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EDITORIAL: Cheers & Jeers March 8

The Atlantic Destiny fishing vessel sinks far off the coast of Nova Scotia on Wednesday, March 3, 2021.
The Atlantic Destiny fishing vessel sinks far off the coast of Nova Scotia on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. — Canadian Coast Guard

Cheers: to the hard work of search and rescue personnel. In all, 31 crewmembers were saved by Canadian and U.S. rescuers during the sinking of the scallop dragger Atlantic Destiny last week. Seas at the time were reported to be as high as eight metres — stop for a moment and think about that. If the average single storey of a house is around 10 feet, a two-storey house would be 20 feet — or six metres. Now, think about the kind of motion involved with waves that high, while you’re also in a helicopter being battered around in high winds, and you’ll quickly realize search and rescue workers are worth every single penny they are paid, and more.

Cheers: to good ideas. We’ll hand it over to Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, provincial chief medical officer of health for this one: “Please check with your family, friends and neighbours who are 70 and over to make sure they pre-register for their COVID-19 shot. Perhaps you could even assist them with filling out the form online if they require some help. Thank you!”

Jeers: to news releases before investigations. Bay Roberts RCMP are investigating an accident on Route 70 in Tilton. The news release they issued, complete with a picture of the car involved, reads, “Police found evidence that pointed towards impaired driving and accompanied the driver to the hospital. The investigation is continuing. Officers are currently working at obtaining a warrant for the driver’s blood to determine if charges of impaired driving are appropriate.” Maybe that part of the release could have waited until there actually was a charge?

Cheers: to keeping tabs. Remember the SydVastlanken? Maybe you don’t: it’s the major Swedish HVDC power line that is having its software built by GE Grid Solutions, the same company whose software development problems have been delaying the completion of the Muskrat Falls project’s Labrador-Island Link power line. The Sydvastlanken was supposed to come into service in 2015 but has also been bedevilled by software issues. Well, the latest final completion date was to be the end of March, six years late. Thursday, the Swedish power utility, Svenska Kraftnat, announced the project is still not ready to go — because “there has been a need to correct deficiencies in the software,” shifting the date to Aug. 15, 2021. The last time the project was delayed, in November, Swedish Energy Minister Anders Ygeman had this to say about the project: “Sydvästlänken är ett skandalbygge. Jag har svårt att sätta en annan etikett på projektet efter fem år och tjugo förseningar.” The English version, using Google’s translation software? “The southwest link is a scandalous construction. I have a hard time putting a different label on the project after five years and 20 delays.” So, here’s a question: which project will actually be finished first?

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