Brandon Sun (Newspaper) - July 2, 2002, Brandon, Manitoba
OpinionA4Tuesday, July 2, 2002 B I I ^ I I ^1 121st Year No. 161
Trustees stand on principle
t might not have been be the brightest thing to do.
It might have destroyed any chance to run as elected public servants again and it could mean $5,000 fines for the lot of them, but Thames Valley Distnct School Board trustees should be lauded for their nerve all the same for refusing to pass a balanced budget.
Faced with major front-line cuts on one hand and severe penalties for not making those cuts on the other, trustees chose the latter — standing by their principles and adding their names to the list of trustees of school boards across the province to defy the province and its education spending.
If Toronto, Hamilton and Ottawa did not send the message clearly enough by passing similar deficit budgets, surely Queen’s Park must be listening now.
And it comes just in time for a new government to take notice.
There is no doubt that these sudden counter-revolutionary tactics are directly political and have everything to do with the fact that the province has a new premier and a somewhat softer direction promised by Ernie Eves.
Unlike his predecessor, Eves has pledged to turn the tide ever so slightly
back to re-establishing our public sector — health and education at the forefront.
But offer an inch and they’ll ask for a mile, and that is exactly what the board and others are looking for.
This is a test.
There is the possibility that our trustees will be fired, fined and told not to run for office again and then the province will come in and cut the teachers and special education programs the board was not willing to slash.
Then again, it could re-adapt its rules to the pressure and provide more money to the boards.
Only one thing is for sure and that is the government’s bluff has been called and it’s time for them to put their cards on the table and show how sincere they are in funding education and other public sector areas.
After years of being pushed down by the provincial government under the heavy cutting hands of former premier Mike Harris, school boards are fighting back.
It might have a negative reaction, but, as trustee Peter Jaffe put it: “I’d rather go out with a bang than with a whimper.”
An editorial from the Woodstock Sentinel-Review
Shultz outshovels Melnyk in a perogy-eating contest
SIXTY YEARS AGO
The mean temperature for the month of June was 59.2 with the maximum at 85 and the minimum 32. The precipitation was 1.69 inches of rain as compared with the average 3.09 inches. There were 211.2 hours of sunshine.
The enemy claimed today that Axis troops had captured El Alamein, 65 miles west of Britain’s Alexandria naval base, as the British 8th Army fought along a 35-mile bottleneck front in an attempt to save the Suez Canal and perhaps the entire Middle East from German conquest.
FIFTY YEARS AGO
Only adverse weather can prevent the 1952 Provincial Exhibition from being one of the most successful in its 70-year history, exhibition officials stated this morning. Attendance today has been higher than the total for the same period in any year in the past decade.
Marking one of the biggest Tuesdays ever recorded at the Provincial Exhibition, thousands thronged Machinery Row, inspecting the display of farm equipment valued at more than $1 million. With no cattle, sheep or
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classes attracted many of the regular cattlemen.
FORTY YEARS AGO
Hon. Walter Dinsdale, minister of northern affairs for Canada and also bandmaster with the Brandon Salvation Army Citadel Corps, paid a visit to Brandon today to lay the cornerstone for the new citadel building at the corner of First Street and Princess Ave.
Re-routed through more of the residential section of Brandon, a rather small, but entertaining, livestock parade drew hundreds of residents out yesterday. Led by Exhibition president H. H. Rungay in the lead convertible, the parade included a four-horse team with Exhibition manager P. A. McPhail sharing the driver’s seat with Wawanesa’s Fred Poole, the Modern Dames six-Shetland hitch, mounted horses in west
ern and English saddles and a float of the Manitoba 4-H clubs.
THIRTY YEARS AGO
Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced yesterday it is awarding its Underwood-Prescott Memonal Award this year to Dr. Ross A. Chapman, a native of Oak Lake, a scientist primarily responsible for establishing Canada’s food and drug regulations.
Canadian Tire, hardware merchandise retailers, will establish a store in a new building on 18th Street, across from the Brandon Shoppers Mall, Mayor Bill Wilton announced this weekend.
TWENTY YEARS AGO
Brandon celebrated Canada’s 115th birthday with a multi-cultural party at the Centennial Auditonum yesterday afternoon. The festivities got underway with a perogy-eating contest. Peter Shultz of CKX beat out Ald. Mike Melnyk for the championship. The evening’s celebrations were rounded out with a multicultural concert featuring school bands and choirs and a fireworks
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Fortyfive new graduates from Brandon General Hospital’s School of Nursing received diplomas at the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium for completion of their two-year courses.
TEN YEARS AGO
The first part of a weary convoy of 800 Canadian UN troops finally rolled into Sarajevo airport today after a hazardous two-day trek through tense areas of ethnic fighting and suspicious local militia commanders.
Not even the wind, nor the rain was enough to dampen the spirits of patriots determined to celebrate Canada’s 125th birthday at Curran Park yesterday afternoon. About 1,200 people braved the elements for the local birthday party.
From the files of The Brandon Sun.
NDP does the right thing by getting out of business
Lightning has struck twice as the Canadian Taxpayers Federation found itself complimenting the Doer government for following up on two pivotal Canadian Taxpayer Federation recommendations.
The first involves the status of Venture Manitoba Tours, a financially troubled Crown corporation that runs the Hekla Island Resort and the Falcon Lake Golf Course.
The federation and its surveyed members have long called for the sale of Venture.
Now word has it that a provincial working group is exploring options including the sale or lease of Venture to the private sector.
Seems like a no brainer.
Why on earth is the province in the hotel and golf business in the first place?
Is the province so short of entrepreneurs to justify the government’s continued ownership and management of tourist resorts?
Anyone who likes the idea of politicians running our hotels and golf courses is likely to favour nationalization of Popsicle stands as well.
The arms-length Crown Corporations Council’s review of Venture pretty much summed it up why governments should not meddle in businesses that are best suited to the private sector.
“Council’s overall assessment of risk remains high with a negative trend. Venture continues to face long term operational and financial challenges.”
Selling off Venture would be a stroke of genius for the NDP who could deflect the criticism that the party is ideologically opposed to privatizations.
And besides, a little common sense on the fiscal front wouldn’t hurt either.
Then out of nowhere, like a bolt from the blue, the Manitoba N DP issue a news release denouncing business subsidies.
Let's talk taxes
After awarding a multi-million aid package to keep a bus manufacturer from leaving Winnipeg, the Doer government is taking the moral high ground on the inequities of business subsidies.
“Reducing business subsidies and creating a level playing field is critical to creating a good business climate in all provinces,” said Industry, Trade and Mines Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk.
What could have been a scripted line for a taxpayers federation communications director is now stated policy for the Manitoba government.
The province took the critical first step toward the reduction of costly and inefficient business subsidies at the internal trade minister’s meeting in Vancouver.
Manitoba is pressing for an inter-provincial agreement to reduce subsides to business.
The federation has actively fought against provincial and federal business subsidies and has repeatedly urged the province to make good on its pre-election promise to reduce its business subsidy programs by half.
Over the past five years, the federation released six landmark studies documenting the excessive waste of economic development programs.
To put its best foot forward, the province should press for a simple recommendation, namely that all governments outlaw all forms of business subsides and inducements.
The province should also press for the elimination of industry-specific credits and firm-specific credits that are an indirect form of subsidy.
To improve the business climate, the provinces and federal government should offer competitive corporate income taxes as a tried and true policy for economic renewal.
Specifically, Manitoba should replace its business subsidy structure with a phasing out of the payroll tax.
Victor Vrsnik is Provincial Director, Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
Think about where you live
Welcome to Canada. This is unlike any country you have ever known. Because it does not come with a manual, you may find what follows a helpful introduction to our nation:
For all its strength and majesty, this country is fragile. Tile land, the lakes, rivers and oceans, the forests, the flora and fauna, the ideals and values that have drawn you to this place from the ends of the earth could disappear in a single lifetime. Never take them for granted.
Canada is a democracy. Canadian democracy is not perfect, but it does work. This may not be immediately apparent. In recent years it has become customary for Canadians to accuse their leaders of running dictatorships when the democratic process produces a result that does not suit them. It’s all nonsense, but sometimes it makes Canadians feel better.
Despite all the teeth-gnashing and hair-pulling, the system rolls along pretty smoothly. Canadian politics has all the elements of a good soap opera. And it’s interactive, so feel free to join in the fun.
The hospitals here are often very big, and while we fight over them quite a bit, they are among the best in the world. But don’t be led to believe that they are here solely for the wealthy. They are here for you. Whether you are very poor or very rich, you are treated the same when you walk through the doors.
They are the great genius of Canada; brick and mortar proof that this nation is devoted to the concept that all people are created equal, and the idea that we should love and care for one another as sisters and brothers. Do not make the mis
take that this system has no cost. Like all noble achievements, it comes at a tremendous cost and a significant sacrifice on the part of the people who live here. You will encounter people who do not believe the concept is worth the cost. Resist them. This is a naiion of peace. Despite me pounding mass media messages to the contrary, the chances of someone committing an act of violence against you on Canadian soil are remote. Though they may disagree with you, almost no one will try to kill you for your beliefs or your politics.
Canadians respect life and cherish law and order. Paradoxically, many have died to protect these ideals, most often on foreign soil. Honour their sacrifice. Embrace their ideals as your own.
Please don’t be alarmed if you are confronted by Canadians who believe this nation has it all wrong. Were they living in the Garden of Eden, such people would be filing complaints about the inordinate size of the fruit on the trees and the inefficiency of the bees producing honey.
Such people don’t appreciate the things they have simply because they have always had them.
That brings us to our final point: Never lose sight of the glory and beauty of this nation. Immense and rugged, scarred and blasted, lush and fertile, permeated with the planet’s highest ideals and astounding human diversity, it may well be the Promised Land.
But if you are blind to all of it, you might just as well live somewhere else.
A commentary from the Orillia Packet and Times
Glenn Johnson: Editor and Director of Readership Development Gordon Wright: City Editor Jim Lewthwaite: News Editor
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