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EDITORIAL: Cheers & Jeers June 24

Garbage collected from a tributary of Leary’s Brook, St. John’s, June 21. —
Garbage collected from a tributary of Leary’s Brook, St. John’s, June 21. — Russell Wangersky/The Telegram

Cheers: to cleaning it up. And jeers to putting it there in the first place. A cleanup crew took on the top of one of the small tributaries of Leary’s Brook late last week, and harvested easily three pickup loads of garbage. There was the usual windblown waste: plastic bags, paper, building wrap, styrofoam. But there were also three televisions; a plastic princess castle reduced to pink fragments after it was dumped and then hit by a snowplow; wheels with tires; pallets; a plastic children’s slide. Who takes all that effort to lug trash to a brook and heave it all down an embankment towards the water? It’s worse than sad. It’s pathetic.

Jeers: to bad politics. The Senate pulled the plug on Conservative Rona Ambrose’s push to have federally appointed judges undergo mandatory sexual assault training late last week. Isn’t it great when unelected senators use petty politics to sink legislation passed — unanimously, by the way — by Canada’s elected federal politicians in the House of Commons? Let’s give Ambrose herself the last word on this one: “Canadians rightfully expect more from Parliament. Victims of sexual assault deserve representatives who will stand up for them, especially when they don’t have a voice in the fight. It’s shameful that powerful senators lack the will to stand up for victims of sexual crimes.” We second that analysis.

Jeers: to weasel words. Here’s the first sentence of an Ontario government news release; “Ontario’s Government for the People is unlocking the value of Ontario’s world-class health care agencies …” That sure sounds like a good thing, doesn’t it? Value being unlocked — why, it’s almost as if it’s going to be better than ever. The news release, however, was announcing the layoff of more than 400 health-care support workers and the removal of another 400 or so vacant positions — in a week when Ontario Premier Doug Ford up-bloated his provincial cabinet from 21 members to 28. Maybe the news release on that expansion could have started with an equally distracting sentence, like this proclamation from the pigs who controlled government in George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

Cheers: to not being immune to confusing people, instead of clarifying. Sometimes, the news media is as bad as everyone else. Here’s a fast-breaking news story from the Financial Post: “Short sellers have managed to dodge a short squeeze despite the stock’s 33 per cent advance in the past six trading days, according to S3 Analytics. While the stock fell as much as 4.5 per cent on Wednesday, expectations for borrow rates to resume rising could mean a capitulation is near. The stock fell 1.2 per cent to US$167.80 at 3:00 p.m. in New York trading.” Get right on that, would you?

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