Saturday, June 22, 2013

June 22: Why?

the big story, front page special report covers the best part of a whole page. Why? It says almost nothing. This is essentially a feel good story about how the downtown area is just booming., a really exciting people place. It reminds me of the one that appeared just before Christnas about how Main St. was wild with shoppers, and stores were jammed. (Poor me with my lack of reportorial skills. I walked along Main that same day and saw nothing special.)

I've been in a lot of downtowns in a lot big cities and small ones. Moncton's downtown is not exciting, not by any standard. As a tourist, there are many, many things I would come to see in New Brunswick. But downtown Moncton is not one of them. Nor is it likely to be. So why these gushy articles?

They're probably boosterism for the hockey rink - oops, sorry - events centre that the TandT has been shilling for over recent years. Wonderful things are going to happen - yes, yes.

And the shale gas protest that's been going on for some time now on  rte. 126?  You'll find that on p. 4 way, way down at the bottom in just four sentences. Count them - four.

The report is from Canadian Press. Of course, they had to buy it from CP. The TandT couldn't spare a reporter. My goodness, they had that big story on downtown to cover - and page after page talking about high school graduations - along with picture after picture, most of which look very much like the picture just before the the one you're looking at. So you didn't get the picture of a long line of police facing down a crowd about half their number, and largely made up of women and elderly people.

(Incidentally, Mr. Editorial writer, none of the protesters was wearing a mask. So far, the only one wearing a mask is you.)

Why was that story so brief and so hidden?
1. after the release of a poll that shows the anti-fracking movement to be suprisingly strong and large, the TandT is not anxious to give it any publicity.
2. There is also some evidence of a division among native peoples that premier Alward is anxious to exploit. Pictures of arrests of native women don't help Alward in that.
I would dearly love more information about that split because when and if we do hear about it from the TandT, it will have a strong slant.

The only news that is happening in the world is the flooding in Alberta. The story is more than a full page, but still doesn't have enough room to mention what will happen if flooding hits the tailingponds (toxic waste) of the oilsands.

Syria didn't make the cut to deserve a  news story in the TandT, even though Obama has taken a giant step to bringing about a confrontation in Syria that could involve a total of at least six nuclear powers facing each other down. The declared reason is that the Syrian government is using poison gas. Obama is almost certainly lying. (See the op ed column by Gwynne Dyer).

That whole region is collapsing into chaos, largely the result of the walking disaster we call American foreign policy. Obama is Bush. And both Obama and Bush are puppets of big business in the US. And big business is as incompetent to run the US government as the Irvings are to run the New Brunswick government.

The editorial page is as usual. Bill Beliveau writes a defence of Justin Trudeau for accepting a fee for speaking for a charity group.  Just about everyone else has written this off as no longer worth discussing. But, what the hell, Trudeau is a Liberal - so he must be defended for all eternity.

I wonder if I could annoy Bill Beliveau into writing a denial that Liberal Mackenzie King regularly resorted to prostitutes in Ottawa?
Norbert steams along with his series on rebuilding New Brunswick's economy. One of his latest ideas is advertising to attract Chinese millionaires for 'eco-tours' of our wilderness. Not a good idea, Norbert. Chinese millionaires are even less interested in ecosystems than New Brunswick millionaires are.

Tell you what, though. They might come from half way around the world for the thrill of walking along Main St.
Brent Mazerolle once again shows that it's possible to write a whole column without having anything to say.
Gwynne Dyer is superb.
As the Faith page shows, our churches are busier than ever doing the Lord's work with pancake suppers and yard sales and, oh, just everything.  Jesus was pretty slack on that. I mean - you've got the miracle of the loaves and fishes, and the stunt with changing water into wine. But - zip - that's it. And not a single pancake supper in the lot.

Jesus spent more time being critical critical of those with wealth, status, and power...from the local rabbi all the way to Pontius Pilate. I haven't seen much (or any) of that side of Jesus on the Faith page.


  1. In a speech delivered November 16, 2011 to the Waterloo chapter, Insurance Institute of Ontario entitled " Making flood insurable for Canadian homeowners", Glenn McGillivray, Managing Director, Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction advised:

    "Canada is the only G8 country in which flood insurance is not available to homeowners. Even Russians, whose economy isn’t exactly known for being one of the most advanced in the world, can purchase a rider to cover their homes against overland flood. But Canadians cannot.
    To make matters worse, most homeowners in Canada are of the mistaken belief that they are, indeed, covered for overland flood. A professionally administered ICLR survey conducted in 2004 showed that more than 70% of respondents believed that their homeowners policy covered them for overland flooding. More than 60% believed that their policy covered them for coastal flooding.
    People with these mistaken impressions oftentimes learn the hard way that they
    are wrong.
    But who can blame them for thinking as they do?
    We confuse homeowners by covering some forms of water damage, but not others.
    Homeowners insurance in Canada routinely covers sewer backup, but not overland flood.
    It covers burst pipes, failed hotwater heaters and the like, but not overland flood.
    It even covers burst municipal watermains, but not overland flood."

    There is not much that can be done immediately outside of rescue and evacuation, but once the waters recede, cleanup and reconstruction will have to be tackled, and unfortunately for homeowner, their flood losses will not be covered by insurance.

    There is a pattern here extending from flood losses in the Richelieu, to the Fraser valley in BC, to the Red River region of Manitoba whereby Canadian insurers deliberately opt out of responsibility for catastrophic losses to homeowners as a result of flooding, and pass such costs on to their policyholders.

  2. For example,CBC news, in an article January 8, 2009 entitled "Flood damage not covered, warns Insurance Bureau of Canada", advised :
    "Flood victims are out of luck if they are looking to their insurance companies for compensation, because home flood insurance doesn't exist in this country, says the Insurance Bureau of Canada."
    "The warning to B.C. property owners comes as dozens of Fraser Valley residents begin to assess the damage done by two days of heavy rain falling on top of melting snow, leaving many homes and properties flooded."

    An article in the December 2010 publication Canadian Underwriter states:

    "Insurance companies have provided coverage against fire and other perils in Canada for more than 200 years, yet consistently they have chosen not to provide flood insurance to homeowners. Businesses in Canada buy flood coverage. Homeowners have the option of buying flood insurance in the United States, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom and France. What is needed to make flood insurable for Canadian homeowners?"
    "Flooding accounts for almost half of the disasters in Canada. Insurance is available for other perils in Canada -- earthquake, tornado, hurricane, wildfire, winter storms, lightning and hail -- but not overland flood. Relief programs offered by government agencies and charitable groups reduce the hardship for flood victims, but funding to support immediate, basic needs is not insurance."
    An article in the June 2011 publication Canadian Underwriter dealing with Manitoba floods states :
    "Despite this alarming level of water, insurance claims in the area remain (as of press time) nearly non-existent. The inability to purchase overland flood insurance for residential properties plays some part in the infrequency of claims."
    Auto insurance policies are standard policy wording per province and provincially legislated and regulated, whereas there is no provincial regulation pertaining to "standard coverage' in homeowner policies, and Canadian insurers thereby collude to exclude such catastrophic risks, leaving the homeowner, and/or government to bear such burden and catastrophic losses .

    Now hopefully this does not become a political football between federal and provincial parties, wherein a uniform response to a Canada wide problem is passed on to various provincial governments to deal with or ignore as they see fit. If there is collusion between the major players in the insurance industry to deprive consumers of benefits and coverage to which they are entitled in other G8 countries, would this not be a matter to concern to Industry Canada and the Competition Bureau.
    Keep in mind as well that some of the same financial institutions operate both as banks and as insurance companies, offering mortgages on properties as well as inadequate policies of insurance which leave homeowners footing the bill for catastrophic losses which the insurers choose to exclude.

  3. > One of his latest ideas is advertising to attract Chinese millionaires for 'eco-tours' of our wilderness.

    The point of this is to suggest to readers that NB has wilderness. In fact, most of the province has been clear-cut. There is very little wilderness left for people to see. But most people don't get out to see it for themselves (I have) or look at the aerial surveys. So they can be convinced (on the sly) that NB is mostly pristine wilderness.