My last questions to the Ministry of the Environment have not been answered, though they were quite simple. What is the law on reporting contaminated land? What are the terms of its cleanup?
It's pretty clear now that the minister isn't going to answer. That suggests that there is a big story in this for a tough and digging reporter from, say, The Moncton Times and Transcript or from a real action news and talk radio station.
In order to discourage staff from doing improper things with them, NB governnment computers are, I am told, programmed not to accept sites that offer pornography or online gambling. To that list, I hear the government has added this blog.
I'm so ashamed of myself.
Remember that there will probably be no blog tomorrow since I shall be at the big anti-shale gas rally in Fredericton. It should be quite a sight, with all those Irving reporters looking for pro-shale gas people to interview.
At the top of the news, "Christmas tree sales help N.B. economy".Gee! Who would have guessed? New Brunswick has trees. Never noticed that. And you can sell them....
Then there are two pages of pictures of the Santa Claus parade (Hint - people who were interested in the parade went to see it. The don't need the pictures. Those who didn't go to see it probably don't want the pictures. Boy, it's nice have a newspaper monopoly so it doesn't matter what people are interested in seeing.)
Lots of people went to a craft show. Oh, and "tree growers in N.B. promote use of real trees at Christmas"; another shocker. It's almost as good as "Obama performs Moslem rape on dying Bill Clinton!".
And, as is common, there's a story blaming the schools for something they have no control over. Anglo children don't learn French as well as French children learn English. The report gives the reason why that happens - then ignores its own insight.
People learn the languages they have to. It's not hard to understand. The Dutch commonly learn several languages. Holland is a small country surrounded by big ones that speak other languages. They also have easy access to TV in at least four languages.
The French and the Germans and the English are far less bilingual. Of course. They don't need other languages in their daily lives.
Acadians, like the Dutch, are surrounded by masses of English, not just in NB but, through the media, all of North America. Of course, they become bilingual at a far better rate than anglos do. That has nothing to do with the schools,not unless you expect the New Brunswick schools to convert 80% of North America to speaking French only.
If our reporters on the State of the Child in this province are so convinced that schools can create a fully bilingual province in the conditions that obtain here, I would dearly love to see them give a single example of it in the whole world.
As for language equality as New Brunswick commitment, anybody who presumes to present a report on language training should know that to say a jurisdiction is officially bilingual does NOT mean that all people in it speak both languages. The UN officially operates in all the world's languages. That does not mean all (or any) UN employees speak every language in the world.
And that's all the excitement for section A.
The big international news is that this is the 50th anniversary of the Rolling Stones. That just left no room for the horrors that are happening in Congo, or the news that Canada may be establishing military bases in Africa, or that the US is moving troops to Egypt.
The editorial cartoon has a sign post for the Middle East on which all the signs post to hatred. Well, yes. It's like that. It's also like that in most of the world. With the cooperation of almost all the news media, governments all over the world stir up hatred and fear. That helps them to get away with attacking countries for no legitimate reason, passing laws that strip away human rights in their own countries to spy on, imprison and even kill their own citizens with no charge or trial. And you don't have to go far to find a country that does that.
The editorial peddles the old bunk that the way to prosperity is to make the very rich even richer; then the very rich will create jobs, and we'll all prosper.
Look. We have been making the very rich even richer for at least forty years. Every year, they get richer - but the rest of us keep getting poorer.
Lower their taxes? Their taxes are already low, always have been - and they often don't pay even that.
If making the very rich richer is the key to prosperity, then we should now be rolling in prosperity.
An editorial writer with even half a wit would realize he's talking nonsense with his "give even more to the rich" and "don't waste money on the poor. they'll just use it to stay alive."
Craig Babstock tells us yet another story about what he must consider to be his fascinating life.
Allen Abel has yet another pointless story about rush hour in Washington. Allen - who bloody cares?
Alec Bruce has one of his best about the sudden conversion of the very wealthy to concern about global warming. Unfortunately, that conversion does not extend to most Canadian energy industrialists. Nosirree. In their view, fossil fuels are good for you; and they intend to keep up a big push to export them.
In this, they are supported by our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, who thinks all those scientists are wrong; and there is no global warming. And he must know. After all, he went to collidge.
Unfortunately, due to all the important stories about how New Brunswick has trees and how terrible the traffic is in Washington, there was no room to mention the big, anti-shale gas demonstration in Fredericton tomorrow.