Bor­rowed glory

The Packet (Clarenville) - - EDITORIAL -

So, just imag­ine it’s your birthday. You’ve un­wrapped all your presents — won­dered just when you’ll ever wear an eight-foot long or­ange and black bar­rel-striped hand-knit scarf from your aunt — and all that’s left are the cards, fanned out in front of the birthday cake with its now-ex­tin­guished can­dles.

You see an en­ve­lope with your mother’s hand­writ­ing on it, that fa­mil­iar cur­sive that could only come from one hand.

In­side the card, a $20 bill — like al­ways — and then more of that gra­cious, per­fect hand­writ­ing: “Hope you have the hap­pi­est of birth­days, sorry I couldn’t be there this year. All my love, Mom.”

But more: be­neath the mes­sage, a strange block of text: “Mom has been sup­port­ing the de­vel­op­ment of ex­cel­lence in all her chil­dren, even Kevin, us­ing her patented ‘Guilt trumps ev­ery­thing’ tech­nol­ogy and her well-known long-term strate­gic pol­icy, ‘Mom’s Tide Floats

All Boats,’ where she is care­ful not to love any one of her chil­dren more than any other.” OK then.

A toot on the self-pro­mo­tion bu­gle just isn’t ex­actly the sort of con­grat­u­la­tions you were ex­pect­ing.

But hey: maybe Mom is just tak­ing a page from the Premier Dwight Ball gov­ern­ment hand­book.

Tues­day, Premier Ball is­sued a con­grat­u­la­tory news re­lease to a team of stu­dents from Me­mo­rial Univer­sity, College of the North At­lantic and North­east­ern Univer­sity in Bos­ton. The team had just scored a re­mark­able sec­ond place in the Spacex Hyper­loop Pod Speed com­pe­ti­tion in Cal­i­for­nia, a com­pe­ti­tion that saw the team best vir­tu­ally ev­ery other com­peti­tor in the orig­i­nal field of 1,200 com­peti­tors, aside from the Tech­ni­cal Univer­sity of Mu­nic.

Part of the re­lease is ex­tremely wor­thy of men­tion: “Mem­bers of Par­a­digm Hyper­loop at­tend­ing post-sec­ondary school in New­found­land and Labrador in­clude Adam Keat­ing,

Mark Comeau, Nick War­ren, Jeremy An­drews, Michael Duguay, Rowan Meaney, Liam Ma­her, Liam Cadi­gan, Dar­ryl Day, Matt Lane, Kyle Genge, Stephanie Adey, Ni­cola Duffy, Matt Hickey, Steven Kennedy and Jack Chap­man.”

Con­grat­u­la­tions in­deed — the team de­serves all of that recog­ni­tion, and more.

Too bad the news re­lease didn’t end af­ter that line. No, the next line was sure to be trea­sured by ev­ery­one in­volved in the sig­nif­i­cant achieve­ment — per­haps it’s even wor­thy of fram­ing.

“As out­lined in ‘The Way For­ward: A Vi­sion for Sus­tain­abil­ity and Growth in New­found­land and Labrador,’ the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment is com­mit­ted to re-set­ting the pro­vin­cial in­no­va­tion agenda by de­vel­op­ing a long-term strat­egy to ex­pand the pool and ca­pac­ity of New­found­land and Labrador’s eco­nomic wealth gen­er­a­tors, in­no­va­tion and growth­fo­cused busi­nesses.”

In­deed.

While it’s all well and good for the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment to be talk­ing in­no­va­tion, you have to won­der why they need to ride on some­one else’s coat­tails to make the point.

Sim­ply put, Premier Ball, this is not your day. It’s pos­si­ble to con­grat­u­late some­one for a job well done with­out turn­ing it into yet an­other op­por­tu­nity to pat your­self on the back.

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