 cars every day with expired plates and stickers. The government is saving $460,000 by not sending the reminders, and cashing in $250 for every ticket issued. It’s like a whole new kind of levy. But with this one, you can drive your Chevy to the levy…

Cheers: to hilarious outcomes. In an effort to reduce plastic bag usage, a Vancouver, B.C. grocery store had its plastic shopping bags printed with offbeat and potentially embarrassing messages like, “Wart Ointment Wholesale,” “Into the Weird Adult Video Emporium” and “The Colon Care Co-Op.” The store’s owner thought the slogans would dissuade people from using the bags — but boy was he wrong. Instead, shoppers came to the East West Market just to get their hands on the oddities. The owner, David Kwen, is making the best of the situation, though; he told National Public Radio that the bags are at least triggering a discussion about the use of plastic bags. He now plans to print and sell reusable canvas bags with the same messages, and is already getting international requests for them.

Jeers: to arguing out of both sides of your mouth. So, when it suits the provincial government to say things are going great, they do. And when it suits the government to say things are in the dumpster, they’ll say that as well. Here’s a little snippet about the government’s presentation to a committee reviewing the salaries of provincial court judges, where the judge’s association caught the province out: “(W)hile the Province argues that Newfoundland and Labrador has the weakest economic outlook of any province, the Association submits that this statement was contradicted by the Premier. The Premier touted the recent prediction by the Conference Board of Canada which reported that this Province will lead the country in economic growth in 2019 with a forecasted growth of 5.2 per cent in 2019.” The message? Don’t mess with judges. They’re thorough.

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