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EDITORIAL: Cheers & Jeers June 10

One of the posters from the anonymous Crime Stoppers campaign in St. John’s. — Contributed photo

Cheers: to making the right decision — eventually. Newfoundland and Labrador Crime Stoppers did the right thing in stopping its “Operation Anonymous” campaign last week, which used ominous-sounding advertising in an effort to somehow promote that you could make anonymous tips. “Newfoundland and Labrador Crime Stoppers will, with immediate effect, discontinue the Project Anonymous campaign in its entirety. We thank those who supported the effort as well as those who voiced their comments and concerns. … While we expected debate and discussion, we did not foresee the negative messaging received.” What’s not the right decision about the whole debacle? The agency’s continued effort to refuse all comment it can’t completely control: as the agency says in its release halting the campaign, “Please note: No further statements will be issued and no interviews will be granted.” The optics aren’t good.

Jeers: to faking spontaneity. Near the end of May, Ontario Conservative politicians started sending out social media tweets about beer in corner stores — the politicians went out to stores, posed and then posted remarkably similar tweets about how good it would be to have been able to buy beer there. It turned out that the whole thing was a deliberate digital plan, complete with templates for what the MPP should write, and what should be in the photographs. A message to all politicians of every stripe: act like a trained monkey for unelected “image-builders” in your party, and your electorate will eventually treat you like a trained monkey, too. Even if you get marching orders from on high, do your own homework and presentation, so at least it doesn’t seem like you exist to speak with your master’s voice.

Jeers: to government as usual. The new provincial cabinet in Newfoundland and Labrador is … pretty much the old provincial cabinet in Newfoundland and Labrador. Despite taking a pretty substantial kicking in the last provincial election, Premier Dwight Ball has chosen the “everything’s fine, nothing to change here” approach. Not much movement on “The Way Forward,” is there? Oh well, at least they won’t have to print new stationery and business cards.

Jeers: to bad numbers. The insolvency rate on the Avalon Peninsula rose by 16.5 per cent over last year, taking the rate higher than it’s been since tracking began — and credit counselling professionals warn there may be even higher numbers coming. What’s causing the problem? A poor understanding of financial risks, and a belief some among borrowers that they should be able to have anything they want. Think of it like a ship: any boat will sink if you fill it up with too many things. And if you think those numbers are bad, just imagine the chaos if interest rates tick upwards any time in the near future.

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