It would appear Premier Gallant has pulled off quite the coup in landing a new health care funding arrangement with Ottawa, on the heels of a failed conference between the federal government and the provinces to do just that.
Overall, I have always found Canadian media more balanced in political coverage, but of course it’s hard to compare when it’s the US election, but two stories in recent days offer a particular glimpse of the mainstream media in the US, and not in a good way.
Thoughout this whole campaign right up to the candidate speeches at the convention, civility ruled. No cheap shots, in fact not even mild criticism of each other. At least not in public. Privately, there was buzz of one rival team not being made to feel welcome at another’s hospitality suite the night before but that’s pretty normal stuff.
First some context. I have been going to political leadership conventions since the 70s, most of those as a journalist but over this past weekend simply as an observer. In fact I was probably the only one in the whole Aitken Centre Saturday who wasn’t either paid to be there or was there to support a candidate. But while I’m not a member of the PC Party and therefore didn’t have a dog in the fight, in the past I did cover and later worked for the Tories, so it was a great and pleasurable opportunity to connect with some old friends. Plus, I’m a political junkie so watching the day unfold without the responsibility to do journalism made it kind of fun – so I tweeted when and what I wanted and simply took it all in.
A couple of weeks ago, Ezra Levant took direct aim at Syrian students attending Fredericton High School. For those who aren’t familiar with Levant, he’s a right wing pseudo-journalist, who until its demise, worked at Sun TV, and now pursues his right wing, anti-immigrant agenda through his social media channel The Rebel.
Many of the problems and criticism of the Brian Gallant government seem to be rooted in two shortcomings. First, policy decisions that don’t seem to have been well thought out, and second, poor communications. And often, the two are linked, wrapped up in a lack of transparency.
This blog is strictly meant for people in Fredericton. If you aren’t from Fredericton or you don’t live in Fredericton, then just move along – nothing to see here.
Back when the intended sale of NB Power to Hydro Quebec was the sole focus of discussion at the legislature, the government could easily sense it was losing ground.
It was around 1979 or early 80’s perhaps. Early June I think. The New Brunswick legislature was in session with added evening sittings, trying to work through a number of bills before breaking for the summer. There’s no air conditioning in the legislature and it was hot, and nerves were frayed. Nobody wanted to be there but the Opposition Liberals were dragging out the debates.
It is a reality of the Internet that there’s no filter. People are free to display their ignorance and hate to their heart’s content, never having to fuss about accuracy or fairness.
Like so many Canadians, I have been following closely the news around the Fort McMurray evacuation. It goes without saying that one can’t help but be moved by the dramatic video, the tragic losses, the personal stories of adversity, the related triumph of the human spirit, the generosity of a country coming together, the enormity of the whole thing.
My initial reaction to the Gallant government’s announcement of free tuition for low-income students was extremely positive. I saw it not only as an excellent investment in our future but even more than that, a giant step toward breaking the welfare cycle, and for the working poor, a step toward leveling the playing field.
I don’t know how many people who read this blog listen to Fredericton CBC’s Information Morning program and the CBC newscasts, so if you are not among that subset, you may not be aware of the controversy that erupted this week, as I don’t think it has been reported anywhere else, not that I caught anyway.
WTF Republicans? Why can’t you be like our Conservatives?
Watching the presidential race unfold in the United States I get the distinct impression I am a witness to history. But not in a good way because it definitely could end badly, either at the Republican convention or later.
When it was elected, the Gallant government went to great pains to say it would make the tough choices necessary to right our seriously sinking financial ship. Many of us applauded that, knowing it is most definitely necessary.