Rants & Raves

We dis­cuss bro­ken prom­ises, twinned high­ways and more

Cape Breton Post - - EDITORIAL -

RANT: For bro­ken prom­ises. So Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau has aban­doned his prom­ise to change the way Cana­di­ans vote in fu­ture fed­eral elec­tions. Like we didn’t see this one com­ing a kilo­me­tre away. (Met­ric, now that’s a prom­ise the Lib­er­als did keep.) Rail­ing about the first-past-the-post sys­tem that landed Stephen Harper a ma­jor­ity in 2011 de­spite land­ing less than 40 per cent of the pop­u­lar vote seemed like a nat­u­ral for the Lib­er­als in the 2015 elec­tion. But once in power why would you ever want to share some by adopt­ing an­other sys­tem, right? We’re not sure how much of Trudeau’s shine will be lost be­cause of this de­ci­sion. Af­ter all, is it re­ally the num­ber one topic on the minds of most Cana­di­ans? It just serves as a re­minder that we should all take cam­paign prom­ises with a grain of salt. Even when the seller has nice hair.

RANT: For po­ten­tial rink closures. Sad to hear that the iconic Whit­ney Pier rink has fallen on par­tic­u­larly hard times. Thou­sands of lo­cal res­i­dents, from the young to the not-so-young, have passed through its doors dur­ing the past 50 years and they no doubt have many fond mem­o­ries of the old barn de­spite the cold. But times change, com­mu­ni­ties grow older and when shiny new rinks get built, like the one in Mem­ber­tou, busi­ness of­ten goes else­where. Will ef­forts to save the Pier rink prove suc­cess­ful? We cer­tainly hope so, but we also see this as an­other ex­am­ple of the need for the Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s recre­ation mas­ter plan to be com­pleted sooner rather than later. We need to know what res­i­dents want and what this mu­nic­i­pal­ity can af­ford.

RANT: For toll roads in Cape Bre­ton. As the gov­ern­ment pon­ders the need to build twinned high­ways around the prov­ince and how to pay for them, here’s some ad­vice: We don’t need any in Cape Bre­ton, espe­cially if im­prove­ments to the rail­way are made should a con­tainer ter­mi­nal ever get built. Save the twin­ning for the por­tions of Pic­tou County and Antigo­nish County where traf­fic re­ally gets bogged down and where fa­tal­i­ties, sadly, are much more preva­lent.

RAVE: For po­ten­tial labour peace. A ten­ta­tive agree­ment be­tween Cape Bre­ton Univer­sity and the union rep­re­sent­ing its fac­ulty is pos­i­tive news. These are tough fi­nan­cial times for uni­ver­si­ties faced with flat or de­clin­ing en­rol­ments, not to men­tion re­duced fi­nan­cial sup­port from the gov­ern­ment. Toss in a pro­longed labour dis­pute and we shud­der to think what the long-term re­sults for CBU would be. The agree­ment still has to be ap­proved by the fac­ulty as­so­ci­a­tion and the univer­sity’s board of di­rec­tors but un­like ten­ta­tive agree­ments in­volv­ing the Nova Sco­tia Teach­ers’ Union there is every rea­son to be­lieve a new con­tract will be signed. No doubt stu­dents across cam­pus are breath­ing a huge sigh of re­lief.

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