Rants & Raves
We discuss broken promises, twinned highways and more
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.