The lead article on today's Times&Transcript is not a front page news story. In fact, it's not a news story of any sort. It's not even written like a news story. It's just another example of a newspaper toadying to corporate owners and advertisers by generating artificial excietement for a project that is brainless - but possibly profitable for a few, very rich people.
The headline is "Events centre funds quest continues." Well, yeah. We've known that for months. The is the search for somebody (who, in the end, will have to be paid back by you and me) to lend us over 80 million for an events centre and hockey rink.
Yessirree. Our schools are collapsing for lack of maintenance. Our snow clearing is the most primitive and most dangerous I have ever seen in a modern city. Our mass transportation belongs in the 1940s - and we're going to make it worse by cramming more cars into the city. We're almost certainly on the edge of a prolonged recession. But, hey, once we build that hockey rink and events centre, the whole world will be talking about Moncton.
Yeah. They'll be taking about the appalling neglect of its schools, the misery of its traffic jams, the ugliness of a small and intitmate city centre made cold and ugly by a massive events centre and its huge parking lot. And its huge debt in a recession.
The reason that city centres are blighted is because of the automobile. That's why so many shops are now in malls. Reviving a city centre by bringing in more cars is worse than brainless. It's an irresponsible act being carried out by the very few people who will make money out of it. (And who will certainly not move to Main St.)
Now, for the writing of the story. It's so laboriously cutesy it would make baby fwow up. It begins "You have may have heard news stories from across the nation this week"..(about how Ottawa is giving away piles of money). To be kind, perhaps the writer is confused about where government money comes from.
Then, "You might be happy to know this is precisely the money the city is after..." "..the..." downtown events centre the community has been clamouring for..."
First, never write a news story is it were a letter to your ailing mother. Secondly - exactly where the hell is this clamouring community? Who is in it besides the owner of the hockey team and the editors os The Moncton Times? Have I missed the demonstrations? The rallies? The dancing in the streets?
For bad news that isn't entirely the paper's fault, check out p. A4. The city council is inviting all of us to help plan for what Moncton will look like in fifty years. Right. The city is full of experts who know what the world will be like in fifty years.
As well, City Council seems to have got its understanding of democracy from Premier Alwared. They both believe we elect governments so they can ask us what to do. That's really not it.
People who run for election are supposed to be the ones who have the ideas. They put the ideas to us at election time. If we like them, we vote them in. Do you see the distinction?
This crap isn't news. It's propaganda. And it's atrociously written propaganda at that.
As a parting suggestion, could the council send a few members to a real city to see how they clear snow? (Try to keep the budget for that trip below 80 million.)