Thursday, March 1, 2012

March 1: just a brief note...

After all, there were two blogs yesterday - and one can inflict only so much punishment on readers.

Though late to start, The Moncton Times and Transcript is doing a good job on following up on the robocalls issue in Ottawa. It's now clear that Elections Canada has no authority to do the kind of investigation that is required - and doesn't appear to want to have it.

This is serious because it is a double blow to democracy in Canada. It destroys he confidence of voters in democracy. And if turnout figures mean anything at all, that confidence has been dangeroustly weakening for years. As well, it lays the groundwork to make all future elections simply mind games with the advantage going to the party with the most money and the least scruples.

(Oh, I know. I know. It can't happen here. Well, it just did.)  There's a superb column by Alec Bruce on this subject.

This is where a prime minister has to show leadership. But Harper isn't showing any. He's s stalling with denials and with the token firing a very junior election worker, We need a full investigation and a public one not just of whether the law was broken but whether the law comes even close to being adequate.  Only Harper can make that possible. And he obviously has no intention of doing any such thing.

The rest of the paper is its usual self. Trivial stories in most of it (except for the one on robocalls), solid columns by Alec Bruce and Jody Dallaire,  Then there's an editorial designed to kill discussion of a serious issue. It's about whether Moncton needs a full time mayor.

The big city issue is, or should be, about the plan for the future of Moncton. How are we preparing to meet the imminent challenges of housing, of transportation, of essential facilities such as schools, ....  Are we aiming at urban sprawl? At a city designed for cars? Does it really make any sense to 'revive' the old Main St.? If so, would the degree of revival offered by a hockey arena make any sense given the huge expenditure involved? Will allowing curb parking revive Main St.?

What is city council's view of the future needs of Moncton? What is its plan? Is there really a plan? Or is it all up to developers interested only in a quick buck no matter what the long term damage?

These questions are the real questions behind the hockey arena proposal and the new location of Moncton High.Now, I have no sentimental attachment to Moncton High. At some time, all things have to change; and Moncton High is no exception to the rule. But is this the right change?
It's obvious that the owner of The Moncton Times and Transcript has no wish to discuss these issues, and no interest in what the city plan is - if there really is a city plan. Who cares what we peasaants think. The only important thing is quick profit at public expense. That's been obvious in both news and opinion expessed in the TandT.

But how do you get people off these subjects? Easy. Turn their attention to something else.

Remember Brent Mazerolle's recent 'news' story on whether Moncton needs a full time mayor? Is that really our top priority? Why would that be important enough for the front page?

Then you have today's editorial on the same subject. What a coincidence?

Like Hansel and Gretel following breadcrumbs, we're being led off on a false trail.

We need to consider what challenges this city is going to face in the not-very-distant future. We need to think of the map and services and means of this city. We need to decide whether we're going to build more parking lots downtown or more arenas or more apartments. And if we're going to opt for apartments, we're going to have to decide whether the bland and unimaginative designs proposed for Royal Oaks come anywhere close  to what we want our children and gandchildren to live in.

But the Times and Transcript doesn't want that discussion to happen. That's why we're likely to read even more about the need (or lack of need) for a full time mayor.

The Moncton Times and Transcrip - the newspaper designed to keep us in the dark.

When I was a kid, every school child in the city got a free ticket to the circus. A regular act was the trained seals. It would being by setting up horns that were sounded by squeezing rubber bulbs. The seals, trained to bite the bulbs in proper order, would then play O Canada. (Perhaps if Kelly Lamrock, our former education minister who was very big on O Canada, will become permier some day, and then his government would supply the schools with such an act. It would sure beat those awful PA systems. And it would make the students patriotic.)

1 comment:

  1. Just discovered your blog - man, I need this. I'm looking forward to your thoughts on Norbert's latest musings from the bully pulpit published today, Tuesday March 6.

    Thank you!